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

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

The Pitfalls of Customer-Led Innovation

We had a panel discussion a couple of days ago as part of the launch event for my new book, Innovation X, that looked at the topic of how doing customer research can lead you astray when doing innovation. It was a lively panel, including Don Norman, Eric Ryan (co-founder of Method Home), Jon Pitmann (VP at Autodesk), and Quentin Hardy (National Editor, Forbes) moderating, in addition to myself.

I gave a brief presentation to talk about the book and some common traps that companies fall into when using customer research to guide innovation. Here's a Slideshare version of … 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

Twitter grows up in aftermath of Haiti earthquake

In the wake of the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, Twitter has been serving as a major hub of information, the Nielsen Company reports. Nielsen refers to preliminary analysis of data indicating that Twitter posts are the leading source of discussion about the quake, followed by online video, blogs, and other social media.

Although most online consumers still rely on traditional media for coverage of the quake, they are apparently turning to Twitter to share information, react to the situation, and rally support. Sysomos, an analytics firm in Toronto, estimated that nearly 150,000 posts containing both “Haiti” and “… Read more

Mini Cooper grabs attention in Amsterdam

Effective marketing is all about being remarkable. The new Mini Cooper campaign in Amsterdam is a good reminder of the golden rule: you create brand value when both your product and your campaign are being talked about.

1. Lean into the frame (hijack existing attention capital, in this case the street public);

2. Be disruptive (not necessarily provocative or intrusive). In other words: challenge people's routine by introducing an element of surprise;

3. Highlight your core brand attributes (in this case, and overall in the "age of micro," this actually and literally means making them "smaller … Read more