Organically Mutating Websites…

16 03 2008

An open source company website

Noah Brier turned me on this newly launched website from agency Modernista!, which is essentially just an navigational interface that threads together information about the company from a plethora of social media platforms. For example they have a gallery on Flickr, their video reel lives on YouTube, and the About section lives on Wikipedia.

These guys have balls of steel.

They are handing over control of their ‘brand’ to the people.

For example their competition could reedit their wikipedia entry, or consumers could trash their creative with comments that potential clients could see.

Crazy? Yes, but admirable.

They are walking the walk, and committing to openness, for in today’s marketing world the consumers own THE BRAND, not the corporations or the agency of record.


The Relaunching of The Ad-Vocate

16 03 2008

Hello World… Again

It’s been awhile. Hope everyone has been well.

Since January I started a new position at Kirshenbaum, Bond + Partners’ media buying and planning arm, The Media Kitchen (TMK) as an Asso. Interactive Strategist. After leaving Crayon many months ago I wandered for sometime looking for a place where I could spread my wings, doing small consulting gigs and talking to a number of mentors and friends within the media world. Well, I’m happy to say I found a new family and home at TMK’s Digital Media Team, lead by Darren Herman, who used to be my competition during my stint at Massive Inc., as he was one of the founders of IGA Worldwide. Funny where life leads you.

That said, I wanted to relaunch the blog by reaffirming my manifesto:


The advertising and marketing worlds are on the cusp of a revolution. The world of radio, print, and television has experienced a big bang catalyzed by the rapid assimilation of technology. We are now in a world where 3 channels have expanded into 3,000+. However, the expansion of channels brings with it an opportunity for brands to connect with people in a more meaningful, more dynamic, and more personal manner. The day of media blasts – one to many marketing – is being eclipsed by personalized, targeted brand communications – one to one marketing. The advertising industry is in an era of upheaval and controlled – some would say uncontrolled – chaos.

New buzz words are coined every day and the conference halls are awash with confusion.

Conversation marketing. 360 degree integration. Word of mouth marketing. Buzz marketing. Metaverse marketing. Etc. etc. etc.

This is adscape of today.

Yet, the educational institutions still preach the outdated curriculum as gospel, and professionals everywhere are sticking their heads in the sand hoping it will all blow over.

Change is needed, and change should be embraced.

The Ad-Vocate seeks to be a guiding hand in these turbulent times.

The Ad-Vocate is a conversation platform for students of advertising, media, and sociology.

The Ad-Vocate is a space where we can collaboratively explore the ultimate question, why do these crazy little creatures called humans do what they do?

Welcome to the Ad-Vocate.

The Pull Out Method: New Inspirations, New Year, New Life

17 01 2008


The Pull Out Method

This post is not an homage to the band, or the last ditch contraceptive method (not condoned by myself), but rather a post reflecting on the past month spent disconnected… 

Scary isn’t?

For those of you that are unaware I grew up for the most part on the island of Maui, way out in the middle of the Pacific.  Thus, as winter dawned I decided to escape back home, and in the midst of last minute packing I threw Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s masterpiece, Fooled By Randomness into my bag.  For anyone that hasn’t read it or the pseudo-sequel The Black Swan, go buy it NOW! The heart of the book grapples with the illusion we create to trick ourselves into believing that we have even a shred of ability to predict the future.  We live in a world of denial, where we build complex prediction systems to help us sleep at night (They also double as great scape goats when the ^#&* hits the fan). 

I finished the last chapter waiting for my parents to rendezvous with me at the airport and I decided to make a pre-New Year’s resolution: 

Disconnect until I return to New York & rise above the noise.

Noise is the day-to-day chatter, the overblown memes, and the X is the new X killer articles.  I’m an info-maniac, and quite literally went through a tough withdraw, however, as I’m catching up on the 1,000,000 blog posts clogging my Greader, I am beginning to see the larger themes, ideas, and trends.  It’s a fascinating experience.

People on the forefront of any revolution tend to get too caught up in there space, hence the manifestation of bubbles, because they throw themselves into the cyclone of noise.  I understand being able to disconnect for a month is a ridiculous luxury, but try to disconnect whenever you can, and actually sit back and assess all the information you have accumulated.

Dots will start to connect themselves, instead of being swept up in the next info blitz.

That said The Ad-Vocate is up and running again, expect a deluge of new posts.

The Evolution of Social Networks

21 12 2007

“The Year Networks Become More Than Social”

Stop by Conversation Agent to check out my recent guest post discussing the evolution of social networks from merely connecting people to connecting people with ideas. 2008 will be the year innovation networks, or i-Nets, were born.

2007 Human Centered Communication Award: Fred Water

13 12 2007

“Fred has a blackbelt in hanging out.”

Fred water is the most brilliant product launch of 2007, even beating out the iPhone. No other product embodies the perfect synergy of marketing and design. Fred, redefined water, a product category most people would say is boring and saturated. Human centered communications is a term I coined to describe the fusion of the human centered design trend with marketing communications. Fred personifies water, making it different, but also increases utility through unique bottle design.  Fred is a product where the advertising positioning was integrated from square one, not a component slapped on the end of the development cycle.

The advertising/design convergence trend is something I have been proclaiming for a number of years, and Fred is the proof of concept that I hope opens the floodgates.

Tangerine Toad’s post on design as the new advertising.

Post on Human Centered Design

Post on Apple’s organizational structure to merge design and marketing.

Without further adieu, the inspirational development process of Fred direct from his father, via PSFK.

Google’s Biggest Hurdle to World Domination

13 12 2007

Goo – what? Chinese can’t pronounce Google.

Interesting article here from Bloomberg that explores a huge problem that Google faces in China. People can’t pronounce the now ubiquitous verb.

In the annals of advertising history we have a number of comedic stories such as the latin Nova launch fiasco, and the debatable Gerbers selling ground babies in Africa tale. These were always cute stories, used to get a chuckle from intro level marketing students, but it is indeed a difficult issue that global brands need to contend with.

Web companies names like Yahoo! were hailed as perfect for international expansion as they were very phonetic and didn’t have clearly defined meanings.  As internet penetration in China increases rapidly, entrepreneurs and conglomerates alike need to start rethinking their naming processes. China also appears to a be unique as for some reason many 2.0 names roll off the tongue in a cutesy way in Japanese.

Can any readers weigh in on other languages?

Happy Holidays to All!

10 12 2007

Happy Holidays!

I know the posting frequency has been a little sub-par lately, but life has been a bit crazy as I tie up all the loose ends before shipping back to Maui to visit my childhood stomping grounds. I’ll be posting a few articles throughout the remainder of the year depending on the frequency of inspiration, so fear not.

More importantly, I hope everyone takes some time to spend quality time with the family. Best wishes!

I will be contributing an article on 2008 predictions over at Conversation Agent, so you can catch me there if you miss me.

See you next year!