Thursday, 31 July 2008

I am who I am because of everyone

Photo by bobster1985

He is who he is because of everyone!

I've been intrigued by the press adverts for the new Orange campaign created by Fallon for a few weeks now, and it went in slow stages, mostly while on the tube. First quickly noticing Orange seemed to have a whole new vibe going on, saw the long copy, my mind moved on. In the last few weeks, read the ads, not really getting it, was still kinda curious, and finally checked the website and looked into the campaign a bit more yesterday.

On one hand, I think it's a very bold and interesting proposition. "I am who I am because of everyone". We're getting straight into ontology, and existential philosophy there. Orange exists because everyone is connected and everyone is connected thanks to Orange. Orange becomes a brand at the core of what it means to be a human being and represents the sense of connectedness between all of us. I may be wrong - and perhaps exaggerating - but I'm guessing that's the idea. Leveraging people such as Rose Tremain is a good, and to promote Jont's Unlit on the website is pretty cool (Though Unlit was already a great idea without Orange).

Now the other hand, I think a brand needs a seriously rare case of hubris to think they can position themselves at the heart of being. Reading the slogan, my first thought was "Well yeah, I am who I am because of everyone! doh! And..?" That's the case for every single person on this planet and the notion is pretty well known and understood these days (At least, I think so, I could be wrong). Every company is nothing without the people in it, its customers, clients, etc. It's not rocket science. I think everyone intrinsically knows that.

So is Orange saying it's very special, we're all very special and Orange allows people to connected together, or is it saying that it's the same as everything and everyone else, that we're only one small part of a huge of web of connections; a cog in the machine, no more, no less..? It's the latter that came straight up to mind for me.

To finish, I thought the TV ad was pretty slow, boring, heavy of significance and the whole campaign takes itself too seriously. I then checked a couple of articles and apparently they spent nearly £100M on the campaign, their largest budget yet. They won Turkey of the week by Campaign and pretty mixed reviews elsewhere. I also liked the Voxpop video on Brand Republic, check it out.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Patsy @ iris for Bothud launch

The iris Summer edition of Bothud magazine just came out, launched in style drinking champers with Patsy! I tried for a "Blue Steel" look ... It's uncanny, just like I graduated from the Zoolander school for kids who can't read so good! Check here for some more pics.

Really, spot the difference ;o)

I also went to the Bloggers Meetup Summer Social yesterday, which was really nice - I met lots of cool people and free drinks, sponsored by Stella, can't go wrong! Annie Mole of the London Underground Blog even uploaded some pics.

Spiderman: Web of Shadows

I just came across the trailer of a new Spiderman video game, apparently coming out in October this year. Apart from the very cool fact that you can see a symbiote infested Wolverine in the video, I checked the website for the game and I thought it looked pretty cool as well, check it out.

I like the map navigation system with goodies to unlock, but what's even more surprising and really intriguing is that it claims that members of the website community can influence aspects of the design and development of the video game, which I think is very cool.
I haven't fully looked into it, but as I understand, players will have a lot of freedom of choice in the game and are reflecting that in this campaign, apparently people could lastly vote for the artwork featured on the Xbox 360 game packaging and before that people chose the model who would be playing Mary-Jane in the game.

Good example of interactivity and involving the users in the creation of the product. I would call that an interesting example of Wikinomics applied to the video games industry. I wonder how many people are registered on the website. I checked the site forums and there are over 6,000 posts in total; I don't know when the site was launched, but it sounds pretty healthy for a video game site.

That said, the game strangely looks much alike another I came across, whom apparently everyone is talking about these days; namely [Prototype]. You can view the trailer for the game here. Also set in New-York and and apparently completely open world, where the player is pretty much free to roam as they please. I'll have to check what they're doing for their online campaign...

Friday, 25 July 2008


Photo by Russ and Lori

I was at a networking event earlier this week and was told by (a really drunk) someone that I expressed my personal ideas and opinions a bit too much in my blog. Which was interesting, because I generally consider I'm not doing enough of that - actually not doing enough writing altogether, really. And ultimately, it's my personal blog... So sure, it's personal thoughts, etc. Check out George's AdScam (Which I love by the way) if you need contrast...

That same person also explained how and why I was really arrogant - but that's not really my fault, I'm French and moreover was raised in Paris, so I can't help it... (But apparently they're trying to make some efforts about it) ;o)

Anyways let's update on other news: I decided to go ahead and get myself a professional Flickr account! If I upload pics at the same rhythm I write here, maybe you'll see pics from my holidays two years ago in about two years time! Lucky for you, patience is virtue...

