iPad – nice to have, not need to have

A personal point of view on the iPad: it's a nice toy, but it doesn't seem like an essential tool.

I got my iPad in the US, a while before the UK launch, so I've been using it for a few weeks now. I loved it when I got it, but now I've had time to live with it and consider how useful it really is. This is just my opinion as a user and, of course, as Nokia is an important client, my views may be biased.

It's great for:
 
– surfing the web
– email
– using as a video/music player
– looking at photos (The Guardian Eyewitness app is fantastic)
– games
– updating/checking social networking sites
– carrying between meetings in the office so you can check your email and diary on the hoof

It's not great for:

– making / reading documents
– typing anything longer than a couple of lines. (For example, it would be too much of a pain to type this post on the iPad. And the predictive text is infuriating – why should a machine know better than me what word I'm thinking of?)
 
– anything fiddly – cutting pasting, editing, etc
 – the 3G connectivity just doesn't seem to work as well as my Nokia E72 – the iPad is much, much slower to find a connection.
 – using on the bus (because you feel like a twat).

It lacks:

– camera (still or video)
– ability to make phone calls

So, all this means that despite my loving the iPad for its feel and look, I find that it doesn't replace either my phone or my laptop. There are things they can do (things that I actually need) that the iPad simply can't. So it becomes just a third thing to carry around, and as the novelty wears off, I'm finding that I carry it around less. 

Perhaps I'm missing the point and the iPad isn't meant to replace the phone or the laptop, but until its functionality is extended, it feels to me like an interim product.
Having said that my kids still love it and fight to get their hands on it. There's something about the form factor and interface that they find magical and fascinating. They're the consumers of the future so maybe it's me that's out of step here. 

what could be bigger than Old Spice?

Teamphoto

W+K 3-0 AKQA  

Last night W+K FC took on our digital collaborators, AKQA FC. That’s football club for those who don’t know. A big game. Pressure. Who would come away with the spoils? The bragging rights?

They rocked up in their pristine kit, whilst our boys pulled together bits ‘n pieces from the stig bin, with Thursday’s Guardian edition rolled up as shin pads. But we were confident. Months of being kicked from pillar to post by The Cleminator had prepared us. We looked them in the eyes and realised they were but ordinary men.

The lightening quick Salomao secured our first goal early on from a big punt off the solid boot of our keeper Nick ‘The Iron Curtain’ Livingstone.

Super-sub Lawton and Player Manager Capello (Bruno) encouraged from the sideline as W+K showed them how to play the beautiful game. With crab like side ways action from Bond in the centre, menacing link up play from our forwards Morgan and Owen,  explosive shoulder barges from the effervescent Maynard, water tight back four in the form of Reading, Stevens, McNipple and Walsh, silky skills from both our high flying wingers Paulo and Thompson, and the safest hands in the world, Livingstone, who proved cat like between the sticks.

Our digital friends were up against it.

Then came the bad news – our Brazilian whizz Salomao fell injured. Could the magic continue? Lawton stepped up to the plate. And set his stall out.

Half time. 1-0. Owen off for Capello.

But just then came the free kick; the one that would put AKQA in a very dark place, even darker in colour than their nike sponsored attire; the one when player manager Capello leapt like a salmon and bravely flicked the ball over the their stopper’s flailing digits. Who could blame the ‘catch me if you can’ celebration, from one goal to the other.

W+K were 2-0 up.

In the analogue world of flesh, blood, sweat and tears, surely there could only be one winner?

They came at us. We battled on.

Then came the moment that would sink the digital giants. Lawton caught the keeper with his pants down, stole the ball from under his nose, and carefully slotted it into the inviting net. It was all over.

The celebration played homage to one that’s very close to our hearts – ‘catch the fish’…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl0aunkJOUM&feature=youtube_gdata

W+K remain undefeated.

What If destroyed.

M&C ruined.

AKQA unplugged.

It is written.

The undefeated champions play on…

Our brand values: cheap, nasty and proud of it

There's an interesting article in the current Marketing Week by Mark Ritson about Ryanair. Ritson remarks on Ryanair's latest ad-related controversy, in which Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary was forced to apologize to EasyJet founder Stelios for depicting him as a long-nosed Pinocchio who misleads customers about the punctuality of flights. 

