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David McNamara
Strategist || Photographer || Geek
Interests: Director of Digital Strategy @IrisWorldwide. Marketeer, creative geek, photographer, news junkie, cultural critic, foodie obsessive, gamer, history nerd, sketcher and lover of ideas that ignite people.
Recent Activity
Nice to get some recognition from WARC on the work I did for Domino's UK. Here is the shortlisted paper for The WARC Prize for Social Strategy 2015: Domino's UK: How participation branding delivered Greatness, WARC Prize for Social Strategy 2015, Shorlisted from David McNamara Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at Planning Notes
Kids, who would have them huh... They have a purpose beyond being the best things ever. If you are a strategist, planner or a person that just ponders then kids are brilliant tools for learning. All planners know the best question ever is: why? As Thomas Berger said: "The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge" But do we ask why enough? Are we relentless in its pursuit? Does 'why' get lost in the scrum of modern business? My 3 year old daughter is The Queen of Why. She resists all attempts to see the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2015 at Planning Notes
Let’s face it the best branded content looks and feels like culture. It’s either film, journalism or 'cultural out put' of some kind. It is not advertising. At least in the way we used to understand it. I believe we are witnessing a new phase in content led by a new breed content creators. From disruptive media brands, a new content creator class, innovative content marketing technology and progressive publisher brands. I am calling this phase Next Generation Content. (I know classy huh…) So WTF is Next Generation Content? Next Generation Content is quite simply content that has learnt the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at Planning Notes
Here's something I wrote over 18 months ago when I was thinking about how content can help to power Participation Brands. How brands should tackle the shifting sands and fog of branded content and content marketing. It outlines a strategic approach and way in for brands. Introducing Content that POPS. How participation brands can navigate the world of content marketing from David McNamara Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at Planning Notes
My first Ad Week Europe 2015 session on 'The Future of Media: Boom or Bust' was ok-ish. I was expecting more on the ‘future of media’, but it was way more about how millennials consume media. I thought we all knew this already? However, there were a few interesting reminders: 1. The old principles of be useful and entertaining are still completely valid. But are now executed in a completely new media environment, at speed and with the ability to be brand responsive. 2. Involve the audience. If you are going to tell a story, tell it with them. Or... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2015 at Planning Notes
Participation. One of the most over used, dangerous and misunderstood words in the communications business today. A concept that has seduced and bludgeoned us with its elixir. I believe participation has been infected by the hubris of social media. Its intoxication is sapping the positive power that participation can invoke. The curious thing is the absence of participation in a lot of work we see in advertising and marketing. It is summoned as inspiration, but rarely seen in action proper. Some are drunk on it and others are addicted to its superficiality. And most have stopped at the first base... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Planning Notes
The short answer has got to be no. Right? Social marketing as a discipline has lost its halo and is struggling to come to terms with itself in a post digital world. Excuses have been given and countless studies have been published, but the nagging doubt of performance remains. Yes, of course ‘paid social’ works – it is a very effective and efficient buy. But social as a channel, as a thing, as an approach, as a marketing investment remains in doubt. Last year we saw the notions of brand community, organic social and brand inspired amplification seriously challenged as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2015 at Planning Notes
A piece I was interviewed for by Marketing Magazine last Christmas on how brands are innovating for consumer attention and written by @shonaghosh ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brands are looking to digital innovations, such as Google Cardboard, to tie their Christmas marketing in with a meaningful shopping experience as competition intensifies for consumer attention. This Christmas may be the most challenging yet for the UK's retailers, with consumer attention split into megabits not just by rivals, but tempting distractions like Netflix, YouTube, smartphones and Facebook. That means marketers must get their festive campaigns and the customer journey pitch perfect during the most important... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at Planning Notes
Here is a script from a talk I did for the ISBA members team dinner last September. ------- When I was asked to talk about real time marketing I thought I might just wing it. Rock up, unprepared and make it up on the fly. Maybe riff on today’s latest headline. Be responsive. Be hyper relevant. Be current. Be now. But as we know being totally prepared is half the victory. The science of winning is being insanely prepared. So you will be pleased to know I have a few things prepared… Good evening everyone. My name is David McNamara,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Planning Notes
Two things happened last week... Firstly, I did one of my first lectures at the University of East London on 'planning advertising' as part of my role as Visiting Fellow to the School of Arts & Digital Industries. I was asked what makes a good planner. Secondly, I had a chat with one of the best planners I have worked with who talked recently about planning as an apprenticeship and admitting he was still an apprentice - despite 20 years in the business. With the canon of planning being the master. It struck me that there is a base operating... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Planning Notes
When I started 6X6 I hoped to keep up with the rise of social mobile photography. Unfortunately I no longer have the time to do this topic justice... All future blogging efforts will happen at my main blog: Planning Notes. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2014 at 6X6
I spent a great afternoon at the annual APG Big Thinking fest this week musing on the state of strategy. Thought I might add a mere mortal perspective on the big thinking shared on the day. But first a quick recap on my previous strategy meanderings... My ode to Walt in Breaking Bad: vital lessons in strategic planning picks up on many of the themes talked about this week. Particularly the point about Product Managers being the real strategy rock stars. Let's face it Walt was THE killer product manager... I'm also a history nerd with a soft spot for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2014 at Planning Notes
