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Archive for the ‘Agency life’ Category

Digital Media Awards, Asia 2009

Posted by Lee on August 9, 2009

DMA_logoI’m honored to have been asked to judge at this year’s Digital Media Awards Asia. Now in their third year, the Awards celebrate the best Asia’s digital marketing industry has to offer. The digital sector is weathering the current economic storm better than most, and across Asia the online sector goes from strength to strength in terms of infrastructure, creativity and effectiveness.

The panel of judges include leaders from some of the world’s hottest agencies, biggest online brands, media owners, industry suppliers and clients. I’m looking forward to some quality debate and discussion.
The Awards Ceremony takes place in Bejiing, China on the 16th November 2009.

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Laid off – the end of days, or a massive opportunity?

Posted by Lee on August 9, 2009

This is the greatest recession in most of our working population’s living memory –  and the casualties are mounting. Globally, unemployment continues to rise, and even for those of us safe (for now), it may seem like the ‘End of Days’.

However, we humans are adaptive creatures,adjusting to change pretty well – in no time at all, there’s no stigma attached to being laid off – other than the impotent embarrassment and sympathy oozing out of your family and friend’s pores when they meet you.

A good friend of mine, Simon, is a self-made, independently wealthy businessman. As my lovely wife has recently joined the ranks of the unemployed, we were talking together the other day and Simon made the point that the best time to start a new business or follow your dream is when you’ve lost your job.

Easy for him to say, I hear you cry, but his rationale is that many people are trapped in jobs they are not passionate about, but the income provides the financial buffer they need to pay for their ‘over-compensating life styles’. From time to time, they may daydream of doing what really pushes their hot buttons but won’t make the leap because it’s too scary to voluntarily give up a good income and lifestyle.
However, when laid off and facing the prospect of zero income – motivated people can prove to be extremely creative and resourceful – plus a business start-up that produces a positive net income of any description is better than nothing at all, and before long the adaptive person stops making comparisons with their high salaried life, and instead sees the improvement from their ‘no income’ period.

OK, enough waffle, what’s the real point of this post?

Well, I came across ‘Please Feed The Animals‘, a blog for the recently unemployed advertising professional – set up by a smart guy, Erik Proulx – an ECD / Copwriter who has, in his words “discovered the power of unemployment”. In his blog was a trailer for a new movie project called Lemonade. It’s about how recently laid off advertising creatives have coped, and are even thriving in new ways by following their own dreams. It looks like it’ll be an inspirational documentary film.

As for my wife? Well, she’s just embarking on a course of study to follow her own dream – hopefully supplemented with secondary sources of income.

Posted in Advertising, Agency life, Arts, Blogs, Cogitating, Consumer Trends, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter in business – walking the line between following and stalking.

Posted by Lee on July 9, 2009

GaryTaxaliFun-thumb-300x362-5338

Let’s face it; anyone worth their salt in the marketing communications industry (agency side) will monitor the social media activity generated by, or around their clients or business prospects.
There’s nothing wrong with that. We do it all the time for our clients as it can help to provide a ‘finger on the pulse’ view of what people are saying about them, and an opportunity to sort out any customer service issues, real or perceived.
However, this afternoon I witnessed a something quite strange, and it made me a little uncomfortable.

An agency was trying to get attention of  @prospect via twitter.
Various members of said agency had got onto twitter and sent a series of tweets to a potential new business prospect in the telco category.
The tweets amounted to a tweet-by-tweet sales pitch handed on from one @agencyperson to the next, all sent to the @prospect in a continuous burst.

So why did the agency use this approach? Good question.
I guess they thought it was original.
I guess they thought that it would demonstrate that they knew how to use twitter, and it would impress @prospect.
Maybe it was just cheaper than picking up the phone?
It wasn’t exactly confidential as anyone monitoring @prospect’s twitter account could watch the approach unfold.
It also meant that @prospect could look at the agency tweeps profiles and see how ‘twitteractive’ @agency really are.
Would an approach such as this really impress @prospect?
I don’t know – it may be flattering I guess, however it could just as easily be viewed as a bit creepy and borderline.

A smart tactic?  Maybe. Clever? Personally, I don’t think so.
I acknowledge that these tweets weren’t direct messages, and some might feel that it just constitutes another form of public advertising.  However as most businesses set their their company name  as a search feed to monitor and respond to customer issues, it was inevitable that the @agency tweets were going to clog up @prospect’s feed.  If this approach had been used to target a specific consumer, what are the potential privacy implications?
How would a potential business client feel about receiving a ‘concentrated blast’ of emails or phone calls from various members of a hopeful sales company? Probably pissed off and a bit violated – and we know that no reputable business would sanction their employees using such behaviour.
I guess what makes me uncomfortable in this digital era, is that it’s such a fine line between targeted marketing communications tactics, and ‘stalking / spamming’ a prospect.
When are we crossing that line?

Note: the picure in this blog entry is entitled ‘Fun’ by the brilliant illustrator / artist, Gary Taxali.

