JWT Atlanta Blog

The “New” Myspace

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I need to start this blog post by mentioning I never actually used the old Myspace. I signed up for about a week, got over-inundated with friend requests from strange people I had never met and immediately shut down my account. Even in high school I valued my privacy, which is why I blogged about my entire life on my Xanga (those were the days). Fast-forward a lot of years and here we are in 2012. Our world is dominated by visual images and the social platforms that do the best are the ones that appeal at a glance. Think Pinterest (which hit 10 million U.S. visitors faster than any independent site in

history – via Mashable), Instagram (in March it was reported the site had 58 photos uploaded every second), Tumblr (boasting 74.9 million blogs with 32.3 billion posts) and now we potentially have the “new” Myspace.

 

I didn’t have a lot of hope for Myspace. Quantcast is reporting that the site currently sees about 14.1 million unique visitors per month. When compared with Pinterest’s 53.7 million or Facebook’s 140.9 million the ROI just wasn’t there. I have encouraged clients to quietly leave their pages behind. To turn to platforms with continued proven success. As a social media planner I find myself skeptical of each new social platform pledging to be the next big thing. I mean after all, we saw how that worked out with Google+. The search giant reported in June that there were currently 250 million accounts (150

million active) with 50% of the user base signing in daily. My question for Google is what does active mean and what account are these users logging into daily? Are they logging into a Google account, which natively logs them into the social platform, or are they actively seeking out Google+ profiles? With only 12 minutes per day spent in the Google+ stream, I doubt they are seeking out their profiles, but that question has yet to be answered.

 

In addition to being a new platform skeptic, I’m in full agreement with Paul Schoknect’s article on about the next big thing happening on mobile. The mobile/tablet space is largely unexplored and a huge land of opportunity for anyone who takes the time to dive in. However, it has to be done right. We can’t keep having platform after platform of imitators. Users don’t want another Pinterest; they want what comes next.  After seeing the first videos of the “new” Myspace, I think we potentially have what comes next. It just depends on what the mobile execution looks like.

 

Check out the video here and sign up for an invite here. What do you think? Could Justin Timberlake have actually resurrected the former social media juggernaut and brought it back to its place of glory? Has he turned this dying brand around? Only time will tell.

 

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Game of Phones: Why The iPhone 5 Is Still King

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Oh, the iPhone 5. The long-awaited, the praised, and the panned. Preorders for the device set Apple records, nearly doubling that of any previous iPhone release. And, of course, the Apple faithful around the world waited, and waited, and waited in line for its release last Friday morning.

 

So why is there such a huge disconnect with tech blogs’ reviews of the phone, and public reaction?

 

This morning, Mashable released a side-by-side lineup of the usual suspects in the smartphone category: The Samsung Galaxy SIII, The Droid Razr HD, and Nokia’s über-yellow Lumia 920. All great phones—with bigger screens and more powerful processors. Most seem to outperform the iPhone on paper. But it really doesn’t matter.

 

Critics and users alike are largely critical of many of the new features of the phone and its iOS 6 brains.  Whether it’s the new Apple maps’ grotesque 3D contortion of national and world landmarks, or the Apple Passbook (which still doesn’t work for me, despite a hack I found)—or a smarter, upgraded Siri, there are definitely rumblings that Apple might be losing its edge. Straight to the bank.

 

Numbers and profit really can’t lie here. And neither can the intangible power of the entire Apple brand. Through its gorgeous retail stores, and the vertically integrated Apple system—the iPhone 5 remains packed and backed with features that have nothing to do with smartphones—and a lot to do with the infrastructure of the world’s most valuable company.

 

It’s here that Steve Jobs’ legacy shines. Because the iPhone 5 (warts and all) fits perfectly into place in Apple’s system, and because Apple IS so integrated, consumers get more than just a pretty device in a sleek box—Apple consumers get software (integration with a multimedia empire), hardware, support, and the undeniable cachet and culture of the entire brand.

 

Can the Samsung Galaxy SIII, or the Nokia Lumina compete with that kind of integration? The market thinks not.

 

Critics can speculate about the future of Apple, its edge, or the absence of its former head visionary. But until the tech juggernaut’s competitors create the kind of ironclad brand and culture of Apple, the game’s not even fair. Advantage: Apple.

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The Ad Agency is Dead. Long Live the Ad Agency.

