Okay now, this... is the only picture I could take of the Yeti. Okay, I was far away, used my iPhone and so it's far from perfect too, but hopefully our PRO mountain team could get closer and... yes, they filmed it! We are currently editing the film and a thrilling making-of. I will share it with you here as soon as our client approves the edit. Can't wait. In the meantime, you can see all the pictures of our cool -and I mean cold, really- adventure on my Flickr page or in the slideshow here under. For those of you who could think it is a fake, well it's not. I took this picture myself, with an iPhone v1 and just "reframed" it for the blog. Original is here.
If you are following me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I've been sending a series of #yeti hash tags, documenting our latest agency adventure... the Yeti hunt. Antoine Servais (copywriter - @Arkzel) and Cédric Minot (art director - @BillyTheKilt) have created a very nice TVC story for one of our clients. Well, the only challenge being, naturally... to find the Yeti. History or mythology? Well, it's about time to find out. ; )
So TRS, a dynamic Belgian film production company and their talented director Jan Boon (see his work on TRS site) brought us a very challenging way to make this film happen. Go Yeti hunting around Turtagrø mountains, 400km north of Oslo, in Norway.
On the way there, I thought about documenting this quest on Twitter to bring a little "live" dimension to this work adventure. I'll be posting Twitter updates here and Twitpics there. And naturally, we'd love to have your feedback on this...
A well known story under a very 2009 video narrative format. Interesting to see how talent... is blooming everywhere. How the codes of story-telling evolve (not only in film and video). How important it is to consider people and what they have to say. How in 2009 they have the opportunity to say it anyway. How the simplest things can touch. How the most complicated sometimes don't. Honoring Tomas Nilsson who drives a boat like "Danger Diabolik" and Karen Abad who loves Dinosaurs and filmed this little poetic gem with a $120 HD camcorder.
(HT to Jurgen and Antoine for pointing these to my eyes).
Here is a touching talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of "Eat, Pray, Love") on the creative genius and the importance of its perception. Should we see a person as "being" the rare genius or as "having" a genius moment? Well, the answer of this question -if there is one- is worth spending 19 minutes listening to Elisabeth's out-of-the-ordinary story.
So many things take all their meaning from the way we decide to see them. Always great to allow a little short-circuit within our brain synapses every once in a while, and then eventually... re-think the obvious. Or maybe the other way around: the obvious is maybe closer and simpler to understand when "listening to our heart", than it might seem to be when trying to "see it through our brains".
I liked the idea of running fast... in order to catch the genius. Makes me think about Forrest Gump, running faster and smashing the obvious to our eyes: - "I may not be a smart man... but I know what love is".
I remember getting caught by a silly quote while watching what one might see as a silly film as well : "Golden Eye". OK, as a James Bond fan, I don't care about the silliness of the film but rather see it as a fairly good piece of entertainment. This said... in the film there is a sequence where 007 (Pierce Brosnan) is having an argument with Defense Minister Dimitri Mishkin (Tchéky Karyo) while Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova (Izabella Scorupco) is quietly watching them. Suddenly, she interrupts the 2 men and says :
"Stop it! You act like... boys with toys!"
Well, believe me or not, this unexpected allegory made me laugh and these words stayed in my mind ever since. So, simply, true. Sometimes men supposed to be, act, behave as adults show themselves off, like (big) little kids. Their toys? Well, could be anything, from dart guns to real guns, the sky being the limit (Mmmm... can't think of any limit, actually!).
The video illustrated above is a good example of "fun adult play". Naturally, and again, we could be wondering if this is a real story... and if they really did it. Usually, I like things to be quite clear, but this film was surprisingly not pulling the trigger for me. Why? Because it is entertaining, fun to watch and creatively insightful. So whatever, I like it as it is. Even if some questions remain... like who's behind? Vodafone? Blackberry? And of course... the now super great classic: "So what? ...and then what's next?". This last question being exactly where the focus should be in order to make it really "different" or impactful.
"Magic is everywhere, for whoever is open to see it" - unknown.
Every once in a while I like to be short-circuited in my day-to-day life by unexpected and extra-ordinary encounters. Whether re-discovering the simple wonders of nature, exploring new emotional landscapes (like Björk would say) or meeting talented earthlings, I know now how these fresh vibrations are indispensable, as they feed my human soul.
Yesterday a colleague who knows I like weird electronic devices and instruments, sent a little link to my mailbox (thanks Pete!). What I found there was indeed full of wonders. Little Boots is an odd, absolutely lovely Artist with a capital "A". The first video I saw (featured above) immediately punched my curiosity so that I simply couldn't resist checking a few side links out. One other "home recording" particularly touched me.
Although I had already seen demos of the Yamaha Tenori-On, this one added a delicious human vibration touch to the transistors, electronic circuits and flashing leds. Amazing... to be able to both compose a song live on such an instrument and sing -being perfectly in tone- while looking so relaxed at the same time. Fabulous, well to my eyes it is... I noticed that folks at Yamaha are referring to Little Boots on their site with a news story (in other words "text"...) pointing that she was listed on BBC radio one famous "Sound of... 2009". Now, wait a minute... they do point out other artists using the Tenori-On in a very boring (well, at least it is to me) way.
