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.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Age Of Conversation '08

Age of Conversation 2.0 - The authors and topic have been announced!

275 (yes...275!) authors of Age of Conversation: Why Don't People Get It?, including myself and many Plannersphere names you'll recognize.

Adam Crowe, 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 Carlton, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Bradley Spitzer, 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, Clay Parker Jones, Chris Brown, Colin McKay, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Cord Silverstein, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Goldstein, Dan Schawbel, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Darryl Patterson, Dave Davison, Dave Origano, David Armano, David Bausola, David Berkowitz, David Brazeal, 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, Emily Reed, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, G. Kofi Annan, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Graham Hill, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, J.C. Hutchins, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeremy Middleton, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, Joe Talbott, John Herrington, John Jantsch, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Flowers, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kris Hoet, Krishna De, Kristin Gorski, Laura Fitton, Laurence Helene Borei, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Barnes-Johnston, Louise Mangan, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Marcus Brown, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Mark McSpadden, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Hawkins, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Monica Wright, Nathan Gilliatt, Nathan Snell, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul Marobella, 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, Beeker Northam, Rob Mortimer, 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 Cribbett, 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, Tiffany Kenyon, Tim Brunelle, Tim Buesing, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Longhurst, 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

Buy the first book here and here

AAAA Jay Chiat Planning Awards 2008

Deadlines for AAAA Jay Chiat Planner Awards submissions approaching fast (Apr14). Application deets here and on Facebook

I also understand they are seeking big ideas for Breakout Sessions. More info on the conference here.

Web 2.0 in Plain Hip Hop

In the vein of Comm Craft's web 2.0 in "plain english" vids, we now got Chuck at PopLabs who explains Web 2.0 in rhyme styles.

Recognize. SEM and SEO rap.

Put ya hands up. Social Media Addiction rap.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Watching the Detectives: Account Planner Survey 2008

Time for the 4th annual Planner Survey, by Heather Lefevre.

Please only fill out this survey if you are working as an account/brand/strategic planner. If you're a student or a recruiter please do not take the survey.

Last year's results here

Some last thoughts from SXSW

Now that I have been chewing on the vast amount of information that was fed into my brain during my stay in Austin, there is one thing that has been a constant whisper in the back of my mind. It comes from a conversation that I had with a woman from another agency.

As I think we all realize, advertising is changing. Well actually, the world is changing and advertising is caught in the ripple effect. Technology has opened another world where there are unlimited possibilities for the marketing of products. We, as people who work in advertising, have to open our minds, think differently, and try to explore all the amazing ways to utilize this new space. It is intimidating, daunting, and for some of us, incredibly exciting.

So, back to my conversation with this woman. She was hired to help structure a new in-house agency for a large corporate entity. The part of our conversation that has been gnawing at me is that she has eliminated all account people and made both the Media Strategists and Project Managers client facing. She was able to remove a whole layer from the org chart. The first obvious benefit is speeding up the flow of information to the client. These Strategists are knowledgeable in traditional advertising, and also able to keep abreast of all the new trends in online and event types of marketing. Since they are able to keep current on all the trends, they are natural in selling the creative. In fact, she has them ingrained in the creative process working closely with the Art Director and Copywriter on brainstorming ideas. From brief to completion, they are involved.

Of course Strategists can’t do everything that a traditional Account Person does. The PM has the responsibility to manage the budget, come up with schedules, put meetings on the appropriate calendars, as well as trafficking the information internally within the agency. As a team they are able to do everything an Account Person did, only streamlined.

I understand this blog entry won’t help me get closer with our account people. I certainly don’t mean any disrespect, and I am not sure what the solution is for Fallon. What I am trying to say is that our canvas is changing. If we as an agency try to retain the processes and structure that we have always had, we will fail. If we are able to explore, learn and change according to our new environment, then perhaps we can excel in this ever-changing world. It’s not a revolution, but an evolution. Let’s evolve!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fallon Brainfood: The Social 10

10 Things Marketers Should Know About Social Networking.

This will be a live event/webcast presentation about social media, using social media!

You're invited to a one hour presentation that will explore ten trends affecting marketers who are considering entering the burgeoning social networking space - what's now, what's next, and what other brands like yours are already doing.

Join Fallon strategic planner Aki Spicer on Wednesday March 26, 12pm CST/1pm EST/10am PST, in person (for Fallon employees) or on the social web (for everyone else) for this worldwide first, and the latest in an ongoing series of monthly Brainfood presentations to the agency.

