April 28, 2013
April 3, 2013
December 31, 2012
Twenty thirteen is poised to be our edge of the miraculous.
The edge of the future.
This past year has seen a great shift of cultural change, economic turmoil, environmental revenge and the rise of communal commoditization.
Tides shifted everywhere and 2013 will be year 1 in this shift.
If you didn't spend 2012 consumed with some level of creating, inventing, writing, designing, dreaming, hacking, making shit or breaking shit or all of the above anything below this line is probably not going to make a whole lot of sense to you.
For those of you who were busy with all of the above then you know 2013 will be a year that will bring about the type of change that we can only call "miraculous".
A term often associated with religion or faith.
Not often something an industry hangs it's hat on.
Miracles are not something that can be fabricated or measured, they have no control, no longitudinal approach. There is no way to isolate their impact or to understand their perceptual dimensions.
Blasphemy aside. The word "miraculous" in this case is not a single divine event, it is a description for the order of magnitude of our particular shift in time.
The printing press, radio, TV and even the Internet were just the foundation for what 2013 will begin to make available to us.
2013 is the year that introduces us, the people, as the channel, the main channel, the most important channel. The channel we are always tuned into.
Social Networks will become the filters in which we express our lives, the access points to reporting and then consuming where we go, what we eat, things we like, people we love and the jobs we do.
Networks are the channels in which we tune into to consume ourselves, our family and our friends, each-other.
Social scientists can codify the rules and analyze behaviors, I am not smart enough to get into the specifics. But what I can do is help explain what this means to us as marketers and inventors.
Marketers and Inventors.
2013 will finally converge two worlds, two factions that make up the core of what we do.
Two factions that have been on a collision course since 1994.
Advertising & Technology.
Those who make channels, filters, lenses in which people can express themselves and those who figure out ways to identify, spotlight and communicate the context in which brands play in those expressions.
It is the year brands become part of the context of our lives rather than just the content we consume.
We will be the stars of the commercials, the focal point of the story-lines and our lives will be the context in which brands will be forced to make themselves known.
In Latin, ad vertere means “to turn the mind toward.”
Brand value exchange will become the way in which we as ad professionals will turn those minds and in return give people back those moments that were captured, shared and broadcast in ways that are richer, more fun and more robust.
Brands will rely on agencies to figure out how to insert and inject brand DNA or what may be referred to as Brand API into personal story-lines so that we may better communicate value in which brands lend themselves within the context of personal lives.
2013 has been a long time coming.
We will finally see innovation and technology becoming the primary method of how we inverse personal events and highlight brand values within those events.
Our jobs will become focused on building and enabling audiences to share and tell more stories so that the details inside of those stories can be highlighted on behalf of our clients and become implied endorsements that cross pollinate each others lives.
In 2013 privacy will start to be completely redefined and the public will be forced to make more informed choices about what they share and how they share while learning to be more in tuned to who is looking at the details and what those details really say about them.
2013 will draw the line in the sand and define where and when it is appropriate to disrupt or intercept.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks will have to make tough decisions around business models and their approach to advertising as primary sources of revenue.
Users are going to become more vigilant around the tactics used by the networks they are on and will threaten revolt if networks don't back off and find less devious ways to exploit user context. The example of Instagram made sure those floodgates were opened early in the year.
The word mobile will start to go away in 2013 because everything will be mobile. We live in a world where it is not the screens that are mobile but it is us the users who are mobile.
Where content once reigned context will be king.
2013 will usher in other advances.
The term responsive will finally have a single definition. A renaissance of content strategy where context decides what content is delivered.
Digital design will no longer be set creative schemas with strict user interfaces. Digital design will become an amorphous container that will change based on context not content.
We will see the demystification of technology.
Utility will be the new big idea.
3D printing will arrive. 2013 is going to be the year we start to see big brands leveraging the 3D printer to enhance the products they sell.
Twitter will become the first Social Broadcast Network.
Banks will start to allow people to "bank" social currency.
Your dollar (when linked to your social accounts) may be worth more than your friend's dollar.
Hard currency will be coupled with social status and the two will become forever intertwined.
I welcome 2013.
I welcome the new year with open arms and I am excited about the opportunities that will be made available to us as marketers.
The new channels to explore and the new areas in which to innovate.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and a successful 2013!
