Jul. 02, 2012 | by marc.belle Formula 1: Race Result — Valencia / Europe

After a captivating race and battle to the first half of the season, the spell has been broken. Coming from 11th on the grid Alonso came through to take the win. His second of the season. Interestingly and adding to the drama of the race, out of the top 5 on the starting line up only 1 made it into the top 10 with 3 DNFs.

Jun. 25, 2012 | by Danny Chadburn Not your average infographic

With infographics besieging the web like wave after wave of Italian attacks bearing down on Joe Hart’s goal, creating one that gets attention is becoming increasingly difficult.

Going beyond the flat image format, our content and design team produced an interactive animation that encapsulates the European Championships since 1996. We worked with John Lewis to turn their juicy TV sales data into something spectacular, dropping in various other cultural references to give a flavour of the various tournaments and the host countries.

See it in all its glory on the John Lewis website.


Euro 2012 - the tournament to watch

Euro 2012 - the tournament to watch

Jun. 19, 2012 | by marc.belle Formula 1: Race Result — Montreal / Canada

What an enthralling race. 7 races. 7 winners. 7 secs covering the top 4!

1-stop or gamble on 2? Turns out it depends on how much you take out of your tyres at the start, otherwise get it wrong you’ll find yourself like a sitting duck and those behind you tasting the champagne. Another amazing race to an already captivating season.

Jun. 14, 2012 | by Sam Fenton-Elstone The walls are beginning to crumble…

At last Facebook has begun to allow its vast amount of inventory to integrate with the wider world of online display. The move to launch Facebook Exchange allows a select group of Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) - TellApart, Turn, Triggit, DataXu, MediaMath, AppNexus & The Trade Desk – to access Facebook inventory and advertisers to purchase ad space at the impression level, in real-time.

This is the first time audiences built up through a combination of 1st and 3rd party data sources can be accessed when browsing Facebook.  This is an exciting move. Facebook is a site that grabs a huge amount of our attention. ComScore suggests users spend just under 11 minutes every time they visit the site and tend to visit it daily. This extended reach, will give brand’s greater opportunities to engage with their audience.

However the inventory available will not conform to the standard IAB formats found on most exchanges. Advertisers will still need to use the Facebook specific Ad formats and will not be able to take advantage of profile based targeting as you can within the current “walled garden”. This is significant, as although the move allows for 3rd party data to be used to inform Facebook Ad buys, they have not allowed their data to inform media buying outside of Facebook. The information Facebook holds about its users is extremely valuable and could be used with great effect in Ad campaigns beyond Facebook, but it seems Facebook are comfortable monetising this and allowing advertisers to buy media elsewhere with this information. They are a source of inventory, rather than data (for now…)

One, final point of interest is the omission of Google’s Invite Media (soon to be rebranded DoubleClick Bid Manager) from the approved DSP list. This is surely a blow to Google  and although it is unclear whether this will change in the future it could certainly prove to be a point of weakness if the integration isn’t incorporated at a later date.

Jun. 12, 2012 | by jelly Greenpeace create spoof campaign in effort to highlight global warming issues

At first glance, it appears Shell has committed a social media faux-pas: inviting the public to submit captions on their so-called Let’s Go! Arctic Ad Campaign, which has been ‘hijacked’ with anti-climate change user-generated slogans.

However, what seems to be a social media disaster, actually appears to be a very clever campaign – but not to Shell’s benefit. The site is clearly a spoof, run by climate change activists and designed to trick people into thinking that Shell is behind the apparently back-firing campaign.

Most of the other pages on the site are down for maintenance, and there is some strange copy on some of the other pages: “No one has yet fully determined how to clean up an oil spill in pack ice or broken ice—but that too is exactly the sort of challenge we love.”

Greenpeace have already claimed responsibility for the campaign, but it’s still live on the web and continuing bad PR for Shell. It will be interesting to see how Shell react – as this picks up interest across the web, everyone is looking to them for a response.

Shell spoof

Jun. 08, 2012 | by marc.belle The Era of Design

Over the weekend, as always, I checked my mail and skimmed through a few newsletters before being drawn into one article written by Adam Swann, Head of Strategy at gyro in New York.

