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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Top 5 Viral Video Marketing Campaigns of 2008

Olivia Hayes of Ignite Social Media has put together her thoughts on the Top 5 most viral (or would it be virulent?) campaigns of 2008. Here's the summary (#6 I noticed in the comments section of her article and thought it also deserved mention):
  1. "Will it blend?" campaign - Blendtec
  2. Elf Yourself - Office Max
  3. Yes We Can - Will.i.am & Barack Obama
  4. Guys backflilpping into Jeans - Levi's
  5. Ball Girl Catch - Gatorade
  6. "The Ramp" campaign - BMW

I've seen all of them before and what you'll notice about each of them is they involve one (or a combination) of the following elements:

  1. music
  2. unique skill/talent
  3. quirkiness
  4. personalization

Here's one additional comment on item 3 "quirkiness". Many marketers fail at this one, as they simply try to think of something strange or different without actually achieving quirky. The main thing to remember about trying to make a campaign quirky is that it should elicit an eye-brow raising response; if the user simply notes that it's strange but not any more than say noticing your pee smells like funny after eating asparagus (read more), then it's not quirky. Worse yet, it may come off as "trying to be quirky" which is the kiss of death for viral campaigns which are supposed to inherently be inventions of inspiration (not intention). For my money, you've achieved quirky if you can show it to a few test users (age should be 16 - 38, but obviously depends on your intended demo) and get them to have one of the following responses:

  • laughing (the more the better)
  • forwarding (the more the better)
  • WTF/disgust (without being offensive)

Good luck to all those viral marketers out there in 2009!

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis


I've seen several of these shorts and this is my favorite as Zach is absolutely at his dryest, most bitter and off-color. John Hamm (Mad Men, The Day the Earth Stood Still) is also fantastic as the uncomfortable but willing guest. I would post the video here but I'm convinced funnyordie.com has purposefully messed up their embed tags so I can't play them - boo! So check it out here instead.

Best of 2008: Top 5 Shots of the Year

I'm not much of a golfer but I know plenty of fanatics (my dad being one of them) so I present this in their honor. Happy 2009!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Why Online Ads Are Weathering the Recession - BusinessWeek Dec 24, 2008

This article by Jeffrey F. Rayport examines why online advertising is holding its own when the majority of the advertising business at large (TV, radio, print etc.) is seeing their clients' ad campaigns postponed, reduced or just plain terminated by corporate boards. These efforts have been aimed at preparing for a rough 2009, as experts predict further declines through at least an additional two quarters. Rayport compares the current recession with that of 2001 (don't remember it? read more here), which many argue was caused in large part by the Dot-com bust. In his view, the current recession is different (in a positive way) this time around due to the following reasons (summarized here for your laziness):

  1. Online advertising has matured substantially since 2001 (more measurable, increased reach, more pay-as-you-go options compared to other forms etc.).
  2. Strengths of digital as an ad medium: (a) accountability, especially in search/pay-per-click advertising, (b) compelling user experiences, thanks to rich media allowing for interactivity.
  3. Online environments' susceptibility to social media i.e. word of mouth and sites like Facebook, MySpace (though less and less), LinkedIn are forcing advertisers and the clients they represent to rethink how to make something viral.
  4. Marketers (especially brand advertisers) more willing to invest in their own media properties (outside of their corporate/product website) to specifically connect with their desired demographic (check out this example by Chevron/Economist).
  5. Capability of Online for pinpoint accuracy to reach consumers at the any stage in the buying process.

I agree whole-heartedly with Rayport's take, stressing out of the first reason (maturity of online as an ad channel) the increase visibility of metrics. The foundation of the necessity of online advertising for marketing campaigns are metrics that are clear, accurate and meaningful. Online ads have taken ad dollars from other forms (and will continue to do so) because they're simply able to justify the spend/impact better with these metrics.

Read the article in full here.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Panda-monium


This is kinda like me, except instead of sneeze I fart, and instead of waking my baby up, I wake myself up. But basically the same thing. I'll video record myself doing it and then post it later.

Did you know that a panda's diet consists almost entirely (99%) of bamboo, of which it will consume 20 to 40 pounds a day? In order to do this, these guys spend 10 -16 hours a day foraging and eating, while the rest of its time is spent sleeping and resting.

If you're crazy about pandas, check out the International Panda Rescue here. These dudes are a tad intense but I imagine you have to be if you're spying on poachers; but looks like they're achieving results so more power to them.