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The Ad Agency is Dead.  Long Live the Ad Agency.

by Adam Hook

It’s tough to speculate or even joke about the future of anything digital. The future of flash banners looks like it’s going to be HTML 5. As Spotify’s popularity skyrockets, the future of socially connected music seems like it’s heading more toward a cloud-based, streaming system.

But who really knows? Who’s to say there won’t be something better than Spotify in a month or a year? Who’s to say there won’t be an innovation better or sleeker than, dare I say it, Apple?

At the rate these giant digital ecosystems evolve, die, and grow—where does that leave the ad agency, supporter and mouthpiece to many of these platforms and companies?

I think I have an answer—or the start of one, at least. And the answer doesn’t necessarily lie within the ‘ad’ industry at all. I think our future waits in Silicon Valley, where entrepreneurship and intellectual capital are king.

“Innovation is the defining feature of enduring companies,” David Lawee, Google’s VP of Corporate Development, recently said in a New York Times interview. “At Google, we foster individual entrepreneurs and pursue innovation systematically. We believe in big bets, and in high-risk and high-reward projects such as driverless cars and Android. By encouraging people to think bigger, we often achieve far more than what we initially imagine.”

Think about it. A company that originally made a simpler search engine is now poised to make a driverless car. All because of its incubatory corporate culture, and its drive to push skill sets and ideas beyond their perceived limits.

Say what you want about Google. Sure, they’re very dark overlord-y these days. But they’re still innovating, they’re still creating. And they’re still blowing minds.

Another gleaming success story of entrepreneurship? Instagram. Founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger. Both Stanford grads. Both have been out of college less time than the Real Housewives of Orange County have been on TV. For them, a billion-dollar company started with a simple idea, and recognition of an opportunity.

“Every photo you take communicates something about a moment in time—a brief slice of time of where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing,” Systrom said in a recent Forbes interview. “Instagram was created because there was no single place dedicated to giving your mobile photos a place to live and to be seen. Every startup should address a real and demonstrated need in the world. If you build a solution to a problem lots of people have, it’s so easy to sell your product to the world.”

Now back to us, the ad agency.

Sure, we think of a lot of ideas everyday—we’re an idea factory. A lot of those are really good. A lot of that thinking provides value, impression, buzz, and whatever you want to call it, on behalf of our clients.

But as our digital world continues to flood with noise and competition and Gersberms, how does that affect our product? What do we do when the banner ad just won’t cut it anymore? When people won’t even touch a Facebook app? When the ‘viral video’ is sent to pasture?

This is where our capital, our true asset, comes in.

What if we start thinking like Google? Like Twitter. Or like Instagram. What if we created interactions and innovative technology, not for clients, but on behalf of our own brand? What if we were the tech company?

No middle man. No client nonsense. Pure innovation and creation—straight to the public.

Let’s think of the future of the ad agency as more of a startup incubator. Where all our training, insight, strategy, and execution come together in a different way—and new platforms are born, raised, and sold. Stuff we created to push the envelope, improve lives, and drive commerce.

It’s time to think about the future of the agency as it functions in its current state. Because banner ads and Facebook Pages are cool. And they make us millions—and that’s cool, too. But you know what’s really cool?

A billion dollars.

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Being Right is No Longer Enough – You’ve Got to Experiment

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Being Right is No Longer Enough – You’ve Got to Experiment

By Michael Dezso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier in my career, I was introduced to the phrase, “tyranny of success,” which means that people think that the way they have become successful is the way to stay successful. But as any Darwinian thinker would be quick to add, and as I have learned, things change.

 

When I started in planning in the mid-1990s, creative development was focused on being “reductive and right.” We triangulated audience attributes, competitive positions and brand equities. Our goal was to convince the client that our solution was “right” via a stress-tested positioning statement and resulting brief. Then we’d “disaster check” and copy-test the campaign, which was largely 30-second spots and a catchy tagline, with a “matching luggage” form of integrated print and direct.

 

The process was built to serve a simple message, delivered repetitively. But as we develop more complex engagements and transmedia programs, it works less and less well. As we seek the broadest, “right” answer, some outstanding ideas are getting lost. Small audience differences are discarded, and many potentially compelling brand stories never get told. This process also fails to distinguish the needs of owned and earned channels. There’s little aimed at web or social properties. There’s no leveraging of the diminished cost of production. Extensive pre-testing can choke the creative time required to develop more options.

