Archive | November 2012

Brand new ideas…

Just another day where service gets lost in the mix

Part of my ongoing exploration towards crunching down branding concepts and other such things associated with the creative industry…

Personally I always dreamt of creating a comic book about something naturally twisted like zombies or psycho killers etc… Probably a whole lot easier heh. But yep this is probably more appropriate use of my time, let’s see.

I’m putting it out there.. So I’m gonna have to put my head down and arse up and actually do it. A bit pre-emptive i’ll admit, but I’m sure I’ll have many people to thank along the way for sharing their ideas and experiences i.e. the lads and lasses at DM IDHolland… Heck you may even be one of them. So yep, keep’em flowin I tellz ya.

FYI Investors are more than welcome to participate 😉

Keep posted for more yeh.

Cheers enjoy !

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Designed by request

Rick Challenge V2

This was the second alternative to the ‘what can you come up with re Rick Astley (Cry for help) challenge .

Go on, fill in the text bubble, I dare ya.

Designed by request

Cry for Help

An old mate of mine (Evelyn Huang) set me a ‘what can you come up with re Rick Astley (Cry for help) challenge .

Brand developers & marketers in today’s market place

As brand developers & marketers in today’s market place develop new brand identities and nurture old ones, so must they develop creative implementation strategies, getting their message out using innovative methods in which to implement their brand communications across multiple mediums, usually simultaneously to gain maximum results. Some have chosen to go interactive, with great success, companies such as new generation brands like eBay, Amazon and Starbucks have amassed huge global value with little traditional advertising.

What makes the internet unique?
The internet landscape is extremely unique. Its fundamental ability to facilitate multiple methods of delivering rich interactive participation holds much potential for advertisers, marketers and brand implementers.

The Internet has made its impact through implications based on its access to globalization and internationalization, where information may cross beyond borders with greater ease are yet to be fully realized by many individuals and organizations.

Though the online medium is gaining more exposure, there are basic issues that need to be faced in order to tailor for this medium successfully, marketers and brand implementers will need to be acquainted with that while there are differences in complexity in the delivery of product and promotion, there are key fundamentals that should be recognized.

Traditional mediums such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines will always continue to have an impact in the way we communicate. No matter how advanced the methods of execution develop, the same people who access information via the internet will always be the same people who want access to the same basic functionalities older, more traditional mediums deliver, for example education and news.

Another thing to be aware of is while implementing brand integration into various different mediums and using multiple content is seen as an obvious step, and is more frequent, all these mediums still run the risk of over saturation, and in the end, create the same clutter that people were avoiding in the first place, making it ineffective as a marketing tool. Smart companies see that the best strategy today as defining their brand as visually strong, unique in design, and that by delivering incentive for consumers participation, they integrate their messages so closely into entertainment that the two are all but indistinguishable.
Understanding the methods of online success

To achieve great opportunities and results that the internet can offer, organizations need to effectively incorporate various methodologies that will emerge, allowing benefits that many departments within an organization can appreciate as shown below.

Interactivity, the more time spent interacting with your websites, games, blogs… It provides opportunities for brand immersion, loyalty and the likely hood of actually landing a sale.

All interactive programs should go hand in hand with all other advertising and marketing programs leading as alternate destination solution that may provide additional incentives for customers to participate further on an interactive level with your brand.

Customization, allows dynamic change, interaction and full customization as to what may be viewed upon the web site, generally to suit the viewer and their preferences, which then can be used to determine what interests their potential consumers for future campaigns. It allows the site to be a stage to develop mood setting, associated to the brand values and ethos that make it unique, building closer ties to the consumer.

Global access, being able to push towards international exposure, with possible gain in developing global presence allows small businesses to access markets that were once not viable

Time dependence allows viewers to access most features and information on a 24 hour basis, everyday of the week, without having to have a physical presence managing the site.

Interest driven allows users to actively seek out desired information passively rather than being pushed via other media. However effective directing of traffic remains via offline communications, spiral marketing techniques and the likes.

