Tuesday, November 20, 2007

144 words, I'm told

Northern Planner has some nice thoughts on presentations here.

They put me in mind of this, a reminder that, as the man said, "in a work of genius, execution becomes content".

Friday, November 16, 2007

Miranda Writes

So i've been kinda obsessing about digital at the moment. The spec spec slots in my book are full of all sorts of pieces that aim to fully exploit the possibilities of the medium and show how young and hip I am.

And yet the best piece of digital I've come across recently has not even the vaguest whiff of 2.0 about it.

In fact, techologically, it could have been made ten years ago, maybe even fifteen.

Tellingly, it's not been done by an agency. I doubt it could have been; it relies too heavily on tone of voice, which is one of the hardest things to protect from the 250 people client side who want to "add some value".

It's by this woman, Miranda July.

There's clearly no need for a picture here; I'm just adding it 'cos I have a crush

Best of all, it works. I found the site on a Thursday, went back to it a couple of times on Friday, and bought the book on Saturday.

Here's the site.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Research results - Guinness/ Artois

Sample size:

To avoid observer effect, subject was unaware she was participating in research. She was studied while sitting in her own home on her sofa, watching television. To avoid arousing suspicion, researcher posed as her long-term partner.

Stimulus 1: Guinness Cog

Subject was exposed to Guinness ad in premier spot during "Californication". She was either unaware of preceding hype or unmoved by such.

After observing between 5 and 6 seconds of advertisement, subject's attention turned to article on Amy Winehouse in gossip magazine.

When questioned about Guinness ad at conclusion of commercial break, subject denied that one had been aired. In the face of subject's superior skills of reason and argument, researcher was forced to acknowledge that said spot could not possibly have aired. (Subject has tutored logic at a tertiary level. She can build a Turing Machine; if he's perfectly honest, researcher doesn't quite understand what one is)

Stimulus 2: Artois- Pass it on

Subject seemed to be focused on this ad for about the first 10-12 seconds. She then began to relate a story about something that happened at work that day. When researcher attempted to draw her attention back to the TV, as he was quite curious to see the ad, he was immediately silenced so story could continue.


Perhaps consider introducing Amy Winehouse into Guinness ad?

Make "Pass it on" interactive by including a url where people can pass on their work stories. Either that or add more monkeys (subject likes monkeys).

Post Script:

Although the £10 million Guinness spot (which researcher, for the record, rather likes) failed to engage subject's attention, the much lower-budget ten second spot that followed it did raise a couple of chuckles. And that's all you can ask for really.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Evidence against me

Number 378(b) of the quixotic positions I constantly take with account people, clients and even occassionally creative directors is that people aren't stupid.

Sometimes they may be ignorant - they may, for example, not get my hip pop-culture references. But all of our spheres of knowledge are limited. Joe and Betty Barbecue probably know a shitload more about V8s and football than I do. It's just that, for fairly arbitrary reasons, some spheres have higher value placed on them than others.

Likewise, they may be busy or distracted, and so attending to my lovingly crafted 30 second spot with less than their full attention. That doesn't mean that, if I do manage to do something that engages them, they can't bring fairly sophisticated interpretive and reasoning skills to bear.

I'm fairly confident I'm right about this. And having grown up in a working class neighbourhood myself, I've seen how badly it can misfire when some halfwit private school boy with a bad BCom decides to run a piece that patronises ordinary, working people.

But occassionally, I see something that challenges my faith.

Like this piece from the manchester evening news, detailing how a scratch card has had to be withdrawn because punters had difficulty understanding negative numbers.