ANDYVISION - watch me try to be creative. live.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Battle for Your Social Screen

Interesting that Twitter launched its Verified Accounts just one day before the start of the Facebook Username bonanza that's set to erupt tonight at midnight EST.

As Facebook moves more and more into the realms of both MySpace and Twitter it seems to be slowly losing relevance. Evolution in the social platforms is necessary to staying exciting and innovative, but it also risks making them overcluttered and obnoxious. That was the opposite of Facebook's appeal in the first place. It was about enhancing your real-life connections and making them easily available anywhere, at any moment. So why usernames? Hm. Good question.

I'm not calling Facebook dead by a long shot. If I were Zuckerberg I'd double check its life insurance policy.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Talking the Talk = Talking Out Your Ass

[Disclaimer: Views expressed here are just my own and absolutely no one else's, including my employer.]

A few weeks back I wrote a post about how people will soon be using Facebook to target jobs they want directly. Well, as I was YouTwitFacing today I came across another such ad. Although, this time is wasn't a hopefully young creative trying to break into a top agency. It was just this dude:

OK, fair, I thought. Let's see what Doug's got. Clicking his ad took me to a page that looked like this:

No, Doug. No. No thanks. No thank you. Somehow I don't think our styles would jive. (Also, make sure you use the agency's name correctly.)

If you want to check the page, it's right here. He's also got a post about this "campaign" on his website here.

Here's the issue I have with stuff like this. Doug's clearly gets that there are ways to reach consumers/people/your target/whatever with media in smart ways. The problem is that that's where the smarts end. Not to knock Doug—I'm sure he's a great guy—but this is what I keep seeing time and time again. Self-professed social media experts that promise to "provide vision and guidance needed to navigate the waters of social media, digital marketing and influence."

OK. a) That's just a lot of meaningless words you jumbled together. If that's the kind of masterful command of the social landscape I can expect from you, I'm better off without help. And 2) Anyone with a laptop and an internet connection, you should be their own social media expert. As advertisers it's our job to understand this sort of thing. I'm sick of hearing all this BS from people who's only goal is to follow as many people as they can on Twitter just so they'll get followed back. It's the same sort of people that sit in coffee shops yammering loudly about branding and the Starbucks model and how their start-up will leverage intelligent marketing. (Also an experience today.) Good people don't talk about how good they are. They just make kickass work and let that speak for them.

Marketing is empty without creative. Sure. You can talk at people with your entire ad budget or masterful "navigation of the waters of social media" until you're a deep, purpley blue. But if your breath still stinks, everyone's going to turn away. Media and marketing are not ideas in and of themselves. Surprising, creative work supported by great media ideas are. Just because you can tweet doesn't mean you always should.

I remember seeing an article recently about why advertising creatives are so antagonistic toward these social media experts. I can't find it now, but it's true obviously true that we are. I'll be 100% honest when I say I scoff at most. Not because I feel superior. I just don't see their necessity yet. Until I see one wildly successful campaign (or heck, even anything of note) created by a social media expert, I'm going to hold that opinion. And I loved to be proved wrong. Seriously. Maybe I'm being ignorant here. So please, if you know something I don't know, clue me in.

I'm not threatened or scared of them like the article said. Just annoyed. Like when I see a banner ad with George Washington booty shaking in front of a list of all 50 states telling me I can save on my car insurance.

As I was navigating ole Dougy's page, another banner of his popped up.

Where's the third to make this thing a full-blown campaign?

Ha. Just found the third.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What Website?

Agencies have gotten leaps and bounds more innovative over the last year or so with their websites. After all, doing work for yourself is sort of the dream. You're the client. If you like it, it's going to run. Guaranteed.

One of the biggest trends has been the move away from the labor-intensive and usability-crushing Flashturbation extravaganzas of past years. Instead we've seen the reemergence of HTML-based sites. Easier to navigate and update, they provide more function over form—which is really the model the web has embraced.

Still, agencies are coming up with some killer ways to make their sites engaging and really surprising. The best example is Modernista!'s overlay site, which recently won a Gold Pencil, along with a straight rip-off courtesy of the folks at and Skittles.

Well, here's another brilliant stroke, the Boone Oakley website.

Don't be fooled. That's not a video about the website. That is the website. Contained all within a series of YouTube videos, it provides a showcase of work and navigation within the video itself. It screams all kinds of smart and has garnered over 100,000 views in just a few days, even cracking the Viral Video Chart around the 14 position. It's not a sustainable model or one that others should replicate, but it's something brand damn new that will surely work wonders for a little shop based out of Charlotte, NC. Cheers, guys.