i'm with the brand

Get smart with the new bADimal vlog
March 24, 2010, 11:37 pm
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , ,


For his new project, bADimal, the astute Anthony Kondeati presents a new series of advertising trend, case study, and campaign analysis videos that cut through the noise to cull the larger insights we can draw from media arts successes and failures. These thoughtful videos, which go up each Wednesday, provide depth on branding topics and give systematic, holistic consideration to brands themselves, as in last week’s analysis of the Coke vs Pepsi authenticity brand-off.

This week’s video is on the branding implications of automated services. Have you ever felt like companies bury the information on how to talk to a real person? Guess what? They do. In calculated decisions made on the daily, companies often opt for automation of key customer care touchpoints at the expense of relationship-building. In these instances, automation or self-service is often a cost-cutting brushoff presented to customers in the guise of convenience, but we all know they can sometimes be anything but. Businesses must realize that not all branding goals can be measured in terms of traditional ROI metrics–if your aim is relationship-building, measure customer interaction, satisfaction, repeat business, and brand evangelism.

Anthony offers his thoughts, as well as some solutions that should work for customer, brand, and business alike:

Head over to the bADimal channel on Vimeo for the first two videos in the series, and tune in each Wednesday for more!


OK Go fights for their right to party embed their own videos

ok go

OK Go are master choreographers, and they know how to play the low-budg homemade video game–they launched their career on it. On their first it was treadmills; on their latest, it’s an elaborate and well-timed Rube Goldberg setup. Here it goes again indeed:

With a knack for knowing what will go viral, they rode their Youtube promotional model to success and recognition–“To the band, ‘Here It Goes Again’ was a successful creative project. To the record company [EMI], it was a successful, completely free advertisement,” says lead singer and guitarist Damian Kulash, Jr. in a recent New York Times op-ed sending up the band’s label for misguidedly disabling the embed feature on the band’s Youtube videos in an attempt to eke out additional revenue. (Youtube only pays royalties for those videos viewed on the site, not those that are embedded.) The move fundamentally misunderstands the function and potential of Youtube in today’s cultural (and musical) landscape, and is merely one in a long string of embarrassing failures by a hopelessly outdated and pig-headed recording industry blundering indignantly and ever-insistently towards obsolescence.

The old music business model’s inability to accept, embrace, and leverage technology and the changing ways in which people are discovering , sharing, and interacting with music is a tired subject by now (and it’s not to say that some artists and labels are not learning to approach the changing business with enthusiasm, innovation, and aplomb), but Kulash lucidly argues his point : “In these tight times, it’s no surprise that EMI is trying to wring revenue out of everything we make, including our videos. But it needs to recognize the basic mechanics of the Internet. Curbing the viral spread of videos isn’t benefiting the company’s bottom line, or the music it’s there to support. The sooner record companies realize this, the better — though I fear it may already be too late.”

As of two days ago, EMI (which has a mortifying track record of desperate, just-doesn’t-get-it, artist-and-fan-alienating gaffes) has allowed OK Go’s videos to be embedded–but not because the label concedes the error of its ways. Rather, the band has secured a sponsorship from State Farm Insurance (huh??) which will allow them to embed with the sanction of EMI, which, while it’s something, does nothing to resolve the fundamental issue, and further encourages the label’s blind and ignorant drive to monetize–ironically, at all costs.

Read the rest of Kulash’s great op-ed, which goes on to question the shifting role of the label in music and the detrimentally-morphing artist-label relationship, at the New York Times.

And lastly, here’s the video that made them famous:

How to Create Advocacy and Conversation @ Planning-ness 2009


The best brands don’t muscle their way into people’s lives; they are invited in. But how can a brand promote that sort of interest and advocacy?

Veteran planner (and my insightful mentor) Frank Striefler has some answers. His presentation, How to Create Advocacy and Conversation, showcased at the Planning-ness Conference in San Francisco this past October, lays out strategies to understand your audience, provide meaningful interactions with them, and in so doing, create authentic brand advocates.

Frank Striefler is the Head of Media Arts Planning at TBWA\Chiat\Day and the Director of Media Arts Planning at TBWA\Media Arts Lab, and has worked on powerhouse brands from Nike to Apple.

View the presentation deck here:

Elmex keeps you cavity-free, can’t help you bowl

Elmex Bowling Ball

Israeli agency Shalmor Avnon Amichay with Y&R Interactive rolled out 140 hole-less bowling balls at Israel’s largest bowling chain in a campaign for Elmex anti-cavity toothpaste. The trick balls are mixed in with regular ones at locations across the nation, and unsuspecting bowlers pick up them up to find, where the holes should be, only round stickers with the words “Helps prevent,” “Cavities,” and “Elmex.” It’s an excellent metaphorical demonstration of Elmex’s brand promise (just one of many from the media arts-smart brand), and it’s a stellar example of media arts in action.

For me, the measure of media arts is to consider the aptness of the medium, the cleverness, and (in ideal circumstances) the exclusively 1-to-1 made-for-each-other perfection of the match of content to medium. You have to ask yourself these questions: Does it take unique advantage of the medium or format? Could this message possibly be delivered any other way, this behavior demonstrated, in any other medium–or is this particular medium essential to the effect? To me, that’s media arts.

Can your brand do this? Lessons in being useful, relevant & entertaining
December 2, 2009, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: , ,


Contagious is an excellent trendspotting magazine on branding, technology, design, and everything exciting–I’ve culled it many a time for inspiration and instruction, and always come away with useful insights and scads of truly out-of-this-world innovations and branding examples. Contagious Magazine’s Deputy Editor Jessica Greenwood presented “The Future in 4D: Brands, Communities, Content & Technology” at Advertising Week 2009 a couple months ago, stressing the notion that branding should be “useful, relevant and/or entertaining.” The presentation highlighted exceptional and inspiring campaigns that demonstrated how brands have been able to make “useful, relevant and/or entertaining” happen.

It’s important for brands to offer something of value to audiences, to get audiences to invite them into their lives–but how to go about it? The folks over at idsgn have selected some key lessons from Greenwood’s presentation that will help brands to do just that. Take a look at the principles of “useful, relevant and/or entertaining” brands they’ve put together, as well as some of the excellent campaigns that put them into practice–read Lessons from innovative advertising campaigns at idsgn for the full scoop.