Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Willie Nelson sings Coldplay for Chipotle

This excellent video, made by Johnny Kelly, was produced by Chipotle to promote the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation which focusses on sustainable food, and not exploiting farmers.

Via Adweek

Friday, August 26, 2011

"You Will" - Predictions that stand the test of time

In the week that everyone's been posting old Apple ads, you have to take your hat off to AT&T for this series of ads from 1993.

Also, AT&T had the first ever banner ad.  See it here

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Charlie Simpson's crowdfunded album gets into the top 10

This is a pretty special week for crowdfunded music.  The idea of fans helping to pay for an album to be recorded has been around for a few years, but this week Charlie Simpson's album Young Pilgrim, funded through Pledge Music, has entered the UK album charts at no. 6.

Full story over at Music Week.

Here's the original listing on Pledge Music.  Charlie got 544 pledges, and well over 100% of the money he asked for.  At the lowest level the pledger got a copy of the CD; at the highest level they got a concert at their house.

It was easier to fund the album than it might have been because Charlie isn't unknown - he was previously in Busted and Fightstar, but it's still a great achievement.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Red Hot Chilli Peppers QR Posters in London

Spotted this weekend on Hackney Road:

If you scan the code you get sent to this site.

It's all to promote the new RHCP album.  You can see more on the main site here.

They're organising 6 listening parties (translation:  you stand in a bar while the album plays) around the world today.  The London one is in Hoxton Square.  You'll also be able to listen online.

Follow all of the action using the hashtag #ImWithYou

It's a pretty good way of bringing the album to the world.  I'll check back tomorrow and look at the buzz created.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

SBTV in a Google Chrome Ad

The first ad in the first break of the new series of X-Factor was this ad for Google Chrome, featuring youth site SBTV, and its founder Jamal Edwards.

Really inspiring, really excellent!

In other X-Factor news, Janet Devlin already has a flourishing YouTube channel (was she talent spotted to be on the show..?)

& Frankie Cocozza has gained 7,500 followers on Twitter already

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ikea - the World's Most Liked Showroom (concept)

This is an idea by two students, so it's not real yet, but I'm sure it easily could be:

This is how it would work.  Ikea collects 'Likes' for its product, and every week showcases the most-liked products.  The products then are discounted, depending on how many Likes they get.

IKEA "The world's most liked showroom" from Jeena van der Heul on Vimeo.

Very smart!

Puff Puff Pass Tuesday

I've recently been investigating EdgeRank.  EdgeRank is Facebook's algorithm for determining what content you see in your news feed.  Read about it here

In Facebook speak an Edge is a piece of content - a status, a picture, a like, even a relationship status change.  The precise algorithm is secret, but it's reckoned that the EdgeRank is made up of three factors -

Affinity - how well you know someone, based on how frequently you interact with them
Weight - how engaging the content is in their post - it's thought that photos, videos and links are given the highest weights
Recency - how recent the content is

Each is given a score, and when you log in your news feed is made up of items that have the highest combined scores (e.g. 5 x 2 x 3 = 30 would beat 3 x 3 x 3 = 27)

The next question is what you can do to increase your EdgeRank...

One of the most important things is to increase your affinity - that is, how often people interact with you.

Here's a classic example.  Whether accidentally or by design, Snoop Dogg has come up with the idea of Puff Puff Pass Tuesday, and yesterday asked his Fans (of which there are more than 10m) to tell him what they were smoking...

So far there have been over 10,000 'Likes' and nearly 2,500 comments...  It's a great way to engage the fans, particularly for Snoop, and it will almost guarantee that all of those people seen the next few things Snoop posts.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

'Agile' news coverage

Two examples of British TV news reporting from the recent riots.  Both are famous; I'm hardly first to post these, but they're both very good examples of how the best correspondents can report the news with the advent of new technology.

First, Mark Stone of Sky News, filming on his phone, and then uploaded to YouTube.  Mark Stone lives near Clapham Junction, and when he heard about the trouble he went down to investigate on his own, as a newspaper journalist would have done, but able to film, not just describe, what he saw.  This was then broadcast on TV.

Second, Upinder Randhawa of the Birmingham local digital TV station Sangat Television, reporting the riots in Birmingham from the back of a van.  I was watching the riots unfold on TV when people started to tweet about it, and like lots of others I deserted the BBC to watch this live on Sky channel 847.  This clip was later re-shown on terrestiral TV by the main channels.

PS - yes, I hate the word 'agile' too - it's become very over-used in the industry - but it seemed a good way of describing these two examples.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

UK Riots - Doing Good Things

I'm creating a post to catalogue lots of the good initiatives coming out of the riots.  Things that show people pulling together and so on.  I'm not saying that these things are any more than metaphorical plasters over the cracks, but they show real human desire to do things.

There's also official government action, of course - here's a link to the official claim forms for people who to claim compensation for damage caused by rioting.

