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.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Target Women

Sarah Haskins critiques the targeted ad messages to women on Current TV's weekly Infomania. Here's a sample of them
Target Women: Family Dinner

Target Women: Number 2

Target Women: Cleaning

Target Women: Jewelry

Target Women: Cars

Target Women: Birth Control

Monday, December 08, 2008

Community 2.0: Juicy Campus

Is user anonymity the key threat to brands on the social web?

I missed this Juicy Campus furor (+, +, +) in recent months yet found this intriguing story on Current TV.

The predicament detailed here reminds me of what many of our clients fear - anonymous social terrorists undermining brands on the social web by unfairly calling the brand a slut - with no recourse available to the maligned brand! Is user anonymity a threat to brands on the social web?

Obviously there is no easy answer as the social web can hardly be "controlled". But brands seeking to conduct social web ideas may learn from the success of other social web communities (think eBay and Amazon). These communities foster user privacy and protection yet users can't just say and do any ol' thing and not be held accountable to the community. Maybe this makes an argument for why brands must initiatiate where they want to participate and on what terms - jump in first before you're forced to defend yourself in forums you don't want to be.

For example, Starbucks, a brand that everybody has "2-cents" commentary about took the step of activating a Twitter account and forums like MyStarbucksIdea so that the discussion is moderated fairly (and aggregated in a central place so that suggestions are actionable, not just complaint rants. And everyone may have a go at responding to both good and stupid ideas. Its been interesting to note even President Elect Obama recently opened up the "comments" channels on his weekly YouTube of the thousands of comments I've only noticed a few idiot elements. Will be curious to see if this maintains but I think taking the forward step of opening the response channels (and fostering transparancy with accountability controls like "vote up/vote down") actually deter some of the social web brand bullies.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Election Day Generosity

Generous brands provide people with something of value. Increasingly, we’re seeing brands offering up more than just ads, messaging, and ‘fuzzy background noise’. We’ve begun to witness brands giving us ideas – things to get behind and care about. Today’s brands that give in such a way have the power to become bigger role players in their audiences’ lives because they offer value beyond plain old messaging. Branding becomes more than just the ad that gets put out in space for all or anyone to glaze over.

When this happens, generosity emerges and helps create more meaningful brand experiences.

One example of Generosity is Starbucks’ free coffee giveaway on Election Day.

To help bolster sales but also to encourage the ideal of good citizenship, Starbucks promised they’d give a free tall coffee to anyone who came in and said they voted.

Their spot that aired during Saturday Night Live asks: “What if we all cared enough to vote? Not just 54% of us, but 100% of us? What if we cared as much on Nov. 5 as we care on Nov. 4?....You and Starbucks. It’s bigger than coffee.”

Other examples of Election Day Generosity include Ben & Jerry's ice cream giveaway

and also Krispy Kreme's doughnut giveaway

It’s simple and makes sense: Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, and Krispy Kreme said they supported voting if their customers also cared. These brands served up more than just their product; they gave customers social value by encouraging democracy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fallon Brainfood: @_S_A_R_A_H_ Case Study at SMBMSP

How Fallon and SciFi Network are using Twitter to turn TV audiences into social web advocates.
Listen to testimony from a real fan's podcast describing his experience

Fallon strategic planner Aki Spicer and producer Marty Wetherall presented some of their recent learnings from @_S_A_R_A_H_ at Social Media Breakfast/Twin Cities. @_S_A_R_A_H_ is a character from SCIFI Network's Eureka who Twitters to over 3600+ loyal followers. Aki and Marty revealed some of the rewards and pitfalls of maintaining a live, ongoing, public conversation with fans as well as thoughts on how the modern television series is evolving, extending and enhancing their characters and stories using the social web to engage and inspire fans.

Results to-date:
3676+ followers (as of Nov 19, 2008)
4800+ Eureka mentions
5000+ SCIFI mentions

1.3 million twitter impressions (and counting).
683 different people @_S_A_R_A_H_'ed.
Multiplying their follower count by the number of @_S_A_R_A_H_'s they tweeted resulted in 604,812 impressions.
Additionally, _S_A_R_A_H_'s tweets resulted in 733,442 impressions.
End Result: 604,812 + 733,442 = 1,338,254 twitter impressions.

