The New Platform

I am constantly impressed by Rovio's ability to innovate. A long time ago, I wrote a post about what your brand can learn from Angry Birds. Today, Rovio continues to give us reasons to admire them. Most recently the Company announced the launch of a new cartoon series. However, unlike most cartoons, this one won't debut the traditional way ... it will instead debut on the app itself... and wherever that app can be found.



Fast Company has some good coverage of this news, you should give it a quick glance. In the article, there is a quote from the CMO of Rovio that really struck me ..

"If we want to distribute cartoons on Saturday mornings globally, we can do that. We don’t have to talk to 100 broadcasters--we can stick it on our own channels, and it’s there."

Take a second to re-read that.

This quote illustrates the future of both content distribution and content consumption. It may even go so far as to hint at the future of content creation. 

Content needs to add value to a consumer's life. Even if that value just comes in the form of mindless entertainment, it still has to be entertaining enough to be considered valuable by the consumer. Rovio's consumers are already receiving value. By downloading Angry Birds, they have given permission to Rovio to deliver valuable experiences to them. Rovio is now planning on adding even more value to that relationship. The genius of it all is that Rovio is using its own platform to deliver this new value.

How can you create a platform for your brand? What value will you offer on that platform?

Angry Birds is no longer just a game.

It's a platform.

Moment Hacking

During the Superbowl this past weekend, something occurred that caused a real disruption. A disruption to the way the game is played.

Of course, this had nothing to do with Football ... and everything to do with advertising.

Before we get into that, I would like to bring up a concept I came across a long time ago called, 'newsjacking.' I first read about it through the brilliance of Joe Chernov and began to understand how easily it could work into an organization's SEO strategy. If your organization has an active blog, newsjacking is an especially useful tactic. Here's how it's defined:

It’s [newsjacking] the act of redirecting the momentum from breaking news into your company’s favor by injecting a fresh perspective … in real time.

Now, let's return to the Superbowl this past weekend. By now, you have probably heard of and seen these (Warning: They are brilliant): 

A Tide Moment Hack.

A Tide Moment Hack.

An Oero Moment Hack.

An Oero Moment Hack.

These are examples of what I am calling: Moment Hacks.

A Moment Hack occurs when a brand uses a trending topic as its basis to ship a piece of creative work which reinforces a brand's message. 

In order to do this well, brands need to be agile. They need to be willing to take a risk. Let go of the red tape because in this game, speed is absolutely everything. Tide, Oero and even some others seized a very opportune moment and produced something remarkable.

Newsjacking and Moment Hacking are very similar concepts. In my view, Moment Hacking deals with the production specifically of a creative piece of work, it needs to be visual so that it can be easily shared. Moment Hacking can also occur in a much shorter time-frame and even has a shorter life-span because moments/trending topics sometimes don't last long.

In the coming year I am sure we are going to witness many more moments. Let's see how they get hacked.

Dear Trevor

Direct marketing campaigns have always fascinated me. They are very expensive and can be very expansive, yet sometimes I fail to see how they bring value to a customer.

Occasionally, one will stand out.

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A colleague of mine named Trevor received this neat package in the mail a couple of days ago. As a curious marketer himself, he was very intrigued by the simplicity of the package and decided to see it through ...

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Upon sticking the USB dongle into his computer, a little program was executed which brought up an Internet Explorer window with the screen shown above. Trevor was also given a promo code as part of the direct mail package and after entering it in, he was taken to the screen below .. 
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Customized, clean and convincing.

What I really like about this piece of marketing is that it turned the usually passive act of consuming a marketing message into an active one. Some people may revolt at that statement because you may argue that we shouldn't spend our days actively consuming marketing messages; however, in this case ... there was actual value in the message.

Notice the box that says 'Trevor's offer' on the top right corner. Trevor actually showed me what this offer was and although it wasn't totally enticing to him at this time, it was still of some value.

Turn passive consumers into active ones by bringing value into their lives - this is what direct marketing should be about.

Actually, that's what all marketing should be about.

Continuing the story

The other day ... I came across this in my Facebook mobile feed:

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I always keep an eye on the ads in my Facebook mobile newsfeed because for the most part, they are not relevant.

This one was slightly different. It also has some well written copy and a compelling enough image so ... out of curiosity ... I clicked it (sorry for costing you money Digisocial).

Then I came upon this lovely screen:

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Notice the cat.

Did you see the cat anywhere in the first ad? I just thought it was interesting to see the cat as opposed to the image of the mic that was actually in the ad.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to talk about that cat. It's actually about storytelling.

Look at the first image again and read the first line of copy, "Still texting? You're losing life's exciting moments." Now look quickly at the copy on the app page. For some reason this copy doesn't seem quite as compelling as the original ad.

My question is, why not choose to continue the story? Continue the story through the copy on the app page too. Make someone curious. The app is free so don't bore me with the nitty gritty, tell me a story and make me want to download it for free.

Once I get there, the nitty gritty should make me want to keep it.

The genius of Myspace

When I came across this landing page for the new Myspace, I could not help but marvel at the genius of it. Allow me to break down my thoughts:


1. Clear heading - Also it's intriguing because if you didn't know that was the name of JT's new single then you may be slightly confused ... yet curious, which is a good thing (It causes you to learn more).

2. Nice image - He's not stock. He's gorgeous.

3. Short but sweet copy - You don't need much, you just need to explain your headline.

4. Cleeeaaarrr calls to action - Also, only two calls to action! So easy! The person visiting this page only has two options!!! Well, they can also leave the page without doing anything, but that's a risk anyone faces. 

5. White space - Gives your eyes time to focus instead of being assaulted with images, copy and calls to action.

Overall = genius.

Check it out for yourself.

This is a suggested post

Earlier today, I saw this in the heart of my Facebook news feed:

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Let me break it down quickly from a marketing perspective:

1. Short, brief copy = good.
2. Social proof (lots of likes, shares, comments) = good.
3. Clear CTA (Like page) = good.
4. Captivating creative = good.

Now let me break it down from a user (far more important) perspective:

1. Relevant = nope.

Therefore, all the marketing points I made earlier ... redundant, useless, void, wasted.

If you're a marketer planning on using any form of non-permission based advertising this year ... please make it relevant. Users ... please revolt against irrelevancy in marketing.

Be an artist


I spent today reading The Icarus Deception

I have always and will continue to be inspired by Seth. His generosity is contagious.

Here are a few of my favourite insights from the book:

Art is the act of pointing a light at the darkness. Before you turn on the light, you have no idea what you're about to see, and once you know what you're going to see, it's no longer dark. 
Art is the truly human act of creating something new that matter to another person. The only refuge left, the only safe path, is to be the one who makes art.
The connections in our life multiply and increase in value. Our stuff, on the other hand, merely gets cheaper over time.

My hope for your 2013 and my own:

Be an artist. Make connections. Start something worth starting. Be vulnerable.

Every day this next year you and I will have the opportunity and the choice to approach something differently. I hope for both our sakes, that at least on one day ... we seize that opportunity and chose to make a difference.