Thursday, May 29, 2008

spot the bull

Poke has just launched its new and improved Spot the Bull project for Orange. If you're into watching bulls in fields, winning Glastonbury tickets, or smart, fun interactive stuff then check it out.

Here's how it works:

New additions to the redesigned site are:

- team play (win up to 8 tickets per group)
- live multi-cam video
- real time stats and bull-tracking

Although I work at Poke, I had nothing to do with this project. However, I'm off to post-rationalise some effect I may have had on it so I can tell my mum. Nice.

android compass

(Had the wrong video embedded before - all sorted now)

F**k me. I need one of these. I can get lost on the way to the toilet. I'm tired of pissing in stationary cupboards. bring it on

Cheers Nathan


Very interesting. Squarespace could be the answer to my problems.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

george of the jargon

Fantastic verbal onslaught by George Carlin:

Found at Nick's blog, but don't tell his mum

got rhythm?

I was thinking the other day about inter-agency and client-agency relations. Specifically, the stark difference between creative synergy and friction. One of the biggest potential issues in both cases - IMHO - is when the lead thought/idea is too specific and therefore guarded.

I've always been against the idea of a message being the lead thought. A message is a distilled expression of a much bigger idea -- always. The same applies to a property which serves to express the thought and act as visual glue for the campaign components. You know all this.

For me, the smartest way to (A) get creative agencies working well together, (B) involve the client creatively in a way that aids and doesn't obstruct and (C) create excellent, fluid communications that people will resonate with people is to create a mutable platform. A platform that is held together with a sound belief but that can flex and change, alter its form and its language. In fact. Enough words. This explains it better than I could:


Sunday, May 25, 2008

calling brooklyn - telectroscope visitors

This is a long shot.
I'll be at the London end of the telectroscope at 4pm today.

Brooklynites, that's 11am for you. So put down your mimosa and get down there. I'll have a sign that reads "Hey Brooklyn" - bring a sign that identifies you. "Loud and clear, Blighty" should do it.

If you know someone in NYC or Brooklyn, please forward this on.

If this fails, which I'm sure it will, drop me a line to arrange a meeting another day. Maybe we can play chirades...


there's no i in meme

Weezer some help in the form of internet meme 'stars' for their latest video. 2 million views and counting.

Still prefer this:

Spotted over at Rubbishcorp


Seeing as we might be doing some activity connected to Euro 2008, I thought I'd get some inspiration and give myself an excuse to get more familiar with the players from each market:

Get in.
I haven't had a sticker album since I was about ten years old. Yet my fingers still remembered the pressure needed to peel away the corners and I was equally excited when I saw one of those special silver ones. Well, almost.

If anyone else wants to play we can do swapsies through our blogs. It'll go something like this...


Advise on using the macro setting on my camera:

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Friday, May 23, 2008



eye spam

The first time I realised how much digital tools could influence my behaviour in the real world was at college. I was drawing in a sketchpad and upon making an unsatisfactory mark, I reached for the 'undo' button. Very abstract thing to do, that. I'm sure many of us have done it.

Just now I was in a coffee shop and as I waited for my cappuccino I glanced across a rack of flyers. Whereas I would normally pick up a few; read a few lines etc before deciding if I was interested or not, I found myself being incredibly dismissive. If the name, colour or opening two words didn't get my attention I ignored it. I managed to dismiss about forty flyers in around six or seven seconds.

I could actually feel the difference from just a few months ago. I was semi-conscious that my brain was already full of stuff and that I didn't want more going in unless it was worth it. It was Google Reader, only with a backdrop of unusual lamps and furniture.

It's not just the parallel I want to bring up, but Google Reader's unquestionable influence on my behaviour. Since I started using GR I have become painfully aware of my brain's tiny capacity in comparison to all the information out there. It seems I've now started editing what I consume visually even in coffee shops. What next?


I used to do a lot of work on Nike and I'm sure this is new. When you visited a year or so ago, I'm sure it went straight to "soccer". And good job, too! Not any more.

Interestingly, for a brand that excels at projecting strong, singular images and ideas, this option screen came across to me (however irrationally) as a bit uncertain of itself. A John Terry of option screens, if you will. Ouch. Sorry - chin up skipper, you've got until 2010 to get your self-belief back.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

amy walker


Someone should invent a thingy that tells you how cool, or not, you are based on how many people have viewed YouTube videos before you. Half a million people saw this before me. But I was out getting coffee, so, you know. And anyway I saw an argument with a traffic warden. I'm pretty sure only about seven people saw that first. It was wild.

