Congratulations to Billy Blue’s Class of 2011

July 7, 2011

On July 1st I had the pleasure of attending the Vol No 1 exhibition where this year’s graduate class showcased their design skills prowess. To say the least, the exhibition was beautifully executed, and refreshingly current. This year’s exhibition was purely digital, a telling sign of the times as many of the graduates came from the communication design school, traditionally non-digital. Special congratulations to Lina Hallberg, Rasmus Rennerfelt, Sofie Johansson, Phil Sheather, and Nitesh Asrani.

The welcome room of the exhibition had a giant interactive wall (shown below). The wall was not only controlled through an iPad application but also through a mobile website.

Vol No 1 Exhibition Welcome Wall

Other rooms had mini-walls where the work of a group of designers was showcased further. Again the wall was controlled by an iPad application.

Vol No 1 Exhibition Individual Designer Showcase

For more information, please see the official video below, or visit the official site http://bbex1101.billyblueinteractive.net/.


We’re now a record label!

October 18, 2010

We’ve seen how digital and social media, and specifically earned platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, can propel an unsigned artist into the mainstream of music success.

People like Lily Allen (famous after being discovered on MySpace), Justin Bieber (discovered on YouTube in what is debatably the worst example of YouTube’s possibilities), and even Lady Gaga who was discovered on YouTube and MySpace Music, represent a fundamental shift in how we are selecting popular artists and musicians.

Rather than the traditional push method where ‘Record Labels’ would pick and choose artists based on ‘marketability’ and their own industry agendas, we’re seeing a transition to a pull method. We’re self-selecting as an audience, and determining who will fill our iPods and PCs.

When you consider that social media is underpinned by two pillars: content curation and collaboration, it seems a natural platform for music and ‘stars’ to snowball into popular culture. As Andy Warhol once so famously said “”In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”      …Perhaps the new paradigm of this is “in social media, everyone could be world-famous”

The role of social media and music

We are publishers by our very nature, collaborating with one another as peers to appeal to our inherent need for fame and recognition. With social media, though, we have gained the tools that have the potential to scale our peer-level communications to a truly mass-market. And music is by its nature a social experience, binding people together with common emotions and values.

In what is perhaps the natural iteration of this, Razorfish in the US has stepped into the role of quasi-record label by forming a strategic partnership with an unsigned artist, AM.

David Deal, Vice President of Marketing at Razorfish, explained:

“How does an emerging indie artist in the dysfunctional music industry find an audience anymore?

My employer Razorfish is tackling that challenge through an unusual co-branding relationship with indie musician AM, which sees Razorfish playing the role of quasi-record label, concert promoter, and DJ. And so far we are having a lot of fun while building our brand with a creative and smart musician.

“We’re intrigued by the challenge of helping a promising artist find a national audience given how the traditional recording industry distribution model is broken,” said David Deal, vice president of marketing for Razorfish and the would-be A&R man guiding the agency’s partnership with AM. And if Razorfish or any of its clients can earn cachet through association with an up-and-coming artist, so much the better.”

What interests me is the idea that the traditional recording industry distribution model is broken.

Razorfish US have demonstrated that digital, and specifically social media, can play a critical role in bringing music to a mass audience. But for me, it’s a question of what comes first: the lagging of traditional record labels in their push model, or the growing prominence of the push model by the socially-connected. And further, how do you monetize this?

YouTube and music

Earlier this year, Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, stated that Lady Gaga “create (s) music videos for YouTube.”

When you look at some of the statistics with video views on YouTube (Bieber’s catalyst video achieved 55 millions views), it does make sense for artists to create their content specifically for social media.

Even Susan Boyle, the unlikely hit sensation of 2009, has demonstrated the value of YouTube in achieving success. Yes, she used the reality TV platform to position herself in-front of a National audience, but it was the ‘cloud’ that really propelled her into success. Her audition video saw more than 100 million views in two weeks. A social movement grew, seeing her favoured to take out the title of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ winner (she came runner-up).

Yet despite the massive amount of exposure, and social currency, Susan is purportedly still ‘poor’, with sales figures of her records disappointing.

Indeed, the question of revenue remains; how do you leverage the social popularity of a ‘digital artist’ and generate offline record sales. iTunes, and indeed other music-sharing platforms, are surely the key?

A digital advertising agency and sustainable music: the future?

