Monthly Archives: July 2009

Facebook Connect has been around for a while. While some of us are still fooling around trying to find a real way to engage the Facebook audience – who’s definitely becoming tired of the overcrowded application scenary that feeds us with thousand of irrelevant quizes everyday – while other players are doing what seems right, which is using Facebook to communicate user necessities in a basic 2.0 fashion. Orbitz is one of those cases.

Having recently released a Facebook Connect application where users can share their travel plans with their friends. Not only this but it also allows friends to click on the trip in order to book their own travel, be it equal to the one they saw on Facebook. This makes group booking a lot simpler. The clever thing about this is:
1. The way it displays the brand and their product in a Facebook-friendly why. It’s not an invading application that you feel that is just another quiz, it’s actually something real (a trip a friend is making);
2. It generates opinion. Trip reviews – be it opinions on the destination or the Hotel – are the themes most commented on the web and regarded as valued knowledge coming from somebody who’s actually been to these places – it’s the basis of the 2.0.
While Orbitz is not the first vacationing app on Facebook, it definitely uses two important factors – simple and context-friendly. It is a natural fit with Facebook and users do not mix it with second rated applications. In an overcrowded social media scenario, it’s nice to actually see brands tone it down a bit and instead of creating complex in-Facebook mechanics, they just connect it in a natural way.

July 25, 2009
A subjective compilation of what made my week.


District 9
Amazon buy Zappos!
The New Nike plus (Beta)
Heineken: “Mixtapes”
Kevin Kelly: “The next 5,000 days”
NYmoon: “Tweet radio”
Eat local
GM “Re: invention”

Tweet Radio on The New York Moon

A funny thing happened when droves of people started signing up for Twitter: nobody could quite explain why.

Unlike a great number of personal technologies that arise to meet a highly evident need, the appeal of Twitter was always a bit nebulous. What’s the use of jotting down 140-character fragments of your life into a machine all day?

To the uninitiated (I was, until relatively recently) the compulsion was often described in vague terms along the lines of “you won’t get it until you try it.”

Fair enough, but shouldn’t we be searching for a more concrete explanations to what has become a surprisingly profound social phenomenon?

I believe that Matt Hackett’s project “Tweet Radio” in the latest edition of The New York Moon — an online journal to which I contribute design work — provides one answer.

At its most basic, Tweet Radio siphons off Tweets from the massive, perpetual stream, and converts their text into a “spoken” MP3 using a text-to-speech synthesizer. These files are then played in sequence on an audio player on the Moon.

The result is a hypnotic sound collage, juxtaposing the surprisingly personal with the political, and the political with the banal. All of it, of course, flows in nearly real-time, in doses that are small enough to be digested in sequence.

In a sense, these elements put together — breadth, randomness, timeliness and size — produce what we could begin to consider an ongoing peek into the combined consciousness of humanity. Obviously that’s extreme hyperbole. Only around 6 million of the 6.7 billion people on Earth use Twitter. But it’s possibly the closest we’ve come yet to compiling a total aggregate of thoughts flickering through our consciousness.

Outwardly, Twitter appears narcissistic, offering millions of little channels running in parallel. But I’d suggest that part of the mysterious compulsion to use it comes from the seductiveness of adding one’s own voice to this strange, global stream of consciousness — a consciousness that Tweet Radio elegantly captures.

July 18, 2009
A subjective compilation of what made my week.


The Truth
Burger King
MTV / Cold War Kids
Hulu / Saturday Night Live
Self Control Freak
Tracy Chapman
Green Eyed World / PhillyD & Katie Vogel
We Choose The Moon
Axion / The Banner Concert

Now that the dust has settled, the TrendWatch team is reviewing the awarded entries at Cannes Lions 2009 Advertising Festival. We’ll be focusing mostly on digital work, but that doesn’t mean it’s only about Cyber, as this year as proved that the digital divide is blurring even further, with agencies delivering integrated campaigns where interactive takes a active role.

Let’s start with the Young Creatives competition, were my 2 friends (and former colleagues) won the Press category. Great work Clara and Nuno!


It was a risky approach but in the end, the jury recognized the value of the creative concept. A lesson for young creatives: Playing safe only brings you ordinary results. Be bold.

As for Cyber, Antonio di Battista and Massimiliano Bibbo from Italy took Gold, with a play on the omnipresent search box, placed inside a leaderboard.

Direct had as Grand Prix one of the most effective campaigns last year: Best Job In The World. Created by CumminsNitro for Tourism Queensland, it managed to draw worlwide attention, when it initially was expecting only 1000 signups.

With a small team and the initial budget of 1.7 million AUD$, it proved quite effective with over $80 millions dolars worth of spontaneous advertising, from blog posts to user generated content and a massive spread on social web services like Twitter and Facebook, with contestants promoting their applications with the help of friends.

Not that the award matters to Ben Southall, the lucky guy who is now blogging and having a really hard work scuba-diving in the coral reefs.

It’s about a great idea, but it’s mostly about consumer behavior (and not technologies). With people insecure due to the financial crisis, offering the chance of a dream job was the right answer.

Winning lots of Lions, were also the Banner Concerts for Axion, created by Boondoggle, Belgium. The rich media formats were welcomed on a gloomy year regarding the efectiveness of display advertising, with the winning entries pointing the way how to engage users on a personal level.

Several bands playing concerts on a 300×250 or 728×90 scale really gets one’s attention. If you’re interested on how the agency did it, check the making-of blog.

Other worthy mention to the viral success of T-Mobile’s Life’s For Sharing, a branded flashmob.

Having been a part of some ImprovEverywhere‘s missions, let me tell you: people love to be surprised. And, imagine that, they love to share it.


Last words to the case above, a Bronze winner for Volkswagen’s NavigationLetter, a perfect example how award categories are blurring.