Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interactive Advertising Today

Hi, I'm a Digital Creative Director at a large mid-west agency. I've spent the last nine months visiting websites in 25 industries. I've avoided retail web, focusing mostly on industries that use interactivity to communicate. I've kept my sample size between 2 and 4 from each industry, and tried to keep my findings as objective as possible.

So what have I learned? 98% of the commercial web suffers from at least 3 different ailments.

I've compiled my thoughts and theories on these ailments in the posts below. However, all the exploration to the sites is also available starting here.

#1. The Atlas Syndrome
#2. Sectionitis
#3. Jekyllism

On to the first ailment The Atlas Syndrome....

If you want to take a look at all the sites I've visited, you can peruse the links below.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Put their face in it

Putting your friends face into a web animation/video isn't new, but it's being refined in Europe. Every-time I find a site using it lately, it feels brand-new and exciting.

These two sites are particularly cool -

Choose a way to assassinate your friend....deliciously morbid


Honor your friend by putting them in the role of a hero


Monday, January 11, 2010

Distributed vs. Centralized

A friend of mine runs a non-profit nature association that buys certain pieces of land to protect throughout Michigan. These sanctuaries usually contain rare plants, flowers or insects.

A few years ago I built a website for them that basically contained photos of each sanctuary, an event calendar and other information about the company. The company functions purely on donations, and does not buy online media.

Recently he came to me and asked if I would refresh the site.

I told him that we should create a Facebook Fan page for the company, to help keep track of members, post events and use the social space to help other people find out about the company.

Then, use Flickr to create albums for each of the sanctuaries, or post them exclusively on Facebook. I think the Flickr idea is better, as it opens up yet another channel of exposure.

The actual website for the company could be a semi-portal pulling content in from these other placements and directing people appropriately..as well as containing the actual "donation" forms etc.

I wish I could say this was a success story, but as far as I know it hasn't happened yet. He said that he was worried that people would take the photos from Flickr or Facebook...and I had to tell him that people can take the photos from his own site as well. I haven't heard anything since on it..i'm hoping he'll come around.

The point I'm getting to is that the standard approach to a website is from a "centralized" viewpoint. Everything is contained within the website, like a brick-and-mortar store. The store is your place of business, and the center of all your services.

But the opportunities on the web now suggest a paradigm shift to a more "distributed" mind-set. Utilizing other, often larger, platforms can be efficient, cost-effective and open your business up to more traffic than your online media budget can offer.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Update and Tongues

I've decided to post general thoughts and observations until March, when I will start my exploration of sites over again. It will be interesting to see what sites have been updated, and find new ones to get clicky with.

For a bit now the FWA has been posting more and more foreign sites. I'm loving it. I love the fact that a well put together site can be navigated, even if you don't know the language.

A good test for your own web endeavor - look at it as if you don't speak english, could you still figure out what's going on?


Monday, January 4, 2010

Harnassing the Power of Achievement

There is a very powerful tool being used online today that advertisers haven't seemed to fully grasp yet. I believe it's the reason the indie game industry is literally booming, Facebook games are so popular, and why Blizzard, the creator of World of Warcraft, is a mega-billion dollar company.

They understand the power of Achievement. This component to a game overshadows story, and sometimes even game-play. Instead of giving a person 1 goal (beat the game)..give them almost infinite goals. What is MobWars..but the never-ending achievement of gaining strength and power. If you play Xbox, you know the addictive pull of Achievement Points.

Is there a way to harnass this power in Interactive Advertising? I've seen many sites that have the "0/10 Secrets found" mechanic. Is this the beginning or just an echo?


Grey Matters

I'm a Digital ACD in Advertising land. I have been in love with the internet for over 10 years now. And I have a Red Bull problem. There I said it.

I travel around different industries every week or so and look for interesting and tasty interactive bits. I hope to make this a place for ad folk to keep up to date. And I just enjoy the spelunk.

Brain Pieces from Me

"There is a creative solution for everything."

"Sometimes, to be successful with Social Media, don't start a conversation. Start an argument."

"This is no longer the Age of Information, it's the Age of Opinion."

"The work that comes out of an Agency is the result of not going crazy while doing it."

People Who Probably Read My Blog