Mercedes enters the land of Narnia

BRAND OWNER:Mercedes-Benz
DATE:Jul 2008 - May 2008

To celebrate a partnership between Mercedes and Disney’s movie series The Chronicles of Narnia, the auto brand sought a magical online experience that bridged the two brands and harnessed the pester power of children which can greatly influence parent car purchasing decisions. A limited edition of the Mercedes Viano designed to coincide with the release of the Narnia film featured independent screens, infrared headphones with game console connection, an iPod and multimedia reader.
Together they came up with an online communication platform at
The website was a 3D world willed with adventure and inspired by the second film in the series based on the CS Lewis novels, Prince Caspian.
The interactive website is a complex 3-D globe on which the user experiences their online adventure while travelling with the Mercedes Viano model of car. The car was positioned as a modern steed; the very best place for heroes. After an archery game, the user meets their new travelling companion in the deep, dark forest: the Viano. Users can also share the site with friends by entering their email, challenge the Narnians to an ear waving contest, upload a picture of themselves to be morphed into a mythical creature or watch a trailer of the film.
This was supported by an online banner campaign to support the launch of the website and drive traffic to it, featuring the headline ‘Beware! Enter at your own peril!’.
The site received over 100,000 visits, with an average dwell time of more than 5 minutes. The game also allowed for data capture of thousands of addresses.

Microsoft::: Exec Tweets

BRAND OWNER:Microsoft Corporation
DATE:Apr 2009 - Dec 2008

Microsoft wanted to target those in the realms of micro-blogging, but specifically those business executives using Twitter as a way to position the brand as well suited to create business value through better collaboration.
Finding all of the business people on Twitter can be quite difficult, but Microsoft decided to sponsor a service that would address this problem.
The solution was ExecTweets, a programme which saw Microsoft sponsoring a page that collects Tweets from various executives. It opened up a business model for Twitter, which had until then not really found its commercial feet.

The service enables people to track what is on the minds of business executives including Bob Jeffrey at JWT, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Virgin’s Richard Branson. Microsoft paid to set up the page in return for getting Twitter approval and for promoting the site on Twitter itself.

The channel offers the capacity to find influencers by topic, view their conversation and engage with them, all within a single environment. You can also recommend new execs to follow, vote for interesting tweets and users, search through a tag cloud and follow @exectweets on Twitter.
Federated Media plans to launch similar programmes on Twitter with other clients.

Twitter::: right Vs. wrong

Twitter will ultimately fail.

What is right:
*Twitter has the buzz and is leveraging that for talent, attention and investment.
*Twitter is addictive and fun and plays into the Social Currency model that media and storytelling is evolving into.
*Twitter has some powerful names engaged in it and supporting it.
*Twitter offers value in the nature of immediate customer service, reputation management, unvalidated search, trendspotting and conversational media.
*They allow third party software to integrate with their service, helping the open source/transparent nature of today's communications.

What is wrong:
*Twitter has no business model.

  • If they start charging for use, their general audience will leave.
  • If they start advertising on the site it will not generate enough revenue to make the investors happy.
  • If they start advertising in the Tweets, they will get serious backlash.
  • If they charge superusers or corporations for use they will probably not pay or a newcomer will come in and undermine them.
*Twitter is a platform, it is not content. Facebook, Flickr, Linked-In, etc. are all 'Social Media" that have content attached. They can sell advertising or give tangible benefit for upgrading to a 'pro' model. To have Twitter users pay for use, would uncover that you are basically asking users to pay for their own conversations.
*Many of those that are the uberusers on Twitter (celebs, early adopters, evangelists) are doing a lot more broadcasting than engaging. If you are following 20 of these people, who each post 30 times per day, that is 600 tweets alone to get through. And if they do not follow you back/ do not engage when you engage them, you start to wonder why you are reading them at all. As a service that was meant to be a way to share the minutea of your day with your friends, it starts to lose it's shine when you are just reading and don't feel the opportunity to participate.
*Let's be honest, Twitter is one big chatroom, the more followers and those you are following, the bigger your personal chatroom. Chatrooms were one of AOL's most popular features, until they realized they could not monetize them and they started to try and figure out new ways to make money. At least on AOL, if the chatrooms got people to join, they could then try and convince those users to try new things, buy new things, click on ads in other places. Twitter has none of that.
*By allowing third party software to access the system, it takes valuable traffic away from Twitter.com and therefore means they have to create value in the Tweets themselves, which has problem written all over it any way you look at it. Also, who owns the content of those Tweets?


