Tagged: EACA

The EACA Euro Effies: the marketing equivalent of You’ve Been Framed?

A couple of weeks back I got the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony for the EACA Euro Effies.  These are essentially advertising awards (or more precisely awards for advertising agencies) that are not judged by creatives for their creativity, but judged according to how effective they are in meeting the clients’ business objectives.  (Should there actually be any other types of awards I ask?).  The interesting thing was how little actual advertising featured in many of the winning entries.  It reminded me of the sage words of Lou Capozzi , former boss of the MS&L PR network, who – on looking at the changing marcoms landscape – declared  “it is all just become PR with zeros added to the budget.”

Even those winners that were more ad-focused had submissions that were surrounded by a blizzard of ‘social media engagement’ and some of the more memorable appeared to be almost entirely social media-based, with no actual ad either produced or deemed worthy of featuring in the case study presentation of ‘the work’.  Examples here included a campaign for Mercedes-Benz about an invisible car, a stunt recreation of Felix Baumgartner’s famous Red Bull jump in Lego and a campaign to get people to visit Iceland in the winter based around an invitation to visit ordinary Icelanders in the homes.

I found all of this quite confronting, not least because I spend all my time telling people to forget the idea of using social media to reach audiences – pumping out lots of content – yet here were examples of just that, which were winning awards for effectiveness.   Continue reading

Thongs on the internet: the next big internet thing

FireShot Screen Capture #259 - 'Buy Internet Thongs & G-Strings I Personalised I - CafePress UK' - www_cafepress_co_uk_+internet+underwear-panties_cat=100115Around this time last year I was asked by Savas Onemli, the editor of Digital Age in Turkey, what I thought the big thing in 2013 was going to be.  I said Big Data.  Phew!  So recently I was asking myself the question, what might be the big thing of 2014.  I think Big Data is still going to be pretty big, but I think the new thing we will be talking about (which is closely linked to Big Data) is The Internet of Things.

I have just got back from Brussels where I was taking part in a panel discussion on Big Data at the annual get together of the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA).  One of the issues I raised was that the amount of data out there was about to explode on account of the fact that things, not just people, were now becoming connected to it.  In the Big Data context I called this ‘the kettles that spy on your life’ – for this, essentially, is what happens when we connect things to the internet: they become spies, either on your  life specifically or on life in general.

I was first introduced to this idea about 18 months ago when I saw a presentation by Andy Hobsbawn at the Social Media Influence conference.  Andy was an enthusiastic supporter of the idea and one of the possibilities he suggested was what might happen when jeans, or other items of clothing, acquire an internet identity.  As soon as he said this the thought that flashed into my mind, however, was not ‘how intriguing’, it was ‘oh, my God’.  The whole thing seemed to be a terrifying prospect, not just the ability of these things to become spies but also the multiplicity of issues that might emerge when we start to give things independent identities and personalities that interact with our own.  Does this mean we will have to start giving things rights for example?  We are having enough difficulties dealing with issues like our own rights to privacy and data protection in relation to Big Data as it is (one of the issues also discussed at the EACA event), let alone dealing with our items of clothing – underwear, data and privacy: welcome to the Internet of Thongs.

Joking aside, the fact that things will join us on the internet as producers and quite possibly consumers of data clearly re-inforces what I already believe, which is that we are not going to solve this privacy and data protection thing by looking at initial sources of the data, because otherwise we will end up giving rights to our underwear and asking its consent.  The answer has to lie in controlling how data is used, not by controlling the way in which it is sourced.

However, the reason I now know this will be the Big Thing of 2014 is that I have just heard a piece on it on the BBC’s World at One programme.  It was approached in the same way the BBC and Radio 4 always approach these things which is to damn it with frivolity.  “Goodness me, a rubbish bin connected to the internet, whatever will these (silly) people think of next” was the general tone of the piece.  “Goodness me, a computer that everyone can own, whatever will these (silly) people think of next”.  Whenever the BBC (in fact traditional mainstream media in general) doles out this sort of treatment – you can be sure they are talking about the next big thing.



Some Christmas fun

Thanks to my fellow trainers at the EACA International School of Advertising and Communications for these festive chuckles.


First via Tish Mousell – the social media version of the nativity story (this has nearly 4.5 million hits on YouTube thus far, so you may have already seen it).

Second, via Micky Denehy, Santa Brand Guidelines.  If you have ever received such a tome or sat through a presentation from a brand identity consultancy, you will love this (especially some of the more subtle details).  Fortunately in social media you don’t need brand guidelines, you just need a good story.

When social media becomes the metric

There is, of course, a huge debate about metrics, measurement and ROI in social media.  This tends to be framed in terms of   “if I do some social media, what am I going to get out of it and how will I measure that”.  Last week I came across an a new take on the whole metrics issue – not measuring the impact of social media activity, but seeing social media activity itself as a metric. Continue reading