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Things of Interest

How long does it take for a pirated movie to spread on Pirate Bay?

Not long.

 

Interesting Doco: Behind the Reply Girl Phenomenon

If you like Internet personalities and/or Internet culture, then this little (under 10min) doco will be right up your alley.
It tells the story of ReplyGirl – a rather saucy-looking (you have to say “saucy” like a crooner for it to work) entrepreneur that used her god-given gifts to make some money on/of YouTube. She also created a bit of a “hoo-ha” (you have to say “hoo-ha” like Al Pacino for it to work) on the Internet, splitting the opinions of people on it in two.

So sit back, and enjoy the show (you can say that anyway you want for it to work).

Credit to VICE for making this doco.

Ads from where there shouldn’t be ads: Al-Qaeda “Inspire Magazine”

It seems that even the world’s largest terrorist organisation, Al-Qaeda, believes in the power of advertising. This ad comes from the first issue of “Inspire Magazine”, an e-zine designed to promote Al-Qaeda’s twisted message in the Western markets.

Please note: That magazine was one of the most vile and disgusting pieces of words I’ve ever read – hatred like this can’t be real. At the same time, the ad itself does promote a message we all could live by. I suppose “Inspire” is a perfect example of man taking religion to absurdity…

 

BLA BLA: A Film for Computer

All I can say is this is dope!

It’s an interactive story whos meaning I’m still trying to figure out. It certainly is an emotional experience, and I can see that this style of presenting a meaning could really take-off. So many possibilities stem from this piece.

Check it out, and enjoy.

Simplicity overdone? Samsung’s “Tocco Lite” User Manual

I came across this video for Samsung’s take on a mobile phone user guide. We’ve all seen tech manuals showing us step-by-step instructions on how to properly work the thing, but this one takes it a bit further. Created by the people at Vitamins Design, this user guide puts the phone inside of the manual, with each page of the book a clear, one-sentence instruction.

Here’s how it works:

Is this user guide a stroke of genius, or an over-blown hu-hah? To me, it’s a bit of both. Although I really like the idea behind it, I do feel that the tech savvy people might feel a bit stupid using this (just give me the damn phone and sim already). Also, the urban-hippie inside of me just can’t stand looking at all that paper being wasted… Clearly though, this phone isn’t for me (urban-hippie techie), but for some though, this manual could be a godsend.

Sonic the Hedgehog; The Documentary

I want to share this short documentary I found about a character that I never knew I still love so much. At one stage, this guy was the number one “Most Recognisable” character in America, beating Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and his arch nemesis, Mario. He was the hero that every kid followed, and even me here in Australia, I couldn’t help not to be swept into his cult. I’m talking about Sonic the Hedgehog.

I recently came across Sonic the game while browsing around in the Android market. For a cent shy of a dollar (99 cents for those that don’t like to subtract), I was able to re-live all my childhood memories right on my new Motorola RAZR mobile phone. Now this part, this part right here, this is the kicker – it actually worked. Playing that game on my phone did really bring back a lot of the memories that I had, and you know what, they were really, really good and happy memories. As a kid, I loved Sonic and Sega, and being an only child, I smashed that game as much as I could. It was my release, my adventure, and I was so happy to have experienced it. Was I “marketingally” brain-washed? Maybe. To be honest, I don’t really care – the game was awesome.

After spending some time with the game, I ended-up doing a bit of research and reading on Sonic. While hunting for info, I came across this short documentary by Game Tap. The doco talks about how the character got created, why it was created, and what was the character supposed to represent. As a kid, I never knew this, but Sonic (the game and the character) were part of Sega’s marketing ploy to get one over its rival Nintendo; it wasn’t just a game, it was a marketing strategy as well. The marketing team had a lot to say on how Sonic should look, feel, and act, but at the same time, they treated him with lots of love, care, and respect. The head of marketing/design over in the US even went as far as calling herself Sonic’s “mum”, which I can understand and totally relate with.

So sit down, relax, and find-out how and why millions of kids around the world fell in love with this game character. Who knows, there might be another one coming from just around the corner, and the pattern of its success could be just like that of Sonic the Hedgehog. Enjoy!

An Interesting Proposition – a record label for free music

Once in a while you come across a catch that you just don’t want to let go off. You’ve seen it before, and you know what it is, but because what your seeing is so different to the rest of what’s out there that you can’t bring yourself to not liking it. Cut Records has one of those catches, and the catch is this – it’s a free music record label.

