Still Here?


I’ve been through several hosting providers, including self hosting this site. I’ve thought of killing it, after all – I don’t want to be seen as a one hit wonder with a couple of killer posts about ad agencies. I doubt the indi blogs are tracking my updates after all those years have passed, and I would be surprised if some are still around.

I’ve ended up with UK provider TSO host and no, it isn’t an ad – if fact I’d be surprised if they knew about this blog. I’ve been around longer than them. Why did I choose to go back to non self hosting? ok..

1. Speed, Hey – Uk blog, UK host,

2.  Cost – surprise! UK hosting has finally almost normalised with US hosting costs.

3. They know what they’re doing – hosting thousands of other UK sites, they understand generic traffic for  sites such as  this.

But why would a guy like me not want to run his own infrastructure for his personal blog? I can sum this up in one word – Distraction. I don’t to be geeking around when i’m trying to write. I don’t want to worry about capacity, or latency, or which WordPress update  might break my installation. I just want to write and go. Blogging needs to be spontaneous, if not, it soon becomes some kind of life journal. That’s the place I yearn to get back to – and that’s my goal – To be happy with commenting about the things I care about, without waiting months.

In the week of the iPhone 6, 5.5″, iWatch launch things may change.


Posted in Life

Where now for the internet and marketing?

Where now for the marketers, the big brands and the Mega Global Marketing companies?

It’s been 20 years since the first main web browser was released, Mosaic back in 1993. We’ve seen many advances in internet tech –  the benefits being speed, mobility, and overall access to the internet. We’ve seen the flood of user created content, and seen endless cases where companies have incorrectly patronised their users only to suffer a vicious backlash online.

We consistently follow the latest memes and trends, watching and waiting for ‘hooks’ relevant to our client brands that can be used to leverage awareness and throw up another Facebook wall with a likeable competition because it’s now a standard ‘thing’. We track and follow tweets, guarding brands as if they were our own children while they wait for our carefully planned and automatically timed tweets to go out on schedule to create the illusion that we’re current. From this we generate endless metrics, site data – google stats and track every single mention of a brand. ‘Hey we had focus group’ I hear you say – ‘it’s what they wanted’. A focus group generally doesn’t count if it’s friends related to the brand or agency itself. It’s a big wide world out there and the consumers found their voice a long time ago, now you’re just pissing them of.

Don’t worry technology can find a way – Microsofts new xboxone is all about providing you that extra insight into passive consumer consumption – providing extra details on exactly what tv shows the audience is doing, and letting you leverage that – (Google/Apple/Microsoft, BT vision and SKY TV) Each vendor has got its answer to your needs to know exactly what users are doing at any given time. – oh and just wait for google glass or the latest iwrist device and flexible phone to come along so you can target your users with brands when they’re watching Breaking Bad, shopping in the local supermarket, or trying to have downtime when playing games – interrupting their game with an ad does not count as gameification.

So, to drastically generalise (for the sake of this post) we have two approaches from agencies – one treating consumers like generic sheep who’ll simply respond to campaigns if you hit them hard enough – the other actively engaging consumers with exactly what they want using a broad range of media and discipline to get the message right on target.

Choosing examples is easy – for passive interaction simply pick any Facebook giveaway or poster page, or fake tweet, no.. a like on a Facebook page  doesn’t count as a successful campaign. The number of followers you have for your brand is NOT a representation of how wonderful your PR team is.

Great examples are different, they engage people across the whole social web, they’re the conversations around the water cooler, the marketing companies wishing ‘they did something better’ and the agencies using those campaigns as examples as to why they want to do exactly the same for your brand. They’re talked about for years, and rolled out during every consumer awareness session. They’re the brands who break new ground, who are brave enough to try something different even if they fall flat on their face. Often it’s with brands that are old hat – who cares if they fail, they can afford a calculated risk and move on.



Old Spice:-
website, youtube, Facebook, twitter, instagram, memes, reddit,  one of the best campaigns in the past 3 years. in 2010 NFL linebacker Isaiah  Mustafa was seen by millions standing in a bathroom half naked answering questions responses posted to twitter and publishing the responses directly to youtube. “i’m on a horse” will be forever associated with old spice guy.

Oreo pride

Oreo – gay pride cookie 2012

The Oreo gay pride cookie campaign hit the net in 2012 instantly polarising opinion and catching worldwide commentary and opinion across the social media sites, Facebook and twitter.

A simple idea which ran and ran, stirring up controversy, and above all worldwide attention for what was a somewhat under the radar American cookie. 23,000 comments on Facebook in tyne first 24 hours, which a huge running commentary on reddit/atheism – their brand is truly global.

The difference here is clear – both campaigns are actively engaging their consumers in their products, they understand exactly how consumers want to interact with their brand and are providing an outlet to make that happen. Whether it’s through courting controversy, or using humour that appeals directly to their target market. It’s interesting to note that as yet neither have been able to repeat the success of the above campaigns – they may well be one-hit wonders but these campaigns have elevated both these brands to legendary status.

Posted in Social

Why Metro Killed Windows 8

No Desktop

No Desktop

It’s no secret that despite posting 23% increased revenue Microsoft’s windows division was expecting a far warmer reception for Windows 8.
The fundamental issue here is that businesses are currently staying well away, mostly due to the half-assed user experience being split across two separate Gui’s.

From one perspective the system was designed for touch, the Metro interface presents users with links to their favorite applications with gesture based controls. Dragging down from the top will close an app, swipe left and right to navigate – simple and reasonably intuitive if you were on a tablet. The desktop is still there, accessed via an icon in the metro interface. There’s no start button – meaning getting to applications is first carried out by links from Metro, then later through pins and shortcuts on the desktop interface.