In all seriousness, pandas are cool so if you see one on the street, give it a hug. Unless it's a hooker. That might cost you and lead to other stuff (unless you're into panda hookers).

Job Outlook for 2009: Tips for Surviving the Downturn

Hopefully you ate, drank, and rested as much as possible over the holiday, as I imagine individuals and companies will have to work even harder than they did in 2008 for decreased yields. Margaret Steen of Yahoo! HotJobs offers some sound and prudent tips to help you keep your job in this environment, as well as find a new one if you need to, in what is sure to be a challenging year. Here is the quick summary; read the full article here.

On keeping your job:
  1. Make sure your boss knows how you are contributing to the company's bottom line.
  2. Stay productive.
  3. Focus on core work that aligns with company primary goals/objectives.
  4. Get to know your boss' boss.


On finding a new job:

  1. Cast a wide net.
  2. Be able to explain how you would help a company.
  3. Get started ASAP.

Predictions for 2009 from Ad Age's Michael Learmonth

The summary:

  1. Current media buyers have an over-supply of inventory to buy from, thus the underbrush that will be cleared out as a result of the downturn will enable better buying decisions for the market as a whole.
  2. Exclusive, unique content will continue to be king; distribution details will play a role in determining who stays afload and stays profitable
  3. Big Media companies in an advantageous position because they have desirable content, though they won't be able to achieve the same reach as television.
  4. Expects small but substantial shift of TV ads to online video; YouTube will sign distribution deals with content providers.
  5. Value of UGC will remain unclear in 2009 due to potentially harfmul impacts of negative brand association.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Online Dating Fail (from eHarmony.com)


Failblog.org is a great way to pass the time as there are fantastic nuggets floating around; this FAIL from eHarmony.com is case in point. At least eHarmony's reject logic makes sense.

TRAILER: I Love You Man

Another movie in the vein of 40 Year Old Virgin type comedy starring some old new faces (Paul Rudd, Jason Segel) and some new new faces (Rashida Jones from The Office, Jason Samberg from SNL). It looks good though so I hope it comes out in Hong Kong.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Time Lapse: Los Angeles at Night

I lived in Los Angeles for four more than five years and while it did eventually grow on me, I cannot say that I instantly fell in love with it like I do with most cities (New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, London etc.), though this video did bring back memories. LA was too spread out, too solitary and a tad boring for me when I first arrived. It took me a while to make friends and meet a good social network that fit in with my geography; I had very no friends who lived in OC or Inland Empire. But I do miss it now and the good friends I made there; the city has a pace and character all it's own that is uniquely memorable. While it can be known as a city that worships temporary things (beauty, fame, fortune), most of it's residents realize this and even make fun of it themselves. I can also say that LA is a city where generally anything goes and you are free to do your own thing. And ofcourse the weather - it is as perfect as everyone says it is.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Gears of War 2 Gameplay

This was one of the great lil' gifts that Santa brought me this year (in addition to the post-it about animal crackers) and it's easily the best game I've ever played. Aside from the blood, guts and the cool story-line, the different single player options are excellent for those of us who for some idiotic reason haven't experienced Xbox live yet. Get it. Play it. Enjoy it.

"Computer Friends" [Stack the Memory] by Sniper Twins feat. Rob Collier

Fantastic rap with impressive beats.

Ponzi Scheme in HD

Thank you Marina! Beautiful and Intelligent. Learn more about the origin of words at her website.

Aziz Ansari - Standup

Aziz is the bomb and so is the show is his show "Human Giant". Love it.

What if you found a black hole?



Cool video of an interesting what if situation. I would definitely be going down the same path as this guy so I'm glad I saw this warning video to make sure to use duck tape instead.

Jizz in My Pants (SNL Andy Samberg)

Monday, 22 December 2008

Charlie Rose - Muhammad Yunus


Muhammed Yunus, banker, economist, professor and Nobel Prize winner, learned very early in his career that small loans could make a disproportionate difference to a poor person. That simple thought eventually led him to start the Grameen Bank in the 70's in Bangladesh and the result has inspired efforts around the world for similar micro-lending efforts. Taken from the Grameen Bank site, Yunus' most valuable contributrion is that his bank has reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity. As of November 2008, the Grameen Bank had 7.64m borrowers (97% are female).

