Collaboration Models from Victors and Spoils

October 31, 2011

One of the most exciting aspects to social media is the prospect of facilitating real collaboration between brands and their consumers. One of the agencies at the forefront of the crowdsourcing move (some would argue too much) is Victors and Spoils so I was interested to see a couple of blog posts from one of the “big brains” at V&S outlining a couple of their processes:

Levels of collaboration for brands.

1. Social Media Engagement

This is basically collaboration 101; brands engaging with people in online conversations. Think of Old Spice, Best BuyTwelpforce and Strip To Your SmartWool.

2. Crowdsourcing

These are brands that tap into people’s collective brainpower and invite them to submit ideas that deliver against a setof rules – a brief. Think of Pepsi Max & Doritos Crash the Superbowl or Virgin America’s Toronto Provocateur.

3. Co-creation

Co-creation involves working on new product and service ideas together with the customers who are going to buy them. An obvious example is My Starbuck, but I’m also really struck by Nike 6.0 ID Nation StyleLab, which effectively turns Nike ID’s original mass customization (people designing their own shoe) into co-creation (people being ableto buy shoes that other people designed).

4. Collaborative Consumption

With crowdsourcing and co-creation people help brands produce better products. But the other side of the coin, collaborative consumption, is also getting more popular, from car-sharing (Zip Car, Greenwheels) and bike-sharing (Vélib, B-Cycle) to group buying power (Groupon,Walmart CrowdSaver).

5. Collaborative System

Finally, new business models are emerging that place collaboration at their core. The brand is shaped by an ecosystem of participants. Successful recent examples are Threadless, AirBnB and American Express OPEN.

4 types of collaborative relationships

1. Pretenders

Many brands are jumping on the collaborative bandwagon with social media initiatives or creative competitions. For instance, 3M Submit Your Idea or Nokia Tune Remake. But there’s no collaborative relationship if people don’t know about the Empowerment tools, or don’t care about them. These brands have started their collaborative journey; next step is to either increase relevance of their tools or to better promote them.

2. Potentials

These are brands that people want to collaborate with, but the brands don’t yet offer the tools to do so – at the risk of losing opportunity or goodwill. It’s not a bad position to start from; next step is to start developing collaborative tools and put people’s energy to use. Harley-Davidson and DC Shoes are great examples here.

3. Newbies

In this case there’s hardly an existing relationship; both Empowerment and Common Ground are at a low level. This can be the case with existing brands that are out of touch or with entirely new brands and startups. Next step for existing brands is to become genuinely interested in what people are passionate about – otherwise they may soon become irrelevant. New brands and startups have the opportunity to build a brand from scratch and work with consumers to figure out what the brand will become, simultaneously building Empowerment and Common Ground. (crowdsourced children’s stories) is an example of a completely new idea that has the potential to grow with its consumers from day 1. AirBnB is an example of a startup that went this route already. By involving consumers early on AirBnB was pushed beyond what the founders initially envisioned the brand to be, with an active community as a result.

4. Collaborators

There are many possible scenario’s here, with the most iconic relationship type being the collaborative system where reciprocity can come from anywhere in the ecosystem. Not many brands have achieved this status yet, but many are well on their way such as Threadless, AirBnB and American Express OPEN. A typical next step for Collaborators is to increase engagement with all people (not just innovators and creators), consumer segments and other stakeholders. Other typical next steps include expanding the collaboration arena (e.g. beyond digital into physical spaces) and turning one-off collaborative initiatives into an integral part of a brand’s product offering and communication.

Trendspotting – 3D Projection Mapping

December 1, 2010

What is it?

3D projection is any method of mapping three-dimensional points to a two-dimensional plane. As most current methods for displaying graphical data are based on planar two-dimensional media, the use of this type of projection is widespread, especially in computer graphics, engineering and drafting.

The result is a high impact piece of creative full of shock, awe and what we at DDB call ShareValue – you just can’t help but talk about it with your networks, online or off.

Trend or Fad?

3D projection mapping has recently emerged as one of the coolest forms of advertising, with big companies like Nokia, Samsung and BMW projecting beautiful 3D video displays on buildings around the world and sharing their campaigns on the web.  3D projection mapping has become something of a recent obsession […] for the advertising world.