Let's finish with the best news, I'm finally changing my role next week and starting to work full time on digital strategy!! Woohoo! Jen's replacing me on the recruitment front at iris and is already doing great. It's weird to be letting go of all your work, but I'm really looking forward to the change!

Friday, 4 July 2008

Big Red Button

All right, I had a few drinks (great evening at Beersphere, met with cool planning/digital/blogger/smart/cool people) and this is the first thing I saw opening an email in my inbox - huge and covering most of the screen.

I still think it's the best email marketing campaign I've seen:

Call me shallow, I don't care - most people are anyways...

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

8 more - Social Media -things meme

Photo by Omer Simkha

Laurence just tagged me for the social media meme - basically it's about sharing 8 ways in which you've used social media (original post form C.B. Whittemore here). I like memes - it allows me to write a potentially/relatively interesting post without making the effort to think of what I should write about. I know, I'm a lazy bastard...

1. I started blogging last year in October - I wondered at the time why it was I wasn't already doing it - though I probably answered that question in the previous paragraph. I really love it and got into a whole world that in all likelihood will never ever be able to fully apprehend nor comprehend, which I find find very exciting! Technorati tells us they're tracking 112.8 million blogs at the moment, and that's by no means an accurate representation of how many blogs actually exist (Do they use it much in China..?). Over 112 million simultaneous conversations on every possible interest human beings have - awesome! And pretty overwhelming.

2. To waste time. Mostly with Facebook last year (though now I use mostly to find people and to let old school friends find me), and just recently with Twitter - I'm just starting to get into it and quite liking it; though I still don't think it can be "useful" on a day to day basis.

3. For recruitment. In other terms, I'm a complete online stalker (I'm sure you're all very happy to know that about me ;o). I've been looking for professionals in the digital space for close to 3 years and if I can't find them and unravel a good chunk of their lives on the web most of the time, they're probably not the associated digital geeks and nutters I'm generally looking for (I include myself in that bunch - can't say if that's good or bad). Prime suspect for this channel is LinkedIn, as well as Facebook and any other website that has some kind of community aspect (Not revealing all the tools of the trade). Google, while not exactly what goes under the vast "social media" umbrella, will lead you to it pretty quickly if you start googling people's names.

4. As an (important) extension to the previous point, I essentially sought and found my current job through social media channels. Pay me a drink some day and I'll go into more details

5. For meeting new people with similar interests. I used to play role playing games (table top, not video games) back in Paris with a group of good friends. I only stopped when I moved to London because I didn't have that circle of friends anymore. Last year, I decided to get back into it and found people doing all the research online, going through MySpace, Forums of UK RPG shops, conferences, etc. I managed to find a group of cool people and we (try) to play once or twice a month. Similarly, I got hooked on the Rhum arranges website, as you can see from the previous post - who again, have a very cool widget.

6. I started using too many websites for my own good. Fortunately Netvibes allows me to manage pretty much the whole lot of them as well as my blogs and other feeds. I've checked out a few other sites like that, but I don't think I'll be changing soon. And it's French so "Que demande le peuple?" It also has a community aspect, though it's still in beta (As are most such like sites these days) and I don't know many people using Netvibes so far, so it doesn't make it as interesting.

7. Not exactly using, but I read about social media. So far my favourite book in the domain is Wikinomics - loved it! Read it if you haven't, it's awesome. On the opposite end of the spectrum, The Wisdom of Crowds - which I didn't really like. Read it only because it's so hype right now and then you'll be able to quote it in meetings or something. Essentially there are some good enough parts in the book, but overall I thought it was a few interesting points poorly strung together into a (non) unifying theory. Just my opinion, glad to talk about it over a drink...

8. Actually talking about books, I love Amazon. How do I sometimes choose books to order if not from other reader's comments? Most of my library and DVD collection is on Amazon (I've rated them, but not commented for each - it's on my "maybe I'll do that someday" list). I also put nice pics such as the one on this post from Flickr, and I use it to to share my beautiful pics! (I need to upload plenty more...) On the music side of things, I'm now a complete fan of Deezer - best music/online radio/music community around by far (And also French!) - definitely tops for me. I'm not using the community side too much yet, but using the music part every day!

Done! And to finish I'll tag Will, Michelle, Neil, Priyanka, Amelia and George for the meme.

Rhum arranges

Hey by the way, did you notice my very cool widget on the right hand side with my collection of macerated/infused rums? ("Rhum arranges" in French) I'm very happy I managed to find the online community for macerated rum lovers! If you click on the recipes, you can also have a look at the pics - most of the pics are actually my rums!

(Mango & Passion fruit rum - that's not ready yet...)