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White Matter | Stimulation for creative minds

Work

January 28, 2013  |   |  Comments Off

Made from 100% Chelsea

January 7, 2013  |   |  Comments Off

‘Made from 100% Chelsea’ isn’t just an ad campaign. It’s a journey of discovery, an exploration of the very fabric of the club. Football kit shirts are formulaic and are seen by many fans as acts of commercial exploitation.We gave the Chelsea faithful something of real value – a work of art that tells the Chelsea story. We collaborated with West London football fan and legendary Pop artist, Sir Peter Blake. And we documented the journey for fans to explore and share online. Shirt sales exceeded targets by 50% and the 10,000 shirts with the limited edition print sold out within the first 3 weeks.

Ben and Tristan, lovely blokes, were the Senior team on this one.

Branded Content, the 100 year old category

June 16, 2012  |   |  Comments Off

Cannes is approaching and yet again there are more categories. This year Branded Content and Entertainment Lions make an appearance. To the cynics it’s another example of the festival playing to the bloated agency egos in an attempt to extract even more cash from them in the form of entry payments. If you look at the criteria on the festival site it states

“The definition of Branded Content and Entertainment for the purpose of Cannes Lions is the creation of, or natural integration into, original content by a brand. The purpose of branded entertainment is to deliver marketing messages by engaging consumers via relevant content platforms rather than traditional advertising methods.”

My simple definition would be content that is genuinely useful/entertaining to the viewer/user/participant whilst deliver an underlying core brand message.

It may be a new category in the South of France but branded content isn’t new. That said it’s great that it’s been recognised as a category in itself (it saves us all from having to shoehorn our branded content into another category). Looking back over the years content created by brands has always been around. Soap Operas have to be the Grandmothers of branded content but the Godfather has to be the Michelin restaurant guide, which fittingly enough started life in France. It is probably the earliest and best example. And it’s amazing that it has actually lasted the course (almost 100 years). It works because it fills the gaps between new tyre purchases, something that happens relatively infrequently, to keep Michelin top-of-mind. It gives the reader something useful – the most respected guide to the world’s best restaurants. It reinforces the brand attributes of quality. Their maps are very closely linked to their core products but the restaurant guide is a step away. I think if someone told you today that a tyre manufacturer could become the next authority on fine dining you’d be laughed out of town. Their tyres are a little more expensive than the competition but people pay for the quality and the peace of mind. They have taken that philosophy to their Michelin star program. The star is still the most coveted award for chefs the world over.

We’ve been exploring branded content platforms for the last 5 years. We created Pocket TV for Sony Ericsson in 2008, it was a pop magazine format show in bite-sized chunks designed to be viewed on YouTube on mobile handsets.  I wish the new category had existed then as we discovered Matt Edmonson who has now become a BBC Radio 1 presenter.  The show was genuinely funny with lots of innovative fresh segments. Pocket TV filled the gap on UK terrestrial TV after music shows Top of the Pops and CD UK got canned. Our content was created for mobile and online use originally. It was so popular with 1.5 million YouTube channel views for series one and 3.5 million for series two that Channel 4 took the content and ran it as programming giving it even greater exposure.  Working with a production company in-house we utilised their production expertise and fused it with our brand understanding. It was the quality of the entertaining content that won the broadcaster over.

Out in SXSWi 2012 I saw the guys from P&G America talk about Pantene and their beautiful lengths campaign. Beautiful Lengths supplies real hair wigs to female sufferers who have lost their hair. It is run in conjunction with the American Cancer Society. Last year they donated 12,000 wigs. P&G chose a branded documentary approach as the best way to tell the human stories behind the initiative. The campaign ignited a movement and hair cutting events have sprung up around the states.  The documentary film makers ‘Flow non fiction’, who created the content visited one school where 195 girls had signed up to get their hair cut. The cutting party at the school wasn’t created by them it happened organically so finding that was key. The result is a powerful piece of documentary film making.

In India Spark the Rise is a kickstarter for community driven individuals.  It’s a branded content platform created by the auto maker Mahindra. It links seamlessly with Mahindra’s brand promise ‘Rise’.as it gives individuals the opportunity to submit ideas for the good of the community. The best ones win grants from the platform to action the idea.  So far they have approved 1.470 projects. The website states ”Don’t accept things as they are. Rise to the Change.” It feels like a genuine attempt to action change for the good of the whole country. The ‘content’ in this campaign is the change they have actioned. The people driving down a repaired road funded by Spark The Rise are having the ultimate experience thanks to the brand. http://www.sparktherise.com/