 

Put bluntly, campaigns developed in this manner are often limited, inefficient and boring. Perhaps worse, the process cultivates a false sense of confidence and completion.

 

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

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How to Integrate a Production Department Correctly

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How to Integrate a Production Department Correctly

 

Integrated production departments are generally limited at traditional agencies and usually consist of broadcast producers who also produce video content for the web. Not only is this not integrated production, but it’s also highly ineffective for both the agency and the clients they are servicing.

Truly integrated production lives by the philosophy, “If it needs to be made, a producer is needed to make it whether it’s print, digital, broadcast, out-of-home, social, or experiential.” And by the way, a project manager really should be an individual that produces an entire body of work. If software companies in the ’80s knew what producers were, then they would have hired them to produce their products and PMs wouldn’t exist.

To read the entire article, click here.

 

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Jiffy Lube’s Anxiety Crusher

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Looking to drive consumer engagement and interaction with the Jiffy Lube brand, we recently created a fun and engaging first-of-its-kind Facebook game called “Anxiety Crusher” with JWT Atlanta.  The rip-roaring monster truck game allows users to crush their greatest vehicle maintenance anxieties like evil tow trucks, engine lights and expensive repair bills.  By using an industry-first Bing Image Search integration feature, players are also able to search and destroy images of additional anxieties in a Jiffy Lube branded monster truck arena.

 

As an extension of the “Leave Worry Behind” strategy, the “Anxiety Crusher” helps Jiffy Lube not only put customers “at ease” but also more deeply engage with them in a tangible way.  By helping customers crush their anxieties, Jiffy Lube becomes not just a trusted service provider but also an ally, a friend and a brand with which consumers want to spend time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The debut of Anxiety Crusher coincided with the launch of our social networks.  In an effort to provide real-time customer service and increase brand loyalty, we created Jiffy Lube Facebook and Twitter pages.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The Anxiety Crusher game and our move into the social world mark Jiffy Lube’s commitment and new approach to building deeper and longer lasting relationships with consumers nationwide.  To watch the Anxiety Crusher trailer, click here.  Join in on the fun by playing the game on Facebook.

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JWT Atlanta Sponsors the First Reunion of the Basic Advertising Course

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In an effort to raise awareness around the diversity need in advertising, JWT Atlanta has partnered with Bill Sharp to create events that draw light to this subject.  Last year the agency hosted a ceremony for Bill Sharp Award, which you can learn about by clicking on the image below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Sharp, a former JWT copywriter, created the Basic Advertising Course and has been an advocate for diversity in advertising for years.  Earlier this year, JWT hosted the first reunion for the course participants in Chicago, IL.  The historic gathering of industry pioneers coincided with the making of a documentary on the impact of the Basic Advertising Course and the legacy of African Americans in advertising.  The documentary will be published by JWT later on this year.  Below, you can view some of the photos from the event.

 

 

 

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Welcome to the phenomenon known as Instagram, where anything is photo-worthy and everyone is a photographer

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2 weeks ago, Instagram made headlines when it was bought by Facebook for $1 billion, but the free photo-sharing program was making headlines far before that for its almost 40 million registered users who were documenting every facet of their lives via the mobile app.

Similar to social media darling Pinterest, Instagram allows users to curate, consume and share photos with others. Instagram was first introduced to iOS users in 2010 and then Android users in 2012. The app has not only redefined the way people are sharing content, but also has provided a new and dynamic opportunity for brands to reach consumers. From your neighbor next door to Taylor Swift and Starbucks, individuals and brands are transforming the idea of social sharing and building a more personal relationship with their audiences.

For those brands with a wealth of photo content, Instagram offers the chance to elongate a brand’s story visually. While most wouldn’t automatically connect General Electric to Instagram, the brand is using the app to give users a behind the scenes glimpse of the company by showing how products are being made. Similarly, Kate Spade extends well beyond their products by creating a lifestyle through Instagram, where users can feel as if they are a part of the brand. Images of office parties, favorite places in NYC to eat, and daily happenings inspire more than 187,000 Kate Spade followers.

During a January 2012 campaign, Tiffany & Co. used the versatility of Instagram filters to capture the meaning of true love by people around the world. ‘The What Makes Love True‘ showed how a campaign could be successfully built off of user-generated content.

Are you on Instagram? What brands do you follow and why?