My 2 cents... -and I admit that this thought is probably being quite subjective- I believe that a video like Little Boots' is definitely something Yamaha shouldn't miss. They probably saw it, but I think they should do something about it. It is a LOT more insightful and filled with a LOT (many) more emotions than a corporate "look at this new fantastic instrument" kind of message.
- Particularly beautiful picture uploaded by bealluc -
OMG! It's been such a long time since my last post. This blog feels dusty and I can hear the wind blowing between the posts. Those of you -the most faithful, obviously- who have been reading and following this blog for quite a while know it. It is not the first time. I... I... I am often kidnapped by offline aliens who forbid me to think, read, comment and write content... and even sometimes to tweet! Oh boy what a loop!
OK OK... Here... officially, publicly and again, I do apologize and welcome you back on this platform that I seriously plan to reactivate. Starting: NOW! - Blah... Blah... - [to be continued].
What's the point about writing a blog, reading others, commenting, contributing to social networking? Is there a link between blogging and reality? Or is it just like blowing in the wind of virtual authority, ephemeral popularity? If some of you still have these questions in a corner of their minds, here is a wonder-full (yes, full of wonders!) angle to look at it.
Yesterday, David Armano published a very touching post. He was sharing with the community that he was in contact with a family obviously going through very difficult times. Daniela (pictured above with her family - Brandon, age 6, Daniela, age 9 and little Evelyn age 4) is divorcing her spouse after years of abuse. In recent years her mortgage went unpaid and she's lost her house. As of this moment, Daniela's family is staying at David & his wife Belinda's house and they are
trying to help her find a one bedroom apartment for her family to live
in (read more about the story here).
So, for the very first time since he began blogging David raised a call for help to the community, starting from his readers to... whoever the message can be carried to. I can't help remembering one (now) famous graphic David posted back in 2006, trying to illustrate how valuable content can travel and be carried through the Influence Ripples of social networking. The ripples are indeed there through, within and sometimes way beyond the internet. Some blogger getting more influence every day, some loosing influence... some simply not caring about influence, but still "being there".
Well here is a fact : David, with his simple, genuine, authentic call dropped a tiny little stone in his blog pond. The ripples started to move, but this time something different happened. A wave jumped out of the waters and spread the social networking ocean with a self propelled very positive energy. That energy is the one making things jump from the virtual (ideas) world into reality. And in less time than it takes to realize what's happening, David raised above 10.000 USD for Daniela's family!
Well, what I'm writing here is indeed very personal... but when I see David's thank you video, it touches me. I mean, it really touches me. I think there is something greater in this film than a blogger saying "Hey guys, thanks!". The compression codec of this video is filled with sincere emotions. The common wave length is wrapped around the POSITIVE VALUES embedded into the little stone he dropped on L&E.
Thumbs up David! Thank you for the inspiration you brought to Daniela's family and to us at all at the same time. This gem is what makes me believe that there is a human treasure hidden behind this age of conversation. I trust people will get it... it's probably just a matter of time.
PS : And of course... it's not too late to participate! Just do it! : )
Last month a video posted on YouTube hit the Guitar Hero fan and gaming community. If you're familiar with the video game "Guitar Hero"... this film will appear to be incredibly creative and surprising. The video had over 1.747.000 hits within less than a month. Recently it was unveiled to be a viral video launched by Activision to promote their last version of the game, Guitar Hero Worldtour. So, at the end of the day, the bike hero video was not made by a bunch of talented kids, but developed by independent shop Droga5 (check their client list and work).
And here comes the debate about "authenticity" again. Is it OK to play with your audience and authenticity or is it just not a good idea? After a quick check, it seems that the feedback after the revelation is very much mixed between "fake = lame" and "who cares it's a fake, idea and video are still stunning". I noticed a tendency to get more votes from the "it's OK" side on this specific viral case. As mentioned in interesting AdWeek article "Viral Video Hits Blur the Authenticity Line" it seems that advertisers are clearly exploring the limits of fake vs authenticity.
"To be sure, there continues to be a fine line between fooling with
consumers and simply fooling them. Like much in viral marketing, it
remains unclear how much an advertiser should reveal during
campaigns." - says Brian Morrissey of AdWeek.
"It was awesome only because we thought there were creative kids
doing this in their free time," noted a commenter on game blog
GameCyte. "Now, it's just a good commercial." - [AdWeek article abstract]
I like a related comment found on Twitter and left by Daniel Stein, CEO of EVB in SF the company behind Office Max's "Elf Yourself" :
"I like Droga's Bike Hero. Who cares if it is fake, it is entertaining. New definition of viral video should be 'ads people actually want to see.' "
There is one important thing to consider, though... the kind of product we're talking about and the related target group. OK for a little authenticity play with Guitar Hero Worldtour is one thing. OK for authenticity play with the New York Times, might be another one.
What's your take on this? Is authenticity an absolute must or can marketers sometimes cautiously play with it?
PS : Thanks to Cedric M. for pointing this video to my eyes. Dude... you simply Rock! : )