Thursday, December 22, 2011

Candy: Cadbury

I think the spot with the different animals clucking like chickens for Cadbury is eternal. And just behind it is a Gorilla playing drums.

Cadbury's Glass and Half Full Productions has been very busy the last couple of years. They went from being a full on Flash experience, to being a super content buffet. Everything from past campaigns, videos, a blog and a few Flash games that are tied to specific campaigns (rather than up there to just shamelessly gather engagement time.)

The menu is simple and doesn't try to categorize the content (but you can filter it yourself). And although I've seen it before, I like the Surprise! button. You can't ignore a surprise.

Surprise! There's a party in my pants.

Hey you can fling shit too!

Cadbury doesn't seem to have any qualms with letting their site consist of content past and present. It's a nice departure from the love it and leave it mentality the ad world has had for so long. Then again I shouldn't be surprised since Cadbury still runs that spot...


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Candy: Butterfinger

Butterfinger, like most of its candy counterparts has focused its efforts across the social space. The Butterfinger site is a combination of the Snickers and M&M's. Like the former, it wants you to pass on quickly to its social partners, but if you insist on staying, its got some Flash games like the latter.

The primary design aesthetic might be "afterthought".

I've never had the pleasure of working on a site or brand that felt the need to have mini-games on their website so I don't know if they actually work. Seems like a good theory on paper - people come + everyone loves games = people stay longer = profit! But for the most part the games end up weaker than games on Kongregate. I thought a few years ago we would start to see the decline of this type of content, or even an evolution of it.

I will admit that this particular game has a cool concept though.
You zoom into the crowd to find and nab Butterfinger thieves.

It's not until you peruse the Butterfinger social properties that you really see the digital investment. Home videos on YouTube, and a brand-produced short movie directed by Rob Lowe on Facebook.

From the modern master of psychological terror Rob Lowe. lol.

I could only handle watching about 2 minutes, but that's more on the part of my ADD then anything else. Props to Butterfinger for the effort however, I wonder if they had any sort of media buy driving to it?

/.modern master of stuff.\

Monday, December 12, 2011

Candy: Skittles

The last time I checked out it didn't disappoint.

And once again it delivers. I give a reverent salute to the rainbow., like a talented basketball player, or a kung fu master, makes it look so easy to do. There is a deep understanding of the medium that goes into making a site like this, a site designed to be aware of it's own content, not to just be a shell packed with whatever is deemed content at the time. The site was designed to be a sexier way to view Skittle's social content.

It's a scroll-down, a popular execution that's been around for the last few years. An interesting note is that it doesn't seem to end. Whenever you get close to the bottom of the scroll bar, the page loads in previous posts seamlessly. It took a minute for me to realize that was happening at all. The layout was intelligently designed to make you think it goes forever.

The Skittle's site is the place where their social content converges and makes something new. It's the stepping out from the boundaries of 3rd party platforms to stretch and flex, and strut in rainbow pants. It feels nice, it feels natural.

Oh, and btw - their Tumblr account is interesting too -


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Candy: M&M's

Well I'm two posts in after an almost 3 year hiatus and I feel like time has stood still.

Here is M&M's in March 2009:

And here it is Dec. 2011:

Unlike the site, which feels like a one-shot site that's overstayed it's welcome, the M&M site has a polished structure that lends itself to longevity. However Snickers has new content, whereas the M&M site just has new promotions (expected).

This site is a great example of elegant interactivity, it's full of little bits of fun just like the candy itself. Not to sound too much like a geek who's done this for years, but little things like the way they handle the masthead navigation on the left is pretty sweet. And even the roll overs on the bottom promotional tile arrows have the extra bit of love that makes you want to click again.

I enjoyed poking around the site the last time I looked at it, and I'm a little disappointed that there's no new content. They still have the same "create an M&M avatar" app, granted it's got a few more cosmetic options but it's still an isolated site app. It's cool that you can make an avatar and then go play their games with that avatar...but I'm surprised the app hasn't made it's way to Facebook, Itunes, Android etc. Creating an M&M avatar army in the social space would be interesting..especially since they too are rocking 2 million + likes.

/.magic beans.\

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm back bearing candy

Hello again.

Well it's been almost three years since the end of my nine-month study of interactive advertising across the web. My intention was to take a break for at least a year and resurface to revisit all those industries again. One year turned to three, but I think the extra time will actually make this more interesting.

My plan is to revisit a majority of the industries from the first study and hopefully a couple new ones. The very first industry was Candy, and the first site was Snickers.

Here was in 2009:

And here is Snickers 2011:

Wow. Almost three years later and we're still looking at the same site. It either performs extremely well, or a Snickers website is at the bottom of the priority list.

So much has happened in these years, from the big corp rush to Facebook to mobile sites becoming a necessity. It's as if time has stood still here. Checking this site on my iPhone shows a "Download Flash to see the World" message.

I don't see a link to their Facebook page on here. Last I checked they had 40 fans.

Holy crap. 2,842,371 likes. Apparently Social works pretty well for Snickers. Judging by the amount of wall posts and engagement they have going on, I'm starting to understand why the site (barring new content) is a low priority.

One of the more important questions I want to answer for myself through this new study is the affect of social on true interactive websites. Here we see the website sitting on the sidelines while social plays ball.

Are interactive websites dying?

Or is it, to use an analogy, like Solo play vs. Multiplayer in video games, a duality where each part can be the star depending on the game. Like a Skyrim (solo play) vs. Battlefield 3 (predominately multiplayer with so-so solo play) vs. MW3 (equal parts great solo and multiplayer).

Looking forward to exploring the landscape again.

/.brains are candy.\

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