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.


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.


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

Meme-Spirited in 2010

Written by Andrew Hwang

As 2010 draws to a close, web artists everywhere are hastily filling our stockings with best-of infographics. While we embraced Sad Keanu and looked at Kim Jong-il looking at things, others like Bed Intruder and Bedroom Frog are just laughable at best. And of course, the Rent is 2 Damn High guy, Jimmy McMillan, is priceless. If you haven’t heard of the others, it doesn’t mean you live under a rock, you’re just not on top of your Tumblr game. Check the full top ten after the jump. (more…)

Top Tweetter for Internet Week Europe

Written by Katerina Zherebtsova

The live webcast of the ‘Spike Edney & Friends’ event, presented by Last Ext and Flint during the Internet Week Europe, attracted a live online audience from 53 countries around the world. Fans of Queen, Graham Gouldman, Madeline Bell, I Blame Coco, Tom Robinson, Rokhsan Heydari and the Cash Cows (the Bear Bones) were voting online for their chance to influence the playlist and hear their favourite artists.

The Twitter feed was also noted as amongst the top Internet Week Europe hashtags and tweets.

the webcast can be viewed here

feedback, comments and live Twitter feed is @SpikeLiveMusic on Twitter

Some fun pictures from the venue itself @Bathhouse, London

I Blame Coco on stage performing Self machine

Graham Gouldman and Spike Edney performing Under Pressure by Queen

Bear Bones performing their incredible music mix

Last Exit is taking part in the Internet Week Europe

Written by Katerina Zherebtsova

LAST EXIT and FLINT present “SPIKE EDNEY & FRIENDS”, an interactive, live-streamed music event, where viewers can interact with host and renown musical director Spike Edney and featured special musical guests.

Following the 2008 launch of the hugely successful Internet Week NY, on 8th-12th November, INTERNET WEEK EUROPE 2010 is being launched with a ground-breaking five day festival celebrating the very best of Europe’s digital industry and London as its digital hub.

London will play host to a series of web focused events including this long-awaited show at The Bathhouse, London on Wednesday 10th November.  The featured event “SPIKE EDNEY & FRIENDS”, presented by digital agency Last Exit, and video communications agency Flint, is the brainchild of rock band Queen’s keyboardist and musical director Spike Edney and will allow people all over the world to share in the excitement of this inaugural event and Internet Week.

The event will be streamed live (details to follow). The 2 hour webcast will feature Spike in conversation with invited close musician friends and special celebrity guest artists and rising young stars – talking about their careers, musical influences, favorite songs, highs/lows and amusing stories from their years on the road; followed by live acoustic guest performances in an intimate setting with Spike and his all-star band. Each artist will be asked to perform one of their hits, followed by a favorite John Lennon song, chosen by the online audience.

Artists being featured will include legendary song writer

Graham Gouldman (10cc)

Sensational jazz, soul, rock and pop singer Madeline Bell (Blue Mink, Stevie Wonder, Dusty Springfield, Elton John…)

Iconic UK songwriter and BBC 6 Radio music presenter, Tom Robinson (Tom Robinson Band)

Emerging UK artist Coco (I Blame Coco), UK street band The Cash Cows

Up and coming ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) student, Rokhsan Heydari (imagine Lilly Allen dipped in Stevie Wonder’s Motown Soul…)

The online audience will be invited to ask Spike and his guests questions and make their song requests via twitter.  The top requests will be displayed live, allowing people to add their votes and change the playlist in real-time.

“This event takes live music to the next level”, added Steven Blackman, Managing Director of Flint. “It allows the band to interact in real time with a global audience, who are sharing the experience.”

For further information and updates, please follow @SpikeLiveMusic on Twitter

Social Commerce: Stats, Insights and Trends

Written by Katerina Zherebtsova

Trend Report from the Walpole Luxury eBusiness Forum

Royal Automobile Club London, October 2010

Stats and Insights (Brett Hurt, Bazaar Voice)
‘Is Social Commerce a Luxury?’

Importance of user reviews and encouraging interaction:

70% of today’s web is user generated
If a person writes a review or posts a comment, they would come back an average of 3 times to check to further comments
Every 5 star rating almost always has a negative review at its root. This causes the brand fans to act in defence of the brand.
Negative reviews provide an opportunity to improve product and service and almost always an invaluable insight on what customers really want.

Trend Forecast (Patti Freeman-Evans, Forrester Research)
‘Embracing the chaos: How luxury brands are adapting to a digital world’.