Friday, 19 December 2008

Black Crowes: She Talks To Angeles (Letterman)

I'm going slightly old-school with this post, back 18 years to a 1991 Letterman performance by the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson of "She Talks to Angels". Still such a great song.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Clell Tickle - Indie Marketing Guru

Another awesome clip from the Human Giant crew. An oldie but goodie, it also has some awesome cameo performances. So many great quotes, but these are just two of my favorites:

"I want you to blog about this band, I want you to post pictures. 'Cause if you don't, I'll f*cking come to your house man, and I'll kill your dog. And if you don't have a dog, I'll hurt the weakest member of your family!" (2:25)

"I don't think it sounds like a derivit." (4:12)

Pastor Rick Warren Inauguration Controversey

The firestorm continues over Obama's selection of pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inaguration on Jan 20. Without knowing too much about Warren, I can say definitively that a.) I disagree with him on his stance on gay rights and believe that Prop 8 should NOT have passed, and b.) I very much respect the work he's done with faith-based organization on behalf of AIDS victims in Africa and environmental causes.

All in all however, I do support Obama's choice in Warren and see it as a recognition (and affirmation) that there are AMERICANS (they live in the same borders, go to the same schools, voted for the same President-elect that I did) that profoundly admire and respect this man. My first introduction to Warren was while watching the Presidential Faith Forums that he hosted this summer, where he interviewed both candidates on their thoughts on Faith and other related issues. It seemed that he was interested to learn, not to preach, to understand (both for himself and his congregation) the views of these candidates as they communicated them, NOT interrogate them on their stances.

To me, he seems like the best one could hope for to represent evangelicals who largely stand in opposition to liberals. The criticism voiced by opponents Warren's selection seems identical in tone, fervor and intensity as those proponents of Prop 8. If we cannot include even middle of the road, altruistic leader like Warren in the dialogue, how will we ever expect to convince the hard-liners whose vote counts the same as any other? To simply write Warren off as a conservative and criticize his selection ignores the fact that millions of American evangelicals look to him for spiritual, moral and even political guidance. For that reason, as well as for the sake of true dialogue, this is a man we want to include and that we want to have an ongoing conversation with. If we refuse to do that, it only proves that liberals can be as close-minded, stubborn and keen to only include those in the conversation that share their convictions, as the conservatives they battle against.

Find out more on the inauguration.
Find out more on
Proposition 8.
Find out more on Rick Warren.

Here's the footage of the actual invocation.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Marie Digby - Say It Again - Debut Album

Ok, so this is a little more girly than I'd like to be posting but I like this song and I think Marie Digby besides being muscially talented is also beautiful. This way, if I ever meet her, I can tell her that I posted her video on my blog and maybe she'll let me be a roadie. Wonder what my wife would think about that...we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Check out some of her other videos on her YouTube page.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

TRAILER: Mystery Team (Derrick Comedy)

I was first introduced to Derrick Comedy courtesy of their fantastic faux-amateur porn clip, "Blowjob Girl" and have been into them ever since. So I just about peed myself when I found out that they had been working on a film which they got into Sundance. These guys are genious and I would recommend checking out the rest of their work here.

UPDATE:
The film previewed at Sundance in January and was received very well. Several critics, including Erik Davis of Cinematical, felt that the film was not only one of the funniest comedies at this year's festival, but also strong enough to compete with the best comedies of 08 and the most-hyped of 09. Pretty solid praise for the Derrick Comedy troupe, consisting of Donald Glover, D.C. Pierson, and Dominic Dierkes who all star in the film.

Monday, 10 November 2008

ParKour (PK)

I wish I could flip around like these guys do; would make it easier for me to make a quick get-away when I need to. As it stands, I can barely do a cartwheel.

Find out more on this art form here.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Everyday Pics from Hong Kong

I've been living in Hong Kong now for more than a year and while I'm quite settled in my life and have my daily routine, I'm keenly aware that to many of my friends and family back in the US, I've gone to go live in crazy Asia. Granted, there is certainly craziness here (I've never partied harder), but it's a place like any other with daily routines, boredom, excitement, bad and good things.


(street view in Sheung Wan)


(some ladies getting their early morning Tai Chi on in Victoria Park)


(Big Buddha at Po Lin Monastery)


(boats in Stanley Harbor)

What I will say is that Hong Kong is certainly more cosmopolitan and international than most people give it credit for. Obviously there are plenty of expats here (+71,000 as of 2006) even after the British hand-over in '97; and more often than not, these "guai lo" Hong Kongers are by defintion international, and sometimes Cosmopolitan. But local residents are also very well educated, trendy and generally well traveled. This makes sense given that this is arguably the premier gateway to Asia, thus it would be the most exposed city. That exposure invariably leads to Western influence (good and bad) through people, media, politics and business.


