Monday, April 30, 2007

NIN viral campaign catch-up

Image:Yearzero cover323.jpg

Lots of people have asked me about the NIN campaign which has attracted a lot of noise around the release of their new album Year Zero. Matthias Lumm (Malum) posted about it last month and John Fleckenstein commented on it this morning.

Here's a brief catch-up on the details:

The campaign began when fans found that a new Nine Inch Nails tour T-shirt contained highlighted letters that spell out the words "I am trying to believe." It was then discovered that was a website that spoke of a vision of a dystopian future - also other websites found in the same IP range were also portraying a similar theme.

Soon after a USB key containing an mp3 of a new song from the album was found in the bathroom at a NIN concert in Lisbon, followed by others at other concerts - these quickly found their way around the net.

Other files included an mp3 of static noise that when ran through a spectrograph produced an image of 'the presence' which would go on to become the album cover.

The entire concept is about harnessing the power of fans. Marketing never gives the consumers enough credit (in my humble opinion).

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Comprehensive Data Guide to the Digital Marketing World

NEW YORK - The world of digital marketing is evolving so rapidly in so many directions that simply keeping up with developments is a major challenge for most of us. Attached is a Digital Fact Pack, a 52-page data guide to the digital media and marketing landscape. Some great facts and figures across all categories. Long but worth flicking through!

Click the atached to download the guide: the Digital Marketing landscape.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Nine Inch Nails Releases Tracks on The Pirate Bay

One of the most notorious BitTorrent sites, a haven for pirates and copyright content, The Pirate Bay has been embraced by Trent Razor and the Nine Inch Nails, who have chosen to make their tracks, "Capital G", "My Violent Heart", and "Me, I'm Not." available for download via torrents indexed on the site.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Check out the new TV spot for Nike+. Titled "Addicted", directed by Dante Ariola, voiced by Edward Norton, music score by A-Bomb. It's awesome.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Three Billion

There are 3 Billion people under the age of 25 on this planet. That's over half the world's population. What are they doing? What fascinates them? What makes them tick? What are they buying?

Check out the 3 Billion website, a research group focused on decoding this fickle demographic. I've also included the link in our Cool Links sidebar.

They just released this video: The threebillion Random Youth Facts'n'Stats Video - Volume One

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Future according to Intel

What happens when we get super-small portable computers that integrate with just about everything? My dream of becoming the real Inspector Gadget becomes a reality. Intel apparently has some of these big ideas, and it all looks pretty damn cool.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Coca-Cola: Virtual Thirst on Second Life

Last Monday, Coke launched their first entrance into Second Life, titled "Virtual Thirst: Coke+Alt+Refresh". The most interesting aspect of Coke's launch is that they didn't just build some huge island, a mecca to the Coke brand, as has been pretty much the status quo so far with these virtual world branding attempts (i.e. SONY BMG Music's Media Island).

Instead, Coke took a fresh approach, asking Second Lifers themselves to create a Coca-Cola virtual vending machine that would quench a "virtual thirst". What is your virtual thirst? This is how they got it right - it's not about what Coke wants you to be... it's about what YOU want you to be. This approach aligns perfectly with the core purpose and attraction of Second Life... to be able to experience things that in First Life are impossible - a perfect combination of limitless creativity and supernatural ability.

Here are two examples of submissions so far:

mock up of apple campaign

Found this little montage on

Saturday, April 21, 2007

YouTube Alternatives

YouTube is clearly the most popular video sharing site on the web. But limits on video length, DMCA takedown notices and billion dollar lawsuits have damaged YouTube’s ability to facilitate serious copyright infringement. The smaller guys are now stepping in to fill the void.

Full length copies of well known TV shows and/or movies are readily available on a number of YouTube competitors. Watch, for example, The Office on DailyMotion, Scrubs on GoFish, or SouthPark on Veoh.

And if searching for the shows on these sites is just too much work, there are other sites that aggregate and organize this content, and embed it on their own sites. Watch any episode from any of the 11 seasons of SouthPark on And new site VideoHybrid is in a class of its own, with dozens of full length movies and virtually every popular TV show. VideoHybrid even give statistics showing exactly how many times copyrights have been violated.