How do you attend this social?
For Fallon employees, come on down to 27Rotunda and you can see the presentation live (lunch provided).

For everyone else, it's an open social on the web (lunch not provided)! Attend Aki's presentation (slideshow, live sound and video) on your choice of a range of social web touchpoints including Fallon Planning Blog on Blogger, Yahoo! Live (sound and video only), NetVibes, Plannersphere on Ning, Slideshare (slides only), and Facebook.

*Don't worry, specific links 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.

**Social web attendees will be able to talk/text questions via Yahoo! Live and AIM.

What is Brainfood?
Brainfood is a monthly 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. Previous topics have included Virtuality, China Rising, Design For All with more stimulating editions still to come.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Last Day in Austin (updated with links)

Last Day in Austin

I can’t believe how quickly this has gone, yet I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of information that is in my head right now. I will summarize some of the stuff now, but need to process all the information for a few days to accurately write about it.

The Suxorz: The Worst Social Media Ad Campaign of 2007 The winner of this award at SXSW this year was HP Pay-Per-Post. This is how not to get your brand on the internet (click for more)

Jane McGonigal – Keynote Speaker: If you are not familiar with her, she is a game developer that is trying to bring game design into the real world. Most recently she developed World With Out Oil, which has gotten much acclaim. A game she brought up that I found interesting is ChoreWars. Once a kid completes a real chore, they log in and claim it as their own. It is a motivational tool that gives credit for the chores completed in a virtual world. She also mentioned a similar type of game for the office where you have to pay your coworkers (in virtual $) to do things for you. With this type of system it will become apparent quickly who is the most valuable employee based on who has the most points. Imagine running the metrics on something like this! (I can’t remember the name of the game – anyone know?)

During this time I have met some real interesting people doing some great stuff. Here are some links I collected from them:

Fun Site:

Cool stuff from Make Mag Fair:

Nice Interactive Designer: Emma Welles

Producers from Beautiful Losers: Black Lake Productions

Another Great Movie: Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Beautiful Loser Trailer - click here

Monday, March 10, 2008

Beautiful Losers

Jennifer might post more about this, but this was the most inspiring thing I've seen in a long time. We are going to try to get these guys to show this at the office. It's about people making something from nothing.

New Art

The Austin Museum of Art. An interesting show revealing how the digital world is affecting traditional art. Check out the work by Kurt Mueller, Shawn Smith and Meggie Chou.

The karaoke piece by Kurt Mueller was amazing. Video is under his name in the site below.

SXSW - CJ7 Widget

I went to a discussion on the internet use in China since I missed the Brainfood presentation from Avin. I found it very interesting, but since y'all (I am in Texas) probably attended Avin's thing, I won't ramble on about it. However, they spoke of the popularity of widgets and referenced this one in particular. It is for a new Steven Chan (director of Kung Fu Hustle) movie, CJ7. 

Virtuality: iPhone In 3D

Been a while since I posted about Virtuality. In addition to the fact that Second Life kills my laptop and slows it to a grinding halt, I've also been waiting to see where the virtual trend went- what would be the next evolution using virtual worlds as a jump off point, how it might go more mainstream, particularly how it might remove the experience from being tethered to a computer...

While buzzing through the RSS feeds this morning, I came across this over at Virtual World News. BOXfab is a start up that designs products that enhance existing technologies (that's probably simplifying it way too much, but you get the idea). Their first product (as far as I can tell from their website) is a virtual reality headset for the iPhone. Basically, it turns the iPhone screen and display into a 3D, heads up display. The user puts on a special headset and is ready for a fully immersed experience.

From the site:

"A Virtual Reality display device which uses the iPhone as the viewing plate so that it becomes a wearable virtual headset simply by clipping on a special attachment. The device can network with other uses for shared virtual experiences and uses the tilt sensor of the iPhone plus a proprietary left-right tracker to provide a truly immersive experience.

"Special close-view depixelization flat optics turn the iPhone screen into a 3 dimensional window into another world. The under $200.00 design provides the functionality of devices costing thousands of dollars more. Three versions: A. Hand-Held. B. Wearable. C. Deskmount."

Bringing virtual reality to the iPhone could turn out to be a big move and a significant evolution of the trend. Sure, wearing the headset could be a little clunky and odd to wear in public. But I respect the push to take the idea that is at the core of virtual worlds- bringing a visual, 3D component to the social experiences we have online- in a new direction. And, as they point out over at VWN, this device may not be the answer or necessarily the future, but it gives us a glimpse into some possibilities.

