Ross Dawson launches Influence Landscape Framework

This week Ross Dawson launched the beta version of his latest thinking for 2009, The Influence Landscape, at a lunch seminar organised by The Insight Exchange. Ross has a summary of the lunch / launch here.

Ross comments that:

We are also preparing our landmark Future of Influence Summit (evolving out of the Future of Media Summit), due 1 September – details very soon!

Gavin Heaton (aka the Servant of Chaos) also has a report on the launch at My Venture Pad.

Viral jacket fake stripped Naked

Well, as they should be, Seven’s Sunrise team seemed annoyed at being duped by Naked and their fake Cinderella jacket girl viral video that they ran as a news story on Monday morning. Sunrise had Tim Burrowes on this morning explaining why it really wasn’t a very smart way to promote a brand. Naked came out defending themselves yesterday against claims their faked video for clothing brand Witchery was deceptive. Adam Ferrier, Naked’s planning partner claimed, “The word deception implies an element of harm. This campaign hasn’t harmed anyone, not even close”.

Well, creating false news that is circulated virally or otherwise,  especially with the intention of having it end up on prime-time media, and then denying  involvement seems like deception to me. It also paints our profession in a bad light.

An interesting discussion took place on Adam Ferrier’s own blog between Ferrier and Stephen Collins of Acidlabs, where Ferrier has tried to justify Naked’s actions. He asks, “Who in social media understands consumer behaviour”, and goes on to say,

“I think people with a history in social media who want careers in marketing and communications should get educated in the broader aspects of human behaviour and marketing. Please. Some of the comments people are making in this space are at best naive.”

Consumer behaviour is not the nub of the issue for most commentators. The discussion has not been about whether people will fall for false information and buy products. The concerns are focused on the falsification of the information in the first place. Is this what Ferrier means when he councils people to get “get educated in the broader aspects of … marketing”. Is he suggesting that as marketers we have become delinquent deceivers, and that people don’t care anymore – that they like it?

Does the marketing machine feel justified pumping out anything to the public under the guise of “tease and reveal communications” as Ferrier called it in B&T, or “light entertainment”, a phrase Warren Brown from BMF used when asked to comment yesterday?  Brown did go on to say that, “if you deliberately deceive the public, it’ll only bite you in the bum“. And there’s the rub, the ROO. Ultimately, Naked feel they will be judged by how many people buy Witchery Man jackets, or say they know about Witchery selling men’s clothes. However, as I said in my last post on this subject, creating a fantasy or fiction that viewers happily buy into is one thing, but misleading them is quite another. The slap-back from any loss of trust is reduced sales and diminished brand value. Check out the mixed (mainly negative) feedback from the market at the end of this news.com.au piece. What’s the multiple on negative/positive comments when evaluating social media campaigns?

The late, great David Ogilvy once said, “The customer is not a moron. She is your wife”. Regardless of who the customer is nowadays, when they watch the news they don’t want to be fooled by a deceptive ad for a jacket.

The jacket team came clean yesterday publishing another YouTube video exposing the truth as news of the fakery quickly broke across the web before they had a chance to continue the series with a rumoured follow-up from the “man in the jacket” himself.

For a more complete run-down of the www’s reaction to the event see mUmBRELLA’s coverage here.

Marshall McLuhan still influences with “The medium is the massage”

On a recent trip to Melbourne I visited the State Library of Victoria to have a look at some of the exhibitions, including one called, Mirror of the World: Books & Ideas. As part of this exhibit they had a display of, what the State Librarian determined to be, 15 Books of Influence’ . Books that have changed the course of history or that have changed the way we see ourselves and our culture. Of course, this is a hugely controversial topic and can be debated for hours (so please send me your comments). For me, the most interesting thing about the exhibit was the book chosen to be displayed on the wall above all the other monumental works, one I have heard of, but never read: The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore (graphical designer). No “Massage” is not a typo, anymore, at least. McLuhan was famous for coining the phrase, “the medium is the message”, however, according to a story told by McLuhan’s son, when it came to publishing the book, the proofs came back with the printing error “massage” on the cover and McLuhan, feeling that this was entirely symbolic of his philosophy that the medium led and drove the message, left the title as it appeared.

The Medium is the Massage - Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore

The Medium is the Massage - Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore

McLuhan popularised other phrases like Global Village and said “If it works, it’s obsolete” – at the speed of current technological development, it seems a modern phrase, although said more than thirty years ago: McLuhan died in 1980. Though published in 1967, the commentary in McLuhan’s book about the role the medium plays in formatting the message is fundamental for all players in the new media landscape.

The complete list of books that have influenced the world is:

1) Astronomia Instaurata (De revolutionibus orbium coelestium) – by Nicolaus Copernicus

2) Traitté de la Peinture – by Leonardo Da Vinci

3) Dialogo … Sopra i Due Massimi Sistemi del Mondo – by Galileo Galilei

4) Der Achte Teil der Bücher des Ehrnwirdigen Herrn D. Martini Lutheri – by Martin Luther

5) Opticks or A treatise of the refractions, inflections, and colours of light – by Sir Isaac Newton (Yes, Opticks not Principia – considered just as, if not more, important as the discoveries of gravity and calculus)

6) New experiments and observations on electricity – by Benjamin Franklin (in display but not on Library website)

7) On the origin of species – by Charles Darwin

8) Traité de Radioactivité – by Marie Curie

9) Das Kapital: Kritik der Politischen Oekonomie – by Karl Marx

10) ‘Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitatstheorie’ in Annalen der Physik, vol. 49 - Albert Einstein

11) Gesammelte Schriften (Collected Writings)– by Sigmund Freud

12) Le Deuxieme Sexe – by Simone de Beauvior (on display when I was there but replaced by Mary Wollstonecraft on the Library website.)

13) Quotations from Chaiman Mao (The Little Red Book)

14) Why We Can’t Wait – by Martin Luther King, Jr

15) I am prepared to die – by Nelson Mandela

16) The female eunuch – by Germaine Greer

17)  The medium is the massage – by Marshall McLuhan (in display but not on Library website)

When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.
—George Orwell


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