Brands are creating content around causes but there’s been a large scale revolution enabled by technology. This has resulted in a big change in terms of production processes. HD camera technology has allowed quality content to be produced on relatively cost effective budgets. DSLRs from the likes of Canon, new HD cams from Sony and the brilliance of the tiny GoPro cams have all played their part.  Step Inside The Circuit for Johnnie Walker has seen us partner with BAFTA nominated doccie film makers Firecracker. We take people exclusively behind the scenes into the worlds of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The documentary films we create are delivered to the broadcasters on the Friday so that the content runs as programming on the Saturday or Sunday during race weekend. We create it in an intense 48 hour burst with swift approval processes and the content remains hot and newsworthy. The quality of the films has been commended by broadcasters across the globe and has seen them broadcast it in 130+ countries. Andy Fennel from Diageo will be sharing it along with other examples at the Diageo showcase on Friday at 9.30-10.30

With any of these endeavors you have to think about the human story, the interest and tension points and how to work in a new streamlined way. I love working with an editorial mindset it’s a refreshing way to create. To generate compelling content you should always be asking the question “why will people want to spend time with our content?” I’m looking forward to checking out the entries and will watch with interest to see whether social good content and utility wins over escapist entertainment.

Published Campaign Asia 15th June 2012

Branded Content, the 100 year old category

June 16, 2012  |   |  Comments Off

Cannes is approaching and yet again there are more categories. This year Branded Content and Entertainment Lions make an appearance. To the cynics it’s another example of the festival playing to the bloated agency egos in an attempt to extract even more cash from them in the form of entry payments. If you look at the criteria on the festival site it states

“The definition of Branded Content and Entertainment for the purpose of Cannes Lions is the creation of, or natural integration into, original content by a brand. The purpose of branded entertainment is to deliver marketing messages by engaging consumers via relevant content platforms rather than traditional advertising methods.”

My simple definition would be content that is genuinely useful/entertaining to the viewer/user/participant whilst deliver an underlying core brand message.

It may be a new category in the South of France but branded content isn’t new. That said it’s great that it’s been recognised as a category in itself (it saves us all from having to shoehorn our branded content into another category). Looking back over the years content created by brands has always been around. Soap Operas have to be the Grandmothers of branded content but the Godfather has to be the Michelin restaurant guide, which fittingly enough started life in France. It is probably the earliest and best example. And it’s amazing that it has actually lasted the course (almost 100 years). It works because it fills the gaps between new tyre purchases, something that happens relatively infrequently, to keep Michelin top-of-mind. It gives the reader something useful – the most respected guide to the world’s best restaurants. It reinforces the brand attributes of quality. Their maps are very closely linked to their core products but the restaurant guide is a step away. I think if someone told you today that a tyre manufacturer could become the next authority on fine dining you’d be laughed out of town. Their tyres are a little more expensive than the competition but people pay for the quality and the peace of mind. They have taken that philosophy to their Michelin star program. The star is still the most coveted award for chefs the world over.

We’ve been exploring branded content platforms for the last 5 years. We created Pocket TV for Sony Ericsson in 2008, it was a pop magazine format show in bite-sized chunks designed to be viewed on YouTube on mobile handsets.  I wish the new category had existed then as we discovered Matt Edmonson who has now become a BBC Radio 1 presenter.  The show was genuinely funny with lots of innovative fresh segments. Pocket TV filled the gap on UK terrestrial TV after music shows Top of the Pops and CD UK got canned. Our content was created for mobile and online use originally. It was so popular with 1.5 million YouTube channel views for series one and 3.5 million for series two that Channel 4 took the content and ran it as programming giving it even greater exposure.  Working with a production company in-house we utilised their production expertise and fused it with our brand understanding. It was the quality of the entertaining content that won the broadcaster over.

Out in SXSWi 2012 I saw the guys from P&G America talk about Pantene and their beautiful lengths campaign. Beautiful Lengths supplies real hair wigs to female sufferers who have lost their hair. It is run in conjunction with the American Cancer Society. Last year they donated 12,000 wigs. P&G chose a branded documentary approach as the best way to tell the human stories behind the initiative. The campaign ignited a movement and hair cutting events have sprung up around the states.  The documentary film makers ‘Flow non fiction’, who created the content visited one school where 195 girls had signed up to get their hair cut. The cutting party at the school wasn’t created by them it happened organically so finding that was key. The result is a powerful piece of documentary film making.