Ryanair stelios-ad
 Ritson suggests that, despite the crudity of his tactics, O'Leary is in fact an extremely smart marketer who has set about building a successful business and differentiated brand through a clever and effective strategy.   

"It starts with advertising. A very special kind of advertising. Usually black and white. Consistently tacky in tone and execution. And always offensive. 

Ryanair schoolgirl ad
  

"What follows is inevitably a public backlash or formal complaint. At this point, Ryanair kicks in with its PR campaign. O’Leary himself usually goes onto the front foot and makes even more incendiary claims: Ryanair will make people pay for toilets; there will be tickets for standing room only on flights; fat people will have to pay more; and everyone flying business class will get free sexual favours. All of it is nonsense, of course.

Few of the claims that Ryanair has made over the years are ever likely to come to pass. But that’s not the point. A £25,000 ad campaign has suddenly become a million-pound piece of brand strategy." 

O'Leary
 Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary

 The same thought has occurred to me. We're unlikely to see a Ryanair case history being entered for the IPA Effectiveness Awards but it does seem to be an effective campaign.

I have to admit that though I don't personally like or admire what Ryanair is doing here, I do acknowledge that they are clearly differentiating themselves in a highly competitive market. In a world where most markets will tell you that their desired brand values are 'friendly, passionate, professional, customer-centric', etc, it's almost refreshing to find one that defines itself by the values 'cheap, rude, aggressive, vulgar and unrepentant'. Looking at Ryanair's ads, they are deliberately tacky and provocative yes but, more than that, they're shoddily put together, badly designed and full of grammatical errors. This(consciously?)slapdash approach reinforces the brand's image as cheap and unsophisticated. Not only is what they say vulgar, the way they say it is slovenly. In a way Ryanair is the Viz Comic of airlines.
O'Leary seems to relish his role as the anti-Branson, a man who openly disrespects and apparently dislikes not just his competitors but also his customers. I think I read somewhere that his mission is to get people to realise that air travel is not glamorous – it's just a bus with wings. Having flown Ryanair a few times, I can confirm that the experience fully delivers on this promise.   

P&G and IOC Announce Olympic Partnership

At lunchtime today, P&G officially became the 11th worldwide sponsor for the International Olympic Committee – in a deal that covers the next five Olympic Games from London 2012 through to the 2020 Games.

A few of us from W+K were at the press conference, introduced by the lovely Paula Radcliffe,

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to see Marc Pritchard (P&G Global Marketing and Brand Building Officer) and Jacques Rogge (IOC President) sign the deal,

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Marc Pritchard, P&G

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Jacques Rogge, IOC

with a veritable gaggle in attendance.

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Back in February, W+K launched the 'Thanks Mom' campaign for P&G at the Winter Olympics. http://wklondon.typepad.com/welcome_to_optimism/2010/02/wk-launches-thanks-mom-campaign-for-pg-at-olympics.html  

P&G will continue its support of families of Olympians by globally expanding its 'Proud Sponsor of Moms' campaign in the run-up to the 2010 Games.  This will start with a documentary video series called 'Raising An Olympian, The P&G Momumentary Project' created by W+K Portland.  Some of the Mums featured came along today – here's Paula's:

IMG_0415 

And sprinter Usain Bolt's Mum, Jennifer:

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And swimmer Michael Phelps's Mum, Debbie

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RIP Shirley

Dead

Office Manager Ronald writes:

This morning at approximately 9.27am in reception style icon
and friend to the stars 'Shirley' was murdered.
 
She was taken from us by the cruel and nasty Tom Seymour.
 
She was casually standing in reception when Tom Seymour hacked her down with his bike, what a brute.
 
If you see him today please give him the evils and maybe throw something at him.
 
Let's take a minute to remember the good times.
 
I love you forever, my Shirley
 
Ronald
 
Goodbye

wieden + kennedy ‘getting handjobs under the papal robes’

Wieden + Kennedy developed and coordinated 186 customized video responses that contributed to a 107% increase in Old Spice Body Wash sales over the last month.

