After Microsoft won the battle for the investment in the social networking site Facebook against Google and Yahoo the first unofficial counterattack from Google already sees the world the name of this attack is "Maka-Maka". Last week Microsoft invested $240 Million dollar for a stake in Facebook now Google counterattacks with the plans to develop their own Social networking tool. The power of this tool will be that it would be integrated in all their applications going from Google reader, Gmail to Google Maps and this could well be their power. Another big thing is that they would open their API from Orkut (the social networking site from Google) to developers to make it easy to build applications around this shell and again attracting more users to their network. Although everything is not official yet it will surely be a topic to watch closely.
You can read the full story on TechCrunch.
As I'm a big fan of the EOS series (I started with a 300 a non digital SLR and now I got the 400D, you can see some examples here of my little family), I went last Friday to the EOS discovery tour a seminar organized by Canon (of course) to do some product promotion on their EOS Series (where the 40D is one of their latest products). Till here nothing special cause normally you would expect this to be a night full of product presentations but not at all! I was really surprised by the quality of the seminar, the product placement was really well done and everything was explained trough some clear examples. The photographer who presented all this was Andy Earl a man who has shot pictures of very known stars like Madona, Any Lenox, Prince, ... and has also some great stories about those pictures. Also the whole event was very interactive as all the pictures appeared immediately on some big screens with the help of the wireless file transmitter on the device. I also really liked that they commented some pictures that where send by the audience. To resume a night very well spend with lots of interesting information and a great presentation.
I found on Cut the Crab the making of the latest Telenet (A Belgian Internet provider) spot. It all seems simple when you look at the commercial but when you look at the making off I guess it was really a big effort.
Common Craft know for their plain English series launched a great viral in their known style to celebrate Halloween "Zombies in plain English", just that you recognize one if you have an encounter with them.
On Buzzing Bees I found a funny commercial for Mercator insurances. Well what can I say a man will always be a man I guess!!!
This week 2 big companies specialized each in a different area launched the same product namely Unified communications, these 2 companies are Microsoft and Cisco. Now what is this "Unified communications" well if I quote Microsoft "it bridges the gap between telephony and computing to deliver real-time messaging, voice and conferencing to the desktop environment". Now if we take the definition of Cisco it says "Unified Communications is helping you integrate communications more closely with business processes, ensuring that information reaches recipients every time and everywhere, no matter what their working environment, through the most appropriate medium". They both look at the product from a totally different point of view, one as a software vendor, one more as a hardware vendor and they say it differently but they actually mean more or less the same thing. Maybe if we look at a little movie that I found on Geert's blog everything will become more clear.
You can also find an explanatory movie and site from Cisco here. I guess in a few months we'll see who wins this fight.
Yesterday I saw on Marketingcharts that Nielsen issued another rating of the top social networking and Blog sites we see in the rating that MySpace sites still has a comfortable top position with 58.6 million visitors followed by facebook but with on 18 million unique visitors.
In the blogging world Blogger form Google still stands strong with 29 million visitors and followed by Typepad and Wordpress but with only about 10 million visitors. The most impressive move forward was from Wordpress with a jump of 290 % from 2.5 million to 10.
My wife is a teacher for kids from 6 till 7 years now sadly enough one of the kids in her class has cancer which makes her stay quite a lot at home. In Flanders they created a really nice initiative called bednet which is for children that can't attend the lessons for a longer period and have to stay at home due to their illness. Now what do they do concretely for those children; they install a dedicated line in the class room and one at the home of the child. In the classroom they install a laptop, a webcam, a scanner and a special camera to take pictures of the blackboard. At the children's home she also has a webcam and laptop so that the child can follow everything that happens in the classroom. I think it's really great that technology can server a higher purpose and give these kids a better life. This initiative is made possible all kinds of sponsors like the King Baudouin Foundation, Vlaamse Overheid, Belgacom or The Belgian Lottery. Once everything is installed I'll do some more posts to tell how everything works.
Today we launched the new site for the "kinderrechtencommissariaat" which is the rights for the children in Belgium. The site has a part for adults, one for from 12 till 18 and one for children below 12. All the parts that we find in the different sub-sites are really build for the target groups. All the cartoons and images came from Vero Beauprez. It took us some time to get it online but the result is really nice.