In India Spark the Rise is a kickstarter for community driven individuals.  It’s a branded content platform created by the auto maker Mahindra. It links seamlessly with Mahindra’s brand promise ‘Rise’.as it gives individuals the opportunity to submit ideas for the good of the community. The best ones win grants from the platform to action the idea.  So far they have approved 1.470 projects. The website states ”Don’t accept things as they are. Rise to the Change.” It feels like a genuine attempt to action change for the good of the whole country. The ‘content’ in this campaign is the change they have actioned. The people driving down a repaired road funded by Spark The Rise are having the ultimate experience thanks to the brand. http://www.sparktherise.com/

Brands are creating content around causes but there’s been a large scale revolution enabled by technology. This has resulted in a big change in terms of production processes. HD camera technology has allowed quality content to be produced on relatively cost effective budgets. DSLRs from the likes of Canon, new HD cams from Sony and the brilliance of the tiny GoPro cams have all played their part.  Step Inside The Circuit for Johnnie Walker has seen us partner with BAFTA nominated doccie film makers Firecracker. We take people exclusively behind the scenes into the worlds of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The documentary films we create are delivered to the broadcasters on the Friday so that the content runs as programming on the Saturday or Sunday during race weekend. We create it in an intense 48 hour burst with swift approval processes and the content remains hot and newsworthy. The quality of the films has been commended by broadcasters across the globe and has seen them broadcast it in 130+ countries. Andy Fennel from Diageo will be sharing it along with other examples at the Diageo showcase on Friday at 9.30-10.30

With any of these endeavors you have to think about the human story, the interest and tension points and how to work in a new streamlined way. I love working with an editorial mindset it’s a refreshing way to create. To generate compelling content you should always be asking the question “why will people want to spend time with our content?” I’m looking forward to checking out the entries and will watch with interest to see whether social good content and utility wins over escapist entertainment.

Published Campaign Asia 15th June 2012

Branded Content – the 100 year old category

June 16, 2012  |   |  Comments Off

Cannes is approaching and yet again there are more categories. This year Branded Content and Entertainment Lions make an appearance. To the cynics it’s another example of the festival playing to the bloated agency egos in an attempt to extract even more cash from them in the form of entry payments. If you look at the criteria on the festival site it states

“The definition of Branded Content and Entertainment for the purpose of Cannes Lions is the creation of, or natural integration into, original content by a brand. The purpose of branded entertainment is to deliver marketing messages by engaging consumers via relevant content platforms rather than traditional advertising methods.”

My simple definition would be content that is genuinely useful/entertaining to the viewer/user/participant whilst deliver an underlying core brand message.

It may be a new category in the South of France but branded content isn’t new. That said it’s great that it’s been recognised as a category in itself (it saves us all from having to shoehorn our branded content into another category). Looking back over the years content created by brands has always been around. Soap Operas have to be the Grandmothers of branded content but the Godfather has to be the Michelin restaurant guide, which fittingly enough started life in France. It is probably the earliest and best example. And it’s amazing that it has actually lasted the course (almost 100 years). It works because it fills the gaps between new tyre purchases, something that happens relatively infrequently, to keep Michelin top-of-mind. It gives the reader something useful – the most respected guide to the world’s best restaurants. It reinforces the brand attributes of quality. Their maps are very closely linked to their core products but the restaurant guide is a step away. I think if someone told you today that a tyre manufacturer could become the next authority on fine dining you’d be laughed out of town. Their tyres are a little more expensive than the competition but people pay for the quality and the peace of mind. They have taken that philosophy to their Michelin star program. The star is still the most coveted award for chefs the world over.

We’ve been exploring branded content platforms for the last 5 years. We created Pocket TV for Sony Ericsson in 2008, it was a pop magazine format show in bite-sized chunks designed to be viewed on YouTube on mobile handsets.  I wish the new category had existed then as we discovered Matt Edmonson who has now become a BBC Radio 1 presenter.  The show was genuinely funny with lots of innovative fresh segments. Pocket TV filled the gap on UK terrestrial TV after music shows Top of the Pops and CD UK got canned. Our content was created for mobile and online use originally. It was so popular with 1.5 million YouTube channel views for series one and 3.5 million for series two that Channel 4 took the content and ran it as programming giving it even greater exposure.  Working with a production company in-house we utilised their production expertise and fused it with our brand understanding. It was the quality of the entertaining content that won the broadcaster over.

Out in SXSWi 2012 I saw the guys from P&G America talk about Pantene and their beautiful lengths campaign. Beautiful Lengths supplies real hair wigs to female sufferers who have lost their hair. It is run in conjunction with the American Cancer Society. Last year they donated 12,000 wigs. P&G chose a branded documentary approach as the best way to tell the human stories behind the initiative. The campaign ignited a movement and hair cutting events have sprung up around the states.  The documentary film makers ‘Flow non fiction’, who created the content visited one school where 195 girls had signed up to get their hair cut. The cutting party at the school wasn’t created by them it happened organically so finding that was key. The result is a powerful piece of documentary film making.