Right now, there is so much free music available online – more than you can poke your proverbial stick at. So doing something different definitely helps you to stand out.  What Cut is doing is pretty smart – get a quality product (music) catalogue together, make sure that the sound of each individual release matches the overall label’s feel (brand), wrap-it-up in a nice stylistic package, and then make it available for the consumer to digest. But with expectations of the product being free, can one still gain a reward? I believe you can. Radiohead did. Now I know that they had a bit of a head-start because of their name, but what In Rainbows did show us was that people were (and still are) willing to pay for music, even when it’s out there for free. And as years went by, I realised that the idea of having music on a physical medium is not dead – it actually seems to be gaining feet. I’ve noticed that the latest trend in the indie/underground music industry is to release both digital and vinyl versions of each release, with some labels going as far as giving the mp3 away for free with every vinyl purchase. This strategy is catching on, as more and more consumers are willing to fork-out the extra dosh for the vinyl simply because of what the vinyl does. Someone said that people buy cars not so much for the ride, but for the perception that the car will create in peoples minds about the driver – a classic product personality association. The same is happening with vinyl – it’s the medium of choice for anyone that wants to be perceived as a music lover. Digital music is worthless; it’s just data that is sitting on a hard-drive. It can disappear as quickly as it came. A physical release on the other hand is something that is a bit more tangible – you can show it off to people, you can create a physical (turning into emotional) bond with it, and achieve pride in owning it. The fact that most of today’s vinyl comes in limited pressing ads to the aura of the product being “special”.

With this hunger for the physical growing, Cut could very well move into the physical/vinyl product sphere. Their product is great, generating very positive press. The free pricing model is certainly affordable (the “Pay with a Tweet” option is fantastic – let the consumer spread the word about the label/product to their friends), and the overall presentation/packaging of the product/brand is well executed. As more fans jump on the label’s bandwagon, offering limited edition paid vinyl/CD or other physical medium versions of the free digital music could be a profitable proposition. In the meantime though, let the music keep on coming.

Cut is definitely onto something here.

A message from Anonymous to #OWS: a glimpse into the values of the future consumer

If you’re a net digger like myself, then you probably would’ve heard the of the “Occupy Wall Street” event that is currently unfolding in the US. What started as a small march and campsite against Wall Street/financial inequalities, has now escalated into a large-scale movement that could be (already is) a major cultural event. With the protesters dominating the online social frequencies, and the traditional media unable (unwilling?) to describe and relate to what the protest stands for, the situation has become a bit of a “us vs. them”.

With videos and reports of questionable Police action surfacing on the net, the hacktivist group Anonymous declared its support and allegiance to the OWC movement.

Whatever your personal viewpoint on the situation is, you can’t help but to feel that it is more than just a rally. Listening to the message in the video one can’t help but to think that the young generation has taken the future into their own hands, and are ready to shape it in a way that fits into their “internet generated” beliefs; equality, self-moderation, we’re all the same no matter where we are, we all have a voice, and out with the old, in with the new are all present in the video. It really is a great example of how this “generation zero (0)” thinks of itself. If there is any cue/event to which brands should be keeping their ears/eyes peeled to, it’s this.

Dubstep and the LA beat scene; Music that is defining our culture

If you are a fan of underground music, then this is not new to you at all – dubstep and ‘beatacism’ is taking over the club scene. What started off as young producers and DJ’s making music that they (as opposed to the rest of the crowd) liked and playing it among themselves, quickly escalated into a musical movement that’s sweeping the globe. Embraced by the few that keep their ears to the ground, it is now slowly filtering into the mainstream. And these new genres of music have grown in popularity thanks to the one tool that the music industry has been fighting to curb for years – the internet.

The impact music has on our culture is undeniable – just think of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, et al and the effect their songs had on the peace/anti-war movement of the 60′s/70′s. Music is a contagious symptom of beliefs that can spread quicker than the flu. A musical movement is not just a bunch of catchy chords and melodies sung and danced to by a few people – it’s also a map by which they live their life by. And it’s those that latch-on to what is perceived to be the “new sound” that usually have the social power to influence those around them. And not just musically, but also in what to wear, eat, watch, read, follow, believe, how to act, and how to behave. Smart marketers/creatives/strategists know this very well, and tapping into the trend-setter can be a very lucrative proposition. It can also back-fire tremendously if done in a “distasteful to the cool peeps” way.

