Tag Archives: interactive

What is Brand Reality Creative? (2009 Trends)

26 Mar

The idea of what I call Brand Reality Creative – for want of a better term and I’m sure there is one – began in a whitepaper I wrote last summer as part of a series of digital workshops we were running with clients and other industry people.

Brand Reality Creative was initially a reaction to the corruption of the concept of Brand Utility that first rose to prominence in 2006; a concept that, despite what was promised by the oft repeated Nike+ story, was drowned in a tide of spam widgets.

Its starting point was in a few quotes I scribbled in my notebook copied out below:

  • “There is no market for messages.” David Searls
  • “People won’t buy brands as entertainment, they want products that entertain. Brands will need to be something people connect with and will want to engage with.” Flo Heiss
  • “It’s translating…intangible propositions into the result of something more basic and useful for society [rather than] just advertising through a medium the individual can use to make it less interrupting” Bram De Maesschalck

But Brand Reality Creative grew to be inspired by the notion of creative work that is “good enough to share“, that usefully reflects what people are doing using digitally enabled and real world channels.

Brand Reality Creative is based on the belief that useful, usable and delightful interaction engages the crowd and helps them connect, either functionally or for the purpose of self- actualisation across both real and digital spaces. It is a useful embodiment of the brand that affects the real world, not a metaphor or a distraction. It is not a tool with a logo.  It is not dry. It respects the need for stories.

brand_reality_equation1

It’s about:

  • Creating frameworks that people can use to make their own magic
  • Balancing “doing stuff for the brand (telling people)” with “doing stuff for people (achieving a goal)”
  • Acknowledging that not all brands need to be useful, some can just entertain – it’s not just utility
  • Accepting that really practical stuff can be dry
  • Creating entertainment that isn’t totally passive
  • Accepting real people’s relationship to the marketing web
  • Making work that is good enough to share

Next >> Examples of Brand Reality Creative

This is part of “The Changing Nature of Interactive Creative” whitepaper.

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Good enough to share: designing creative with nodal points in mind (2009 Trends)

26 Mar

Often we have seen brands approach the internet like hedge-funds playing the stock market. So many strategies are double plays that aim to have their cake and eat it, to win no matter what the outcome but have a side order of “social” to round out the meal or case study. The result is expensive and doesn’t reflect the reality of the net.

The internet lets the crowd raise-up the things it likes with links and tags and re-posts, and damn the things it doesn’t like with a pointed lack of attention. Old passive message, big idea, objective correlative creative with a big call to action, and series of key frame proof points doesn’t cut it anymore. There is too much noise: now things have to be good enough to share.

But just because something is good enough to share and inherently interesting doesn’t mean it will catch on and spread through the network. The work that is interesting must be structured for the network, as demonstrated by SharedEgg. It must allow the crowd to create nodal points within their part of the network. It must also contain an idea that can be reprocessed and played with, passed on and owned.

This gives us two key challenges, one commercial and one sociological: (1) how do we make things that are good enough to share, and good enough to create or contribute to nodal points; and (2) how do we use creative to help shape the network so that the nodal points it throws up in the future are useful and “the best for society”? I believe that Brand Reality Creative is one answer.

Next >> What is Brand Reality Creative?

 

 


A Nodal point is a (potentially distributed) collection of content, conversations and links that spread a meme/concept and cause the ideas and journeys around it to be reshaped and dragged just like a planet’s mass influences the passage of time around it. It is a key point in the narrative of the net.

 

 

This is part of “The Changing Nature of Interactive Creative” whitepaper.

Clouds, Crowds and Brand Reality Creative – distributed creativity and information, collaborative tools and ideas.

6 Oct

This is a whitepaper on near, medium and long term interactive creative and strategy that I wrote at the end of the summer in response to a “what should we be doing/thinking next?” question from several clients. It covers my belief that the semantic web leads to the need for a new way of approaching creative and content challenges – that the old “objective correlative” way of advertising and marketing has to evolve to a “Brand Reality Creative” approach which will hopefully be a step beyond “Brand Utility”. The paper can be downloaded here or found on my website  (http://www.davidjcarr.com/clouds_crowds_whitepaper.pdf) and I will post a blog-friendly version shortly.