September 5, 2012
It is no secret that I am what you would call a social media junkie.
This made me feel great, it showed that the hotel was attune to what was going on in the social media streams in regards to their guests and by publicly greeting me and extending their hospitality it made me feel special.
It said: "Dear Mr. Elimeliah, Thank you for choosing to stay with us and posting it on your social media site! Please enjoy this amenity and "Welcome to the Beach! Sincerely, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel"
June 26, 2012
The sweet candy of the eyes and the powerful potion of the ears.
All the pretty pictures and beautiful scenarios, shocking movies, seductive soliloquy and chaotic abstraction are classic tenets of the creative world.
Its is an almost perfect ecosystem where consumers exude data and in turn breathe it back in.
April 12, 2012
I cannot take credit for the picture but I can take credit for the metaphor that I have attached to it.
I added the little Facebook/Instagram lock up.
Pop culture has it's camera.
Facebook just purchased a really expensive camera, a really really expensive camera, and rightly so.
The social nation exists because of the content that its citizens pour into it and when content is the lifeline of the network the network must then commit to providing those users with tools that will enhance the content they so rabidly share and ingest.
Facebook purchased Instagram for a whopping one billion dollars.
A company that has been in existence for 551 days and employs less than 15 people.
I ask myself, why couldn't Facebook, who already gets 8 billion photo uploads per month, simply build in a few fancy filters and emulate Instagram's functionality?
Doing so would have cost them no where near as much as they paid for Instagram.
Facebook understood the social and cultural relevance of what Instagram represented.
It wasn't simply an app that takes cool pictures but a lens in which its users look absolutely fabulous in but even more importantly a lens in which they endorse everything they love from a very intimate angle.
Polished user generated content.
Instagram makes no money, it's functionality is relatively simple and up until last week it relied completely on a single hardware platform.
So what gives? Why would Facebook take such a huge interest in Instagram?
Here is my take.
Facebook has been focusing on leveraging real posts as advertising.
People talking about brands and then brands sponsoring those stories to give them an extra boost through the network.
They are personal, they are authentic and they are engaging.
Now go to SearchInstagram.com and type in Nike you will be blown away with the creativity and awesomeness of a brand in the wild.
Brands are no longer the only one telling the story, consumers are now producers and they have their own story to tell around a brand.
Facebook understands this and I think that is why they purchased Instagram for such a whopping amount of money.
It is the fastest way to own a public storytelling machine, now apply Facebook's ad model of boosting user generated stories and there you have it the world's most powerful ad engine boosting consumer endorsed, personal stories and content that is as genuine as it gets.
Facebook understood that Instagram was being used as the vehicle for the public to not only consume and share what they so intimately love but to share it in context for how those products and services live within their private lives.
A billion dollars may have actually been a bargain.
April 11, 2012
March 20, 2012
The internet as we know it started off as a gated community where the likes of AOL helped to onboard the masses into what would be the most prolific and connected age of all mankind.
Email, news, communication and connectivity was delivered in one neat little package.
There is a certain kind of thrill a user gets when logging into a new app or website with a Facebook account and seeing the level of familiarity they are used to seeing on Facebook itself.
The information contained in our portable social graph profiles allows for a very particular experience based on the information we carry.
These new graphs are also much more advertising friendly and actually allow us to collaborate with advertisers rather than feel like they are an intrusion on our personal streams.
We can literally dissect websites and media and re-aggregate it based on our own preferences.
July 6, 2011
June 7, 2011
The origin and evolution of social networking has had many inroads, message boards were the earliest and most primitive form that roamed this new chaotic landscape of the Internet.
Ideas were being shared and distributed across small networks of early adopters, subjects mainly consisting of the new media itself. As the platform evolved networks like AOL fostered a new level of social sharing in the form of instant messaging and chat rooms dedicated to almost every topic known to man.
Websites were still very primitive and typically communicated in one direction. Early websites were a shallow bucket of information that was closed to comments and conversation.
Without the ubiquity and the transparency of two way communication brands and content creators were reluctant to open up their sites to public conversation.
Blogging was an evolutionary shift that blew the doors open to public sharing as we know it today.
Bloggers tend to be highly opinionated, precisely focused and generally catering to a particular niche of audience that cares to read and comment on a particular subject of interest. Blog commenting forced a certain level of transparency so that the conversations would be fair and controlled.
