Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Twitter goes to Hollywood

Yes it’s true. Reports out of Variety reveal that the San Francisco-based web phenom has partnered with Reveille and Brillstein Entertainment to develop an unscripted TV show.

The show has been described as "putting ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format.”

“…a compelling way to bring the immediacy of Twitter to life on TV,” reports Variety.

So what does this all mean for Twitter? It certainly legitimises the brand even more and follows shortly after Ashton Kutcher beat CNN to be the first to collect 1 million followers on Twitter.

But now that traditional media has again shown faith in Twitter services, should we expect to see more marketers using Twitter features in campaigns?

Like what Skittles has been doing in the US?

Friday, May 22, 2009

The YouToo problem with YouTube

It never ceases to amaze me how high the quality of the original content can get on YouTube. Some of the short films /clips broadcast on the site are inspiring. And that’s the trouble isn’t it?

Recently Creative Review blogged about the YouTube dilemma which opened by saying YouTube provides a steady stream of inspiration to advertising creatives, but it also leaves young directors vulnerable to having ideas stolen and agencies open to accusations of plagiarism.

And posed the question, how can both directors and agencies protect themselves?

It then went into great lengths to report on some of the more high profile and recent examples of this, such as the new Sony Bravia ad featuring Brazilian footballer Kaka and a life-size zoe¬trope which is currently airing across the region.

It was deemed to be too similar to or at least based on a short film by Mark Simon Hewis.

I am not going to go through all the cases Creative Review highlighted (You can read the blog posting here) but it’s certainly worth a read and raises more than a few questions.

How advertising agencies / creatives protect themselves from being labeled as plagiatists because… everyone always assumes the agency are guilty. And how do young directors protect their ideas from being used without any commercial gain when some would say they shouldn’t be broadcasting their work on YouTube if they don’t want people to be influenced by it or re-interpret it.

One commentator on the Creative Review blog summarised by saying: “copying of ideas will and should always be punished (by law or reputation damage). But re-applying parts of others people's output in new context will and should not be punishable.”

Yasmin Ahmad who directed a TVC titled ‘Funeral’ for the MCYS in Singapore has already responded to The Pitch which blogged about how bloggers had slammed the TVC for “ripping-off” a scene from the movie Good Will Hunting. See the post here.

Over to you guys.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lighthearted look at communication strategy

England’s bid for the next World Cup kicked-off on Monday with a ceremony at Wembley attended by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and football icon David Beckham. And they’ve already identified what not to say in their communication strategy.

Don’t say football’s coming home.

The Guardian has an interesting (if you’re a football fan) piece on why England should steer clear of that catchy slogan which embodied the 1996 European championships hosted by England.

Those of you who watched the Euros that year will no doubt remember the slogan – and the great Lightning Seeds jingle to go along with it. But on Monday, the 2018 World Cup bid committee went on the record to say they would not adopt the “tone” of that communications this time round – calling it “arrogant”, among other things, to believe the country had the right to think of themselves as the home of football.
Lord Sebastian Coe, who led London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, was in Singapore for the World Effie Festival last year to talk about effectiveness in communications, and his clear message to anyone trying to reach out to youths in today’s cluttered landscape was: “If you don’t reach out to them in language they understand, someone else will”.

You should check out the Lightning Seeds video here and read the comments (yes people are still commenting 12 years on!).

Maybe the committee should reconsider their stance on this.

England's eight rivals for 2018 are Russia, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, the United States, Spain/Portugal and the Netherlands/¬Belgium.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The best campaign in the world

The much talked about ‘Best job in the world’ campaign has taken the top prize at the One Show Awards in New York. Is there more to come?

Created by Australian shop CumminsNitro Brisbane for Tourism Queensland, the campaign added to its Best of Show win by also winning the Gold Pencil in the integrated branding campaign category at the One Show.

For those of you who’ve been living under a rock (you missed your big chance!) the ‘Best job in the world’ campaign was part of a three-year AUS$1.7 million global marketing strategy where a selected person would get a paid six-month job as a brand ambassador living on a Great Barrier Reef island.

It was positioned as a global search for candidates for the caretaker role of Hamilton Island for six months with a salary of AUS$150,000. And the competition received something like 34,684 applications from 200 countries – while achieving close to $100 million worth of publicity globally. Not bad for $1.7 million campaign.

The One Show accolades also come just one day after Ben Southall was named the winner of the ‘Best job in the world’ competition.

But what do you guys think? Will there be many more awards for this marketing campaign and what about it made it such a great success?

Already we’re seeing other tourism bodies following Tourism Queensland’s lead.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

McHappy no longer

The debate on intellectual property rights reared its ugly head again in Malaysia following last week’s high profile court ruling against McDonald’s in the case of the McCurry restaurant.

At the tail of end of last week, the news broke that McDonald’s in Malaysia was on the losing end of an eight year long court battle against an Indian restaurant calling itself McCurry.

The latest court ruling said that the fast food giant cannot claim an exclusive right to the ‘Mc’ prefix and there was no evidence to suggest McCurry (which stands for Malaysian Chicken Curry) had misrepresented itself to the public and confusing consumers.

Headline from theSun

The case is just one example of the struggle big-name consumer products face in attempting to protect its brands. Now I am not here to debate whether McCurry is in the wrong but McDonald’s clearly thinks the Indian restaurant has.

In a statement to A+M, the company’s VP of marketing communications, local store marketing and business / consumer insights, Stephen Chew said McDonald’s intellectual property includes the ‘Mc’ prefix and that intellectual property was considered to “be highly valuable company assets.”

“Over the years we have been vigilant in vigorously protecting and enforcing our trademark rights wherever we do business,” he said.

“We note that we originally won this trademark protection case in 2006 – so naturally, we are disappointed with this particular appeal court ruling.”

When asked if he thought the ruling might see a string of F&B outlets challenge the use of the ‘Mc’ prefix in their names, Chew would only comment that McDonald’s “will continue to protect its trademark in the future.”

The ruling certainly brings up an excellent question – will other big brands or multinationals, right or wrong, look at this market as one that does not particularly respect intellectual property rights?

If you hadn't already listened to it before, we also brought up the topic on our weekly spot on BFM which you can listen to here.

Over to you guys.