The Case of the Pink Pony

Written by Andrew Hwang

As everyone in advertising knows, it’s not just about creating campaigns, it’s about creating movements. According to Toronto agency John St, the same applies to birthdays. This mock case study is a humorously thorough analysis of 8 year old Chelsea’s birthday, and it’s rather brilliant. For example, Chelsea’s two favorite things are the color pink and ponies. Birthday theme? Pink ponies.

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The Tumblr That Makes You Humblr

Written by Andrew Hwang

So we stumbled upon a tumblr called Things Real People Don’t Say About Advertising that definitely has the potential to go viral. It is nostalgic in that it hearkens back to those inspirational posters littering the walls of our K-12 schools, while still being subversive in its tasteful irony. It is a social media experiment that is both delightful and informative.

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Monkeying Around During the Holidays

Written by Andrew Hwang

Damon Albarn, frontman for both Blur and Gorillaz, is among the first movers towards iPad-produced music. With Christmas right around the corner, Gorillaz have offered up a cornucopia of holiday-exclusive content. What will be their fourth album, The Fall, will feature fifteen new tracks, “some with vocals, some without, some combined performances and some solo”. This is all well and good, but surely there must be something fishy about releasing a brand new album for free, even if he was just drunk on holiday spirits? (more…)



Predicting Digital Advertising in 2011

Written by Andrew Hwang

Mashable recently featured a guest blogger, Jesse Thomas of creative agency JESS3, making predictions for digital advertising in the next year. With social media more robust than ever, consumer engagement has taken precedence and priority over simply reaching consumers. The general theme is improved targeting and relevance to the consumer, which makes sense considering the plethora of data and analytics social media has ultimately provided. Here are Jesse’s six predictions, which we think will be spot-on.

1. Local Advertising Becomes Relevant Again With Location
2. Silicon Valley Will Be the Next Madison Avenue
3. Influencers Will Be the Celebrities of the Social Web
4. Small Will Be the New Big for Social Networks
5. Brands Will Become More Like Media Companies
6. Facebook “Likes” Will Be Important for Your Brand

Click here to read the full Mashable article.

Click here to read more about New York digital strategy



Too Much Science?

Written by Nuri Djavit

Digital agencies have had to work damned hard to stake their place in the marketing mix and over a relatively short period of time we have seen a complicated divide in specialities and channels. From social media agencies through mobile marketing groups to analytics firms. The situation has gotten quite confusing but each has its own merit and most sell their proposition on a heightened sense of return of investment. Almost everything we do in the digital space, obviously, has a high level of data that can be tied to it and almost always a group of very smart people who can derive insights of great value to the client. Great. Just what we asked for. Kind of.

Analytics, data, ROI have all been things we’ve all used to prove our worth and to convince our clients to constantly increase their marketing spend on digital and now that we’re seeing another rush towards the medium – particularly regarding social media – we now have client who are demanding the metrics we’ve been boasting about. And they should absolutely have that, as long as the numbers match both the business objectives of the company and realistic bench marks for success.

However, what seems to be left behind here in the fight for accountability is the importance of “risking the genius”. The focus on data/analytics may be having a throttle effect on agencies where a perfect balance of strategy and creative excellence needs to be in place. I’m always reminded here of a famous quote by Henry Ford regarding consumer inclusion:

“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.”

The answer is unsurprisingly simple; that we follow a process that has been in play at (traditional) agencies for decades, i.e. understand the consumer and, perhaps more importantly, consumer behavior and make sure the agency you hire has the creative genius to use that in their articulation of the message. Use data again to learn and re-process.



Last Exit’s Reciprocate event @ THOM LES

Written by Reagan Freyer

On June 30th, we hosted, alongside Voyage.TV, the first our newest quarterly networking event, Reciprocate. Perfect NYC weather made the amazing setting of the Thompson LES Above Allen rooftop a perfect venue for friends and colleagues, old and new, to connect, share ideas and network over delicious Belvedere Vodka cocktails. Overall, Reciprocate was a huge success and has extended further into a Reciprocate LinkedIn Group for people to be able to continue contact and conversation with each other until our next event. With our new office in the works, we’re looking forward to our move later this summer as well as our next Reciprocate event in the fall.

See photos from our June 30th Reciprocate event!



Museum of London AR iPhone App

Written by Katerina Zherebtsova

The new iPhone App for the Museum of London uses images from the past, which are layered on top of the real-life London locations. This newly launched application is by far one of the best AR examples. Fun, educational and very viral.

