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John V Willshire
Chief Innovation Officer @ PHD
Interests: The future. (It's a foreign country; they do things differently there...)
Recent Activity
They are a great idea, unless you happen to be in the same building as one, like my brother is in his office. He struggles to persuade amazon that he wants it delivered to his office and not the locker. It's like Mrs Doyle - use the locker, g'wan, g'wan, g'wan....
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2012 on Amazon locker - sorrel at Noisy Decent Graphics
That's ace, spot on... people keep asking for social case studies, but each company and situation is pretty unique, so there's only so many things you can learn from looking at someone else's bonfire. Say hello tonight, and definitely bear the above in mind for what I've got planned :)
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2010 on Bonfire of the Metaphwoars at Feeding the Puppy
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thanks chap :)
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Cheers Andy. That's very true, it's hard to work out where it started a lot of the time. But what's more important is who joins in.
Toggle Commented Nov 7, 2010 on Bonfire of the Metaphwoars at Feeding the Puppy
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Thanks Mel :) I totally agree with the quality of material thing... some people presume any old crap will burn. "People will take part because they will, because it's fun..." Sigh. There's a someone from another place I work with on something who's very fond of saying that. He's never right.
Toggle Commented Nov 7, 2010 on Bonfire of the Metaphwoars at Feeding the Puppy
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Yes! Or indeed, the artificial accelerants used to start a bonfire too quickly in the first place (like talking about a Flash Mob that hasn't happened yet on the news and telling people how many actors will be there?!?) Funnily enough, talking about taste... someone the other day was talking about ad agencies stretching in to other areas... and how they made things that had 'the outward appearance' of what it was they were trying to do, but none of the inner qualities. The example used was that if you imagined an ad agency making a chocolate bar, they'd make something that for the first 30 seconds LOOKED like a great chocolate bar, and maybe even FELT like a great chocolate bar... but when you ate it, it'd be pretty horrible.
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2010 on Bonfire of the Metaphwoars at Feeding the Puppy
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Thanks Tim. I'm increasing thinking you're right about the PR/Media thing too. I was an interviewee for a media owner qual project the other week, and the researcher had been talking to Media, Ad & PR agency folk. I asked him generally if he was seeing any difference in what we were saying, and he said that whilst the ad agency is still fixated by the 'brand' idea, media & PR agency folk are thinking about the 'relationship' between company and customer. And I think in the future the relationship is much more important than what the fictitious 'brand' is or isn't.
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2010 on The last media agency at Feeding the Puppy
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That's really interesting... planning and programming the game well enough so that unplans and unprograms itself.
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2010 on Game Economy vs Game Ecology at Feeding the Puppy
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Charlie; yes. yes yes yes. Steve; Beautiful.
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2010 on The last media agency at Feeding the Puppy
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Ahhh, Giep Franzen... Thank you everyone who's commented so far. Faris has posted up something too, and went and ended it with some John Stuart Mill... as you do :) http://farisyakob.typepad.com/blog/2010/09/the-impact-of-education.html
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Good question fella, very valid. I can only speak for what I got out of it, which I guess I can boil down to two things Firstly, the breadth what's covered is far wider than you'd perhaps imagine. I'm sitting here with a library behind me of everything from the heaviest marketing metrics to a collection of reviews by the New Yorker film critic. Godin & Gladwell to Franzen & Mitchell. But then the requisite part of the course is to build in your own references into each module then dissertation. You broaden it out as far as you wish. It's a great course for a generalist who wants more specialist skills, or a specialist who wants to really stretch their legs. Secondly, it's the camaraderie. I made some amazing friends across the industry, from a variety of different companies, backgrounds, roles... and we still regularly hook up to agree (or disagree) about the things that make the industry great (or shit). I may chase some of them onto here now so they can also help answer your question...
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Now, to Tom's point - "can you encourage people to socially engage with an expression of your purpose, when your purpose is itself not appealing?" I'm going to say 'no'. It used to be the case that a strong brand could override any negative stuff you really got up to, because all it took was some good ads and decent media spend and everyone thought you stood for what you told them you did. But nowadays, we are heading towards a much more transparent world, because of the tools available to everyone to share 'the truth' (or the version of truth they want to spread). Wikileaks is a great example of the increasingly transparent world I think. I think if your company's purpose is not appealing socially, the answer isn't to stay away from doing anything social, it's to think about why your purpose is so appealing, and start off internally to change it. And it can't just be a tagline... calling yourself 'Beyond Petroleum' is all well and good, but the reality behind it soon comes out for all to see in the transparent world.
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Hello both... it's never too late to keep a conversation going... First off, Marie's point, specifically the Sainsbury's thing - we work with Sainsbury's, so I know a fair bit about 'Try Something New'. I'd agree with your point about it being a social idea, and in hindsight I'd even suggest it would push nicely into MacGuffin territory. Why? Well, it's central to Sainsbury's business. If people try a wider variety of things at Sainsbury's, they're more likely to expand the range of things they like to buy, which means broadening the scope of what goes in the basket. So Sainsbury's like this, obviously. And to your point, it benefits the customer too. Not only does a a variety in diet lead to better health, but it's a more interesting shopping & eating experience for people if they feel that they're encouraged to discover and enjoy more different foods. But to play devil's advocate, 'Try Something New' is not playing into the same 'social object' territory as other brands are (though it's something we're working towards). Perhaps though there's a good point in this; to do the MacGuffin properly takes time, whereas a Social Object fits much more snuggly in the timescale expectations of agencies & clients used to 'campaignable ideas'.