It’s likely too early to say. I would imagine the cost and logistics are pretty prohibitive right now and even the videos below do not have a massive amount of views. The quality of the execution varies as well so it is imperative to have the right vendor and to publicise, through all channels, both pre and post.


Toyota used 3D projection mapping to illustrate Auris Hybrid recycling the energy it was using.

Tron Legacy has a nightly mapping display where it recreates Flynn’s Arcade on the South Bank Building

Sensodyne destroyed and rebuilt Union Station here in Toronto

Ralph Lauren recently staged a high profile mapping event to launch a new store in New York

My favourite, AC/DC vs. Iron Man 2 at Rochester Castle

BMW also had an installation in Singapore.

Quick disclosure – many of the below either are, have been or are competitors to DDB clients both in Canada and worldwide.

Who Does It?

Looks like, from my cursory research that seeper, in the UK, is the leader, by a long shot while Tantrum in Canada look very capable as well.

Prommercials – a new trend?

August 16, 2010

News from UK is that Faithless has teamed up with Fiat* to feature the Punto vehicle in its new music video “Feelin’ Good”. The deal has been dubbed a “prommercial”.

From the Independent:

They want to sell cars and we want to sell music, it’s getting that symbiotic relationship to work, which is interesting and challenging,” said Sister Bliss, founder member of Faithless. “They wanted us to be involved in the creative process, check the script and the director and be totally involved in every way.”

Elena Bernardelli, marketing director for Fiat UK, said she was “quite surprised” that the band allowed the car to be featured so heavily in the video, which includes shots of the Punto Evo’s steering wheel and dashboard as puppets of Sister Bliss and the Faithless vocalist Maxi Jazz dance manically on strings hanging from the car’s rear-view mirror. “The idea of dolls and rear-view mirrors was a fantastic way to show the interior of the car,” Ms Bernardelli said.

Product placement in music (predominantly hip hop) and even the literary scene has been around for years but this sort of symbiosis between product and media is an interesting twist. While music is only promoted for a short period following its release, the videos have been enjoying prolonged, long tail success on YouTube – often getting millions of views from users seeking out the content.

EDIT – the spot is online and, thanks to Nick Burcher‘s comment, below:

The track, sans video, is below for your edification.

While without a reord label, “Faithless share the same management team – ATC Courtyard – as Radiohead, who have been at the forefront of revolutionising music distribution since cutting ties with their label EMI and offering downloads of their 2007 album In Rainbows for whatever fans were prepared to pay for it.” (again from the Telegraph).

*Disclosure – DDB worldwide, and in Canada, works on competing car clients to Fiat.

Games are fun, useful and motivating to users

April 5, 2010

I’ve long said, or at least tried to say, that what really interests me about the social media revolution isn’t the “media” part but the “social” part. What behaviours are the technologies bringing out of us, rather than the technologies themselves. That’s why I’m short on Twitter yet fascinated by it at the same time.

The new breed of technologies which we’re looking at now all have two things in common. One, they are built on top of existing platforms (Facebook and the mobile phone) and Two, they incorporate game theory. The platform piece has been done to death (you may have heard of the iPad and the 70bn apps it launches with?) but the game theory is the one which really interests me.

Game theory is nothing new (Farmville):

Gaming structures have long been applied to real-world scenarios, a strategy championed by the celebrated games designer Jane McGonigal, who argues for the benefits of utilising gaming skills such as problem-solving and teamwork.Her Cryptozoo project for the American Heart Foundation encouraged players to chase around a city hunting mysterious animals – exercising along the way.

But this piece is fascinating:

“When people think of computer games, they often think of playing in a virtual world that doesn’t exist in reality,” [Jane McGonigal] told the WorldChanging network last month. “But alternate reality game designers are trying to get people to play in the real world. We want people to bring the same curiosity, wonder, and optimism that you feel when playing your favourite video games into your real lives and real problems.”

So what does this new element of consumer behaviour tell us?

For media companies with large, engaged and passionate audiences, this is a field rich in potential. Simple games structures and rewards for frequent, interesting and valuable commenters could increase loyalty and traffic, or encourage teams of readers to contribute to crowdsourced projects to earn points. The opportunities are only as limited as imagination and resources – both in short supply in the media industry at present.

