I caught this little video by way of Ernie from Ernie Schenck CallsThis Advertising?. In my humble opinion, it works extraordinarily well. As Ernie points out, you don’t need big budgets to execute big ideas.
Can you throw that down again? says the voice in the drive-thru.
I love this little consumer-generated content piece of two blokes rappin’ at the McDonalds drive-thru window. A bit old but I had not seen it yet, so I thought I’d share in case you had not seen it either.
If the rappin McNuggets guys were not enough (see the updated commercialized version of their CGC spot below), this 2:27 spot already has close to 8,000,000 views. I wonder what McDonalds will do with all of of this content becomes part of thier online entertainment portfolio? I think Ronald has found his Fifteen Megs of Fries.
Here is the new “commercialized” version of the McNuggets Rap:
You’ve come a long way McNugget baby:
Hat tip to Brad R for pointing out the freestyle video.
Two items I came across today were interesting to me because I have been thinking along the same lines. While I am a true fan of both Second Life and Twitter and think the potential for business is unquestionably there, I have been taking time to consider what has been going on. It is not limited to these two examples, but they serve up the points well.
First, this article from WIRED on How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life. While it did not reveal anything drastic or new, it looked at the situation with a somewhat sobering viewpoint.
Then, there was this post titled Stupid Question: When *WILL* Having A Business Plan Matter? from Tony Hung over at Deep Jive Interests. Tony raises a great point about the lack of an underlying business plan to generate profit.
If we take anything from the above examples, it is that we can’t get caught inside the irrational-exuberance storm all over again. Yes, we get that Second Life is not about reach and that experimentation is the cornerstone of tomorrow’s success. We understand Twitter is an addictive little platform, connecting people in new ways and attracting loyal followers by the thousands. Both are representative of a the giant leap forward in how we think about where the internet is reshaping our lives and businesses.
In my mind they are strong catalysts for marketers to image new ways of communicating and developing new core audiences for their brands. But are these two properties themselves the next big thing, or are they the forerunners of what could be? Twitter and Second Life (along with others in the space) are getting a lot of attention and buzz with Fortune 500 companies and new sources of capital getting on board. While that may seem great, one must remain concerned that without solid foundations, structures tend to collapse.
Ultimately, I fear a scenario where those brands or investors who have not realized immediate success from these areas simply bail out. The phenomenon they hoped to be a part of is unrealized in the ways they expected or were promised. They lose patience and depart, fast and furious. In doing so, they cause others to follow them and speak of the experience in unflattering ways.
To a certain extent, a cull is necessary. But within that culling process there is certain potential to breed a new kind of chatter or hype. Hype about how new media and virtual worlds etc. were all just hype in the first place. Such talk would devalue what we know is really going on here.
When malcontents talk of ineffectiveness in Web 2.0 as they chase trends without strategic underpinnings, industry growth risks being stunted and true potential will be left sitting on the table while a few well-heeled folks make out like bandits. The big implication if sentiment swings the wrong way is that marketers and brands in this space will fight an uphill battle for legitimacy all over again. Hello 2000 A.D.
The unfortunate part is that those who have already delivered in the digital space are most likely to take a hit. In other words, those of us who have benefited from applying the proper fundamentals in digital channels may get caught up in a downside we cannot control. This is not unlike how everyone has to get out of the pool when just one kid pisses in it. No fun. (Remember Bill Murray in Caddyshack cleaning the pool?)
Or, maybe that is the difference today in 2007. Maybe we should not worry about digital losing its groove again. We’ve come too far for that to happen all over again.
I say all this because, for those not paying attention, we still live in a capitalist world where (for the most part) businesses are grown on their ability to take great ideas (or even not so great ideas) and turn them into reliable profit streams. I know I may sound like an old economy fart who is kicking back smoking a corncob pipe when I say we need caution and “steady as she goes” navigation as Web 2.0 businesses either prove themselves, or don’t.
At this stage of the game, fundamentals need to be way more important then they have been or seem to be. Otherwise, it might take an awfully long time and a bumpy road ahead to show where the true value lies.