But what if the revenue aspect of music wasn’t up to ‘traditional record sales’ and was instead based on another traditional revenue stream: advertising?

When we’re talking about artists achieving video views in excess of 50 – 100 million views, the opportunity for advertising revenue is very real. We know YouTube and Google have demonstrated the ad potential for high-view videos, and indeed Sony is purported to be a revenue-sharing partner with YouTube.

So, perhaps that’s where digital agencies such as Razorfish can really create a new paradigm in music. No longer do we need to pay for the right to access content (in this case the actual songs of artists such as AM), to achieve success and sustainability for an artist or the industry.

The value Razorfish, and indeed this model, presents to the industry is in its roots – creating content that resonates with a social audience, and generating revenue for their client, which in this case is a musician.

This model could allow artists from around the world to build social networks of fans who share their enthusiasm for independent artists with others through platforms such as Last.fm. But instead of relying on a dwindling group of large music publishers and radio stations building markets for a handful of artists around the world and attempting to generate ‘record sales’ in what is surely a digital world of music consumption, we actually turn it upside down.

This is essentially what the Spotify model could and should be. The Freemium version (a live online streaming platform for music) enables you to listen to playlists of your favourite artists, with advertising in-between songs. The gap in Spotify, however, is that the advertising revenue doesn’t go to the artist.

So, what if we marry this platform, the popularity of peer-based music sharing platforms like Last.fm, with advertising-generating platforms such as YouTube and even Google, to create a new wave of accessible music?

I believe this is what MySpace Music was seeking to do, yet by perhaps failure of its own brand, hasn’t really seen success in its advertising subsidized streaming platform.

And this is, in my opinion, a key opportunity for a digital agency such as Razorfish; it’s our job to always remember that we must focus on content and sharing. Facilitating brands, ideas and messaging – or in this case, music – into digital environments where the community and artist can form a true symbiotic relationship, based on accessibility, sustained by partners and advertising revenue-sharing.

And as a side note, I for one (as a Razorfish employee) am excited about the opportunity to work with up and coming Australian artists based on the pioneering by our US partner. If you’re keen, you can email me 😉

So, what do you think?


Nike Grid: Digital/running competition in London

April 22, 2010

Cool idea and execution on this competition from Nike. Sign up to compete in a running race from one phone box to another in London. Compete with others to “own” post codes.

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Interesting idea and slick execution. The teaser on YouTube gets mixed reactions…

“They are abusing urban subculture for their stupid exploiter brand!”

“Ooooh nike are so down with the kids”

The dark/urban slant to it could come across a bit forced, but the idea is exciting and well integrated. Hoping to see it do well.

Activity on Facebook seems more engaged and positive naturally than on YouTube.

Find it here: www.nikegrid.com 

By Wieden & Kennedy, AKQA and Mindshare.

@iclazie


Digital campaigns that caught my eye this week

November 20, 2009

I’ve been running around like a fly with a blue backside the last few weeks. However after a bit of down time today I came across two great campaigns that I would hold up as shining examples of great digital work.

The first one is Sony’s Fantasy Festival partnership with Last.fm. You have an imaginary $1M to spend on your fantasy festival line up and the winner is the person whose selection has the most buzz online- kind of like Fantasy Football for music. Here’s my effort…


Why do I like this?

The communication is tied into a product. Once I’ve picked my line up and named my festival I can listen to it on Last.fm and share it with friends. Simple idea but cool.

It’s a genuine experience not just a prize draw. I spent ages battling with my consciousness. Do I put some super bands like Muse in that have a lot of buzz even though I don’t like them, or ‘keep it real’ and stick to my favourites. Seriously have a go, you have to make some brutal decisions.

The second campaign is from HP who is raising the awareness of the Global clean water crisis by supporting a team of climbers looking to reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.

They don’t start till January but you can track their progress via a website that is the equivalent height of Mt Kilimanjaro in pixels – check out the scroll bar! Neat idea from Goodby

@carlmoggy


A socially social campaign fuelled by social – Why Movember works?

November 6, 2009

[Sorry, I had to use all the various meanings of the word just to ensure there was no misunderstanding as to what this post is about]

At the moment my Mo looks more like I’ve drunk 10 cans of Coke and licked my top lip, but it is still early days. However this isn’t about me and my Mo, although you can sponsor me here should you wish, it’s about why Movember is a perfect example of marketing in a social world.