These are just five of the few major key points that are used in order to understand the areas in which to focus developments with regards to the production of a successful online campaign.

Essentially for most businesses to succeed, there is the need to sustain vigilance, to push bravely forward, to re-educate themselves of the opportunities that are abound, to be creative while exposing their brands upon multiple platforms, in which to compete and to promote their brand identities and their values associated today.

 

Posted: Sindo Magazine – March 2011

Advertisers are waking up…

Let’s talk a little about the advertising media industry.

Haven’t they been going through a pretty tough time? Print media is also taking a beating and that’s where they received a lot of their revenue… and TV… seriously who watches TV commercials these days? And then there are people like me who have replaced their TV with fast streaming internet. It won’t be long also till the average Indonesian will soon follow suit where other countries are currently using TiVo to save their TV viewing on hard drive, allowing people to just skip past those nasty tiresome adverts. For those still sticking to the basics, let’s not forget that glorious ground breaking little invention that most TV owners conveniently place within arm’s reach – their ‘emasculating TV hand remote’. That invention itself has liberated us from the mind numbing drudgery of viewing repetitive, in your face, mindless adverts. Granting our thumb power to flick those irritating TV commercials effortlessly away. It could be that that whole TV advertising thing will eventually collapse.

As for adverts on the internet, let’s face it, they are mostly a joke, and I think we know that, when was the last time you actually clicked on a banner advert with any serious intention of A: ‘learning more’… or B: proceeding to purchase something related? I’d be fairly confident in saying ‘not many’. The only time I personally have ever had any real interaction with the common web based banner advert was when I clicked on a sneaky link that automatically generated an advert on my screen, whereby I immediately closed it… and on the occasional accidental click…

True of late, advertisers are becoming more and more creative and offering more attractive incentives for one to ‘click’. They are also becoming more intelligent and sneaky, scanning and analysing your web viewing trends, personalizing adverts towards your interests and whatnot. And then there are instances where some companies are stretching the boundaries of ethics… venturing into the grey zone of what is supposedly acceptable. Let’s take YouTube, Facebook or even Gmail as an example, they scan your emails and messages so they can better direct their ‘legalized’ spam to invade your private business or otherwise zone with ‘related’ advertising materials. It’s certainly a clever and profitable practice for advertisers and the likes… But wasn’t there a time when opening someone’s mail was considered a capital offence, let alone scanning it for content analysis… So why do so many of us, me included continue to use these ‘free’ services. Probably because we A: We never read the small print, we mindlessly click ‘yes…yes…I accept’ and or B: as mentioned beforehand, we instinctively ignore these banner adverts, therefore we don’t bother to complain.

I digress… Advertising people found themselves struggling to work out other areas where they could really dig their fingers in, Advergaming being one of those areas. Initially they tried a variation of naive approaches that didn’t necessarily make a lot of sense at first. One may use McDonald’s as an example, where they went through a stage of plastering their logos in games that didn’t necessarily correspond with McDonald’s existing brand essence – Happy families, full of life, healthy etc i.e.. Their logo could be found stencilled onto bloodied walls found within war torn streets where demonic creatures prowl in search for human meat. Their argument would revolve around the fact that although generally speaking it may not initially be the most appropriate destination point for one to place their brand. From their research however they discovered that for the average gamer that plays such games, displaying such adverts within these virtual worlds not only enhanced the realism of environment, this audience accepted this form of brand placement wholeheartedly. And so it became more of an issue concerning the value derived from lengthy brand exposure upon a hugely populated subculture. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always a suggested practice to just take any advert and inject it into any game and hope for an appropriate or similar response. It may backfire completely.

So then advertisers started to try something a little more different, they began to make games based around products. By simply integrating their brand identity and other varying factors into simple arcade stylized games. These games worked out fine, but they kind of only go so far. Not to mention the fact, different brands were popping up with the same games, with minor graphic element adjustments.

