November 21, 2013
For an industry that prides itself on divergent thinking, we too often follow our preconceived notions of what is “true”. We’re not the only ones. Gladwell talks about this for a whole book in David and Goliath. I haven’t finished it yet, but his hypothesis is that preconceptions aren’t worth the paper they’re not written on. That the optimal class size isn’t as small as can be but should be mid-sized (he proposed 25). That dyslexia is not, actually, an undesirable trait – that for the right person it can be galvanising.
Where else is this happening? Where else can we see that maybe, just maybe, what we know to be true is not, actually, true. Well, American Football has been doing it for years: always punt on fourth down. Always kick deep from the kick off. But why do we do these things if they aren’t beneficial for us?
Why indeed? This great online six minute short from Grantland (one of my favourite places on the internet at the moment) shows the high school coach who challenged these preconceptions, who ran the data and worked the odds to come up with a truly divergent strategy that is paying off for him.
The caveat emptor here is that as the quality of the players on both teams improves and get closer to the pros, the numbers and the odds may not support this strategy. Even the preconceptions around the challenging of preconceptions need to be challenged.
Have a hypothesis. Test it. Be prepared to throw it away if it doesn’t make sense. Keep on testing it until it doesn’t work. Throw it away when it makes sense to do so. Repeat.
November 13, 2013
Every year John Lewis outdoes itself with its Christmas advertising. Past tear jerkers are below, but this one is particularly great, thanks to a Lily Allen cover of an old Keane song and Disney animation…literally, animated by Disney. Lovely from my friends at Adam&Eve/DDB
Perhaps I’m drawn to it because I read the “Bear wants more” series to my little man!
And my favourite John Lewis work from 2010:
November 10, 2013
I’m not sure if this is an advert or a really well made piece of film. It must have taken forever to concept, pitch, sell, design, produce, film and edit so kudos to the agency. I enjoyed watching it; I hope you do too.
I love this sort of stuff and have written about optical illusions before, in 2010 and the below from opposite my office, way back in 2006!
Honda spot via gizmodo.
October 28, 2013
The latest chapter in the Uncle Drew /Pepsi Max story hit today – ever since I saw the teaser last week, I’ve been anxiously and eagerly awaiting it!
We’ve covered Uncle Drew before – as a wonderful expression of a simple idea through long-form story telling.
PepsiMax is a regular cola in disguise.
So the genius in chapters one and two was the twist – the old guy struggling to keep up with the “young bloods” was actually one of the top five active NBA players, in disguise. Now, I’ve got to believe that every person interested in seeing the film, has seen it – there are probably 60mm views of all the chapters and the rip-downs/re-uploads. So if I’m told that a “basketball documentary” is being filmed and an old dude shows up and wants to play…I should have an inkling of what’s about to happen. Will I still be able to have the same reaction that observers had in the first chapter and that made the story so effective – we know Uncle Drew is in disguise but the spectators and competition doesn’t. It is real and authentic. So does this genius of an idea still come through? Does the twist still hold some magic? Can this hold true for at least two more chapters – the “team” Uncle Drew is putting back together has to have at least five players?
I don’t know about you but I’ve got to admit, (spoiler alert) having a WNBA star was a really nice twist and the anticipation of trying to guess who the next NBA star will be is enough to get me through to the next one!
See you soon, Uncle Drew.
September 9, 2013
I definitely have a “brand affinity” for KITKAT so when I saw that they had partnered with Android over the name of the latest OS release, I was intrigued. When I heard it was a no-money-changes-hands commercial partnership I was even more intrigued. I presumed that the Android team had gone to the Stringer Bell Business School and, like many drug lords, was offering the first for free but would be charging for the next ones.
Judging by the milage KITKAT is getting from this partnership, I’m sure we’ll see some more of these co-naming initiatives. My favourite pieces that I’ve seen are this parody video (pardodying who else, Apple):
…and this launch stunt pic which I saw from my former client at Hershey:
I’m off for a KITKAT!
September 5, 2013
Every time I hear the name Accrington Stanley, I can’t help but think of this superb UK Milk ad from 1980′s.
Liverpool was, is and will be my club forever so to see that Ian Rush drank milk, well, that was good enough for me. And which 8 year old boy wants to play for a club they’ve never heard of?
August 12, 2013
The following is this week’s 10am One Thing that I wrote for the DDB blog.
30 Rock made fun of the arguments that trips to Ikea invariably lead to for couples and families. Presumably the two most common arguments are “will this look good in our home?” closely followed by “will it fit where we want it to?” To solve this, IKEA UK has launched an augmented reality (AR) extension of its print catalogue so shoppers can answer exactly those two questions in the comfort of their own home. You simply download the app, scan a page and then see how one of 90 products will look in your home, through the magic of AR. A truly functional app that solves a true human problem.
But we chose this as our One Thing not for the functional benefits but because of the emotive, fun way that IKEA UK is promoting the app, through this video that shows a family using the app and having great fun hamming it up for the camera.
IKEA’s augmented reality catalogue.
The One Thing is a result of the daily 10am meetings held in the DDB Canada offices, where our digital teams meet to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies.
For an archive of the 10am links, visit our Pinterest board.
Follow Radar on Twitter
August 8, 2013
Love this promo from NBC – wonderful to see that both sides of the Atlantic can have a sense of humour about our differences and our similarities. Bring on the new season!
August 6, 2013
Having been away from home since 2005 (more than 8 years!) and not being a multi-millionaire, I’m not able to visit my mum nearly enough so this piece from British Airways really hit me where it hurts, my heart.
In a world where we are told that consumers are holding shorter and shorter attention spans, I would happily watch this 5+ minute video many times. I hope you can watch this at least once, and then call your mum, even if she lives next door.