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Mornin' Squire Well put... it is indeed the dangers of social-object-as-tactic that I think is important to recognise. And I think it's rooted in that most modern of issues we have - when clients ask '...but how many people will it reach'? By defaulting to something as a social-object that 'everyone can do/get involved in', what you actually end up with more often than not I would suggest is something that's of such mass interest that... a) Anyone could do it... and not even just in your sector, ANY company at all. Which means it's hard for people to remember who actually did it. b) When it finishes, it doesn't leave any sort of lasting legacy for your business. It's just an attention tactic like the old 'gorilla-in-a-jockstrap' adage. For 'gorilla-in-a-jockstrap', read 'kitten-with-a-caption'...
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hey hey I'm in an all-day session today, following this with great interest where I can... just to pick up on John's point here: "My problem with that as with much of the social object bandwagon is that marketers will not take the time to digest the intelligence behind it and will miss the point and just default to "build me a social object" mentality i.e something tangible." There two interesting things in this; firstly, yes, a lot of marketers won't take the time to digest properly... but it doesn't mean we should we stop thinking about it as a result. It's then our job to take the thinking, and turn it into something usable/effective/buyable etc. Secondly, I've been thinking about the physical object thing too... nicking form my twitter stream earlier: i) social objects & real objects. If you create the latter as a manifestation of your purpose-idea, it helps the former. ii) Of course, the central product you make is one object. But I'm thinking about the creation of other objects that achieve the same purpose. iii) It doesn't have to be mass produced; the knowledge that they exist is the idea you want to spread. Like nukes, but in a nice way. ...need to think more about this, but kicking off with meeting again :)
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Thanks for this Mark... it's still all being ironed out in my head, to be honest, but taking the points one by one... "not all Social Objects should be about the Purpose-Idea" No, absolutely not. The thrust of Hugh's post, and this one, is that there is something more powerful than Meerkat style social objects, not to insist that therefore everything must move on. The idea of the MacGuffin is that these things that can live on, thrive, contribute to a better company, better customer relationships, better products, even a better world. Meerkat is great, but it's nothing to do with the Purpose-Idea behind the company; at some stage, it will be retired as the joke will wear thin. Meerkat did the job asked of it in spades, it's great advertising. "The Purpose-Idea at the heart of a company is usually to make money" I'm afraid I must disagree; the Purpose-Idea at the heart of a company, as Mark says, should be rooted in what exists in the world to change or protect. In order to achieve your Purpose-Idea, you need to make money to keep at it. But the pursuit of money in itself is not a Purpose-Idea. It's a shortcut to cost cutting & commoditisation. "if the company has to change rather than the marketing - what happens when the company has changed - do we still need marketing?" Phhhheuuughh... tough one. Let me dwell on that... :)
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Hear hear. If anything more need be said, it's that we need to get better at repeating projects. The advertising age convinced us all that if something didn't work brilliantly the first time, it should be replaced with something that would. Yet so many projects today that could deliver great things in v.3, once we learn what to do and not to do, are canned after v.1... ...arguably it's as bad as the music industry expecting Beatles-standard masterpieces from bands recording their first albums, and dropping them when they don't deliver.
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2010 on Go Slow at @markcridge \ muck and brass
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That's a good idea, Graeme, I may do a 'wrap-up' post for each playlist, with the story of why from the contributors. And yep, Sam, so it is... Maybe I can but one of those 'tape to digital' machines and use it in reverse :)
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No, you're right, the FT audience is different - most notably, the paywall initiative for them works, as they have valued, timely, specialist content which the readers will buy (or more likely have their employer buy for them). Comparing that to the proposed paywall for The Times... I don't know what the timely, specialist content they have that people would pay for, but people have to pay for it themselves. I may be proved wrong, but I can't see it being a success. Which is a roundabout way of saying that yes, the FT might be closer to the sunset than other titles. I do disagree with the Sun comment though... a typical Sun reader in 2010 is a lot more web savvy than you give 'em credit for. I think the consolidation point right, but that it's a medium term cost-saving exercise... the Mail could buy the Express, for instance, and make one paper for both audiences. But the audiences will continue to decline, so the long term picture of the 'vanishing point' would come into view again.
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Yes, exactly. Much, much more like it.
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I wonder if Peter Andre can make a proper flat white? There are some RUBBISH ones out there that I've had in the last few weeks... then he can be my favourite Aussie too :)
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I think it was in the Daniel Young piece that he talked about the 'journey' from latte, tio flat white, to something else and so on to black... people are 'educated' in that direction by a great barista. Funnily enough, I started by drinking all coffee black; didn't like it at all with milk in. Though it was bog standard filter (even instant) I was drinking. But it was only with the wider arrival of coffee chains that I started having milk in coffee.
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My thoughts exactly... just because you're no obliged to legally doesn't mean you shouldn't say 'please' and 'thank you'...
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Ha, sarky bastard :) That's the point though... I've been taught the only way to make things happen on a screen is to type (and I can only do that by looking at the keys, not the screen... yeah, shit I know). But I kinda refuse to believe there's not a better way than something laid out in the 1870s like QWERTY was. With gesture interfaces (touch, motion etc), and voice control improving all the time, it's surely going to happen one day.
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