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The Camera Technology Race

People have never been so intune with technology. Mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and computers are now central parts of everyones lives. And the race to innovate and be different has always been the easiest way to gain market share. Look at the iPhone as a prime example.

This year the race to "one up" other camera manufacturers has taken a another step forward at the recent PMA conference with the announcement of the Casio EX-F1. It's the first time I've ever been excited by a Casio camera.

2007 was the year of anti-dust sensors and image stabilization and face detection. 2006 was all about Mega pixels with 5,6,8 then 10 becoming the norm.

Now it's high speed recording (up to 1200fps) and high speed burst modes (60 fps) and HD recording 1920x1080 all in a prosumer digital camera for less than $1000 USD.

Check the rest of the demo videos and tell me this won't make your average camera buyer excited.

The high speed feature is also easy to explain. Just show stuff exploding in slow motion. Anti-dust and image stabilization is a harder sell and face detection is hardly exciting.

Sony's 2008 innovation is a live preview system on their Alpha DSLR range. Which means you get the ability of a DSLR but with freedom of a standard digital camera's LCD preview. While a great feature it's hardly going to excite your general consumer like the high speed videos will. Sony also did the full sensor 24.8MP thing to try and blow Canon out of the MP race once and for all but people seem to have lost interest in MP lately.

This need for speed was first started by LG with their Viewty (photo. Capable of capturing 120fps video on your phone.

Here's the viral clip for the phone which I think over estimates what 12-fps video looks like but is very well done

And here's clip of what you can do with the humble mobile phone.

If automotive technology was advancing as fast as cameras (or even toothbrush technology) then we've all driving around "Back to the Future 2" style.

Automotive in 2007 saw fuel economy become a main selling point for cars. I wonder what 2010 will hold for automotive advertising?

January 30, 2008

New ABC Logo. Why?!

bp_a1.jpg abclogo.jpg

There are logo's that are iconic, and there are logo's that are forgettable. The new Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) logo is definitely the latter.

The station's 'Exercise your imagination' tag line was obviously not an objective in the design brief.

Here was an an iconic symbol, just like that of the American networks NBC, CBS or ABC identities, replaced by a generic typeface.

And the very least it's a total waste of tax payer money.

There is further debate over at along with screenshots of the on air ident package.

January 28, 2008

Not that Determined to be Different

With the new Gooby Commbank ad now out and everyone talking about the ad, I thought I might focus on the new tag line "Determined to be Different".

I would have preferred "Determined to be better" as I don't want my bank to be "different" I just want them to be better.

Check out the website for the campaign. It hardly goes into explaining how "different" the bank will be and has me thinking that nothing much has changed. The section titled "Determined to be Different in action is hardly going to make the CBA stand out.


It seems CBA is just repackaging the same old shit. Which is sad, as for me all the big banks in Australia are essentially the same and they could have really made an effort to be "different". In addition to hiring Gooby they could have also had a cold hard look at themselves and launched a new ad campaign and a new direction for the bank. Instead it's just like Coca-Cola launching with a new summer campaign. Same brown fizzy drink only this time it's all about love.

Pops on Expert Hat
I'm no expert and also have no idea on the financial implications but here's a few ideas that would have made the CBA different from every other bank in Australia.

Open All Branches 7 days a week 8-7pm.
It's a crazy notion but people who work full time jobs don't have time to go to the bank. So why do banks require you to take a long lunch break just to sort out your banking? The CBA is opening up their "busiest" branches on weekends but they are still limited hours and open from 9.30-1pm.

Reward Customer Loyalty
Banks seem to focus on attracting new customers and forget the ones they have. I've been with my bank 12 years and receive nothing more than a customer who signed up last week. Why not offer incentives and rewards for customers who stay with your bank every year. It could be as simple as extra free transactions or increase in repayment times.

No ATM fees
Crazy as it sounds I doubt the ATM fees the banks charge really go to help their $3B profits.

Go Green
While other banks have made gestures towards going green or carbon neutral by a certain date why not get on top and be the most green bank in Australia?

They can start by reviewing their paper policy which in my experience with a home loan with them is outrageous.

Below is all the junk I received when I got my home loan, including multiple copies of the same brochures 3 times.

Commbank Homeloan Docs Junk

Lastly here's one idea I saw in the USA, a hot pot a coffee in the branch! You wait in line 15 minutes why not get a free coffee while you wait.

I hope that the CBA has more in store for us with their campaign and it starts a real competition between the banks in Australia to really lift their game instead of just lifting their profits.

January 10, 2008

Pay What You Feel


Radiohead got great coverage of their "In Rainbows" album that you could download and pay what you feel like.

Funny that 2008 saw the album was released in record stores around the world and you can no longer download it. Early adopters only thanks! Record labels rejoice as we all realize there still more money to be made with physical CD's.

But don't let Radiohead's PR train fool you into thinking they were the only ones. It wasn't just Radiohead doing this there were other examples all with seemingly positive results.

Steal This Film part I & Part II asked the P2P users to pay a small donation and it seems to have worked out OK.

Revolution let people into theaters for free and had them pay at the end. In the Fox interview below the producer says "we've made over $5 million" which is great for a independent film.

Even comedians are getting in on the act with Steve Hofsetter making triple his normal royalty if he released he latest album on a label. This article quotes "In the first two days of sales, Hofstetter says he has made more money than he did in the first two weeks of his last album."

Trent Reznor and his pet project "Niggy Tardust" had 28,000 people pay $5 for the new album. That equated to 18% of the total downloads.

After reading Trent's quite honest report on his site he seems disappointed. Sounds like he spent quite a bit of money actually producing the album. Also he set the price $5. All the other efforts asked people to pay what they felt. So people may have paid more. Also he could have brought in more smaller donations.

These successes show you don't have to be one of the biggest bands on the world to make this work. In fact the gimmick might even expand your brand beyond your initial fan base.

Will any major brands trial this idea in 2008. Pay what you want for a pair of Nike's? I guess it's easy for digital distribution. You not actually at a lose if 1,000,000 people take you up on your offer and don't pay. But with psychical products there is a production cost.

I guess the Hare Krishna's have been doing this for a long time with their free food in exchange for a donation of some kid. And I know there have been many "Pay what you feel" restaurants in the past that get by the same way.

January 7, 2008

The Sexiest Banner Ads

With over 920 examples of the best in online advertising we thought it might be interesting to focus on a particular subject and showcase the best exmaples. Sex in advertising has been a staple of traditional advertising and it seems digital has it'd fair share.

I present below 26 of the sexiest ads on Bannerblog. They range from blatent sexual imagery to innuendo to the down right sexist. Although all good examples of online advertising and many of them award winning.

These are presented in their sections in no particular order.
Sex sells so use it
Sexy but in a creative & fun way
Sexy in a subtle way (all require audio)
Sexy or sexist? This is a male dominated industry
Something for the ladies
In bad taste but for a good cause
If we've missed any let us know and we're always open to submissions.

Also feel free to suggest the next topic of focus.

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