It has social object

OK it’s for a good cause and bog paper might struggle to emulate this, but it demonstrates the need to unite people around something compelling enough. In this instance it happens to be a good cause, but it could just be a good idea.

Secondly raising awareness and funds for Men’s health is arguably under represented compared too many other causes; you could say it’s a challenger. Everyone wants to support the challenger.

It gives people something to do

It’s not just a Facebook group where you sign up and forget about it or where you change your Twitter avatar and feel pleased with yourself. It requires people to actually commit to doing something. We all know actions speak louder than words these days.

It makes things spread

It unites groups of people with some real social fuel. There is something to talk about, it’s highly competitive and narcissistic (in a weird and slightly perverse way). Nobody wants to be told they have a dirty lip now do they.

It visualises things happening within groups. People copy each other and the more people that grow a Mo, the more people will a) find it acceptable to grow one or b) Feel left out if they don’t and follow the crowd. Nobody wants to be the first person at the party, so brands need to try and visualise activity and interactions happening, so people feel like everyone else is doing it.

Movember relies on both strong AND weak ties. In order for it to gain significant traction with the population in a short space of time, the ‘handful of influencers’ need to be exposed to the masses – the Mo being the social lubricant and object that is shared across these groups. Brands should ensure that they don’t spend all their efforts on the clump of interconnected cool kids and remember Joe Public needs to be exposed to what is happening.

Social mechanisms

It obviously has the standard Facebook, Twitter and email options so you can spread the word and generate donations, but there is more to the way they feed the fire.

It gives you the tools and reminders to upload and document your progress – as well as fundraising rankings. This keeps you promoting yourself and pushing your efforts through your networks. Brands need to give people something to follow and talk about in order to keep people interested.

Movember gives Mo growers rewards for raising money, including a tickets to the end of campaign party. It inspires people to really push for more money through the month rather than just an email at the beginning. Brands should reward people on a regular basis for giving up their time for you.

Last but not least – it’s useful

For those of us unfamiliar with growing facial hair there is a full on style guide and grooming tips. This should come in handy when rectifying my dirty lip.

Visit Movember and track down your friends and fellow Mo growers

AU_MObanner02

@carlmoggy


5 Amazing and Unique Portfolio Interfaces

November 4, 2009

There’s a sea of portfolio sites out there. Of the best ones there are many that look great but don’t stray far from the typical interface design frameworks and information architecture.

Here’s a collection of five seriously impressive efforts to innovate, take chances, do something unique, delight and surprise… Great stuff.

1. Wonderwall Inc.www.wonder-wall.com

This Japanese interior design firm presents their work via a sproingy, elastic, 3D, slightly off the grid mosaic interface. It’s just fun to play with and tightly executed. It’s not a facade, either – the transitions and detail views are well thought through.

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2. Resn – www.resn.co.nz

Not a new site, but if this New Zealand based creative agency ever changes their portfolio I look forward to seeing how they plan to improve on it. The imagination behind the navigation rollover effects and the presentation of the work in the portfolio section are inspiring. Use of full bleed background imagery and subtle audio really surround the visitor. Great balance of creativity and usability.

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3. thetoke – www.thetoke.com

Slick, clean, technical. Slightly ambiguous concept around the identity and the intro, but it all makes for good eye candy. Play with the viewing modes in the top right hand corner to see cool applications of 3D in Flash.

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4. bio-bak – www.bio-bak.nl

Wow. Also been around a while but something truly bizarre. It’s a game. The object is to find the site’s navigation. This site has balls. And they’re hairy and badly drawn.

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5. Futuretainmentwww.futuretainment.com

Ok, so it’s a book launch, not a portfolio, but it’s classic Frost and fits beautifully with the others for a range of inspiration on how to simultaneously provide a stage and set a tone.

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Enjoy!

@iclazie


The wooden Ruler 2.0

July 27, 2009

The ruler is one of those everyday things we use and never really think about it twice. This is how it works and that’s it.

2 designers with the support of udk industrial design department designed the “Electronic Ruler”. It is a concept that measures the length of drawn lines no matter where on the ruler you start and stop drawing. It can also measure the distance between 2 points, add the value of different lines and change its scale.

To make it even cooler they placed a set of LEDs under a thin strip of wood-like material that displays the digits.

