1. The World (Cup) We Live In: Ad agency creates stereotypical loudmouth fan character, then ASKS PEOPLE TO PAY FOR HIM via crowdsourcing.

    I am pretty sure this is the first time I have seen an agency use crowdsourcing to keep a campaign going. There’s a devilish genius to it - if content marketing is going to use the platforms and forms of independent content, why not also appropriate the ways its paid for? But also, ew.


  2. Just Saying Like

    At the individual scale, “disruption” means divorce or marriage or having kids or losing parents or getting fired or getting hired. It has very little to do with a bloody phone.


  3. "The thing that we have heard from people is that they want more targeted advertising"

    Facebook to Let Users Alter Their Ad Profiles - NYTimes.com

    really a real quote from Facebook lololololol

    (via nathanjurgenson)

    (via nathanjurgenson)


  4. "There’s ways for marketers to use interactive media and social media but they have to understand that we’ve returned to really a medieval-era bazaar. It’s a nonfiction space where people are now talking about product attributes. They want to know, ‘Where are these cookies made? What is in them? Are they organic? What’s the supply chain? What’s the labor like? What’s the environmental footprint?” Not, “What’s the name of the elves in the hollow tree that supposedly baked them?"
    — Douglas Rushkoff. ReThink. (via peterspear)

    A quote that sadly confirms even very smart people are not immune to the lure of filter bubbles full of what they’d like to be true.

  5. Naughty stuff from Forrester, here, combining several questions with different base sizes into the same chart.

    What do we know about their survey? We know that 34% of their 412 US decision-makers answered no to either seeing the benefit of big data*, or understanding it.

    And we know that a large majority of 108 decision-makers who are using or planning to use big data expect revenue growth or efficiency from it.

    The graph is trying to fool you into thinking that the 72% and 83% relate to the green bar, the two-thirds who don’t fall into the baffled grey big data haters category. But it does not. It relates to the far smaller proportion of that green bar that is actually trying to do something with big data.

    Forrester’s graph is saying - “hey DECISION MAKERS look at those big numbers versus this small number, don’t you want to be on the WINNING SIDE?”

    Actually, if you recalibrate EVERYTHING according to the 412 base size, you end up with:

    19% expecting revenue growth from big data over the next 12 months.

    22% expecting increased efficiency from big data over the next 12 months.

    34% don’t see the benefit or don’t understand.

    So in effect, what this is proving is that just under one-fifth of business decision makers expect to see revenue growth this year because of big data. That’s not nothing, but it’s not the unstoppable bandwagon message that Forrester are pushing.

    Oh, and the decision makers who have decided to invest in big data are bullish about its prospects. Which translates as “Most decision makers think their decision will pay off”, really. Nice insight. that. Hurrah for research!

    *(some would say that anyone who accepts the phrase “implementing big data” without caveat probably doesn’t “understand and value” it, but let’s not quibble.)


  6. This is a good article on, basically, kids trolling surveys for a laugh. It happens a lot. If I was a kid in the age of online surveys, I’d do it too. Especially if it was one of those surveys where the sole purpose is a hand-wringing clickbait headline about how kids these days think the Earth is flat or would marry their iPhone or whatever. If you’re offered a ludicrous answer in a survey designed to confirm someone’s view of how crappy the modern world is or how dumb everybody is - well, it’s hardly surprising some people take the hint.

    But as one look at the article summary tells you, this is also a real problem. What the industry euphemistically calls “hard-to-reach” populations - small minority populations, basically - are actually harmed by this kind of stuff. The article has a good example - a study that reported negative impacts of adoption turned out to show nothing of the sort when troll answers got taken out.

    I am not part of any population that suffers from prejudice or bias - name a privilege and I benefit from it. But I am a researcher, so I see at reasonably close hand what happens to data. And it seems to me that data and representation have a treacherous relationship. Inevitably, since people find in data what they are looking for.

    On the one hand, data can offer stark evidence of inequalities, different needs and priorities, and different experiences: numbers that can be vital in making a case for change. On the other, data can be the comfort blanket that tells decision makers that change isn’t important. Research can erase minorities by reducing them to the status of a statistical insignificance, or it can ignore the diversity of their experiences in favour of a data-enforced average. There is every reason for people to mistrust data and research.

    And cases like the adoption study one introduce yet another such reason - the possibility that careless research will end up magnifying the voices of the mischievous (or, let’s face it, malicious) and endorse stigmatizing myths instead of revealing anything useful. The remedies outlined - dummy questions in particular - are ingenious, and this kind of internal check should be routine in any important survey. But the uneasy relationship between research and representation - at the analysis stage as well as the collection stage - is harder to solve.

  7. I get really annoyed by this sort of copy-heavy advertising. It just feels like they’ve regurgitated part of a qual debrief back onto the posters.


  8. "

    To that end, I reviewed a sample of 87 posts on the aforementioned Coca-Cola Journey site. To see whether people really are engaging with the stories, I documented the number of shares to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from each post.

    I discovered the level of interaction was negligible: The average number of shares from a post to Facebook was 238, to LinkedIn, 103 and to Twitter, 42. Each post averaged eight comments and two-thirds of posts received no comments at all.