Nicked from Angus

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

egg cog

I'm tempted to bash this just for being yet another Cog. But it is really well done. Amazingly intricate at the end. Quite compelling to watch.

Sod it. I'm going to bash it anyway. Jesus! Will everyone STOP doing Cog movies. I think we should make an elaborate contraption that sends them all into a big firey pit where we don't have to look at them any more.

the telectroscope

A tunnel between London and New York.
A telescope to see each other.
You what?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

let's talk about the weather

I got caught up in a default conversation about the weather earlier. It seems tragic how often that happens. Got me thinking, if we all had a repository of stimulating weather-related stuff to talk about then it wouldn't matter so much.

So here goes:

A Flickr "Holding the Sun" meme:

Pictures of bizarre weather phenomenons:

Incredible rain-induced car accident:

And David Lynch's weather report:

Got any more? Let's make talking about the weather the most interesting experience possible.

Monday, May 19, 2008

garbage warrior

Michael Reynolds attempts to trash (ahem) architectural no-nos and build sustainable homes from discarded rubbish.

At the ICA from next week.

Similar theme but very different execution to this:

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the economist rap


The Economist's bid to appeal to more youthful readers seems to be paying off after two 17-year-olds created a rap about the business title, while a Facebook fan group created by a teenage schoolgirl has enjoyed a surge in popularity.

The rap, created by US students Ike Edgerton and Chris Misa under the name Psikotic, is a tribute that includes samples of Economist journalists such as Edward Lucas and Anthony Gottlieb from the title's audio podcasts.

can we teach the world to tag?

geeKyoto was on Saturday. I arrived late and left early - so I'm probably not the most qualified commentator - but there was time to be a both inspired (and at times bored) before I left to catch the FA Cup final. I know. Sorry.

The talk I enjoyed the most (and by far) was by Ed Scotcher of Moamba. He told the story of the Fashoda Incident; when the UK and France battled to colonise Africa. Fashoda is a small village that happened to sit in the centre of this competition in 1898:
When one draws a line from Cape Town to Cairo (Rhodes' dream) and another line from Dakar to French Somaliland (now-Djibouti) by the Red Sea in the Horn (the French ambition), these two lines intersect in eastern Sudan near the town of Fashoda (present-day Kodok), explaining its strategic importance.
As all this went on, Ed told us, the people of Fashoda were the last to know about it. Why? Because they didn't have the technology.

The moral of this story was one of communication, information and the role of IT. Ed is working with locals and spreading the word to help connect all parts of Africa, because he believes this kind of information (I.e. your domestic political landscape) is a basic human right.

This is a belief shared by Erik Hersman, the founder of Ushahidi. Ushahidi is "a tool for people who witness acts of violence in Kenya in these post-election times." Anyone can post information about rioting, looting, peace efforts etc for locals to access up to the minute.

Erik explains more below.

Erik Hersman - Ushahidi Interview from Chris Schultz on Vimeo.

"Can we teach the world to tag?" was a question that came out of Ed's mouth as he engaged with audience questions. His plight is to find smart people that can help information-deficient countries and villages to get and share the information they need. If you can help, get in touch with Ed directly.

new coin splendidness

nice. someone just showed me this. The new UK coin designs revealed. Lovely design concept. I just saw the real things in their limited edition frame. Read more here.


flying tennis, anyone?

Paleo Future points to a series of Victorian playing cards that predicted life in 2000. Flying tennis seems like a missed opportunity. Anyone at Red Bull reading this?


now in employment

I'm proud to announce that today I joined Poke full-time. They don't really do job titles, but basically I'm a creative strategist. This means I'm a bit like Iain, only with less hair and a less insightful blog.

Over the past year I've worked in New York and London with eight great agencies, met lots of inspiring people and had plenty of ups and downs. Now it's all come together I can safely say that it definitely is worth sticking with it and waiting for the right place.

Cheers Nathan, for putting in good words. Goodbye regular blogging now I actually have to work for a living.


Friday, May 16, 2008

geek yoto ticket

I'm going to this tomorrow. I've also got a spare ticket. Face value: 20 quid. If anyone wants it drop me an email: andy [at] nowincolour dott com.


