December 14, 2007
This blog have been quiet for a long long time. Lot's of things have happened. In highlights I'm now a married man to my fantastic wife Cecilie. I given up my job for nearly 5 years at La Familia. I'm now a Naked Man.
More specifically I have just co-founded Naked Communications new Copenhagen office, where I will be a partner. We will be an office in Naked's Nordic & Central/Eastern-European offering. This exiting journey began officially in the beginning of december and we are going to document the making of an office in true flickr style on the below address - if anyone should be interested:
So, this means this blog is going to continue to be quiet as I will devote my time to my new adventures. Blogging here has been one of the most valuable experiences in my time in communications. The blogosphere has given me such an outlook and my RSS feeds are still up to more than 100.
A part from our Flickr thingy - my new contact details are:
+45 40 98 52 35
Kompanistræde 10, 3'rd floor
Att.: Casper Willer
Hope to see you in the real world.
July 10, 2007
Morrison’s main belief is that he - and people in general - are growing tired of an over designed world, where anything is put through the big branding and lifestyle machinery. He wants simple usable design without al the colours, attitudes and attention seeking surprise elements.
He and Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa has coined the term Super Normal. Super Normal is something that’s normal, yet very special.
(It’s all explained here: http://2021supernormal.wordpress.com/about/ , and you can see more on flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/supernormal/)
If we took his philosophies to the world of communication and brands, I think it could be a great way of explaining a lot of the tendencies driving through the more successful part of the brand landscape.
The brands that are not driven by differentiation through big ad concepts, but brands that has taken another approach often with smaller budgets and proximity to their customers.
Super Normal brands could be those who are - doing the normal real well – by being:
Interacting (and inviting consumers to participate)
Honest & transparent
Sustainable and CSR oriented (not just greenwashing)
Folksy (as John Grant put’s it)
I think Super Normal applies to brands like:
Ben & Jerry’s
Apple (they are also of other things than Super Normal)
Micro Breweries (in general)
Most of the Web 2.0 companies from Flickr to Facebook.
And then lot's and lot's of others.
Off course everyone can't be super normal and everyone shouldn’t be – but, I think there are still a lot of opportunities in this belief and approach.
June 13, 2007
where: Risteriet, Studiestræde 36, Copenhagen (MAP)
when: friday, june 15 at 8am (PST)
The Likemind badges now comes in four different version - first in the house, first to choose. Once again thanks to the fantastic Likemind people - Piers, Noah & Amy – and thanks to the sponsors Anomaly (http://www.anomalynyc.com/home.html).
The Likemind movement is now spread to 25 countries (see them all here: http://likemind.us/).
June 05, 2007
Apart from the constant innovations from iTunes and great brand utility initiates like Nokia’s Music Recommenders (
Also recommendable is:
The free and very influential music blog (which you probably already know): http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/
The probably got a couple of them for free but, I don’t think this is a case of corporate prostitution. What do you say?
The picture above is called:Jet Trails, 2007, 60x96". And it says:Depicts 11,000 jet trails, equal to the number of commercial flights in the US every eight hours.
May 16, 2007
The Diesel Wall initiative is simple and cool stuff. You find a big wall in a city and make local artist compete for the space. Now it has come to Copenhagen, which yet another example of my hometown becoming part of the “must do cities” when it comes to international company selecting cool cities to launch their initiatives.
“Heidies” underwear campaign results:
Global Warming Ready campaign discussions:
April 19, 2007
From the blog (http://zeusjones.blogspot.com/) of exiting new start-up company ZeusJones with people from Fallon. Check out their site http://www.zeusjones.com/ which is really communication 2.0. Thank to Gareth (http://garethkay.typepad.com/brand_new/) for the link.
March 19, 2007
Nine early risers made it this cold but sunny spring morning. Since it was our first Likemind I think it was quite ok to see that many faces for a premiere - mostly coming from the Danish planning community. The discussions where around many different subjects, the ultimate centre of attention though, where the Mattel Badge Maker - designed to make you do a badge on the spot.
Suggestions where many – from our Frenchman Bertrand’s “Vive La Stratégie” to the very optimistic Yes badge (Ja, in Danish) from Rikke. I’m sure we are going to see lot’s of very professional pre-produced suggestions next time.
Next time we hope to see lots of new faces and people from more diverse backgrounds (we would like to se both you Maria, and you Einar).
The Likemind date for next month is April 20th - same time, same place.
