Not that you didn't notice the plunge in content yesterday on Adrants but, call me stupid, one would assume going to a conference attended by a cadre of bloggers who can't live without WiFi would have guaranteed Adrants the ability to provide you with our usual level of useless commentary but no. While valiant efforts were made to insure the existence of WiFi access at New York's Copacobana nightclub, not exactly the type venue one would expect to find WiFi, the two day conference, profoundly informative content aside, was filled with intermittent 5 second periods of Internet access just long enough to see that hundreds of emails and news stories were calling our attention causing, because of the inability to do anything, our blood pressure to rise and our head to explode in frustration.
OK. Bitching, aside, the Blog On conference focused on social media, which, among other things, consists of people's dramatically increased ability to produce their own content and say whatever they want about a brand. The primary message to marketers during the two day event was, number one, LISTEN to the ongoing conversation, enabled by blogs, chat rooms, forums, IM, Wikis, podcasting, social networks and innumerable other methods with which consumers can achieve a voice as powerful and widespread as marketers, number two, JOIN the conversation by participating in these new media and three, do not attempt to CONTROL the conversation with bullhorn marketing communications methods of old. That's over. That's so over. Deal with it and move one. Oh, and number four, leave the LAWYERS out of this. If a marketer has an issue with a person denigrating the brand, speak with that person like a normal human being and find out why that person is saying what he is saying. Don't slap a ceases and desist on his ass because all he'll do is post that cease and desist on his blog making the brand look even more stupid, idiotic and out of touch with reality.
Hoping to remind us that all advertising isn't created in New York, on Thursday, October 27, 2005 the Adcraft Club of Detroit will celebrate its 100th anniversary at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. During the event, Adcraft members and ticket holders will celebrate the legacy, creativity and collaboration that, as the press release says, "brought Detroit…and the world…the campaigns, spots, slogans and jingles that are forever a part of pop culture."
The Max will be transformed into a three-floor multi-media experience illustrating ten decades of community, culture and advertising. Appetizers and cocktails will include memorable period cuisine and a buffet of all-American to Mediterranean to Asian fare will be topped off with the characteristically Michigan, we're told, cherries jubilee dessert.
As they've done at three previous ad:tech's, ad network Bluelithium is, once again, hosting the show's mega-party which will occur Monday, November 7 at 9PM, following the first show day of ad:tech New York 2005. A preview of the invite we snaggged promises its Wishes promotion in which offers people vacations, iPods and shopping sprees. Appearing again, as they did at the first Bluelithium party at ad:tech San Francisco 2004, will be flying acrobats, fire breathers and Cirque du Soleil entertainers.
While the invite doesn't say where the party will be, last year in New York it was held at Show. However, if Bluelithium intends to put on as big a show as they did at their first party, held at San Francisco's cavernous Ruby Skye, Show won't cut it this time. The place is far too small. One thing's for sure, though. You've got to hand it to a company that can stick around year after year, show after show and not disappear like so many others, unfortunately, do. Kudos.
On Tuesday, October 18 at 9AM, I'll be moderating a panel at BlogOn in New York. The panel is called "Can Advertising Be Social." On this panel, the panelists, who include Organic CEO Mark Kingdon, Unilever Brand Development Director David Rubin, Jaffe LLC Founder Joe Jaffe and I hope to discuss the relationship between social media and advertising - the ways in which people have entered what has now become a two-way conversation rather than the former one-way, marketer to consumer bullhorn approach.
It should be an interesting and, hopefully, informative discussion. There's blogs, chat rooms, forums, IM, Wikis, podcasting, social networks and innumerable other methods with which consumers can achieve a voice as powerful and widespread as marketers.
As examples of this newfound consumer voice, there's Jeff Jarvis who, following a bad experience with a Dell computer, took on Dell publicly forcing Dell to respond. Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a response. There's George Masters, a teacher who created a professional looking iPod commercial which raced around the globe. Smartly, Apple took a hands off approach. There's Converse who asked people to submit films about Chuck Taylors. There's Mercedes who encouraged people to send in photos of themselves with their Mercedes which were ultimately featured in the company's ad campaign. The examples go on. People have become socially active with their brand experiences, good and bad, and the level of activity is forcing marketers to join the conversation and, forever, putting aside old methods of controlling it.
Indeed, marketing is in for the ride of its life.
U.K. Channel 4's IdeasFactory, along with viral email collector Bore Me, digital agency DS.Emotion and viral promoter Hot Cherry have announced "Germ," a viral email contest which seeks viral ideas that "get the whole world talking." Oddly, according to contest rules, only U.K. agencies, apparently, are able to get the world talking as U.K.-based agencies are the only agencies welcome to enter the contest. Though, it seems, the "general public" is allowed enter as well. However, it's not clear whether that refers to worldwide general public or U.K.-based general public.
Close-minded contest or not, the winning agency, in an even odder, oxymoronic move is promised by contest organizers to have it's work seen the world over via seeding by Bore Me. In a not so oxymoronic but clandestine promotional move, all of the companies hosting the contest have, surprise, a stake in viral advertising and, with the contest putting them into contact with top viral marketers, the hole thing is basically a new business endeavor for the organizers. Nifty.
Sanders Consulting, a company that trains agencies on winning new business, is hosting a series of seminars beginning October 31 in Los Angeles. Other seminars will be held November 2 in Chicago, November 4 in New York and November 13-14 in Miami.Having personally been through this seminar a few years ago, we can vouch for its quality and effectiveness. Sanders Consulting aims to better an agency's chances of reeling in new business and that's a good thing. After all, without a steady stream of new business, the fickle nature of agency-hopping clients will shutter an agency faster than Paris Hilton can break off an engagement.
Asked to host a Magazine Publisher's Association event last week last Advertising Week, comedian Jon Stewart crapped all over the magazine industry telling the audience magazines aren't as relevant as television and that the medium sits at the children's table. Reportedly, one could see Graydon Carter's head swell with rage. Asking the question we all want to know, Stewart asked Men's Health magazine editor Dave Zinczenko, "Why is your magazine so gay?" Yes, why?
In an OMMA keynote, CBS Digital Media President Larry Kramer said the webcast of "Everybody Loves Raymond" was an experiment to determine how many people watch the show online and what traffic is driven back to the Viacom site. The webcast carried no ads but in the future, Kramer said shows could carry ads which advertisers would pay additionally for and an option to view ad-free shows for a fee might be offered as well.
As promised, David Ogilvy made an appearance at AdBumb's OMMA party last night telling the audience "successful advertising in the future is about entertainment and value" and then breaking into a John Travolta-ish Stayin' Alive jig which party goers immediately began to copy.
The results are in and consumers have spoken. Columbian Coffee's Juan Valdez and Geico's gecko named to the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame. Winning slogans were "When you care enough to send the very best" from Hallmark and "Imagination at Work" from General Electric. Life goes on.