As part of a European Union-funded study on social media, we are running nine simultaneous 15-month ethnographic studies in eight countries. What we’ve learned from working with 16-18 year olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried. Mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it.
For anthropologists each media is best defined in relation to the others, what we call polymedia. So Facebook may look the same in 2014, but it has changed by virtue of this new competition. In my school research, the closest friends are connected to each other via Snapchat, WhatsApp is used to communicate with quite close friends and Twitter the wider friends. Instagram can include strangers and is used a little differently.
When asked what typically precipitates an agency change, three key issues emerge, “Dissatisfaction with creative work” (57%), “Change in marketing leadership” (53%), and “Lack of ability to deliver an integrated approach” (48%).
Asked what is the most important consideration when selecting an agency, 68% point to “Chemistry” with the proposed agency team; 62% decide based on “The belief that the creative presented is likely to be a Big Idea,” while 56% point to an agency’s ability to manage messages across channels as the key consideration. [JL: Integrated marketing communications]
People join creative agencies for a number of reasons. I joined Jam because of the opportunity to do great work. We need campaigns that stand out in a bland advertising world. Work that’s original, brave and a rule breaker of the best kind. We must fight for work like this. Demand more work like this. Stick by work like this. Because it’s precisely this kind of work that moves our industry and brands forward – that makes hot dates missed, sleep lost, weekends sacrificed, worth it.
Many are aware of the devastation and loss of life caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Few know that survivors urgently need clean water—to drink, cook and wash themselves with. Without this basic necessity, thousands might die from diseases and other conditions.
Janelle Feliciano and June Frangue, two Jam creatives with Filipino roots came up with a smart and very simple idea to raise money for clean water. To donate, all you had to do was tap your Engine ID card on a dedicated turnstile on the ground floor. Something you’d do a few times a day. For over a week, each tap of your card would donate 10p from your salary to Gawan Kalinga, a Filipino charity supplying clean water to affected areas.
The folks at Engine are digging deep into their pockets, taking out their ID cards and tapping generously. To everyone who queued just so they could use the turnstile, to those who tapped and tapped again, to people who are helping us spread the word, we say Thank You.
// spamatjam //
According to the David and Goliath story, David picked up five smooth stones on the way to the famous showdown. He rejected the king’s armour and sword as they were too cumbersome for him—he preferred using the weapon he was most comfortable with: his simple sling. Not surprisingly the giant scoffed when he saw David armed with nothing but strips of leather. Moments later, Goliath fell dead with a stone between his eyes.
To confront any big problem, to kill your biggest foes, don’t rely on traditional methods and means. Find, develop and use your five—you might have more or fewer—“smooth stones”. They are your key strengths. Your combination of strengths is unique so don’t bother comparing yourself to anyone.
Find your stones. Develop them. Use them at the right place and time. And you will be a giant killer.
The undoing of a man is his arrogance. Arrogance has set in when a man no longer listens. When he doesn’t question himself anymore. When his mind is closed to possibilities. (The decisive man is not necessarily an arrogant man. And it’s easy to confuse the two.) If you aspire to be a great man, you need to watch out for arrogance. You need to guard yourself from it. Humility is the antidote to arrogance. To find humility look in a mirror for five minutes. In the mirror is a mortal being here one day and gone the next. Someone who will be forgotten after his short life is over. Thousands of years from now, your biggest achievement would have faded away. You are nothing. When you realise this, arrogance will leave you. And then you, no matter who you are or what you do in life, will be truly great. Great here and now.
The trendy buzzword in many a digital or social media get-together, magazine, award show, is ‘branded entertainment’ or ‘branded content’. But are long-form videos without an overt selling message really new? I have a feeling they are the film equivalent of advertorials. These creatures are the ninjas of the ad world. Advertorials don’t look like ads. They look like newspaper articles. Literally laid out like one. But then, read your way to the end of the ‘article’ and you’re hit with a coupon or website. And there’s a logo somewhere, as well as a call to action. Unfortunately, many branded content videos share the same DNA: Ooo big celebrity person, looks like a film about his life or some thing he’s really in to, he’s somewhere cool, he does some cool things, says some cool things, wait a minute, quick pack shots here and there, it ends with a logo and/or tagline and URL. The worst videos are very long tv ads without much of a hook in the story. So much of what’s out there is eye candy, full of style but of no idea substance. Eventually, consumers are going to treat these videos the way they treat bad ads—they are going to ignore them. To avoid this, regardless of how long or short your film is, brands need to pay attention to the fact that people want quality. Quality stories. Quality ideas. Quality does not mean it must cost millions. It does mean it needs to be interesting enough for them to want to spend time with it. Look at stuff that gets shared on YouTube. Be funny, fascinating, fresh and be rewarded with a heap of views. Be boring, be contrived, be an advertorial and your film is dead after five seconds.