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The Value of a Hackathon

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On May 3rd and 4th of 2012, Peter Bailey flew to New York to attend the WPP/Yahoo! May the Fourth Hackday, a programming challenge where four-man teams hacked together new software products in only 24 hours.

WPP Hackathon by Peter Bailey

Amongst dedicated, ambitious, and passionate programmers/software engineers/developers, there is a common knowledge about what takes place in the industry. We religiously follow news sites and blogs, contribute to open source projects, and participate in programming forums often answering other people’s questions purely for the challenge of solving it ourselves. We hear about conferences taking place in faraway lands, and then eagerly consume their keynotes and powerpoints during our lunch breaks.

But how often is any of this content generated by JWT? More specifically, how often is any of this content generated by JWT NA?

It’s historically been atypical of marketing agencies to be involved in the culture of its software people. In our industry, the lion’s share of the public recognition, glamour, and accolades-otherwise are ladled upon the Creative Directors, the Strategists, and the “Don Draper” types. On the other end of the scale we have big tech companies like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. Not only do these companies embrace the programmer culture, they do so with such gusto that they quite literally shape the landscape of Internet software, and by doing so, shape what we do as well. Where would we be today without Google Maps, Yahoo Pipes, and the Open Graph? How much of our own work is predicated on the very existence of platforms such as these?

Perhaps more critically, somewhere in the middle there are smaller software companies doing their “part” as well.  Companies that foster the development of great products for the ecosystem at large.  As just two examples: SensioLabs and Joyent.  Developers at SensioLabs created Symfony, a PHP-based MVC framework that is used on three of out every five projects developed at JWT Dallas, including last season’s holiday card.  Developers at Joyent are responsible for Node.js, an event-driven I/O server that was a key component for the dotJWT team’s project at the May the Fourth hackday. Neither of these products are the core business offering of their respective companies, yet it’s hard to say what JWT’s work would look like were we not able to leverage them; these products that exist solely because the companies involved sponsor such activity of their engineers.

From this perspective, it felt really good to be a contributor, if only in a minor way, to the broader software ecosystem.  To not just read about developers from Some Other Company attending a hackathon, but to be somebody that others would read about.  To finally be a participant in the global culture of the programmer, and to do so as a representative of JWT.

The value of this participation cannot be measured by something as obtuse as hours on a timesheet or by the minutia of the dollars and cents on an expense report. I’ve taken away so much from being able to participate in not only the global software family, but in the smaller-yet-still-large WPP software family. Being able to do so is a part of the programmer culture, and part of humanity’s desire to belong. To be a developer today and not have this kind of experience is to be like a chef that never has the opportunity to taste his own cooking. In that way, I cannot succinctly put into words what JWT’s participation in events like May the Fourth does and can do for morale, talent retention, talent attraction, and industry moxie. In fact, a surefire way to undervalue what took place would be to never participate again.

To that end, “Hello” global software family!  Our name’s dotJWT and we are very pleased to meet you.

To read more on the WPP Hackathon, click here.

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JWT AiMA Event – Integrated Marketing

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Integrated Marketing – Digital Leads the Conversation
Wednesday, April 25 2012, 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Proctor & Gamble, the world’s biggest advertiser, recently announced plans to cut $1 billion from its marketing budget, primarily by eliminating the jobs of marketing executives and spending less on broadcast spots while relying more on cost-effective digital marketing efforts. Beyond budgetary concerns, companies such as Chipotle and Burt’s Bees are crafting innovative campaigns that rely on digital channels to seed and develop a brand story before consumers engage through more traditional channels. These campaigns are leading to a bigger focus on digital as the foundation of marketing efforts, with TV, print and OOH becoming extensions of the larger brand experience consumers are receiving online.
Learn from companies and advertisers who have firsthand knowledge of the need to leverage digital efforts to establish a platform that supports and drives more traditional marketing channels.

Moderator: Katie Szumowski, Senior Director, Turner Media Group

Event Chair: Sunni Thompson, JWT

Panelists:
Laura Houghton, Social Media Manager, Coca-Cola
Liz Thorington, Vice President, The Weather Channel
Marshall Lauck, Management Director, JWT

Location: Georgia Tech Global Learning Center
84 Fifth Street
Atlanta
GA
30308
USA

To register and for more information, click here.

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Is your brand “right” for Pinning?