Here  are two short documentaries that talk about the evolution of dubstep; how it started, what are its beliefs, and where it is heading. There is a an interesting talk about how the internet has helped the genre and its artists to spread their sound beyond their small city borders, and into the wider world. It also talks about the old adage of “underground vs mainstream” – they listen to this music to differentiate themselves from the crowd, but the further they push their sound, the more people pick it up, which then the mainstream latches on to it, and then the movement dies and evolves into something else; a never-ending musical life-cycle.

So, have a look and see what the ‘cool kids’ are into these days. It’s just a matter of time before every brand and medium picks these genres up, and milk them for their “cool”.

Future Sound – An Underground Electronic Music Documentary

Dubbed Out In Bristol – Dubstep Documentary

Unfortunately I am not aware of any docos about the hip-hop ‘LA’ beat scene, but have a read of the link in the first paragraph (it discusses how this genre started in the parking lot and a boom-box, and moved on to every part of the world within a matter of a few years), and this one here. And while you’re at it, make sure you listen to the music too – it really is something new.

Microsoft Kinect as an interactive marketing tool; VIVID 2011 MCA interactive building projection

Have a look at this video of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art interactive building projection. Created by Spinifex Group, the idea behind this installation is quite simple – thanks to the Kinect, passers by are able to throw and splash virtual paint onto the MCA building, creating their very own contemporary pieces.

I believe that the Kinect has a huge potential to be used as a marketing/advertising tool, and in the next few years we will see some truly amazing applications being developed for it. With Microsoft pretty much making the Kinect an open source utility, it’s just a matter of time before we see this device as a backbone for more interactive branded experiences, and not just when you’re out-and-about. Imagine hoping onto Xbox Live Arcade, opening your favourite online clothing store page, flicking through some virtual clothes racks, picking-out the pants and jumper that you like, trying them on, and move around in them and see how you look, all in the comfort of your own living room.

It could turn the mirror into a thing of the past.

“And the winner is Facebook!”, ie. the tagging of brands in photos

I couldn’t help to notice that there’s been a bit of a discussion on the new Facebook feature where users can tag pages in their personal photos. A lot of people are voicing their concern, worried about the possible spam and privacy issues that this feature could bring. There is talk of an automatic tagging system being put into place, with brands tagging themselves as soon as they detect their presence in your photo.

Although I do agree that spam might be an issue, I don’t think that Facebook is that silly to allow for auto-tagging to take place – this could really hurt their reputation as a business and as a brand (really bad and negative connotations would arise in peoples’ minds). What I believe they are doing is to wait for the feature to popularise itself, and push for brands to sell their products directly to the consumer through their Facebook page – all via Facebook credits of course.

Imagine the day when you can see your friend’s friend that you don’t really know being tagged with a new pair of Levi Jeans that you haven’t seen before. You click on the Levi tag, hop-over to the Levi page, and you see that very same pair on sale in the page’s online store, available to buy using Facebook coins. And with multiple brands selling their products using this source, “Facebook shopping” could become a common practice in our future consumption (the way I see it, if you can add your CC details to an online store, you can do it to your Facebook profile as well).

I think that Facebook is going for something a bit bigger than just allowing companies to pay for an auto-tagging feature. I think what they are trying to do is to create and popularise a currency of their own. Facebook already has an early version of a monetary system, the Facebook Credit, and although it is growing in popularity, it is restricted to social games and apps – not to actual consumer products and services.  Although introducing a new currency might be a bit tricky, imagine if one day apart from the price of the Pound, Yen, and Euro, Facebook Credits will also be reported on the day’s financial news.

The moment when Facebook becomes not just a social network, but a financial institution as well, it will mark the spot when the company moved to the next level. With the largest consumer network now being able to trade freely within itself, Facebook could be racking in the cash for every transaction that takes place. And if you stop and think about the amount of trades that could happen in a single moment (just think, over 700 million users now – what will it be in the future?), you can see why the company would want to move in the ‘online shopping’ direction.

At the moment, it’s all speculation, but it will be interesting to see how this all pans out. Either way, the Zuckerberg gang is planning on doing something – let’s just observe and see where this one goes.

Words Used to Advertise Boys’ Toys

Courtesy of Crystal Smith.