Wieden + Kennedy developed and coordinated 186 customized video responses that contributed to a 107% increase in Old Spice Body Wash sales over the last month.

Five Questions With W+K, the Ad Agency Behind the Old Spice Ads

You've likely now seen those incredibly charming Old Spice body wash commercials (and the "custom vial video" campaign
accompanying them) that have taken over the Internet/everything! Well,
lots of people have talked to the commercial's star, Isaiah Mustafa, but
we wanted to talk to the agency behind it all —
Wieden+Kennedy — last week to get some answers. They emailed us back on Monday, and since then, the Old Spice story has developed! That's really no excuse to hold out on this interview, but honestly, it
just wasn't a priority. Also, it's about an ad campaign we're not even getting paid to run.*
Anyway: Interview Time! Presenting questions answered via email by
Jason Bagley and Eric Baldwin, the two W+K Creative Directors behind the
Old Spice campaign:

1. Who's the person responsible for the initial idea? Has he or she been given some extra vacation time?
The initial Smell Like a Man, Man idea came from Craig Allen and Eric
Kallman. They established the Old Spice guy voice and came up with the
two spots, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" and "Questions." They
have not been given any extra vacation time as we decided to shoot 186
response videos in three days.

2. How'd you guys find [Old Spice advertising star Isaiah Mustafa]?
Through a traditional casting, supplemented by burnt offerings to the God of pec muscles.

3. What's the most outlandish reaction you guys have had to it?
Well, Isaiah and the campaign have been featured on Oprah and
Ellen, among others. And during the social media response videos, a guy
asked the Old Spice man to propose to his girlfriend for him. She said
yes. The response overall has been nuts. Apparently we're now the #1
most popular sponsored YouTube channel in history, more popular than
"Twilight." That's saying a lot.

4. What's the most challenging part of making these ads?
The most challenging part was the follow-up to the first spot.
The entire team was feeling the pressure. We didn't want to let people
down and we didn't want to repeat ourselves. It was tough to find a way
to make it as surprising as the first, but Kallman and Allen came up
with question/answer technique, which we liked because it felt
consistent with the character but also new and surprising.

5. How do they do the thing where Isaiah ends up in jeans at
the end of the "SWAN DIVE" ad? Because that is magical. Do not do the
thing where you don't tell us because it's magical. We want answers.

Isaiah puts his pants on one leg at a time, like everyone else. He is just a man. An incredibly handsome and talented man.

UGH! Ad people! Always so crafty with their crafty answers and
"creatives" and "creative concepts" or whatever they're working on to
charm us into buying things. These guys could sell their way into
getting handjobs under the papal robes. We didn't do a very good job
pressing them with this interview, especially because there's obviously
some trick to the pants thing they're not going to answer. Sorry. But:
If you do know, please tell us,
so I can write a post headlined "BLOW ME, ADVERTISING GUYS: This Is How
the Old Spice Guy Puts His Pants On." In the meantime, all of this
makes selling out and going into advertising sound very appealing, and it's not like it hasn't been done before. Just saying.

Meanwhile, in other news, this just in via PR Week:

'The brand's (Old Spice) ad agency Wieden + Kennedy developed and coordinated 186
customized video responses that contributed to a 107% increase in Old
Spice Body Wash sales over the last month, according to Nielsen data
from Mike Norton, director of external relations for male grooming at
P&G.

The brand's Twitter following also exploded 2700% to over 83,000 followers since launch"

On. A. Horse.

and the winner is…

When approached by a 'hot chick' in Spitalfields and asked to smile for the camera, our Aussie producer guru, Mr Ryan Chong, couldn't possibly disappoint the young lady.  He had hoped his luck was in.  And it was.  But maybe not as he had imagined.  Flashing his pearly whites for the Oral B representative won Chongy a state of the art electric toothbrush which finally arrived today in the post.  His winning smile – which lights up our agency every day - now has recognition within the dental industry, too.  Nice.  Keep smiling!

Letter of recognition…

Smile

Winner and prize…

Smile 2