Thursday
Apr052012

So many profiles, not enough time

Be nice, be productive, don't duplicate

1. Share good news (Twitter)
2. Ask meaningful and relevant questions, polls etc. (Facebook)
3. Show you read well by sharing articles (Linkedin + Pinterest)
4. Regularly monitor for comments, likes and links (all)
5. Respond to negativity with honest, human answers (all)
6. Reward online regular watchers with random acts of kindness (all)

oh, and save yourself some coffee time by banging it all together in one dashboard.

Monday
Mar262012

Quantum Levitation makes Wipeout real

Friday
Mar162012

Same reference?

MoroccoEurostar.pdf Download this file

Current Eurostar & Morocco ads on the Underground both using same design idea. The Eurostar execution has a lighter touch and all the better for it. Wonder if both came from the same source idea?

Tuesday
Mar062012

Time slice night time surfing

Screen_shot_2012-03-06_at_15
Time slice night time city center surfing - yup, sounds as mad as it looks

Tuesday
Feb282012

Great strategy is always humane, marries guts with passion, and talent with intelligence, and is -often- deeply flawed. But when it works, it is a piece of art. 

Monday
Feb272012

Social media advice for bar owners

Entree Battersea. London.I was recently asked to address social media strategies for owner mangers in the bar industry. This is an outline to what I said.

Seeing as only your Dad uses email anymore.

What should your social media strategy be?

First off, you need one, specifically one you believe in and can action. Sounds obvious but too many people sign up to the idea of a social media plan without actually working out how and where the resources are going to come from to implement it. Should your bar have a Facebook page? Yes, if you have the time to populate and manage the content on a daily basis, no if you don't.

Twitter can be a much more resource light alternative, which if following certain basic rules can deliver pretty good customer engagement. Keep an eye on new developments going mainstream like; Pinterest.com and Google+ the latter’s format is still in development but now offers brand pages with maps and video content that work well for the bar industry, the added advantage of being built for the mobile platform (particularly Android phones) delivers key customer benefits when out and about.

Location aware platforms like Foursquare are slowly becoming mainstream. With a bit of creative thought about content, being able to reward customers for 'checking in' to your bar will pay dividends.

I’d be amazed if you had the time to manage a host of different social media platforms. Look at linking everything together with either a Tumblr.com or Posterous.com account. These make it super easy to update one, update all in a single click from your phone.

Got Wi-Fi? If you have, tell people! It’s a tool for branding. Having 'BTinternet67845GH' coming up on people’s phones is no way to engage customers. 'Welcome to Dicks Bar' is. Same goes for your password, nothing wrong in having ‘241Thursdays’ -Knowing your customer base is crucial so if you do name your Wi-Fi network 'basement gimp room' make sure they know its you and not nextdoor.

Websites. If yours has not been optimised for mobile do it now! The UK is still pretty old school when it comes to web access. But smart phones are pretty much standard now. Most of American cities are now using full streaming 4G signals and in some emerging markets up to 80% of web traffic is via mobile devices.

People using location aware features expect something more than a simple X% discount, make them smile! The reason for the success of brands like Foursquare is that its content is a humorous take on popular culture. It’s not an advertising platform; it’s a conversational tool.

One would hope your bar is a fun, engaging place to go. Just remember your social media content needs to be the same.

Friday
Feb032012

You would if you could.

A swarm of Nano Quadrotors - man, even the title has me breaking out in a sweat!

Thursday
Jan122012

Hicklin Slade (Crayon) sold for a reported £9 million

Today I learnt my old agency, Hicklin Slade & Partners (now called Crayon) was sold for a 'reported' £9 million, strange emotions, While a ton of water has passed under the bridge since I was there, the experience keeps coming up, not least because I get asked about it all the time - must recently yesterday in a taxi to Toronto of all places!

Not sure how best to comment, but I found the following post I wrote in 2006, sort of fitting in a way

"..Hicklin Slade & Partners the sadness lingers on? 

In 2004 I was forced to leave the agency I helped found; Hicklin Slade & Partners. The relationship between myself and my partner Justin Hicklin had broken down to the point of crisis. The driving force to all our woes being money or rather a lack of cash in the business. Today's news of our ex-Financial Director (Sharon Bridgewater )being convicted of a £2 Million fraud against Hicklin Slade & Partners is  a bitter coda to the whole affair.

 I have always said the future is the answer. The past being stuff that happened. But boy, today is a tough reminder of quite what was left behind in that whole sorry mess of 2004.

What lessons have I learnt from my downfall at Hicklin Slade & Partners? - well apart from the obvious of not appointing convicted fraudsters as your FD (In mitigation she was appointed by our auditors Kingston Smith, who one would of thought need to study there recruitment criteria a bit more)

Slade's Six lessons for any Creative Director going on the board 

1.  Which Business partners? - You are going to spend more time with them than your partner/wife/children. have some values in common, because when it all hits the fan you will need points of reference to each others private worlds.

2. Why are you getting into business together? Again during total melt down you will find the needs of school fees & divorces clash mighty with agency ideals and creative standards.

3.  What does the business mean to you? Call it sad, but at the time the Hicklin Slade brand was the most important thing in my life, ever. We had built it from scratch, together. Why would anyone ever consider breaking it up? Losing it was like a death in the family.

4. Could you step away from success? (see above) In my new role as consultant I often advise companies in crisis to consider a pause or at the very least letting senior directors go on sabbaticals while a fresher team focus on a fight back strategy. But as Seth Godin has so recently pointed out, sometimes you have to quit. Its simply the smarter move.

5. Never stop learning. Everything you do builds on what you could archive tomorrow. Joe Strummers mantra of The Future is unwritten must be used to mend any broken hearts. It took me the best part of two years to get over losing Hicklin Slade. But what drove me on was the excitement of tomorrow and what 'might be' 

6. Can you add Perspective? Advertising is just mucking about with peoples buying habits. No one dies. OK Sharon stole £2+ million quid from me, but at the time we didn't know we had it. I felt  like killing my partners and there misguided advisors when i was forced out. But the relationship was over.

 

Never give up.

Tomorrow will always be better

Wednesday
Dec072011

Boris bike use animated map

From Dr Martin Austwick & Oliver O’Brien, a researcher and software developer at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA)

Boris Bikes redux from Sociable Physics on Vimeo.

Saturday
Dec032011

3D interaction -mmm vending machine control panel?