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« July 2009 | Main | Archives | September 2009 »

August 27, 2009

Video Ads in Magazines

Looking foward to being bombarded with print based video ads now. Auto sound too!?

More details here.

Obama Girl promotes Final Destination

Don't just advertise on Youtube own the episode! Reminds of when Southern Comfort put their entire budget into online. You can't get this level of integration on TV.

August 6, 2009

Build Your Own 2010 Mustang


There is no greater feeling that seeing your work embraced by the audience. That's what Firstborn are seeing with the release of their "Community Customizer" for the new 2010 Ford Mustang.

It's only been a couple of days and the forums are already posting up their images. While it is much easier when working on an established brand with these forums and fan bases in place you have the added pressure of them being obsessed and ready to complain if it doesn't live up to their standards. Check out the conversation on these forums and fans sites here, here and here. This is only after 2 days. Much more conversation about this than the "branded content" videos featured on the homepage.

The site features a gallery in which you can rate and also get details on each car. I like the fact you can get details on each accessory even if not Ford owned.


The "community mode" of the site is interesting. I like the idea of multiple users deciding on a car but for me I like to wade through the options and pick slowly. I don't actually like the idea of someone changing my choice. If I want a British Racing green car then that's what I want. I don't car everyone else wants red. The way it's handled here is quite clever. Each selection is locked out for 30 seconds.

Another "build a product" site recently launched was this one by Big Spaceship for Lands' End called Packland. A much simpler interface but aimed at kids and with a level of polish that makes you want to cry. Check the activity on their Facebook page after this tool launched.


These types of tools or games are very popular. I know first hand as the Create Your Own Toy tool I worked on a couple of years ago saw over 1,000,000 toys get created in less than 6 months. We also made a design your own car tool back in 2005 and it still receives over 30,000 uniques a month over 4 years later. Sadly we didn't make our car tool as easily shareable back then.

These are even separate to the recent uptake in "avatar" creation tools which I'll do a round up of next week.

The community activity around these projects reminded me that you need to make the creations shareable. The image export is a huge must as it allows people to put it anywhere. Flickr, Facebook, forums or just keep and print. I've seen many of these "build your creations" that have only given a unique URL to share. Even worse is when it doesn't even have that.

You don't need to over engineer the sharing side of things. A simple image export in a variety of sizes is all most people need. Don't worry about send to friend forms as people don't use them. They already have their IM and email programs open or they are logged onto a variety of sites that your send to friend form wont send to. Just give them their creation and let them spread the word on their own.

Also don't feel you have to bribe people with the offer of prizes to use your tool. If you make something useful and fun they will use it. The toy creator we made had no offer to win or reason to play. It was just a tool to let people be creative. I think offering a prize would have just attracted the wrong type of people and the results were good enough already.

It's user generated content but a much lower barrier for entry. You can also build the tool to remove the need for moderation and you can use the content generated to create more content with "editors picks" and other initiatives.

If you have seen any other examples of "build my ?" tools please comment below.

August 1, 2009

Naked Girls Get Interrupted for GH5

I've been waiting for a reason to post this clip and the time has come. It also related to the previous post about ads taking inspiration from music clips and viral videos.

This clip for French band Make The Girl Dance below

Has been adapted as a viral for Guitar Hero 5.

Well according to Adrants. Music Steve's Facebook profile seems like a set-up.

I guess we wait for this to pan out as we get closer to GH5's September release. CP+B is the agency responsible for the Guitar Hero franchise. However Droga5 did the previous viral campaign Bike Hero for Guitar Hero 4. So right now unsure who is responsible. The use of the stero on the shoulder has me wondering if even the same directors were used.

Update: I have confirmation, from my sources, that this is officially for Guitar Hero 5.

Update 2: Bill O'Reilly also discussed this "ad" as did the LA Times.

Stop Motion People: Meme watch

After seeing this post on Mumbrella I thought I'd collect all the people on the ground videos that I've seen lately.

The problem with advertising is once you see a good idea worth "adapting" it takes 6 months or more to sell it in. So by that time someone else might have already adapted the idea. To the general public who isn't on YouTube every day the "adapted" ad will feel fresh and original. Even better when you wrap it around a boring brand.

Here they are in the order I saw them

Nike SB: Chalk

The making off

Her Morning Elegance: Oren Lavie

Chasing Pavements: Adele (embedded disabled grrr)

Sorry I'm Late Short Film

Strawberry Swing: Coldplay

Target ad by The Campaign Palace

We also had a few trampoline ads which aren't exactly the same but the whole ad wants to me Michel Gondry

zZz is playing: Grip

Fiat: Grande Punto Note: this ad was commissioned by the agency with the original directors. Hence the same song.

PS. Grande Punto rounds rude to my ears.

Then you have the side tangent of chalk stop motion. No people on the ground with false perspective

Stop Motion Chalk fight

Snickers China

So now that ads with crowds has definitely run it's course (I don't even want to get started on flash mob) I guess stop motion is back in vogue.

Here's my play list of 30+ ads all featuring crowds of people. I can't help but like the majority of them too.

My tip is to keep an eye out on Vimeo and the other smaller video portals where lost of quality creative stuff gets uploaded and falls under the radar. Oh and if possible get the original producers to make your ad. That way you're giving back to the creative community.

Check out for more examples of this happening

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