More than being an interesting article it actually echoed a lot of feelings I personally share and have over my career tried to, sometimes effortlessly sometimes feeling like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall, share with clients and colleagues – that design is more than ‘making it look pretty’. It forms part of a whole strategic outlook on how a brand, object, piece of communication, room, or whatever it is that is to be put in front of someone else, is perceived and emotionally connects with that viewer. In fact I’d go so far as to say, there really shouldn’t be any excuse for ‘bad’ design unless the intention is to make it ‘look bad’ (amateur is probably a better description), but then if that’s the intention it’s not really ‘bad’ is it.

Too often design, in the past, has been an after thought rather than at the heart of the strategy, but now with many brands, such as Apple and First Direct, people are beginning to realise that there isn’t a place for the bolted-on afterthought and design holds a:

“genuine source of competitive advantage, customer and employee satisfaction and a route to higher profits.”

Design encompasses not simply making something look great, but ultimately how to engage a viewer before they have even been engaged. How the viewer interacts with that thing, how they feel about it and whether or not they want to do something about it. Design isn’t just about selecting a few colours or a nice font, slapping a logo on the front and being able to say ‘there you go’.

“It deals with the spectator and because it is the goal of the designer to be persuasive or at least informative, it follows that the designer’s problems are twofold; to anticipate the spectator’s reactions and to meet his (the designer’s for the project) own aesthetic needs.”
- Paul Rand

You can read the article by Adam Swann here. Welcome to the Era of Design.

Jun. 07, 2012 | by marc.belle Formula 1: Race Result — Monte Carlo / Monaco

What a race! Will it rain? Will it stay dry? 6 races – 6 different winners! And this time I was lucky enough to watch it from the McLaren Technology Centre where we were treated to lunch and a tour around the facility including the labs, wind tunnel and control centre, before sitting to watch the race on the big screen. An amazing race and day to boot! – Thanks Amz!

May. 30, 2012 | by Gipi.Gopinath Yahoo Releases a ‘Search Browser’

Joining the browser battle, Yahoo has unveiled a new search tool called Axis that will offer users an improved way of searching the web on a desktop browser, smart phone or tablet.

Search Browser Axis

Yahoo Axis alters the browser to display search results in a more visual format without the user having to leave the current page.

Any device that is running Axis can display search results as thumbnail images that can be scrolled above a website. Users can also link devices so if they started a search on their iPhone they can pick up where they left off on their iPad or PC. There is also an option to have a personalised home screen with quick image links to your favourite websites.

“By supercharging the browser with a visually rich search experience and seamlessly connecting that experience across all of your devices, we are delivering an experience that will change the game,” wrote Ethan Batraski, a Director of product management at Yahoo.
Continue reading…

May. 24, 2012 | by Sam Vining ICO backs down on ‘cookie law’ as deadline looms

Tomorrow the year-long moratorium on compliance will end and the EU ‘cookie law’ (or e-Privacy directive) will come into effect. But don’t worry: it’s now becoming clear that the ICO will not be handing down fines for the non-compliant.

Among other measures, the legislation calls for a user to be given ‘clear and comprehensive information’ and have ‘given his or her consent’ before a site places or uses cookies on a user’s machine. However, confusion from site owners and marketers on topics like the meaning of ‘consent’, how this should be collected, and which forms of cookie are apparently exempt from these rules, have persisted for the last 12 months, due in the most part to a frustrating lack of clear advice and examples.

In recent weeks, the ICO have taken measures to reassure site-owners via a series of press conferences and interviews (more on this in a moment): it has been revealed that financial penalties for compliance failures are extremely unlikely, and will only be meted out in the most extreme cases. Similarly, the ICO have been warning not to expect a ‘torrent of enforcement action’ – investigations will follow only after a user-submitted complaint.

At a time when you’d expect the ICO to be urging site-owners to take steps to comply now, or risk sanctions from next week, they are in fact doing the opposite. So, why the apparent climb-down?

Continue reading…

May. 21, 2012 | by marc.belle Formula 1: Race Result — Barcelona / Spain

It’s been an amazing start to the season so far! 5 races – 5 different winners. This one probably a little more special as not only was it the first win for Venezuelan driver Maldonado, it was the first race win since Brazil 2004 for Williams ‘a superb present for Sir Frank Williams only days after his 70th birthday’.