Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Advertisement is coming to you this Summer

Japanese toilet paper includes QR codes

Who though you could place advertisement on any printable surface is right. We’ve seen ads on toilet paper, napkins, table cloth, even that dirty bit of fake nylon tissue on your air plane seat is used to communicate the benefits of a travel insurance. But that’s not all. Media agencies, ad agencies, and apparently airlines push the boundaries to sell any surface to the highest bidder. And they recently sold your ticket.

Ryanair is currently experimenting with adding advertisement to your home printed airline ticket. Not a big deal maybe… it’s nothing more than just something like a web banner. A small square next to the barcode BUT there IS actually more to it.

They are not JUST adding advertisement but they’ll add customized advertisement based on your profile. Your travel information will give the airline the power to adjust the advertisement to your ‘needs’ so to say. Whether you are a boy or a girl, whether you fly to London or Oslo, whether you are 18 or 43. This personal data will be shared and sold.

It’s a very smart way of offering your data to the market. “And since you are cheap flying with us, you will be more willing to buy whatever we offer”, Ryanair must have been thinking, selling your info. Shouting BUY ME, VALUE FOR MONEY or NEW AND IMPROVED on the plane ticket will increase any sales … right? Or might it make us more and more blind to any commercial message? Does an overkill on advertisement evoke a blind spot?

Blind spots on Time Square

Unless they are smart … so please mr. ad campaign use that ticket well …

The better creative ads you can find here.

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The End of the Homepage

Will I share your branded content?

Image by budcaddell via Flickr

The first public homepage back in 1992 must have looked a bit like this W3C page. This new way of publishing your message brought us a complete shift in information culture. But will Social Media eventually kill the homepage?

Recently serious publications dare to announce the end of the brand website as we know them. We quote Graham Hodge, branded content director at digital agency LBi:

Within budgetary constraints, marketers should not perceive an ‘either-or’ situation. ‘There is certainly plenty of life in brand websites, especially if you enjoy a transactional relationship with your customers,’ he adds. ‘However, it is naive to invest a lot of money in a destination website and not support it with activity that engages audiences out there, where they spend the bulk of their time online.

Should this be a sign to all developers? If Coca Cola, Nike, Audi are putting less effort in trying to get people to their branded content sites, why make your own little information isles? Are they about to be extinct? Forgotten by the on line consumers and neglected by content developers?

A fact of life is that anybody can only hold up some many websites and information channels. Companies struggle to feed their company website, campaign websites, blog posts, twitter feeds, facebook pages with up-to-date and relevant content. It is no more than logical that the static website will lose. Or do you still see the social media as a hype?

Based on the latest news from Brand Republic.

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Free Value

W139 Art Space Free Entrance
Image by marc0047 via Flickr

Products that are ‘free’ or ‘gratis’ have no value to the consumer. It’s a trial, a one-off that is not interesting, not appealing and too easy to get. Being given or handed out to the consumer makes it even more ludicrous.

Still …

Clients want to give their product away. ‘Free sample’, ‘Free entrance’, ‘Free newspaper’.

I’m the last to fight the fact that free stuff does work in some occasions but please … Continue reading ‘Free Value’

Kiss the principle

Jumping Brain by Emilio Garcia
Image by “lapolab” via Flickr

Every 1 out of 5 clients offer you a brief and end it with the acronym: K.I.S.S.. Likely they add words like result, target, goal. and ROI. “OMG – There we go again, headache!”

Reading K.I.S.S. in the brief used to put me off … “Excuse me! You don’t want my fantastic new and never-seen-before ideas? You don’t want me to be truly creative and rock the consumer’s world?” It feels like the worst repulsive thing to tell a creative director to keep it simple and STUPID. When a brief said explicitly K.I.S.S. I replied: “my ass. “I didn’t want the job. Simply because I didn’t believe K.I.S.S. would lead to better results. I believe in Engagement in Discovery. I want to treat the consumer as smart, able to think, and digest a message.

Maybe it’s age or weariness. Since a year or so I’m following K.I.S.S. as well without rebellion. Two mandatory reasons:

Continue reading ‘Kiss the principle’

Social media cause a fundamental change in Marketing

Yesterday i was in a meeting with representatives of interactive agencies  in The Netherlands. We were discussing the possibility of setting up a taskforce regarding Social Media within the IAB. Part of the discussion was about whether to use the term Social Media or Social Marketing. Some of us argued that it is more important to focus on the radically new way of thinking about marketing communication. Others wanted to talk about the different technologies that enable this paradigm shift.

Then people started to ask what the customers want. Hey, smart move!

Are they ready to embrace the new way of marketing? Engaging customers in a broader sense. Or is that too abstract (especially in the current market conditions). Do they prefer to hear about successful marketing cases with specific social media tools? How to get short term results!

I suppose the industry has to do a bit of both. But even if the industry does nothing, the market will teach the companies a lesson if they don’t innovate in this area of marketing and corporate communication. It’s like a sea where the tide is coming in. Your carefully built castle near the sea will be surrounded and eventually erased as so many sandcastles are at the end of the day. Working with the sea, becoming part of the sea is the only way for survival.

Gert-Jan Scheers

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The Avatar Effect

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Online communication is focused on getting people to click, participate and –in the end– buy our product. With this old school approach we fail to use the knowledge on click behavior. This click behavior makes the online user leaving a digital footprint which is larger than life, countable and reliable. I call it the Avatar Effect.

So what is the Avatar Effect and how can we use it?

To answer the last question first; how can we use it? Officially we can’t but for sure bright people can build in tracking systems, secret click counts, by-passes and hacks to research and use this ending source of information.
I even used it once in a silly little DM mailing to potential clients in the fashion industry. They received a DVD with a promo on how to become a better and stronger brand in 6 essential questions. The last screen was built to send us a hidden message notifying our sales manager that this client was watching the DVD. Only because we were the answer to that last question. Six out of the ten we called  invited Artmiks for a talk.

Continue reading ‘The Avatar Effect’


Hello, Dolly!
Image by Toni Barros via Flickr

Being in a social network is no longer enough: being listed is the new thing.

We came from push content in web 1.0 and power to the user in 2.0. With ‘lists’ we’re kinda going back to the content phase. With the rapid growth of useless information the user is urging to find relative content. Try to find: Dolly (Parton) on Google and you’ll be able to search for years through the 21 million results. Do the same at and you will not only have less results (only 4,000+) you will also be able to downsize those results by sharpening the search by adding tags. Users are getting fed up with search even though they don’t want anything else. As using Semantic Search does make it easier to find better results users are not finding their way to these engines since they require some basic knowledge and –mind you– will power to find what you want.

Continue reading ‘Listed’

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