on the other hand


But it looks to me as though lots of people who don’t see the point of Twitter could gain significant benefit from using it. Not only that, I think they would really enjoy it — if they gave it a chance.
Do any of the following appeal to you?
  • meeting new and interesting people (in real life as well as on the web)
  • staying in touch with people who matter to you
  • stimulating your creativity with new discoveries
  • building your reputation
  • receiving helpful feedback
  • finding new business opportunities
  • generating more sales
  • knowing what people are saying about you and/or your company
  • breaking up your day with some friendly chitchat — even if you’re working alone
If you’re not interested in any of these things, then you can safely ignore Twitter. But if you want some (or even all) of them, then Twitter could be just perfect for you.
If you’re already an active web publisher — whether of text, images, music or video — Twitter can act as a catalyst for your other projects and help you increase your impact.

If you’re not yet a confident web user or publisher, Twitter is a great way to dip your toes in the water and get used to writing and interacting with people online. It’s free, very quick to set up — and unlike a blog or website, you don’t need to invest a lot of time in it.
Not convinced? Give it a try. Twitter is like ice cream — if you step back and analyse it, sounds like a really bad idea (all those calories and additives?). But once you try it, the objections tend to melt away.
OK, Twitter doesn’t offer quite the same level of instant gratification as ice cream. For some people it’s more of an acquired taste. But once you ‘get it’, you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
Getting Started - the ABC of Twitter
A. Set Up a Twitter Account
Go to Twitter.com
Click on the Get Started — Join button.
Fill out the sign-up form.
Once you’ve set up your account, click on ‘Settings’ at the top of the page. In the Account tab, fill out your ‘One line bio’. For many visitors to your Twitter page, this will be the first thing they look at — so if your Twitter account is remotely connected to your work, make sure it describes what you do as clearly as possible. Mine describes the three most important things I do: ‘Poet, creative coach and co-founder, Lateral Action’.
If you have a website, add a link to it in the box labelled ‘More Info URL’. That way, people who get to know you on Twitter can find out more about you — and your Twitter account becomes a great way of driving users to your site.
If it’s available, I recommend you use your own name as your username, because:
*It’s unmistakably you — people like to know who they’re talking to on Twitter, and it will help you build your reputation.
*You may change your job or your brand name, but you probably won’t change your own name. So if your circumstances change, you can keep your Twitter account.
*If you want to experiment with alter egos or have a Twitter account for your company, you can do that as well. But you never know when a personal account could come in handy.
*It stops someone else using the name and either impersonating you or becoming ‘that (slightly) famous person with the same name as you’.
B. Start Listening
Think of Twitter as a virtual cocktail party.
I’m guessing you don’t charge straight into a party and start talking to all and sundry the moment you’re in the door. After saying ‘Hello’ you probably spend a bit of time listening to other people’s conversation. For one thing, it’s only polite and shows other people that you are interested in them. And for another, it gives you a chance to tune in to what they’re talking about.
After a while, you’ll notice an opportunity to join the conversation — someone will ask a question, touch upon a subject you know about, or remind you of something in your own experience. And because you’ve been listening to them, you can be reasonably confident that what you say will be of interest. Sometimes it takes a bit of courage to speak up, but once you do you’ll usually glad you’ve broken the ice.