Read the world-first "Twitterview" between a TV character and a blog reporter.
Additional notes from Aki and Marty and Pioneer Press
The Creative Idea: "Talk to your favorite character. Really." Imagine if social media could deliver this Marsha Brady Effect to every participating fan.

Politics 2.0: Millennial Makeover

Current TV's Mariana van Zeller looks at the impact of the youth involvement in the 2008 presidential election, with some intriguing interviews with the authors of Millenial Makeover

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fallon Brainfood: The Mobile 10

On November 6, 2008 Fallon Strategic Planner Aki Spicer and Senior Producer Marty Wetherall conducted a one hour live presentation about mobile media, using mobile media (such as UStream and Qik)!

Presentation slides via Slideshare

Fallon Brainfood: The Mobile 10
View SlideShare document or Upload your own. (tags: akispicer fallon)

Full presentation video via Google Video

The WINNERS of Fallon Brainfood TXT2WIN contest are: Drew Dayberry of VCU ($25 Apple card) and Pat Sidoti @ Fallon ($50 Apple card).

150 people viewed the presentation via UStream, here is a gallery of some who submitted a mobile photo during the presentation at


Contact On The Go Mobile Media at email:

Contact FanChatter at email:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Age of Conversation 2 Now Available

I contributed a chapter to this edition of Age of Conversation (AOC2) on the topic of "Open Source Creativity". I jumped at the chance to be able to contribute to the collective voice of AOC2 and put social media theory into practice. Afterall, this is the model for how most everything will be produced in the near future!
And join in the conversation
AOC2 blog and podcasts
AOC2 Facebook
AOC2 Twitter #AOC2 in your tweets!

AOC2 co-authors (including myself)

Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem, G. Kofi Annan, James G. Lindberg

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fallon Brainfood: The Mobile 10 Invitation

Fallon Brainfood: Mobile 10 Invite on

Date: Thursday, November 6, 2008
Time: 12pm CST/1pm EST/10am PST
Location: Fallon Stage 24 (for employees) and the Interwebnets (for everybody else)

This will be a live presentation about mobile media, using mobile/social media! RSVP via Facebook.

*Don't worry, specific links and coordinates will be forthcoming on day of the event, you will not have to download or learn any new or complicated technology to participate, I promise.

What is Brainfood?
Brainfood is an all-agency lunch conducted by Fallon Planners. Wide-ranging topics explore trends, business issues, and actionable opportunities for our brands. Moreover, Brainfood offers us a chance to come together, share a beer and some pizza, and engage in a stimulating discussion on a variety of interesting topics that affect our business. Past Brainfood presentations have included trends and hot button issues such as Virtuality, Design For All, China Rising, Latin America in the Age of Web 2.0, Social 10-Trends in Social Media, Blogging the Agency, and more.

Missed previous Brainfoods? Go to + or + for a sampling

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Metaphor for Web 2.0: The Bubble Project

Consider this a living metaphor for Web 2.0 (in fact, he says so at the end):

This artist and his Bubbles are the Web 2.0 enablers sprouting up all over the web and mobile (YouTube, Dopplr, Yelp, Twitter, etc), inviting people to participate. People add value by contributing to the blank space in the Bubbles (without the contributions of the masses, the Bubbles are valueless). And well, the collective canvas and conversation starter is the ads (and TV shows and news).

Agencies and creatives now have the choice to acknowledge that these Bubbles will now increasingly pop up throughout the web (and the real world). We may even embrace these Bubbles and actually leave space for them and let their contribution make our communications ideas better/contextually relevant/innovative/participatory/engaging/personal/collaborative ("people add value"). Or not. We can pretend that our ad ideas are the special ones, and we won't ever be Bubbled over.

