A Change

If you know me at all or follow me on social media, this news is likely not new to you but I couldn’t not write this.

I recently switched jobs, leaving my role at Publicis and starting at Zulu Alpha Kilo. Moving on from Publicis after 4 years was tough. It has been my home, my family, my nest. But as with all good things, they must end.

I had been feeling the need to stretch my wings – so to speak – and try something new. Something different and exciting. I’m confident I have found that at Zulu Alpha Kilo. I am now onto Week 2 here but I can already tell this is a special place. There are lots of friendly, great people here and the energy here is quite tangible.

I’m excited to join the planning team here and help build out their digital and social offering. Everyone here is whip smart and excited and driven by great creative. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

I want to thank everyone who I worked with at Publicis for giving me such happy memories. I’ll always hold my time there in a special place in my heart.

So. Onward to the next adventure!

Molson Canadian Still Aiming to Own Canada

Rethink Communications and Molson Coors Canada just released their latest spot for their beer, Molson Canadian, titled “The Beer Fridge” and it is fantastic.

Molson has always owned the pride of being Canadian, which all started with the amazing break out spot “I Am Canadian” however it feels like with this and their recent work (see below, “The Canadians”) they’re taking renewed aim at owning Canada, and pride in being Canadian.

As a Canadian, I love this. Cheers to Molson and Rethink!

Molson_Canadian

Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign is Reignited

It’s been a while since Dove has created something of impact with their amazing Real Beauty campaign. The last big splash they made was with their Evolution video. (Dove Canada did this Photoshop hack not too long ago but the target was to people in advertising, not the general public.) But no more. Yesterday, they launched the next iteration of their Real Beauty campaign and let me tell you… They’ve hit it out of the park.

“Beauty Sketches” has already been making the rounds online. The last time this many of my Facebook friends posted an ad was for Old Spice. This video is going to be shared and shared and shared. And it’s because they’ve honed in on this brilliant insight and it’s so heartbreaking and painful to see that insight play out in real life. No more words need to be said. Just watch.

You can argue day and night about Dove’s authentic or inauthentic reasons for their campaign, but the fact remain: they completely own beauty. Real beauty. And in doing so, highlight the effect media and culture has on women. Of course they’re trying to sell something – but I’m OK with this if it makes me take a step back and really think about how we view ourselves and how we view others.

EDIT 04/17/2013: Just to add to this, I wanted to share this really well written and thoughtful post titled, “Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry” as a nice counter-balance to the above. This is a very big topic and one I’d love to see Dove step up and address head on.

Teehan+Lax Labs Launch Hyperlapse

Teehan+Lax is always up to something. Something cool, interesting, or different. You really can’t help but respect these folks. And their Labs department is no different.

For those of you not familiar with Teehan+Lax Labs or the labs idea, a little background:

  • Teehan+Lax launched Labs in December 2010.
  • Their goal was to create an internal group that was the driver to helping them understand what is technically possible and to share those learnings internally.
  • 100% of its staff is solely dedicated to Labs. This is not a 20% of your time rule (e.g., Google), nor is a ‘project’ on the list of many other client-paying projects (that will eventually always take priority).
  • The goal is not to build a product but to work on an experiment; products need to be supported after they’ve shipped.
  • There is no P&L for Labs. No billable time. This was a pure investment, with no required outcome in dollar amount.
  • Each Teehan+Lax employee is expected to spend a minimum of five days per working year in the Labs.

So now that we have better context, Teehan+Lax Labs launched today their latest project, Hyperlapse. A very cool tool that uses images from Google Street View to create an immersive journey. The video T+L also created to accompany the site explains the concept:

If you head over to the Hyperlapse website you can test this new tool out yourself. Well done, Teehan+Lax. I really love this.

(Information on Teehan+Lax Labs I found here.)

Dear the Same Yogurt Ad on YouTube Every 3 Seconds: Stahp!

Are you a media planner? Are you a media planner responsible for THIS ATROCITY?!:

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 10.38.11 PM 1

Exhibit A

Seriously, yogurt ad:

tumblr_inline_mi15z5x4Y31qz4rgp

Apparently, when I’m logged into YouTube I must hit your silly little media plan ‘demographic’ preeeeetty well because the number of times I’ve seen this ad? Well. I’ve actually have lost count. (Though, to be fair, what I haven’t lost count is the day on YouTube that I saw this ad 3 times in a 30 minute window. Oh you can bet I just SUPER ENJOYED THAT.)

The best part is, I can’t even remember what brand this was for. Yoplait? Silhouette? Source? That other one? Activa? So that’s great. Every time I see this ad (you know, like every 2nd YouTube video I watch) I just start raging.

Media Planners:

Do the public (and the advertising agencies!) a favour and please make sure we don’t hate the brand by the end of your flight run. You really do have the power to take what could be a very thoughtfully crafted strategy, a creative vision, a nice execution and essentially pour acid all over it!

So if you are the media planner responsible for this rage-inducing ad, I just have one very awesome Boy Meets World gif to say to you:

Make-it-Stop-Cory-Boy-Meets-World

“Punching In: Social Media” – CBC Radio One Examines the New Workforce

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed (along with the amazing Stephanie Fusco!) by the ever-lovely Meg Wilcox for a three part mini-series she’s doing examining workers under 30 in the “new workforce” several weeks ago.

In this segment, Meg and I discussed Millennials and social media. Knowing social is a great asset to have for any young worker entering the workforce but you need to be careful about its pitfalls.

The piece aired on March 26, 2013 on CBC Radio One. You can listen to Meg’s segment here:

Look ma! Am I famous now?

