Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How Google works

Passed onto us from our friends at ijump here's a simple overview of how Google works

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Google Friend Connect - Preview Launch

Over the last few weeks there has been considerable movement within the social network environment with both Facebook and Myspace announcing they are going to allow their networks to be accessed in open-source environments. Possibly the most fantastic news though, was the announcement of the launch of Google Friend Connect. Friend Connect will allow sites to integrate a social networking gadget into their site to bring social network environments to them. Below is the introductory video outlining the basic functionality of the gadget.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The consumers voice outways any other noise

Sam Decker writes on NetImperitive that good old word of mouth is the most effective form of communications. We're glad he agrees.

Focusing on consumer reviews online, he shows that the voice of the consumer far outways the messaging from a traditional ad campaign.

Today, advertising is so ubiquitous that it becomes ignored. Ironically, the oldest form of ‘advertising’ – word of mouth – sounds fresh, modern, and – more importantly – trustworthy and credible. Chief Marketing Officer of Bazaarvoice Sam Decker shares how online brands are increasingly using their customers’ word of mouth to fuel traditional advertising.

Today’s consumers are smarter than ever. They quickly spot and discount hype, largely ignore traditional advertising and tend to distrust advertising messages delivered by huge companies.

Advertisers work to capture sales while battling against ever-expanding ad options, shorter attention spans, rising production and placement costs and the growing mistrust of consumers. Traditional marketing campaigns only scale moderately, and that’s only if the costs per impression decreases or the advertising effectiveness increases

If it’s a question of trust, consumers’ words beat yours. According to a global Nielsen survey, consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising, cited by 78% of respondents. The Edelman Trust Barometer tells us that trust in ‘a person like me’ has tripled, from 20% to 68% from 2004 to 2006, and in 2007 ‘a person like me’ is still the biggest influencer to consumers. Royal Mail’s 2007 Home Shopping Tracker Study in found that two thirds of UK social networkers are more likely to buy a product as a result of a recommendation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Telling a tale of quality

A simply beautiful little ad from Volkswagen selling their quality story.

RVCA wins men's surf clothing brand of the year

Our client RVCA just picked up the award for best surf brand in the world. We're stoked.

Southern California based lifestyle brand RVCA is proud to announce its win at the 2008 SIMA Image Awards in the category of Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year. 
Awarded to the men’s apparel brand that featured the most exciting designs, increased its brand appeal and grew its business between January 1st and December 31st 2007, RVCA received this victory on Friday 16th May during the Surf Summit 11 in Cabo San Lucas, toppling the heavy hitters of the industry - Volcom, Quiksilver, Billabong and O’Neil.
“Winning SIMA’s ‘Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year’ was a shocker” said RVCA Founder and Creative Director, PM Tenore. “For RVCA to be acknowledged with the greats of the industry like Quiksilver, Billabong, Volcom and O’Neill was an honor in its own. Eight years on from starting in the garage to the present…. winning this award is unbelievable. I know the whole RVCA crew is stoked and very honored of this achievement. Thank you to all the retailers who have become such great partners, to SIMA for providing an environment that brings the industry together in such a positive manner and most of all to everyone at RVCA for making RVCA such a great platform to work with such amazing humans.”
“We are very proud to accept this award” said RVCA President, Dan Levine. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for RVCA, truly a David v. Goliath scenario.  The other brands that were nominated are long standing icons in our industry.  It is a true reflection on PM Tenore’s vision for RVCA and the collective talent on the RVCA team that strives to tell our brand story every day.”
Next up, RVCA will be launching many exciting projects this coming summer, including team rider Alex Knost’s first feature film ‘Beach Blanket Burnout’, a charity fundraiser Art Exhibition in aid of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and a collaboration with Italian bicycle company, Cinelli.
RVCA is proud to be apart of SIMA and receive this award and looks forward to making 2008 yet another award winning year.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why Twitter Matters

So for the observant types we now have a Twitter feed box, where you can read my (and eventually Angela's) last 5 Twitter posts (tweets).  Now possibly this may appear to be all a waste of time, but here's a few thoughts on why it truly matters ... personal branding, relationship and knowledge.