But it is likely that the Bubbles are coming whether you intend it or not. Don't fear the Bubbles! They don't have to be malicious threats to our idea, in fact, many are simply co-creative and collaborative additions that actually improve on and expand the communications idea (or they can be). And if the Bubbles are negative, we may need to ask ourselves why and is there some truth to be addressed in the Bubbles' response to our brands?

Either way its a fresh and slippy idea for our times.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Generosity: Modern Branding is Learning To Give Instead of Take

Generosity is the recipe of modern branding. It's about providing value to the audience: entertainment value, social value, and brand value.

Generosity Fallon Kc
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: aki spicer)

Here's a presentation I made a few weeks ago at Barkley's Creativity Symposium in Kansas City underscoring the importance of Generosity in advertising.
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Sustainability Dictionary

The Hartman Group shares insight into green and sustainability with their "Gnomenclature on Sustainability." The interactive report/dictionary is a clever and engaging presentation of both qualitative and quantitative findings. Fun Friday reading and a good, quick reference for those new to the category. 

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Workshop Recap - DEEPSPACE STRATEGY: Modern Brand Building

Last week we (Alyson and I) had the extreme pleasure of attending Space 150’s DEEPSPACE STRATEGY: Modern Brand Building workshop. Adrian Ho from Zeus Jones, Dion Hughes of Persuasion Arts & Sciences and space150’s Paul Isakson spit some knowledge at a small crowd from an assortment of MPLS agencies.

What were the top three most interesting tidbits that floated to the top of the presentations and subsequent conversations? Thanks for asking.

One: Manners and Parties
Dion’s focus was on how modern brands should look at themselves like they’re guests at a party and how manners, courtesy, and the desire to leave a good (and lasting) impression can translate into a brand image. Our question: Do all brands want to be the life of the party and talk of the town (Consumer Goods), or do the rules of the party change if you are a different type of guest at a different type of party (BtoB)? Short answer: It’s less about being the life of the party and more about being the ideal guest. It may be OK to rock a lampshade on your head, if that what’s the frat party calls for. Other parties, however, may require more subtlety, manners, and conversation.

Two: Element of Time
This touched on the fact that digital media has extended the audience for brands and increased the importance of timing in brand messaging. Brands need the ability to react to the almost immediate fan feedback (and cynic backlash) that has become available with product and brand specific blogging. The point was made that there are certain limits on cognitive capital, and consumers will only blog about expensive items or those that play a important role in users lives. (It’s at this point, that the words “Apple” and “iPhone” were used a combined 247 times) Although we’ve been seeing plenty of product blogs that do not fit into one of those categories (i.e. Breakfast Cereal), it’s difficult to find a brand blog that does the same (i.e. Cheerios Blog).
Brands also need to rethink the term “first-to-market”. Paul explained how “If you don’t define your brand, someone else will”, illustrated in the Mac vs. PC (248) ads. This also includes beating your consumers to the digital space, or at least playing nice with them if they’ve beat you there.

Three: Advertising Community
Lastly, the workshop itself was evidence of the internal and external changing landscape of ad agencies. There seems to be a move toward a communal exchange of knowledge between advertising minds, especially in MPLS. This allows green planners to mix it up with experienced thinkers, while all can benefit from the occasional re-learning and re-vamping session, especially since new-and-improved branding practices have already given way to smarter-and-sleeker ones.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Politics 2.0: Motivequest Tracks Political Brand Advocacy

MotiveQuest uses online advocacy as a measure to guage Election '08. Contrast this tool against the "expert" polls and let's see in November. At stake here in this experiment is a battle royale between the reliability of classic poll "ask" research versus online anthropology "listen" research. Whatever the outcome in November, it is increasingly clear that planners will need to balance the two measures (what they say in our survey trackers, and what they say on the web) to get a nuanced understanding of how our brands are perceived in the age of conversation/participation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sign of the (mobile) Times

Great image from NYT. Succintly outlines the opportunity and hazards of the coming age of mobile.