    It is worth pausing for a moment to consider the implications: One of the biggest brands in the world generates next to no interaction through its primary window to the world.



    It’s a few months old, but this is a good, damning analysis of major corporate ‘content marketing’. More impressive for being published in a content marketing blog, which has an interest in not examining the emperor’s wardrobe this thoroughly.

    "Content marketing" is a good chunk of my job, so I’m hardly going to damn it outright. But it’s very worth asking what kind of ‘content’ a brand like Coke can credibly produce, aside from ads. Especially if - as seems likely, after reading this - Coke itself hasn’t thought much about that. It’s the same problem with ‘native advertising’. Either you talk about the brand, in which case it’s just ‘advertising’, or you don’t, in which case it’s publishing, and your people aren’t as good at that as the people whose nest you’re paying to cuckoo in. Not that they’re exactly getting rich right now.

    Or put it another way. For years marketing people have called themselves “creatives” and have talked about what they do in terms of artistry, creativity, craft, emotion, beauty, excitement, engagement, and so on. What’s happening with native advertising and with content marketing is that the boundaries are coming down between marketing creativity and craft and non-marketing creativity and craft - journalism, filmmaking, pop videos, games, whatever. They get to compete on level terms.

    And the marketing stuff is losing. Because the marketers, the ‘content creators’, the ‘creatives’ aren’t good enough at it.

    There’s no shame in that, they never were and never will be. Back in the day the “problem” of advertisers not being publishers was solved elegantly and neatly with sponsorship - they didn’t create the content themselves, they paid for it to exist. You can see this particular cycle heading that way and re-learning that lesson. In the meantime, plenty of money will be spent on mediocre things, and the world will hardly see any of them.


  9. The “Global Affluent Tribe”

    I saw a presentation about this today. It’s about how the super-rich worldwide form a single, relatively homogenous ‘tribe’ with attitudes very different from previous rich people. There’s a summary here: http://the-internationalist.com/trendsetters/Trendsetter_9-15-2013_more.html - and a picture of the guy who came up with it.

    Here’s the crux of it.

    "According to the research,

    • Mobility once prioritized portability; today it is the freedom to explore the world.
    • Success was once about what was passed down; today it is about the things you create yourself.
    • Status once meant collecting rare objects; today it is experiencing and sharing rare stories.
    • Belonging or networking was once exclusive and alienating; today there is more value in inclusion.
    • Consumption was once opulent and ostentatious; today it is more purposeful and meaningful.”

    Ignore all the stuff about “X was once…”, and look at the ‘now’ stuff. “Explore the world”, “Things you create yourself”, “Experiencing rare stories”, “Inclusion”, “Purposeful and meaningful”.

    Those things might look familiar to you. They did to me. They’re all traits you see turn up quite often in pieces about Gen Y, ‘millennials’ or new ‘digital native’ consumers more broadly. There’s a broad agreement in these studies and pieces about what makes rich people interesting and what makes young people interesting.

    This confluence of supposed attributes and motivations is intriguing to me, because while a lot of rich people these days are young, they certainly aren’t all young, and while a few young people are rich, they certainly aren’t all rich.

    So why do marketing people and planners say broadly the same things about them?

    A number of possible explanations present themselves:

    1. It’s sheer coincidence (or I’m overdetermining it)
    2. This really is how rich people think and the only young people marketers really care about are also (relatively) rich.
    3. This really is how young people think and the only rich people marketers really care about are also (relatively) young.
    4. There is a broader global shift in attitudes going on such that any given study of any subgroup will pick up basically the same aspirations and shifts.
    5. These attitudes are what sound good and socially acceptable in quantitative and qualitative research, i.e. claiming them makes you sound like a nice human being not a greedy dickbag.
    6. These attitudes are what researchers, planners etc. find admirable (or perhaps identify with themselves) so they project it onto enviable groups (the rich or young).
    7. These ideas are what researchers, planners etc. know will get them repeat custom and/or book deals.
    8. These ideas already HAVE got people book deals and repeat custom and are now circulating as mix’n’match memes about modern living, forming a kind of path of least resistance whenever a study gets written.
    9. Rich people and young people are special and I am horrible and cynical.

    I am inclined to think that 4, 6, and 8 have elements of truth. Maybe 2 aswell. 9 is of course also half correct.


  10. "Public approval of Osborne isn’t based merely upon bad economics, therefore. It’s founded in psychological mechanisms which distort judgments. "Bourgeois" social science corroborates the Marxian claim that political beliefs can be subject to false consciousness. One other thing. Kahneman’s theory is based upon a study (pdf) of colonoscopy patients. In this sense, George Osborne is very much like a pain in the arse."

    http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2014/05/austerity-the-peak-end-rule.html (“Austerity And The Peak-End Rule”)

    I’ve thought a few times that one of the attractive things about Kahneman’s thinking is how it posits a version of “false consciousness” where nobody gets to claim ‘true consciousness’, so to speak: he’s immensely pessimistic about the likely success of attempts to liberate yourself from distortions of judgement.

    Mind you my understanding of Marx’s idea of false consciousness in the first place is surely utterly flawed - the legacy of University encounters with people who certainly gave the impression they were talking about a flaw that, like bad taste, only affected others.