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Pinterest, the image bookmarking site that’s already driving more traffic to retailers’ websites than Google+, is rapidly gaining attention from major brands and it’s no wonder – the site hit 10 million U.S. monthly unique users faster than any independent site in history.

In the U.S., the social website is dominated by women ages 25-44 with household incomes (HHIs) between $25k and $75k. This demographic is associated with pinning ideas related to DIY projects, dream vacations and most notably, weddings. However, in the U.K. the early adopters have predominantly been men ages 24-34 with HHIs greater than $100k – and the difference doesn’t stop there. Instead of pinning images related to hobbies and leisure, their pins revolve around SEO and marketing, web analytics and content management.

One thing both audiences have in common is that they are ready to curate content from anywhere online with a single click. The site’s emphasis on sharing (or “repining”) coupled with a design that enables users to browse through hundreds or thousands of images with relative ease have greatly attributed to the success of the website.

Today, there are more than 100 U.S. brands using Pinterest including Nordstrom, William-Sonoma, West Elm, Real Simple, Whole Foods and Drake University. What sets these brand’s boards apart is the diversity of content that’s being shared. Successful brands aren’t only linking to their product pages, but are showcasing unique uses of their products, are asking followers to pin their own ideas and are promoting a lifestyle. An example of this is Whole Foods, whose boards revolve around themes such as gardening, gadgets, recycling, green living, holidays, cool kitchens and food art.

Of course, Pinterest isn’t for every brand. Successful candidates include clothing retailers, travel and tourism, culinary, art galleries and design. Any website that is visually oriented can find success on this new social network. For brands and marketers who are interested in joining the Pinterest craze, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Be where your customers are. That being said, if your primary target isn’t women ages 25-44 years old, wait for the site to expand before hopping on Pinterest right now.
  2. Pinners are not following your boards to be advertised to. They are looking for content that visually appeals to their interests.
  3. Don’t be afraid to allow others to pin to your boards. Crowdsourcing content is a great way for consumers to interact with the brand and feel like they are contributing to the success of the brand.
  4. Use hashtags or keywords to tag your pins. Pinterest functions like a social search engine.
  5. Find out who’s pinning content from your website here: http://pinterest.com/source/[InsertYourSite'sURLHere]

 

What brands have you seen using Pinterest well?

 

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The True Connectivity of Breaking Bread

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Earlier this month, JWT Intelligence released its latest trend report, What’s Cooking? Trends in Food. The report focuses on eight macro trends in the food culture, such as innovations in packaging, beneath the lens of three overarching trends: the rising foodie culture, the integration of technology in the food category and overall health and wellness.

Trends aside, food is truly the original “social network.” Nothing says connectivity more than people breaking bread with one another, sharing in the pleasures and conversations food can bring to the table, (pardon the pun). Like the modern social networks of today, food bridges culture, spanning the globe and bringing flavors, traditions and techniques from one country to another seamlessly. Food is the definition of sharing.

In addition to the trends covered in the report, what marketers are also experiencing in the food culture is the ability of the “little voice” to be heard. Thanks to technological innovations and the prevalence of digital resources and social media in marketing strategies, local food purveyors, restaurants and farmers are now able to be heard on both a national and global level. For example, Georgia’s own Riverview Farms now has the ability to have as equally as loud a voice as a large corporation like Tyson.

As the food culture has always been one centered on sharing, enjoying a beautiful meal with friends or passing on a family recipe from generation to generation, it is only natural that the food culture would learn to thrive in the modern social setting.  Through social media, foodie voices from around the world can be heard.  Recipes can be shared more easily than ever.  A cheese lover in Japan can learn about and sample the creamy deliciousness that is the Roaring Forties Blue Cheese from King Island Dairy in Australia.  And secret flashmob supper clubs can be orchestrated and deployed at a moment’s notice with the help of Twitter correspondence.  Breaking bread will continue to be a ritual human beings cherish.  Now, it’s just easier to do across cultures.

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How to Get a Jillion Views on YouTube

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YouTube is the greatest invention of all time. They could develop a cure for the common cold tomorrow and it would pale in comparison to the ability to watch a video of a guy getting hit in the crotch by a flying kitty. Let me be more specific, the ability to watch a guy getting hit in the crotch by a flying kitty—at a moment’s notice!

This is a flying cat. Do not trust it.