*btw Fallon Brainfood: Mobile 10 trends coming soon.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Culture Dispatch: "Trouble the Water" Interview

I happened upon a screening of "Trouble the Water" last weekend while in Boston. The documentary follows Kim and Scott Roberts, a husband and wife living in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. Unable to leave the city, Kim takes her camcorder to the streets to document the mood of her neighborhood before the storm and the unfolding disaster as Katrina strikes and the levees fail. The film later follows Kim and her husband as they search for opportunity and a new start in the aftermath of the storm. 

While there is a political undercurrent to the movie, the focus is foremost on the emotional story of survival (the first-hand footage of Katrina is riveting), defiance, and optimism. The movie open in several more theaters this weekend. I encourage you all to go see it. 

After the movie, two of the movie's producers, Carl Deal and T. Woody Richman, answered audience questions about their experience making the film. The third producer, Tia Lessin, was kind enough to chat with me on the phone this week about the film. Planner-relevant excerpts from our conversation:

At what moment did you know you had a big story? 

Just by the nature of what had happened on the ground [post-Katrina], the moral failure of our government, we knew [Hurricane Katrina] was a story of national importance. Later when we screened our film on the big screen, we saw that our story was a big story. The characters and events were emotionally engaging; our goal was to construct a story that was equally compelling. 

The subject matter had the potential to be emotionally draining. How did you avoid burn-out? What propelled you forward?

Who says I'm not burned out? It was tough to make the film with very little support. We've had to battle every step of the way for distribution; it's been a reality check to see how independent film gets made. We wanted to prove that a film like this is commercially viable. We wanted to make a film that has integrity, that isn't pandering to whatever we're told people want to see, just happy stories. Making entertaining films that also have an edge is a challenge. It was difficult to create a film that had a powerful political and emotional center, that was also entertaining, had god music, and a good story arc. 

In the press kit, you state that you "set out to make a dramatic movie, not to deliver information." How did you achieve that?

We knew we needed to put ourselves in an environment for good story cover. You're always casting for characters when you're telling an emotional story. Being an independent production helped. You're always hoping that you're reflecting what's going on around you versus what's in your head or on a production schedule or in the paper. 

I think we tried not to rely on a lot of conventional documentary devices such as talking head interviews with experts, voice-over narration, etc. We tried not to make a "see and say movie," but a compelling emotional story.

Was there anything that surprised you about the experience?

Everything! If you're not going to be surprised, you might as well go home. 

We were surprised not to see New Orleans rebuilt over the years we filmed. We were surprised to see Kim's hidden talents. We were surprised to get a sense for and capture the feel of New Orleans. We were surprised to have captured such a beautiful story and that we were able to get real distribution interest in it! 

Fallon Brainfood: Latin America in the Age of Web 2.0

Fallon strategic planner Aki Spicer presents a micro-serving of Brainfood, with this quick look at Latin America in the Age of Web 2.0. This is a brief overview of social media and mobile trends for the LatAm market (a complex market made up of many countries and varied conditions). This is hardly an exhaustive analysis, it is meant as a intro and primer.

Takeaways from the presentation:
+Connected: Web usage is growing at a fast clip throughout LatAm
+Social: Social networking is experiencing rapid growth in LatAm
+Fragmented: Social networks in LatAm are fragmented and varied by each country - no dominant leader
+Mobilizing: Mobile penetration is exploding - more than broadband. And for many, the web has always been mobile
+Smart: Phones are getting smarter as more people demand functionality
+Shift: Social networking, TV, and purchases will continue to migrate to mobile devices
+Evolve: Cultural mores are evolving, and people are embracing new ways that challenge the traditional institutions
+Participate: The way forward for marketers is to design marketing that adds value to people’s lives and embrace participation

La Caida de Edgar is an example of how ideas spread among people on the social web...

…and savvy brands like Emperador are joining this conversation and participating.

Brainfood is a monthly all-agency lunch conducted by Fallon Planners. Wide-ranging topics explore trends, business issues, and actionable opportunities for our brands.

A deeper dive into La Caida de Edgar phenomenon by Rocketboom

*Some good resources for LatAm and Web 2.0 data and insights include Analytics2.0 and ComScore

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oasis Takes Upcoming Album to Streets (of NYC)

Oasis taught street musicians throughout NYC to play their unreleased songs.