More photos on my Flickr page:
March 06, 2007
For anyone not aware of the concept it’s an opportunity to enjoy coffee and conversation with likeminded people - likeminded as in people within the wider world of communication. Probably for the people that are both curious and conversational about topics like “what’s interesting in communication right now”. People coming from background as: planners, digital wizards, agency creative’s, designers, marketing department strategist or other similar backgrounds.
So please spread the word if you know anyone, who is in Copenhagen and ready to go.
Our newly formed CPG (Communication Planning Group) a Danish equivalent to the British APG is behind, amongst others. We are an association of planners from both advertising and media agencies who in the name of a more overall communication planning and media-neutral approach have gathered forces. So far it’s been a pleasure to have a closer collaboration and common agenda.
Here is the clip you should see first where Gondry does magical things with his feats
And here is the analysis and solution to the puzzle:
I’m doing a project that includes understanding of the wonderful world of teenagers and their relations to cell phones and more specifically to text messaging. Text messaging for me includes no codes, no abbreviations and often a lack of understanding of the messages I receive written in that txt stylee. But here is a little help to embrace the txt language yourself or get the txt translated to plain English:
February 20, 2007
How de we find those rare nuggets of insight or other creative thought starters. How do we dig deeper into either the consumer, within the cooperation, into the product, or tap into a broader cultural context?
How de we equip ourselves with enough knowledge to truly understand was goes on in the Herd?
What do we need to know about those brand communities to dive into the new vast world of transmedia planning?
How do we look at both advertising and media planning at the same time?
How do we truly disrupt the marketplace?
How do we add new knowledge, if the focus groups and the piles of data doesn’t do the job (with no intentions to rebel against the more data-driven rigour)?
I’m looking for the planning behind the planning out of a belief that real life experience and a more personal involvement close to where the action is at, can get us new perspectives to the problem solving we are facing.
Then a little while ago I came a cross Wikipedias explanation of Method Acting and intuitively felt there was something in that.
The fact that it was a possibility to give a little “Actors Studio meets Lee Strasberg meets Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro & Al Pacino coolness” to the planning profession was no downside. Even the fact that it could provide a new set of explanatory tools for the daily merits of the planner - in a dinner party small talk perspective - wasn’t bad either.
I simply tried to replace acting/actors with planning/planners, characters with brands and performance with communication. The definition is then as goes:
Method Planning is a planning technique in which planners try to replicate in real life the emotional conditions under which the brand operates, in an effort to create a life-like, realistic communication. "The Method" typically refers to the generic practice of planners drawing on their own emotions, memories, and experiences to influence their portrayals of brands.
Next up was to try to come up with some tools and tactics to come closer to a TO-DO list for Method Planning.
This could be the first 10 techniques of Method Planning:
1. Do a Cindy Sherman!
Become the target group, dress and behave like them. It’s not observing but experiencing through an active involvement in the crowd. I, realize this can be a bit hard and very weird if let’s say - you are middle aged male planner searching for the golden nuggets amongst young female cosmetic users in Asia– but probably still worth a try. If Cindy can, you can.
(See more on the woman that can make even David Bowie “chameleon envious” here: http://www.cindysherman.com/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cindy_Sherman)
2. How may I help you?
Let’s forget all the explorations on how our messages, propositions, promises, reasons to believe fit into the realms of a specific crowd. Let’s instead find the utility angle. How could a brand improve our daily lives? What’s interesting? What’s helpful? What’s could be improved? Are there any existing online/offline utilities that could need the scaling from partnering with big brands?
3. La Source
How did they hear about a certain phenomenon or brand? It’s all about drawing a media pattern recognition map. How does the specific crowd work? What are the dynamics? Where are the touchpoints where the brand is welcome and effective? And where does the crowd want the brand to keep out and decide and discuss for them selves?
4. Lap observing
A really simple way of getting to know your target group, market, product is to simply spend a day or two in the production facilities, in the back of police car (I remember one specific law enforcement campaign as the result of a creative team doing just this), hang out with a certain crowd, be part of the new product development for a little while, do a stand-in for the personnel in a retail outlet etc. etc. This can be done more or less biased having a set of questions or totally non-interrupting.
The Staufenberger Repository had a great example of a creative team doing a project with this intention (see more here http://staufenberger.typepad.com/repository/2007/01/ollie_and_janso.html and http://www.spendadaywith.blogspot.com/)
5. CyberStalking (no resemblance to this sad phenomenon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberstalking)
It’s hard to truly understand peoples cyber life’s if you haven’t been to Second Life, Myscapce, Flickr, Youtube and all the other social networks and communities. The easy thing to do is creating a profile and become a part of the fun – off-course steering out of the obvious immoral places for a thirtysomething to be.