Some business class  applications also have issues with Windows 8 – notably Cisco’s VPN client needs a few registry tweaks to work. There’s always something that breaks whenever a new OS comes out – but it’s an application used by thousands of businesses worldwide.

During the Windows 8 Beta there was an option to disable Metro, to turn off the touch based interface and keep the desktop. Somewhere along the line between beta and release someone at Microsoft made the stupid decision to force metro upon all users, regardless of whether they had a desktop or tablet, had a touchscreen or were using  a monitor.

Windows 7 was a significant improvement over XP- there were clear advantages over Windows XP as well as a minimal amount of staff training required. Business users cannot afford to let their operating system distract from the far more important work they use it for. More importantly – if users have to re-learn the way they use a basic operating system then what’s the incentive to stick with windows? Linux or OSX could be equally viable alternatives, and in some cases with considerable cost savings. It’s also important to note that metro is also included as part of windows server 2012, and I’m not sure whether Microsoft were being lazy or arrogant to assume that Sys admin’s would prefer their metro interface over the default desktop environment they’ve been using for the past 20 years.

It does sound that someone may be listening, there are rumors that windows 8.1 due out this year will give users the option to boot straight to desktop as well as bringing back the start button.

Until then windows 8 will no doubt be given the same sideways glances from business that skipped Windows ME and Windows Vista.



Posted in Tech

Over 2 years.. wow

A lot of changes in 2 years, especially in marketing agency and digital land. There’s been so many changes since I started this blog in 2007, back then MySpace was bigger than Facebook!

It’s time to introduce regular updates and give some proper attention to the most popular topics on this site. (basically Agency Discussion).

There’s virtually no agencies left that haven’t made the switch, or have dedicated out direct outsourced digital contractors. Time to move on – take it to the next level, assess where we’ve come from, and where we’re going to.

This blog ‘aint dead yet’.

Posted in Social Tagged with:

So it’s my birthday and i’m thinking of things to contribute

A lot’s happened in the past few months. I haven’t commented on iPad or iPhone 4 simply because there’s not much to say about them than the comments that have already been made by the general Blogosphere. From a marketing perspective iOS 4 is important due to the new iAD program.

Click through rate is currently running 5 times higher than the Android equivalent. The number are utterly stunning with ECPM rate 300 times higher than Android. Time will no doubt see that get lower, but compared to the minuscule click-through rate of normal web banners it’s astonishing.

iPad and iPhone sales are crazy – sure Apple had the hoohaa of the signal loss issue if you have your fat hands over the antenna while calling, but what kind of idiot would buy a £500 phone and not have a protective case for it. To be honest people like that don’t deserve technology, they’re the kind of user that slings their corporate laptop around on a table, or returns their computer with toast crumbs all over the keyboard.

While the iPhone is evolutionary, the iPad is revolutionary – I’ve seen users switch from PC laptops straight to an iPad with no teething issues – something that has quite frankly surprised me. It’s another nail in the coffin for paper based print as magazines continue to take the device seriously, although far from being the death of publishing it could be the second coming if taken seriously. All major tech manufacturers are now building their own versions of the iPad, Android, and Windows  mobile continue to try and evolve to take on Apples dominance of the market, and RIM are set to bring out a successor to the miserable STORM in the coming weeks. The problem with and Android phone is obsolescence – the steady march of firmware updates is leaving users clueless on features – While the iPhone is restricted to the Apple store – for the average non-geek this works out perfectly fine, you sync with 1 App you update with the same application – the only thing you need to learn how to use is iTunes. Apple have got it bang on for the normal user. Android is already plagued by a massive divergence in technology between manufacturers and phones shipping with Android 1, 2, 2.1 consumers are already confused. While an iPhone user can set their sites on the next iPhone upgrade a year away new android models are coming out every 3 weeks or even faster – causing confusion and frustration.

iPad, and the iAd platform is an amazing opportunity for any marketing agency to take a lead in a technology that’s seriously showing it’s potential to clients right here and now.

Ok – Rant over, i’m having a great birthday, and I’ll start updating some examples of the above soon.

Posted in Social

First UK iPad unboxing filmed in Hi Def on EOS 7D

The first Uk iPad 3G unboxing  and we filmed it in hi Def on an EOS7D – this came in today – a day before official UK release date.
Posted in Social

Start your marketing business off with a bang!

Your chance to snag a complete identity.

I’m trading off some of my domains – here’s some of the best.

as well as – fantastic name to use as brand awareness and tracking portal.

all available for sale now via FULL list here

Posted in Social

How O2 Brought On The Big Fat Fail.

The iPhone 3GS

Brands engaging in the social media space must start learning these lessons, they need to understand that they need to respond quickly and coherently when dialogues start spiraling out of control – they need to be able to escalate the situation internally, and be able to deliver an outstanding response that will focus and guide consumers. O2’s efforts made it seem like their persona was some teenager in a basement who just switched on their computer when they felt like it. Far from being connected O2 showed just how distant they really are.

Read more ›

Posted in Social Tagged with: , , , ,

Madison Avenue Blues

Posted in Media Tagged with: ,

5 Second Films

Ok, this is a distraction – but I love it. 5-Second films (not to be confused with the 5 second youtube channel) is founded by Eric Forrest and Brian Firenzi, with the website created by Daniel Hollister and Brian.  It’s just a masive compilation of 5 second movies that they’ve made. Short enough time for you to be guaranteed a laugh. Here’s one of my favorites.

Posted in Media Tagged with: , ,