Its not clear if the MPAA and networks just aren’t focusing on these smaller video sharing sites yet, or if DMCA notices are simply being ignored. These sites aren’t hiding out and trying to evade the law - they’re funded by well known venture capitalists and, in Veoh’s case, copyright holders. And GoFish is actually a public company.

Hmmm. Maybe EMI should do a deal with them.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mac vs. PC

I love this one...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


After numerous attempts by many companies to 'ping' passers-by on the street, we've realised 99% of Australian's don't walk around with their bluetooth switched on.

Different companies are now in the market offering "experiential" bluetooth, scattered booths where signage and "hosts" draw people in, ask them to turn their bluetooth on to download vouchers, wallpapers etc.

Two executions are currently being worked in Australia...

Virgin Mobile have teamed up with Groove Armada for their forthcoming appearance at the V Festival March 31 & April 1. Users will be 'pinged' a Groove Armada wallpaper that tags the album release (see below) as they walk past roaming "angels" at the two day festival.

For Beyonce's forthcoming tour, Telstra will have pods scattered across the Sydney Entertainment Centre. These open pods, partnered with signage and a host, will help prompt consumers to turn their bluetooth on and download the "Deluxe Edition" Voucher, which includes a wallpaper, physical retail discount coupon and ringtone link for the sale of Beyonce's latest tones and tracks.

In addition to bluetooth nationally, we're in talks to get a 2 minute "Deluxe Edition" piece (less selly, more entertainment, but still delivering the point) placed on the big screens inside the venue, tagging our ringtone number, plus flyers on all seats tieing back to physical and digital retail partners.

So after more consumer education, and new phone models constantly coming out, bluetooth may a find a real niche in experiential marketing down under.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Keep Your Hands Off My Blog!

Sticker postcards are still one of the most effective viral street tools around and for the release of the new GC single/album we´ve created 100.000 of them with a "fill in the blanks" feature (see picture).

So Keep Your Hands Off My Car, Mobile, Blog or whatever you like others to stay away from!

Here my version:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sky high release & (possibly) a Guiness Record?

The Norwegian artist Magnet has been signed to SONY BMG Norway, and we thought a 4th album release had to be done a bit differently to properly reignite the interest for this experienced artist.

So this Tuesday, we're doing it... differently!

  • Gather 100+ key journalists, taste makers, & key retailers
  • Pack our Passports and Speedos :)
  • Bring a representative from The Guiness Book of World Records to witness the event.
  • Hold a release party & mini-gig @ 35,000 ft above sea-level onboard an SAS flight from Oslo to Iceland.
  • Once in Iceland, have a mini concert in a Geo-thermal seawater lagoon
  • Upon return to Oslo, attendees go directly to a concert hall where the artist plays a full gig in front of a paying crowd. Party party...
  • The Airline picks up the tab for all the flights.
  • The event becomes one of the most talked-about happenings in Norway 2007.

Credit goes to the label manager and promo dept for brilliantly putting this together
and creating a massive amount of buzz & attention around the release. :)

It might not be digital business, but it's at least new! ;-)

Jan Henrik

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Innovate

I Innovate posts a podcast every week, interviewing today's top innovators and entrepreneurials. The most recent interview is with Mark Junk, former COO of MySpace & Fox Interactive. One I really liked was the interview with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. Among the topics they covered were:

  • Anti-trust

  • Innovation

  • Competitive advantages

  • Motivation of entrepreneurs

  • Maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit

  • Traditional and non-traditional organization design

  • What Microsoft and Yahoo does that impresses him

  • Invention of disruptive technologies

My favorite line was: “You don’t learn very much when you yourself are talking.”

Check it out. They've got a fascinating insight into where things are headed.

Monday, April 9, 2007

NIN viral campaign vs. UMG

You may have heard about the NIN viral campaign - pretty cool stuff. But check out the link to see how badly the result can be if something goes wrong!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

MySpace enters the US Presidential Race

MySpace has more registered members than Mexico has people. If it was a country it would be the 11th largest in the world. So while it may be a major marketing event for MySpace to say it’s holding a presidential primary next January, you can be sure the candidates will take it seriously.