(Yes, even in Hong Kong, people drink until they puke up a liver)


(view from The Peak)


(competitors preparing for the start of City Chase Hong Kong 2008)


(Hong Kong's premier party district, Lan Kwai Fong, over Halloween)


(hiking around a rock pool in Sai Cung with some friends)


(view of Wan Chai from Victoria Harbour)

Hong Kong is a wonderful place to visit and certainly a unique place to live; I can't say that it's my first choice as far as cities in which to raise a family, but I'd place it in one of the Top 5 cities that every person should be lucky enough to experience at least once in their life time.

I will defiintely post more but I know I'm long overdue in giving at least some love to my home for the past year.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

TRAILER: Push (Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle)

I want to see this movie, largely because it was filmed entirely in my current city, Hong Kong baby! I'm also a fan of Chris Evans (best role is still in Not Another Teen Movie), Dakota Fanning (not trying to sound like a weirdo but I guarantee she's going to grow up to be a hottie), and obviously Djimon Hounsou (have a feeling he is the other reason this movie will be well received here, as he had a giant CK underwear pin-up on the side of a building on Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay for about 6 weeks). So go see it when it comes out so you can get a glimpse into this kick-ass city (albeit a bit Hollywood slanted).

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Kara Swisher interviews 23andMe Founders Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey

In 2006 Anne Wojcicki (recently married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin) started 23andme with her co-founder Linday Avey. The idea of the site is actually pretty interesting: get people to pay to submit their DNA (through saliva) to be analyzed and then get access to an online community of users and information. The initial kit is not cheap ($399 USD) but the longer-term possibilities of a social network based on users who shared a genetic similarity are impressive to think about. I wouldn't be surprised if this business does gain traction to see them eventually partner with other properties/entities that could help them subsidize the cost of the kit. Two ideas are:

  1. WebMD - they have massive amounts of medical information and a huge user base
  2. Barack Obama's administration - the president-elect has stated that modernizing the health care system will be one of his adminstration's goals; this could fit into that (though I imagine there are much bigger fish to also fry under the category of "fix health care")

Saturday, 1 November 2008

World Climbing Championships - Chamonix, France

So my wife and I have started to learn how to climb and I've been having a great time with it and also meeting some really nice people with the group we climb with. While I do feel like I'm improving slowly but surely, I'm fairly certain there's no chance in hell of my ever competing in the world climbing championships. It looks like an awesome event however just to be a spectator so hopefully I can check it out once I win the lottery and spend my days traveling. At that point, I'll also buy mechanical arms and legs to replace my sickly/frail limbs that have failed me on multiple occasions already.

I have actually been to Chamonix before (maybe 15 years ago) and remember it as a beautiful place for skiing, hiking and photographing.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Jason Mraz - I'm Yours (live)

I love this song more and more each time I listen to it; this live version filmed at a show in Seoul truly kicks ass. I have a feeling it may because of his sidekick rocking the bongos.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Talladega Nights End Credits And Bloopers

I think this film may have overtaken Anchorman as my favorite Will Ferrell movie thus far. Just too many genious lines to quote endlessly.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

MUTO - a wall-painting animation

My brother originally sent me this and it instantly took my breath away: surreal, trippy, disturbed, genious.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Krav Maga - Gun Defense

Krav maga is the official self defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces. It was founded by Imi Lichtenfield in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s, who later moved to Israel during WWII. This system stresses survival and defense in life-threatening situations with the goal being threat neutralization, followed by safe and rapid escape. I use it sometimes on my wife when she wants sexy time and I'm too tired; it works.

Learn more here.

Friday, 12 September 2008

University of Michigan - The Friars: North Face Girl

The Friars are the country's best higher education acapella group; my roommate freshman year was one of their stud members. I happened across one of their videos and am happy to see that they're doing well and still pulling crowds to packed shows as I remember.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The Office (US): Bloopers

Hilarious, brilliant and genious. I know there's a fairly heated debate about which version is better but thus far I have to say that the US version has the UK version beat hands down, though the UK cast is just as talented and hilarious.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Gap - The Futurias cover of The Kooks

All these guys videos are great - keep on rockin' down under.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Time Lapse: LA to NYC

Cool clip and soundtrack.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Heat - Bank Robbery & Shootout

Best 10 minutes of crime-movie history. Period.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Luke Pritchard (The Kooks) - Mr. Maker

I don't like this version as much as the electric one but it's still good! For any yet-to-be fans of The Kooks, I would recommend their recent album Konk.

