Great presentation by Graham Brown,founder of Mobile Youth. He's a super smart guy connected with other super smart people all over the world(including me, if you leave out the super smart part), teaching brands how to connect with young consumers.

I just got my copy of his new book, All Is Social (thanks Graham!). The subtitle — Social Thinking and the End of the Big Idea expresses an idea I've been saying for years: Ideas are nothing, action is everything.

The road to hell has so far has been paved with big ideas, which is advertising-speak for an idea developed by a creative director with a big ego and bought by a client who isn't really paying attention. In most cases, these ideas are not driven by any real knowledge of how consumers really live.

Discretionary income is in the hands of an educated generation with exacting standards. Brown's book talks about the shift away from big agency ideas that throw money at an invisible consumer. At the very least you come away with a discussion on the new keys to brand success, but more importantly it's a story about the new global community and the social codes that connect us all. Read the book and let us know what you think.


Don't Stop the Party Rock

How sick is this video?

I'm a little biased. I've known Red Foo for 20 years. Been to his mom's house. Gave him career advice (which he probably didn't need and certainly didn't follow), when he was a teenager sleeping on the floor of a studio off of Crenshaw Blvd. He produced a track for my first record deal — a demo deal with (then Columbia Records a&r) Randy Jackson for a girl group I managed. Okay, I know a demo deal isn't a real record deal; that's not the point.

The point is I want this guy to win, and he is. Big. People all over the world are unable to keep themselves from dancing to this track. Even the Kia Soul hamsters are in on the fun. So what's the problem?

I don't get Kia. It's obvious that want to be cool so bad. And they're close. The first round of Soul commercials (sock monkey, robot) weren't bad. The hamsters are brilliant. Then they have some half-assed experiential programming — you know, hire the usual guys to do the usual parties, get coverage on the usual blogs. Who cares? They're like Scion-lite with better TV spots.

What if they facilitated these Party Rock flash mobs? Set-up shuffle contests and impromptu dances everywhere? Capture it all on camera and really take that movement to the fullest? Make Kia Soul synonymous with dancing your ass off. Start with the shuffle and move on to other kinds of dances, done in public for fun and profit. That's a brand that sounds like fun.

The Bad News About Old Spice

Old Spice’s man on the horse has set the bar for corporate social media. And why not? Seems like the whole world saw it and shared their reactions online. Millions of users posted their consumer feedback. They watched the ads over and over again on YouTube, commented, liked it, voted for it, replied to it, and initiated an Internet frenzy with a strong link to the brand. The metrics are certainly off the chart compared to anything else Old Spice has ever done in marketing.

The detractors will tell you that the online consumer response didn’t move the needle on sales of Old Spice products. In fact, there was a spike in sales that might also be attributed to discounted pricing that ran concurrently with the ad campaign.

Do you want the truth? Can you handle the truth?

Truth is, they’re both wrong. Old Spice looks good in the short-term, and not so good in the intermediate-term. But the real win for the brand is to be had over the long-term. What Old Spice has essentially done is bought the attention of millions of consumers who had previously not paid attention to the brand before this campaign.

Think about what this long-term success means for the brand’s next campaign. What defines a brand at its core is building viewer expectation and setting precedence. Viewers are now watching and waiting to see what Old Spice does next.

If the brand reemerges soon with similarly brilliant entertainment content, the reception will be tremendous. If it can successfully repeat this process over and over, you can be certain that years from now, Old Spice will be enjoying the fruits of its investments.

See folks, social media — just like all marketing, business, and life — is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t get to work out one day and then sit back and admire your abs the next day. Nobody places a single stock trade and then retires.

Old Spice just expended a lot of money, energy, and creative genius in order to earn the right to do it again. Most companies haven’t earned that right, so Old Spice currently enjoys a tremendous advantage over the corporate social media status quo. If you think that’s a raw deal, you’re probably in the wrong business.

Holiday Ads

I don't get to watch too much television but the "tube" is on from time to time and this Target ad caught my attention.

I'm not sure if it's because it was my children love to dance and they play with or ask for all of these electronic toys but once again, like the Kia Soul commercial, it's inspiring that people my age have great impact at the ad agencies that work for these companies (go mid 30 yr olds!). Target totally hit the nail on the head with the items on tweener holiday wish lists, except for maybe the iPad.

There is also a Vons holiday spot, not available on the web, that caught my eye for different reasons. It's your typical "yum, check out the succulent dishes you can make with food from our store" and it ends in a great view of a holiday spread featuring a sliced ham. Now I'm sure there are a variety of ways to display a ham. I saw quite a few while looking for a sample to post. The ham image in the Vons spot resembled this one and I wondered if the fine young folks who dressed the set had a good chuckle when placing one of these. They shouldn't call it "spread eagle", they should call it "sliced ham".

Now, here is the most ridiculous one this season. It's a stunning view of Small World at Disneyland lit up all aglow that plays often and is featured on several billboards for my daughter to ask "Mickey Mouse house, mommy?" Why is this ridiculous? Because you get to Disneyland and after dusk, they do this fantastic light show... every 15 minutes... and they don't let you go inside. You're kidding me, right?

Seen any fun holiday ads lately?

Pearl Izumi Video

These guys get it. Not only do they make great products, but they understand there's nothing like making the kids giggle to get the cash register ringing.

Okay, this might be too edgy for some brands, but what can you do to make people laugh and maybe think you're kinda clever? Post a comment here or let us know if you need help thinking of something.