They then started to develop more involved, immersive type games like ‘Farmville’ powered by ‘7 eleven’ and ‘Zinga’, where if you go to Zinga and buy a Slurpy, you will find a special code on the cup which provides you with ‘farm cash’. I think this was just the beginning where advertisers where beginning to realize the concept of virtual economies within these games are indeed powerful. People where starting to say ‘We want to make more virtual money…. We want more ‘World of Warcraft’ gold etc.

Suddenly advertisers are waking up and saying ‘we can give you that, that’s easy, that’s just like a little data thing, we will give you imaginary money, if you pay attention to our products.

To tie it off till next time, the point is, advertisers are starting to wake up to the huge advantages made possible through the clever usage of digital media, especially online Advergaming.  They are finding new ways to develop richer applications that are aimed at advertising, and brand implementation. Through the proper channels they are capable to create close bonds between customers and brands, exponential distribution via game players and their social networks, turning static gaming environments into fully dynamic and immersive realms. … along with providing improved methodologies for their clients’ marketing communication activities for future ventures.

Till next time

 

Posted: In some Indonesian Magazine … Either Kontan or Sindo – 2011

Interactive ?

In a jiffy… what’s it all about ?

In a Terms to describe fields, services and ideas within the advertising / marketing industry seem to come and go, I first learnt about the term “Interactive” during my early years as a budding University student. I was soon to be immersed within the field whilst working in Australia, specializing in developing all forms of rich media applications for varying advertising / marketing purposes. The term ‘Interactive’ seemed appropriate, I found my joy. And thus have continued to create a career from it. I have Macromedia and Adobe to thank and the inspiration derived from my Commodore 64 years.

‘Interactive’ media is everywhere, and frankly I only see it becoming more and more part of our daily lives as the invent of tech advances.

To simplify the term, “interactive” within the advertising arena… be it online or offline, “Interactive” media is a form of presentation or promotion of products, services, and or ideas. It literally is “interactive” because it involves a mutual physical action between the product presenter / promoter and the desired consumer for a number of specified purposes.

From a marketer’s perspective, interactive media is a godsend. Interactive is much more integrated than traditional advertising and provides a more immersed experience for the consumer. It’s the only logical path for any serious agency considering the nature of tech within today’s environment. To describe some of the more obvious advantages resulting from the use of interactive media…

Think brand retention derived from lengthy brand exposure through the use of day to day apps. Creating a product that generates positive feedback and return visitation, referral and buzz via external networks. Monitoring and responding to online chatter related to your brand in real-time. Or the ability to mine data locally or globally from active participants on a mass scale during your advertising campaigns using automated systems.

Some common types of traditional interactive media applications range from things like online banner advertisements, digital games, social media platforms, digital presentations, and can be found on an array of platforms such as phones, hand held devices, interactive televisions, computers…internet, gaming consoles… the list goes on.

The possibilities of how to implement interactive media is limited only by the marketer’s imagination, the developer’s expertise along with the creativity of the designer.

The only real challenge for most agencies is educating potential clientèle and directing them towards more meaningful activities that will benefit their business, brand and services within the contemporary environment of today’s world of advertising, along with expressing the potential rewards associated for all parties involved

 

Posted: Brand Coffee Biweekly Newsletter – dm-idholland – Edition 26

The mechanics of a successful brand director

The basic foundation for any successful brand director is to be able to communicate with all kinds of people within their company: introverts, extroverts, pushovers, greedy, elitists and clientèle…

Like any manager, they should have a reasonably broad understanding of every department without having to be a master in any of them. Micro managing everything leads to heartache. They need to know how to delegate effectively. Obviously it also helps considerably to know about Brand strategy development and the design process, as that knowledge will help them visualize and manage all aspects of production, not to mention providing them the ability to communicate using the correct language when giving feedback to designers and the likes.

