Thursday, February 22, 2007

FThe source of fame

Heres an interesting post of the future of entertainment. Or at least, signalling a possible future. Essentially recording the growth of bloggers, youtubers and the like going mainstream.

'The search for talent' is a staple of the tired and wornout mainstream media - but now rather than expect people to come to them, they are going to have to go looking for them.

Also, I'm looking forward to seeing what impact this has on Britains crazy celebrity culture. We all seem to want to be famous, but we all seem to want someone else to do it for us. Who will be Britains first self-created, web2.0 celebrity?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Come on Steph don't be shy

I'm on a blogging burn right now, and here's one more. I'm trying to shame Steph into writing on here - she's the only one in this office with anything interesting to say as the half-hearted collection of random musings below will testify.

Yet to date she has been remarkbly shy.


To help her on her way, I thought it might be helpful to introduce you all to Steph.

Three phrases that describe her are carbon-based, woman and alive.
Three slightly better phrases are american, intelligent and assertive
Three even better phrases are bacon-sandwiches, high-heels and long-lunches

She looks like this...

She sounds like this...

She thinks like this...

OK Steph, right to reply, over you go...

Ra Ra Research 2

Oh, the other thing last night that was quite fun was talking to the recruiter, who told me how things had changed in the industry. Seems she has been doing it for twenty-odd years, and has noticed a real change in what we as an industy want.

Specifically, she started going on about ridiculously specific recruitment criteria

My favourite was men with less than 5cm of hair. What! How you supposed to recruit that one? And whats the difference between a man with 5cm of hair and 6cm?
(I should say at this point I have a very full head of hair, so to any and all baldys out there, ha ha!)

Also, she spoke about how absurd the tests were to measure creativity - 'give me 5 things to do with a brick' etc. According to her, people's ability to spontaneously answer questions like that in no way dictates their ability to contribute to a group as she doesn't have to measure the quality of their answer, just the quantity; give five and your in, but the person who thinks about it and gives one kick-ass answer? Sorry, not 'creative' enough.

Whats worse is some agencies give three or four of these questions, so every time she recruits she has to test them for 20 minutes on their creativity! Perhaps not surprising they don't respond in the groups when you've been put through the hoops just to get there...

Ra Ra Research

Just had some groups the other day and I was struck by how polite we are to consumers. How we take everything they have to say at face value and never challange them.

Oh, we may ask "why do you say that?" or "what makes you think that?" but do we ever say "really? are you sure?" or "I'm sorry, I don't believe that."

Strong language I know, but I'm worried we are indoctrinated to believe that the unadulterated word of the consumer is god when, as we all know from our own experience that most of what we say is unadulterated rubbish (perhaps I only speak for myself here...)

I think it's fair to say consumers sometimes just say what comes to mind, then try and justify it - and that with a bit of a prod we might get them to admit that and look at things in a new light.

Regardless, I want to see more moderators challanging the consumer to defend their thinking - to throw in counter examples, or ideas from other categories. Whilst it may not save duff work, it might help better to understand why it was so terrible.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Video of the Week

I saw this the other day and fell in love with it.

It's such lo-fi, analogue, gritty grubby entertainment, a pure fuck-cares lets dance like weirdos vibe going on that is such a sweet alternative to the hyper-clean hyper-managed entertainment industry. You know there's no VIP sections, no champagne cocktails, no paparazzi. Just some nutter pilled up and dancing their ass off. Who needs Ant and Dec when people will do this?

And the music! I love it fast and hard (yes, write your own joke here) and manic and this is all of that. OK, may sound like chaos to many people but I think its great.

Nb, interesting trend to watch out for is the speeding up of dance music - I think 2007 will see it get ramped up faster than ever...

This film was taken at All You Can Eat

The devil is in the detail

This is a prescient and alarming story about American overreaction to what was intended as a harmless advertising stunt.

What is really interesting to me is how this supports a long-held belief of mine - that what we think consumers will respond to and what we think will excite them is often so so wrong.

In this case, some simple neon signs were interpreted as bombs!

How many groups have you been in when the respondents say "will it be illustrated like that on telly" or "why is it green" or "well the waves made me think of storms and that made me think if sinking ships"?

And we sit behind the mirror and laugh at them for their failure to get the point, or their preoccupation with irrelevant details, or their stupidity at thinking such things matter.

And yet these details are relevant; they do matter. Respondents are assessing the stimulus not as marketers, but as people, with all the rich complicated interpretations and analysis that we give to our own lives. How many times have we got the wrong end of the stick over some random detail?

Respondents are no different. We pretend that their mistakes are irrelvant but often they are the most revealing thing they say becuase they reveal how small, minture details can have such a big profund effect. The colour of the clothes, the type of kitchen, the way the product is held - these all send strong cues that affect take-out in ways we might not be able to predict, but which we should never ignore.

And thats why I think its crucial that planning maintains its involvement throughout the creative process. We cannot hand over responsibility for casting, music and direction to the creatives in the beleif that because the strategy is sound, the advertising is bound to be effective. The slightest, most trivial details can have the most incredible effect and we must have a point of view on how these will work. By absconding these details to the creatives we run the risk of alienating the consumer through an apparantly trivial oversight that has profound implications on how they assess the work.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What colour am I?

Saw this the other day - a rather fine test to find out what kind of house-paint you are!

Filled it in, but I'm not sure the program is working alright - I came out as 'Goth Black'! Now where could it have got an idea like that from?!

I am
Longs Drugs "Goth Black" matte interior latex

For the ultimate (but affordable) gloom&doom bedroom.

Which house paint are you?