6. The Cause
John Grants brilliantly coined term marketing enthusiasm should also go into The Method Planning fieldwork. Ask what they really care about in certain categories and areas both internally and externally? Opinions wherever they come from, are highly inspiring.
7. Do the real life Water Cooler
Stand right there in the spotlight of informal chat - from the infamous water cooler, to the stadium seats, the café corner, in the smoking areas, in the bus and off-course let’s hear what the cab driver has to say. Let’s hear what they talk about and what they think about what we’ve done communication wise in the past.
8. Find the Internet Zeitgeist
There are lot’s of online resources to tap into the cultural zeitgeist. The likes of Digg, Del.icio.us., Stumbleupon, Bloglines, Flickr, Youtube and off-course Google (and Google Zeitgeist) are all great resources of what’s top of mind in people lives. I remember doing a an experiment on brand affection some time ago looking at how many people had posted pictures and tagged brands on Flickr and it was indeed correlated to high scores in brand temperature measurements like Lovebrands and Brand Asset Valuator.
9. Prototype the product/service/communication
There is nothing more honest than standing with the actual center of attention in your the hand - whether is product or service - talking to people. Preferable having the thing explored outside of the unnatural frames of the focus group room and instead using people’s natural surroundings to create a realistic context.
10. Do the WHAT IF?
I’m a big fan of this method both as a standalone tactic and a way to ask question for several of the other techniques. Something always comes out of asking this way in my experience. One WHAT IF? leads to another and suddenly you are in another place.
That’s it for now. Love to hear from you if you have any suggestions or techniques to explore the world of Method Planning.
January 10, 2007
It’s 2007 - and happy new years by the way – and time for resolutions and all that jazz. For the first time in many years I’ve decided to take a little trip down the diet highway. Being somewhat focused on my daily food consumption I came across this What 200 calories look like website.
It’s photos of 200 calories-worth of various food, so you can fully appreciate the calorific density, as they say. Funny calculation can come from assembling the 2000 calories you need a day from the various options some more healthy than others.
See them all here:
January 09, 2007
U2 has a new single out its called "Windows in the Skies " it’s from the U218 Singles Album. The director behind is Gary Koepke from Modernista (colleague of Brand New’s Gareth Kay http://garethkay.typepad.com/). I have already watched it ten times – engaging stuff.
December 22, 2006
December 20, 2006
The always inspiring magazine Contagious has its Most Contagious 2006 annual list of brilliant pieces of communication.
Here is everything from the landmark marriage of Youtube and Google to the Design Barcodes to the Second Life to the Graffiti on Air Force One to the Nokia Music Recommender to the life in Adicolors to the Lynx Jet to the Inconvenient Truth to the…
See it all here:
And the person making all this contagiousness happen is no other than YOURSELF we are told from Time Magazine.
December 13, 2006
I’ve bought a couple of the songs on iTunes when it came out but since seeing thing in a record store a couple of days ago I decided that it was a must have.
My album hasn’t been individualized yet. It’s one of those really big aesthetic decisions I will have to give a little time.
There is a brilliant article in Wired featuring Beck’s outlook on the future of the album. It’s also a great read for the future of content and communication in general. Very forward looking man that Beck.
December 12, 2006
Brand Spaces (here is the cold room in the Burton Ski shop – brilliant)Sharing,connection and creating with Flickr Toys – here is Billboard creating toy (http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/)
You know those kind of question that just get’s the discussion and thinking going. I have 3 current faves.
1. Question - How can the solution to this brand's problem also solve a bigger, more societal problem?"
It comes from Jack Cheng in one of the many brilliant post on psfk about Brand Utility - check out the post here:
http://www.psfk.com/2006/11/branded_utility_6.html (a Piers Fawkes presentation on the subject)
http://www.psfk.com/2006/11/branded_utility_1.html (nterview With Benjamin Palmer of Barbarian Group)
http://www.psfk.com/2006/11/branded_utility_2.html (Interview With Johnny Vulkan of Anomaly)
http://www.psfk.com/2006/11/branded_utility_5.html (Interview With Jack Cheng )
2. Question - How can we give consumers a real life experience of our brand?
There is a lot of great examples from the Trendwatching Brand Spaces study here:
I, recently saw a presentation with Communication Planning specialist Jim Taylor where he took us through all the many possibilities in retail communication today. He points out to his current counting in the area with more that 80 in-store possibilities and 20 around the store options. Which is just the known option from established retail chains not counting all the creative possibilities with pop-up shops and so on. It's still an area with a lot of creative and innovative potential.
