It's weird about Paris. You get the sense that it's a lot like San Francisco: picturesque, unassuming, discreet by night. But beneath the surface, it's really more like New York: roaming, sleepless. You just don't realize the latter until you're swept up in it, holding on for dear life, then you look around and realize you haven't dreamt for days.
On Monday afternoon at Marketing 2.0, all 250+ speakers, moderators and attendees were invited to dinner at Bistrot Renaissance. Given the girth of our group, we thought the venue would be sizable -- so it was with surprise when I showed up to find it was no bigger than a cafe.
People sat in groups of four or six, wherever they could be squeezed together. (For visitors that popped in just for a drink or something, it must've seemed like every social media zealot in Europe had alighted upon the Renaissance with a vengeance.)
But claustrophobic spacing breeds intimacy among the far-flung. I was squeezed into a table with a girl from a British agency, Senior Editor Elsbeth Eilander of Tijdschrift voor Marketing, Marketing Exec Cedric Giorgi of Goojet and Sven Markschlager of JagerMeister -- who I knew already, because we'd become Designated Conference Walking Buddies. (Seriously? He talks about Jager ALL. THE. TIME. Did you know that in Germany, older people drink it to settle their stomachs? Or that it's preferred as a mixer in Australia? No? Now you do.)
All told, a pretty low-key night. We did the business-card-exchange thing, and I went home fairly early (around 11), which is great because on Tuesday, all flippin' hell broke loose.
David Armano -- you know the one -- was in town with his wife. We shook hands for the first time on Tuesday afternoon and he casually asked if I'd like to go to dinner. I was like, "Sure," mainly because I had no idea what havoc said dinner would wreak.
One of my favourite Marketing 2.0 talks, besides the Paula Berg stuff, was by Scott Monty, Ford Motor Co.'s social media man.
The guy's been alternately lauded and lashed, but I think he's the real deal. It's not even just that he's a nice guy; he's not afraid to express a scathing truth from top-of-mind, even if it stings. Social media's all about that: finding out who people really are, before they can terrace their images.
I didn't take any video (bummer), but I'll let you in on a priceless moment during his Q/A, when Sandrine Plasseraud of We Are Social asked about ROI tracking for social media campaigns.
Monty scoffs and goes, "ROI is a campaign metric; social media is a commitment. [...] What's the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?"
This session razed the Richter Scale of Awkward for too many reasons.
To start with, I don't think reps from Facebook and MySpace were supposed to speak together. They were placed on the same panel in the interest of saving time.
Everyone was anxious for lunch -- which, it turns out, was more of an appetite-whetter than a satisfier; moderator Fred Cavazza spent most of the panel talking about other stuff; Damien Vincent of FB expressed a Freudian allegiance for the other team; and -- oh yeah! -- Cavazza conducted makeshift photo ops during the presentation.
MySpace's Olivier Hascoat was cool though, except for that moment where he reluctantly poses for an iPhone shot while Vincent's talking. Way to be a sport.
In the event that you didn't catch all that, take an audio/visual tour:
Maybe it's true what they say about Paris: You get a mite more existential while here.
Marketing 2.0 took place at ESCP-EAP University in Paris this year. It spanned both Monday and Tuesday.
I moderated a few panels and the wifi was down both days, so there was no way to cover the event in the detail I would've liked. Before my camera died though, I tried this thing where I just recorded random snippets of speaker talks.
This post is devoted entirely to Paula Berg, Manager of Emerging Media at Southwest.
I don't have particularly strong feelings about Southwest, but seeing her discuss its approach to consumers -- in both good times and bad -- made me wanna do the cattle call after all. She's good people, and it seems like she addresses situations with humility and openness instead of just reacting. Her presence at Southwest speaks more for its corporate culture than for any social media strategem.
See the goods below.
Yawn. Another award show/ad industry event. Snooze..... Wait, what? What just happened on stage? A nude dude? Audience members stripping down as well? What's going on here? Oh, right. It's a non-American advertising event where, you know, nudity is...normal. Or at least not frowned upon as it is so intensely in America.
Anyway, it's all for ad community site XIPAX which encourages people to show off their best bits and the stunt occurred at Creative Clubs Austria's annual gala event. See the video here which is NSFW.
Are you a young creative trying to make a name for yourself in the business? Though we have no idea why you'd want to enter a business that's in such turmoil, it is our duty to share with you an opportunity that just might set you on the path to become the next Alex Bogusky. Or, more pessimistically, a frustrated former ad guy who currently has nothing better to do than bitch about advertising on an ad blog that's getting killed by the economy while he attempts to maintain some semblance of order as his world crumbles around him.
OK, that was dark. You don't want that. You want optimism! Hope! A bright future! Of course you do. So get off your ass and submit your best work to the Art Director's Club Young Guns creative competition which aims to "identify today's vanguard of young creative professionals." And do it soon because the early bird deadline is fast approaching; tax day April 15. Regular dealine is May 13. Get all the details here.
- Yes, it's April Fool's Day and the jokes are out: Becks redesigns its label. The New York Times downsizes. Xbox launches Yodeling game. Tom Brokaw sues Brokaw agency over domain name
- Ariel Waldman spots a possible new Twitter redesign which includes trending topics in the sidebar. It comes and goes and is not yet a permanent change.
- Alisa Leonard-Hansen comments on the Facebook redesign and how she thinks it has more to do with data portability as opposed to "competing" with Twitter.
- Don't like deathbed humor? Don't watch this DDB Auckland-created Stihl Machine commercial airing in New Zealand.
- Check out the Effie Awards winners here.
If you haven't been sleeping the past month or so you know we (I, Steve Hall) have been involved with a project called Killed Ideas. Basically, we're hunting for the best creative that never happened. It could have been shot down by your creative director, your client or your AE. If it's great, we want to see it. If we like it, we'll feature it in a book produced by Blurb.
So just like every other award-related event in this business, the deadline has been extended. yes, you have more time to submit your awesome ideas for consideration. You now have until next Tuesday, April 7 to get them in. So hurry. We want them and we don't want to miss any great ideas you have sitting around. head over to the Killed Ideas site to check out the details.
Killed Ideas are a very sad thing. Prior to their untimely death, they spring to life and are the best thing that ever could have happened. Then, bothersome external elements begin to interfere and that perfection is challenged with a sometimes insurmountable challenge to survive.
In life, second chances are few and far between. When we get them, we should grab tightly and hang on for the bumpy ride ahead. Life, rightly or wrongly, is not always an easily traveled road.