In India Spark the Rise is a kickstarter for community driven individuals.  It’s a branded content platform created by the auto maker Mahindra. It links seamlessly with Mahindra’s brand promise ‘Rise’.as it gives individuals the opportunity to submit ideas for the good of the community. The best ones win grants from the platform to action the idea.  So far they have approved 1.470 projects. The website states ”Don’t accept things as they are. Rise to the Change.” It feels like a genuine attempt to action change for the good of the whole country. The ‘content’ in this campaign is the change they have actioned. The people driving down a repaired road funded by Spark The Rise are having the ultimate experience thanks to the brand. http://www.sparktherise.com/

Brands are creating content around causes but there’s been a large scale revolution enabled by technology. This has resulted in a big change in terms of production processes. HD camera technology has allowed quality content to be produced on relatively cost effective budgets. DSLRs from the likes of Canon, new HD cams from Sony and the brilliance of the tiny GoPro cams have all played their part.  Step Inside The Circuit for Johnnie Walker has seen us partner with BAFTA nominated doccie film makers Firecracker. We take people exclusively behind the scenes into the worlds of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The documentary films we create are delivered to the broadcasters on the Friday so that the content runs as programming on the Saturday or Sunday during race weekend. We create it in an intense 48 hour burst with swift approval processes and the content remains hot and newsworthy. The quality of the films has been commended by broadcasters across the globe and has seen them broadcast it in 130+ countries. Andy Fennel from Diageo will be sharing it along with other examples at the Diageo showcase on Friday at 9.30-10.30

With any of these endeavors you have to think about the human story, the interest and tension points and how to work in a new streamlined way. I love working with an editorial mindset it’s a refreshing way to create. To generate compelling content you should always be asking the question “why will people want to spend time with our content?” I’m looking forward to checking out the entries and will watch with interest to see whether social good content and utility wins over escapist entertainment.

Published Campaign Asia 15th June 2012

Branded Content, the 100 year old category

June 16, 2012  |  blog  |  Comments Off

Cannes is approaching and yet again there are more categories. This year Branded Content and Entertainment Lions make an appearance. To the cynics it’s another example of the festival playing to the bloated agency egos in an attempt to extract even more cash from them in the form of entry payments. If you look at the criteria on the festival site it states

“The definition of Branded Content and Entertainment for the purpose of Cannes Lions is the creation of, or natural integration into, original content by a brand. The purpose of branded entertainment is to deliver marketing messages by engaging consumers via relevant content platforms rather than traditional advertising methods.”

My simple definition would be content that is genuinely useful/entertaining to the viewer/user/participant whilst deliver an underlying core brand message.

It may be a new category in the South of France but branded content isn’t new. That said it’s great that it’s been recognised as a category in itself (it saves us all from having to shoehorn our branded content into another category). Looking back over the years content created by brands has always been around. Soap Operas have to be the Grandmothers of branded content but the Godfather has to be the Michelin restaurant guide, which fittingly enough started life in France. It is probably the earliest and best example. And it’s amazing that it has actually lasted the course (almost 100 years). It works because it fills the gaps between new tyre purchases, something that happens relatively infrequently, to keep Michelin top-of-mind. It gives the reader something useful – the most respected guide to the world’s best restaurants. It reinforces the brand attributes of quality. Their maps are very closely linked to their core products but the restaurant guide is a step away. I think if someone told you today that a tyre manufacturer could become the next authority on fine dining you’d be laughed out of town. Their tyres are a little more expensive than the competition but people pay for the quality and the peace of mind. They have taken that philosophy to their Michelin star program. The star is still the most coveted award for chefs the world over.

We’ve been exploring branded content platforms for the last 5 years. We created Pocket TV for Sony Ericsson in 2008, it was a pop magazine format show in bite-sized chunks designed to be viewed on YouTube on mobile handsets.  I wish the new category had existed then as we discovered Matt Edmonson who has now become a BBC Radio 1 presenter.  The show was genuinely funny with lots of innovative fresh segments. Pocket TV filled the gap on UK terrestrial TV after music shows Top of the Pops and CD UK got canned. Our content was created for mobile and online use originally. It was so popular with 1.5 million YouTube channel views for series one and 3.5 million for series two that Channel 4 took the content and ran it as programming giving it even greater exposure.  Working with a production company in-house we utilised their production expertise and fused it with our brand understanding. It was the quality of the entertaining content that won the broadcaster over.

Out in SXSWi 2012 I saw the guys from P&G America talk about Pantene and their beautiful lengths campaign. Beautiful Lengths supplies real hair wigs to female sufferers who have lost their hair. It is run in conjunction with the American Cancer Society. Last year they donated 12,000 wigs. P&G chose a branded documentary approach as the best way to tell the human stories behind the initiative. The campaign ignited a movement and hair cutting events have sprung up around the states.  The documentary film makers ‘Flow non fiction’, who created the content visited one school where 195 girls had signed up to get their hair cut. The cutting party at the school wasn’t created by them it happened organically so finding that was key. The result is a powerful piece of documentary film making.

