The power of natural search – Orange nil points, Messenger 90!

Orange has eschewed the campaign URL in its latest campaign “I am” where the payoff asks consumers to search for “I am everyone”. When you do, you get a paid link to click on. The first natural link however, is for a site called “I am bored”, and there is no sign of Orange in the natural rankings at all.

As a control test, I searched for Minimise me, MRM Worldwide UK’s latest work for Windows Live Messenger, and the URL is number 1 link, as indeed are all the following links (on Google). I was amazed to find that minimise-me and the personalisable emoticons dominated the top 100 search listings – literally, 90+ of the top 100.


Which is the cleverest strategy? Which is the cleverest work? You decide.iam-search.jpg

Microsoft launches Worldwide Telescope project

This was demo-ed last week at an innovation key-note during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Event.

The demo looked lovely and the product can be downloaded from here: Note you need the .net framework installed so not sure what you Steve Jobs groupies will do……

It seems much better visually than the Google Earth plug-in for planets, however what really caught my eye was the ‘Telling Stories’ function which once again seemed to work really smoothly – Microsoft are really pushing it as a tool for children (and astronomy geeks…) to aid learning and build community. I’ll try it out on my kids and see what they think of it…..

Microsoft’s new main man on stage at Microsoft WPC

So here he is, Mr Ballmer on stage at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in a shot taken on my mobile (Windows Mobile 6.0 of courseĀ  šŸ˜‰


HeĀ opened with a round of chanting ‘Partner, Partners, Partners!’ before settling down to give a good 20 minute talk on the direction for the company. At the Q&A he refused to be drawn on the Yahoo deal / non-deal, andĀ said that he’s motivated by challenges when asked how he can take over the role filled by Bill Gates for so long. He also explained how Microsoft will stay a tech company but that he does see advertising as aĀ developing and complementary revenue stream…. though integration between MS products / services and advertising will of course be handled carefully

Anyway, back to another session…Ā 

No fags no guns no dogs

alastair_duncan in HoustonThis just about sums up Houston. The [very blurry pictured] stickers at the airport (or at least the gun one) surprised me on my first visit to Compaq, once Houston’s own computer giant, now swallowed up and spat out by Hewlett Packard in one of the biggest tech mergers of all time. We were doing in those days, so trips to Houston brought back some fond memories. Travis where are you now?I know where Marty is šŸ™‚

Today I’m at the Microsoft Worldwide Partners Conference (as a Gold Certified Partner ;-0) to get the vision first hand. I appear to be in a hotel full of Scandinavian developers drinking Mexican beer. I make out the words Shilverlight and Microshoft interspersed amongst their intense gutteral chatter, and try national brand word association to pass the time. Sweden. Volvo. Denmark. Carlsberg. Norway. Er, fjords, um, Grieg. Finland. Nokia. I guess it’s four in the morning for everyone. I look forward to meeting Steve again tomorrow. Although the focus of this event is software and solutions, the role of Microsoft as a player in the marketing space is one I’m interested in hearing about first hand. All advertising will be digital. Soon.

The miniature killer application

as posted on brand republic

Two commercials on the telly tonight made me think. And not in a good way. First was for Cadbury’s Twisted. Apparently it’s not a Creme Egg. It’s a twisted Creme Egg. This means that the Creme Egg is mashed up in a grater and turns into a chocolate caterpillar that grunts a lot and goes splat. Peperami did this years ago, only sooo much better. Gor bless ya Lever International Advertising Services, and Ade Edmonson. (And this is after Cadbury’s hired Dom Joly, as Peperami did a few football tournaments ago. See blogging for food passim.)

Lewis HamiltonĆ¢ā‚¬ā„¢s head

The second was for Abbey, converting a miniature Lewis Hamilton into some sort of corporate message about F1 and Abbey. Big change for the bank, building society, Banco Santader or whatever Abbey has become these days. The only problem is, the media placement, in a break before the clever but gruesome Criminal Minds show, makes me think of the miniature killer character from CSI. Not entirely the sort of association a brand like Abbey deserves.



Fashionable Shoreditch today hosted MPs, start ups, Nathan Barley agency types and all sorts interested in how technology is shaping the nation. As one of the all sorts I put a few questions to the house about the role of technology in everyday life. Online voting? Could happen soon. If you can vote by SMS in Latvia, I’m sure it can be arranged in Hackney. Poking MPs? Well, certain fifth columnists know this goes on all the time in a lobbying (and allegedly Ugandan) sort of way, but does crowdsourcing political opinion actually give voice to the extremists who have an agenda to poke the most? Yes, probably. Has the internet broken the commercial stranglehold traditional media has had on presenting messages to the public? Perhaps. Public opinion has become democratised, and this is a good thing. It has certainly made pretty much every brand owning organisation sit up and take note of publicly available opinion of brands. They have to be more ‘open’. And the politicians are saying this too. I love the concept of open brands. The issue is that the brand has to mean it, not just ‘say it’. And how many of you believe the politicians mean it? For example, does a negative blog comment saying x brand is rubbish count as ‘branded content? If it’s honest and sustainable, then yes. The interesting thing is (as the guys from MySpace and Facebook will confirm) communities do defend their brands. For every detractor, you will find an enthusiast. The ultimate test is, as always, whether people continue to buy the product. Social change through technology advances won’t change that.

PS super seeing Dave B, the original blog poster child. Apologies for pun. Still love you though šŸ™‚