Monday, June 30, 2008

You So Want My Job

Well, besides for mom and dad and Noah (who has got a cool new gig) and my rich private equity friends - oh wait, blogs and YouTube get blocked at your company. So when I print out this post and bring it to you at dinner tonight - oh wait, you work a 120 hours/week, so you won't be there. So check your mailbox at your ridiculous, modern doorman building and then be jealous of my hours and freedom for about 3 seconds until you take the elevator up and turn on your 60" plasma.

Anyway, Heather LeFevre conducted and finished putting together the results of the fourth annual Account Planning Survey into a sweet PowerPoint, which she then made available to all on SlideShare. With just under 800 completed surveys (up from 466 a year ago - congrats, Heather!) and questions ranging from salary to experience to blogging to schooling and even negotiating, it provides a global (US-centric though just to manage expectations) and detailed snapshot of the planning world.

This included the answers to one question I couldn't help but notice...and be proud of:

To be clear, I was in the stay "where I am" majority (just in case my boss or head of HR is reading this and is thinking of an upgrade - it would not be an upgrade of an ingrate). I know why I'm a fan of this place but would still love to know what the outsiders think led to this lead.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The New School vs. The Old School

For those of you not up on the latest hip-hop feud, I recently read on Kanye West's blog (and was reminded today on Chet's) about the beef between Ice T and Soulja Boy.

Rather than embed each of the now 4 videos central to this rivalry, I'll just link to them and describe the history as best I can to get you up to speed.
1st: Ice T disses Soulja Boy on DJ Cisco's UrbanLegends Mix Tape it gets posted on YouTube by
2nd: Soulja Boy comes back at Ice T through a webcam and posts it on his site and YouTube
3rd: Ice T responds to Soulja Boy through a video taken in his home by which then gets posted to YouTube
4th: Soulja Boy makes this animated video as a response to Ice T

Whether you agree with T that SB single-handedly killed hip-H-O-P is not important to me. (Rhyming, as always, is!) I'm more interested in how it highlights the digital divide. That is, this conflict seems to really capture the new school vs. the old school mentality not only towards hip-hop but also towards the new digital mindset. This is more than merely the comfort with using Web 2.0 technologies such as YouTube (or as Ice T calls it, "the YouTubes" and such); it is the way that the collaborative nature of the Internet changes our way of thinking and acting.

Sure, Soulja Boy gets in a few jabs on Ice T like calling him older than the Internet (I don't even want to know what he thinks of John McCain's age). Sure, he calls out Ice T based on the things he finds out about T from Wikipedia. Sure, he looks straight into his webcam to make the video and does so with friends around. But more importantly, the Web helps him see the world as a place where we can all win. He doesn't see the hip hop game as a zero sum game. In fact, we probably have a better chance if we collaborate with others. We actually have an even better chance if we involve our audience, our fans. He redefines the competitive set. He believes in the power of coopetition.

As a Gen GuY and GalYs on the edge of X and Y (see sidebar with links), I feel we are in a unique position to empathize with both sides. We have an ability to understand Ice T's gripes and Soulja Boy's retort quite naturally. We feel disappointed by Soulja Boy's lack of respect and lack of command over the English language as well as by Ice T's lack of appropriate language and lack of constructive feedback (mentorship or solution). Most of all, though, we want to bridge the digital gap through better, more constructive and instructive communication. On- and off-line.

We're down for whatever. Holla!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why Didn't Your Brand Think of That Utility?

I was just reading an Adweek article, Nike embracing brand utility specifically on the web, and it reminded me of a couple things I've come across recently online on some of my favorite blogs. Since I haven't written about the subject since my U.S. Open (tennis, sorry Tiger) AMEX experience post, I figured I'd do so now. Plus, I'm now remembering that inspiration has come from Ed Cotton's post on now being a great time for brands to offer real value to people.

First, Russell Davies writes about Booklert, which allows authors to track the rank of their book(s) (or competitors') on Amazon and receive updates via email or Twitter. As Mr. Davies notes that this is the type of thing a major book business should have thought of to offer as a service to its authors.

Second, Brand Flakes for Breakfast posts about the Awesome Highlighter, which allows you to highlight the exact text or image that you want someone to read/see on any site and them send them a new highlighted link. As BFFB wonders, "why isn't Staples sponsoring these guys?" Taking it one step earlier, why didn't they come up with it?

I'm out of town for a friend's bachelor party starting tomorrow, and thanks to Mike's Hard Lemonade I have a better reason. Not quite a utility as much as entertaining and somewhat useful content (made for a good OOO email). If only they embraced the 4-day weekend like I am.

I think more words are linked than normal text. It's late.

P.S. Admittedly this is a bit of a stretch for this post, but why isn't Sharp or some other HD TV company coming up with (via Consumerist) such an interesting way to explain the HD difference?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Take It to the House, The White House

It's hard not to be into the U.S. Presidential race this year. But with the Democratic primary ending a couple weekends ago (suspended not ended, right?) and the NBA Finals in full swing, I was not expecting last week to be a particularly political one. However, as I went through my feeds (horse, not elephant or donkey - okay, that was weak stuff), I found the most intriguing posts and articles were politics-related. And though this blog is not focused on this subject, it's also not very focused, which affords me the opportunity to combine interests and pass on the stuff I find interesting.

That said, I was extremely delighted to see my buddy, Jake, back on the blogging horse (again, bipartisan horse) with his take on the Veep Selection. As he holds a degree in Philosophy from my alma mater (and mathematics for those counting - I can't help myself) as well as has lineage in Congress (my father's father was a mechanic...), I always like to get his perspective in this area. And his thoughts on whom each candidate should choose for the VP position are definitely worth the read.

