AniBlurbs (Column)

Anibal's thoughts on Online Marketing Strategy, Service Design, Tech, Innovation, Business and more…

Archive for October, 2011

Brand Utilities: The End of Advertising Magic?

Consider this. By 2010, Best Buy’s Twelpforce had responded to over 29,000 questions and accumulated 26,837 followers on Twitter. But consider this too. It was the largest electronic retailer in the country – it takes a lot of shoppers to generate revenues of $4.4 billion in the month of December 2010. Consider too the sheer breadth of its offering, and that there are 245,267,292 people aged 15 years and over in the United States many of whom will presumably be in the market for some kind of electrical goods. And remember that the service was promoted through TV advertising as well as in-store-messaging. Suddenly it begins to feel as if that utility was actually delivered to and experienced directly by a relatively small population.

So, it is worth considering whether the mere availability of this service worked to elevate the brand’s reputation as being knowledgeable and responsive amongst a much broader population. Even though they never took advantage of this piece of utility. So was Twelpforce really a piece of utility?

One of the most eloquent and thought provoking essays on Advertising, Brand Utilities and Tech hypes I’ve read in quite some time. If like me you’re craving for some food for thought and sharp analysis Re the intersection of / hype surrounding the (much vaunted death) of Advertising and the rise of Brand Utilities, this is it.

Read the whole essay by Martin Weigel (@mweigel) here » The Enduring Power Of Stuff That Isn’t Useful And Why ‘Utility’ Will Not Overthrow Magic.

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Tech-Optimism Debunked by Evgeny Morozov? (VIDEO)

In this excellent, thought-provoking documentary Evgeny Morozov (@EvgenyMorozov, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom) punctures the Utopian idea that Internet is somehow by default and inherently a Freedom- & Democracy Enabler. Mr. Morozov is placed inside a digital Panopticon and reacts to the short video’s and sound bites projected there-on.

The questions Evgeny Morozov poses, his critical stance regarding Tech-Optimism and the issues he rises are very legitimate: Is Social Media really bringing us together? Or is the Filter Bubble merely strengthening our (narrow) visions, thoughts and opinions? Is the internet a free floating island, isolated from politics?

One of his gripes against the Tech-Optimists is that they seem to leave out of their equation any political, cultural and economic aspects needed for / impairing societal change and progress, as if all our problems and challenges are somehow fixed by becoming a cyborg or as if a distant regime can be overthrown by collectively changing the colour of our social media avatar. (His stance is even more interesting if we take into consideration the UK Governments’ plans to censorize twitter and Blackberry Messaging “Pinging” in case of riots or public demonstrations.)

Evgeny’s is a fresh and different philosophy, going straight against the current online, real-time “social” Echo Chamber and one that merits further thought and debate. A (lone?) voice of dissent that needs to be heard.

If you happen to have some spare time I really recommend watching and sharing this documentary – of special note are his takes on Ray Kurzweil (Singularity / Cyber-Optimism), WikiLeaks and Google vs Baidu –
as it will challenge your assumptions about where society and tech(nology) are heading and how they (should or should not) influence one another.

Evgeny Morozov: The End of the Internet-Utopia

This documentary aired last week on Dutch Public Television, for background information please check here »

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