Tag Archives: social media

What/ who is Bluebird and how do I stop it/ him/ her?

As I was rushing to work (running late) on Friday morning, I nearly got knocked over by a bunch of protesters blowing whistles and wearing white chemical protection suits as I entered Central Station. Putting aside my wave of commuter-rage (how dare people get in my way, I am trying to get to work, ferchrissakes!), I checked out one of their placards, and saw “Stop Bluebird”, then realised they had it on their T-shirts, and were shouting it too.

Always one to be a part of a “Stop …” anything kind of campaign, I did a Google web search at my earliest opportunity, and was directed to a site called “Dreams of Anthropocene” at http://www.lulurich.com.au/ (everything I saw pointed towards stopbluebird.com, a URL that doesn’t seem to exist, instead re-directing to this one).

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Youtube ad campaign for Danish Tourism board depicts single mum looking for her child’s father

I have only just discovered this extraordinary ad campaign on Boing Boing – there was some controversy surrounding this back in September resulting in the ad being removed from Youtube.

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What makes this campaign extraordinary is the fact that rather than promoting safe sex, or prevention of STDs or unwanted pregnancy, it is in fact for the Danish Tourist Board, and the objective is to encourage more overseas visitors to consider Denmark as a holiday destination.

The controversial aspects of the campaign are clear, and have been discussed elsewhere, particularly on Adland.tv.

What struck me was the comments made by the CEO of Danish Tourism, Dorte Kiilerich.

“Karen’s story shows that Denmark is a free place with space for you to be who you want. The film is good exposure for Danish self-sufficient and dignified women.”

I don’t really see this at all, and judging by the controversy and subsequent apology, it would seem that other people don’t either. I am just wondering if this is because we aren’t Danish. Denmark is a society that really is socially ahead of the curve, having been the first country to legalise pornography (in 1969) and same-sex marriages (in 1989).

Maybe we just don’t get it because we are mired in antiquated behaviour and conservatism. Or maybe the idea was to play on national stereotypes and generate attention through controversy.

Thinking of cultural insensitivity in tourism advertising reminds me of the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre in UK banning the TV spots for Tourism Australia for featuring the word ‘bloody’ (a word so inoffensive in today’s society, that my grandmother would not be averse to using it).

It goes to show how even the smallest of issues can be misconstrued and misinterpreted, with the original objective and intention completely lost in the ensuing public debate.

My favourite campaign of 2009 – Choose a Different Ending

There has been loads of innovative work out there this year, but the campaign that impressed me most was ‘Choose a Different Ending‘. This was created for the Metropolitan Police (in conjunction with http://www.droptheweapons.org/) by AMV BBDO UK, and was directed by Nottingham-based short film-maker Simon Ellis. The objective was to raise awareness of knife-related crime in London.

The set-up is a series of short interactive YouTube videos where the viewer gets to choose what happens next by clicking on one of the options. So, in the first video, when the protagonist (the film is shot in the first-person) is about to head out with his mates, the first choice, as a hand hovers over a knife rack, is ‘Take the Knife’ or ‘Don’t Take the Knife’. As you choose your options you will very quickly be moved in to situations of varying severity, such as getting arrested for possession, or ending up looking at a life sentence for stabbing someone in the chest.

This is of course unless you reject repeated calls to grab a weapon, in which case you end up at a party dancing with the girl of your dreams. What I noticed is that each time I have gone through the options, this is the last path I took!

Alongside the YouTube channel there was also a TV component with the same different endings.

It was really the user interaction aspect that made this campaign stand out for me, rather than anything based around results. It builds on the well-established Public Service Announcement and brings it in to the modern age using social media in an original fashion.

Regarding results, the YouTube channel has had over 460,000 views which sounds a little underwhelming for something that was clearly designed to be a viral hit and beyond that it is quite hard to get any idea of how the campaign performed against expectations, etc. It would be interesting to find out as this is an excellent idea, executed to perfection and I would like to see this sort of work encouraged in the future.

The 30 Freakiest Ads of 2009

This is a most entertaining end of year list, to be found on the AdFreak blog, The 30 Freakiest ads of 2009.

If telekinetic children, talking pizzas, roller-skating babies, or polar bears falling from the sky is of interest, then this is the right place.

However, there is no way the Apoliva girl is as scary as that ‘scientist’ in the Ashley & Martin ad.

That said, a lot of these are genuinely distressing and focus on the likes of road safety, STDs and mental/ physical abuse. Thought-provoking, extreme, and creatively outstanding.

Seth Godin’s top 10 list of things to do to catch up

I really liked this post on Seth Godin’s blog, Is it too late to catch up?

It appears that it is aimed at companies and decision-makers that have missed the boat in the last few years and overlooked the importance of having a digital presence. Not only that, but also the opportunity to engage, empower and communicate with staff and customers alike and other behaviours that some may take for granted (I mean we all have email addresses, right?).

But points such as setting up a company blog, or using Squidoo to build a company information page, or setting up an online media book group really hit home. I am sure that every organisation out there could benefit from looking at this list and making sure each item can be checked off.

There is nothing hard to implement on this list, and the benefits are clear on many levels, so why does it become so hard to continually observe best practice ?