In India Spark the Rise is a kickstarter for community driven individuals.  It’s a branded content platform created by the auto maker Mahindra. It links seamlessly with Mahindra’s brand promise ‘Rise’.as it gives individuals the opportunity to submit ideas for the good of the community. The best ones win grants from the platform to action the idea.  So far they have approved 1.470 projects. The website states ”Don’t accept things as they are. Rise to the Change.” It feels like a genuine attempt to action change for the good of the whole country. The ‘content’ in this campaign is the change they have actioned. The people driving down a repaired road funded by Spark The Rise are having the ultimate experience thanks to the brand. http://www.sparktherise.com/

Brands are creating content around causes but there’s been a large scale revolution enabled by technology. This has resulted in a big change in terms of production processes. HD camera technology has allowed quality content to be produced on relatively cost effective budgets. DSLRs from the likes of Canon, new HD cams from Sony and the brilliance of the tiny GoPro cams have all played their part.  Step Inside The Circuit for Johnnie Walker has seen us partner with BAFTA nominated doccie film makers Firecracker. We take people exclusively behind the scenes into the worlds of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The documentary films we create are delivered to the broadcasters on the Friday so that the content runs as programming on the Saturday or Sunday during race weekend. We create it in an intense 48 hour burst with swift approval processes and the content remains hot and newsworthy. The quality of the films has been commended by broadcasters across the globe and has seen them broadcast it in 130+ countries. Andy Fennel from Diageo will be sharing it along with other examples at the Diageo showcase on Friday at 9.30-10.30

With any of these endeavors you have to think about the human story, the interest and tension points and how to work in a new streamlined way. I love working with an editorial mindset it’s a refreshing way to create. To generate compelling content you should always be asking the question “why will people want to spend time with our content?” I’m looking forward to checking out the entries and will watch with interest to see whether social good content and utility wins over escapist entertainment.

Published Campaign Asia 15th June 2012

Branded Content – the 100 year old category

June 16, 2012  |   |  Comments Off

Cannes is approaching and yet again there are more categories. This year Branded Content and Entertainment Lions make an appearance. To the cynics it’s another example of the festival playing to the bloated agency egos in an attempt to extract even more cash from them in the form of entry payments. If you look at the criteria on the festival site it states

“The definition of Branded Content and Entertainment for the purpose of Cannes Lions is the creation of, or natural integration into, original content by a brand. The purpose of branded entertainment is to deliver marketing messages by engaging consumers via relevant content platforms rather than traditional advertising methods.”

My simple definition would be content that is genuinely useful/entertaining to the viewer/user/participant whilst deliver an underlying core brand message.

It may be a new category in the South of France but branded content isn’t new. That said it’s great that it’s been recognised as a category in itself (it saves us all from having to shoehorn our branded content into another category). Looking back over the years content created by brands has always been around. Soap Operas have to be the Grandmothers of branded content but the Godfather has to be the Michelin restaurant guide, which fittingly enough started life in France. It is probably the earliest and best example. And it’s amazing that it has actually lasted the course (almost 100 years). It works because it fills the gaps between new tyre purchases, something that happens relatively infrequently, to keep Michelin top-of-mind. It gives the reader something useful – the most respected guide to the world’s best restaurants. It reinforces the brand attributes of quality. Their maps are very closely linked to their core products but the restaurant guide is a step away. I think if someone told you today that a tyre manufacturer could become the next authority on fine dining you’d be laughed out of town. Their tyres are a little more expensive than the competition but people pay for the quality and the peace of mind. They have taken that philosophy to their Michelin star program. The star is still the most coveted award for chefs the world over.

We’ve been exploring branded content platforms for the last 5 years. We created Pocket TV for Sony Ericsson in 2008, it was a pop magazine format show in bite-sized chunks designed to be viewed on YouTube on mobile handsets.  I wish the new category had existed then as we discovered Matt Edmonson who has now become a BBC Radio 1 presenter.  The show was genuinely funny with lots of innovative fresh segments. Pocket TV filled the gap on UK terrestrial TV after music shows Top of the Pops and CD UK got canned. Our content was created for mobile and online use originally. It was so popular with 1.5 million YouTube channel views for series one and 3.5 million for series two that Channel 4 took the content and ran it as programming giving it even greater exposure.  Working with a production company in-house we utilised their production expertise and fused it with our brand understanding. It was the quality of the entertaining content that won the broadcaster over.