Remember those scenes from movies and TV when jet pilots, astronauts or other specialists went into “the simulator” to be trained and prepared for real world experience? We all believed it was the best that one could do to achieve readiness before action, right?
I was very intrigued to find this WIRED article titled “Wii + Second Life = New Training Simulator” by Steve Mollman talking about how the combination of the Wii controller and Second Life are a seemingly killer application for the future of training.
Real-world simulations like these are perfectly suited to Nintendo’s Wiimote, says MIT research fellow David E. Stone. In fact, he claims the motion-sensitive controller is “one of the most significant technology breakthroughs in the history of computer science.”
The WIRED article is interesting in that, given Stone’s proclamation that this has killer potential, the featured business application was Orkin (the pest control company) who are using Second Life and Wii to train inspectors. Not a bad example, but lacked the fireworks for me given the wide-ranging ways in which the power of these tools could be combined and harvested.
Of course there are more mentions of applications (meaning the ones that may have more societal value):
Among Stone’s other clients are a medical-devices firm and a global-energy company focused on power-plant training — both looking to reduce training costs. Prospective additional clients include a private research foundation looking into driver safety and a consortium of European universities interested in a virtual cancer lab.
With that wider scope, the implications and applications are literally huge. Think of all the large projects (i.e home renovations, assembly line work) or training scenarios for occupations that could be covered off. Just imagine how the match-book diploma courses offering up TV and gun repair can now be administered.
How about something as small as building an Ikea product with a virtual hammer and allen-key to see how all of it goes together before you screw it up and have to do it all over again in first-life. (Yes, that happens to everyone, not just you. That’s why Ikeas are always located just far enough away that you won’t want to drive back, park all over again and fill out a “Return Billy” form).
Creating a virtual “hands on” experience with a tool like Wii has so many avenues that I am getting a headache. The interactive learning aspect is so much more powerful than any diagram or video could ever be because active simply trumps passive. Imagine the litany of items that could come with instructions that simply read “To learn how to use this product properly, go to ….”.
We are living in such an interesting time as marketers and communicators. A time where we all are creative and can rethink how our products or services are brought to consumers in big, bold and compelling ways. I love it.
Now before I go, here is the thing about online simulation training that I simply cannot digest when it comes to real life skill building. If it really works then why am I not the leading scorer in the NHL or collecting top earnings on the PGA tour? Or at least a small time ex-con that has worked his way to the top ranks of the crime syndicate?” I am that good while comfortably seated at my PC with some snack food at my side. Could it be that I am using the keyboard instead of the Wiimote?
Either way, I think this image below sums up my last point fairly well:
There are many ways individuals and teams conduct themselves within the spectrum of business management and operations to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiencies. Whether it be in day-to-day tasks, project management or strategic steering of the big corporate ship (or little business canoe), typically, it boils down to three items when things are going well, or when they are hitting a snag:
Leadership, Communication, Coordination.
The essence of effectiveness is having all three working simultaneously with the right balance. Apply these to any initiative big or small, personal or professional, and see what happens. Be it internal or external parties, people skills, routine processes, customer relationships or crisis management and you can’t go wrong – they transcend being a master of MS Project, VISIO or Power Point.
Habitually asking whether they are being applied consciously or unconsciously is a good thing. Identifying if they are currently part of getting to a happy place or, if they are conspicuously absent and causing problems is well worth the time and effort. While there are certainly other variables and aspects for consideration that help create a winning combination along side these three, the ones mentioned here tend to comprise a common denominator for success or potentially failure.
Just my thought of the day. I’d love your comments and your views on the interplay of these items – or what you have found successful in the area of managing, bringing a diverse range of people and projects together.
September is just around the corner and so is the start of the fall semester for the Canadian Marketing Association – CMA eMarketing Professional Certificate Course.