It goes without saying, having excellent people skills and a willingness to learn a little bit about everything will go a long way, they also need to have strong fundamental office procedural skills to boot. Knowing how to effectively handle complicated spreadsheets and knowing how to prioritize tasks for other people rather than finding themselves overwhelmed by it or by putting that stress onto other colleagues and or subordinates due to their lack of focus

 

Posted: Brand Coffee Biweekly Newsletter – dm-idholland – Edition 15

Digital Games for the ambitious & far sighted brand owner

Successful brand / Advertising mediums

Interactive media has been out on mass in its varying form for decades, as for online applications specifically, they have been appearing more so in the last five to ten. In that time, we have outgrown and redefined many tenets and will no doubt be challenged to do so in the future. Thanks to Hyper-innovation and technology advances that drive continued adoption, experimentation, and the re-drawing of boundaries, we are redefining what’s possible and creating extraordinary opportunities.

For those who aren’t scraping knuckles and are still living in caves, you’d know that gaming has exploded exponentially, and although what may be considered old school to those skimming on the ripples of past success, for the vigorous brand owner, things are just starting to warm up. Take the last five years as an example, gaming has become mainstream spanning across a much broader demographic than ever previously anticipated (men, woman, young, old and even non gamers have come to respect the addictive nature of such games like PC’s Solitaire… Sound like your 70 year old father ?) Essentially things are looking excellent for that brand owner looking to find a new brand communications stream, and let’s not forget that budding games developer bewildered by the daunting development process… Gone are the days of having to deal with ‘big’-game developers, huge production teams, terrifying deadline pressures, inner politics and yes of course cost. In fact the financial urgings for pursuing the development of say flash games for example can be extraordinarily strong, even in a so called recession due to the relative ease related to production.

The colossal difference today is methodology of construction and the numerous benefits derived from well managed implementation. We can construct bigger, better, prettier, more advanced games that go hand in hand with all your marketing and advertising campaigns in less time than ever before. I’m not necessarily talking about the games people email us or link us in Facebook. Only to grab our attention for approx 30 seconds, although these games hold exceptional value managed properly. I’m talking about games that convey worth on a more complex and sophisticated level, in tune with your business/marketing/brand communication strategies, while capable of creating significant revenue at low cost. And what’s more, it’s accessible. Take the fact that 96% of your online audience will never have to download anything but your game. No ActiveX controls, or use of a Java plugin, it comes with its own player. Your apps can be easily distributable upon multiple platforms. Available for PC, Mac, all web browsers and of course offline. packaged, shipped and ready to play.

Realizing that games are fantastically diverse, immersive and have the potential to act as successful brand / advertising mediums… We believe it’s time that brands better exploit this opportunity. We offer top notch game development expertise and a deep understanding of branding and brand communications. If you are motivated and feel you’re a future-sighted brand owner or agency, we would love to speak with you further. It’s not about the future but the present.

 

Posted: Brand Coffee Biweekly Newsletter – dm-idholland – Edition 6

Delving into the realm of Advergaming

Advergaming ?

The existing global recession has made it a major consideration for brand owners to get the most out of their ever decreasing advertising budgets. One may have questioned at some time, are branded Flash games worth considering as part of your advertising efforts? The simple answer is yes, like anything if managed wisely the benefits are many, more so than your average advertising activity due to the nature of the platform and delivery.

With the growth and familiarity of the internet, advergames have proliferated, often becoming the most visited aspect of brand websites and becoming an integrated part of brand media planning in an increasingly fractured media environment. Branded Flash Games are small, interactive, easy- to-install forms of entertainment that can be placed anywhere on your website, computer or mobile device. Not to mention the attributed additional side benefits related from ease of distribution – promotion by correct placement.. Using social media destinations to urge “word of mouth”, or “viral marketing”, back-end capabilities, marketing,  updatability, user data collection and management, tracking, revenue generation, sponsor placement… The list goes on.

