I like: Air New Zealand v. Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons is an iconic fitness instructor that you will have come across if you’ve spent any time watching American TV. I was reminded of my friend Heather Clarke who introduced me to Richard Simmons when we sat next to each other in adjacent cubicles at The Weber Group Europe, then based in Covent Garden.

It is one of a series of creative marketing videos that Air New Zealand has created over the past few years, allowing the airline to hit well above its brand weight.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Microsoft’s Mundie: Tablets may not last, future of desktops is “the room” | VentureBeat – but this doesn’t work that well for much of the world where rooms are small: New York, Europe, east Asia

Youth Insight Tools | Enovate – China Youth Insights

Microsoft Co-Founder Hits Out at Gates – WSJ.com – this comes off worse than Jennifer Edstrom’s Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside. (Yes, Jennifer Edstrom is the daughter of Pam Edstrom of Waggener Edstrom: Microsoft’s agency-of-record). It will be interesting to see how it is spun. Must-read material though, I’ve got my copy pre-ordered from Amazon.com

Did Samsung fake Tab video testimonials? | Econsultancy – oh dear

BitTorrent Case Judge Is a Former RIAA Lobbyist and Pirate Chaser | TorrentFreak – interesting example of potential judicial bias

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Google’s recipe for recipes – interesting effect that means people are more focused on ‘eating to live’ rather than ‘living to eat’

Smithsonian Folkways – I love the vinyl collection that they have from Pete Seeger to jazz standards

Gome: the civil war is over | FT.com – more focus on a growth strategy rather than operational optimisation

9 Tools That Help Us Drive Higher Quality Traffic – good set of SEO tools to kick things off

Barbie In China. Retail Lessons To Be Learned. : China Law Blog : China Law for Business – it seems crazy that Mattel went in with no strategy for retail

Tricking Color with Fake Locations Makes the App So Much Better – interesting early adopter reaction

Face-To-Face Still Trumps Social Media for Product Recommendations – face-to-face is social media; the mistake is defining social media in terms of channels rather than relationships

Indochino Raises $4 Million in Capital to Fund Men’s Custom Apparel Site | AllThingsD

Elop Fights Nokia Traditions in Race to Ship Microsoft Phone – Bloomberg – looks like Elop is profile-building a la like a senior executive at Microsoft. Classic storytelling CEO on a quest beset with challenges

British Airways — 75 years in Hong Kong – really nice simple contest from British Airways

New Google Analytics Interface – iCrossing – something to keep an eye out for

Asiajin » Kinect Driven “Ghost in the Shell” Cyberspace – OMG I think I’d have died and gone to heaven

Asiajin » Weekly Comics Shonen Jump Makes One Issue Free Online By Quake – smart idea to make a virtue out of adversity. Due to the fact that the north makes a lot of paper and distribution networks are stretched this makes a lot of sense and willl build goodwill

» The ruthless application of common sense sixtysecondview: Sixty second interviews from pr, media and politics – interesting presentation by David Brain

Hong Kong Hustle » Sucked into Lane Crawford’s orbit! – really interesting insight into the way Lane Crawford has rebranded itself

MediaShift . 13 Principles for How Media Companies Should Use Data | PBS

TRIM Enabler Increases Solid State Drive Performance in OS X

Media convergence or media industry implosion

Up until the early 20th century; music was published from places like Tin Pan Alley. When wax cylinders and records came along record labels sprang up alongside publishers. The late 19th and 20th centuries also saw other parts of the media industry spring up: magazine publishers, the expansion of book publishers with the paper back and widespread literacy, movie industry and later associated home video and games publishers.

This also drove a massive expansion in content from adult entertainment to manga and animated films. However now, there seems to be a media singularity starting to form where the growth in content generated by different types of media companies are coming out with offerings that stray into each other’s territories.
mediaconvergence
I believe that this singularity is different to previous transmedia products:

  • Book and game adaptions of films (Star Wars and Star Trek universes)
  • Film adaptions of books and games (comic books are borrowed from heavily in Hollywood at the moment)
  • Recording artists becoming television and film celebrities (The Monkees, The Jackson 5, The Beatles, S-Club 7, The Osmonds, Johnny Cash etc)
  • Talent shows finding recording stars (Britain’s Got Talent, X Factor, American Idol)

The reason why I think that this time things are different is because the outcomes themselves blur the lines of what the products are. The closest that we’ve seen to this  previously was the aborted CD-ROM business. I was struck by the CD-ROM analogy when I heard Gerd Leonhard and others talk about the future of book publishing at Olswang.

Since that has happened movie studio Warner Brothers has experimented packaging up a move as an application and EMI Music’s work with Swedish House Mafia has been particularly noteworthy with their Until One iPad application which is part recording, part book, part social community, part video a la DVD media and has an interactive application to allow you to play with the track elements.

This singularity has a number of implications:

  • At the moment media companies complain that piracy has destroyed their businesses. Now there are various reasons why this an untruthful assumption; but one aspect of particular relevance is that is particularly pertinent is the inelastic nature of consumer’s entertainment budgets that has had to cater for mobile phone bills, satellite TV, internet connections, books, music and movies. The singularity paves the way for a market where the media companies can fight and devour each other in the marketplace a la a Ray Harryhausen monster movie
  • Creating these new applications is out of the skillsets of the talent that these companies sign up: the authors and artists – it provides an additional layer of cost and complexity which is likely to affect profitability. It means that small record labels and publishers wouldn’t be able to compete, but also means that media companies may look vulnerable to technology companies eager to expand into their markets. The converged applications usually have a social aspect in them which means that media companies are responsible for user privacy and moderation
  • Even the very definition of what the media is will be an issue from a legal and regulatory point-of-view. For instance in the UK, books have enjoyed freedom from value-added tax, but when does a book stop becoming a book?

More information

Second toughest in the infants

Smartphones is still an immature sector with the constant evolution of interfaces and form factors proof of this. IDC has come out and made the bold claim that Microsoft will be the second largest smartphone OS by 2015 on the back of the Nokia deal. Of course this depends on Nokia managing to keep their business together and managing to funnel the bulk of its Symbian user base on to the Windows Phone platform.  If Nokia does pull this off, communications will have a major part to play in terms of quelling customer dissonance and turning developers away from rival platforms.

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week

Paul Saffo on a coming global turbulence

Venturebeat has an interesting interview with futurist Paul Saffo on how technology, economics and social effects will cause a ‘great turbulence in the coming next few years.