The Achilles Effect

Marketing promo of March 2011 – Gazzetta dello Sport ‘alternative warm-up’ stunt

I must admit – I love football. It’s just one of those sports that no matter where you are or where you’re from, you know that there are others out there that share as much time, effort, and emotion to this sport as yourself. When I’m stuck in an awkward silence while in a cab, football is one of my default go-to topics – and 90% of the time it works like a charm. So when I saw the latest Gazzetta dello Sport marketing stunt, I was very excited and confused at the same time; more football content is great – interrupting a football game, not so great. With a bit of digging around, I must say I applaud this little campaign effort as it brought a smile to some dedicated fans, and it did the GdS brand a world of good in the process as well. So, let’s have a look at the latest Guerilla marketing stunt that made the headlines… (more…)

Deloitte Football Money League 2011

If you love football, stats, marketing, and all things sports-business related, then this is just the thing for you.

Each year, Deloitte releases a report on the financial health of the top football (soccer) clubs around the world; and as you might’ve guessed, they’re all European. It has a lot of great info, such as the revenue figures for the top 20 earning clubs, the breakdown of where this revenue comes from, TV rights and sponsorship profit numbers, and other information which will no doubt help anyone out there that’s writing about the football business. It’s even a great read for those that just like to read about football.

There’s a few other reports prepared by them on their site that deal with other sports as well that are well worth checking out too.

Link – Deloitte Football Money League 2011

FILM – Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane?

Check out this free-to-view documentary entitled Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane? – it’s an interesting look into the current psychiatric drug industry. Now, I find this documentary to be particularly biased; it’s very anti-drug and anti-psychiatry. I believe that everything has its time and place, and although I do agree that psychiatric drugs are a crutch, but sometimes we do need crutches for support.

The doco goes into the history of the industry and the effects of these substances on the human mind, but about half-way through it, it discusses some of the advertising, branding, and public relations techniques that these companies engage in to promote their products. It certainly has a lot of great information in here, but I would be a bit cautious in terms of some of the statistics they present – a double check and more research is definitely recommended by yours truly.

It’s a great tool to get you started, and an interesting watch too. However, the voice-over artist and the background music can get a bit annoying after a while.

Here’s a link to the whole youtube playlist.

Enjoy!

Businesshead: “The King of Limbs” and its early promotional success

It’s been less then a week since the release of the latest Radiohead album, The King of Limbs. As a Radiohead fan, the first 24 hours have been very analytical, and no matter how excited I was about hearing the new material, I just couldn’t help myself to reflect back, and think about “In Rainbows” and what the album meant to me and millions of other fans worldwide. “In Rainbows” wasn’t just the music; it was a social experiment that flipped the script on how people buy, interact with, and consume music. It achieved both critical and commercial success, at a time when artists and labels were accusing the internet of hurting music sales, with profits from physical mediums dropping due to rampant piracy. What “In Rainbows” showed was that people are still willing to pay money for good music, and the internet is a very good tool for reaching those consumers. The key was to let go of the traditional music sales model, and embrace a new concept. Radiohead were able find that magic formula, and with it, the cult of “In Rainbows” was born. (more…)

Marketing promo of January 2011 – Flying Lotus ‘Augmented Reality’ app

On January 12, I received an email and noticed a Facebook notification from Warp Records about their new Trigger Webcam app for the Flying Lotus ‘Cosmogramma’ album. To complement the release, Warp decided to give away some of the album’s out-takes and remixes for free. It rewarded those that bought the original album (on vinyl, CD or mp3), as the only way of obtaining the free material is by ‘unlocking’ it through an app using the album’s original artwork.

Since the whole experience is rather fun, you just can’t help to think how awesome FlyLo and Warp is. Not only is this app encouraging fans to purchase physical and legal downloads of music, it also encourages people that already have the album/product/brand to pick it up, hold it in their hands, and spend some time with it. Pure genius if you ask me…

Anyway, I was so impressed with the positive feedback that this app generated, I decided to save the Facebook announcement and it comments as a pdf – it’s three days of users going nuts and sharing info/download tips with themselves (you can download the pdf here).

Check out the app website and the app developer’s blog to see how it all works.

XLR8R Magazine

It’s the place to go if you want to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the so called “underground” music scene. After all, music is a huge influence on our culture, so it’s good to know what occupies the hearing space of people out there.

Link – XLR8R.com

Pew Internet & American Life Project

A real goldmine on Internet use (social media, web 2.0, how, when and where – plus more), it contains reports, research papers, presentations and more. It’s the first place to look when you need to write a report.

Link – pewinternet.org