Friday, March 30, 2007

A Radio Station Just for You

An interesting NY Times article featuring services like Pandora, and Slacker evaluate your musical tastes, then serve up a continuous stream of programming to match. Create a Radio station to suit your taste!
March 29, 2007

New iTunes Service Lets Customers Complete Albums

Wall Street Journal Article
By NICK WINGFIELDMarch 29, 2007 11:14 a.m.

When Apple Inc. opened its iTunes Store for business four years ago, the company changed how consumers purchased music by letting them buy singles instead of full albums. Now Apple is giving its customers a new incentive to go back to the old way of buying music.

The Cupertino, Calif., company Thursday introduced a new offering on the iTunes Store called Complete My Album that allows consumers to purchase at a reduced price the remaining songs from an album for which they've already purchases singles on iTunes. The reduction consumers receive on album prices is based on the number of 99-cent tracks they previously purchased from the album: someone who bought two 99-cent singles, for instance, would pay $8.01 for the remaining songs on an album that normally retails for $9.99.

Previously, iTunes customers who decided to purchase a full album after buying singles would face two unappealing scenarios: They could buy the entire album, including the singles they had already purchased, or they could buy the album tracks they didn't already own for 99 cents each, a bad deal for consumers since albums on iTunes are invariably more expensive when purchased as individual songs. Apple typically prices full albums at $9.99, most of which have 12 or so songs on them.

"The idea here is that simple -- once you bought singles from an album, we'll give you credit for it," Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president for iTunes, said in an interview. "This is something that is another example of how digital music is a changer in the way we do things."

While many consumers have warmed to the idea of buying singles, the shift away from album sales has undermined a lucrative method of bundling songs together. Some music industry executives believe the emphasis on single sales through online retailers like iTunes is one factor behind a years-long decline in music sales, along with digital piracy, since consumers can now selectively purchase individual songs for far less money than they would otherwise spend on complete albums.

Mr. Cue said that about 55% of the music purchased through iTunes is sold as singles, a figure that has been consistent since the introduction of iTunes. He said Apple negotiated agreements with its partners in the recording industry to offer its new album-purchasing service to customers. As part of the service, Apple is giving consumers a motivation to act soon to buy the remaining songs on albums that they don't already own: The offer is good for only 180 days after customers purchase individual songs from an album.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

2nd Life Apple Store

Have you been to the Apple store on Second Life? It's amazing.... a virtual re-creation of the Manhattan 5th Avenue store. It was actually built by an avid Apple fan, one of the land developing residents in Second Life... NOT by Apple themselves. Remarkable what a brand can move people to do.

Some quick info on Second Life:

Over 4,000,000 inhabitants worldwide and is growing at a rate of 38 percent every month. Inhabitants create their virtual selves (called avatars), build homes, businesses, raise families --- in effect, role-play life in all its glorious mundanity, and all via the Web. The game has transformed conventional role-playing games into a sort of reality-playing game.

The estimated value of the Second Life economy was $64 million USD in 2005. Today, it is more than triple that. In late February of this year, Reuters tested and found that over 1.7 million USD was spent during a 24-hour period. It was recently reported that a Chinese language teacher has made over $250,000 in real-world cash by selling and buying virtual land. Governments are discussing whether they should impose property tax on virtual real estate.

Companies like adidas and Reebok are selling shoes in Second Life. Nissan and Toyota are selling cars. Westin and Sheraton hotels have begun selling hotel rooms for virtual road warriors, and IBM is investing over 10 million to move the company into virtual worlds --- it has already held meetings with top sales executives within the metaverse. The BBC has rented space to host live music, Reuters news service has a full-time reporter named Adam Reuters (or Adam Pasick in real life) who covers events as they happen. There are even a few virtual advertising agencies like Crayon that have simultaneously opened their doors in the real world and in Second Life.

