Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Syke! New Fallon Blog Address Info and Links

Rumours of the death of Fallon Blogging are greatly exaggerated.

Long live Fallon Blog at

And add RSS feed address

Er, its the first day live(ish) so importing the past into the new is gonna take a sec (sorting the tags for instance and redirecting old links). All of the old content will continue to live here so any hotlinks or embeds you may have made in the past is still live and searchable. But all the past content also lives on new blog, and ALL UPDATES WILL ONLY HAPPEN AT NEW BLOG ADDRESS ABOVE. So if you love our blog flavor, come savor it over at the new pad.

Also, peep the new website and cop the new social network app Skimmer

Over and out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fallon Brainfood: Fallon Blog Secrets Revealed! (and the death of Fallon Planning Blog)

Its been 2 years since we launched the Fallon Planning Blog and 2 years since Ed Cotton and I did our "Blogging The Agency" presentation at AAAA Planning Conference which tried to assess the value of account planners' blogging.

At the time, questions were just starting to arise about agency bloggers and the role we should be playing on the burgeoning social web. I distinctly remember some big name planners insisting that all this bloggery and twittering was a waste of our time and we should get back our proper surveys and focus groups like a good puppy. Interestingly, not a day goes by that a client isn't asking the Insight dept for a POV on social media. Then, social media was a hobby, now its become the job.

What prompted the Fallon Planning Blog? Fallon Planners were asking a philosophical question: Are we merely our work, or are we our ideas and thinking, too? And if we're ideas and thinking, where does all that get expressed and workshopped beyond our client decks? Younger planners were asking how might they learn and hear from experienced planners beyond the annual conference? Other questions abounded about what effect social media might play on us, our industry, our work, our clients? We were beginning to see the seismic shifts that social computing was having on retail, media consumption, music, creative production, distribution, etc. A partial answer to this conundrum was to participate. We started a blog.

The blog launched with little fanfare (or even official sanction) we simply started and assumed to sort it out as we went.

So years later, what has it gotten us? What have we learned from blogging and Brainfooding and Tweeting and social networking?

Highlights about Fallon Planning Blog
-Over 170,000 pageviews and over 27,406 unique visitors since launch in 2006
-Average 600 RSS subscribers a day
-Ranked #142 on AdAge Power 150 - top media and marketing blogs
-over 12,000 pageviews in Feb 2009, this year may be reaching a tipping point!
-Fallon Worldwide/Fallon Minneapolis receives an average blog mention every 11 days
-Fallon Planning receives an average blog mention every 12 hours

Highlights about Fallon Brainfood:
-over 52,000 total views of Brainfood on Slideshare plus countless live webcam views, blog posts, and Tweets
-over 4600 views of Brainfood in Q109 so far
-28,905 Twitter impressions

So you might wonder why all the reflective tone in this post? It probably sounds like something is ending. And well, it is...or rather, something new is soon to begin. But for now, consider the Fallon Planning Blog experiment successfully ended.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

5 Ways For Brands To Use YouTube

1. In-Video Overlays

This function allows you to advertise in the middle of a video with small pop-ups. This means a coupon button could pop up right after they see the food, or a “buy this on DVD” ad pops up right after the punch line.

Monty Python Channel

Best thing is, it’s working. Monty Python has recently put some of their most popular content on YouTube and with the click-to-buy links under the video. Mashable reports that even though the content is online for free, Monty Python’s DVD sales have skyrocketed 23,000% on Amazon and reached the #2 on Bestseller list.

2. Brand Channels

These homepages can save a lot of money and be more effective. YouTube now offers enough customization you can basically create a microsite for peanuts. Also, users can stay within the YouTube environment without clicking out to get the coupons, games and other goodies.

Nature Valley’s Brand Channel

3. Annotations

Advertisers no longer need to buy banner space around their content on YouTube. They simply place it within their content for free. Annotations are also great because you can change easily without re-editing or re-uploading the video. This means brands can respond quickly to what people are saying by adding their own comments to sections of the video. Another function of these annotations has been a these choose your own adventure video (shown below). Annotations are changing the way we tell brand narratives.

Samsung Instinct

Street Fighter

4. Out of the box experiences

YouTube is willing to work with clients to make the standard video player more dynamic. Take a look at the creative approach Goodby Silverstein & Partners SF took in advertising the Nintendo Wii game Wario Land.

Wario Land

5.Deeper Insight
YouTube’s Insight portion helps you monitor how hot or cold your video is. It generates graphs at what time your audience is leaving or where they go back for another look. It also gives you demographics and info as to where they discovered the video. After looking at hot spots, you could better decide where to add annotations and in-video overlays. You can also understand how long your audience is willing to stick around.

Youtube Insight

Mobile T.V.

As the demand for content everywhere becomes greater, a surge of network and cable television phone "apps" has vitalized. Here are some of the latest.


This application allows you to access channels such as CBS Sports, The CW, and Showtime.

- VH1 Watch and Discuss Live Chat

Chat live while watching your favorite VH1 show. Think of it as a mobile chat room.

- CBS March Madness

CBS recently launched the March Madness app for the tournament. Starting March 19th CBS will be streaming every game live. Since live mobile TV is still in the early stages, it will be interesting to see what happens.

And it's not just for the iPhone any more. Content providers have realized the importance of mobile TV and are making their shows available across numerous mobile platforms (e.g. Android, Blackberry, etc.).

Additionally, with all things new I think there are a few things to consider with this platform. Content owners must embrace mobile as a new medium and craft new experiences that tap the unique characteristics of the mobile environment.

Some ideas that may help mobile TV break through are below.

- Create must-see programming that is only accessible via the phone such as clips that continue a story, possibly using footage that was not shown originally.
- Have interactive experiences that will provide plenty of opportunities for viewers to vote on a show or otherwise give their feedback.
- Don't rely on the 30-minute slot that works in traditional TV; the mobile environment allows for more creative uses of time outside of that format. For example, make a quick TV slot to fill short time gaps - like when waiting for the next bus to arrive. Or longer programs for the distant bus commute out of the city.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Real Life Account Planning

We like strategy and we like to write briefs. We like to look at ads and decide when strategy is bad or good, but how often do we make a real difference?

Here is a guy who made a difference with account planning. Instead of writing a brief he took his observations and research and created a charity, gave homes to 170 homeless people, and gave them back their pride.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Flash Mobs as Optimism Drivers

Book stores that were once filled with books about dreaming and achieving are now filled with books about the end being near and suicide prevention, John McCain's Twitter feed is solely devoted to tearing apart the stimulus package, and I passed a man on the side of the road today holding a sign that says 'The End is Near.' When the best news we have to cling to is Wal-Mart's impressive sales numbers for February of ‘09, is there any optimism left?

Although the optimism quotient is in decline there are still glimpses of hope if you look hard enough. One of those glimpses is the resurgence of flash mobs.

Just a few weeks ago thousands of facebook users mobbed Trafalgar Square and the Liverpool Street Station in London to spontaneously dance.

Three weeks ago Taiwan had their first flash mob where 50 people showed up to participate in an organized pillow fight

and earlier this week a theater group in Scotland organized a flash mob to dance in the town centre.

In each case the flash mob is filled with fun and optimism and manifests joy-crazy happiness is on the faces of the participants. In the case of the dancing London flash mobs they were a reenactment of a T-Mobile commercial.
As the economy continues to suck it is important to hang on to the optimism that helps define America. Any time pure joy can manifest and brighten the day of thousands of people it is a good thing, and something people will appreciate. It’s a generous idea.