Walk and talk

There’s a Facebook group called I secretly want to punch slow walking people in the back of the head. Is this silent urban protest or opportunity for citizens’ juries to decide on pavement speed limits?

slow1.jpg The good news for the group is that we are genuinely walking faster through cities than we were ten years ago, according to research by the intriguingly named Professor Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire. The average city stroller speed is now 12.5 seconds every 60 feet. Apparently Singapore, Copenhagen, Madrid and the even more intriguingly named Brazilian city Cuntiba top the table. Slowcoach spots include Ottowa, Damascus and Bucharest.

The bad news is that as we use our mobiles or text as we walk, we slow down, and even bump into each other. Less good news is that half of the world’s population now inhabit cities, and the UN estimates that three quarters will be by the year 2050. Will this slow us down, or speed us up?

From preaching to practice


It’s usually up to us as agencies and brands to decide what’s best for a target audience but new agency Nonsense have turned that around. In true participation marketing style they’ve chosen to let their audience decide what their website’s going to look like.

Like any normal campaign, they’ve formulated a brief. However, instead of sitting in their office, chewing on their pencils and searching for one ultimate idea, they’ve already come up with three. What’s makes this different though is their decision to let the most important people (potential advocates, future employees and clients) pick the winning website idea.

No jargon or fancy smoke and mirrors, just nice ideas; simply executed. Oh, and a great PR opportunity. 

Click through, check it out and vote. Personally, my money’s on the grannies…

At last! The music business embraces digital!

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Years and years ago (when I still had hair) I used to work in the music industry. In that time, I found that as cool and hip as they try to be, record labels are actually pretty unadventurous. And, aside from embracing CDs as a wonderful chance to make people buy their record collection all over again for a higher price, they were never very good at welcoming innovation. Their resistance to MP3s and fear of the internet succeeded in alienating their target market. So I was pretty happy to see something fresh in the digital environment – an interactive music video. It’s a start. And I can see more bands doing it in the near future. Personally, I’m looking forward to one from the Pussycat Dolls.

So ladies and gentlemen, I give you Arcade Fire and “Neon Bible”. Enjoy!

Shop and Becks

Remember the memory game from childhood? I went to market and bought a pig; a donkey; a packet of crisps; some cheese and so on. Educational psychologists may tell you that children can remember up to seven things quite well, beyond that each extra thing becomes harder to cope with. Rather like pints of lager. Now try playing the online version, as I did recently. I went online and bought a laptop computer; a club penguin subscription; a David Beckham Academy course for one of the boys, a quantity of books from Amazon and a Harry Potter audiobook from Woolworths, no less, (which took forever to arrive). Looking back on the varying experiences, which was hot, and which was not? Continue reading “Shop and Becks”

Put the rhythym back into the algorithm

How long will it be, I wonder, before Google invents Google Sounds? This would be an application where you whistle in a tune, and the search engine looks for music that sounds like it. Now that would put the copyright cat amongst the pigeons, wouldn’t it?

Creep scope

Radiohead are putting out their new album online. It sounds a bit like that patronising AA commercial where the mother tells her son she has bought her insurance (pause, wry smile,) online. ‘If the music is rubbish, nobody will download it,’ argues a disgruntled record label executive. They can only do this because they’re not attached to any major label. Nonsense. They can do it because they can. Hello, digital world.

How things have changed. The day John Peel died, Continue reading “Creep scope”

There is a clue in the name

Speaking at Ad:Tech in the Digital Consumer Forum this year, the penny dropped. There is a real clue in the name Ad:Tech and it really suited my presentation titled ‘Advertising’s Seismic Shift’, which was about how the landscape of advertising is under going a transformation of seismic proportions, brought about in changes in the technology customers are choosing to use. Continue reading “There is a clue in the name”