72 and sunny

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Fast Twitch Media and twitch point planning, and from the quality of the responses it seems I’m on to something.  Faris Yakob of KBS+P is in the fast twitch neighborhood when he refers to our low latency culture, and others who talk about integrating transmedia solutions are similarly on the trail.   It’s a nascent practice but quite exciting. One key to effectively getting people to twitch from one media type to another, with the goal of taking them closer to a transaction, is to create intrigue. Especially in a low-interest category.  If we are talking Gillette razors, you don’t need to twitch me to a treasure map or man-scape video game, but you do need to get me to think, feel and do – within the context of a brand idea. Go Daddy got this years ago, albeit shamelessly and sans selling idea.

As the mobile online experience improves, and it’s not there yet, a twitch to a website is only a pants pocket away. A twitch to a hastag. A QR code to a video. A geo-check –all within arm’s reach.  Print ads are already becoming short form billboards using a call to twitch. Check out the new Kobo e-reader ad in The New York Times paper/paper today.

The RGAs , Crispin Porter’s and 72 and Sunny’s are thinking twitch point planning — they just don’t call it so. And they are trying to decide who is responsible for it. Media people, creative, geekuses?  The answer is yes. Peace!

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I don’t see action sports being a good fit for Nike, even though its a nice revenue stream today. According to a New York Times article today, the segment is underserved and Nike wants a piece.  When Nike bought Hurley, I thought it a great idea, but one to roll as a separate brand. Using Nike to go head-to-head with O’Neill, Billabong and Quicksilver, not so much.

They are spending big — hiring 72 and Sunny, big name athletes on the action sports circuit, hot videographers and commercial directors, but it all feels a little “all hat no cattle.”  The tactics are right, but the business idea wrong.  I may have said the same back when Nike moved into golf, but then they tied their swoosh to Tiger and it worked.  Now they want to extend to skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding. Sure, it will spike, but long-term it will diminish the brand. Nike should have put wood behind Hurley.  Water culture people (frozen or warm) are fickle. They create style, they don’t get it out of a box or pad/pod.

Google’s culture of technological obesity (gobbling in every direction) is not dissimilar to this overstep by Nike. Chill with the kicks, the golf, and the apparel. Enjoy global growth. And back away from the table. Water sports will water down the brand. Peace.

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Penny Baldwin is Yahoo!’s new brand savior.  Reporting to CMO Elisa Steele, Ms. Baldwin is tasked with creating the way forward for the Yahoo brand. Newsflash: If you are plotting the course for the brand, you are plotting the course for the product (hopefully).


For years Yahoo has been a multi-headed dragon: part search, part start page, part portal and Web tool kit.  Ms. Baldwin knows this and will likely use a variety of means to look into Yahoo’s past and determine where Yahoo’s brightest embers lie. Where its greatest loyalties reside and the treasure trove of revenue amassed. Researchers will look at competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Anthropologists will delve in to time-of-day usage and where other media intersects. All this info and data will go into the hopper and be extruded into a hardened strategic mass that be delivered to 72 and Sunny or some such shop(s) and $65 million and six months later we’ll be humming a new song or reciting a new line, but Yahoo will still be foundering.


Here’s what needs to happen: Yahoo needs to get rid of 65% of its technologists, replacing them with really good free-agent and draft pick content creators: bloggers, video bloggers, podcasters and journalists. People make appointments with internet properties to be informed, entertained, enlightened, and educated. Yahoo isn’t "my home on the web.” People don’t need the weather and horoscopes and puzzles and shizz, they want curated pages leading them to the coolest original content. Invest in content Ms. Baldwin. Peace!


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Over the weekend there was a great article in The New York Times about one of my favorite new TV shows, Gossip Girl. The acting is superb, as is the writing. The characters, art direction, cinematography (What do that call that on TV? Videography?) and dialogue, brilliantly capture the lives a bunch of snooty, rich, high school kids and parents who live on New York’s Upper East Side.
The article compared Gossip Girl to two reality shows currently following similar story paths: “The Hills” and “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”  The writer suggested the reality shows paled in comparison. 
Don’t get me wrong, I love real people, but Gossip Girl is emotionally wrenching. It’s anthropologic in its ethnography. A wonderful time-capsule of the ethos, albeit somewhat overplayed. Yet as entertainment, Gossip Girl is much more real than reality TV. Check it out! Oh yeah, the finale is tonight.
PS. Props to 72 and Sunny, for the cool ad.

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