Buy Ikea in Sims 2

With the gaming industry now generating more money than the movies, and attracting far more eye-balls, marketers are constantly looking for ways to integrate themselves into games. The norm has been to take a broadcast i.e billboard approach within games. Ikea have taken this a step further:

"Players of The Sims 2 will soon be able to add Ikea furniture to their virtual homes as part of a marketing deal between the Swedish company and Electronic Arts, the computer game's producer.

EA has formed an unusual partnership with Ikea to make a selection of the retailer's furniture and home furnishings available to players of The Sims 2, sequel to The Sims - the life simulator that is the best-selling PC game series ever."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Taka Throw Down

Our client DC is putting on an amazing event at Takapuna Beach. Come on down and check it out.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fast strategy from the gut

IF has listed some some hot tips from Adliterate writer and planner Richard Huntington.

I fundementally, wholeheartedly and enthusiastically agree with Richard's point that great strategy is about having an opinion and point of view. So often, there is this unsaid assumption that we are required to find the "right" answer - this is an impossibility. Doing so, is looking for a prescriptive truth that can never be proven. Input from others can be valuable, but in the end it's just their opinions we are seeking. Right or wrong? Who knows? What does your gut say?

Here's Richard's hot tips.

1. Time is not the problem in creating strategy, ideas are. If you can find an idea the time will find itself.
2. Ideas first, facts second. Facts only make sense in the light of an idea.
3. There are only two criteria for judging your creative strategies - are they simple and are they interesting.
4. It is vital to be interesting, it is merely important to be right.
5. If you look in the same place as everyone else you will never find something interesting, no matter how clever you are.
6. Every great solution comes from a great problem. Make sure you understand the problem behind the problem that you are trying to solve.
7. Anything and everything can help you. Take a walk and think about how every shop, sign, ad, conversation and observation might help you solve the problem.
8. Be prepared. Keeping reading the weird shit.
9. Keep your focus on finding out the things you didn’t know you didn’t know.
10. Call upon your latent strategies, the strategies that you have always wanted to use but have never had the chance.
11. Remember that the stale strategic idea of one category is the ground breaking step forward in another.
12. Jam with other people, online or face to face. But don’t engage that trojan horse of mediocrity, the brainstorm.
13. Ask yourself what the brand’s position might be about the something we all care about.
14. A position is an opinion. We live in an age of conversation and opinions are the lifeblood of all conversations.
15. Plan from within. How do you feel about the brand, category or the wider world? How do you explain your own behaviour? You are not unrepresentative, you live in the same brand landscape as everyone else.
16. Trust your instinct - its the most truthful resource you have.
17. Fast strategy is more about decisiveness than speed. Often we need strategic courage more than haste.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Market Research Society of New Zealand

Planning Director, Piero Liguori has been provisionally accepted as a full member of the Market Research Society of New Zealand. As a member PIero is obliged to follow MRSNZ guidelines when undertaking any market research activities.

A belated welcome to Ange!

It's a crime that we haven't announced it here already, but we are delighted to welcome Angela Bonfiglio as Creative Director and Managing Partner of The Whisper Shop.

As an Art Director for DDB and Saatchi & Saatchi Angela worked on many of New Zealand’s favourite brands including Toyota, DB Breweries, TVNZ, Watties, Tegal, Westpac and Telecom. After working as Creative Director for Revolution Advertising and winning an array of international advertising awards including a Cannes Silver Lion and a D&Ad nomination, Angela also created the branding and award winning ranges of gift products for New Zealand’s fastest growing gift brand Hello Dolly Tools for Women. She’s left the large agency environment to pursue something greater, albeit smaller.

Glad to have you Ange.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Twitter 101

You're probably aware of the social networking giants Facebook, Bebo, Linked in and MySpace . However keep an eye on Twitter. In their words "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? " With a word count limit of 140 characters (less than the 160 that a text message offers) creativity, lateral thinking and the mundane exist side by side.

The Washington Post have written a nice little introductory article on the site that's worth reading.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Real-life Facebook

An insight into what Facebook would be like if it was real life.