Social Media grew out of the womb of this kind of public sharing, our social media profiles are now deep enough to verify our identities and allow us to share our thoughts and essentially micro-blog everything that goes on in our lives. This transparency is a form of social currency that give strength to our voices.
Social networks encourage and enable us to record every second of our lives and in many cases it is the recording and sharing of our lives that helps dictate many of the decisions we make throughout the day.
Where to go for lunch may be based on a Foursquare check-in made by a friend, a business deal may have evolved from a simple Twitter exchange, a relationship could hinge on who may have poked you on Facebook today or what your official relationship status is. Political views and status comments now quantify our social positioning and how the world views us as individuals.
But I ask myself, how has this really improved our lives?
How has this contributed to our advancement as human beings?
How do we benefit from being more social than ever before?
I try to weigh the pros and cons of every permutation of sharing across all kinds of topical social networks and I still wonder where the personal benefit is gained.
There are metrics that weigh sentiment and influence, popularity and frequency that have obvious benefits to brands that glean deep insight into the markets they service but where are the personal analytics that give social media users the metrics for success or failure in our own personal lives?
How can we gain deep analytical insight into improving ourselves?
How can we take a step back and click a button and see how we can better our own lives through the analysis of our social media activity?
I'm sure anthropologists and psychoanalysts could have a field day with this. Examining profiles and offering advice and insight into a persons behavior just by reading a log of an individuals social media stream over the course of a few days, weeks or years.
Imagine your therapist asking to see your past years Twitter posts to better understand your issues, imagine if there were analytical tools that gave you the power to read between the lines and help you figure out who you are and where you should be focusing your efforts in life?
This is a gaping void in the world of social media and as more and more people realize that this information can be used for the betterment of their own lives we will see more and more money being poured into services and tools dedicated to this purpose.
What better way to use the information we share every second of the day than to help us become better people?
So I throw out this thought and hope that we collectively realize the potential of the billions of bits of personal information we share with the world every day.
May 24, 2011
We have entered an age where our attention is constantly occupied by all kinds of new spaces.
We are no longer limited to television, radio, outdoor signage and other traditional spaces where content, specifically ads, have been intruding upon our lives.
Technology, specifically mobile technology, has taken us even deeper into our attention caves.
Our focus now lives comfortably in deep cavernous spaces, in new and undiscovered places.
Smart phones, eBooks, tablet computers, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter streams. Tagged photos, online radio streams, text messages, Wifi signals, location check-ins and local deals have cannibalized our attention away from the old television commercials, ancient billboards, sagging signage, morbid magazine ads and so on.
It is the age of digital distraction and these distractions are both complex and constantly changing.
To capture audience attention we now have to start communicating in places that are very different than the past. Places that we haven't yet discovered or even fully understand.
Communicating in these new spaces requires new kinds of techniques and a new kind of language, a more stealth and subtle way of storytelling. It requires us to not only tell our stories but to disrupt and inject them directly into real life situations. As virtual as they may seem.
It has been ages since I have used a traditional phone, my cell phone is my main line of communication.
I recently used a land line, upon picking it up I heard a dial tone, a white noise that lets us know that there is a signal and that we can start dialing. It immediately occurred to me that this tone is a completely wasted opportunity. Why didn't the carriers stick a message in there?
A similar thing happened when I was walking down the street, completely immersed in my iPhone, suddenly alert messages started popping up informing me of nearby hot spot locations.
These signals were coming from apartments, businesses, office building and even personal roving hot spots. Except all I was seeing was either a silly name or some jumbled letter & number combination.
Why not communicate through these micro channels that are ubiquitous to all and have our undivided attention?
This led me to sit down and to think about all of the new "places" that exist today, it now excites me to find and try to come up with creative ways to communicate through those tiny spaces.
I am extremely lucky to live in NYC, it is a great opportunity to explore some of the new, less conventional or less obvious, places that people are spending the majority of their time in and to find creative ways to enter into those spaces and communicate a message in the new and unique language that the spaces require.
So next time your out for a stroll take the time to look around and notice all of the amazing opportunities that technology offers us as marketers. Think about new ways to communicate with a population that is now living in these spaces, try and find creative ways to augment and enhance these spaces and try to retrofit your ideas to live in these new and interesting environments.
May 16, 2011