Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Umbro Wants You To Get Your Kit On

In TSMWIF on March 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm
Nice kit, they'll still bottle it in the quarter-finals

Nice kit, they'll still bottle it in the quarter-finals

PSFK (them again?!) points to Umbro’s recent launch of the newest England National Team kit: Extending the England Football Brand.  Umbro, a legendary name in football apparel, has created a specific site for the new kit, Tailored by Englanda blog, as well as a pop-up store in London.

The Tailored by England site has a real interesting navigation and there are some great behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube, including:

Some really strong content marketing from the folks at Umbro. A football fan could spend a lot of time on the site and watching the videos. It doesn’t hurt when the teams wins 4-0 on their debut in the shirts either.

March Marketing / Social Media Madness: Final Four

In Ideas on March 30, 2009 at 9:36 am
Will it be Evans, Brier, Davies or Schoemaker?

Will it be Evans, Brier, Davies or Schoemaker?

An epic weekend in the tournament has left us with the Final Four:

In a giant-killing #6 Sarah Evans defeated #1 seed Malcolm Gladwell

#10 Mitch Joel was finally ousted by #8 Jeremy Schoemaker

Peter Shankman’s dream tourney came to an end at the hands of Russell Davies.

And Dooce, Heather Armstrong, ran in to the buzzsaw that is Noah Brier.

Evans will take on Schoemaker in one semi-final, with Brier and Davies going head to head in the other.

Your Cricket Update

In TSMWIF on March 30, 2009 at 9:18 am

I’m fascinated by the sport of cricket.  It’s a sport that is hovering just below the radar in the U.S. , but internationally trails only soccer (I would guess) in popularity. I just ran acros a couple of interesting stories I thougtht were worth sharing.

IPL heads to South Africa / Times of India photo

IPL heads to South Africa / Times of India photo

First, from the Economist has a story on India’s IPL (Indian Premier League) which will soon be starting it’s second season. The IPL caused quite a sensation when it launched last year. But, as the Economist story points out, political issues have forced this season to be played in… South Africa?

That’s right, the Indian-based league will play in South Africa (England was also in the running). Fans, sponsors, team owners – this must go down as a lose-lose-lose scenario. The players, international in scope probably aren’t adversely affected here, they will still be paid handsomely. But it goes to show how strong the organizations of American sport are. Yes, we have the occasional work stoppages, (along with other scandals), but the show usually goes on.

It will be interesting to see how TV ratings and gate attendance will stack up in season two compared with last year.

Also of interest to cricket fans was the recent American College Cricket spring break championship. This first time event was a labor of love the

American College Cricket / Rhona Wise for The New York Times

American College Cricket / Rhona Wise for The New York Times

drew a small group of dedicated players to Florida. I would not be surprised to see it grow significantly in the years to come. Check out there Facebook page here. And here’s a great New York Times video story on the event.

The Costs and Benefits of Social Media Marketing

In Insight on March 30, 2009 at 8:42 am

Any long time readers of Eyecube know I’m a big fan of PSFK. They’re terrific at curating the trends, movements and people who are shaping the present and future of consumer behaviour, art and pop culture.

But what I really appreciate is their willingness to ‘get stuck in’ as the English footballing phrase goes. Rather than sit on the sidelines and pontificate, they make things happen. Whether it be a conference (got your ticket yet?) or a book, they are always putting something out there.

Recently they pulled back the curtain to show how some of their own recent Social Media marketing efforts panned out.

This is an excellent, step-by-step look at what they did, how they did it and what the results were. Honest and unbiased, they weren’t simply cheerleaders for SocMed, nor were they completely dismissive. Ultimately, and this is the issue I grapple with both personally for this blog, but also professionally with the clients we have at Taylor, the biggest factor is the time investment. You simply can’t effectively have a Social Media presence that will positively affect your business without a significant outlay of time.

Time is a precious commodity, more precious than money. But Social Media can scale. As you put in more time, you see greater results. Also, when done consistetly and correctly, Social Media will begin to do the work for you. If you are bringing value, engaging in conversations and promoting not just your efforts s but the efforts of others, your ideas can spread more quickly and with more credibility.

I encourage you to take a look at the PSFK report, it’s quite in-depth and is filled with useful data and information.

One word: Value

In Insight on March 29, 2009 at 11:26 am
Minh Uong / The New York Times

Minh Uong / The New York Times

Saturday’s New York Times featured an article by Alina Tugend entitled: “Putting Yourself Out There on a Shelf to Buy”. It’s a nice look at personal branding, aimed at people who really haven’t investigated the concept yet. That’s fine, everyone starts at some point and Tugend is providing a nice entry point for many people who are experienced with Social Media.

I did feel the article was missing one important point, and it’s one I’ve touched on previously in my “The Brand You is Dead…” post – creating value.

Creating a personal brand, online or otherwise, should not, in itself, be your goal. Look at all the reality TV ‘stars’ who have created personal brands. Is that what you’re shooting for?  Creating a relevant brand is a little closer to the mark, but even that could be accomplished without truly creating value.

The article suggested several questions you should ask yourself when creating your presonal brand:

  1. What am I good at?
  2. What am I passionate about?
  3. What do other people thing I’m good at?

I think you can probably get to creating value from there, but why not just state it up front? Why not just say, when developing your personal brand, “What can I do to deliver value in a unique and relevant way?” 

Answer that question and you’ve just created the foundation for your personal brand.