Patti emphasized the importance of disruptive events driving evolution throughout history. She pointed to the prehistoric ‘wheel’ as the first fundamental change in providing people the power of ‘Access’. Similarly, new technologies in our age are key to driving the change. Any innovation which improves ‘Access’ is bound to empower and ultimately become the method of choice for generations of people and more so consumers.

According to current forecasts, social commerce emerges at the top of the development trajectory for any brand online. Rather than stopping on online forums and company social networking pages, the growth in the e-commerce field is determined by the following path:

Employee networks – product sharing on social networks – recommendations of product (social media) – microblogs – customer reviews

47% of all consumers research online but would still buy offline. This vast figure indicates that ensuring a seamless experience and integrating the transition between offline and online is still a primary focus to ensure customer retention.

Trends: Mobile commerce, added value, enabling comments and seamless transition between online and offline

Insights into Strategy

Facebook’s ‘Like’ button should not be about generating traffic, but instead knowing more about the customer.

Whilst customer reviews have shown to be a powerful tool to generate uplift in sales and decrease in returns, the users will only be able to trust the reviews if they trust the reviewer. Providing profiles for reviewers or even a system to make it easier for consumer to identify the tastes and likes of the reviewer, will improve the social commerce capability even further.

Some companies have started including individual’s initials in their twets, hence providing an opportunity for consumers to relate to the tweets and develop a following.

Going forward, this model, propelled into the social media world by will see ever more followers, in a quest to find networks of people with similar tastes and interests.

Key Channels:

Search Engine Marketing is still viewed as the leader in generating Sales
E-mail Marketing has been chosen as the preferred route to driving customer loyalty and retention
Social Media marketing is still mostly about generating recommendations, reinforcing the value of the brand and providing testimonials.

Going Forward:

Mark Sebba, CEO of Net-a-Porter in  ‘A Conversation with the Pioneers’ nominates Controlling distribution as one of the most important objectives for retailers online. Being in charge of your distribution as well as Google results  makes a big impact to how well the business will grow and evolve

Mark’s reply to ‘Net-a-Porter’s best kept secret’ is fostering excitement amongst employees at all levels to create true passion.

This later point is something which has never been more true. Creating a transparent, passionate brand which is true to its goals not only from the outside, but from whithin, is something which will become one of the biggest differentiators for brands and companies alike going forward.

Digital Luxury – benchmarks

Written by Katerina Zherebtsova

The luxury sector was not among the early digital adopters and many luxury marketers still insist on staying away from the doom and gloom of the socio-digital reality. However there are others, in the meantime, who have been busy at creating the web’s most beautiful, engaging and useful experiences.

Here is our pick of the 3 Digital Luxury benchmarks:

This site offers a great browsing experience with seamless integration of the key elements. The top area is a beautiful and intuitive mix of e-commerce, news, images and blog stories. This is the closest experience yet to the actual flicking of the magazine spreads.

Gucci digital flagship store

The new, which has just been launched recently, is a benchmark of an optimised luxury shopping experience. Every detail of the site is dedicated to making an accent on the beauty, quality and craftsmanship of the Gucci collection. The products are also aligned and presented in a user intuitive way, encouraging engagement and purchase.

Hermes – I Love My Scarf

This beautiful site is an international marketing campaign by Hermes to promote its silk scarves to a younger, more trendy audience. The site is very social and provides a great visual experience. We would think that it will be of real inspiration to the younger market.

Geo Location: Foursquare vs Facebook

Written by Katerina Zherebtsova

Following months of speculation Facebook has launched its ‘Places’ geo-location functionality. Currently the service is limited to US and to the iPhones, but expansion plans across the globe and other mobile platforms are obviously in the pipeline. Given the Facebook size and digital footprint, which equals to a size of the country, the success of ‘Places’ is of course unavoidable.

Yet Facebook has a lot to account for in the privacy debate and its ongoing criticism is second only to Google. Meanwhile Foursquare has been steadily gaining momentum and growing its active user base. Whilst its stats are changing, over just 1 year of existence it has amassed half a million users (source:

Foursquare vs Facebook is a game of two halves: the numbers game vs the interactivity and appeal of the gaming element. Only time will show which one will come on top. But yet again, it is increasingly not about fighting with the behemoths, but acquiring a niche market group of its own and Foursquare has been leading the way here.

Belvedere appoints Last Exit as global agency of record

Written by Katerina Zherebtsova

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