Flickr group links, fans are encouraged to submit their photos here

Social Web Amplifies AIG Advertising Ironies

AIG's ad message irony: a theme of 'Strength to Be There' sparks a campaign pullout. But the social web never forgets as links and WOM spreads virally.

And this blogger received a direct mailer (and topped Digg ranks yesterday) from AIG asking: "If Disaster Strikes, Will You Have The Protection You Need?".

Perhaps marketers will need to audit their brands' vulnerability in a worst case scenario where the product/company can't deliver on the ad message - in a big public way. This, of course, is the eternal bane of advertiser's existence - the nagging worry that "what if my client can't deliver on our big brand idea?"

via AdAge and

Free Hugs


...Imagine if your Brand had done this?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Social Media is the New CRM

Noticed yesterday that Home Depot is now on Twitter and answering questions in the vein of Frank over on ComcastCares...I thought this post was a succinct display of the Generosity, CRM responsiveness, and "added value" derived from HomeDepot's social media efforts.

More models for how brands may upgrade CRM and advance value on the social webs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Virtuality: Image Metrics' "Emily"

Emily here is explaining why Image Metrics, an animation company, is better than motion capture.

The video's biggest selling point is the fact that Emily isn't a real girl at all, but rather the latest and greatest display of technological advances in CG and animation.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Innov8: The Onion on Product Innovation

At what price our never-ending "forward advancement"? The Onion shows us the future of product innovation: "Domino's Scientists Test Limits Of What Humans Will Eat"

Domino's Scientists Test Limits Of What Humans Will Eat

Monday, September 08, 2008

Community 2.0: Entourage on Whrrl

New social net Whrrl (think Yelp! meets Facebook meets Brightkite/Dodgeball meets Dopplr) is trying to gain groundswell with a nifty collabo with HBO's Entourage. Befriend the crew and get personal guides/recommendations/reviews of LA from the characters like they were "real" people.

More examples(+/-) of social media blurring the lines for "fictional" characters (stay tuned for a Case Study and vid of our own activity with Sci-Fi Network's Eureka TV show.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Feast

"The Feast" on October 16th in NYC will gather 150 of the world's leading creative mavericks, entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, radicals, and innovators together to inspire action to change the world.

A series of inspiring, mind-expanding, and innovative talks that will showcase a look at social innovation from all angles. From design to business to science, our speakers will share a deep look at changing the DNA of their respective industries by harnessing the power of creativity to propel social change. Some confirmed speakers include Dale Jones of PlayPumps International and Tom Szaky of TerraCycle.

Whether you're a social entrepreneur or socially conscious at heart, "The Feast" will provide you with an excellent platform for inspiration, connection, and action.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Twittering the RNC

I am attending the RNC tonight and will be twittering live from the Xcel center. I've never been to a party convention before and am curious to see what it's all about. It should be good ...

Check for a planner's perspective on the convention at:

Web 2.0: Advertus Interuptus

Google released a teaser comic about their latest develops, Google Chrome browser. Besides the fact that I want it (not avail yet) and this mode of Simplexity communications (think CommonCraft) are increasingly necessary in the modern age...

Most intriguing for advertisers are page 23's implications:

I think this page is a really simple metaphor and explainer to clients for just how Web 2.0 has/will continually handicap the classic, long-held interruption model of advertising.

Note other trends of this sort on Facebook such as the new "thumbs up/thumbs down" ad options for voting "irrelevant" or "uninteresting" advertising out of your social life.

As predicted (endlessly) by many of us, WEB 2.0 IS ENABLING PEEPS TO SHUT OUT THE UNWANTED (SPAM) OUT OF OUR LIVES. And the passkey back in won't be in trojan horses and increased noise, but rather: offering up generous value.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Politics 2.0: Sex Ads in Denver Up During DNC

Timeless behavior, perhaps, but now enabled and amplified by social media - CNet says: Sex Ads in Denver Up During DNC

"Ads seeking casual sexual encounters through the Denver Craigslist site increased an average of roughly 70 percent to 80 percent over the same days of the week earlier in August."