March Marketing / Social Media Madness Sweet Sixteen Results

In Ideas on March 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm

After huge upsets in Rounds One and Two, the favorites took over when we got to the Sweet 16. The marquee match-up was #1 seed Malcolm Gladwell against #5 Guy Kawasaki. The tournament’s Cinderella, #15 seed Steve Woodruff had a tough opponent in Heather “Dooce” Armstrong. Who would move on? Let’s take a look at the results:

#9 Peter Shankman defeats #13 Bud Caddell
#10 Russell Davies defeats #11 Rick Liebling
#5 Noah Brier defeats #9 Mike Arauz
#3 Heather Armstrong defeats #15 Steve Woodruff
#8 Shoemoney defeats #13 Hugh MacLeod
#10 Mitch Joel defeats #3 Aloha Arleen
#1 Malcolm Gladwell defeats #5 Guy Kawasaki
#6 Sarah Evans defeats #7 Amanda Chapel

This weekend we’ll get it down to the Final Four. Stay tuned.

Rob Walker’s Unconsumption Project

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm
Excuse me, while I recycle this guy.

Excuse me, while I recycle this guy.

You know Rob Walker from such journalistic outlets as his Murketing blog, the terrific book, Buying In, his NY Times Magazine column, Consumed, and, of course such films as Earwigs: Eww! and Man vs. Nature: The Road to Victory. Oops, sorry that’s Troy McClure.

Rob’s got a new thing cooking that you should definitely check out. It’s a new blog called Unconsumption. Here’s Rob to describe the project a little bit:

Consumption is a word used to describe acts of acquisition – generally, the acquisition of things, in exchange for money. Unconsumption is a word used to describe everything that happens after an act of acquisition.

Unconsumption is an invisible badge. Unconsumption means the accomplishment of properly recycling your old cellphone, rather than the guilt of letting it sit in a drawer.

Unconsumption means the thrill of finding a new use for something that you were about to throw away. Unconsumption means the pleasure of using a service like Freecycle (or Craigslist or Goodwill) to find a new home for the functioning VCR you just replaced, rather than throwing it in the garbage.

Unconsumption means enjoying the things you own to the fullest – not just at the moment of acquisition. Unconsumption means the pleasure of using a pair of sneakers until they are truly worn out – as opposed to the nagging feeling of defeat when they simply go out of style.

Unconsumption means feeling good about the simple act of turning off the lights when you leave the room. Unconsumption is not about the rejection of things, or the demonization of things. It’s not a bunch of rules.

Unconsumption is an idea, a set of behaviors, a way of thinking about consumption itself from a new perspective. Unconsumption is free.”

Here’s some more details on how you can contribute/participate. Image above is from iri5’s Ghost in the Machine series on Flickr. A must see.

Passion and Intimacy FTW

In Ideas, Innovation, Insight on March 24, 2009 at 9:09 am
DJ Spooky at Pecha Kucha talks about his Sinfonia Antarctica project

DJ Spooky at Pecha Kucha talks about his Sinfonia Antarctica project

Last night I attended Pecha Kucha NY 6 at Le Poission Rouge. The event was a bit uneven, and though I really liked the venue, it wasn’t right for a Pecha Kucha event. Quick shout out to the opening act, The Sam Barsh Band, who set a nice tone.

The key takeaway from the event is that ideas win when they are presented with passion and emotional intimacy. Yes, it’s tough to reach 1.8 million people all at once with passion and intimacy. Yes, it’s hard work to stand up in front of strangers who don’t know your cause and may not initially care. But when you listen to someone like Deborah Fisher from 21st Century Plowshare speak, it’s easy to see how she is going to get people to take action.

Another great speaker was Tina Roth Eisenberg, aka Swiss Miss (here’s her take on the event, from a presenter’s perspective). She mentioned her Creative Mornings events which sound really personal and engaging.

Finally, there was DJ Spooky, who spoke of his trip to the Antarctic and his Sinfonia Antarctica project:

A trip to Antactica is a pretty abstract concept for most people, and Spooky really needed another 15 minutes to get his points across, but even in the short time alloted to him, he brought his ideas to life because of the intimacy with the audience and passion for the subjecty (plus the guy is a smart cat).

Pecha Kucha is a good reminder that you don’t have to start big. A slow build can recruit other passionate people to your cause/idea/project.

March Marketing/Social Media Madness Sweet 16

In Ideas on March 23, 2009 at 8:59 am

Here’s an updated bracket catching us up to the Sweet Sixteen. I’ll be doing previews on Tuesday and Wednesday.


From 64 to 16

From 64 to 16

March Marketing/Social Media Madness Sun. Round 2 results

In Ideas on March 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Let me just state up front that all these results were determined fair and square. You can quibble with the percentages in terms of chances of winning in a particular match, but the results were legit. I didn’t do a ‘best two out of three’ if the outcome wasn’t what I was hoping for. In fact, I don’t even know the the names attached to the seeds when I am rolling the 10-sided D&D dice (and I didn’t roll at all when the game I was in came up – that was done by someone else).  Why the big preface? Well, of the eight Sunday games, six were upsets:

#9 Peter Shankman defeats #1 Seth Godin

#13 Bud Caddell defeats #12 Johnny Vulkan

#11 Rick Liebling defeats #3 Gary Vaynerchuk

*Note this match was administered by Jack Liebling

#10 Russell Davies defeats #2 Tom Peters

#3 Heather Armstrong defeats #11 Victoria Fishel

#8 Shoemoney defeats #1 iJustine

#13 Hugh MacLeod defeats #5 Joseph Jaffe

#6 Sarah Evans defeats #14 Darren Rowse

We’ll resume on Thursday with the start of the Sweet Sixteen.