The MySpace primary will be held on January 1 & 2, 2008, before any of the official state primaries. Every user will be asked to vote for their favorite candidate.

Most of the candidates already have MySpace pages. See, for example, Hillary Clinton (7,468 friends), John Edwards (16,921 friends), Rudy Guiliani (private profile), John McCain (3,596 friends) and Barack Obama (89,465 friends). See all of the candidates here.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Is Brown the new Black?

Brown??? I don't get it. But here is an article from I.D. that discusses the rational behind it...

Microsoft's Zune heralds a return to chocolatey hues.

by Jesse Ashlock
From the March/April 2007 issue of I.D.

When microsoft revealed last fall that its new iPod challenger, the Zune, would come in brown, there was a chorus of snickers on the blogosphere ranging from playground jokes about poo to Gizmodo's snarky comparisons to "swamp water Jell-O." After the player's lackluster debut, tech analyst Rob Enderle blamed poor sales on the color (even though the device is also available in black and white), remarking snidely, "Microsoft came to the conclusion after market research that the new hot color is brown. No other hardware company has come to that conclusion."

But what if Microsoft was right? The computing giant doesn't exactly have a reputation for being a market leader in design, but maybe they were on to something with the whole brown thing. Maybe consumers have grown weary of a personal technology landscape in which the options are limited to white, black, and brushed steel. Maybe consumers are craving a color palette that feels a bit more... human.

At least that's what JDK Design, the Vermont-based firm that worked with Microsoft to develop the Zune's colors, logo, packaging, and other identity elements, was hoping. Knowing that Microsoft wasn't likely to out-iPod Apple with a first-generation device, JDK looked for a genuine point of differentiation. What didn't the iPod and its brethren do well? They concluded that the MP3 player market was missing the kind of emotional experience music consumers used to get from old-school analog equipment. "Like when you open a vinyl record and you smell it," explains JDK design director Malcolm Buick, who oversaw the project. "Or when you open an old portable turntable from the '60s, with the little vanity case made of leather. There was an amazing experience there, the touch of it, the smell of it, the stitching on it."

Taking cues from high-end audiophile gear, JDK first thought to design the player with a wood veneer, then considered leather or copper, which would take on a patina over time-anything to depart from what Buick calls the "preciousness" of white. Eventually, technical considerations mandated a molded plastic design similar to the Zune's competitors. But JDK sought to reproduce the analog emotional experience by using brown, a warmer tone virtually absent from personal technology products since the first Atari consoles a quarter century ago. A subtle overlay of acid green (called a "double shot") gives the device additional depth and dimensionality, distinguishing what is otherwise an attractive but relatively staid object.

It's a baby step, but could the Zune portend a sea change in the way our devices look? A similar aesthetic has already found its way into mobile phone design: Nokia's 2005 line of L'Amour fashion phones, with a warm palette inspired by natural materials like amber and metal, was a critical success. "Brown, bronze-these are great colors to humanize technical products," notes Silas Grant, Nokia's senior design director of fashion and premium. A rash of like-minded designers have sought to deemphasize tech's chilly austerity with nature-inspired accessories, from Miniot's luxe hardwood iPod cases to Peter Kinne's oak, maple, and brass hard-drive containers. "Maybe by this time next year we'll have wood-veneer USB key chains," Buick muses, and in fact, the product he imagines is already here: Last year, the Dutch firm Oooms introduced a USB device in the shape of a twig that, as designer Guido Ooms puts it, deliberately seeks to "intrude on the slick plastic world of computers."

After all, though nearly everyone agrees that the iPod is beautifully designed, it calls attention to itself as a piece of technology; when it inevitably gets scratched and dinged, it looks damaged. The Zune's ambition is to weather comfortably and disappear into your life, like a wallet or any other beloved everyday object. As Ooms explains, "We all believe by now that technology works, so I don't think we need to see it in the same way." In other words, maybe gadgets don't need to look so damn gadgety anymore-we'll find out how amazing they are by using them. If consumers come around to this way of thinking, brown just might be back for good.

(Photo: clockwise from top Brown is back: Microsoftís Zune, Guido Oomsís Twig USB device, Nokiaís 7370, and Amadanaís Conversion Calculator by Shuwa Tei)