The general content is what you might expect. Posts suggested "Here 4 DNC? Come get sexual with me"; "Does the DNC make you hot?"; and "Looking to service a young Democrat."

And CNet offers this fair disclaimer: "mere correlation does not imply causation - other factors could explain this rise in advertisements." True, indeed. And I would also add to this disclaimer that increased ad spending doesn't necessarily mean increased sales resulted, either. Advertisers could, perhaps, have been pitching to an indifferent target base who were far too busy to care. If anyone has ROI research data on this feel free to post your charts. Will keep eyes peeled for RNC comparisons.

via Adlab

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Community 2.0: Hurricane Gustav Information Center

A collective assembly of Gustav Information. Using Ning platform, the site aggregates content from a variety of social media resources, including; Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Utterz, Technorati, etc.- all you have to do is tag the item gustav.

*Hopefully, this will be a merely academic exercise in pre-caution.

via Social Media Club

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mass Interactive: Cymbolism

Cymbolism is a new website that attempts to quantify the association between colors and words, making it simple for designers to choose the best colors for the desired emotional effect. Taking web 2.0 folksonomy to the next stage, users are invited to organize the definition of color itself with word associations and tags.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Social 10: Facebook’s New Social Video Ad Unit is an Engagement Magnet

A few of us noticed a curious new ad unit pop up in our Facebook feeds yesterday. The unit is a video that also displays open comments from your friends circle about that ad. Real-time, ongoing conversation about the ad - which potentially gives advertisers a peek directly into the sentiment of the audiences receiving the ad. I think this is a game-changer for social ads.

Inside Facebook notes: Facebook will fill the sponsored home page slot with this kind of unit.

The behavior:
1)Clicking on the ad image opens a video player in-line
2)Comments on the video are visible to your entire friend list.

The comments around the ad dramatically increase engagement with the unit, as the highly visible comments provide an opportunity for users to simultaneously draw attention to the ad by drawing attention to themselves.

*While this could backfire if comments degrading the advertiser are abundant ("this movie is Lame"-type commentary could overwhelm - but hey, the comments are from your friends so it has a certain relevance to you), the ad comments take powerful advantage of Facebook’s social dynamics to draw attention to an ad in a way that is impossible without the social graph. When is the last time you heard 9 friends talk about an online ad in the same day?

Ad comments are an interesting step forward in the evolution of “Social Ads.” While this kind of ad may not work as well outside of a few advertiser verticals, expect that early advertisers will be pleased with its performance.

Aki's quick takeaways:
1) Ads will need to become more engaging and comment provoking or risk flaming commentary (or worse, not being worthy of notice and comment)
2) Advertisers will need to become reactionary to response...maybe change the ads up, or try 10 ads - monitor feedback/response/actions taken and let the top 2 effective ads move forward
3) Advertisers will need to become choiceful about what they put in this channel...relevance and interestingness will matter now more than ever
4) EVERY MEDIA will soon be made more accountable to results and data of this nature for every ad media buy

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Leave Twitter ALONE!!!

Imagine that title in the voice of the weird dude from the Brittany video...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mass Interactive: Nokia Productions

Nokia Productions says: "Most films are made for the masses. This one is made by them. Join a production crew of thousands and play a part in creating Spike Lee and Nokia Productions’ latest film collaboration."

Check to all the boxes: big participatory idea and user co-creation blahblahblah, BUT the really important (smart) distinction here is Spike Lee has been hired to "direct" the crowd and conduct this orchestra with very thorough and paced "briefings" that detail what user co-creation should deliver on, creatively. This whole format reminds me of an agency process - Spike isn't hindering creative output from the crowd, but nor is he just leaving it up to some teen to submit any ol' piece of video nonsense and we call it "brand passion". Spike/Nokia Productions is deftly briefing in a creative strategy to the crowd (translate: he's keeping all the submissions ON BRIEF and not just random cheese from the masses).