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sad trombone


nicked from Nathan

colloquial search

I've been getting quite a lot of people coming to my blog looking for Christiaan Postma’s Clock. I looked into it and saw that if you google "Christiaan Postma’s Clock" my blog is the first result - even before Christiaan's website.

This is interesting. I think.

When we tag or title things we tend to be quite functional, as though we were labelling jars or boxes for moving. I.e. Most people that linked to the clock design tagged it "Christiaan Postma Clock". But when people search, they sometimes use more colloquial language.

I'd be interested to see stats on colloquial vs functional tags and search terms. The language behind SEO implies that functional rules. Is this likely to change as technology becomes more invisible? Or should we include functional and colloquial tags to enhance our chances of being found? God, I'm boring myself. Just a thought...

Plato the planner

It's a thing of mine to try to personify brand behaviour wherever possible. I was thinking about what makes the soul of a brand earlier and just came across Plato's take on the soul; "the essence of a person, being, that which decides how we behave":

  1. the logos (mind, nous, or reason)
  2. the thymos (emotion, or spiritedness)
  3. the eros (appetitive, or desire)
I can imagine Socrates looking at this and saying, "Nice, but can we make the logos bigger?"

Thanks Wikipedia

Thursday, May 15, 2008

hear no evil

I couldn't help but post this lovely quote too - also from the article mentioned in the last post:
The way adults used the word good, it seemed to be synonymous with quiet, so I grew up very suspicious of it.


Excellent article on benevolent business models.
The mere fact that someone needs you makes you want to help them. So if you start the kind of startup where users come back each day, you've basically built yourself a giant tamagotchi.
Via Dino

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I saw this recently, from Paul Isakson. It's good. It probably says the stuff we're all saying a bit better than most of us say it. But that's it. Maybe now someone's articulated it well, we can all stop talking about it and get on with it? Let's make a pact: Let's only talk about the future of marketing from now on if we say something that isn't in this slideshow. Who's with me?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

i'm writing a book

Well, one 275th of a book. But you know.

I'm one of the bloggers writing in "The Age Of Conversation 2 - This time it's heavier". My topic is 'A new brand of creative'. I just finished it. Sort of. "Finished" sounds like an over-promise. I really struggled to say something interesting in 400 words. Instead I opted for some references from people smarter than me, loosely connected with light humour and nice-sounding words.

The book is realeased on August 21st.

My 'chapter' involves this guy, a psychologist-turned-cryptologist and a cold threat.

And these chaps and chapesses are also writing chaters. Any of you struggling with the whole 400 word thing?

Adam Crowe, Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob Carlton, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Bradley Spitzer, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Clay Parker Jones, Chris Brown, Colin McKay, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Cord Silverstein, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Goldstein, Dan Schawbel, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Darryl Patterson, Dave Davison, Dave Origano, David Armano, David Bausola, David Berkowitz, David Brazeal, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Emily Reed, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, G. Kofi Annan, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Graham Hill, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, J.C. Hutchins, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeremy Middleton, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, Joe Talbott, John Herrington, John Jantsch, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Flowers, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kris Hoet, Krishna De, Kristin Gorski, Laura Fitton, Laurence Helene Borei, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Barnes-Johnston, Louise Mangan, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Marcus Brown, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Mark McSpadden, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Hawkins, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Monica Wright, Nathan Gilliatt, Nathan Snell, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul Marobella, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Beeker Northam, Rob Mortimer, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Cribbett, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tiffany Kenyon, Tim Brunelle, Tim Buesing, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Longhurst, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

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where is ronald wayne?

This is what I imagine Ron Wayne to look like. Let go Ron. Let go.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

peep vs ogle

I watched the second episode of the new Peep Show last night. Anyone else a little disappointed in the new series?

I am and I think I realised why.

Peep Show trades on the same currency as The Office and even Fawlty Towers: Highlighting tragic personalities and being excruciating to watch. Both of which are brilliant.

But part of the genius of this approach is making the audience preempt the awful moment the show is building up to. I.e. When Jeremy killed the dog of a girl we had hooked up with in Season 3/4. We knew he had done it and were just waiting - on edge - for the characters in the show to find out.

In the new series, there is no anticipation. All the painful moments just kind of happen.

It's a shame. Part of the joy of good communication and narrative is anticipation. The people that name their show after a form of strip-tease should know that.

brand tags

Noah has just started a really interesting project called Brand Tags. Click the link to see his full description, but basically it creates tag clouds for brands based on what people think of them. I love that it turns a very abstract idea (collective perception) into something very tangible. In retrospect seems obvious, but good ideas always do.