Those who want to meet me there, my Second Life name is Galt Runo. You can also check out the Sony BMG space on Media Island. We're actually creating a Rolf avatar for this space which we're going to show at the upcoming Las Vegas MD conference... Rolf in lederhosen! Cool!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Top 25 Marketing Blogs

What are the best marketing blogs for inspiring, innovative, cool and yet APPLICABLE information?

The ones I like the best are The Viral Garden, Jaffe Juice, The Anti-marketer and Hee-Haw Marketing.

Here is a list of the Top 25 most visited Marketing Blogs this week. The Viral Garden posts the list each week for their readers' information. Check some of them out. Tons of great stuff out there:

1 - Seth's Blog
2 - Creating Passionate Users
3 - Duct Tape Marketing
4 - Gaping Void
5 - Marketing Shift
6 - Daily Fix
7 - Converstations
8 - Drew's Marketing Minute
9 - New School of Network Marketing
10 - The Viral Garden
11 - Influential Interactive Marketing
12 - Coolzor
13 - Logic + Emotion
14 - What's Next
15 - Church of the Customer
16 - Brand Autopsy
17 - Marketing Headhunter
18 - Marketing Nirvana
19 - Marketing Hipster
20 - Diva Marketing
21 - Jaffe Juice
22 - Spare Change
23 - Hee-Haw Marketing
24 - Beyond Madison Avenue
25 - Pro Hip-Hip - Hip-Hop Marketing

Friday, March 23, 2007

Albert Einstein

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

Albert Einstein

I think that sums up marketing (and the purpose of this blog) very well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a group for thought-leaders and movers & shakers, focused on the latest ideas in technology, entertainment and design. Once a year they gather together in California, hosting some of the world's most fascinating people to present, share and learn together.

You may have seen some of the talks on YouTube or elsewhere. Out of popular demand, TED has recently teamed up with BMW and production partner WNYC/New York Public Radio to share some of the most remarkable TED talks on-line. Every week, a new talk is published on their site.

You can also search through their archives or subscribe to the talks on iTunes as either an audio or video podcast. Perfect for your iPod.

Last week's talk is by Neil Gershenfeld (Director of MIT's celebrated Center for Bits and Atoms).

Neil offers a glimpse at life after the digital revolution by sharing some of the projects created in Fab Labs - low-cost fabrication labs that encourage invention and production on a local level. Gershenfeld explains how his Fab Labs, set up around the world, harness the creative energy of local people, allowing them to build eyeglass frames, toys, computer parts, anything they need ...


There are a ton of great ones though. Malcolm Gladwell's is good (The Tipping Point) and so many others are relevant to innovation. Fascinating and FREE.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Interesting Blog...Will post some adequate stuff soon!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Creative Banners

The few music or artist related banners I've seen around the web are BORING and frankly, two-dimensional yesterday banners. Today's technology offers us so much more in on-line banner capabilities. Some are micro-sites within themselves. Others are just simply clever.

Here is a series of ads that Play With US, a UK advertising agency, has created to illustrate the point:

Scene One
Scene Two
Scene Three

We should not be placing "buy this album now" banners any longer (been there, done that) - instead, the banners should be interactive, 3 dimensional, and much more clever! They could be a click-through, leading you to a much larger-scale campaign, the artist's site or a competition landing page, etc.

Check out this axe feather page which was first created as a banner. We need to do something like this with Christina Aguilera.

Food for thought.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Digital Outlook Report

Avenue Raxorfish recently published the 2007 Digital Outlook Report. This report examines trends in the way consumers, publishers, and advertisers employ digital media to have a conversation with each other. Specifically, it covers the following areas:

  1. Digital Buzz

  2. Digital Media (R)evolution

  3. Search

  4. Consumer Dialogues: The Digital Class

  5. Measurement

  6. Op-Ed: What’s on Our Minds?

    • Creative Considerations for 2007 by Jim Gibson

    • Why Authority Matters in Web 2.0 by Laura Porto

    • The Death of the Page View: How AJAX, RSS, and Widgets Will Force Us to Define a New Metric for User Engagement by Garrick Schmitt