In fact it starts here…

Interactive or digital? Big ideas or rich ideas?

14 Jul

When people start talking about the “digital space” I always react with the belief that “interactive is a philosophy not a channel”. It’s not the technology, it’s what you do with it that counts. And even more importantly, why you do it.

An old presentation I used to give to students in my militant phase was subtitled “Stop folding TV ads and learn how interactive works” and while I may have mellowed a bit in my old age – the trousers might disagree – a lot of the interactive creatives I’ve been interviewing lately still rail against the notion that digital is a place you can lever a “big idea” into given enough lube.

Mass ATL media was based on the concept of a simple “big” idea, a single proposition or USP delivered in a linear form. It was a bit like Don Simpson’s idea of High Concept movies – without the coke and hookers and Tom Cruise “Playing with the boys”.

For the old BDAs in advertising this would mean a 60/30 TV ad, a couple of press executions and, if you were really lucky, it would stretch to a bit of radio. Then someone would take it downstairs to the “digital” boys in the basement a week before launch and you’d end up with a flash game. Sounds bitter? Maybe. But really it was the communications process mistaking a Big execution for a Big Idea. The Gorilla worked for Cadbury not because it was a big, great execution (it was) but because of the rich idea of “Joy” that underpinned it. The second ad, just like the later Sony ones after Balls, seemed to loose sight of this and in the process seemed to loose its Soul.

Hopefully this cliché is dead or at least dying despite some BDA’s attempts to resurrect it.

Instead it should be about looking for a Rich Idea as a starting point. And Interactive is fundamental to this approach.

Interactive is about a multilevel proposition or complex idea delivered in a non-linear narrative. The ideas or narratives are assembled by people or, better still, used by people in the form of an application or entertainment, a slideshow, interaction, video player, service or personalisation that is useful, usable and delightful.

It’s lots of rich ideas rather one big one. A journey from A to C to D to B to E, not A to B.

At Chemistry we’ve channeled this into a set of 6 interactive creative principles:

Empathy
Understand and appreciate the people you are talking to on their own terms without shouting. Promote their point of view.

Permission
Talk don’t push. We have no right to talk to anyone, it has to be on their terms and they have to give us permission or it is just so much extra noise.

Appropriate Intervention
Do things when it is right not just because you can. Technology lets us target according to time of day, part of a journey or behavioural activity.

Relevant Conversation
Talk about what they’re interested in and what they want based on what they have been doing and previous conversations.

Action/Interaction
Be playful, be useful. React and reward.

Reality
The real world will always trump the virtual. Show and connect, don’t tell. Take interactive into the real world. The internet isn’t computers talking to computers, it’s people.

In practice these are then channelled via a mix of acquired/borrowed/learnt/ever growing beliefs that we can use to create a way of working.

• You can’t know everything but you can be open to anything
• Do good stuff
• Do fun stuff
• Do useful stuff
• Take ideas and don’t be precious with them
• Push the ideas into shapes and places that people, not marketers, are interested in
• Tell a deeper, more involving story – but know when to be shallow
• Try to create technical and cultural innovations not the same old shit
• Let people be playful and explore
• Don’t be difficult
• Have smarter conversations with people
• Have entertaining conversations with people

Part of this means the death or evolution of the old Ad team model. The work is too complex for the old model to work. The idea is in effect the easier part – not that good ideas are ever that easy. Making it happen and making it easy to use and engaging is the hard bit, hence it is now about a collaborative effort. Teams need to be prepared to share or even give up their ideas at an early stage and get much more involved in the production process; a process that needs to be predominantly in-house if you want to have control, collaboration and flexibility, to play and to learn.

So if your BDA comes wielding a big idea you might want to decline and ask for a rich one instead and spend less time on the digital and more on the interactive.