Posted in Advertising, Agency life, Cogitating, Internet, Marketing, Sales promotion, Social media, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s how we behave in the bad times that defines us – beware of ‘false-faces’

Posted by Lee on May 7, 2009

sa-two-faceWorking in an agency and speaking at various conferences means that you mingle with a cross-section of business people, and this means you hear a lot. A lot of information and gossip.

As we enter our Southern Hemisphere winter, we are all feeling the chill winds of the global recession down here in NZ, and quite obviously, businesses are now coming to terms with some harsh new realities. The most optimistic amongst us realize that against a background of plummeting sales, companies are faced with some ugly choices around reducing costs. And the ugliest of these is to make employees redundant. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Agency life, Cogitating, Economy, Society | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Time to look for a new agency?

Posted by Lee on April 24, 2009

anger-marUK’s Revolution magazine focuses on digital marketers and agencies, have published a light hearted but telling survey for companies who may be thinking about the depth of the relationship they have with their own agency.

Although the ‘test’ is written for marketers and it is about digital agencies, it is a great thought starter that can be applied to any client and agency discipline.

So go on, take the test here –  because in the current economic climate, it may help to reassure you that your relationship is ok, or confirm that it is time to start divorce proceedings.

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CAANZ Media Awards Judging

Posted by Lee on April 1, 2009

Yesterday I spent the afternoon judging entries for the upcoming  CAANZ (Communication Agencies Association of NZ) Media Awards.

I was one of the judges of the finalists in the ‘Integrated Media Campaigns’ category, and it was a tough assignment.

What I found really encouraging was the high standard of all the finalists, across a multitude of categories, but especially those entries from FMCG integrated media campaigns – traditionally, a terribly ‘unsexy’ category.

Can’t say any more other than although we are a small country, the entries I saw showed that NZ continues to punch above it’s wait in marketing comms strategy.

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Love Distance – ‘Cyber Best in Show’ at Adfest 2009

Posted by Lee on March 23, 2009

I’ve managed to get access to the video case study. It’s a great piece of work by GT Inc, Tokyo for their client Sagami.

Check it out.

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Adfest 2009 – the party’s over

Posted by Lee on March 22, 2009

Well, just about to check out of Pattaya for the long flight home.

The final night of the awards was last night, and although there was no ‘after party’, everyone seemed to split up into groups to carry on. I’m not going to try and relay all the award results here but you can see who won what here. 

Last thoughts on Adfest. It’s a lovely festival, and although there were the occasional glitches, it adds to the charm of what is a very friendly show. There’s some amazing talent in the region, but a lot less of the rampant egotism seen in other ‘more western’ parts of the world.

I’ve made some new friends from countries throughout Asia Pacific, people I’ll stay in contact with and hope to see again soon. The other juries and jury presidents were cool people, and somehow, being at Adfest seemed to allow them all to be very approachable. The quality of speakers was excellent, and the sponsors that were there have given great support to the festival. The organisers of Adfest are doing a terrific job, and even though this was a difficult time for them, the whole event was positive, pragmatic and upbeat.

The continuous theme for all future Adfests will be “Made in Asia”, and I think that means friendly, warm, humble and talented!

OK, I’ve got a car waiting to take me to the airport so must go now.

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Adfest – the final night, “And The Cyber Best in Show is…”

Posted by Lee on March 21, 2009

What a difference –  Any glitches from earlier in the week were resolved by the ‘finale’ and although a long evening, there was a lot  of categories to get through. The show was pretty slick, and to keep it moving, all the awards were given out throughout the sit-down dinner. The categories awarded tonight included Film, Radio, outdoor, Lotus Roots, Innova, and of course, Cyber Lotus.

announcing Cyber Best in Show AdfestYours truly, announcing the 2009 Cyber Lotus ‘Best in Show’ at Pattaya Beach.

The Cyber ‘Best in Show’ was the stunning Sagami Condoms campaign, ‘Love Distance’ by GT Inc, Tokyo. Koshi Uchiyama, (our Jury Chairman), felt it

would be inappropriate for him to speak about why it had been selected, as

this entry came from his own agency.  Because of this, the organisers of

Adfest asked me to explain and announce the winner on the night – a task I

was delighted to do on behalf of the Cyber Jury.

NOTE:  I’ll try and post a copy of the ‘Love Distance’ case study video here

soon, but in the meantime the link above may give some insight into the

campaign (when you get to the site, select ‘English’) .

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Adfest 2009 – the festival begins

Posted by Lee on March 19, 2009

We did our final round of judging, to select the ‘Cyber Lotus Best in Show’, and to nominate some work for the new Lotus Roots category.
Like the other judging rounds, there was passionate discussion by all members of the jury, and we’re totally satisfied with what we’ve selected as the 2009 ‘Best in Show’, but again, details will be kept under wraps until Saturday evening’s Awards Ceremony.

Adfest 2009The festival officially opened today, and after the official opening, things kicked off with the Gunn Report 2008 – Asia Pacific Edition. Read the rest of this entry »

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