Now back in the old days (the 90s, also known as the last time SNL was funny), those of us in the mood for some flying kitty into the crotch hilarity were really at a disadvantage. Your best bet was to go to the nearest Wal-Mart and wait for a kitty to fly by and do its thing. Of course, with cats being as moody as they are, you couldn’t depend on them to fly on cue. And you certainly couldn’t depend on them to do it 5 million times. So YouTube was born.

Now the beauty of YouTube (aside from the fact that copywriters can watch old “Dukes of Hazzard” clips during the day and claim it’s job-related research) is that there’s an endless amount of content available. In fact, according to a statistic that I’m making up at this very moment, over two jillion hours of content were added to YouTube in the past day. Okay, that’s not true. But this is: in the past two months, YouTube generated more content than the three major networks have produced—ever.

Translated into advertising terms, that means there’s a huge amount of content for viewers to watch. Which means it’s tougher than ever for a brand to break through the clutter. Which means our job is getting a lot harder. Which means our job is getting a lot more exciting.

So how can a brand leave a lasting impression? Old Spice knows. Videos on their YouTube channel have been viewed nearly 260,000,000 times. That’s amazing, especially considering this is a brand that’s been around since the 1930s and hasn’t been relevant since, well, the 1930s.

 

 

Old Spice is doing everything right. Just look at the 200 short videos they created in response to fan Tweets and Facebook posts. In one day, they revolutionized the industry by doing something nobody had done before. And they did it by creating content people wanted to watch. And masterfully blurring the line between ad and content.

Okay, so what’s next? Where does advertising go from here? Why do questions come in groups of three?

I think a handful of agencies will continue to find genius ways to break through the clutter. And many, many others will attempt to ride on their coattails (I’m talking to you, Edge Shave Gel).

And meanwhile, as this creative struggle wages on, as the brightest and hippest hipsters in advertising go crazy trying to find ways to break through the clutter, over in Mud Lick, Kentucky, a middle school kid will be uploading a video to YouTube that will get 55,000,000 views, circulate the globe four times, and get mentioned during the presidential debates. It’ll be the finest flying cat video YouTube’s ever seen. Until tomorrow.

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Just a Wrinkle in Time?

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This past week, Facebook rolled out Timeline, switching over even those profiles of users who had not elected to do so voluntarily. The new Timeline system makes photos, posts and information about a user from the past much easier to find, incorporating a very intuitive scrolling system that allows people to go all the way back to when that person was born.

YouTube Preview Image

While the new Timeline profile format does not share any new information on a user’s profile, (Everything available on Timeline is what was available for viewing before the switchover.), the new format does raise some questions. Privacy settings on Facebook have always been difficult to maneuver. Recently, untagging yourself from a picture has become such an arduous process that it has almost become a deterrent to doing so. With the new Timeline system, users who are less familiar with the privacy settings on Facebook, or less active in general, may inadvertently provide easier access to information and photos they did not realize were viewable by all.

For those Facebook users applying for jobs or holding positions such as teachers, which require a certain level of privacy settings on the profile in question, the new Timeline format could present an issue, as potential future employers and current employers can more easily access old (and possibly incriminating) information and photos.

Facebook Timeline certainly provides a more visually-appealing and user-friendly format to the standard profile. (And picking out a visually-arresting cover photo to accompany one’s profile picture is certainly a nice bonus.) But does this new format ultimately break down the barriers to privacy even more? Sure, social media is meant to bring people together, but at what cost to personal privacy? With Timeline, it seems your entire Internet life is one scroll away, on display for all to see. Whether this is a good or bad thing still remains to be seen though.

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Perry Fair Joins JWT Atlanta/Dallas/Houston as Chief Creative Director

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Perry Fair has been named Chief Creative Officer of the three offices. In this position, Fair will be responsible for bringing creative leadership to accounts including Transamerica, the United States Marine Corps, FEMA, SCANA Energy, Shell, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Jiffy Lube. He reports to Rob Quish, CEO at JWT Atlanta.

Fair joins JWT from Mullen, where he was chief digital officer. He was instrumental in the global launch of Google’s GoMo initiative and Galaxy Nexus platform. His work has been honored at Cannes, The One Show, The Clios and The Art Directors Club, among others. Additionally, he has penned and sold his first feature film called The Fourth Horseman, which will begin production next year in Los Angeles.

“Over the last year, we’ve put together an incredible ensemble of people with rich and diverse experiences to serve our clients,” said Quish. “When I met Perry, I knew that he would be the right partner for me and fit in perfectly with our leadership team. His award-winning, 360-degree creative approach is hard to find and will be the spark we need to maximize the depth of the offices.”

