Monday, December 22, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It's not just that I happen to be watching the show myself right now. Or even that I work in the industry.
It's just that what's unfolded has all the hallmarks of a great story.
Great stories change the landscape.
They create new ways of looking at the world. They spawn copycat followers. Give birth to new genres and hybrids. Invent different ways for us to watch and engage. And generate legions of hungry new fans intent on gobbling them up.
I think the Mad Men and Twitter story falls into this category (it also has exciting implications for the way brands can interact with their audiences through an entertainment vehicle).
David and Goliath style legal wrangles (AMC vs fans). Characters cut down in their prime (@PeggyOlson). The triumph of the 'little people' over the establishment (@Peggy_Olson).
There is a report you can download at We are Sterling Cooper which provides a fantastically detailed overview of the whole thing.
And look out for Ben Cooper's upcoming article in Inside Film.
Ben, any relation to the Cooper in Sterling?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I thought it was high time I chimed in with my own.
I'm not against labels per say.
In the world of communications, labels can cut a useful swathe through language, improve group comprehension and contextualise human behaviour.
One label that has caught my eye recently is digital films.
At what point can we say something is a film versus an ad?
In simple terms, a brand funded film needs to have the entertainment and the audience as the primary concerns - ahead of the brand.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Rather than being due to an influx of visitors, it's because I’ve been watching with one eye on Twitter and the other on the remote.
Monday night I was just getting into Dexter (and discussing the merits of the opening credits with Stan, and series bingeing with Zac) when MadeinMelbourne started her inimitable Twitter ‘ticker’ commentary on ABC series The Howard Years.
After a fleeting moment of indecision, I stayed with Dexter, and continued checking on MadeinMelbourne’s suitably outraged observations. I felt genuinely connected to both series at the same time, but in very different ways.
Importantly, Twitter is also changing the way we physically consume entertainment, as my Monday night experience showed.
MTV recently took this a little further when they launched The Hills Back Channel, where fans can simultaneously watch the show and comment in realtime.
All this has got me thinking about the potential of the Twitter TV combo. About how it will help redefine the concept of the attention span.
From mass consumption to multiple consumption.
Monday, December 8, 2008
This was no loser generated content effort. Oh no.
Willie made an appearance too
p.s Thanks to Emma B for the great pics
Saturday, December 6, 2008
There is no right answer, but there are a few questions you can ask.
You might be chatting to young men with an interest in sport.
Now these guys are well used to a bunch of brands loudly waving and jumping around in their sport. And not always in the most subtle fashion. Logos on jerseys, giant signs, branded cars, halftime sponsored entertainment. This is all part of any sporting experience.
In the last year, they’ve probably watched Nutrigrain in Football Superstar, lapped up brand soaked films like Dark Knight and The Incredible Hulk, and bobbed around at the V Festival. Just for starters.
Some audiences are more amenable than others.
2. What kind of entertainment are you exploring?
Equally, the rules change depending on the game. The type of brand involvement audiences will embrace in reality based entertainment for example, differs from what they might accept in documentary style film making.
Think about the conventions of the genre. You don’t have to be wholly obedient but be aware of what’s gone before you and what people expect. Be aware of where brands can add value or credibility versus where they might be seen to be detrimental or intrusive.
3. What’s your entertainment challenge?
Are you in a low interest or highly cluttered category? Do you need to ‘borrow interest’ from another brand?
Have you lost relevance or credibility? What friends and associations might help your cause?
Can a friendly retail brand help extend your distribution footprint?
How can other brands help YOU solve your problem.
4. What’s your budget?
For brands with a small budget, inviting few friends along for the ride can help make that dollar go further. A social media campaign might also develop TV and event legs with some extra cash.
It’s important that you don’t spend all your funds on production and leave nothing for your campaign. Entertainment with no audience is really just content.
Sharing funds can help reduce the perceived risk associated with a discipline which still makes some marketing folks (and CEOs) nervous. And if it’s still new for you, it’s a good way to dip your toe in and experiment.
5. How will other brands help you involve the audience?
How can they stimulate conversation? Inject interest? Provide a reward? Help you to leverage their audience relationships?
Monday, December 1, 2008
Clients usually go 'aha' when they see this.
So I thought I'd share it.
The layers in the circle represent the different ways that audiences can engage with content and entertainment (in the broadest sense). The closer your brand is to the centre of the circle, the smaller the distance between you and your audience.
Broadcast entertainment consumed in a passive way. Stuff people watch or 'eat up' (e.g traditional TV).
This denotes a level of interaction. Audiences can play with the entertainment (e.g music festival, mobile game)
The audience can influence the content (e.g ARG, user generated content)
People are enabled to share the content with others (e.g video sharing sites like Youtube)
Eat. Play. Shape. Share.
It's a handy matrix when exploring ways that audiences can engage with entertainment.
Use it wisely.