The Future of Communications

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”The Future of Communications” target=”_blank”>The Future of Communications</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Savannah Strategies</a></strong> </div>

Social Ideas Not Social Media

Gareth Kay is a very clever bloke (and not just coz he wears glasses). He just wrote a nice piece entitled “Social Ideas not Social Media”. The mighty Gaz opines: “So, let’s stop obsessing about social media and worry instead about what’s important. While social media channels fade in and out of social significance (was it only two or three years ago that Second Life was the channel we were all talking about), social ideas are timeless in their power. There’s two types of ideas in the world – social ideas and anti-social ideas. And it’s plain to me that those ideas that contribute positively culture are the ones that are going to help build business.”


I have been harping on about “adding value” through brand communications for some time now, and its always good to see someone smart articulating the same thoughts … albeit in a rather more thoughtful and articulate way than yours truly!

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Brands: Power, Damage and Woolworths

Companies that lower the prices of their products during the recession may risk damaging long-term brand perceptions because suspicious consumers assume something is wrong with the product or brand if it’s being discounted, according to a study from The Futures Company.
depression advertising
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Microsoft v Apple, Coke v All Comers, Internet v Print, Pirates v Geeks

  • After only two weeks, Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates’ rambling conversations about nothing have been jettisoned for a new campaign in which Microsoft tries to rebuild an image that has long been battered by rival Apple. A new 60-second spot breaking today for Microsoft from agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky opens with a dead ringer for actor John Hodgman, who plays PC in Apple’s popular “Mac vs. PC” advertising campaign. “Hello. I’m a PC. And I’ve been made into a stereotype,” the character in Microsoft’s ad laments. Is lampooning media Arts Lab work really the best Crispin can do? Joseph “PC and proud ” Jaffe weighs in on it here.
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  • Coca-Cola is again the world’s most valuable brand, according to Interbrand’s just-released annual list of the Best 100 Global Brands. While Coke held onto its top slot from last year, IBM, by expanding its services and transitioning out of production, moved up to No. 2, knocking Vista-burdened Microsoft to third, said Andy Bateman, CEO of Interbrand New York. GE was fourth, boosted by its “Ecomagination” communications program, and Nokia fifth. The brands with the biggest growth in the past 12 months were: Google, up 43%; Apple, up 24%; Amazon, up 19%; retailer Zara, up 15%; and Nintendo, up 13%. Only one brand in the top 20, Citi, saw its brand value fall.
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  • Bob Guccione: “The Internet hit traditional publishing like the asteroid that struck the earth and killed the dinosaurs. But in the wake of that cataclysmic shock, we forget that the Internet is not a thoughtful entity. It’s a fertile ecosystem spawning a dazzling array of exotic flora, with the potential to improve mankind exponentially. It’s an infinite network of railway tracks, along which travel an unfathomable number of rail cars loaded with thoughts and information, some of the cargo precious, some worthless. But the Internet didn’t create any of it. It only delivers it.”
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  • Today marks International Talk Like a Pirate Day, an ironic holiday invented in 1995. In part a send-up of the so-called “Golden Age of Piracy,” tech culture has absorbed pirate symbology and made it a kind of comical meme, much like LOLcats or “Don’t tase me, bro!”.

Branded Entertainment: McDonalds, Showtime

  • McDonald’s has recently released the latest installment for the McDonald’s Dollar Menunaire campaign with the Reality House Show. This time, the fast food giant jumps into cyber space with an animated web series about a slacker named Paul. Paul is a young man who decides to move out of his folk’s home, to participate in a reality show. Often times Paul treats himself to a McDonald’s cheeseburger and a couple of apple pies. The parody is a fact-paced, edgy comedy. The webisodes are aimed at the 18-34 age demographic. An accountant from McDonald’s claimed that this is the age wherein individuals are looking to save money. That’s where the “McDonald’s Dollar Menunaire” comes in –you can turn your dollar into something tasty.
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  • In an unusual cross-promotion that has created a house of branded entertainment, Showtime and Metropolitan Home magazine teamed up for a designer showcase makeover in a New York brownstone. Each room of the project takes its inspiration from one of six Showtime shows. The show home will be open to the public and the project was filmed to become its own TV program.


  • A somewhat unlikely accessory debuted this year: a Hewlett-Packard laptop by fashion designer Vivienne Tam. During the presentation of Tam’s Spring 2009 line, models will carry the laptop instead of bags. HP has not disclosed the size or specifications of the laptop yet, but has said they will be the size of a woman’s clutch bag. They’re rather pretty, and HP learnt more from Tam during the collaborative process than they thought they would.
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  • MTV’s “Engine Room” exemplifies the kind of video programming major marketers are backing as they try to reach young people who want to watch clips on their computers and mobile devices. Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, “Engine Room” will run in 5- to 7-minute episodes over seven weeks, following four teams of four artists competing for a $400,000 prize.

Fake Followings: Apple Orange Rentacrowd, Friend Feed

Newswires have been buzzing with reports that Apple’s 3G iPhones might not be selling as briskly in Poland as they are in the U.S., noting that the company’s telecom partner in the country, Orange, has hired people to stand outside stores and create phony lines. A juicy story, except for one thing: Orange says it isn’t true. The minor media storm over Orange’s alleged marketing methods began after the 3G iPhones went on sale in Poland last Friday. After a newswire report quoted a spokesperson from the European mobile telecom provider saying that it was paying people to stand outside and create the queues, the story was repeated across the internet and bounced around the blogosphere.

apple orange rentacrowd

Social media aggregator Friend Feed has released what has been called “the most important feature in the history of social networks”. Called “Fake follow”, it allows you to be listed as following someone, but not actually receive any of their updates. Interesting idea. This is useful if you want to signify your connection with someone, but not get inundated with every little thing the other person does online.

Links for 2007-11-30 : Podcasts, Snooth, DNA, Tread Lightly, Hymini, Billy, Silos