The CMA describes the course as “designed for someone with one to five years of marketing experience. By enrolling in this in-depth and empowering course, your career will benefit for years to come. E-Marketing is attracting the kind of individuals that are looking to expand their professional scope, individuals that are seeking thorough and comprehensive training with practical hands-on experience – the kind that will enrich their growing knowledge base.”
I will be teaching the Toronto course in the fall, taking over from Ken Schafer (Tucows, One Degree) who masterfully taught the course for the past several years. I have taken on the additional task of revamping the course materials, adding to the solid foundation that Ken built.
The course brings together web site best practices, usability, social media, email, search, eCommerce, privacy, analytics and online advertising through an intensive 15 week schedule. It promises to provide students with a fabulous range of information and examples to hit the ground running in today’s fast paced world of digital.
I am stoked to begin the teaching the course which begins on September 26, 2007. If you are looking to kick start your eMarketing skill set then I hope to see you there. For more information, or to register for the course, please visit the CMA website.
Is this my Fifteen Megs of Fame?
A little while back I was contacted by Lilly Dustbin from Blog To and asked to answer a bunch of questions for The Blog TO Blogerati files.
The Blogerati Files features Toronto-based bloggers, delving into what
they are all about and their connection to the city. It was a fun exercise
looking back on why I began my blog and some nostalgic tripping on why I love
this town called hog.
According to Lilly, my interview is the last in this style for the files. She starts the post with this intro:
Over the past two years The Blogerati Files has featured many great interviews with local blogging favourites. It’s time to shake up the format and spread the spotlight. Until then, this will be the last interview-style Blogerati Files post…
I am honored to be last in the line up of interviews they have conducted.
Check out the interview over at Blog TO and take a look at some of the other
stuff they’ve got going on there.
Shout-out to Collin Douma of Radical Trust for sending Lily over to The Client Side.
From the first listen I thought “this is what the mash-up is all about”. As sacrosanct as The Beatles are in my world, this mix works. The Beatles vs Nine Inch Nails?!?! Who wudda thunk.
I’m not certain how many copyright laws are being broken with this little gem, but enjoy it before it gets yanked away – which I suspect will be sometime soon.
Warning: Lyrics not for children.
Hat tip to The Podfather
….but I somehow found myself watching Victoria Beckham Comes To America (it was on in the background as I was working on the laptop – I swear). However, I found myself turning my head to watch at a few points.
I’m not any better for it, but I am not any worse. This bit of reality TV, which seemed a bit more like a documentary than your average schlock, was interesting because it was a Brit going through the culture shock of a move to L.A. No easy feat, not even for Posh Spice.
I found a bit of a difference in terms of watch-ability because it seemed to be shot in a pseudo-documentary style. I caught myself wondering if reality shows might become more watchable if there was a conscious shift to make them more in this manner? My guess is no. And, I’m certain Ken Burns has not been lined up to produce anything in this genre anytime soon. And that is a good thing.
This stuff cannot even be called reality, can it? I mean who’s reality is this anyway? It is not mine and likely not yours. The only saving grace was that at one point, Victoria shows up in a coffee shop to surprise Perez Hilton and beret him about why he has been so mean to her on his blog. It was interesting to see that she singled out a blogger as an influencer and critic to be reckoned with. All this as the mainstream media hounds waited outside.
At one point, she tells Perez that her breasts are “not really that big” in person, and while he agrees he tells her that he would much rather see a nude picture of her husband David Beckham than of her! For my dime, that was the only reality part of the entire show.
Lingering question is “why am I blogging about this”? I don’t know either. Let’s call it a slow day.
David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, is proposing a cut to funding in a very sensitive area: Public Transportation.
He is a smart chap who believes in environmental issues. Yet, his response to a recent vote against tax hikes is to cut funding where our city (and the world) needs it most – the environment.
Cutting funding for public transportation is indeed cutting funding directly for the environment. We have enough smog alerts, high UV index advisories and traffic congestion as it is. We need to wake up and smell the smog and let that guide our conscience on where to look for answers. We can’t give up and need to find a better answer to money problems
World class cities need world class solutions. I hope we can find ours in other areas than in the ones being proposed.