1. wizzard890:




    i know its supposed to be like social list but did anyone think this through

    organize the things you love, like the economy

    collaborate in the workplace

    share lists, photos, and the means of production

    (via digitalmillenium)


  2. Warren Ellis’ and Mike Allred’s contribution to the world of brand storytelling and content marketing. This is an interesting artefact, not really because much of these two gentlemen’s style or eccentricity has truly bled into it - it is, to be frank, a quite boring comic. But it’s very of its time, a marker of all sorts of current assumptions about marketing and branding and even comics.

    Let’s start with the comics. Someone at Bacardi knows that there is a level of cultural cachet around comics at the moment. Not just because making a comic about Emilio Bacardi’s life seems a good use of marketing cash, but because whoever at Bacardi thought of this also realised there’s extra leverage to be had in getting credible creators involved. The kind of young men - I’m presuming Bacardi’s target is men, this is a comic about men talking and politicking - who know who Warren Ellis and Michael Allred are might also be drinking Bacardi when once they drank only Snakebite.

    At the same time, the choice of those guys speaks to comics’ status right now: an engine of popular culture yes, but simultaneously a slightly raffish, slightly indie presence on the edge of that culture. Ellis and Allred themselves are creators who flit in and out of the mainstream, lines of communication between the centre and the nearer fringes of comics, not remotely obscure but still kinda hip - it’s the equivalent perhaps of getting a Pitchfork favourite to soundtrack your ad (or, to get a little more modern about it, curate your branded Spotify playlist).

    So this isn’t much like Hostess Twinkies ads in Spiderman, or product placement of cars in comics - its closer to something like the Japanese “business manga” micro-genre, except without the kinetics and exaggerations manga storytelling tends to bring. But that stuff is coming out of a culture in which graphic storytelling is absolutely familiar and accepted - business manga exists because businessmen have stories and one of the ways you tell stories is manga. The Spirit Of Bacardi comic is a more rarefied bloom.

    (One of the ways you can tell this is in the presentation of it on the Bacardi site - the Spirit Of Bacardi comic is not presented page by page, but with a really aggressive “guided view” type technology, darting Prezi-style around captions, speech bubbles, elements of the frame. This is designed to hold the hands of people who have never read a comic before, but actually cripples the web-native reading experience, making it almost impossible to get a feel for script and art simultaneously, let alone page composition. It’s a incredibly cautious way to present comics.)

    Spirit of Bacardi is also a marker of where we’re at in content marketing terms. The idea of content marketing is that your brand creates something people might like to have anyhow, rather than things designed only to sell shit to you. As the planner John Willshire puts it - talking more broadly about 2010s marketing - “making things people want” beats “making people want things”.

    On paper, that’s working out for Bacardi. They have a very good writer and a very good artist making a comic for them. It is a very lavish production, it must look and feel beautiful. Is it a good comic? Is it a “thing people want”? No. It’s a Wikipedia article on Emilio Bacardi with illustrations. It feels like the stuff that used to be in the Eagle magazine in the 1950s telling the life of St Paul. It’s on that kind of level of excitement.

    Is this the fault of Ellis and Allred? You suspect not: the brief’s the thing. On paper they’re the right guys for the job. The story revolves around conversations between men of power, and Ellis is usually great at giving a sense of the stakes in a conversation. The art revolves around men in suits, and Allred is good at drawing casually cool men in suits.  But the brief isn’t giving either skill much to work with: Ellis’ conversations work because there’s a tension in them, and here the story is a simple processional. Allred’s rumpled suits work because they bounce off a wider, wilder world, and here the world is the world of corporate booze, where everyone drinks and nobody is drunk.

    Why waste time criticising a corporate comic done for the money and rum? Not to slight either man’s talents: the quality of this thing is utterly irrelevant to the wider careers of two fine creators. But for content marketing, that’s precisely the fatal problem. If you want to “make things people want”, those people have to care about whether it’s any good or not - more, whether it exists of not. And I do care about whether “a comic by Warren Ellis and Mike Allred” exists, in the abstract. I do not care about whether “a comic about Emilio Bacardi, published by Bacardi” exists, in the specific.