Three interesting things have converged in recent days which has prompted me to think about how brands are storyifying to a new strain of nostalgia. The trend of nostalgia tourism has been around for a while. It taps into our lizard brain for a desire to buy into authenticity and seek comfort in the familiar. But with the ferocity of connected living nostalgia is going to some interesing places. I recently saw a great example of nostalgia surfing by Reebok Classics in the beautiful film 'Give Me Your Classics And I'll Show You The Future': There is a classic line... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at Planning Notes
I did a planning talk earlier this year exploring dystopian visions in both culture and advertising. Looking at how dystopia is changing as a concept, the purpose it serves in culture and how brands have explored it as a consumer canvas. The talk got me thinking about dystopia. A LOT. So much I submitted a talk proposal to SXSW to do a solo talk in 2015. Here is my pitch: Dystopian visions are a mirror to our world. Playing out our fears and our hopes. Captivating us with the promise of alternate realities. But, today dystopia has become just another... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at Planning Notes
There is a fascinating article from Salon today about two recent science fiction books using different metaphors where the smart-phone is both light and darkness. In the book California the surviving smart-phone is called The Device and is a living relic in a post apocalytpic world. Helping characters remember a pre-collapse world and using it as a totemic object in a new world. The idea of our phones becoming relics as part of the last vestiges of culture in a post apocalyptic setting is interesting to ponder. How we might harvest the last crumbs of digital media to reconstruct memories,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at Planning Notes
It has been around for a while, but The New Aesthetic is a nascent art movement that warrants observation. It covers a wide range of genres and aspects to it, but ultimately it is about how the 'hand of technology' is a creating a truly modern reality. And nothing captures this best than photography. The best definition of what its all about is a brief visit to James Bridle's blog - one of leading curators of the movement. However, Matthew Battles, a contributor to Metalab, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, also gives a good definition:... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Planning Notes
How a new breed of marketers can master 21st Century content craft and change the face of B2B marketing Content is not a problem to be solved, but an opportunity to be embraced. You’d have to be hiding under a rock to not notice the content marketing storm that is currently ravaging the buyer landscape. It is where future B2B battles will be won and lost. And yet, it’s not new. The storm is, granted, but content marketing itself isn’t. Smart marketers, B2B or otherwise, have been using content-based marketing tactics for years. But facing unlimited inventory, and ever-limited attention... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Planning Notes
I am a bit late posting all of this, but better late than never. Below are the decks and videos from our SXSE event, iris's take on SXSW 2014. SXSE@iris: Our take on SXSW 2014 from David McNamara And here are the videos of my talks, first one is '21st century content craft': And here is the 'Brands as Digital Anthropologists': Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2014 at Planning Notes
And here is the Slidedeck: How visual life logging is changing photography from David McNamara And here is the Soundcloud audio of the talk: Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 6X6
After my talk at SXSW I was interviewed by Autographer. This is a transcript from the article: A: At SXSW you discussed Socrates’ famous opinion that 'an unexamined life is not worth living' – can you explain what he meant by this and why it still holds true today? DMc: Socrates famous maxim fits with our 21st century zeitgeist. Humanity is moving from away from ‘why we are here’ to ‘how are we doing’ as the great existential question. The ‘how are we doing’ question is hyper relevant both as individuals, teams, communities and society as a whole. The broader... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at Planning Notes
Here is a transcript from a Q&A I did with a journalist from the Austin Chronicle before my talk at SXSW 2014 on 'How visual life logging is changing photography': AC: What are the implications of visual life logging at this scale? DMc: Great question. I think for the amateur... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2014 at 6X6
We are in the midst of a content shock. A shit-storm of exponential noise is raining down on us like a Tsunami. But don’t despair there is hope for brands who aspire to be master storytellers. SXSW has seen so many examples of how genuine creativity can change the equation of content shock. From next generation interactive storytelling to using smart curation techniques. The art of percolating newsfeeds with quality content can still win in a world of content shock. The spies had their ‘craft skills’. Masons had their apprenticeship thing. And chefs have their signature methods. Artisanship and craft... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at Planning Notes
There was a trend a couple of years ago of brands hiring in house digital anthropologists to help them make sense of changing consumer behavior. It hasn’t really worked. Brands are still on Level 1 when it comes to digital culture and knowing the difference between your DAE’s and your AMA’s. Our digital footprints are getting more complex and creative. The cultural nuances are getting harder to translate. This is posing problems for brands who want to participate in digital culture. The web is 25 years in the making. The Wonderland rabbit holes are getting deeper. They are more niche... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at Planning Notes
SXSW is witnessing a battle over the soul of the internet. Say hello to the Dark Net and the Shiny Net. The Dark Net is a place is fuelled by surveillance, SecDents and state sponsored meme warfare. A place where we trade our privacy and get ‘fed the news’ via algorithmic feeds. In the Dark Net you can buy secure profiles with Bitcoins and participate in Wiki Wars. This is the place that we hoped the internet wouldn’t turn into. A digital schizophrenia where your digital footprint is both your passport and your cage. Shiny Net is a positive place... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at Planning Notes
Creating better worlds. Saving the internet. Sharing is the new buying. Meet the meaning economy. Digging up video games from the desert. Yep, these can only be headlines from SXSW. Welcome to day one. According to Wired magazine there won’t be a next big thing at this years SXSW. Just lots of little big things perhaps. A predictably moody start then. It seemed most people kicked off with The New Digital Age as their scene setter for the start to the conference. Schmidt and Cohen talked about their vivid anecdotes from their tour of the worlds most autocratic and unstable... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2014 at Planning Notes