As the world holds its breath for the launch of the new Google Chrome browser (did someone just turn back the clock, because it feels like Download Day all over again), Google singlehandedly redraws the map of Europe. Seventy years of war, Yalta conferences and a plethora of European conventions, commissions and unions didn't accomplish what Google's comic book white paper pulls off.
Yes, dear friends, it's true : we are finally German. As are the Dutch, the people from Luxemburg and quite a few Austrians and Hungarians. Even the Danes, with whom the panel in question deals specifically, underwent a graphical Anschluss.
Let's just hope the browser has sorted out its details...
WolfenFlickr 3D - It's ancient meeting still-quite-new, with you not escaping Nazi guards, but rather wandering through the Wolfenstein fortress admiring all the Flickr photos on the wall.
Just enter a Flickr user ID, or a search term, and walk around.
There's no hidden spaces just yet, and you can't blast the photos you don't like, but I think it's a nice example of using cool technology for something utterly useless.
Here's a litte something I made for Adobe Air! While working on a Flash project, I often need a testing video until the final TV-spot is available. This application lets you download a video from YouTube by its video ID. It does just that, nothing more & nothing less :)
Once you have installed Adobe Air you can use many other applications made for Air.
Things have been quiet at the B-Side lately (due to the deadly combination of too many people on holiday and too many work to do), but this thought from Banksy got me thinking this Monday morning. Especially after standing eye to eye with him here this weekend...
Today we launched the Nescafé Collection website.
On the website you can find 1 million packages of the new Nescafé Collection. In one of those packages you'll find a sparkling diamond. To make the search a little bit easier, you're able to invite 5 friends. For each invited friend, 10.000 packages will be removed!
Your clicking will also lead to interesting pop-ins. You'll find nice-to-knows, videos and images about coffee and diamonds. And maybe I forgot to mention the most interesting pop-in, but I'll leave it up to you to find out what it is.
If you think you're up to the task, start clicking and find that hidden diamond.
Frank Janssen from Frankwatching e-mailed me yesterday to invite me to Friendhunter a new and promising recruitment application. Or as he would call it a social recruitment service. The idea is very simple: if you can introduce a candidate to a company and the candidate gets hired, you get the bonus. I'm very curious to see where Friendhunter is heading at. I think the idea is brilliant in its simplicity. But Friendhunter will need to back itself up with partnerships, otherwise it would just be one of those web2.0 apps that look brilliant, but that die quickly after a short attention span after the launch. Only to be picked up again as a new feature by a mainstream recruitment service after a while.
In other words: if friendhunter really wants to make it, it will need:
- a smart distribution model, both via niche affiliate partners as well as via targeted widgets
- partnerships with media. Frankwatching is already a great option, but a traditional media partner would really be a great option for structural traffic
- Storytelling value and evidence: bring us the stories and the facts about the nature of the matches that were to be created. How much money is earned via Friendhunter? Is the quality perception of the candidates significally higher? etc...
Just a small rant. But giving Frank some linklove is the least I can do :)
It's currently available in a pre-launch for companies in order to fill up the database with vacancies. Friendhunter will launch mid August for the broader public.
When Kris wrote a blog post about our Out Of Office campaign for Berlitz, I remembered we actually never blogged about it ourselves.
During the holiday months a lot of Boondogglers take some time off, with a lot of boring Out Of Office auto-responders as a consequence.
This year we wanted to do something fun with it and it fitted perfectly in our campaign for Berlitz. Check out the screenshot or the copy below.
If you want to experience it first hand, send an email to Dominique. He's on holiday for 3 weeks :-)
I am currency out of the focus. I will make my comeback august 11th.
Please contact my comics at Boondoggle for surgeon matters (016/30.85.50).
I will cancer your male asap.
Being in communication and advertising these days is both a thrilling and a frustrating experience. Let me start with the frustrating part. Our job has become frustrating because the tools with which we used to work are turning more and more useless. We used to work with mass media, commercial breaks and reaching broad audiences through piggybacking on one of the media that is reaching those groups. Today we simply can't do that anymore: Media consumption is shifting dramatically, there are thousands of media channels that all serve a fraction of the potential reach and the more power people have to choose valuable content, the more impatient they get with interrupting content (such as the ads we used to make for them).