    That’s the difference here, and it’s the difference between “content marketing” and “brand storytelling”. In this case, and in many cases, those two things end up pitched against each other, and nothing interesting comes of it. Brand stories are to brands as drug experiences or dreams or holiday photos are to people: touchstones for the individual, tedious for anyone else. You mine them, you don’t tell them.


  3. My work are recruiting for a graduate programme in the UK. I don’t know anything much else about this - how many slots there are, for instance - but  we’re a global research agency which is good fun to work for and has one of the friendlier office cultures I’ve encountered. It’s fairly small for a global agency - 150-ish people worldwide - so you’d be put onto interesting, responsible work fast. Anyway, I thought I’d link it here.

  4. piratemoggy:

    Here is a slide from a presentation I am giving at a market research conference on Thursday.

    This is going to be so great.

    By the way! I am also talking at this conference - Connected World, organised by the MRS -  on a panel discussing Social Media research with FACE’s hautepop and H&P’s Paul Edwards. Jess will be starring as the Cutting Edge Practitioner, Paul as the Industry Veteran, and I will be making a cameo appearance as the Lazy Sod.

    (via alwaysalreadyangry)

  5. hautepop:

    "This presentation is not a primer. Nor is it a marketing deck, though that is its form. It is a stunning work of speculative fiction about a future that must be avoided at all costs. It imagines a generation defined exclusively in opposition to the ill-defined one that came before. Its incoherence, like the incoherence of its subjects, it what gives it such paralyzing power."

    The Looming Threat of “Generation Z”
    by John Herrman, The Awl
    19 June 2014

    Referring to the presentation Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials by Sparks & Honey, a “culture briefing” / trends agency in NYC.

    Via @justinpickard

    This is the deck I was criticising on Wednesday. I should have known someone smart and quick would have been on to this weeks ago. The tone here is right. Marketers - and we researchers - have a once-in-a-decade opportunity not to condescend to young people by rolling them all up in a big bland ball. We are not taking that opportunity.

    Instead we are enthusiastically retweeting the likes of this: “With the sting of a face palm, you’ll experience a sheer rush of humility as you realize that everything you thought you knew about tech, behavior, and common sense is simply nascent compared to the native differences inherent to digital natives…. My advice to you is to study it. Study it right.now. Don’t try to make sense oft it. Don’t question it.”

    Don’t ask just buy!

  6. "WHAT IS A BRAND?" - 40-ish year old video by JWT.


  7. The Trouble With Trend Decks

    I read this deck today, about “Gen Z” - i.e. teenagers. Obviously generations are something of a bugbear of mine, and this deck does all the usual generation-thinking things: goes overboard on distinctions, worships attitudinal data, fails to cross-analyse by other demographic groups, etc etc.

    But it’s also an example of a problem that spreads well-beyond generation-level thinking. The problem is stacking - taking multiple separate quantitative studies and using them to tell a story about a particular group - not just generations, but ‘men’, ‘women’, ‘the rich’, ‘the emerging middle class’, and more.

    Read More


  8. Facebook Breaks The Fourth Wall

    You can anticipate a crisis for ages and then when it actually happens the exact form of it still takes you by surprise. For as long as I’ve been involved - as doer or observer - with social media research there’s been the awareness that given the right spin or situation the cocktail of observed behaviour, aggregation, lack of privacy or “informed consent” and blunt-instrument analytic tools could land someone in trouble.

    Naively, I think most market researchers imagined it would be a research firm doing something seen as naughty - having put together codes of conduct designed to prohibit that. But the sad truth is that nobody cares what market researchers get up to with data - these days, there are bigger fish to try. If researchers can get away with signing up to a forum for the terminally ill in order to scrape it of data - as Nielsen did in the PatientsLikeMe breach in 2010 - it’s a sign that we’re basically Too Small To Epic Fail. No, we should have realised where the issues we predicted were likely to hit: Facebook.

    Read More


  9. "

    The study, which surveyed 6,000 US respondents aged 13-64, revealed that 54% found personalised ads more engaging than general ads.

    52% felt they were more educational
    49% more time-saving
    45% more memorable
    42% more relevant

    This desire for personalisation also varied by category: while 77% of respondents looked for personalised retail ads, only around one third wanted the same for car or entertainment ads.

    — And yet, I would lay money that if the survey had started “name an ad you’ve seen recently”, the vast majority of the 45% who think personalised ads are more memorable would name a general ad.

  10. 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.