medium.rare

Unfollow. Why following each other won’t get us nowhere new

Posted by in Communication, Innovation, Strategy

Over the past weeks I tried to get back a bit more into my old “reading interesting stuff the industry is talking about” routine. Staying up to date on strategy, planning challenges, the industry and their thought leaders is, after all, part of what enables a strategist do to their job. Or at least that’s what I thought. What a mistake. Too much of the same? After clicking a couple of links on Twitter that all led me to the same WARC articles and after skimming through a bunch of newsletters…read more

The Risk of the Customized Agency

Posted by in Advertising, Workstyle

And here it is: another ‘customized agency‘ It’s been in the press for a while, but today it got some more exposure. ThyssenKrupp and Thjnk (where I’ve worked before moving to Amsterdam) are launching a new agency, a customized agency. Which seems to be the latest rage among bigger brands, not only in Germany (McDonald’s, Seat, to name a few.) I do get that it’s an interesting concept and I’m curious to see how it works out long-term. There’s some obvious risks. One of them pointed out by Marc Recker…read more

How Creativity Benefits From Noise. Or: Jump in the Pool

Posted by in Advertising, Workstyle

The past months have brought some changes in my life. Nothing dramatic, but still significant enough to allow some of these finding their way onto this blog in the next couple of weeks, because in a way #everythingisnieuw. About three months ago, I moved from Hamburg to Amsterdam, from a German agency to an international one: from thjnk to 72andSunny. I moved from a comfortable position into an uncertain situation. I moved from a small office that was only populated by me and my own rollicking ideas, to a more open, more generous shared office space. Instead…read more

What Advertising Can Learn From BuzzFeed

Posted by in Advertising, Communication, Consumer, Strategy

A few days ago I attended a panel discussion/interview with Juliane Leopold, founding editor of BuzzFeed Germany, at betahaus Hamburg. She talked about how everything started, how she set up the team, how BuzzFeed wants to be political and opinionated, etc. All of this wasn’t really surprising until the moment when she opened the site on her computer and referred to one of the post as „identity post“. An identity post is content that aims to appeal to a user’s identity rather than his hunger for news. It’s related to his…read more

What A Priest Told Me About Lovemarks

Posted by in Advertising, Communication, Consumer

Two weeks ago I attended the wedding of my cousin. I expected to hear a lot about love and faith and relationships. What I didn’t expect was hearing about brands. Most of you have probably heard of the lovemarks concept, introduced by Kevin Roberts some 12 years ago. That book made me think about the power of brands and ultimately got me into advertising. Over the years I somewhat dreaded how everyone got obsessed with their brand having to become a lovemark – a brand people were loyal to beyond…read more

Survey: If Your Child Wanted To Become A Planner…

Posted by in Strategy

I became a planner without wanting to become one. Almost accidentally. That’s nice because this way I never really had to deal with the challenge of „becoming a planner“. But what if there are people out there who deliberately want to become planners or strategists and don’t know where to start? That’s why I decided to set up a first short survey. Just to find out which agency planners consider a good place to learn planning. The survey is short, the questions – there are only two of them –…read more

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3 Insights on Location-based Advertising

Posted by in Advertising, Communication, Social Media, Technology

Advertising messages have always been sent through one or more channels. With the advent of new technologies there secretly is hope for new and better ways to reach specific target audiences. One of those developments is the rapid spread of GPS enabled smartphones and the growth of location-based services (LBS) that allow marketers for disseminate commercial offers just at the right place (and further, at the right time, in the right context, etc.).  In the first half of 2011, I conducted some qualitative research on location-based advertising for my master’s…read more

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Customers Matter. Not Technologies.

Posted by in Consumer, Technology

I stumbled upon an interesting article on „Why the QR code is failing„, recommended today in my Twitter feed. The title is misleading because Sean X Cummings mentions halfway through his obervations that „it’s really not the QR codes fault: A QR code is a tool, nothing more“. It’s simple: A tool only can fail if it’s used in the wrong way. So it must be the user’s fault – in this case marketers and advertising agencies – because they fall short in creating real value for customers. It is a…read more

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There’s No Such Thing As „The Next Big Thing“

Posted by in Advertising

Dear advertisers, dear creative people, dear marketers. Let me tell you one thing, for we all know right now you are out there, desperately seeking for it. It, the next big thing, the solution to all your problems, the path to glory and honour. I have to disappoint you, there is no such thing as the next big thing. Let me explain. (1) First of all, big things start of like all things: small. They start as ideas, sparks in the labyrinth of our brains. They stick around there, nag,…read more

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Advertising Is A Ball Game

Posted by in Advertising

It’s easy to read disappointment or frustration into this post. But it’s probably more a naive curiosity that keeps me wondering why people in our business – the creative business – spend so much time preparing keynotes to back up our latest idea with successful examples of other agencies, companies, or organizations creations. (I said „spend time“, not „waste time“.) The reasoning seems to be: „Dear client, if company A was successful with idea A, you too will be successful with idea A*.“ Yes, this might work. But. Shouldn’t it…read more

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