Out in SXSWi 2012 I saw the guys from P&G America talk about Pantene and their beautiful lengths campaign. Beautiful Lengths supplies real hair wigs to female sufferers who have lost their hair. It is run in conjunction with the American Cancer Society. Last year they donated 12,000 wigs. P&G chose a branded documentary approach as the best way to tell the human stories behind the initiative. The campaign ignited a movement and hair cutting events have sprung up around the states.  The documentary film makers ‘Flow non fiction’, who created the content visited one school where 195 girls had signed up to get their hair cut. The cutting party at the school wasn’t created by them it happened organically so finding that was key. The result is a powerful piece of documentary film making.

In India Spark the Rise is a kickstarter for community driven individuals.  It’s a branded content platform created by the auto maker Mahindra. It links seamlessly with Mahindra’s brand promise ‘Rise’.as it gives individuals the opportunity to submit ideas for the good of the community. The best ones win grants from the platform to action the idea.  So far they have approved 1.470 projects. The website states ”Don’t accept things as they are. Rise to the Change.” It feels like a genuine attempt to action change for the good of the whole country. The ‘content’ in this campaign is the change they have actioned. The people driving down a repaired road funded by Spark The Rise are having the ultimate experience thanks to the brand. http://www.sparktherise.com/

Brands are creating content around causes but there’s been a large scale revolution enabled by technology. This has resulted in a big change in terms of production processes. HD camera technology has allowed quality content to be produced on relatively cost effective budgets. DSLRs from the likes of Canon, new HD cams from Sony and the brilliance of the tiny GoPro cams have all played their part.  Step Inside The Circuit for Johnnie Walker has seen us partner with BAFTA nominated doccie film makers Firecracker. We take people exclusively behind the scenes into the worlds of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The documentary films we create are delivered to the broadcasters on the Friday so that the content runs as programming on the Saturday or Sunday during race weekend. We create it in an intense 48 hour burst with swift approval processes and the content remains hot and newsworthy. The quality of the films has been commended by broadcasters across the globe and has seen them broadcast it in 130+ countries. Andy Fennel from Diageo will be sharing it along with other examples at the Diageo showcase on Friday at 9.30-10.30

With any of these endeavors you have to think about the human story, the interest and tension points and how to work in a new streamlined way. I love working with an editorial mindset it’s a refreshing way to create. To generate compelling content you should always be asking the question “why will people want to spend time with our content?” I’m looking forward to checking out the entries and will watch with interest to see whether social good content and utility wins over escapist entertainment.

Published Campaign Asia 15th June 2012

Fireworks, bright sparks and treacherous plots

November 4, 2011  |  blog  |  Comments Off

The end of October was one of celebration in India. The fireworks and festivities of Diwali were extended as the country geared up for its first ever Grand Prix. 27 million Indian F1 fans have waited a long time for the glamour of the sport to hit its shore. We were over in Delhi shooting the latest Step Inside the Circuit episode. During our time there we had a great interview with Vicky Chandhok. Chandhok is the President of the Federation of the Motorsports Club of India. Driven by a love of the sport he has been on a 10 year journey to get F1 to India. He’s incredibly proud of the Buddh International circuit and the fact that India’s has proven that it can host the world’s most technologically advanced sport. Vicky embodies the optimism and determination in India. It’s a vibrant, exciting place full of entrepreneurs.

Spark The Rise embodies the spirit of the country. It launched in mid-August as a way to support entrepreneurial thinking, yesterday it announced it’s latest winning ideas. For those who don’t know of it, it’s “a funding platform to propel innovation, entrepreneurship and positive change in India.” It encourages people to share their ideas and then it awards grants to the best ones. I’m a big fan of the creative funding platform Kickerstarter, and this works in a similar way. There’s a public vote and a jury vote. Users can submit ideas into five different categories technology, Infrastructure & Transportation, Energy, Agriculture & Rural Development and Social Entrepreneurship. The winning ideas get announced in a series of rounds. The winners of round two have just been revealed. I particularly like the Intelligent helmet. A circuit within the helmet prevents the bike from starting unless the helmet is worn. It also detects whether a rider has drunken alcohol and in case of an accident it has built in GPS to notify the emergency services. It’s worth exploring the site and reading about some of the great ideas that are being given the chance to live. Kickstarter, in comparison, feels a little like creative indulgence. The ideas on Spark The Rise genuinely feel like they could make a real difference to the communities in India. I hope they do.

Sparks fly every year in the UK on the eve of the 5th November. The country celebrates the failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up the UK’s Houses of Parliament in 1605. The plot was uncovered due to an anonymous letter posted to the authorities. The letter prompted a search of Westminster Palace and the discovery of Guy and his explosives.  Fast forward to today and Anonymous, the hacker activist group  who have adopted the Guy Fawkes mask from the film V is for Vendetta, have threatened to bring down Facebook on Bonfire Night.  It seems they have the capability but they like to use threats rather than action. Facebook has become a target as the group sees them violating users privacy rights.

