消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동

Anatomy of a fan

Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of my colleagues was telling me about how their son was involved in the grime scene (funnily enough what Detroit was to soul music, my current neighbourhood of Bow is to the grime scene, but we digress). Like most teenagers he had some friends who were at best aimless if not a bad influence and he was spending the vast majority of his time designing MySpace pages for people on the scene.

Starsky and Hutch Appreciation Fan Club

Designing MySpace pages is something that I think is a constructive use of time, especially if it blossoms into a creative career. I thought about this when I came across a Starsky and Hutch Appreciation Fan Club wallet around my house. I was given it by some colleagues in my old agency one Christmas because of my love of Starsky and Hutch (it was the only TV programme I was allowed to stay up to watch when I was in infant school).

Starsky and Hutch Appreciation Fan Club

In marked contrast to the home spun creativity cranking out MySpace pages for grime artists, the true fan in the 1970s would have sent away Post Office vouchers or a cheque in order to receive the pack of fan club materials. This was the age of consumption rather than wholesale creation. TV shows like Sale of the Century and the conveyor belt of goods on The Generation Game seem strangely appropriate in this light, but the role of a fan was rather passive in comparison to their modern equivalent. What value did this passive role give these young fans in the coming years?

Say what you like about the kids of today, but on this score I think that they have it right.

品质 | quality | 품질 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인

Debenhams storefront displays and web design

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I found out about Debenhams window display on Oxford Street from a friend who was fascinated by them. Once I had got over the original oohs and aarghs I was curious to find out how they had done it.

When I was a child, shop windows with animatronic displays were custom-made and fragile like a wedding cake. Their skillful construction often detracted from their entertaining nature.

Debenhams animatronic window display

The Debenham’s window display was a product of the 21st century. In sharp contrast to the wedding cake approach, this show was based on cheaply made common pieces. There is:

  • Three types of cheap stuffed animal characters: owls, deer and foxes (which I presume Debenhams had made en mass for use in their store network
  • A set of standardised electric motors
  • Fishing line and the plastic tags used to secure pricing information to clothes labels

Everything else relied on the sense of theatre of the window dresser. The amount of slack in a line connected to the electric motor arm governed the ‘organic feel’ of the movement and the line was secured with the tags. One fox lay in the snow and the extremely slack line attached to his belly gave the appearance of breathing. It was impressive the way commoditised really simple dumb technology produced such ‘organic behaviour’ from the characters in way that would have otherwise cost a fortune in animatronic smarts.

I thought of it as kind of a real-world metaphor for modern web services and social media: lots of simple commoditised components being used to make something that is much more than the sum of their parts.

初 | hygiene | 기본

Links of the day

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Social Networking Watch: Online Video Not Killing TV, Says Nielsen – I heard similar data from a Mediacom person at a conference I attended during the summer

Find An Electrician – NICEIC

9 Google Bookmarklets for SEOs

Drew B’s take on tech PR: “You’re doing it wrong: Motorola astroturfs just about everyone”

Beware the Harley affect – is telecoms sitting on a demographic timebomb? | mobileYouth – youth marketing mobile culture research

European Head Toby Coppel Departs Yahoo

Google makes search more social with SearchWiki | – I was going to write about this, but this article says everything that I had wanted to say anyway

Free ‘Cut Out and Keep’ Guide to Online PR | Content & Motion*

FREE Cut Out and Keep Guide to SOCIAL MEDIA | Content & Motion*

Community Start Up/Management – AdminFuel – some nice advice in these forums

Lycos Europe to close portal, end Web hosting – Lycos was a search pioneer, was one of Europe’s biggest providers of web chat facilities and used to have a very cool PC to phone SMS service that helped me run teams at CeBIT and Network&InterOp earlier in my PR career. Its a real shame that products like Lycos IQ did not the audience they deserved

Twilert – Twitter search alerts via email