For brands looking to succeed in the social media space, the insight that one of the ways to do this is to put your consumers and users in competition with each other, is invaluable.

via Foursquare and Gowalla: location games are where it’s at | Media | The Guardian, itself via the inestimable Drew Benvie.

Can you help Grant Turck?

January 12, 2010

Saw this ad on Facebook today and clicked through.


Can you help Grant Turck find a position in PR?

(great example of using Facebook’s hypertargeting!)

Maple Leaf Foods Republic of Bacon, Safety Sergeant Patrick Tumms

December 10, 2009

I spotted a great new campaign from my old client, Maple Leaf Foods, to promote the new line of resealable bacon packs. Take a look at the Web site ( here but the thing I love the most about this campaign is the video component, featuring the fictional character, Safety Sergeant Patrick Tumms in a series of awkward PSAs which are embedded for your viewing pleasure below:

Bacon Theft:

Bacon Danger:

Bacon Tragedy:

I don’t know about you, but I could go for a sandwich right about now. Kudos to the team at Maple Leaf Foods and John St advertising for this one.

Causing a com.motion on the ice

November 27, 2009

If I knew how to skate, I would look, well, nothing like this!

Causing a com.motion on the ice!


Causing A com.motion on the ice on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

Create your own via the Canadian Olympic Committee’s “Podium Pals” application!

Ninja Facebook Marketing by Ikea

November 25, 2009

I’ve long been a fan of Ikea – the affordable Swedish brand that ensures an excellent user experience in its stores and that does very cool commercials here in Canada.

Now there’s one more reason – the brand has been doing some intense ninja Facebook marketing:

The agency (Forsman and Bodenfors) created a Facebook profile for the store manager, Gordon Gustavsson. Over a two-week period, it uploaded images from of IKEA showrooms to his Facebook photo album.

Then it put out word that the first person to tag their name to a product in the pictures, won it.

Facebook being what it is, word got out and needy, enthusiastic Swedes begged for more pictures so that they could tag themselves to a new sofa, a new bed, or a new vase into which they could stick their plastic flowers or their dead grandparents’ ashes.

More on CNET News. Unfortunately, if you want to do something similar on Facebook now…you can’t. All giveaways need to be conducted through a third party application:

3.1 You will only administer the promotion through an application on the Facebook Platform, as directed by us.

3.2 You will only allow users to enter the promotion in the following locations on Facebook:

3.2.1 On the canvas Page of an application on the Facebook Platform.

3.2.2 On an application box in a tab on a Facebook Page.

H/T to Sean McDonald for firing the CNET story over.

How to go to market

November 20, 2009

or: if marketing was regulated in certain industries.

From Seth Godin, who shows both his innate genius for marketing and his ability for conversation starting punditry!

During the first week of swine flu vaccines in New York, most parents (more than half!) chose to keep their kids out of the program.

Interviewed parents said things like, "I’m not sure it’s safe," and "I wanted to see if it affected other kids…"

No mention of longitudinal studies or long-term side effects. No science at all, really, just rumors and hunches and gut instincts.

So what?

The news here is not that people are irrational, giving too much credence to the dramatic and the local and the short-term (that’s not news), but that people have added a veneer of scientific rationality to their irrational decisions. Armed with Zagats or internet data or some rumor off Snopes, we act as though now we’re supremely rational choicemakers.

And the pay off is:

If I was marketing the swine flu vaccine, I’d name it after a kid who died last season and put her picture on the release form.

Its a genius idea but not one I think would (ever) be approved by a regulatory body. Pharmaceutical marketers from around the globe can chime in in the comments section below!

Nike Chalkbot: Awesome!

July 8, 2009

We often say that integrating the digital and offline worlds creates a powerful force. One of the best brands doing this right is Nike (more about Nike’s (UK)marketing focus, via David Brain) and one of the coolest representations of that is the Chalkbot, created by deep local for Lance Armstrong’s Live Strong charity.

We’ve all seen the chalk road writing at the Tour de France – I grew up watching Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon battle it out with the iconic Phil Liggett commentating. But now Nike is making it more interactive (via John Dodds).


You can get your 40 character message displayed on one of the most grueling races in the world simply by texting or Twittering:

A really great example of a brand transcending its normal boundaries, supporting a charity and doing something that people will want to talk about.

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