Yesterday was the first day of Customer First and I must say I was a little disappointed. Before noon I could not attend all the sessions so I just went to 2 session which where nice but not smashing and at that time the room was far from filled. Than I really wanted to attend the Blognation seminar like I told yesterday but there wasn't anybody nor speaker nor explanation why the seminar didn't go trough so this was really a bummer. By the way they still didn't solve the noise problem.
Anyway after Customer first I went to the Mixx awards where we found 2 big winners Mortierbrigade they won gold in the categories "Product Launch" and "Direct Response" and These Days cause they won in the category "Best use of Interactive Media" and they won the "Interactive agency of the Year 2007". Most importantly Geert Desager and Openhere won in the category "Brand Awareness" with their viral Bring the love back. you can read the full review on the digimedia site. Anyway I had a great time with the people around my table and has some really interesting discussions that will hopefully end in some great projects but this only time will tell.
A colleague of mine pointed me out to Deezer today, apparently it seems to be the first legal music on demand site. Apparently they have a deal with SACEM who is the Society for the Collective Management of Copyright Royalties or that's what their press release says. It says and I quote "Thanks to the agreement with SACEM, Deezer.com has become the only site to offer Internet users a
non-paying solution whilst still remunerating those involved in the creation of the music (artists, record
companies etc.) through the advertising revenues generated. Trough allowing Deezer.com to offer this kind of distribution, SACEM and SESAM have shown that they
are aware of the need to adapt to an ever-changing world." It's almost to good to be true but it seems to work and you really find a lot of music on their site. I also like the possibility to make a playlist and be able to share it on your blog. Below you'll find some songs of one of my favorite Belgian groups, Hooverphonic.
Tomorrow and Friday you'll find me at Customer First, I quite enjoyed it last year and I don't want to miss it this year. I'll also try to do some live blogging on the event. My day will look like this. Before noon we don't have the choice and I surely will try to attend the 10:30 session from the Microsoft Online Service group cause I definitely have some work to do before I can attend. I'll also attend all the other sessions before noon and in the afternoon I'll be there for the Microsoft Session at 14:00 hours. Than I'll be back for the Blognation Session (I guess as a blogger I need to be there). So tomorrow I guess I will be able to tell more about Customer First. I hope one thing and that is that they have sorted out the noise problem during those sessions, but we'll see about that.
A nice commercial for a great product, the digiwalker from Mio. I just bought one and I'm really pleased with the product, so I know you you always find your way out.
On Adverblog I found this great campaign for BA and although I'm not a huge fan (see one of my previous posts) of this airline I really like this campaign. The viral they created is really long but it's funny and worth to have a look. It's always nice to see a pretty serious company from another side than always trough those boring commercials.
Tanya from Kolbrener gave me the link to a periodic table they recently developed internally. I think it's a pretty nifty idea to combine the periodic table of elements with some interactive terms so that's why I had to post it on my blog. Thanks Tanja for the tip.
Last week I got a friendly mail from Elizabeth from Edelman on Behalf of Brita water filters and I thought than well this mail is so nice that I will make it my post on Blog action Day. Brita is doing an action at the moment called Filter For Good.
This action is all about preserving the nature trough using filtered water instead of using bottles. You can take a pledge on their site, the pledge of not using bottled water for a certain amount of time but filtered water.
I know it all has an economical connotation but still I very much like the idea and will myself do the step of stop using bottles but use filters for my water.
This evening I received a mail from a trainee at Mortierbrigade disturbing some virals for something that will occur on October 15th with Peter Vandeveire on StuBru. Till here nothing special but the way the mail was send totally cracked me up. Next to the sloppiness of the mail I totally loved the way they approached me with the wording (sorry only in Dutch) "Als je verwittigd wil worden kan je inschrijven op youtube Of je kan natuurlijk gewoon youtube checken. Of er gewoon uw kloten aan vegen en dit mailtje nu wissen". Either you love the no bullshit approach or you don't, well anyway I love it and to please the guy here are the different virals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zm4MPRmKNA, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqlIA4fd3GU, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZqqE8NT1J0, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3TE6dokA6M, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P0nGoDlo0I
Yesterday Geert Desager invited me to a dinner with Surya Vanka who's Microsoft's Design and Usability Training Manager. Am far of a Usability guy but still it where some really good conversations and I was very happy to meet him.
