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 - & 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 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


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 is a great way to pass the time as there are fantastic nuggets floating around; this FAIL from 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.