But it’s not just the Anarchists who are on the ‘take Facebook’ down bandwagon. A new social network Unthink, wants to over throw Facebook’s rule of the social network Kingdom. “We are not another social network. We are a Social Revolution,” declares the website. It’s been described as the anti-Facebook. It was founded by Natasha Dedis a Greek American who became an entrepreneur at 21. In an article on thestar.com she is quoted as saying that “Facebook could become a Cyber-dictatorship”. Unthink isn’t a business it’s a cause and it seems to want to empower the user community to shape it.  It launched in Beta on the 25th October and has already attracted over 100,000 registered users. Unthink ‘suites’ are automatically set to ‘private’ as the default. It has four separate information streams public, social, lifestyle and business. These are very similar to the way Google+ circles work. It’s also an ad free zone it promises “No ads ever”. Instead users choose brand sponsors, if you don’t want a sponsor then you simply pay $2 a year. There are also loyalty rewards in the pipeline for users who choose to subscribe to brands on the site. It’s still a tiny start up but perhaps it’s caught the mood of the moment. Just look at the chatter online. People are concerned with privacy on Facebook and there’s growing unease with financial organisations as demonstrated by the Occupy Wall Street movement. I don’t know if the Anonymous threat tomorrow is real or not, but one thing that is certain is that the issue of privacy and what Facebook does with our personal data is becoming more and more of a hot topic of discussion.

Fireworks, bright sparks and treacherous plots

November 4, 2011  |   |  Comments Off

The end of October was one of celebration in India. The fireworks and festivities of Diwali were extended as the country geared up for its first ever Grand Prix. 27 million Indian F1 fans have waited a long time for the glamour of the sport to hit its shore. We were over in Delhi shooting the latest Step Inside the Circuit episode. During our time there we had a great interview with Vicky Chandhok. Chandhok is the President of the Federation of the Motorsports Club of India. Driven by a love of the sport he has been on a 10 year journey to get F1 to India. He’s incredibly proud of the Buddh International circuit and the fact that India’s has proven that it can host the world’s most technologically advanced sport. Vicky embodies the optimism and determination in India. It’s a vibrant, exciting place full of entrepreneurs.

Spark The Rise embodies the spirit of the country. It launched in mid-August as a way to support entrepreneurial thinking, yesterday it announced it’s latest winning ideas. For those who don’t know of it, it’s “a funding platform to propel innovation, entrepreneurship and positive change in India.” It encourages people to share their ideas and then it awards grants to the best ones. I’m a big fan of the creative funding platform Kickerstarter, and this works in a similar way. There’s a public vote and a jury vote. Users can submit ideas into five different categories technology, Infrastructure & Transportation, Energy, Agriculture & Rural Development and Social Entrepreneurship. The winning ideas get announced in a series of rounds. The winners of round two have just been revealed. I particularly like the Intelligent helmet. A circuit within the helmet prevents the bike from starting unless the helmet is worn. It also detects whether a rider has drunken alcohol and in case of an accident it has built in GPS to notify the emergency services. It’s worth exploring the site and reading about some of the great ideas that are being given the chance to live. Kickstarter, in comparison, feels a little like creative indulgence. The ideas on Spark The Rise genuinely feel like they could make a real difference to the communities in India. I hope they do.

Sparks fly every year in the UK on the eve of the 5th November. The country celebrates the failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up the UK’s Houses of Parliament in 1605. The plot was uncovered due to an anonymous letter posted to the authorities. The letter prompted a search of Westminster Palace and the discovery of Guy and his explosives.  Fast forward to today and Anonymous, the hacker activist group  who have adopted the Guy Fawkes mask from the film V is for Vendetta, have threatened to bring down Facebook on Bonfire Night.  It seems they have the capability but they like to use threats rather than action. Facebook has become a target as the group sees them violating users privacy rights.

But it’s not just the Anarchists who are on the ‘take Facebook’ down bandwagon. A new social network Unthink, wants to over throw Facebook’s rule of the social network Kingdom. “We are not another social network. We are a Social Revolution,” declares the website. It’s been described as the anti-Facebook. It was founded by Natasha Dedis a Greek American who became an entrepreneur at 21. In an article on thestar.com she is quoted as saying that “Facebook could become a Cyber-dictatorship”. Unthink isn’t a business it’s a cause and it seems to want to empower the user community to shape it.  It launched in Beta on the 25th October and has already attracted over 100,000 registered users. Unthink ‘suites’ are automatically set to ‘private’ as the default. It has four separate information streams public, social, lifestyle and business. These are very similar to the way Google+ circles work. It’s also an ad free zone it promises “No ads ever”. Instead users choose brand sponsors, if you don’t want a sponsor then you simply pay $2 a year. There are also loyalty rewards in the pipeline for users who choose to subscribe to brands on the site. It’s still a tiny start up but perhaps it’s caught the mood of the moment. Just look at the chatter online. People are concerned with privacy on Facebook and there’s growing unease with financial organisations as demonstrated by the Occupy Wall Street movement. I don’t know if the Anonymous threat tomorrow is real or not, but one thing that is certain is that the issue of privacy and what Facebook does with our personal data is becoming more and more of a hot topic of discussion.