Next to Surya and Geert I met a whole lot of other people going from bloggers to creative directors to Microsoft evangelists. It was a great evening as the people around the table really had a totally different approach and view about every possible topic roaming the virtual world.
It's also nice to talk with competitors like Petra, Brice or Mark (which I was happy too meet again since we where colleagues some time ago) and to exchange idea's and thoughts. I only regret one thing, that the evening was far too short to talk to everybody at the table.
So Microsoft and especially Geert thanks again.
Strangely enough a new Sony Bravia commercial just popped up, out of nowhere and this when the Play-Doh commercial is still a hot topic (Good or Bad). To my opinion it's a better one than Play-Doh and this without any buzz around it or anything else. Really strange and I hope to find some more information about it.
UPDATE: I got the information from Zaireen (immediate future Ltd) and apparently this spot is made for the Sony Asia.
Found on: Adverblog (damn they are good)
Yesterday I joined the Wildfire network. Now what's this network all about? For the blogger, you get paid for putting viral video's on your blog. For the announcer it's another channel to push Viral Marketing, in Belgium we got a firm called Adhese that uses the same logic to put banners on your blog. As I was putting these virals anyway on my blog it's for me more about being aware of the latest virals than it is about earning the money. But anyway I'll post a video that has nothing to do with the topic of this blog (An announcement from Discovery channel for a program about Hooligans) because I want to see how everything works.
Is it a comeback from the backstreet Boys or any other boys band well not really it's a viral for the N81 from Nokia. Just have a look, it's funny but also really long.
World of Warcraft combined with another brand is really popular. Now Toyota got a Viral out, before them Coke already used this platform.
Adverblog (jet again, this is for sure one of my favorite blogs), pointed me out to a great new way of navigation trough products. We all saw the classical pointing on products in a movie to show the detail of a product but now the navigation took a whole other dimension (literally), you can now navigate trough a layered environment. It all looks really good and the adapted music for every environment gives an additional touch. Just have a look for yourselves here, the concept has been created for the kitchen dreams of IKEA by Forsman & Bodenfors.
Saatchi & Saatchi created a campaign to promote the ski resort Valle D’Aosta in Italy. They started the campaign with 2 pretty funny viral movies to promote the site http://www.regione.vda.it/turismo/concorso/. The whole idea behind the campaign is to leave the office and your every day stress behind. The first one is definitely my favorite one although the second one is also pretty funny.
Earlier this week we (Tagora) launched a little contest for Sanex called "GoedInMijnVel". The contest is nothing special, you just answer some questions and you can win a lot of prizes but what's nice is the design we created for those few pages. The design is totally from the hand of our new graphical designer Michael which I welcome in the team, I guess you'll definitely see a lot of these the coming month's.
The new commercial for the Sony Bravia finally arrived, after the balls and the paint we now have the Play-Doh rabbits. Just have a look and enjoy. But remember, it took: 2.5 tones of plasticine on set, 40 animators, 189 2 ft bunnies 150 1 ft cubes, 10ft x20 ft purple wave, 30ft giant rabbit, 6 cameras, 40 animators working through 4 hours generated 4 seconds of footage, 40 animators working on the same scene had never been attempted before, The 60 second spot will be constructed of approximately 100,000 stills.
Funny clip about kids and the advertising world created for Monster.com.
Found on: admosphere
I just found a great 3D movie created in France called "In a Cage", you can find more information about it on their MySpace site.
Adfreak pointed me out to this great commercial from Renault created in Germany. This is definitely the most classy crash test I've ever seen. For sure it's a nice location only a pity about all those nice cars, I drive myself an Espace and I'm really fond of this car.
Found on: AdFreak
Yesterday IAB organized their yearly Creative Case Stories, it was a nice Netcafé with some interesting presentations. the best presentation for me was the one from Gert Pauwels from Proximity/BBDO as all the cases he showed where mostly new to me and there was some great stuff in there. One of them was from Mortierbrigade called "jaar van de kleuter", it's really nice how they did this, but difficult to explain you just got to have a look.
After the different creative cases, we saw some Second Life implementations for SN Brussels Airlines (who combined a classical site "www.b-places.com/" with some places/voting in Second Life) and for Keytrade Bank.
After the more than successful "Evolution" campaign in their "for real beauty" series from Dove they launched a new one this one is called "Onslaught". The message is well brought and quite chocking sometimes but judge for yourselves.