Fair’s career comes full circle with this move to Atlanta, as he first studied art design at Clark Atlanta University, later graduating from The Creative Circus. During an internship at Wieden+Kennedy, Fair pitched and sold his first campaign for Nike. His portfolio is packed with iconic campaigns for DirecTV, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, Bacardi, Hess, E-Trade, NFL, Ketel One and Don Julio, which he created while leading creative and digital departments at Element 79, The True Agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day and Grey.

“JWT is an amazing agency, and I am extremely happy to join and add my voice to a heritage of great talent, strong leadership and dynamic clients,” said Fair. “I started my career in Atlanta, so returning is like coming home. I am excited about the future and look forward to a long and wonderful journey.”

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The Future of TV is Social and (Nearly) Free

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The way we watch television has fundamentally changed over the past few years. From the start of public access to Hulu in early 2008 to the 2.0 version of Google TV that was announced last month, the platforms we access content across and our consumption behaviors have radically transformed.

Viewers no longer sit down to tune in to their favorite show at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. They DVR it, catch it on Xfinity the next day or download it for $1.99 on iTunes to stream to their Apple TV. In addition, with the dramatic rise of video consumption over the last decade, the TV is no longer seen as a silo of entertainment — instead people expect it to act as a viewing window for all the available video content in the world.

In the same way the music industry was turned upside down with the advent of iTunes, single song downloads and peer-to-peer sharing in the last decade, TV is now headed down a path of changing delivery platforms, payment models and consumption patterns. The big players are combating the fact that Millennials do not want to pay for cable by partnering with streaming services.

As a recent article about trends for 2012 notes, “In the final months of 2011, we’ve seen The CW, Disney, and ABC Family partner with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon to offer their content to subscribers, with little, if any, delay following the show’s original airing.”

Web sites like Hulu, Xfinity and Crackle have made free access to content that was formerly locked down on cable an expectation of TV viewers. However, if you’re willing to fork over a little money to download your favorite show, you have an exhaustive library of content available through iTunes. You can also stream your favorite shows and movies to all your devices for $7.99 a month with Netflix. The point is, people can consume what they want, when they want, for the price they want and on the device of their choosing. The game has changed. The next few years will be revolutionary for content creators, platform builders, cable television and networks, and the title of a recent GigaOM article articulates this well, “The children are our future, and they don’t pay for TV.”

Content curation is another facet of the changes occurring in the new era of television, as evidenced by Google’s recent launch of “more than 100 new YouTube channels with exclusive video content commissioned from media companies and celebrities.” As we all know, there is more video available on the web from cable and TV networks than could ever possibly be viewed in our lifetime. So, we could all use a little help sifting through the billions of hours of video footage to find what is both relevant to our interests and worth spending our time watching. Google is addressing this by building an infrastructure for categorizing video content because, “Google still believes that TV is in the middle of a fundamental change from hundreds to millions of ‘channels,’ and that’s where the opportunity for Google lies: helping consumers make sense of that huge trove of video.”

While the entire television model is in a state of flux, the user base has become super social in their viewing habits. Not only do Gleeks congregate en masse on Twitter to discuss episodes minute-by-minute, but new services and apps have been created to provide the chatting masses ways to check-in to shows, to earn rewards for being fans and to share their love of TV with their social circle. GetGlue, IntoNow from Yahoo! and Miso are three examples of services that are leading the way in entertainment check-ins. While services like these may currently be common only to hardcore TV enthusiasts and the perpetually-early-adopting tech nerd niche, GetGlue has seen a 55% increase in check-ins in the month of April 2011. These services are still in their early days, but they have a lot of opportunity for growth as the television model continues to evolve.

Whether you stream your favorite shows to your mobile device or watch the latest blockbuster on your iPad, be sure to stay tuned as the world of television is only in the infancy of its evolution. So, how do you see the future of television playing out? When did you cut your cable cord? Share your comments on the evolution of television as we’ve known it.

Originally published in The Next Great Generation.

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Digital Strategy ‘Dawgs invited to University of Georgia advertising panel

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Two members of the Digital Strategy team were recently invited to their alma mater to speak to the next generation of advertising students. Chelsea Gattung, Assistant Digital Planner, and Kristen Green, Content Strategist, were invited to the University of Georgia’s Grady College ADPR Connection.

