Now Keeping a Journal. Preparing to be bullied.

I downloaded and got into a suite of apps called Day One sometime last year. It’s a really great way to keep a journal. It looks nice and is somehow fun to write in. I used it for a little while before getting distracted by god knows what. Last week I got into it again when I realized that I was coming up on my 10-year anniversary of quitting smoking.

Coca-Cola on the correlation between winning at Cannes and winning in the market place

I think the most audacious belief lingering around the marketing and advertising industry is that people’s enjoyment of the creative work doesn’t really … well … matter. It seems ridiculous to even write it, but there are huge amount of people out there who actually think this way. The proof lies on your TV. It’s there right now if you go and look. But be careful, it’s brutal. No one should have to endure the horrors that lay hiding within the nooks and crannies of our content.

Which is why I was so glad to read this piece from an executive at Coca-Cola who espouses the importance of creative success in achieving commercial results. I’ve posted a bit of it here, but the whole piece is well worth a read.

The Coca-Cola Company at Cannes 2012 » Why Winning At Cannes Is Good For Our Business:

“I have long been an absolute believer in the correlation between outstanding creative success and outstanding commercial success. In this year’s marketing platform for Cannes Lions I am quoted as saying ‘If Cannes has taught me one thing, it is that creativity drives effectiveness. You can not have one without the other. That knowledge has been instrumental to my career. I have been going to Cannes for nearly 20 years and can’t help but notice that the client organizations recognized as Advertiser of the Year often enjoy periods of historic financial success at the same time. Let’s take a brief look at a few of them.

  • Volkswagen: Recognized as Advertiser of the Year in 2008. The same year that its share price grew 89% to 283 Euros. This most prolific period of stock market growth coincides precisely with its most prolific period of creativity. While it’s share price may have risen, causing some to decide against investing due to the higher cost, fractional share investing solutions, like that of SoFi, allows people to invest in their favorite brands without committing to the cost of a whole share, so this could be a good method for those looking to put money into Volkswagen.
  • P&G: Recognized as Advertiser of the Year in 2007 when its share price hit an all time high of $74.67, beating the S&P 500 by a country mile.
  • Honda: In 2006 Honda was awarded Advertiser of the Year for brilliant work like Cog and Grrr. During this time its share price was as high as $38.50 and its UK sales were up 28%. Wow.
  • Playstation: Was awarded Advertiser of the Year in 2005. Now, Playstation is a sub-division of Sony so we cannot isolate its share price. However, what we can do is isolate its sales. During that year it became the worlds biggest selling gaming console selling a record 100 million units.
  • BMW: Took the mantle of Advertiser of the Year in 2004. So rightly deserved when you consider the lasting legacy of BMW films (still held up by most as the breakthrough work taking advertising into long form content). As a result of this work, which ultimately landed them the award, BMW saw a sales increase of 12% and a stock price rise of 16%. This is huge, especially when you consider the turbulent, post 9/11 period.
  • Nike: In 2003, the same year that Nike was awarded Advertiser of the Year, Phil Night, CEO and Founder, wrote ‘’We decided to cross the threshold of 9/11. Eight months later we delivered a 14% increase in earnings and beat the S&P 500 by 45 points. Advertiser of the year was a defining moment. A Nike moment.’
  • Swatch: From 1999 – 2001 the S&P 500 did not grow a cent but Swatch reported it steepest growth period on record.”

Clearly the correlation between winning at Cannes and winning in the market place is compelling. That’s one of many reasons why The Coca-Cola Company places a premium on creative excellence. It is simply makes sound business sense. The creative industries and client organizations are in a co-dependent relationship – we need each other. As Phil Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, puts it: ‘‘The Advertiser of the Year award is presented to advertisers who have distinguished themselves for the inspiring, innovative marketing of their brands and who embrace and encourage the creative bravery of the creative work produced by their agencies.’’

(hat tip to John Gibson)

Teeny-Tiny Police Chase Made With Itty-Bitty Pico Projectors

This is awesome. It’s seemingly a really simple idea but when you start to think about the production that was necessary to make this as cool as it is, you understand the complexity.

 The folks over at The Theory recently got their hands on some micro projectors and, just like you or me, decided to make the world’s smallest police chase. They call it Speed of Light, named no doubt for the high-octane thrills and projectors involved. It’s a really simple idea, but it’s stunningly well executed. Just sit back and watch as the tiny felon does his best to escape the clutches of The Man.

Their methodology is extremely simple: The filmakers shot everything before hand, and then move around a room projecting the movie as they went. Throw in some slick editing and the end result you see below.

(via The Fox is Black)

(Via Geekosystem)

Experimentation and Invention

A few months back I wrote a late night rambly post about the invention and experimentation that was such a part of my experience at Brandcenter, and how I’ve missed that during my time in agencies. I then ended by vowing to finish Code Academy (of which I’ve made a serious dent), threatening to take up Arduino (which hasn’t even nearly come close to happening), then hastily deleting the post as it was sort of whiny and uninteresting.  

A month later, there was a contest launched at my office to see who could create the spreadable idea that spread the most. They used the word viral more than I would’ve liked, but they know not what they do.  

Phil and I came up with something that we thought was simple, incentivized participation, brought people together around their own ideas, and required such a tiny level of technical know how that we could get everything produced quickly and easily by calling in a few favors.

Our idea was called the Five Dollar Friendship Stimulus. It lasted for about a month, and considering the time frame and that we didn’t have any air-cover in the form of paid media or major earned coverage, it did OK. Nick Denton served as one of the judges for the contest. He seemed to like it but thought we should’ve pitched it to political blogs to try and ride the politico snake for moar hits. But what does he know about the Internet

A lot of people liked it and had fun with it. Other people were suspicious of why we were doing it and where we got the money, still others were paralyzed into not submitting ideas by over-thinking things and waiting for the perfect response, and still others were more interested in passing along the idea itself than in participating.  

But at the end of the day it was hugely useful to not only get more experience assembling ideas like this, but also in seeing what worked and what didn’t, so naturally I’d like to see more of this sort of thing. 

Especially if it’s something like RGA Make Day

Stop-Motion Music Video Shot Over Two Years with 288,000 Jelly Beans


Want to see what pure dedication looks like? This music video for the song “In Your Arms” by Kina Grannis is a stop-motion animation done with a background composed of jelly beans. It’s a crazy project that required 22 months, 1,357 hours, 30 people, and 288,000 jelly beans. They could have used CGI, of course, but each frame was carefully created by hand and photographed with a still camera. It’s even more mind-blowing given this fact: none of it was done with a green screen.