Tag Archives: holler sydney

Advertising agencies on Facebook: do you practice what you preach?

At Holler we started redirecting all visitors of our company website to our Facebook page. While you can still access our “regular” site (moved to an “On Holiday” address), most visitors stay on the facebook version. Even people without a facebook account (a.k.a. 0.23% of Australia) can see the customised tab we built in FBML. I was recently interviewed by the editors of SHIFT! in Japan on this topic and thought it might be interesting to hear other people’s experience and opinions. Here are a (very few) places and activities I stumbled upon:

International

  • AKQA and Big Spaceship are very popular (in number of fans) and spread lots of case studies, job news, awards and thoughts this way
  • Razorfish/NeueDigitale in Germany (one of my former work places) is very chatty and shares 3rd party links
  • R/GA use it a lot for recruitment and conference & media appearances
  • SapientNitro post work and industry news from any of their many offices

AU / NZ

  • Resn distributes their many award and job news
  • Digital Eskimo and Visual Jazz mostly draw their blog feeds into their  (non vanity URL) pages
  • Bullseye are either heavy on the BBQ or Blackmore’s news
  • Circul8 also redirect their URL and run a similar gamut of posts to Holle
  • Pusher run (against FB guidelines) as a person rather than a page
  • RMG Connect had integrated Facebook Connect on their playful “regular” site (unfortunately now dissolved into the video-laden JWT site)

Surprising is that many international networks don’t seem to do anything on FB or when they do have a page take it to any interesting level. I would like to do a quick survey of AU/NZ agencies on Facebook. Which ones do you value and became a fan of? What are success criteria, do you think you would “buy” fans through FB-ads and promotions? What is the best tonality for clients, talents, employees alike?

Here is my bit about “Holler’s what and why on Facebook”

Holler on FB

Holler on FB

Background:
In my experience agency websites are a one-time affair for users. Even your own clients never return to check up on your latest and greatest work. This leads most agencies to start putting out a newsletter, and it is uncanny how soon those slow down to a trickle and get abandoned. At Razorfish/NeueDigitale I started a podcast which died an unceremonious death after one episode (doesn’t really qualify as a podcast really). The NetX newsletter was dumped after three issues. A newsletter suggests that all content has to be fairly significant and important to the business of the reader. Internal culture and social news hardly feel appropriate – which is strange because creative agencies’ reputation thrives on how much extra-curricular and non-commercial things go on. And it is an important decision factor for talent as well as clients.
Facebook on the other hand is a place where the private and public sphere mix harmoniously, where social and commercial infos can blend in one stream. Holler has been servicing different brands in Facebook for 2 years now and 2 of our staff are full-time content and community managers.

Strategy:
Since we can communicate more often about all aspects of agency life in Facebook and because we know how to move in this space, we decided to redirect hollersydney.com.au to our Facebook page. Any visitor is welcome to still check our “regular” site onholiday.hollersydney.com.au

Execution:
We built a customised tab in FBML displaying a little time-lapse film of our studio, 4 pieces of work and a bit of the usual “This is us” copy with a hint at getting in touch or (dare we say it?) “become a fan“. (Note to self, the line”click that Fan button” should say “LIKE” by now).
This is the page that every new (non-fan) visitor of Holler would land on. Updates happen naturally on the Wall, if a post needs more links, space and integrated media we use our customized Tumblr blog.

Results:
Since we switched to a Facebook page the amount of fans and job applications from talent have steadily increased. We can stay in touch with this growing audience on an ad-hoc basis, in a casual tone and without worrying if messages fit a certain category. It is hardly an accurate measurement but we believe that our rating of second hottest digital agency in the region is also a result of more people staying in touch with our work as well as culture.

Addition (29/07/2010):
Geekvertising collated a list of the likes/fans of UK and US agencies split by networks. I reckon it is time to ask the people running these page for a more qualitative analysis, using the amount of interactions per post, photos, intervals of postings and so on. Admittedly, the effects of these pages on the agencies might only be supported by anecdotal evidence (e.g. better qualified applicants).

Holler plays Fluoro Pong at Bondi Sizzle

If you are in Sydney this weekend, don’t miss Bondi’s first Community Festival called Sizzle. Holler’s Kerry Edward designed the blog/site and contributed a series of illustrations to the Garage Art Exhibition. His series is called “Growth” and reflects on his upcoming fatherhood.

