Posts Tagged: web technology

Education, education, education (part three…and final)

I’ve banged the drum in previous weeks about the importance of consumer education about behavioural advertising, and the IAB’s recent research has highlighted the need for this.

Today the IAB has published a guide on behavioural advertising specifically for industry, our first step in helping educate the market about this practice (although you’ll be glad to know that this will be my last blog – for now – talking about education). The guide explains how behavioural advertising works, how it differs to other types of targeted advertising on the internet, its benefits to web publishers and advertisers, consumer attitudes as well as online privacy and industry good practice.

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Digital creativity dead?

Of course it’s not, but the digital creative industry can be as quiet as a corpse sometimes. This year I’ve seen absolutely blinding digital creativity in web design, interactive rich media, even in the copy used for search ads. Actual creative genius resides in digital – but sometimes, digital creatives can be so polite amidst the marketing rabble!

The IAB has Creative Showcase, which highlights the best of the best and there’s Creative Review, which is ace. Plus I’m sure creative agencies highlight their best creative to clients and internally, but if we’re to continue proving this medium I honestly believe digital creatives need to become collective uber show-offs of the highest order. And there doesn’t always need to be an award at the end of it.

Print, outdoor and TV ads sometimes end up in art galleries. Why not digital? Some digital creativity is beautiful! A stunning, interactive work of art. There are barely any digital creative blogs/sites either, yet campaigns are going live daily. Digital’s very nature makes it mass broadcast but on a personal level – so while it’s hitting the mark with its target consumers, it needs that extra push in the marketing industry to get it noticed. Here’s my push of a simple, but beautiful and clearly messaged pre-roll ad for the RAF edited specifically for online and run across WebTVEnterprise’s network. Click on the image to watch it:

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Real change or empty rhetoric?

Earlier this week Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivered an interesting speech to the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in Oxford. He talked of the power of today’s technology in organising and uniting communities around the world on particular issues, such as climate change, the financial crisis or matters of foreign policy, and said that this citizen empowerment meant that we could create a “truly global society”, that foreign policy “can never be the same again” and could “no longer be run by elites”.

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Google Options and Wolfram Alpha are significant, but for what reasons?

and WolframAlpha are two significant announcements from the search
world this week… kinda.


First up is
Google Options which joins the ranks of images, maps, video, blogs and more
channels for finding content. To clarify, I don’t think search is too
complicated for consumers – consumers get it. What this post is referring to is
the other side, the complexities that website owners now face.

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Marketers fail to seize internet’s branding mother load

I recently wrote about the way
video is bringing major changes to internet content.
This is a big deal. Online video
already plays a massive and unique role in the lives of the UK
population. Whether it’s an embedded YouTube clip on a blog, a professional news
clip on the Telegraph or Guardian websites or even a full length programme or
film from Channel 4, Sky or the upcoming Love Film service.

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Facebook Connect is VERY important

The internet is a hugely disjointed and messy place. How many logins do you have? How many times do you have to enter payment details? There’s only one ‘you’ so it seems ridiculous that you have to do all the leg work on the internet. Companies try to make processes simpler and Microsoft has done a good job of this with its Live accounts. Likewise for Google. Facebook however, is the first to launch itself head first into joining up the dots outside of its own property.

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Online video advertising is on the precipice

Last year the IAB established a Video Council, consisting of publishers, agencies and providers, chaired by Rob Black at UTarget.Fox. This group is working full steam ahead to produce a new online video resource and printed publication to educate marketers on the best ways to use advertising in and around online video content. This resource will include an update to our guideline standard released last year. With over 35 senior representatives from different companies taking part, it’s involving a lot of coordination but is very quickly bearing fruit.

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Are we all talking gaga?

“Lady Gaga? Never heard of her” my mum said on the phone. Ten minutes later and I had an email from her entitled “Lady Gaga”, with the message “I searched for her website. I like her sound.”

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Analogue Politicians in a Digital Age

I’m pinching David Cameron’scatch-phrase onGordon Brown for the title of this blog, but it seems very relevant to describe Orange’s Future of Politics report which was published earlier this week. This is a great reportwhich argues for UK politicians, our political structures, Parliament and political parties of the need to “embrace the digital age to re-energise and transform democracy” and begin a “digital golden age of Parliament”.
I acknowledge that our politicians are representatives of all the British people, including the fewwho don’t have access to broadband, don’t use social media or even own a mobile handset. However, I don’t think anyone doubts the need for UK politicians and their institutions to adapt to the digital age – although many people (particularly some of those working in Parliament) like its Victorian ways and traditions. But a modern and effective democratic institution needs to shed its ‘club’ image that the vast majority of citizens can’t and don’t associate themselves with. As the report acknowledges, new technology and media still feel a bit tacked on to existing structures and approaches. The Number 10 Downing Street e-Petition siteand YouTube channel are welcome developments in the right direction though.
Some of the ideas within the report are perhaps a big ask (for example a 3D virtual Parliament). However, I think of real significance is the use of social media to galvanise and organise political opinions (particularly around single-issues) and as a platform to raise funding. We already know how the Government feels about social media in politics: it is distinctly uncomfortable with it. But this is undoubtedly how some politicians are beginning to engage with their supporters, constituents and (dare I say it) colleagues. The report also makes much of Barak Obama’s much-heralded ‘text-book’ online campaigning during the 2008 US Presidential election and the large amount of small donations he received via social media. Obama built relationships with people before asking them for money.
UK politicians should definitely sit up and take note of this report. Otherwise they’ll remain firmly entrenched in a world that no one else but themselves actually recognise. Change or wither.

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Has it been a vintage year for creativity?

Every year I look forward to a few industry regulars: NMA’s top 100 (sorry BR), Campaign School Report, Campaign Agency of the Year, Campaign A List (largely because online is so poorly represented – why isn’t Guy Phillipson in there?) and of course Marketing Agency of the Year (the advertiser’s magazine of choice). The reason I love the “Tops” is because the preceeding 12 months are spent answering who I think should win it this year. First of all, congratulations to Agency Republic for winning back their crown after a two-year diversion. Being a fan of Gordon’s (the drink and of course their creative director) the site is a beautiful representation of the brand. A nod also to GT, LBi, Dare and Grand Union who all got a mention though I’m amazed Poke aren’t in there somewhere – maybe they didn’t jump through enough hoops.

These accolades are incredibly important and will continue to be so, but this year’s close running says more to me about the distinct lack of great creative this year. And before i end up on the receiving end of a turck-load of abuse, you I’m fully aware of the brilliant work that continues to come out from UK agencies. Just look at our to see stuff that really rocks, and will inevitably go on to win at Cannes and D&AD. BUT – can we honestly say there has been a tonne of consistent campaigns from each of the top-flight agencies? I mean each advertiser, each piece of work. If online is to maintain its credibility, more consistent productivity is needed. We need the quality to match the quantity. What’s at the heart of this I’m not sure – agency lethargy, poor client briefs, inadequate budgets, insufficient lead-times, all the great ideas have been done, too much emphasis on social media? I’d love your thoughts .

Incidentally I don’t think this is unique to online. I think it’s been a great year, but not a vintage one.

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