3. Question – How can we make people share, connect and create?
I know it's the engagement strategy again again. But it's always a great question to ask every time you sit there and think you have solved the business problem with your well functioning overall brand idea and brilliant insights.
December 11, 2006
December 07, 2006
Last week was time for another round of future explorations in Copenhagen with the NEXT2006 exhibit and conference. It was held at new spectacular IT University and since didn’t bring my camera here is a photo taken from from the Innovation Lab photo stream at Flickr.
A day filled with interesting projects, people and thinking. It’s always an inspiration to think about tomorrow, and wonder how quickly it becomes today.
Here is the blog:
Here is the website and pictures:
December 05, 2006
What fascinate me about artist are the many roles they fulfil in a creative production compared to the amount persons and functions in takes in the communication business. The artist has all the hats on in the role of the researcher, the strategist, the creative, the implementer – a one man band.
Two weeks ago I was on a little romantic trip to Paris with my girlfriend among many other things we paid a visit to the always great Centre Pompidou – Modern Art Museum.
There where lot’s of great exhibitions going on but especially three of them got me thinking in the direction of some of the hot topics in the communication sphere.
Simplicity, Complexity and Compression
The on-going discussion around planning blogs have been on how to be both complex and nuanced at the same time as having a simple overall idea/essence/concept easily understandable even at a glance. Lately Russell Davies has talked about compression as the answer to something that can be both understood from a simple point of view and can be decompressed out into a much more complex understanding.
Yves Klein is simply a terrific example of this. He has his monochrome deep blue colour – which is even called international Klein Blue – and this colour goes through almost all of his work. What seems a little too easy and one-dimensional a first quickly becomes very exciting going through the exhibitions of his. The blue colour only acts as an over layer for his different experiments. It’s a complex variety of his different shapes, his paint methods like ballet choreography, his symphonic orchestra playing only one tone, him using blue painted models as brushes, his architectural projects, his “blue” sound works, his film sets and more.
More about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Klein
A visual world
Without downplaying the importance of the written word I’m probably not alone with the opinion that in a world of communication clutter we need more visually outstanding communication. Not just because it travels better across borders, but also because all new research point in the direction of emotions and pictures are more important than actual message understanding. Benetton’s Fabrica school is a great lab for thinking in this area. They held an exhibition to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. Lot’s of interesting stuff there.
There is off-course the classical Oliviero Toscani style above (which I admire more from a visual point of view – but have certain problems with on a more ethical level)
The exhibition seen from above
Lots of great stuff thought provoking stuff like the examples above.
Most interesting is the things they do in interactive/digital fields.
The 10x10 site (www.10x10.com) was created here by the near genius Jonathan Harris. An artist & digital designer. See his other brilliant stuff here http://www.number27.org/
An interactive news channel.
A wall that appears to be displaying you live, but is actually build out of different delayed pictures.
This a moving images wall that each shows your continuous actions frame by micro frame in front of a camera.
This is the big canvas electronic Moleskine.
Off-course there is quite a lot of the usual anti capitalism/anti Americanism/anti imperialism stuff. Which seems a little easy and tired compared to the other stuff.
Overall an interesting school and probably interesting people to hire.
Execution is strategy
Finally there was the museums repeating experiment to do new thematic presentations of it’s own collection. The exhibition was called Le mouvement des images (Art & Cinema) and proposes a rereading of 20th century art through the filmmaking. It’s based around organised around the basic components of film – frame roll, projection, story and editing. It clearly shows that art have been very inspired by the cinematic world and that your theme/strategy is seldom where the magic happens. This is great exploration into the magic of execution where your experiments with different techniques are the strategy itself.
So when in Paris go see all of this.
November 22, 2006
October 25, 2006
W+K London also has a post about his appearance with Michael Jordan in Nike Town.
October 09, 2006
The advertisers haven’t asked themselves the crucial questions – Would they spent time doing it themselves/their children? Who would spend time doing it at all? Iain Tait wrote a clever post about this a while ago (http://www.crackunit.com/2006/08/23/a-conversation-on-participation/)
You shouldn’t create your engagement tools because technology allows you to, but because you offer your something that’s worth something for someone.
The audio cassette tape generator (http://www.says-it.com/cassette/index.php) pictured above is a good example of something that’s really easy and really funny - I made special one for the old members in my high school rock band.
The Staufenberger Repository has a brilliant list of generators with little involvement and surprising output