    • “We”conomics: Monetization of the Evolving Digital Economy by Greg Pomaro

    • The New (Media) World Order by Bruce Woolsey

  7. Five Questions

    • Nathan Levi on Search Marketing

    • Iain McDonald on Viral Markting

    • Ray Velez on Windows Vista

    • David Baker on E-Mail Marketing

    • Olaf Czeschner on the Evolution of Digital Creative

    • Grace Ho on Mobile Marketing

    • Margie Chiu on Digital Strategy and Analytics

  8. Five Things Every Executive Should Know About Digital in 2007

It’s very useful reading for anyone involved with digital media (which is all of us), so check it out.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nike's Festival of Air

There are some campaigns that just grab my attention, shout 'That is sooo cool' and make me wish it was one of my ideas. This is one of them I came across last week....

This award winning campaign was centred around a platform Nike created called 'The Festival of Air' designed to show the benefits, heritage and technology of Nike Air shoes.

The 'Festival of Air' platform saw the creation of a month-long set of events at NikeTown in London, featuring a series of interactive elements including running and basketball challenges, data capture and virtual shoes.

Nike fans were able to put their skills up alongside the professionals to see how far they could jump vs LeBron James or see whether they could out run Paula Radcliffe. Their performances were captured live in store, beamed up to giant screens and turned into their own personal versions of the Nike adverts which were then made available to download, share on the web and displayed instore and in Nike windows. How cool is that?

Completely immersive, co-created connected marketing.

Now how can I copy this?

Click here to check out a video overview of the campaign

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Video Battle

Cingular has created a site called My Video Battle. It is not over-branded and feels more like a social site on which Cingular is advertising.

The site offers cash rewards to the winners of user-generated video contests. Anyone can upload a self-made video and vote. The most voted video wins the prize. Simple.

The most recent contest was a lip-sync to JoJo's "Too Little Too Late" single. The winner recieved $5,000. The current contest running is a lip-sync to Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right."

I think Daniel Levy should do one - he would win for sure.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Viral Brand Video Games

KEMPT is a gaming technology company that makes simple on-line games based on any brief they're given. For example, Sony Electronics have used them to create a game featuring their Walkman Flash Player called Toon Crisis.

The game is simple and surprisingly inexpensive to create.

Once Kempt develops the game, they then use Killer Virus (a credible on-line gaming company among gamers) to spread the game around virally through gaming sites, blogs, etc.

They then track the number of unique visitors to the game, number times played, number of times forwarded on, % of returning visitors, etc using MemeCounter (below). You can see from the tracking below that ToonCrisis has been played over 5 million times over the past 3 months, with 25% of its traffic returning to play again. At the minute I was pulling this info, there were 36 players currently on-line playing. Average viewing time is 3.32 minutes.

Seeing some of the different games Kempt has come up with, they are clever. Given the right artist and brief, perhaps this is something we could do with one of our artists. If the game is interesting and fun enough, it could be a great viral marketing tool.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


SHEMARKETING recently held a seminar on “The Science Of Marketing To Women”. I didn’t attend but I got all 125 slides of FMCG gold. Considering we’re in the business of emotion, they did have some theories relevant to our industry. I’ve got the Powerpoint Presentation if you want to see all the slides, but below is my exec summary…

Women are more likely than men to relate incoming messages to more facets of their lives, what they call “multi-dimensional selling proposition” i.e. whilst men are more likely to see a product at face value, women are more likely to connect this product to their work, family, friendships and health.

Women want to be spoken to in a new, fresh and different way, e.g. the 28–35 year old “independent princess” tends to reject the traditional norm, something to consider in artist positioning

Women want to be respected and recognised as multi-dimensional (not stereotyped), e.g. the 50+ “Young At Hearts” reject the old-lady stereotypes and love being busy, something definitely at the core of the “Il Divo” success.