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found here


Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report

July 14, 2009

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It’s been over six months in development but this week has seen the release of the inaugural issue of Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing report.

Why did we create this report? There’s a lot of fluffy thinking and hype surrounding social media and this report highlights how Social Influence Marketing encompasses every part of marketing and every dimension of an organisation, as well providing a new metric for the measurement of SIM

You can download the full report here or view it on Slideshare, but here are the highlights

Social Influence Marketing Survey – By Shiv Singh

The study, which consists of a Razorfish survey of 1,000 consumers, examines the importance of social media and social influencers in consumer purchasing decisions. Results show that traditional top-down marketing will become increasingly ineffective as the importance of social media grows.

If a brand provides current, relevant content, consumers will engage with it. Survey results show that consumers are willing to stay actively involved with a brand on social networks if the brand gives them a reason to do so.

Brands need to understand the different roles influencers play throughout the purchase decision. They must identify which type of influencer – offline peers, blogs, anonymous reviews, etc. – is most affecting their customer’s brand affinity and purchase intent. This group will change as the consumer moves through the marketing funnel.

Measuring Social Influence Marketing, introducing the SIM score – By Shiv Singh

The old ways of measuring brand strength don’t effectively take into account conversations that consumers have about a brand. The SIM Score is a new index Razorfish developed to determine how a brand is being talked about online. Two factors – a brand’s “reach” and “likeability” – were used to establish the company’s SIM Score relative to its competitors.

This report determined a SIM Score of 5-6 companies within four industries- financial services, pharmaceuticals, media and auto.

With the help of TNS Cymfony and the Keller Fay Group, Razorfish also accounted for offline influence like word-of-mouth data in calculating the SIM score.

We believe the SIM Score could become something akin to the Net Promoter Score.

Complementing the report is a number of essays from the folks at Razorfish on the Future of Social Influence Marketing

– Can social ads do better than display ads? – By Chris Bowler

– Viral marketing through social: No free lunch – By Greg Pomaro

– Have social graph, Will travel – By Andrea Harrison

– Social media: The last quarter mile of customer relationship management – By David Baker

– Ten ways to make the Twitterverse work for you brand – By Diana Stepner

Please feel free to contact us with any questions relating to the report and we would love to get your feedback. Enjoy! @carlmoggy


Musical Apparel – Mos Def releases album via a T-Shirt

July 7, 2009

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Mos Def’s new album, The Ecstatic, is released in the US today but it’s taking a refreshing approach to distribution. Rather than offering up a CD (who buys them apart from me) people buy a T- Shirt with the album artwork on it, along with a code embedded into its tag so you can download it.

I love this kind of blurry stuff that is digital, traditional, social and a product innovation all rapped up in one (excuse the gag). It’s such a simple idea I can’t believe it has been used more often. Imagine how much The Ramones could have made with all those millions of walking adverts – it might also have ensured the cool kids actually listened to the music as well.

Not only that, it has raised the price to $39, probably reduced the production costs and generated cheap, peer 2 peer advertising. Genius.

@carlmoggy


The future of the newspaper from 1981

January 30, 2009

I found this video on techcrunch here about the future of newspapers seen back in 1981 and wanted to share it with you all – it’s quite funny

My favourite part is that it takes over 2 hours to receive the whole newspaper and back then the hourly use charge of the telephone was $5 which makes this newspaper 10 bucks – pretty hefty 🙂


Hubdub – Predicting the news

November 25, 2008

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Hubdub is a great new site that allows you to test your forecasting skills and gamble imaginary money by predicting the future of the news. This is the perfect site for people who think they know it all and a great test of the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ theory. You can predict the news covering everything from the price of oil to Heath Ledger being the next Oscar winner.


Five digital technologies that will change the marketing landscape

September 2, 2008

Here’s an article I wrote for AdNews last month – it was edited down for publication so here’s the full thing. Uncensored:

We all keep hearing about the pace of change and how much we need to constantly shift our businesses both as agency or client. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to look with so much going on; an ever expanding web and new devices appearing daily in the consumers lounge and pockets … all places we need to harness for marketing success.

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Batteries… soon to have a 30 year gap between recharging?

One thing’s for sure, it’s going to get more complicated, not less so I thought I would share five of the key technologies that are set to change the digital landscape in a significant way within the next ten years… here’s my TOP 5:

Read the rest of this entry »