Branded web based Flash games are fun, simply put. They are an ideal method for engaging your audience, and an effective way to advertise your brand, product and or services online. They offer a number of advantages over traditional advertising, at a fraction of the cost. Branded games are a great way to get potential customers onto your website, keep them there far longer than they would usually visit and encourage repeat visits thus providing greater levels of exposure and retention. Your game can directly feature the product or service you are trying to endorse, or simply highlight the main benefits and problems it solves. Using branded Flash games persuades players to interact with your brand in a way that is just not possible through the use of costly traditional, passive advertising.

Your advertising can be immersed within the gaming experience, depending on the environment your audience is less likely to perceive what they are viewing as an advert. Ensuring you don’t overdo the advertising element within the game and integrate appropriate methodologies associated to the genre, you can get your marketing message across to your audience, without creating a negative mind-set associated with some other forms of online advertising. As mentioned above, depending on the game type and incentive, games can be excellent tools that engage your audience on repetitive basis, along with the advantage of providing a longer scenario for immersion than any other advertising method. Minutes, hours rather than seconds.
When effectively distributed, they can offer potential exposure far above and beyond what you could get for a similar spend using traditional methods. It’s not unusual for branded games to gain millions of plays and after the initial production and distribution costs, they can persist working for you over the long term. Unlike traditional advertising, branded Flash games can continue to provide effective brand exposure ‘years’ after initial launch if managed proficiently,

Targeting a particular demographics with a branded Flash game is at times sometimes difficult, so with a little bit of research, you may find that its probably recommended not to keep the game too niche, keeping in mind though the cost effectiveness of flash games allows you to essentially provide a number of options to cater a larger number of genres to appease your varying audiences. The awesomeness of the internet means your game will be available to a worldwide audience of online game players, which covers a broad age range as well as geographical location. If you’re trying to increase awareness of a mass market product the potential exposure is massive and can help launch a product to a new, worldwide audience. Not to mention the new platforms which are emerging, such as mobile based systems can broaden your reach.

Despite all these advantages, it’s extremely important to find the right production team. Just getting your branded game produced and placing it on your website is no guarantee for success. It’s important to integrate the game as part of a multi levelled campaign, having a good understanding of where the most effective social media destinations that would apply to your audience is a given in order to gain best results. Finding a Flash game developer with expertise in both will ensure you get the best possible return on your investment, in these rather tough financial times. Take the leap, do some research, realize the numerous benefits associated, give us a call when your ready.

 

Posted: In some Indonesian Magazine … Either Kontan or Sindo – January 2012

Game Marketeers

After a fairly brisk journey on the web for all things “advergaming / gamification”, as expected I came upon many articles both celebrating it’s worth while others boldly stated Advergames as being a load of garbage. The argument would suggest those of the latter probably don’t fully comprehend the underlying phenomenon revolving around why people actively seek to be part of advergaming experiences in the first place. Nor the applied philosophies related.

Game academics have discerned that video games within modern society are used to modulating distinctive communicative types of messages. The more people play games, the more familiar they become to the principles applied, which in turn allows marketeers to take advantage and broaden the scope with regards to deriving value from such game playing activities. Which explains why gamification has become so effective and extremely valuable for those within the marketeering arenas. A lot of that success comes from the recent phenomenon applied from social media sharing, ranking, rewarding …

Obviously each game may follow different principles and have their own ideal scenarios, “game play methodology and objectives” for both player and marketer in mind.  More likely whatever game one chooses to produce, they should facilitate the underlying similarities that make a successful Advergame and exploit them. Part of the key challenge is to detect those features and to succinctly comprehend means of taking these critical systems onto a larger scale and determining varying strategies that relate to each and every game they wish to create in order to strike a balance between serious objective and play.

TO boil it down, think of games like Call of Duty and Ipods Smurfs… though completely different games, they still hold similarities that tie together, they understand the current dynamics revolved around the need for players to develop online relationships, they also explore opportunities within the social community via online posts, blogs, articles, leader boards and deliver rewards etc..

Why not pass me a line to discuss other successful solutions that have kept advergaming ‘play’ alive.

 

Posted: Brand Coffee Biweekly Newsletter – dm-idholland – Edition 19