Twitter works the same way. Once you’ve signed up, and said something like ‘Hello world, here I am’, your first priority should be to find and start following other users. That way you’ll get a feel for what people are saying and how they use Twitter.
Following people is easy:
*When you visit someone’s Twitter page, you’ll see a Follow button directly under their picture.
*Click the button and their next update will appear on your Twitter page.
*Each time you refresh your Twitter page, you’ll get the latest updates from all the people you’re following.
*Once you’re used to this and tired of pressing ‘refresh’, you can use a Twitter client like Twhirl or Tweetdeck to make life easier by automating the delivery process. (Depending on where you live, and what kind of phone you have, you can also use Twitter on your mobile phone, but that’s another story.)
Finding people to follow can seem a little harder, especially at first. But it’s not that difficult.
  • Start with your friends – ask who’s on Twitter and where you can follow them. If they really are your friends, they’ll probably follow you back, and hey presto! You’re already in a conversation.
  • Add your business contacts – again, ask for the link to their Twitter page. If they use Twitter professionally, they’ll be delighted to add you as a follower, and once again they are likely to follow you back.
  • Follow people who interest you – whether you’re interested in celebrities, thought leaders, prominent people in your industry, authors, bloggers or potential business contacts, you’ll find plenty of them on Twitter.
N.b. If you want to keep your social and business conversations completely separate, it’s a good idea to set up separate Twitter accounts for personal and business use!
Don’t worry about being perceived as a stalker — unless they have protected their updates (for approved followers only), people will be very happy to add you to their audience of followers. They may even notice you and follow back — if they see something interesting on your Twitter page …
Once you start following people, spend a bit of time looking through the lists of people they are following (clearly displayed on their Twitter page) and start following the ones you know or find interesting.
C. Start Talking
Just like a real cocktail party, once you’ve listened for a bit you’ll feel the urge to join in. Technically, it’s a piece of cake:
1) Type your message (maximum 140 characters) into the box at the top of your screen.
2) Press ‘Update’.
3) Your message will now be sent to everyone who is following you.
But what should you say?
Here’s a clue - Don’t (always) answer the question ‘What are you doing?’
Will people really be interested in the fact that you’ve just had a cheese sandwich or are reading Hello! Foucault on the train? To be brutally honest — probably not. Unless you habitually perform daredevil rescues, tame lions or make breakthrough discoveries, your average day probably won’t make very exciting reading.
No problem. Just remember the cocktail party — you don’t talk about yourself all the time there (do you?). You talk about things that are likely to interest the other people at the party. Such as:
*responses to their questions
*questions of your own
*titbits of information or advice
*interesting anecdotes
*requests for help
*thoughts or observations
That doesn’t sound too difficult does it? It basically boils down to being yourself, showing a genuine interest in other people and engaging them in conversation.
Yet you’d be amazed how many people forget their basic social etiquette online (and not just on Twitter). These are the people who think Twitter is just another broadcasting or marketing ‘channel’ and start bombarding people with sales messages, boasting about their achievements or trying to say something impressively profound. They are the online equivalent of the party bore.
Fortunately you don’t have to listen to them. Just click the ‘Following’ link under their photo and you can stop following them — which means you never have to read another word they write.
Part of the beauty of Twitter is that it’s very hard to spam people — the onus is on you to be interesting, entertaining or helpful. And just like in real life, the way to do this is be yourself, follow your passions and enjoy the company of the people around you.

Follow Me …
You can follow my Twitter updates at
More about Twitter
6 Reasons Why I Was Wrong about Twitter
Get More Followers by Spending Less Time on Twitter
How Does Twitter Affect Your Creativity?
The Top 10 Social Networks for Creative People
Darren Rowse’s blog
Twitip is a great source of advice about using Twitter.
And my
Delicious Twitter page is where I bookmark interesting Twitter articles and resources as I discover them. Subscribe to the page’s feed to get the latest additions delivered to you.

Are You on Twitter?
If so - what do you like/dislike about it?
If not - have I whetted your curiosity? Why/Why not?

Avid::: new logo

website: http://www.avid.com/
At the center of Avid’s brand identity is a new logo composed of simple geometric shapes derived from the buttons, icons and markers that consumers and professionals recognize as fundamental to the digital audio and video solutions they use every day to enable their creativity.
The new logo forms a visual connection to iconic shapes that represent “volume up, volume down, play, pause, record and forward,” signaling a unification of the company’s core audio and video offerings. The distinctive mark also spells out the company’s name in abstract letterforms.
"Avid is coming together as one company with new offerings, a new strategy, and a new operating model. We are stronger as one company than we are as separate parts, and we have a unique opportunity to help our customers achieve greater success in a digital world," said Gary Greenfield, Chairman and CEO of Avid. "Our new identity is one of the powerful ways we are communicating the evolution of our business as well as our commitment to partner with customers by understanding exactly what they want to do. Whether it's the flawless execution of a global television broadcast, a chart-topping hit song, a lean-forward moment on the big screen or in a sold out concert venue, or a home movie that family members will cherish for a lifetime, our customers want integrated, interoperable, and open audio and video offerings. By pulling together all of our category-creating technologies under one roof, we are beginning to serve our customers with digital media solutions unlike any other company in the world."

The old logo was memorable with its italic quirkiness but the new one is both memorable and relevant. At first glance it might feel like a cliche to use the play buttons as a logo, but as truly universal icons for a range of products that are accepted industry-wide, it’s the perfect use. The result is simple and bold. I could definitely do without the shading, specially being so subtle it feels unnecessary. But this will surely look great on screen and some glossy packaging. I also like the idea of filling in the shapes with images and, while it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, Avid pulls it off nicely.

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