Women want to be spoken to using emotion and story telling, e.g. sub-plots in video clips and emotional messages in advertisements

Women will choose a brand that celebrates and supports through awards and charity support, e.g. in Australia Mt Franklin “pink” bottled water for Breast Cancer is supported as it’s relevant, emotive and consumer focussed

Women want to feel a part of a network or community, e.g. Dove connected women together for their “ordinary model” skin care campaign

Women want to be communicated to proactively and according to key milestones, e.g. weddings, births.

Women want to escape and have time-out, e.g. the 35-45 year old “Family First” category are stressed, have little indulgence time and still want to enjoy a social life. Very applicable in the promotion of music.

We obviously can’t summarise a complete gender so broadly, but after reading it through I felt that there was quite a bit applicable to artist cores, compilation imagery, video clips and TVC executions we can adopt to even better connect our products to women. Food for thought.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Google in Content Deal With Media Companies

Monetizing our content in the new world order!

Google is working with Dow Jones & Company, Condé Nast, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and other large content companies to syndicate their video content on other Web sites. The videos appear inside Google ad boxes on sites that are relevant to the content of the videos, and advertisements run during or after the content. Google shared the ad revenue with the video provider and with the sites that show the videos.

Read the full article here.

Ning - build your own social network

Fed up of driving traffic and revenue to MySpace/Bebo et al?

Now there's another alternative. Build your own social network using Ning. They have developed an easy to use software application that allows you to build your own social network platform and bolt it onto the back of your website. RCA in the UK are currently looking at Ning and thinking about trailing it on one or two of their artist websites as an alternative to message boards. It's interesting to see how what sites like Blogger have done for web publishing, will Ning be the Blogger of social networking? Perhaps their model will evolve to see a decent share of ad revenues? Now who wants a social network?

For a video interview with their CEO go to

Who's Reading This Blog???

Since not everyone in the company has been invited to be a member of this blog, you may be wondering... who else is on here?

So we've included a list of 360° members in the sidebar to the left. Scroll down and see who your creative compatriates are. Today, we're 54 members in total. The only way to become a member is to be invited by the blog administrator - so if you want someone in the company to become a member, please email

Our blog also tracks which countries are checking in every day. For example, so far this week, here is a list of who was on 360°:

We're tracking an average of 200 page views per week.

So, what do you think? Are you finding the blog useful? Interesting? What would you like to see changed or added?

And if you do see something interesting around you, share it with the rest of us.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

What makes a video viral?

Right now we're working on a Justin viral video campaign around his upcoming European tour, using both Justin behind-the-scenes footage and user-generated video.

In looking at the creative of the video content, trying to make it as viral as possible, I read some research done by the market research company Millward Brown.

The research identified a few consistent ingredients that motivated a viewer to forward the video on to a friend. Only 8 of the 129 films researched prompted more than 1/5th of consumers to claim they would definitely forward the film on if they were to receive it via email.

The specific areas of enjoyment that improve a film’s chances of clocking up virtual airmiles are:
L. - laugh out loud funny
E. - edgy
G. - gripping
S. - sex

In other words if your film has LEGS it will increase its chances of becoming viral.

Forwarding a branded film creates an opportunity for the sender to communicate. In fact the study showed that there is a certain kudos factor for the sender. This works much in the same way as someone who tells a good joke will delight in their audience’s laughter. In order to receive this kudos however, the film has to be good. In sending a viral on, the sender is saying that THEY think it’s good. Sending a bad viral is rather like telling a joke that falls flat.

Once the viral has been forwarded on, then all of the standard truisms and rules of advertising come into play: if the film is not clearly linked to the brand in question, any impact on the brand is unlikely. Similarly, assuming the film is linked back to the brand, if the message communicated within the film isn’t linked to the brand value and proposition, then at best the film will only serve to heighten brand awareness. At worst it could damage brand perceptions. What is communicated within the film should therefore not be compromised, forgotten or ignored in the bid to gain momentum.

The top 5 films that people say they would forward online are:

1) Bud Light’s Magic Fridge

2) Ikea’s Pig Chase

3) DC Shoe’s B.Ball

4) Carlton Draught’s Big Ad

5) British Columbia Lion’s Cheering Works