Category Archives: communication

Random thoughts about Cannes Lions

Domino’s “You got 30 minutes” won a Bronze in Titanium and Integrated. They deserved at least a silver.

Hyunday’s Assurance also won a Bronze in Titanium and Integrated, and this is more controversial. If you see creative agencies for what they have become and are going to be more and more, and that’s idea factories, this deserved a Grand Prix (or at least a Gold, since one could argue that Obama For America was actually bigger and more influential).

If instead you see creative agencies for what they traditionally were, then you value the tv-execution more than the business idea (“if you lose your job you can return your car to us”), and in that case it doesn’t even deserve to be shortlisted.

But if you’re honest about it, you have to give it a Gold. (Cmon, it’s way more influential than Sprint’s Now, that is just a cute, contemporary idea…)

More great, inspiring work? Google “HD loves HB”, “Best job in the world”, “The village where nothing ever happens”, “This is not a jersey”.

Final Burp: Any, litterally any shortlisted entry from 2009 would kick the ass of any winner from the 90s. Despite all the predictions of doom, this IS a great age for advertising.

BMW Z4 augmented reality. Feel like a kid again!

Do you remember when kids played with little car models, letting them run on floors and tables, dodging chairs, lamps and pencils, and their grandma’s screaming legs? I do.  I was one of them.

Now we can all do  the same, thanks to BMW and augmented reality. Dare has produced a pretty damn cool work to introduce the new Z4:  inspired by the tv ad, you can print the Z4 symbol, position it in front of your webcam, and drive the new Z4 on your own desk. 

This is the ad:

 

And this is  how you could use the Z4 as a paintbrush:

 

Pretty sweet. But I still thinking that driving it around pencils and water bottles would have been more fun…

 

Final Burp: Digital is not about virtual. It’s about making it real.

Pizza Hut made me feel like an idiot. (And I’m not sure it’s a good thing…)

pizza-hut

 

I found a link to the above site from Pizza Hut, and I thought: wow!, what a brilliant and simple idea!

The privilege of having your face featured on a pizza is no longer reserved to Jesus, Mary and Kurt Cobain…

This is what I would expect from Domino ever since they started working with Crispin, and instead it comes from the same Pizza Hut whose latest brand initiatives were,  let’s say, debatable at least…

 

So I gladly uploaded the picture I wanted on my pizza:

brian-griffin

 

 

 

and this is what I got back:

 

pizza-hut-2

 

And it made me feel like an idiot.

Now,  I don’t know who pitched this idea to Pizza Hut, but I’m pretty sure they said that it would be “fun social content” that would “engage your hard-to-reach, on-the-go, web-savy consumers”,  allowing the brand to “entertain them”, and of course “it would go viral”. 

My problem with this is that April’s Fools are designed to make you feel like an idiot because they are clearly  hyperbolic stunts that no person with a sense of reality would fall for. (Like, let’s say, building a global financial system on mortgages paid for by people who can’t afford them, backed by houses that noone would want to live in…)

In this case, portrait pizzas are feasible. You need a relatively simple algorythm (one that you can find online for free), a variety of different ingredients (the same you can find in any Pizza Hut) and a little time (maybe more than what Pizza Hut is currently taking to bake a pizza, but I have no doubt taht consumers would be willing to wait 10 minutes longer to have a personalized portrait pizza).

So, to sum things up:

  1. Pizza Hut came up with a feasible and unique marketing idea
  2. Instead of making it happen, they used it as an April’s Fool
  3. In doing so, not only they walked away from its marketing value: they made their potential consumers feel like idiots

 

The irony of all this is that the more people try to customize their pizza, the more an evidence it is that it could have been a great marketing idea. And instead, it’s just more people that will be annoyed at Pizza Hut.

Quite an achievement for a brand under pressure.

It will be interesting to see how many people actually redeemed the coupon, and how this influenced brand perception…

 

Final Burp: Do you want to do something audacious, engaging,  edgy and viral as a marketer? Make a damn good product! That’s your job.

Internet Explorer 8 tells the history of the web

I have a feeling that there’s something new about Microsoft, but I may be wrong. Here’s what I’m talking about.

