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Penguin tell stories in today’s media mix culture

3 Apr

What happens when you combine classic literature together with Google Earth, Blogging, Twitter, and a splash of alternate reality gaming? Well, you get Penguin’s uber cool new campaign “We Tell Stories”.

Penguin are no longer simply telling stories in books, they are telling stories across a multitude of media platforms in a unique and immersive storytelling experience. Probably a good example of transmedia storytelling.

Six top authors are re-writing popular Penguin classics, but with today’s media mix culture in mind.

The first story “The 21 Steps” [inspired by The 39 Steps], is an adventure designed for Google Maps API. Penguin are being creative with smart technology.



The second story “Slice” [based on The Haunted Doll’s House] takes place across multiple blogs and follows the characters on Twitter. If you want to get deeply immersed, you can even email them.


The third story “Fairy Tales” is not any old fairy tale; it is in fact your very own fairy tale. You pick the characters names, and choose their paths, and once complete you can even write your own epilogue. I imagine this is fitting for a slightly younger audience – who frequently fight their own battles for expressive freedom and for the right to play with technology.

The next three stories are available over the following weeks. Look out for the next story 7th April, based on the classic Thérèse Raquin.

The final leg of this campaign is a secret [or not so secret?] seventh story featuring “a vaguely familiar girl who has a habit of getting herself lost.” Intrigued? I am. This is where it gets really exciting. What’s most exciting about the final story, is that it will break beyond the browser and clues will appear online, but also in the real-world. Yes, the real world is waking up. I imagine this will be high-involvement, but players they will have the chance to win some big prizes, including over £13,000 worth of the greatest books ever written. Steep reading…

It’s great to see brands engaging in new and exciting ways. A brilliantly entertaining campaign. As ever, the forums are going wild with speculation – everyone knows something, no-one knows everything – so they all share together and collective intelligence emerges.

Penguin have developed this campaign in partnership with alternate reality games company SixtoStart [creators of the popular ARG Perplex City]. They have hinted we need to “look out for the bunny”, whatever that means…



Quaker, entering the age of conversation

3 Mar

Why would anybody seek out Quaker online? Well in all honesty there wasn’t much of an incentive until their recent re-haul – they have launched the Quaker blog to reflect their brand ambitions.

People who eat Quaker for breakfast tend to feel hungry after a hefty 4 hours 21 minutes. That’s why their product truth ‘make the most of your morning’ makes perfect sense.

The blog itself moves away from information about Quaker oats. Rather it provides useful and interesting information which allows people to make the most of their mornings. It also looks clean and simple which I like.

Created by AMV BBDO – yep I work there but not really on this project.


Like any new blog, Quaker are in the early days of their exciting new blog adventure. You have to give them kudos for speaking out and opening the lines of communication with their consumers (yes comments are open). In the spirit of openness, all comments / feedback welcome please…



Blog Action Day!

29 Aug


On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

I have already written several green posts myself, so I’m more than happy to get involved and do my bit for Blog Action day (October 15th). It’s a subject that is really starting to hit home with me. And I’d like to think we can all help make a difference. I’m not sure one day is enough, but if it gets people talking and word-of-mouth spreads, then it’s definitely a good thing. Much better than another celeb packed concert which just helps to ruin the environment!

Website and blog here, sign up to help here…originally found via Mashable.

Here’s the niiiice video promoting it…

Go on. Bloggers unite. Get involved!

Brands beware, you are being talked about

2 Jul

So we recently saw the Interbrand top 100 global brands. But with the changing digital landscape, what are the top brands in social media? Brands are getting talked about online – positive and negative, and increasingly consumers are spoofing ads and playing rough with brands online. I came across this interesting ‘Brands in Social Media’ report, by immediate future, which looks at the performance of the Interbrand top 100 brands in online brand conversations in the social media landscape.

Managing director of immediate future, Katy Howell, says…

“It is clear from our research that a brand’s economic success offline does not necessarily translate to a strong, positive share of voice online. Reputations are increasingly being made and destroyed on the web.”

So anyway, here are the results for the top 25 most discussed brands via immediate future… 


There is a noticeable difference between the Interband brand rankings and the consumer perception of brands online. Not too much of a suprise that the big technology brands are leading the way in the digital space. Though apparently all industry sectors have their promoters and detractors online and immediate future found that every top 100 brand was being discussed.

You can also see here the positive and negative balance of brands on social networking sites, such as Facebook.


As you can see Disney is kicking ass here! With Nintendo and Google following. This gives us a little bit more of an insight into online brand conversations. A brand may be talked about a lot online, but this isn’t always positive. The recent McDonalds / Innocent fiasco is an example of this. But it’s nice to see much more pink than grey on this graph don’t you think?!

Second Life Liberation Army, guess what, open up headquarters in SL

22 Feb

I read this a while back, and completely forgot to blog about it.  I remember being in stitches of laughter when I read it!  Yes that’s right, the SLLA have decided to open up their own offices in SL, due to the mounting campaigning they are doing for SL residents.


For those of you that don’t know, the SLLA is a national liberation movement working towards establishing citizens rights in SL. They have been causing havoc all over Second Life –  they have apparnetly placed a bounty on a number of high profile commercial contractors within the game, not to mention attacking Reebok and American Apparell stores, and posting the footage on YouTube.  Crazy huh?!

Lucozade does UGC?

15 Feb

Every week I read about a different brand that’s moving into the UGC, and this week it’s Lucozade! The way people now use the web has clearly evolved, but I can’t help thinking that every brand jumping on the bandwagon isn’t neccessarily the right move.  Why would I ever go online to talk to people I don’t know about Lucozade?  It’s completely irrelevant. You even have the chance to appear in a future ad campaign – why exactly would I want that?! Saying that at least there’s an idea behind this – Lucozade encourages consumers to send in videos of themselves having lost their edge.  Hmm, they are probably likely to receive some very interesting videos!

The harsh reality of blogging

3 Feb

I have only recently started this blog mainly due to my passion for what I do, but also because of a few key people who have inspired me to do so – including Amelia Torode, Anthony Mayfield, and of course Russel Davies. That’s why I was shocked to read this from Russel Davies – he recently had to deal with the harsh reality that some people don’t like his blog!  Now although I have always understood the harsh reality of blogging, and has Russel, it is clearly a very different thing to experience this first hand. Fortunately this little knock has not stopped him blogging, nor me, and the comments from his audience were somewhat gushing! I say keep up the good work…

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