Now, for the thrilling part of our job. To put it simply: we are now working with identity in stead of image. We are starting to work with clients that want to invest in their audience, instead of advertising to them. Brands that want to do the right thing, that want to add direct value to people's lives and that want to be talked about.
I think there's a gigantic difference between communication tactics and communication strategy. Communication tactics is all about making sure the brand or the product pops up at all the hubs on the internet where pro-active consumers go and compare products. This could lead to SEO, webcare teams, viral marketing, community marketing, etc...
The real challenge however, is on the level of communication strategy. Or even better: on the level of business strategy. We can come up with as many tactics as we want, if the offer sucks, than the tactics won't work. There's always one customer with a negative experience and a voice, who will gently kill our tactical audience approach. And this individual will have as much share of voice in the conversation as we have.
That's why it is such an exciting time for us as an agency. We can both work on getting the message out, as well as improving the "things people talk about". I've been doing focus groups with a lot of my client's clients lately. You can't imagine how much we learn by simply listening to them. We learn what excites them, we learn about the small details that piss them off, we learn the words by which they describe the brand and the arguments they use for recommending the brand. And the cool thing is... Customer advocacy is all in the smallest of details. It's about the fact that you serve good cookies at events, it's about calling back within a day, it's about being able to improvise and to be creative, it's about having good coffee instead of black smelly water,... All these small tangible things are experienced as the evidence of what you - as a brand - stand for. That's what people remember. Not the brand mission statement.
Conclusion: We as an agency work more and more in two directions: inside-out and outside-in. Inside-out is tactical marketing communication, answering the question: how can we get the remarkableness of the brand out in the conversational network. The outside-in question is becoming equally important. The outside-in question is: how can we improve the product and the service in such a way that it becomes worth talking about.
And that's how communication impacts business strategy.
Inspiration: The New Economy of Brands - Harvard Business Review
I'm a YouTube member since March 2006 and still use it daily, mostly because on almost every site I visit somewhere a YouTube video is embedded. But still I don't heart YouTube like I heart Flickr or Last.fm (great new layout!). For me it's more like a mass media machine than a video community. I never had the community feeling on YouTube, although I'm sure there is a YouTube community I only never really experienced it first hand.
If I compare it with Vimeo it's totally different, it's the Flickr for video. A lot of passionate users expressing themselves via their videos. It feels real, more personal. On Vimeo you have that bonding feeling, you want to get to know the people behind the videos. You want to know what their story is. On YouTube almost every user is just another user.
Is this due to the popularity of YouTube? Is it because YouTube has so many users that you feel like wandering around a big city all by yourself? I don't know. The only thing I know is that I feel a lot more comfortable posting my personal videos to Vimeo.
What about you?
FlashMinesweeper:MP is an excellent idea : take an old and established game (I mean, who hasn't killed some work time sweeping mines ?) and add a new, social media twist to it by making it multiplayer. It's also a very interesting experiment : Minesweeper is essentially a single player game, relying heavily on analytical and strategic skills. In the multiplayer version, the player needs to trust his coplayers to finish the increasingly difficult levels. They have to work together by chatting over next moves and strategies, talking about risks and dividing the playing field.
Even though the platform that it's built on awards registration with extra functionalities, the game is more or less anonymous. You can go ahead and spoil as many games as you want, unpunished. However, after half an hour of playing, I noticed that most of the participants actually want the game to be good.
I guess you could make a hyperbolic extrapolation here, that this at least minutely instills some faith in humanity. But you can also just enjoy the game and leave it at that.
Because I've been very disloyal towards Boonbloggle lately, I want to make it up with a very interesting image from David Armano's blog. It was forwarded to me by our good friend Miel, the man who is evanelizing the world with new goodness from Microsoft.
Op zoek naar je eerste job? Of zit je te wachten op een nieuwe professionele uitdaging? Wat denk je van een toekomst bij ons, Boondoggle, een allround communication agency in Leuven ?
Hoe je ’t ook draait of keert, in elke campagne die we maken, moet een solide en betrouwbare technische ruggengraat zitten. Hoe creatief, vernieuwend of hip het idee ook mag zijn, zonder die backbone bestaat die campagne niet eens.
Daarom hechten wij enorm veel belang aan het uitbouwen van een team van betrouwbare en capabele collega’s. Collega’s met de juiste technische vaardigheden, die gemotiveerd zijn en de drang kennen om altijd nét iets beter te zijn.