Chelsea was part of the panel “Six Months In: The Scope on the First Six Months on the Job.” When asked about her experience Chelsea said, “I was excited when I was asked to speak at ADPR connection about my first six months on the job. As a Grady alum, I feel like it’s my duty to go back to UGA and share my newly found wisdom with current students, whose shoes I was just in less than a year ago. As my first time being asked back to UGA to speak, I was honored that my AdClub advisor specifically thought of me for this engagement. I remember how much it meant to me, as a student, to have Grady alumni tell us about transitioning into the working world, and many of the students who attended my session wanted to know the same thing. It’s great to be on the other side of things and to have some of the answers figured out already. When I got there, it was comforting to see some of my old classmates and AdClub board members in the audience. I could see myself in each of those students, looking for answers and eager to begin a new stage in their lives. It was a wonderful experience and I was lucky to be in front of so many passionate students.”

Kristen was a speaker on the panel “How to Stay on Top of the Game: Trend Spotting, Cool Hunting and Pop Culture.” Kristen spoke on trend spotting last year at the Grady College of Journalism and was excited to be invited back to her beloved alma mater to share insights with future Grady grads. Kristen said her experience was, “Inspiring. The caliber of students in the Grady College continues to rise with each graduating class. I was invited in as an alumni to enlighten and inspire the students, but the students inspired me. They asked insightful questions, have clear goals set for themselves, and are poised to be the next great thinkers of the advertising world.”

JWT is proud of these two resident Georgia Bulldogs for representing the agency and inspiring a new class of students!

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Jiri Vala Dominates the Green River Narrows Race

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Mindshare’s Jiri Vala did so well last year at the Green River Narrows kayak race in North Carolina that CNN decided to do a little profile on him to show off how awesome he is.  You can view that piece below.

Below are Jiri’s thoughts on the race in his own words.

So last year I entered a whitewater kayak race on the Green River near Asheville, North Carolina.

As you can see this is not one of those cheesy corporate sponsored races where you jump over burning obstacles or crawl through mud on your belly. This race is a full-on charge down a series of a dozen waterfalls dropping over 342 feet in total. That is steep! This race attracts some of the best paddlers from all over the world and I had the honor to race with them last year for the first time. That’s kind of like shooting hoops with Michael Jordan – you get the idea. As a weekend warrior my goals were simple:

1.       Finish

2.       Do not crash

3.       Not in last place

4.       Beat at least one of my friends

 

(I succeeded on all 4 counts – barely). Well CNN wanted to do a profile piece to capture the perspective of a first time racer in this event and all the excitement/apprehension, and sheer terror that such an event might elicit so they asked me to participate. You can view the final product above – it aired on CNN.com on Friday 11/4 – the day before the 2011 Race. I am hooked and I will be racing again this Saturday 11/5.

 

PS: here is an excerpt from waiver for the race:

 

Some of the well-known dangers found on the Narrows are mentioned in this waiver that all racers must agree to and sign prior to entering. For example …. “lacerations” …. “impalement” …. “extensive dental damage” …. and my personal favorite: “I have been warned of the stupidity of this activity”.

Check out the video below for more pictures from the race -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouvnHCVbI4w&feature=share

 

 

 

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Ghoulish Giving: UNICEF Takes Trick-or-Treating Mobile

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As a self-proclaimed Millennial, JWT Content Strategist Kristen Green dives into her work geared toward Millennials with a great passion. Her desire to be on the forefront of what is happening in the Millennial realm has led to her recently being published in a digital magazine that is written solely by Millennials: The Next Great Generation. The Next Great Generation (TNGG) is, “An online magazine written by 18-30-year-olds about growing up in the information age. This is an experiment in crowdsourced journalism, a mixture of blogging, opinions, and commentary on our lives and the world around us. We straddle the line between “I love the ’80s” and the digital revolution. We are the children of the Baby Boomers. We are not afraid to say what we think.”

With a nod to the current holiday, Kristen has written her first article for TNGG: “Ghoulish Giving: UNICEF Takes Trick-or-Treating Mobile.” It speaks about how UNICEF is utilizing digital and mobile engagement to their advantage to boost their donations. Moving forward, Kristen will be contributing articles to the Technology section of TNGG. Be sure to stay tuned for future TNGG articles from Kristen.

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