Don't interrupt, disrupt! Be viral without viral marketing

As we're inundated with hero shots of the iPad every day, on every billboard and the back of every magazine cover, it appears to be a good time to rethink the relationship between advertising and product, between marketing and innovation. It's not that Apple doesn't spend any money on advertising--no, it was pouring a whopping $500 million into its launch campaign for the iPad. But what is different is that Apple's marketing doesn't have to be clever or utterly creative. In fact, it is stunningly not so. No major social media campaign needed to be sparked, no user-generated content contest needed to be held. And while the ongoing tongue-in-cheek anti-Microsoft ads are undeniably cute, they are not really an advertising revelation. Gone are the days of the bold "1984" campaigns. Today, Apple earns enough attention to forgo any ostentatious marketing, in fact, so much that a cleverly orchestrated campaign would distract from the brand rather than boosting it. The company simply displays its products--that's all it takes. Apple's products are viral without any viral marketing.… Read more

Touchfrastructure meets the HypePad

by Fabio Sergio, Creative Director, frog design

Those who know me will tell you that I tend to reflect on things, but the sad truth is that my brain is simply slow: here I am, writing about the iPad months after everybody else has put the microscope down and decided to wait for the thing to finally hit the market for real.

From my vantage point of nonengagement I must admit it was oddly amusing to see Apple for once unable to safely ride out the centrifugal mammoth hype tube they managed once more to build around their latest … Read more

Meaning-driven brands: A list of visionaries/sensemakers/disruptors/game changers/contrarians

As the world slowly emerges from the economic gloom, and the “hyper-social real-time Web” requires new organizational designs, it’s clear that business as usual will not be so usual anymore. Yet fundamental concerns remain, both for business leaders, who face the challenge of innovating in a hyper-transparent and always-on environment, and for consumers, who are increasingly searching for noneconomic values amid the shattered trust in business and the information overload. Smart companies recognize the historic opportunity to transform the way they do business and provide customers with more value-rich, sustainable, and meaningful products, services, and business models. From “un-entitlement” … Read more

On the Eve of Marketing 2.0, the Dawn of Marketing 3.0?

I'm en route to the Marketing 2.0 conference in Paris, one of the most respected gatherings of marketing executives presenting and discussing the latest trends in their field. In a way, the story of the conference is the story of marketing itself. The somewhat yesteryear name indicates that a few years ago, when Marketing 2.0 premiered, it was conceived as a forum for pioneers who were early on embracing digital marketing and social media. Times have changed. What used to be at the fringes of the profession has moved into the mainstream, and both program and attendees of Marketing 2.0 reflect that. That's not a bad thing. Digital marketing IS marketing, social media IS media. You would think...… Read more

Crowdsourcing the creative

For Wired UK’s “Work Smarter” issue (just released), I had the pleasure to speak with John Winsor, co-founder and CEO of Victors & Spoils (V&S), the world’s first creative (ad) agency built on crowdsourcing principles. You can find a shortened article in the Wired UK magazine. Here’s the interview in full length.

Q: V&S launched a few months ago. How is it going so far? How many clients do you have, and can you share some of the work that you are doing?

It's going really well. We're working with a … Read more

Penguin book innovates in publishing...again

Penguin, the fabled English publisher, is plunging head first into the world of iPad content. Not iPad books, exactly, as these things are not recognizable as books in the normal sense--they are closer to games and full-fledged apps. Even in the case where they are adapting existing print books, there is enough new stuff going on where it diverges significantly from what we normally think of as "book". A Kindle e-book, these are not. Check out the video above for an intriguing peep into what they have planned.

Dan Nosowitz at Fast Company observes:

[P]enguin doesn't … Read more

It's time to rethink the C-suite

We need to rethink the traditional combination of CEO, COO, CTO, CMO and CFO. Back when companies were about routinization and optimization for efficiency and profit in stable industries perhaps this combination made sense, but in today's complex world it is woefully inadequate. As Dan Pink writes in his new book Drive, most organizations today are less based on procedural algorithms and must run on ad hoc heuristics. The tidy C-suite club of old just doesn't cut it in today's messy, disruptive, complex world.

There has been actually been quite a lot of action on this front:… Read more

Social media and sports: Sony Ericsson's Twittercup

Here's an example of a traditional marketer proving with a smart Twitter campaign that social media and sports are a natural fit. Sony Ericsson, one of the long-term sponsors of the World Cup, has turned to Twitter to engage fans months before the World Cup begins. The Twittercup collects and counts fan tweets, creating a competition among attending nations. Since its launch in early December, it has received more than 43,000 tweets.

Apple is the zeitgeist company

The launch of the iPad yesterday put an exclamation mark on an increasingly obvious point: Apple is the company that has captured the cultural zeitgeist. The massive hype leading up to the event--apparently achieved in a groundswell with very little effort on Apple's part--shows that it really is the "It" company right now.

Not so long ago, Google claimed that position. The amount of press ink (literal or virtual) that Google has been able to create every single day for the last decade is just astonishing--it is not uncommon to see two or three articles on the … Read more

Privacy is over. Here comes sociality.

As widely discussed by privacy advocates and blogs, Facebook recently changed some of its privacy settings. Users are no longer able to limit the viewing of their profile photos, home towns, and friends lists to only approved friends. Those are all public now by default. Moreover, Facebook’s new default settings “recommend” that dynamic content such as status messages and photos be made public. While the blogosphere still closely scrutinizes these changes and is aghast at Mark Zuckerberg’s "privacy is over" claims made at the Crunchies awards (he didn’t actually say it verbatim but his statements … Read more