Growth by Kerry Edward

Growth by Kerry Edward

My colleague and frequent collaborator Lukasz Karluk has created a funky interactive game called “Fluoro Pong“. Using colour recognition, the game’s virtual paddles are steered by lifting real rectangular prisms in fluoro colours. Additional face recognition maps a still photo of one of the players onto the playing ball.

Holler flyer at Bondi Sizzle

Holler at Bondi Sizzle

So come on down this Sunday and lift a fluoro paddle and a beer with us.

Fluoro Pong playing at Holler

Fluoro Pong playing at Holler

Client’s Facebook fans = Pitch competition

If you want to check who the competition on your next pitch really is, don’t bother trying to coax it out of your client-to-be. Simply “Become a fan” of whatever your client is doing on facebook and voila, there are your usual suspects.

Facebook pitch list

My next Facebook pitch competition

Caveat: This only works if you are “friends” with at least one of the guys from competing agencies or they have diligently joined a network showing their allegiance. OK, and if the brand you are suiting has thousands of fans it might also get a bit tiresome.

WWF Earth Hour iPhone Application: Spin the Dynamo

Now is the time to mention a few incredibly dedicated people who poured their heart and soul into our WWF Earth Hour iPhone application: Mic, Knotty, Alex, Tony, Lukasz and Chris worked long hours to produce an app that is beautifully simple. It carries Apple’s seal of approval by having been a featured app in the iTunes store. And hopefully it does its little part in making political leaders in Copenhagen get serious about global warming.
I can safely say that my part in this project was miniscule. But I did push for making a case study video out of the process and final application. I hope you enjoy this workshoppy kind of look into Holler.
More info at earthhour.org/Tools/Tools.aspx

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Thanks to Raz and Carl who worked with Simon Dikkenberg on creating this video.
Voting for Earth is something to be proud of. Show how you choose Earth over Global Warming and tell the political leaders at the UN conference on climate change. You might even inspire others to do the same.

3 Things I learnt from doing video interviews

It’s been a while but I am still amused and inspired by my meeting with Casey Spooner at Melbourne Festival. During a hectic but very enjoyable “brand immersion day” with Beck’s I was able to meet Casey back stage. The camera work is a bit wobbly and Casey had a funny way of rambling and theorizing. Still, I was lucky to get a lot of shots during their performance without getting pulled by the bouncers. Practically half the audience was recording with mobile phones and cameras at any given point (makes clapping your hands after a song difficult).

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This interview was the first for Beck’s Uberselektor with Alex Barck from my (student day) heroes Jazzanova. Alex and his crew have sonified many of my Thursday nights at the WMF in Berlin. It was clerarly a rubbish idea to only bring the camera and no separate microphone (I think we didn’t even have one at the time).

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Roland Appel is from equally good pedigree in terms of electronic music, creating some memorable tracks under the names of Truby Trio and Fauna Flash. He is easily as friendly, approachable and professional as Alexander and a pleasure to interview. Both interviews were done at Future Classic’s studio/office space in Redfern.

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Top things I learnt doing these interviews:

People like to ramble.
The more to the point your question, the better they get in coming to the point. Although, Germans love to over-explain and analyse. The more energy you put into your questions and into the exchange, the more energy you will get out of your interviewees. Use open questions like “Take me through this experience”. Don’t hesitate to redo a question if the people lost their train of thought – the second time they will feel more comfortable with the topic and have a more polished version.

You cannot ignore bad sound
Unless you go beserk with the camera people will tolerate a bad zoom or pan in an online video. Bad sound cannot be ignored, especially on the computer where the output device is weak in the first place and mostly played in a noisy environment. Headphones and earplugs might help but you cannot bank on people having them ready or care enough to plug them in. Watch out for background sounds that interfere with the voices.

Edit your own shit
Unless you start editing you never fully understand what you have missed filming and what you can do better next time. Shoot the extra scene of your interviewee getting ready, heading out or something else that can serve as a “cut away” scene. Nobody enjoys a talking head for more than 20 seconds online. Underscore visually what the people are talking about.