Voel jij je een geboren analist met uitgebreide kennis van C#, .NET, SQL, UML en AJAX ? Is het implementeren van interactieve web-applicaties kinderspel voor jou?
Dan ben jij exact wie we nodig hebben.
Interesse? Mail naar email@example.com.
One of our creative geniuses reacted immediately: 3 hours later, the banner on your left side was ready and live on De Morgen’s website!
If Pete only knew… He could’ve watched his cat give birth to some kittens live on stage via his GSM, PDA or laptop. This way, he wouldn’t have left 80.000 fans standing in the rain.
Moreover, Boondoggle also developed a 'home monitor' microsite and provided fifthplay with an online (through bannering) and offline (in print media) campaign.
The campaign makes people think about places they would like to monitor when they are not present at the moment.
Check out our banner and microsite!
Feeling creative? Today is your lucky day! Boondoggle proudly presents you our brand new doodle application!
This little add-on gives our blog a more dynamic touch: you can sketch faces, write little text messages or try to draw an improved version of the Mona Lisa painting. Anything your doodly mind wishes!
The live drawing fun is enabled through streams provided by Rambla.
Click on the chalkboard at your left hand side, fill in your nickname and doodle away!
The board automatically erases each drawing after 30 other users have doodled, so don’t worry if you’re not the 21st century’s Picasso. After all, it’s just for fun too!
Pick up the chalk and let the artistic beast go!
Volvo launched the website for the Volvo XC60, the first car that stops completely by itself. I hear you thinking, 'Yeah right, as if' No hard feelings. Some things you have to experience before you can believe them. That's why Volvo came up with the Volvo City Safety Tour. The ultimate chance for all you sceptics to test this car. Check out the website on www.volvoXC60.be.
Don't miss out on the video banners and movie, which seems to be heading for a really bad ending…
Werchter is great! 4 days of top quality music & entertainment, Belgian beer and one of the best crowds in the world. It's just plain perfect. Or no, nearly perfect... The one thing I hate about festivals is the carrying around of way-too-big and totally impractical guides, schedules and info-brochures.
Not only does it take ages to discover which artist plays where, the (inevitable - it's still Belgium, right) rain and beer (it's still werchter, right) makes it impossible to decipher the letters and numbers after a few hours of partying. This is exactly what causes you to end up at the main stage, thinking you're going to enjoy a good 2 hour set of Digitalism, but eventually find out you're stuck at a 2 hour best-of concert of Neil Young..
Luckily, today I found a solution! Or at least, I found someone else who did! Wandering around some of my bookmarks, I ended up at Thomas Joos' blog. He's a very talented old friend of mine, who recently graduated and is now working for Boulevart. He created a mobile tour guide for Rock Werchter 2008, suited for all Flash Lite-enabled phones, using the (beta version of the) b.Tween framework (more tech-talk here).
It is the first Flash application that works on the iPhone and the result is truly amazing. Check out the YouTube video:
Not only is it a very functional schedule, it is also a roadmap, covering the whole Werchter-area. So even if you're drunk and it's already dark, you should have no trouble relocating your tent (or someone else's?) ! Download it here!
Congrats and thanks, Thomas!
As you might have noticed through our blog, flickr and twitter-feeds, we were with quite a lot at the Cannes Lions festival last week. Vinne -as a member of the cyber jury- already gave his favourites last week, so now I guess it's my turn to give my overview of last week overload of creativity.
For starters, last year a high rank media executive told the memorable worlds : "2007 will become known as the year where digital has finally left the computer". This quote really struck a chord with me as it echoes the vision we had when we launched Boondoggle. Without giving the whole story away, 2008 confirmed the trend : most of the interesting work at this year's Cannes festival was digital, whether it was online or not.
For years Cannes was the place to see the latest creative work in film and print ads. In these traditional media, creatives use a number of techniques to convey emotion, mostly through the dramatisation of a consumer insight or product benefit. These techniques still work today but it becomes increasingly difficult to remain innovative (and win awards...) with "dramatisation" in mass media.