Photos from http://londonist.com/2010/05/museum_of_london_iphone_app_blends.php?gallery0Pic=3#gallery



Students Down on Mobile Advertising

Written by Nuri Djavit

Unsurprisingly, pretty much all students in the US (and I’m sure most developed nations) have mobile devices with a large portion (51.2%) of those being smart phones. According to a recent survey, reported in eMarketer Daily, a vast majority of those young adults responds negatively to mobile ads – in particular those of a ‘pushed’ text/sms nature. Given the forum to voice their complaints, many even indicated they would be less likely to buy a product from advertisers and even suggested compensation for being exposed to ads  (as much as a $1 per ad) would be suitable)!

As with all surveys , research studies and resulting statistics you have to put this into context if and where one exists and, of course (as a footnote to the article it does say that attitudes are softening towards mobile marketing). This study doesn’t take into account the relevance of the ads to the market, i.e. whether the ads were targeted or not, the quality of the messaging, the value of the product or service, or any other contextual basis for understanding the validity of mobile ads.

The fact remains, as this article starts out, that almost all young adults own a mobile device and use them as their primary connection to the (digital) world beyond, and that this are extremely important segment for many marketers/brands.

What digital agencies must do of course, is use this kind of data to build extremely relevant, highly targeted campaigns that utilize an entire toolbox of digital and traditional platforms to reach an audience. So, whilst Ido believe that ‘engaging’ with an audience by being part of a long term conversation is one of the most powerful ways to influence the decision making process, I do understand that all media from banners to mobile ads make up important parts for a very large puzzle.

My hope is that the marketing managers at the brands themselves don’t give into sensationalist headlines and consider the bigger picture, or at least allow the experts to provide it.



Highway Versus Information Super Highway!

Written by Nuri Djavit

Jack Neff, at Advertising Age, today posted a lovely article citing the deep cultural and behavioral changes that digital might be having on how we move around, if, in deed we do move around. The numbers seem irrefutable: fewer young people are going for their driver’s licenses and certainly fewer people are buying/using cars.

For those of us in urban areas this might not seem surprising at all or even interesting: we have the benefit of being able to get the train/subway, bus, walk, cycle to work. And more than that, owning and maintaining a car is damned expensive. What was once seen by youngsters as a rite of passage, a symbol of freedom is now seen as an rapidly devaluing, encumbering, ‘uncool’ money pit. And it’s not just the expense or inconvenience of a car in urban life that is steering people away, it’s allow the lure of digital that is driving them to mass transit – we can’t read, browse, shop, play or work whilst driving and if you live in suburban areas this could account for a few hours each day. And, if you’re telecommuting, then travel is less relevant altogether.

So, what this article suggests, is that the effect runs much deeper and brands/marketers must understand this shift in behavior in order to connect more effectively with their audiences. Human behavior is changing but advertising is slow to catch up. Part of the car industries’ problem has been a string of short-termist policies, buoyed by short term ad campaigns. What must replace this, is long term strategies supported by far reaching campaigns underpinned by utility and engagement.

One of the guys in our office remarked that most of digital advertising is reminiscent of the transition from radio to TV. Most of won’t remember this but it’s well documented – the first TV ads were simply radio ads – but filmed. Yes – voice artists and singers, in front of a mic, being filmed. And now, much of what is happening online is bursts of visual interruption on our computer screens via banners, pre roll video, pop up ads, flashy micro sites, etc. etc. Pretty much print and TV ads, but online. Hmm.



A case for Forensic Marketing

Written by Katerina Zherebtsova

Every industry it seems is going ‘forensic’.

There are forensic medics, forensic lawyers, forensic accountants, forensic economists, forensic engineers and last but not least… forensic marketing. In the wiki descriptions of all the above, there is an an immediate sense of an almost alien brain’s effort required, some incomprehensible intelligence required to decipher and prophet – the Mulder and Scully’s.

In Marketing? In Digital? With so much data available for measurement, evaluation, research and insight, available at a click of a Google button to all of us. Perhaps the time has come for a re-definition. A question is though: should it still remain a dissection of case study material, mathematical analysis of human behavior and drawing of proven equations of social patterns, producing long reports and filling databases or perhaps, better, should it encompass what web 2.0 is all about?

People. Web 2.0 is about people. People talking, people calling, people tagging, people chatting, viewing, recommending, liking, digging, tweeting, poking and every/any other form of a blend between the cyber-human interaction.

Hence a thought towards the re-definition and taking forensic marketing to a new level of forensic as personal, forensic as identifying the reason for a behaviour, a habit and the trigger.

The emerging field of forensic marketing is defined as dealing with individual people, their personal habits, their social patterns, digital prints and cyber paths. But it is in danger of over-complicating things; all we need to do is listen.



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