Out of respect to Tim Russert—did anyone else watch the Remembering show this weekend? So moving—, I wanted to keep the intersection of politics and immaturity to a minimum last Friday. Though the mourning period isn't over, I did want to pass on these things that made me cringe before they are too out of date:
1. This fake McCain and Montag correspondence.
2. This real Fox headline.

Finally, for anyone who hasn't seen Obama's Fight the Smears yet, take a look. There's a reason he keeps getting positive articles written about his web strategy. Tools like this one, which to paraphrase BFFB re-frame the conversation (smears, not claims) and allow you to spend more time having the conversations that matter to the American public.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

M&M Now In Purple

A few weeks back I wrote a post, ACDC like you've never seen before. It was about a new generation's ACDC, the Adam Chu Dance Crew named for its leaders Adam Sevani and Jon Chu. Once again, I have pulled the ol' bait and swizzy by getting (at least some of) your hopes up with this title. Maybe you all should have chosen differently in 1995 when you had the choice between pink, purple, and blue and voted blue in by a landslide (54% of 10 million votes). As I was saying, this M&M is not melting in your mouth or hands; it's the M&M Cru, named for its founders Miley Cyrus and Mandy Jiroux.

Unfortunately, I never caught this teaser or the friendly reminder one week ago so I'm a couple days late (but I'm still in there before the millionth viewer). I guess it's possible I'm not in the online dance-off's target audience as a 26 year old guy. Either way, I was glad to see the response—even though I don't think it comes close to the previous ACDC video—and to know that the battle isn't over. (You need to watch until the end to see that the final round will be in-person. Details TBD.)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Wieden Your Blog Reading

See what I did there?! I could have said "expand" or "add to" but then you wouldn't have started off your week with that nasty double entendre. Oh yeah, I'm on fire this Monday morning. Literally. I'm still sweating from the walk into work.

To the point. In the now half-year I've been working at W+K NY, I've met some amazing people (cue violins) and some of those people have blogs. Sure, amazing people does not always mean amazing blogs, but these two are top-notch on and off line. Thus, I'd highly recommend anyone interested in the Internet/Digital Life/Social Media check out:

The Gist of March: Greg March is media guru here with an uncommon understanding of the digital space. I use "uncommon" purposefully as he recently offered some insight into McCain and Obama's friend situations on Facebook and Myspace. One of my favorite posts of his has to be What Wu-Tang Taught Me About Social Marketing.

Geeky is a way of life: Melissa Sconyers is a search guru here and digital native, passionate and expert. I, of course, have to give her some love for her term-coining abilities based on her Befoogled post (Befoogled = "Not having time to Google somebody before you meet them in real life.") I was hooked from the first post that I ever read of hers about the work-life balance giving way to the work-life blend (cite: Adrian Ho).

So they're both worth reading and meeting.

P.S. I am now realizing there's very little chance that "Wieden" is a double entendre given it's not a verb in the English dictionary. Racecar. That's better. Palindromes usually do the trick.

P.P.S. Given I hit up the Tumblr party last night I thought I'd also give a shout-out to three things friends put me onto this morning. I "reblogged" cool things from Chet, Katie and Amit this morning.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Girl Effect

You know I don't often post Wieden work here but I just an all-agency about something compelling our team has been working on with The Nike Foundation. Asked to brand the idea of investing in adolescent girls, they—partnering with Glow Interactive—came up with The Girl Effect site and this video below:

Monday, June 02, 2008

Seth Gaffney: Secrets

I fully expect most of my readers to have made the Conan O'Brien Celebrity Secrets connection when reading this post's title. If not, NBD (No Big Deal, for those same peeps who didn't make the Conan connection) but just remember that the best thing about being seen as the nicest guy in Hollywood is that nobody searches your backyard for bodies. (That's according to Tom Hanks, of course.)

Anyway, for those hoping I'd reveal some deep, dark, light, juicy, and/or funny secrets now, I'm sorry to disappoint you. (Though I have shared my real given name with the few who have emailed me "Hello El...") I have been remiss in updating about my participation in the Age of Conversation since here in March. Once again, it's a collaborative book—mostly bloggers participating as you'll see below—with proceeds going to Variety, the Children's Charity. And it's due to be released at the end of August.

I've linked to the entire 270 co-authors in my first post, so I thought here I'd show some love to the 20 contributors to my chapter, which is all about keeping secrets and, I'd imagine given my submission, privacy and sharing. I've never met any of this crew IRL (In Real Life) and I've only exchanged online words with one (Scott Monty about Sherlock Holmes), but I'm sure they wrote up some enlightening—dare I say, revealing—pages. So without further ado, I wanna give a shout-out to:

Bob Carlton , Colin McKay, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darryl Patterson, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Jeroen Verkroost, Joanna Young, Julie Fleischer, Matt Moore, Phil Soden, Rob Mortimer, Ron Shevlin, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Steve Portigal, Tim Mannveille, Troy Worman, and last but not least Veronique Rabuteau

I'm really interested in what compelled each member of this smaller group to choose this topic from a list that included marketing manifestos, moving conversation to action, accidental marketers, and marketing failures, amongst others. I, for one, wrestle with how much of my personal life I share online. I wouldn't call it a struggle, but I definitely realize my lack of complete openness when failing to fill out my interests in my Facebook profile or post video from my best friend's wedding, for example. I've seen a decrease in how many services or communities I'll register for. I've seen an increase in my use of things like Twitter and Tumblr.

These (surface) inconsistencies made me interested enough to write on this topic. Who knows maybe some of my "Keeping Secrets" colleagues will drop by (after seeing the link) and let us in on their quick story.

In closing, I Believe It's Butter. Thanks Fabio.