Generation Gap

With the previous SXSW post in mind, I was reading my daily dose of the NYT and found this interesting article about companies collecting data for behavior targeting for banner ads. Thinking about what the teens at SXSW said about wanting behavior targeting and how creeped out adults seem from companies knowing too much about them, I'm left with another big hunk of generation gap evidence.

As advertisers, what can we do about this? If 85% of adults don't want websites collecting data (as the NYT article says), but teens want more behavior targeted ads... well, where does that leave us for now? My opinion is that no matter what way you cut the cake, the more relevant information you deliver, the better. If personal privacy is taken care of, and people realize that the data collection doesn't hurt them, but instead improves their online experience, then maybe behavior targeting will take off.

Only time will tell as the web companies and privacy advocates duke it out, but in the meantime I think it is still our duty to do our best to be relevant to the consumers. Thoughts?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What Teens Want Online and on Their Phones

From SXSW - Austin
Jennifer Helm

We always hear that it is the young are who are leading this journey into the technology age, and in particular, when it applies to marketing. This panel discussion was from the mouth of babes and what they respond to, how they use technology in their daily lives, and what really drives them nuts.

The speakers were a group of kids ranging in age from 12 to 17. They described their core needs online were socializing and expression. Their favorite sites were the obvious: Facebook, Myspace, and music sites, but what I found interesting is that game sites were an afterthought. Yes, they all go to the game sites, but only when they had time to waste. From the sound of it, they were too busy with homework, sports, and friends to really spend a lot of time gaming. Ruinscape and Swinky came up with the younger kids, and Halo with the older crowd, but those were only explored when they had extra time.

When asked what their turn-off online was, it was unanimous that they all hated annoying ads. Pop ups, forced expandables, ads with automated sound, etc. When asked about rebelling against the advertisers it was pretty apparent that they understood why the ads were there (to pay for the sites), but they actually wanted ads that were targeted behaviorally. One kid who loves basketball said he didn’t like that there was beer ads on, but he was excited to see ads by Nike showing the latest shoe. They also responded well to fun banners with little games or some sort of interaction in them. They would get drawn into the game and liked that they didn’t have to leave the site to play with it.

The subject of video online came up, and in respect to the ads within the videos on sites like and, it was unanimous that they all found the interstitial ads annoying. As we all know, this is an area that needs to be figured out. However, they all liked being able to catch up on missed TV shows, or watch foreign TV programming on these sites – especially

So, back to social networking. Yes, they have facebook and myspace pages (and yes, they lie about their age), but that is not their 1st form of communication with their friends. They all agreed that they would rather talk to someone on the phone or text to make plans. They used their pages as more of a virtual scrap book, to show what they did, rather than what they are going to do.

Last but not least, the subject of cell phones came up. The older kids loved their text. This is where they can keep in touch with everyone. After reading the article in Wired this month about Freeconimics, I can only figure that text will have to be the next free thing.

More thoughts later!

Friday, March 07, 2008

South By Southwest

Jennifer Helm and I (John Nussbaum) are in Austin, Texas this week. We'll be attending conferences and posting some stuff here as we find it.

Last night we met with Neal Turley owner of Sustainable Waves. They create pollutant free entertainment systems - solar powered stages and sound systems. Its amazing. Co-branded events that have zero carbon emissions.

A quote from their site:
"Most people don't know that the generation of electricity is the largest source of industrial air pollution. Every year millions of tons of CO2 are emitted into the atmosphere that contributes to global warming and poor air quality."

Many companies are courting Sustainable Waves in an effort to appear more green.

They have been the staging partner for the Vans Warped Tour for the past two years, and with their offices in Austin, they play a large roll during the music festival here at SXSW.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Twitter in plain english

Another smart clip from the guys at Common Craft.

Check here and here for some other great examples.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Politics 2.0: We Are The Ones

In just the latest example of creatives having a crush on Obama, has dropped another video in support of Barack (just under 200,000 hits on YouTube a day after posting).

To me, these videos show that the most powerful message in Barack's campaign may not be "change" or even "hope", but rather "WE". The power of community is what has propelled this campaign, and efforts like this show how devoted that community is and what it's willing to do to further the cause.

Will be curious to see if this one manages to sustain the kind of buzz and popularity that Yes We Can did. But either way, good PR to have just before the contests in Ohio and Texas next week.