Brilliant answer, Nokia, to the whole "losing control" debate that always come up with regard to user co-creation. Or...I think its a brilliant answer. We'll see, I guess. Fingers crossed.

*My Age of Conversation submission delves into this burgeoning opportunity to "outsource the agency" by recruiting users as panelists and advisors to the creative idea. More on this soon.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fallon Brainfood: Social 10 *UPDATE: Scrabulous vs Hasbro

In my Social 10 trends in social media presentation a few months ago, I recounted the cautionary tale of Hasbro's Scrabble versus Scrabulous

Well since then, Hasbro finally beta launched their official Scrabble app on Facebook. And Scrabulous unexpectedly closed down their app last week - only to then relaunch as Wordscraper.

The numbers are in from Adonomics, and Wordscraper has almost matched Scrabble Beta's usage numbers - in only a few days since launch.

Some lessons to learn:
-Again, at the Social, you're competing with the crowd as much as you're competing with "competitors"
-Collaboration may be a better option. So, what Hasbro has created is a new enemy, a formidible competitor more nimble and effective than you (I hear word of tech glitches with the Scrabble Beta, Worscraper is further along and has groundswell)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Electing a US President (in Plain English)

Common Craft strikes again. Swing thought: planners' job is to make strategic complexity as simple and succint as these guys continually do.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fallonites ride Critical Mass Minneapolis

Last Friday, several Fallonites partook in Critical Mass Minneapolis, the Twin Cities' chapter of a nationwide bicycle awareness movement. For those unaware, Critical Mass is a group that meets in Loring Park on the last Friday of each month and consists of several hundred bikers who ride through the streets of Minneapolis. The group's founding mission is to promote bike usage as a regular means of transportation and raise awareness of how unfriendly city streets are to cyclists.

TJ, Claire, and myself took the streets of Minneapolis to experience what exactly this is like. The following is a photo storyline of our experience.

Cyclists begin to assemble at Loring Park around 5:30. Before the ride, a small civilians rights group makes a presentation about how to interact with police if they give you difficulty. (This was presented due to incidents like this which have occurred in Minneapolis.) The group also makes us write a "jail hotline" on our arm, in case we are arrested.

Claire's arm

The police arrive on bike and in squad car to escort the group. After multiple incidents, the MPD has decided to play nice. (Ironically they don't play so nice later, but that is a whooooole different story.)

TJ and Claire cruisin' Lyndale Ave.

CM heads downtown

Fallon represent!!

Post CM celebration at Preston's.

Overall great experience. I will be back on August 29 as will many others hopefully.

Friday, July 25, 2008

YouTube choose your own adventure

Online video has quickly become the most popular and mainstream form of social media participation. But as it becomes more mainstream, what ideas have surfaced to make video more interesting? Sure, sites like YouTube, DailyMotion, etc continue to spring up, but the videos themselves have remained rather one-side broadcastish.

Until now.

Choose your own adventure (nostalgic of the book series popular when I was in elementary school) utilizes the video response system in YouTube to make online video into a game of sorts. You have to go to the actual site to be able to use it, but the embed will give you an idea.

This particular adventure is about some guy trying to find his cat. I spent awhile searching and thought i had exhausted all of my options in order to find the feline. Apparently I was wrong and never found kitty. Maybe you will be more successful.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Visualization of Information: PicLens, Digg Labs and Twitter/Flickrvision

Here are three applications that allow you to search visually news, status updates, videos, pictures etc. in cool new ways.

PicLens lets you search for photos and videos in 3-D and in full screen. This web browser add-on makes it way easier to search for things with out paging through a website and its also makes it much more fun. Its like apple's coverflow to another dimension. Once you download the add-on a blue box in the upper right corner will light up when a page is viewable with PicLens.

Digg labs web applications organize all the news items on Digg visually. With Digg Stack, the stories are bar graphs that get taller given the amount of Diggs, so you can watch stories grow. Digg Swarm creates circles around stories that get bigger as they are dugg. All of these applications can be accessed online or used as a screensaver.

