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5 things that will be obsolete by 2020

12 Mar

#1 Saying “I’m going on the Internet”

As the lines continue to blur, it will be increasingly difficult to distinguish between online and offline activities.


#2 Multiple passwords and logins

Say goodbye to the constant need to remember your passwords. Hurray!


#3 Losing data

You can access all the data you want, anywhere you want, via the cloud.


#4 Your privacy

Your privacy went out the window when social media arrived.


#5 Digital titles in traditional agencies

There will be no more excuses to not ‘get’ digital.



Five things for 2012 (for me)

22 Dec

1. Collaborate with more people & agencies

2. Blog / write / speak more

3. Embrace my inner geek

4. Avoid using buzzspeak (aka meaningless fancy words)

5. Take more risks (trust my planning gut)


War of the Words

13 Dec

Campaign’s War of the Words took place 8th December 2011 in Kings Cross. It’s a conference, but like…not a dull one. It’s a war between the best of the under 30’s from planning, creative, brands, and media. Which is why I was surprised to be invited to speak (representing the next generation of misfit planners). I’m not usually one for competitive public speaking, but I’m not one to turn down an opportunity either, so I obliged.

(I’m the girl)

We had just 15 minutes each to pitch our idea (to reverse the decline in favourability toward advertising) to a daunting crowd, with the winners of each round being voted on by the crowd – via cool electronic keypads (epic). To top things off, there were three lovely (if not slightly intimidating) judges to scrutinise our ideas. It was like X Factor for marketers. Justin Gibbons was our Dermot, and a great one at that. I was probably more like Jedward.

Any who, my arguement was that the advertising industry are too self-orientated, too self-obsessed. We’re all like “me me me” and we don’t even realise it. According to the Trust Equation (by Galford and Drapeau), this is the most important factor in trust, and it takes away from your trustworthiness…

Trust = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy /


I believe that the advertising industry operates within its own make-believe bubble. And we tend to look within the advertising bubble (ad blogs, previous awards winners, etc) for inspiration for new ideas, when really that is the last place you should be looking. One of the biggest problems with living in this bubble is believing that people care a lot about your brand. When in reality, they do not. Fact.

Quite simply, we need to lower our Self-Orientation by thinking of the advertising bubble less, and the real world more. It’s not about thinking less of yourself. It’s about thinking of yourself less, and others more. If you use your eyes to look out and not to be looked into (Stephen Fry’s wise words), then people will trust you in return, and unexpected opportunities will open up.

My ideas to lower our Self-Orientation (in short):

1. Hire misfits (Avoid gravitating towards people like yourself and hiring clones, instead, hire people from outside the advertising bubble with fresh ideas who challenge you.)

2. Get “out and about” (Spend less time at your desk during working hours, and more time experiencing new things and talking to the people you’re trying to influence – not other advertising folk. Simple, but it’s rarely done).

3. Abolish the Case Study Video (While they are “nice” at times, they are the epitome of Self-Orientation – they’re advertising about advertising for advertising’s sake. This is a plea to the awards people: we MUST get rid.)

And to bring to life point 3 (and the general ridiculousness of advertising’s Self-Orientation), I played the Pink Ponies case study – a satirical take on the case study video. Friggin’ awesome.


This years winners included myself (planning), my pal Be Pringle (creative), the smart Ashish Pathak (brands), and the charming Oliver Deane (media). The ultimate winner of the day was Tony Jiang, who was the winner of Huff Po’s open mic section for the under 25’s. A very fitting end to an incredible day.

You can check out the highlights and interviews with the winners over at Campaign here.

Integration in 2010 – brands need to be multidimensional

29 Sep

The lovely folk at the IAB invited me to talk at a seminar today – entitled “Brand Building and Integration”. Marketers have been talking about “integration” for about 30 years now, so what does it even mean anymore? Well here’s my perspective, and some shit hot examples from around the globe…

p.s. I don’t actually like putting words on slides, so it probably doesn’t make much sense 🙂

Doritos iD3 – innovative NPD, brand as entertainer, and my latest project : )

27 Jul

I have been working alongside Initials on a really exciting campaign to support the launch of Doritos iD3: a limited edition mystery flavour. The alphanumeric name and mysterious black packaging invites consumers to guess the mystery flavour at for the chance to win a chuffing £20K reward.


But guessing the flavour is just the beginning…

iD3 is not only an original product launch. It is also a three-part episodic online adventure for Doritos fans which uniquely blends film and gaming (starring Layer Cake’s Tamer Hassan). The iD3 adventure allows fans to become the hero in their very own ‘choose your own adventure’. Set in London’s shady underworld, the player goes undercover to help unlock the truth behind a mysterious case of mistaken identity, with huge prizes to be won along the way. Check out our thrilling trailer…

Doritos is no stranger to inviting consumers to play with the brand, and the iD3 advergame delivers just this by putting consumers in the driving seat of their very own personalised adventure. And the mystery flavour is a unique product innovation which will no doubt get consumers talking and engaging with the brand on a deeper level.

