About the truth – don’t lie

A lot of the issues that brands and brand marketeers are now facing have a kind of déjà vu to them. Why? Because we have seen them before. What are the lines? “Brands should connect”, “brands should be useful and relevant”. Well those are how the original planning groups got started. Yes, technology is allowing users deeper and deeper access to brands, it is removing the ability to intermediate, and that in turn means that your brand actually has to be what it says it is. Is that new? No it’s just become more pressing.

So tell the truth and make that truth compelling.

Nike setting the example yet again

Nike has always been a formidable marketing organisation so it shouldn’t come as a suprise that they continue to lead the way when it comes a richer more three-dimensional branding. Indeed the entire concept of RunLondon or RunNYCity, took them into a space they could easily own and imprinted their values on it. The sight of 10,000 Londoners wearing identical blue Green and Orange tops in Hyde Park a few weeks back couldn’t have left us in any doubt of that.

 Run London 2006 start

Well their latest move makes RunLondon look like nothing. Partnering with Apple of all people, they’ve produced a system that turns any iPod into a complex run monitoring piece of kit (when partnered with certain Nike shoes). As you run, you get audible annoucements telling you how far you’ve got, your average pace etc.

Even better, when you get home you can see exactly how you did mile by mile with a graph (see below, I don’t know how it knew I was wearing a red top).

Nike Plus (Nike + Ipod)

You can then compare your times, track your progress, even compete with others around the world.

 Definitely one to file under “wish I’d thought of that”.

 MINOR UPDATE: I just got back from another cold and wet run. When I finished the ipod+Nike session, I got a voice update from Paula Radcliffe: “hi this is Paula Radcliffe, you’ve just completed your personal best mile” (although still a shocking time!). How cool is that!?

Ultimate web 2.0 site, so far

It might be all flash and take ages to load but look at this excellent site. It’s like wefeelfine.org x 100: http://timecapsule.yahoo.com/capsule.php.

Yahoo Time Capsule graphic

A few people have pointed out that it doesn’t do what “normal” (and by “normal”, I think we all mean “Blue Peter”) time capsules do, it’s not full of pictures of old, out of date Walkmans and pictures of the queen. Time for another capsule, with some different tags I think.

In mourning

(Transfered from Blogger / Typepad)

Leo’s funeral in West Wing

OK, I know this might appear to be a little off-topic (!) but this weekend marked More 4’s end of the West Wing series finale. Two final episodes – as well as six great repeats and a crumby quiz show hosted by Rory Bremner.

This is a show which genuinely motivates its viewers to greatness. How rare is that? Great scripts (yes, yes – even after Aaron Sorkin), great actors, great plots. A TV show that genuinely does reach for the stars and I have genuinely enjoyed all 154 of them.

The alleged polling of Jed Bartlet (the series’s fictional president) as a having a higher approval rating than real life President Bush is surprisingly unsurprising to us Brit. We find it easy to believe because we don’t understand how much the Americans respect and follow their leader, and we expect our leaders to posses and academic superiority. In two of today’s episodes (24 hours in America parts 1 and 2, series 3) Bartlet is competing with Governor Ritchie, a Bush style Texan with an unintelligent grasp of English. Bartlet staff argue about whether this should be used against him; how it will play politically. As Josh remind Toby: “not everyone was the smartest kid in the class; not everyone liked the smartest kid in the class”.

Two things we can take out. (Trying desperately hard to get back to the topic) technology makes us accountable: Nowadays every day we should be thinking that all of our actions are accounted for the same way the president’s are. And, leaders can come from anywhere but that serious morals are what defines us. Barlet is sharp, clever and expedient but he is defined by trust.