Twittervision and Flickrvision allow you to see what people are seeing and saying in real time around the world. Using google maps or a 3-D map this program shows you exactly where tweets and photos are coming from. It can get addicting. You can view it on a browser or download the screensaver. They also have a local version that only shows what is going on in your specific area. There is no way I know of to see only my friends on the map and have multiple tweets or photos up at a time. I imagine these programs will get cooler and developed as GPS is becoming more common in cell phones.

Agencies (re)Imagine the Stop Sign

"What if there were no stop signs, and a major corporation was charged with inventing one?"

via moneyries

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Message For Future Generations

Mark Earls and Domenico Vitale have created Message For Future Generations a depository of planners' wisdom about Account Planning.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fallon Planning Blog on Facebook

Fallon Planning Blog on Facebook, ya'll

don't stop, git it, git it
this app is still a bit *buggy*, so expect RSS feeds soonish...and "confirm" a brotha when you visit (or get my confirm email)...I can't activate the hot features til 10 peeps confirm that I'm me. Recognize.
Twitter feeds comin' soon, too, standby.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What the F**K is social media?

Found this great slide show on Blog de Nuit today. It's a very simple presentation about what social media is and what it means for brands.

For those social network connoisseurs out there, it probably won't say anything new. But I appreciate the simplicity and clarity. Reminds me a bit of the CommonCraft vids about Twitter and LinkedIN

My favorite quote from the presentation:

"Relinquish control: The goal is not to control the conversation."

via Blog de Nuit

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Virtuality: Onion Spoofs Virtuality

The Onion News Network explores the World of World of Warcraft, a game where you play a person playing a game.

'Warcraft' Sequel Lets Gamers Play A Character Playing 'Warcraft'

Fallon Brainfood: Communicators Forum @ University of Minnesota Q2

I presented a keynote at last week's Communicators Forum at University of Minnesota and I ran over time before I could answer many of the Question Cards from the audience. Let's keep the dialogue going. Here are more answers to one of the cards (expect a few more posts in coming days):

Q: Many of the examples refer to "selling products" - can you talk about how we might translate this to "selling research"?
Great question. Ironic, too. Because I am, right now, "selling research". Or strategy. Or an odd hybrid, but I digress. My point is, thru all my social media tools, I am working to get insights out of the file cabinet, out of my notepad, out of the presentations for 6 people and never seen again, and into the hands and minds of my living clients/associates/collaborators/students, etc. In this day and age, there is so much data and research that the role of interpreter and guide is more vital than ever. Research matters not if the people who matter don't "get it". Your mission, as researcher, should be to demystify and help them "get it". So be the Virgil of your research. Social media can help you get your research "slippy" and out there and exposed and in the conversations.

How to get your research social? Dramatize your research's effects on people, show us on YouTube what the data means in an engaging way, blog about how it impacts us in ways we never expected, podcast the interviews of those at the frontlines of your research, Delicious your article links to parallel paths of other thinkers in your field. Slideshare your latest thinking, and Flicker the latest charts and graphs. Get it out of the research journals and into the spheres of influence, your peers, your bosses, your financiers, the press, whoevs and wherevs, get the research socialized, man!

The old school approach to research? A mysterious cabal sequesters themselves away and test and think, then come down off the mountain with tablets of new gospel. Well, the new way is

-Open share - you don't own an idea if you insist on hiding it, you own an idea by sharing it. Throughout the research process, tease us with drafts and sketches and updates.
-Open source - in college, collaboration on a test or paper is called "cheating"...but collaboration is the only way to solve problems faster and smarter in this age. Start cheating, and letting others cheat off you which requires
-Open code, make your info stealable, thus it is desirable, thus it is shareable, thus it gets spreadable. Give up a few secrets (charts, graphs, insights, interviews) and let others work on the equation with you and pay you back. Oh, and steal from others, too (just give credit so that person may own their contribution).

Some quickie sites that come to mind for me (while not knowing what form of research you specialize in) of making research engaging and slippy: