Monthly Archives: April 2013

The great thing about social media is that is let’s you meet your brand’s fans. The bad thing about social media is that it can you end up talking only to your fans.

One of the great things about social media is that it let’s you meet your brand’s fans.

The ones who think your brand is just awesome!

So much so that it may occupy a disproportionate amount of their brainspace.

We all have brands that we simply looove. I, for example, am a superfan of Kerrygold butter. I haven’t yet liked them on Facebook but I would. It’s just amazing that butter. No, really. I mean, just look at it.


And it’s very tempting to spend all your time talking people who you KNOW love you. Of course it is. We’re only human.

The danger is that we will fixate on this geyser of adoration and affirmation and forget that our real task is to convert the non-avid lovers. The ones who currently don’t really give a fig.

And I fear this is one of the attractions of social media to marketers.

Not to blow our horns (cue: blowing of own horns!) but looking back on it, I think this idea we did for Wheat Thins a few years back was a good demonstration of how you can amplify your existing fanbase’s love to reach the non-avid user and so create new love.

(Blowing of horns, geysers of adoration, creating new love. Dr. Freud to reception!)

You can see the video here.


Ship happens!

Congratulations to former Escape Pod client Mark Andeer for approving this piece of ship.

What I love about this ad is that you can’t argue with it. And if you do, you’re a fool.

But what I really love is that it’s closing in on 15 million hits on youtube. Niiice!

I just spent the afternoon watching commercial television in the US and A

Something I hadn’t done in a while. Not because I’m so cool or tech savvy, just because I was in a hotel room with my son and we had nothing better to do.

This is what struck me:

1. If i owned a seafood restaurant chain, I too would show lots of freshly cooked seafood in slo-mo in my commercials. That stuff looked good! And i’m allergic to shellfish.
2. Insurance companies need to stop flooding the airwaves and figure something new out. You’re just not that interesting.
3. Being entertaining on the teevee is something a lot of advertisers need to be reminded of. I understand why you might choke and decide to be annoying, I really do, it’s just that you’re not thinking about me and my needs. You never have! Bastards.

Direct communication, Irish style. Part 2.

As we’ve mentioned before, nobody beats the Irish when it comes to pooh-poohing illicit canine pooing.

Well this proud tradition continues. I found this gem on an Irish website today. I love it.


The continued adventures of television advertising

The US cable TV industry is the last frontier for good interface design and generally acting cool. It’s laughably bad. And for an industry in as much peril as it clearly is, it doesn’t do much to help itself.

(But enough of me. Here is a far more entertaining and incisive dissection of the industry from that bastion of forward business thinking website WhatWouldTylerDurdenDo dot com)

Nielsen Realizes That People Are Telling TV To Go Fuck Itself
By Jack

The good news is that people are still pretty much fat and lazy visual-intake vegetables. The bad news for cable and network TV execs is that everyone is getting their fix on Hulu, Netflix, downloaded torrents, and their parent’s HBOgo account. The Associated Press is reporting on a study by fossilized TV measurement service Nielsen about “Zero TV”. Nielsen is scrambling to figure out how to minutely record people’s watching habits in order for companies to better sell us their Fruity Pebbles. This trend has been coming for years and the television industry has kinda sorta not really done jack shit about it, short of getting Louie Anderson to swan dive off a 3-meter board. A lot of broadcast and cable networks content can still only be seen with expensive monthly cable and satellite plans. So, the execs are trying to appeal to the consumer demand for on-demand viewing by allowing them to watch on their own schedule, provided they still pay a boatload each month to their service provider. Solid plan. Goodbye TV.


I started my career in advertising on the media side of things. I sold airtime on ITV (Independent Television) network in the UK . The commercial counterpoint to the BBC TV network.

And it gave me valuable insight into how the advertising business actually works in real life. If nobody sees your content it may as well not exist. Hollywood knows this all too well.

I quickly realized that two things seemed to matter in media placement: money and money.

If you had tons of cash you could literally buy the attention of the nation like magic. And to a large degree you still can.

What made TV such a great advertising medium is that people were sitting comfortably and looking to be entertained in the broadest sense. They are looking for escape and their minds have been slightly switched off. They are open to suggestion. Their guard is down.

And the best TV advertising went with this flow. The worst was a jarring reminder that what you were watching was ad supported. This hasn’t changed.

One of the biggest flaws with advertising on the internet is that advertising just doesn’t belong there.

The internet isn’t a media property owned by Rupert Murdoch. It’s not an advertising medium. It does not enjoy a symbiotic relationship with brands in the same way that other media did.

That was the genius of Google. They basically co-opted the whole of the internet and leaned into what the internet does best: wish fulfillment. Not demand creation.

Demand creation can only be achieved through what amounts to seduction and your brand acting like it’s a real person establishing a relationship. Let’s face it, most people don’t actually NEED most brands. Most brands aren’t the object of anyone’s desire and have to fight to get actively considered by purchasers.

The Internet didn’t change this reality. And the fact that it doesn’t lend itself to demand creation isn’t a flaw with the Internet itself. It’s the flaw of marketers who choose to squint at the Internet and only see the eyeballs of an audience to be exploited.

It’s telling that online media vendors frequently talked in terms of “eyeballs” they could deliver.

Yes, that’s what you offer. We also need hearts and minds unfortunately.