Category Archives: design

Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief – Advertising’s Next Generation

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I have contributed a chapter to the upcoming Creative Social book “Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief – Advertising’s Next Generation“. My chapter is called ‘Proving MC Hammer Wrong” and deals with how much we love to touch: our fellow human beings, well designed objects and naturally all those shiny new screens and interfaces. The whole book will soon be available on Lulu and I’ll be sharing news on the launch, chapters and the other contributors here soon. Suffice to say, the book’s authors include some big hitters from the best digital companies, startups and creative agencies around the globe. If you happen to be in London on Tuesday, September 2, do make sure to get to the launch event at Digitas LBI. You can get the last few tickets here on Eventbrite.

Questions addressed in the book are for example: 

  • What does the industry need to do today (not tomorrow) to stay valuable and relevant?
  • What the f**k do clients know about great advertising?
  • How can copying make you more original?
  • How do we ‘do’ innovation?
  • Should we make things people want rather than make people want things?
  • How do you find emotional resonance in real time marketing?
  • What’s the best way to punch procrastination in the face?
  • And why are we so excited by the next generation of advertising?

Here are some rave reviews:

“A punchy, provocative and perceptive trip through some of the bigger debates of the moment, from a gang of the most pioneering creative minds in and around the industry. As a collection, it’s like an idea grenade. It should be required reading for agency CEOs and leadership teams.”
Ben Malbon, Marketing Director, Creative Partnerships, Google

“Forget the past, the future is where it’s at – and this is your guide book.”
Rosie Arnold, Deputy Executive Creative Director, BBH London

“Less of a book and more of a lively debate. So rather than read it, ‘listen to it’ and get stuck in. It’ll make you want to ask questions, nod vigorously and heckle from the back.”
Graham Fink, CCO, Ogilvy China

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Mobile Masterclass at the Apple Store Sydney

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Two of my creative colleagues are holding a Mobile Masterclass at the Apple Store Sydney (CBD). Called ‘Designing for the Mobile World’ it will give you designers and developers some must-have knowledge. Do you want to be able to deliver mobile-centric experiences in a physical environments? Then join David Brown and Gabriel Tamborini from Reactive Sydney on March 12 as they discuss the current state of the mobile space, and how to deliver an inspiring and delightful mobile user experience. During this session, you’ll break out into groups and develop a digital experience that could be delivered on a mobile platform.

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Wednesday, 12 March at 6:00 pm
Apple Store Sydney CBD
367 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 8083 9400

Cannes Young Lions 2014

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The Cannes Young Lions 2014 competition for creative teams under 28 has just opened (deadline is April 4). In past years, digital entry levels have unfortunately never  reflected the size of our industry or the depth of talent within it. I have been Chairman as well as juror of this competition and have seen and written about how teams have struggled to enter top quality work. The entry levels reached only 25% of the Print entries which in light of where the work is going, didn’t make any sense.

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Reasons for it were twofold in my opinion. Firstly, it was (and still is) challenging to succinctly explain a digital campaign. Keeping the core idea separate from the complexity of execution is a skill that not every junior team has mastered yet. Secondly, the competition had until now required the teams to actually build their concepts. Which had to be in the format of display banners. This “smallest common denominator” approach led to a watering down of concepts. Teams entered what, according to their technical skill level, they thought they could actually build in Flash and HTML.

In 2014 it it is now no longer required to build the concept a.k.a. a display banner. This is going to broaden the scope of the ideas significantly, for both the local competition and the international version in Cannes, France. Reactive’s young ones in Melbourne and Sydney will challenge themselves to be among the best young digital creative teams in Australia. And I am looking forward to their results.

If you feel like you got what it takes, stop lurking behind your more senior colleagues. Enter, win, make your way to Cannes and take out the prize for best digital creative team in the world. But before you practice your acceptance speech, you should probably start by entering the first round before April 4:
http://www.newscorpaustralia.com/young-lions-digital-competition

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Tractor Design School

If you lead an agency or marketing department, you know what the bane of our industry is: it is starved of really good digital talent. Talent that can fuse genuine, explosive creativity with systemic thinking. The ‘systemic’ part means that these people know a lot about and can use existing digital formats, e.g. media, video or social content. And then combine these two realms to create new, innovative solutions.

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One of our new recruits at Reactive actually took a course in Digital Design at Tractor last year, a school established to address this lack of creative, digitally-savvy newcomers. And this year, with help from us and some other industry heavyweights from places like DT, R/GA and MentallyFriendly, Tractor is growing up to become an accredited school. Some of the sessions will again be led by one heck of an inspirational teacher-posse, in the shape of my colleagues Gabriel, David and myself.

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Additionally raising Reactive’s profile as a place of excellence for digital creativity is my mate Tim Kotsiakos, ECD of Reactive in Melbourne, on the advisory board.

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If you want to invest into your own career, sign up. Courses start March 3. If you already know a lot, why don’t you give back and offer your help in the shape of talks, playing host or other course support? Those digital superstars of tomorrow won’t grow on trees you know.

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Experience the Experience! How we digital agencies explain what we do.

So are you ready to ‘experience the experience’? Because you will quite often hear it from us digital agencies: We have to get the brand-, product- and service-experience right. The ‘customer experience’ and its special subset, the ‘digital customer experience’. Plus the one you might be more familiar with, the ‘user experience’. These three ‘experiences’ have spawned popular new job titles. They are combinations of ‘user interface’ (UI), ‘user experience’ (UX) or ‘customer experience (CX) with an appendix of -designer, -architect, -strategist or -developer. Apart from job titles, this experience work is also producing new deliverables like ‘experience maps’. Below you see a simplified example we created, describing the sometimes emotional roller coaster customers go through when buying into a brand and product.

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or AustralianOpen’s Social Shack.

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It’s interesting to look at how agencies and digital product companies describe this ‘experience’ offering in their own marketing. Our own Reactive site throws back no less than 548 search results when you look for ‘experience’. Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 6.30.00 PM Have a read of what other firms use to describe very similar things:

  • DT Digital – “We create Customer Experiences that connect brands with people.”
  • Razorfish AU – “The Digital Experience Marketing Agency” with their international unit of “Emerging Experiences
  • Nurun – “We apply human-centered design to help businesses thrive in a connected world”
  • Huge – “We create experiences that transform brands, grow businesses and make people’s lives better”
  • Grow – “Grow is a digital agency with a passion for big ideas, little details, and a better approach to creating world-class interactive experiences”
  • Method – “We design integrated brand, product and service experiences”
  • MercerBell – “We’re a Customer Experience Agency”
  • eConsultancy- “Customer experience is the single most exciting opportunity for 2014″
  • Adobe – “Measure and optimize digital experiences to accelerate marketing  performance”
  • Sitecore – “Sitecore is a platform for driving one-on-one engagement at every touchpoint. Know every customer. Own every experience.”

But don’t forget to get in touch with us at Reactive first, after all,  548 ‘Experience’ search results don’t lie.