Why I’m Really Excited About the Future of Television

tobias-funke-experiment

 

There’s a lot of changes happening right now in TV. Big changes. Electrifying changes. I’m so very excited about the possibilities coming down the pipeline I had to write a blog post about it!

Let’s take a look, shall we?

First, we have Netflix who completely disrupted everything by introducing streaming television into our home. This recent and awesome Wired article, “The New rules of the Hyper-Social, Data-Driven, Actor-Friendly, Super-Seductive Platinum Age of Television: Rules 9 & 10” takes a fascinating look at the impact this has had on the television industry. They’re discussing the changes Netflix has wrought with a lens on the upcoming Netflix release of the revived Arrested Development series. Some of my favourite bits [emphasis mine]:

[…] it was the kind of show you couldn’t join midway through a season unless you enjoyed the sound of in-jokes whizzing over your head. It was just not made for TV, at least not as it existed in the mid-2000s.

Each episode will cover events from a different character’s point of view, like a com­edic Rashomon. There will be moments and Easter eggs that will make sense only in retrospect. There will be a suggested viewing sequence, but it will be pos­sible—even rewarding—to watch out of sequence.

“In its purest form,” he [Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz] says, “a new medium requires a new format.”

We also can’t forget about YouTube, who announced in October 2011 that they would be investing over $100 million in their own content creators. They even redid their own site layout in order to create an emphasis on subscriptions to channels. (Of course, it appears it largely hasn’t been a success, as they slashed funding in late 2012.)

Then there’s the whole Veronica Mars movie funded through Kickstarter news item from last week shaking things up as well. As many saw coming, this has fueled rumours of possible TV shows making their way back onto consumers’ screen, such as ABC’s Pushing Daisies and Firefly (sadly Firefly will not happen any time soon, according to Joss Whedon).

And now we have HBO, who recently announced they’re mulling on whether to make their HBO Go streaming service available to non-cable customers.

I think this really signified just how pervasive the cord cutting can become in the next few years. We’re in for a bumpy ride, folks. There’s a lot of innovation happening, and happening fast.

For example, here are some potential “Future of TV” thoughts I have running through my head right now:

  • No more channels. No more cable TV. No more “networks,” as we know it. The networks who have built up their name (AMC, HBO, NBC) can continue to make the shows that consumers love and are willing to pay for but sell them through a different model. TV may no longer funded by ad campaigns. (The horror!)
  • This means anyone (with enough capital investment) could theoretically start their own network. These “pop-up networks” would need to fund everything that goes into a TV series and be able to access a distribution model in order to begin playing with the big guys.
  • Consumers can buy TV shows directly from networks, through a standardized distribution model (one hopes). They can choose to buy a shows at a time or in bulk, as Netflix is now doing with their shows House of Cards and Arrested Development.
  • New shows trying to find an audience could be gifted to consumers, free of charge, with a purchase of a TV series. Similar to when networks would put a new show on right after a very popular series, in the hopes that audiences would stick around.

 

These are just some of my ideas. I’d love to know where you think TV is going. Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

Being a Social Smoker Has Never Been So Awkward

The Ontario Ministry of Health and BBDO have launched a new campaign to show how ridiculous social smoking really is.

Two spots have appeared online featuring “Social Nibblers” and “Social Farters.” Yes, both sound and are equally absurd. But it gets the point across: If you’re a social smoker, you’re a smoker. For the Ontario Ministry of Health, there is no distinction. And don’t forget, as a social smoker you are still at risk for long-term effects of smoking.

The campaign has launched with a supporting Facebook Page (redirected from quitthedenial.ca) that seems to be gearing up, including content focusing on their own meme-type images. (Something brands are ever trying to cash in on – and generally fail miserably in doing so. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.)

For the Ontario Ministry of Health and BBDO, I say: kudos. These are funny, well done and effectively get the point across.

New Facebook News Feed – The Good & Bad News for Brands

Today, in a press event, Facebook announced a new design for one of their most – if not THE most – important products: the News Feed. And I have to say, I like it. Here’s what it looks like:

New Facebook News Feed

Image courtesy of Stephanie Fusco.

Clean. Simple. More visual focus. Lighter hand with the text. Clutter pushed to a very thin left-side bar! Filters!

Looks a little like Google+, no? These changes will be reflected on the mobile and tablet versions of Facebook, too.

The big thing, of course, is the multiple news feed filters. Users can now choose from: Default, All Friends, Most Recent, Close Friends, Music, Photos, Games, Following, and more. I’m curious what the “more” will be. I’m also happy I can now choose “All Friends” as a filter. How many friends do you have on Facebook but you simply forgot existed? Way too many, I bet.

Facebook Multiple News Feed Filters

Multiple news feed filters.

This also has big implications for brands.

The Good News:

  • All content from a Facebook Page will now appear under the “Most Recent” filter. All content. So we’ve got rid of that festering issue for brands: the Facebook algorithm.

The Bad News:

  • Considering how much people use the “Most Recent” filter right now, I am going to guess that many people are going to suddenly realize just how many brands they follow on Facebook. And then realize just how many brands they could care less about. I have a feeling the “unlike” rate of pages are going to sky-rocket after this rolls out to the majority of users.

I’m still unclear on whether Facebook Page content will appear across other feeds, including the default, photos, etc. This could be potentially good or bad news. Good in that if, yes, the content does appear across multiple feeds, that can give a brand multiple opportunities for their fans to see the content. If it doesn’t, it relegates brands to the back burner in a very limited way.

Either way: An interesting development  As a user, I welcome it with open arms. As a brand, I am wary. Facebook has burned us before (with the algorithm shake ups in September). They may burn us again.

If you’d like to sign up for the new News Feed wait list, you can do so here: facebook.com/newsfeed