The last couple of years however, a step changed happened with the arrival of interactive media and subsequent "digital thinking" in new and old media. Although I'm not quite sure if I made my point, I'll try to illustrate the benefits of digital thinking through some of the best cases I saw last week in Cannes.
note : where possible, I will not link to canneslions.com as the winners list will be moved behind a pay-wall in a couple of months.
"Dramatisation" is still alive and kicking in advertising, albeit in a series of novel ways made possible through digital thinking, for example :
Through spectacle - with the ubiquity of digital camera's, blogs and video sharing sites, one off-stunts become real marketing channels. Interesting examples that I saw were :
- Deadline Courier's Exploding Billboard : to evidence the claim that they deliver on time, DC installed a billboard promising that it would explode in x days with an added digital countdown display.
- Mintshot - It pays to watch - to prove their brand promise, this commercial tv platform set off explosives in NZ's largest volcano and broadcasted their stunt live on Mintshot TV.
Through demonstration - action speaks louder than words, and that's why nothing beats the good old "demonstration"-technique with a "digital"-touch. Like theses cases making smart use of the postal system : Scottex, Citymail : does a log hut fit through a letter slot and Breeze Excel's "Torture Test". Or by bringing digital demonstrations back to the real world like this brilliant Leica campaign or this one from IKEA where the traditional IKEA cover becomes fully customisable and shot in the real world. Or another one, by leveraging a real fact for worth of mouth potential like Volkswagen did by issueing a product recall for the 1974 Golf.
But then again, "digital thinking" really comes to life through participation. Instead of demonstrating or dramatising a story, these campaign let people engage and thus experience the story first hand :
- Nikon Picturetown let ordinary people first hand experience how the Nikon D40 shoots extraordinary pictures.
- Not knowing : raising HIV-awareness in a very unexpected and engaging way.
- Migros Singles Underwear campaign - featuring underwear models that are single, in order to euh... stimulate interaction : the first underwear models you can contact.
- Volkswagen Night Driving - dramatising the product features of an ordinary car, and leaving the possibility for consumers to join in.
- and last but not least : Droga5's Million - encouraging public school kids to achieve through the medium they use to communicate with their peers. A deserved Titanium winner.
5 days in Cannes, 5 days of judging the best Cyber work in the world… and I must say, it’s quite an experience. I’m not going to bore you with all my stories how tough it is and how I just can not enjoy the good weather over here. Let me just talk about the good stuff. 5 pieces of great work in 5 different categories. But not the ones of the big famous agencies. I hope they will surprise you as much as they surprised me. And I hope they all win some metal. I’ll know tomorrow, you’ll know Wednesday evening.
1. How to bring
‘The Axe Effect’ into the real life
Never thought a Japanese campaign/website could got my full attention. I can’t understand one word of the website, but the idea speaks for itself: check http://www.axelaser.com/ for the campaign overview and http://220.127.116.11/2007/axelaser/en/ for the website. And please, before you go to the website, make sure you have your headphones on and pump up the volume.
2. How to
make a viral video relevant
A message to all the mobile phone makers: If you want to promote a new mobile phone, stop showing us how it looks like. Just show us what you can do with it… and put the result on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBvDm_JLEcI
3. How to
get to the point when it comes to Christmas wishes
Every year, every agency tries to come up with the best creative idea for their Christmas wishes. Well, stop thinking. The best idea has been found: http://www.jvm.de/blessedmail/
4. How to prove
that you’re really really good in what you do
Probably, maybe… well, what the heck. This is the best launch campaign I’ve seen in years. And it’s quit simple: a gambling site has got to do what a gambling site has got to do: pushing you to start gambling. Check this out: http://campaign.gnuf.com/diceroll/demo/index_english.html
5. How to show
your latest clothes collection in a not boring way (yes, it is possible)
I always found that Petra, our design director, had a great screensaver. Well, yesterday, I found out that there’s a whole campaign behind it. Have a look for yourself. And if you know somebody at JBC or C&A or… please send this truth: www.projector.jp/awards/uniqlock/everlasting. Please do!
Yesterday "Het Belang van Limburg" (newspaper & online newschannel from publisher Concentra) launched the "Limburgs Book of Records".
Boondoggle was involved in this project on a strategic&creative level and created the offline and online campaign to promote it.
Our client designed and developed the website www.limburgdaagtuit.be in-house, where you can upload all your recordattempts and who knows, you might end up in the real "Limburgs Book of Records".