Monday, August 18, 2008

involvement everything

Participation marketing for me is not a tactic that you can employ well... tactically, it can be used to answer any brief.  If it was only half the answer or less then a bigger model of understanding would be needed to explain where why and how it fits into a larger thought system (or so says blurred lines thinking.)  So if this is the case the only way to test it is to demonstrate its value in the places where it does not naturally seem to fit...

These would include;
-Basic utilities 'I don't want to participate with toilet paper I just want to you know what'
-fashion marketing 'don't complicate it just get a strong image out there.'
-Functional communications ' I don't need to engage will a sale sign I just need to see its there.'
-Awareness is my issue 'I need big bold brand ads not small niche experiences'
-Sales is my issue 'I don't need participation I need sales driving media'

I will try and answer these one by one.  If I fail to find good examples or arguments to prove the point then I will be forced to admit that participation is just one slice and should think about a model to explain the whole pie.  

For me the first one is easy.  The prospect of trying to force someone to liston to you interrupt their lives with messages about something that is not given even the smallest plot of brain real estate such as the basic products that you buy everyday is weak and dwindling.  For me involvement is your only defence.  In the same way that they say that everyone has a book in them I would also say that somewhere inside they would believe themselves able to find the perfect Walkers flavour.  Its not crisp advertising its, co-creation, debate, competition, the home culinary revolution, and a community all rolled into one.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Work of art, art of work

If one day I found myself retired and sat on a pile of money generated from one fruitful venture or another I have already decided that I would invest in commercial art projects.  Following on from the blurred lines theme it seems to me that one additional step past coupling a wine bar / organic cafe with an art gallery is for a business venture and an art project to be more intrinsically wedded.  Of course there are already plenty of businesses set up based on creative foundations, creative products and of course advertising but the companies themselves are not in themselves and art form.  What would be the credentials of a business that was set up as a work of art; over to wikipedia.

Work of art...  

A creation... that has been made in order to be a thing of beauty in itself.'

Wouldn't that be a reason to get up when the alarm goes off first time around, to stay calm and friendly in the office, to play nice?

Sustainability thinking says that environmental impact should become a further bottom line by which a company judges everything they do.  Somewhere in the multi verse there must be dimension in which 'being a thing of beauty,' sits on the bottom line as well.  The first management meeting to try and work out the best way to deliver on this new objective would be a funny place to be.  

I know its a bit out there but Steve Jobs puts a lot of the success of  apple down to his appreciation of the art of calligraphy!

Anyway my idea would be to offer money to art projects that are conceived with the notion of aiming to break even.  If a brand can be seen as a utility or a service then why not a work of art as well.  If you really want to engage the viewer then give them something they can inhabit or use.  the Haywood gallery which is currently full of building shaped installations i.e. where art and architecture meet, must cross this trajectory of thinking somewhere down the line.  And on the other hand you could have prototyped a new business model or brand that strategic thought would have been too logical to find.  I'm no artist myself but look out for some example posts on 'artco' (I cant stop making up words at the moment) projects.

Monday, August 04, 2008

More Blurred lines thinking... The ENVIRONET

Maybe its my age but I can still see the internet in a non-abstract way i.e. a very big network of computers. It is the world through the screen, distinct from everyday life in three dimensions. Blurred line thinking would try to find better insights by looking at a subject (no matter how vast it is in itself i.e the internet) and taking a step back to see its natural or potential evolution into a bigger system - to imagine what would happen if where you now see two worlds you instead saw one.

Of course this is happening already and there are lots of examples where you can note the blurring of the line between the internet and every day life.
San Francisco going all WIFI
Alternative reality gaming
GPS enabled training products
RFID technology
Smart codes

... are just the ones that spring to my mind easily and so this is not about identifying a trend. I’ll have a stab at giving it a name though... the ENVIRONET could be a good way to describe the ubiquitous internet; the ambient, everywhere inter and outer-net blended into one.

Blurred line thinking is about the ability to use the insights you get when looking from a different vantage point; or at the very least to help you to throw some interesting problems into the mix if you are not feeling up to solving them all there and then.

-In the world of the environet you would not need an online and an offline agency, nor would you draw a line between digital departments and any other department.

- The concept of brand destinations versus communications no-longer makes sense, everything is both.

-The only currency of communications will be interactive experiences

-Everything we do in the real world like going to bars or bargin shopping or barbques will need a google or a facebook or a something else to make it digitally enabled.