Thought Starters

Content that has caught my eye recently or got me thinking, which includes coverage of enterprise technology, changing nature of interaction on the internet and citizen journalism among other subjects.

Recent data breaches at Sony, Target and Home Depot point to serious security issues within large enterprises but Steven Sinofsky points to the move to cloud infrastructure and other developments as addressing many of these concerns in the near future. It’s also worth reading Sinofsky’s look at trends within the workplace in 2015 for Re/code, taking a closer look at cloud and hybrid cloud solutions, email, tablets and mobile device management among other matters.

Ben Bajarin takes a closer look at the emergence of the mobile internet,  pointing to its dominant role in China, with Western markets likely to follow. Ignore at your peril.

Complementing Bajarin’s analysis is Chris Dixon’s coverage of the move from a search to social centric model in what he describes as a move from a pull to a push model of the internet:

Social Media

The Lending Club IPO has placed a spotlight on the emergence of peer-to-peer models within the financial sector. The Economist’s comparison of the costs of the Lending Club versus traditional channels illustrate why Lending Club and other peer-to-peer operators are seen as a disruptors:

Lending Club

The sharing economy has taken a lot of stick for what some critics has described as providing an unfettered form of capitalism. The Nation posits an alternative model of the sharing economy in which associated technologies enable a more collective model of business:

Sharing Economy

Serial reignited my interest in podcasts even if the show didn’t manage to maintain its early momentum. EJ Dickinson compared reporting of the case on the podcast to that on Reddit, with the latter providing a valuable indication of the value of citizen journalism.

Hannah Kuchler covers Pew Research Center’s study into the Ferguson riots, pointing to the long delay in television news’ coverage of the event when compared to social media:


A pair of Morgan Stanley analysts experiences with the much lauded GoPro point to the fact that there are likely to be limits to the success of the action sports video camera:

1) Our feats as equity research analysts provoke way fewer jaw-dropping oohs and ahhs than the world’s top motorcycle freestylers

2) it is way easier to shoot hours of raw video content (the hardware capabilities are great) than it is to create anything that is even remotely digestible

3) the video editing and creation process is incredibly laborious—it took nearly 8 hours of work to create a sub-2 minute video—even as GoPro’s Studio helped ease the process (we didn’t have to match soundtrack to video, Studio’s [software provided] templated clip lengths and transitions, while providing a general storyboard outline).

Bloomberg reports on how the American economy is becoming increasingly independent of the petroleum sector with an interactive infographic – worth a look:


The Economist profiles the emerging middle class in developing societies as more of the world’s population finds themselves emerging from poverty:

Middle Class

Joseph E. Stiglitz looks at the emergence of China as the pre-eminent global economic power and what this means to the U.S.

The featured image is mural by Patel in Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic and found on StreetArtNews.

Messages that Resonate

This is part of an irregular series of blog posts looking at marketing communications which have caught my attention. This will complement Thought Starters which will look more at trends, strategies and ideas.

Red Bull is a leader in the world of branded content and it continues this approach with the latest Danny MacAskill short film and accompanying microsite set in the desolate Argentinean village of Villa Epecuén…with the obligatory shots of Danny swigging on a can of Red Bull.

A microsite was created to help raise funds for the 2014 ANZAC Appeal, whose centrepiece was the recording of a minute of silence. Australians were able to show their support for returned servicemen and women by paying for a download of the minute silence through a text or phone call. More information on the initiative over at Campaign Brief.

Minute of Silence

Sony takes a visit to the world’s largest model railroad, uses video and microsite to publicise its QX100 camera range. This all makes for an enchanting visit to another world whilst also amply demonstrating the product’s capabilities.

In another case of a brand wanting to demonstrate a camera’s potential, Nokia partnered with Paul Trillo to develop the Lumia Arc of Wonder which led to the intriguing video below. You’ll get some sense of how much effort went into producing it in the Behind the Scenes video.

visitBerlin commissioned an installation along the Berlin Wall which projects images only when visitors take photos with a camera flash. A great way of enhancing a visitor experience and brings to mind Museum of London’s Streetmuseum app, although my opinion would rapidly change if it was a more commercial message (eg Big Mac around the corner at Alexanderplatz branch of McDonalds).

The Japanese salarymen (and women) are known to occasionally overindulge on a nights out which has the unintended impact of leaving people sleeping on the streets. In a case of ‘name and shame’, a campaign has turned sleeping drunks into PSA announcements — framed within a square of white tape and adorned with the hashtag #NOMISUGI. Not a situation you’d want to see yourself publicised in on a friend’s Instagram feed.

UNICEF New Zealand looked to illustrate the plight of children in need by targeting photographers of food porn on Instagram. A great way of leveraging people’s curiousity about strangers following them on social media.

Audi used RFID tags to deliver personalised messages to drivers with digital outdoor media assets. Another indication that we’re getting closer to the Minority Report vision of personalised advertising.

Mercedes-Benz has partnered with Nintendo to offer consumers a DLC (downloadable content) pack for Mario Kart 8 that will enable gamers to hop behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz. A case of looking outside the usual media channels to increase consumer exposure.

Another interesting partnership to emerge recently can be seen with Jaguar and Pinarello working closely together. Both are sponsors of the Team Sky cycling team and Pinarello is now taking advantage  of Jaguar’s expertise in computational fluid dynamics to finetune its latest offering. A win-win scenario, with one party comes out with an improved product and the other party having a public display of its expertise which is getting them both a lot of coverage in the cycling press showing that sponsorship can go much deeper than simply financial support.

Thanks to FWA, AdWeek, The Inspiration Room and Campaign Brief for the heads up on these campaigns.

The featured image is a piece by Aryz in Lagos Portugal for the ARTURb ’14 Street Art Festival and found on StreetArtNews.