Add your words to Brand Tags.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

the cans festival

Images from The Cans Festival here.

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BA blues

I received a blue BA Executive Club card in the post the other day. Had I never previously owned such a card, this might be a nice thing to receive. Sadly, though, it was to replace my silver card.

I was no longer a 'frequent flyer' in the eyes of BA. Fair enough - I've been grounded in recent months - but still a bit sad. No more fast-tracking, no more comfortable seating and trickling water. No more politeness from cabin crew.

It struck me that it's really quite a delicate thing; telling your customer they're no longer as important to you. Tricky, but a necessary side to any reward scheme. If you offer better service for greater investment, then it fits that the better service can be taken from you if you stop spending.

I wish I had kept the accompanying letter. Or read it. I just felt it would be fairly predictable. But it is an interesting problem. How would you announce this to your customer? Is there any positive way to say:


This is making me laugh uncontrollably. And I'm only half way through.

Boing Boing says:
Max Silvestri of "Gabe and Max" fame has posted a response to the creepy "Man Stuck in An Elevator For 41 Hours" video that's been floating around the youtubes lately. Here it is on, or here it is on YT.

And here it is on Now in Colour, innit:

Friday, May 02, 2008

black-out poems


Again, from Kottke
You know what; you may as well just read his blog. Save yourself the clicking.

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behind the memes

What a brilliant image. I can't even work out if it's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek or not. Tron Guy, relaxing on a bed, plus more over at Wired.


Addict-o-matic is a search engine that, as Mr Godin explains, "gives you a popurls type view of the web for any search term"

Nice. I tested it by inhaling "helium".


how to synch metronomes

Fantastic! With slightly fascist overtones.
If you're a metronome, you go out there and oscillate to your own funk, you hear? You're an individual.

Via Kottke

how much should you care?

It's the dilemma of anyone in marketing or communications. We want to be in the loop. We need to know what's going on; what new technologies there are, how people are using them, what services are popping up that couldn't have existed a few years ago.. and so on.

I've always thoroughly enjoyed that part of my job. New stimulus and ideas everywhere; new perspectives and constant flux. But then something happens: You get older. And when you get older two things change:
1. Your job - no matter how much you love it - starts to become less important than other things (lovers, kids etc)
2. As much as you fight it, you become less tolerable of the things you're not keen on.

And 'umbrella-ing' (told you I was in marketing) those two things is your diminishing free time.

I'm pretty clued in, but my patience to fully indulge in things I'm not attracted to is being tested. Hence the title of my post.
How much should we care? Is it enough to just be aware of something and its impact? It's nice to think that is enough, but often the experience of that thing is more insightful than its anatomy or its presence in conversations.

Quick example: The Hills. I hate it. I hate everything about it. I can't even begin. Now a little part of me wants to open myself up to this kind of shit because my job is often to create populist content and ideas. But it's tough.
Then there's Twitter. I can't bring myself to do it. I find it tragic despite being fascinating. I should be a beta tester for every new Twitter that comes along, but I don't want to clog up my inbox with subscription messages from things I can't remember joining.

I used to be Mr Beta Tester. It wasn't my real name (also that would be amazing); but I'd be there on the front line, trying things out a few years before my friends hear about it. I can feel it happening. I'm fine at the moment - pretty damn savvy, but it's in danger of slipping.

Maybe I should take comfort in my passion for what first drew me to this industry: the creation of original ideas. I don't like holding a mirror up to pop culture, any more than I'm enjoying holding one up to myself.

kevin braddock on life-caching

Kevin and I worked together a few years ago. I hadn't looked at his blog for ages until just now. He's a very interesting chap, frighteningly bright and a brilliant writer. Nice to escape from my own half-formed blathering to appreciate some quality word-smithing.

Here's Kevin on nostalgia and the battle between face-time and facebook.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

same old, the sequel

So, apparently, Cashface "has been done... a lot."

But did they give it a snappy name? I think not. Name's are brilliant. You can use them to make a thing that isn't new, new. For example, this morning I had some Fire Loaf. You may have had toast, but that's old news, dude. Fire Loaf is like toast 2.0 -- right, Neil? ;)

And Cashface is [another unoriginal idea] 2.0.