1 - The Riot Clean-up

Organising people to clean up areas affected

2 - Let's Do Something for Ashraf

Raising money for a Malaysian student who was robbed and beaten up

3 - Keep Aaron Cutting

A project by interns at the ad agency BBH, to help a Tottenham barber to re-open his business

4 - Not In My Name

A photoset on Facebook organised by the National Council For Voluntary Youth Services

5 - Rebuild Reeves

A pledge on PledgeBank to raise money to rebuild the House of Reeves furniture store in Croydon

6 - PhotoSonny

Photographer Sonny Malhotra has offered to take free family portraits of people who lost photos in the riots

7 - Collections for the newly homeless

Music blog From Disc Till Dawn is collating information about collection points for people to donate clothes and household items for people made homeless in the riots.  People like Kate Nash are also involved in publicising and collecting

8 - Save Siva's Shop

Raising money to help a Hackney shop keeper get back into business

9 - DeLoot London

A campaign to persuade people to visit and shop in parts of London that suffered from looting

Please send me any other examples through Twitter (@dancall) or in the comments

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

UK Riots - Here Comes Everybody

I've lived in the UK all my life, and in London for nearly 20 years.  I've gone through so many emotions over the last few days, as anarchy and riots have broken out across the country.

It seems that now, in London at least, things are getting back to normal.  Broken windows are being repaired with glass, rather than left boarded up, and there are lots more police on the streets.  I hope things are getting better, but they could just as easily start again (& I'm sure there'll be more violence outside London tonight).  Pretty much everyone I've spoken to has some shocking story or another.  When the police presence in the capital is scaled back, who knows how long it will be before trouble starts again?  The problems that caused the riots are still here.

It's been great to see people fighting back though, through things like the #RiotCleanUp and the #OperationCupOfTea movements.  However I like to think I'm not naive enough to think that these nice feelings would be any match for a group of people with bricks and bats after dark.

Yesterday I was reminded of Clay Shirky's book Here Comes Everybody.  People came together and tried to help out.  But it's much too soon to know if this will create any long-term change or even medium term change.  It could be worse than ever tonight, tomorrow, or in a month's time.

Anyway, Graham Brown has produced this excellent presentation on some of the youth and media aspects of the disturbances.  Take a look:

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Nokia - Gulp

Another film from Nokia, one of my agency's clients, showcasing the amazing photos and videos you can take with the N8.

This was filmed on a beach in Wales, and qualifies as the largest stop-motion film ever made.

You can also watch the 'making of':

Excellent stuff!  I love the fake ending, half way through!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Giggle Maps

The Edinburgh Festival has just started.  I've been going for the past few years (although skipping it this year) and it was always frustrating how hard it was to find out what was happening when, and where.  In fact a few years ago a friend and I had an idea to try to produce a site to answer that problem, but like lots of things we couldn't find time to do it.

Someone else has now done it - the excellently names GiggleMaps.  Very easy to use, and it also works well on phones, apparently.

Very well done!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

5 questions with a mobile entrepreneur

I first worked with my friend Rob Lawson about 10 years ago.  In fact he was good enough to give me my first job in digital media.

Rob's now based in the US.  His new venture is HDmessaging, and I thought it would be interesting to find out more about the company, and also his views on mobile, and other entrepreneurial opportunities:

What's the elevator pitch for HD Messaging?

We are the backbone for text 2.0. Our free, fully featured API and open source clients provide everything developers need to build killer group messaging apps.

In more lay terms, SMS is outdated - few consumer features, relatively expensive for the operators to deliver. IP based messaging is the future - we want to provide the platform to make it happen. We are primarily working with mobile operators and handset OEMs to provide white label IP messaging services for them.

What's the current status - plus how many using, geographic scope etc?

We have been working with one of the largest handset OEMs for almost a year. We also have deals with 2 major carriers and one messaging infrastructure provider. We expect to have apps in the hands of 100+ million consumers in 2012 based on current deals.

What are the biggest challenges you're facing in a) developing & b) persuading people of the benefits?

A. Our biggest development issue is probably speed. We're extremely excited by our roadmap, but never get to build things as quick as we like. We are looking for great developers to join our team in Helsinki

B. Again our main obstacle is bandwidth. There are carriers all over the globe who are potential customers - we know they respond well to what we have to offer, but its hard for us to get in-front of them because we are busy taking care of existing clients.

How would brands & agencies get involved in what you're doing?

Probably the biggest differentiator in our business is what we call MagicWords (see
This is really a content play inside for messaging. Lets say you and I are texting back and forth to arrange where to meet for a beer. The word 'beer' might be highlighted and when you click it you see a list of the nearest pubs to where you are standing. If I say 'it looks like it will rain' - then rain becomes a link to the local weather forecast.

From a consumer's view these hidden sources of content add real value to messaging without disrupting the user experience. They also act as great advertising units - a bar might pay to be featured in the list of local pubs, and Sky, ITV and would all bid to be the provider of the weather forecast to the user. The obvious analogy here is online search - but there are approximately 10 times more text messages sent/received than their are online searches every day - so the market opportunity is huge!

At the moment we are doing some free trials for brands - they can contact us here if they'd like more information.

What other opportunities around mobile do you think are taking off at the moment?

I think 3-D is going to be a lot of fun in the next 12-24 months - especially in the entertainment and ads space. Mobile commerce is finally happening, though I think is going to ramp slower than many expect. There is plenty of room in both areas for real innovation that can gain market traction quickly.

I still think as an industry we haven't yet found the ad unit that makes mobile marketing explode - banners are just too intrusive and unsophisticated. Search is growing fast but isn't differentiated enough from online search. We believe that MagicWords is a great step to something that is based around natural mobile activity (messaging) and ads value to both consumers and brands.

See more here -

A winning HTML5 Banner

One of the winning HTML5 banners from a competition organised by DoubleClick

Users could navigate around some French landmarks in a balloon:

See it in action here.
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