Monday, 7 July 2008

30 Rock: Random Kenneth Parcell Quotes

Kenneth Parcell aka Jack McBrayer is 'da bomb. The only concern I'd have if I were him is getting type-cast as he's been cast as the lovable idiot in a few movies at this point (Talladega Nights, Forgetting Sarah Marshall). But he's still awesome.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Microsof Excel: Best Shortcut Keys

Since you've probably wasted a good amount of time already watching pointless videos posted on this blog, I should probably give you smoething useful so you don't feel like a complete waste. So here you go.

Eddie Izzard: Death Star Canteen

Eddie asks a legitimate question: when and where did the soldiers stationed on the Death Star eat? The Legos add legitimacy in my opinion.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

HipHop Dance-Off: "Let 'da robot dance"

Their moves are slightly better than my macarena and lawn-mower (only slightly).

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Zeitgeist The Movie - Part 2 of 13: Religion

For some strange reason, I love conspiracy theories - always have and pretty sure I always will. It all goes back to my middle-school days when I used to spend library time looking up books on Bigfoot, UFOs and the Lochness Monster. Zeitgeist is a 2007 film which purports a global conspiracy involving religion, govenment and the financial system as a whole. I'm fairly certain this film is about as extreme as conspiracy movies get, but it certainly does get your brain juices flowing (and it helps the day go by faster).

Friday, 23 May 2008

French Beatboxer on French Idol

I could watch this guy all day long. I'm pretty sure though he didn't make it that far on French Idol. I guess he's the French version of Blake Lewis, albeit 3x his size.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Best K1 KO's Ever

I've been Kickboxing over the past 2 years and recommend it to anyone looking for a more intense work-out or even looking for a reason to. Knowing how to throw a good punch is useful for anyone these days, though you'll quckly learn that 99% of all martial arts involves handling yourself in a way where you won't find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself. But if you do, you will at least be prepared to defened yourself. Here in HK, we are involved with two schools (both of which kick our ass whenever we go): http://www.thaimatic.com/ and Prime Thai boxing (both in Causeway Bay). If you're interested in checking out a free class, lemme know!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

WQXR The Cool Breeze (Derrick Comedy)

Brilliant.

"...and interestingly enough, earlier he was attempting to lure us out of the room using various types of bait...let's see there was water, pictures of our family, and recently a fully cooked steak." "He actually got a steak and just cooked it fully...y'know...he's a wolf." (1:35)

The Tourist - Radiohead

Still one of my favorite songs of all time - never saw the video before either. It's a little much if you're a first-time Radiohead listener (if you are, you should be taken out into the street and beaten) but the video's style/pace is perfect to the band and this song. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

TRAILER: Raising Arizona (1987)

This is a classic Coen Brothers film before they started to dabble in really dark stuff. With brilliant performances by Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter and John Goodman, as well as a kick-ass soundtrack, I highly recommend it.

Posted for the cinematic erudition of my friend David.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Epiphany

I'm constantly finding myself spending time at work watching ridiculous and silly videos which I'm forwarding to friends, family, random people that I think might get a kick out of it. Well I'm going to start posting it on this blog from now on to save on wasting emails and save the earth (it's a fact, look it up). So lucky you.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Motivation
















Friday, 18 January 2008

First Post

This is my first post - how exciting. The goal will be for me to post frequently so that I'm averaging a few times a week, kinda like working out I guess. But I'll be working out my mind. And my fingers. And my proclivity to produce streams of consciousness that result in a blog post that can maybe get me some traffic and rankings for random phrases like "chicken leg hammersmith" and "arizona dry iced tea bag".

As a little intro to me, I'm male, Chinese-American, happily married (sorry ladies) and in my late 20's. I moved from the US to Hong Kong for work and have had a great time of the whole experience thus far. I do all the normal things that people like to do and a few abnormal things: rock-climb, kickbox, take care of 2 oversized dogs. I work in advertising but longer term would like to do something a little more charitable, like NGO work or teaching or crime-fighting. But for now, life is good, I have a job and a life I'm enjoying and the family is healthy. I am fairly opinionated about a slew of topics so I think this blog will come in handy to anonymously produce rants and raves that may in some way give the 3 other people that end up reading this pause for thought.

So welcome to my blog and it's nice to meet you virtually. Hope to see you around soon!

Saturday, 12 January 2008