Kickstarter. Funding the creative revolution.

July 25, 2011  |   |  Comments Off

Last week Kickstarter, the funding platform for creative projects, successfully reached a major milestone. An Ohio based band called Citizen, looking to release a 7” single, reached their $800 goal and became the 10,000th project.  I’ve been following Kickstarter for the last 18 months and I think I may be developing an addiction.

Kickstarter launched on the 28th April 2009. Perry Chen first had the idea in 2002 whilst he was trying to put on a concert without any funding. In 2005 he meet Yancey Stickler in a New York diner and they started working on it.  The final piece of the puzzle was Charles Adler, the technical brains behind the build of the site. They felt there were loads of creative ideas that never saw the light of day due to a lack of cash. So, Kickstarter was born. It’s a funding platform for creative projects. It’s a way to raise money for the stuff you want to do. It’s all or nothing, you have to hit your funding target. This adds a gaming element to the projects. 500,000 people have pledged to date and 3,000 people are doing it every day. It’s grown during tough economic times because it’s a different type of spending. It empowers everyday people to feel like producers and gives them a direct connection back to the idea’s source. It’s not a donation platform because by investing you get something back. A million and a half gets pledge every week. 250 proposals are submitted every day and half of those get accepted. On the business side of things Kickstarter takes 5% from the projects that are successfully funded, this makes them profitable. And, importantly, the people who generate the idea retain the copyright.

http://www.kickstarter.com/

Stickler states in the PSFK lecture that the first projects were mainly music and film. Then a product idea caught fire. The ‘Glif’ is a tripod stand for an iPhone 4. It’s New York creators looked to raise 10k but quickly raised $140,000. This was the first real product to launch on the platform and the Kickstarter team wrestled with it as it seemed to be a conflict with the original ideology, it felt like it could become too commericalised. They decided to draw the line at corporations trying to use the platform to product test. Kickstarter is there to realise creative people’s dreams.

A case example is THE most successful project to date. Scott Wilson used to be Creative Director at Nike. He designed watches in their design department. He has now set up his own design studio called Minimal. He came to Kickstarter with an idea for a watchstrap for an iPod Nano. He made the case that he was doing this for himself because he believed that launching it on Kickstarter would be much cooler than getting a massive commercial backer onboard. He was looking to raise 15k to fund the project. He had two designs one called TikTok ($40) with a rubberised strap and the more expensive LunaTik ($60) formed from aircraft-grade machined aluminium. He raised an amazing $950,000 in just five weeks. This was the first project I backed and I’m the proud owner of a LunaTik, it’s a brilliant product.

http://lunatik.com/

The LunaTik hooked me into Kickstarter and I’ve funded a few other projects since.  Of those Tweetland from Costa Rica stands out. Tweetland is a world of games where what happens on Twitter influences what happens in the game. And this all plays out in real-time. Certain words in people’s tweets trigger events in the game. The games are all designed with an 8-bit aesthetic and I’m awaiting the Beta test of the first game called Route 141. I’ve no idea how the game will turn out but I’m intrigued to see how it develops.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nestorvc/tweet-land-the-first-set-of-games-that-play-with-r

The latest project I’ve funded is the awesome LongShot magazine. The last month has seen me completing the first draft of the Urgent Genius book and Longshot features as one of the case studies. It’s a bold project that embraces real-time creativity. It was conceived one evening when a group of the founders were talking about the future of publishing and looking at a magazine that had been produced using the print-on-demand service MagCloud. The Longshot team wanted to experiment with the possibilities of print-on-demand through a project that wouldn’t demand too much of anyone’s time. It was this need to do something outside of ‘full-time work’ that led to the 48 hours (over a weekend) time frame. The team set a theme and then invite submissions from around the globe. People can submit articles, photographs and illustrations as long as they relate to the core theme. The team in the States edit the content and design the magazine. It takes just 48 hours to go from initial brief to final magazine. The printed magazine can then be purchased from MagCloud. The last issue was based around the theme Comeback. The next issue goes live this weekend. The theme will be released on Friday and submissions will be accepted from around the globe. Find out more here:

http://longshotmag.com/?2b7360e0

Kickstarter is a platform that breathes life into ideas. It’s full of creative people’s dreams. Go and explore it. And fund the things you love.


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