Friday, September 17, 2010

Abundant social media at NY Fashion Week made everyone an insider

It used to be that NY Fashion Week was for A-listers and industry elite. No more, according to Mashable, which posted about social media’s democratizing affect. For the past six days, from September 9 -16, anyone from anywhere on earth, was able to be a fashion insider via social networks that brought them up close and deep behind the scenes - all for free. 

Back in pre-web days the fashion public waited weeks or even months to see what editors decided to report from the runways. This year NY Fashion Week held nothing back, spewing news and stirring the publicity pot with the help of nimble bloggers, some with VVIP  access, whose simple point, shoot, edit and stream efficiency fed the frenzy. Some designers worked even faster by putting out their own runway photos and video in realtime. 

For me, most notable about NY Fashion Week was the abundant, innovative mix of digital/social media in use: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, mobile, crowdsourcing, live streaming, geo-social, and more. The deluge of content worked to bond fans with designers and with other fans, and surely all the buzz was a huge victory for the fashion business.  During the Great Depression people flocked to movie theaters for a dose of fantasy. For some Fashion Week is a sort of escapism designed to excite and inspire people to get out and shop.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Publishing's Lucrative Future in Transmedia

Transmedia producer Simon Pulman wrote a compelling post on his Transmythology blog about publishing's need to become intellectual property distributors, promoters and curators. The eBook is just a first step into the vast and lucrative digital realm, and Pulman suggests that soon literary blockbusters may well be conceived from the ground up as transmedia productions. It's easy to imagine all types of material published in an array of offline/digital/social media that together create an extraordinarily rich reading experience.  Pulman adds that publishers accustomed to selling rights may soon retain IP control and exploit their ability to build and mine active fan communities, and drive revenue from for-pay companion content. Here is the link to Mr. Pulman’s insightful Transmythology  blog

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Hollywood filmmakers see their future in multimedia storytelling

Narrative treasure trove inside Guillermo Del Toro's
sketchbook for Pan's Labyrinth  

Acclaimed film director, producer, screenwriter and designer Guillermo Del Toro, best known for films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, says he's eagerly branching into television and working with Dreamworks Animation. Why?  He told reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival that storytellers of the future, including himself, need to embrace multiple media platforms (including games) because they offer enormous narrative possibilities. Read more about this at
Marketing communicators will follow suit, no doubt, perhaps more quickly and aggressively than filmmakers simply because campaigns are much smaller, more focused productions. Can we expect transmedia marketing campaigns any time soon from pioneering brands like Nike, BMW and Starbucks? 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Levy's Rye and why digital must revive the art (and craft) of great "grab-ya" headline writing

Where are today’s great ad headlines?  Rarely do we see punchy, clever, few-word "grab-ya' wonders like those created by the real Mad Men (and women) of the 1960’s – 70’s. One of the all-time classic print ad campaigns was for Levy’s Rye Bread, the work of ad legend Bill Bernbach.  Bernbach had equal admiration for art and word, and back in the mid-60's he was one of the first to assign copywriters and art directors in teams. Previously, art and copy worked in different departments!

The Levy’s campaign, "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's," is a fantastic example of instant “I get it, I love it” communication. The ad series ran in magazines and newspapers and also as eye-popping transit posters so iconic and beloved that you can buy reproductions today on Amazon

The immediacy of the Levy’s copy makes it a great model for anyone working in digital communications. The world is infinitely faster and more distracted than it was in Bill Bernbach’s heyday, but three fundamentals for effective selling and storytelling still stand: Simplicity; Clarity; Creativity.  

Nowadays it's too easy to lose the message amid digital's bells and whistles. Mr. Bernbach never let execution interfere with his marketing mission and nor should we. Indeed, Bill's philosophy is incredibly timely, "If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic!" 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Can Ad Agencies Pitch Big Brands on Transmedia?

Y&R's "Whole Egg" - ready to hatch after +30 years ?  

What about big-time brand marketers?  Transmedia adaptations seem a logical next step for big consumer brands with well-developed digital programs. The question is, can traditional ad-centric agencies pitch (and deliver) transmedia campaigns? After all, transmedia requires an interdisciplinary approach and talent from inside and outside the typical ad organization. Until now the territorial nature of the ad business has made such collaborations difficult to pull off.

In the 1970’s, Y&R’s chief Ed Ney introduced a visionary concept called “Whole Egg” – a blueprint for the one-stop super ad shop capable of integrating advertising services with other marketing specialties, such as direct marketing, public relations, sales promotion, and more.  Indeed, Y&R acquired a stable full of best-in class specialty firms like Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline, and Burson Marsteller, yet the spirit of “Whole Egg” was never fully realized. Perhaps it will be now. The digital age demands integrated thinking and resources, and Y&R (now part of WPP) has plenty to work with right in the family. 
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