To celebrate the arrival of Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft has produced a pretty nice and cute ad that tells the story of the internet. It’s sweet, and it treats the web with a sense of humanity.

 

Now, someone could say that it’s the same old story we experienced with Vista already: MS pours money into advertising to fool consumers about a poor product, instead of fixing it.

 

However, there are two things I like about the ad for IE 8.

Firstly, it’s sweet. Tender. It shows genuine affection for the web, something users all over the world are reluctant to give Microsoft credit for, given how disappointing its web properties, and namely IE,  have been so far.  And it shows this kind of affection in a human way, celebrating the flaws of the web alongside its virtues, and loving them both.

Secondly, if you visit the Internet Explorer 8 channel on Youtube, you find more good stuff like this: ok, it’s been online for six months already and so far only reached less than 600 views; ok, I don’t quite get the point of what it’s trying to say; but it has a nice tone of voice. And that’s quite something, considering how poorly Microsoft has historically performed in terms of brand personality.

 

I’m left wondering if CrispinPorter is somehow behind this…

 

Final Burp: if Microsoft keeps going down this route, they will soon and for the first time become the non-arrogant side of the big PC vs Mac divide. And who knows what will follow…

“Dear Sir/Madam, do you mind if I turn your world upside down?” (A few thoughts on intellectual property, liability and the internet)

Those above are the words that I believe media owners, the music industry and politicians all over the world were expecting from the internet a few years ago.

The Italian Parliament is currently attempting to regulate intellectual property and personal liability online. You can read about it here, and in the unlikely case you speak italian here and here.

In a nutshell, here’s how it works

 

The suggested law requires nearly every activity — specifically uploads — on the web not to be anonymous (how would they obtain it?) and would hold every provider, social network, website responsible for violations of that rule or any other in the pages they host.

The second matter is even more dangerous, since it’s a bylaw in a broader bill. It gives any judge the power to ask providers to close or block webpages that applaud or approve crimes or contain hate speech.

The bill requires providers or social networks to block such pages, or stand accused of the same crimes. Obviously, no rule explains or defines such crimes, so such a law can allow for any interpretation. 

This law is not the result of an evil plot. It’s just ignorance and shallowness at their worse.

It’s what you get when a political class unable to address the challenges they were elected to address, because the world has just grown too big and complicated, turns to regulate whatever they can think of, in order to legitimate their existence: that’s how you get to politicians regulating what science can and cannot research, what media can and cannot talk about, what comedians can and cannot make fun of…  This happens all over the world, but when you add in the incompetence, egotism and narrow-mindedness of italian politics it pushes new boundaries.

Quite predictably, this law has been generating an enraged debate over the blogosphere.

Quite less predictably if you’re from anywhere else in the western world, there no trace of such debate in traditional media: they’re too busy reporting the latest joke of Prime Minister Berlusconi, or the latest episode of urban violence that raises public concern and media audience, to talk about something they don’t quite understand in the first place.

When I first heard about this I was outraged and frustrated for the latest un-needed proof of incompetence from our elected officials: one that, for instance, would allow a judge to shut down the website of a newspaper backing a certain party, because someone on an opposing party felt insulted by a comment. (Knowing our politicians, such an insult would be likely to be well deserved)

But then I thought: no big deal. 

Digital has always found a way around regulations: when Napster was shut down, Kazaa, eMule and eventually BitTorrent replaced it, and even did a better job.

All it could happen in this case is that some random judge could forcefully shut down a website, and users would find a way get that same website back online, until the stupidity of such an approach will be fully exposed.

Eventually, this could be the best way to show wannabe regulators how pointless this kind of superficial attempts are.

You can’t leglislate against a revolution. (Believe me, lots of smarter people have tried it throughout human history. Noone succeded).

Revolutions don’t ask for permission from parliaments and business leaders, they just happen. And change everything along the way.

 

Final Burp: Tomorrow doesn’t need to be easy, or simple, or reassuring to happen. It will just happen. Tomorrow.

The future is now

future

 

Final Burp: At least our hair looks better…

Travelling with the girls…

http://www.travelwithus.tv/uk/

 

Two girls.

A webcam.

A new film coming out.

 

Final Burp: Well, ok, not so new…