The adventure itself pushes the boundaries of technology. Each adrenalin-filled episode blends slick live action footage with 3D interaction, giving the whole experience a distinct high-production cinematic feel. The advergame is uniquely integrated with Facebook Connect, which enables a more personalised experience for Doritos fans by dynamically inserting content from your Facebook profile into the film. It also pushes c0ntent out to Facebook, as a result making the game more social.

We’ve created a number of secret levels and experiences (including the Konami Code) for experienced gamers (not me then…).

Even the support for the campaign is shrouded in mystery – with grassroots seeding and an exclusive blogger outreach programme. A live Twitter feed and Facebook fan page will keep Doritos fans up-to-date with the adventure.

The campaign has only recently launched, and yet Doritos iD3 is already gaining attention on blogs, forums, reviews, and of course Twitter. What’s more, there is high engagement on our Facebook fan page, with hundreds of fans guessing the mystery flavour. It just goes to show that the best ideas are the simple ones, and like Walkers ‘Do us a Flavour‘, they come across as somewhat obvious. Although in reality finding and creating them takes great understanding and insights.  And the activation of the idea has to be engaging and involving.

To guess the mystery flavour and play the game, you’ll need to pick up a special pack of Doritos iD3 – each pack code gives you 6 lives. Seeing as I’m a part of this little project, I do have a few free player codes I’m willing to give away to my readers  (though you can’t win prizes with my dummy codes).

Comments and feedback encouraged as always…

Re-wired teens?

13 May

Off the back of a dialogue event I attended at the Dana Centre (geek heaven!), I want to share some thoughts on ‘Rewired teens’ – basically meaning…

Game consoles, Facebook, Google…Are teenagers’ computer and web habits changing the way their brains work? And is this a good or a bad thing?

The Science Bit

Apologies for any inaccuracy here, I’m no scientist! But…humans are born with the maximum number of neurons, and as we grow these form interconnected networks. Our brains are ‘wired’ to respond to the world around us – i.e. context /  culture / experiences are all significant in brain development. Inputs from our environment significantly affect the wiring of our brains.

With this in mind (and some fancy convincing brain charts), our speakers (from neuroscience fields) were keen to agree that with the ubiqutous nature of digital technology in our daily lives (particularly amongst digital natives), our brains will have indeed re-wired compared to say 10 years ago. Which brings us to the ethical issue – is this a good or a bad thing?

Re-wiring for better or for worse

If we look at the prevailing arguments, there are a lot of prejudices which have been fuelled by the media. They paint an unpretty picture of a digital world which has created a generation of zombies. I think it was the Telegraph that said Twitter makes you immoral and the Daily Mail that Facebook makes us bad people. As ever with new stuff in the digital space, there seems to be a whole lot of hype and horror and not a whole lot of facts.

The media often starts with the prejudice, and then searches for supporting evidence – or considerable lack there of in this case. Let’s consider the fact that we’ve only had decent brain scans for around 10 years, and it takes longer than this for your brain to develop! Science is being exploited to instill fear rather than actually help us understand something as complex as the re-wiring of our brains.

There is some evidence to suggest that digital natives are for example worse at multi-tasking (as digital immigrants are better at prioritising) and read much shallower. But if you look at video gaming where there has been the most research in this area – evidence suggests positive effects on learning and brain development.

Consider when novels first came along, people felt this passive behaviour was damaging – in contrast to storytelling with friends in social environments. Isn’t it good that the Internet is an interactive and increasingly social medium?


People First

If you work in the digital industry the people-frst approach probably isn’t new to you – it’s not really about the technology, it’s still about people.

Take those so-called dangerous video games which kids play that involve killing. Haven’t kids always acted out pretend kill during play? It’s the same behaviour, but different medium. And teenagers are spending an awful lot of time on Facebook – which isn’t surprising considering the role of friendships and interaction for teenagers in growing up.

Have you considered that technology is largely shaped by wider cultural changes and human behaviour? Surely technology exists to make communications easier? While humans have adapted to the changing digital world, the fundamentals of human behaviour have stayed the same.


All things considered – the Internet is here, there, and everywhere – probably for better AND for worse.

I’m going to Grape you good!

5 May

This just made me literally cry with laughter! Whitest Kids U’Know test out their marketing skills with this endorsement of ‘The Grapist’ for a kids grape product. He’s gonna grape you good 🙂

I don’t think I’ve ever watched a viral this long (3.44) and literally laughed all the way through it. I could have watched for longer!

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