Wednesday Links: Because it’s a holiday week

Are you happy to be a product?

People’s opinons on Google and the goodness or evilness of the tech monolith seem to be as deeply ingrained and as passionately espoused as views on religion, politics, or which flavor of M&M is the best (pretzel, of course). A long time ago, I accepted the fact that I divvied my e-soul into three parts and gave those parts to Apple, Amazon, and Google. I’m okay with that.

Even so, reading Google doesn’t get people, it sells them was kind of unsettling and a little thrilling (like reading 1984). The GigaOm post covers a talk Don Norman, the author of The Design of Everyday Things gave at a conference last week where he discussed Google quite a bit, including this piece about the controversy surrounding the use of real names on Google+:

“Real names, they say, turn out to be the names on your driver’s license and your passport and your credit cards so that they can track you. Are you happy to be a product?”

While I don’t agree with everything Norman has to say, it’s thought-provoking and it’s good to have your thoughts provoked every once in awhile. It keeps you sharp, and as marketing grows ever more individualized one has to be sharp.

Now playing the role of creative technologist: Nerds

Our ears were burning while reading “The Role of the Creative Technologist” by Scott Prindle at Crispin Porter + Bogusky – and really burning when we got to lines like: “It makes sense to integrate those who live and breath software and utility – creative technologists (programmers) – into your creative and strategic process.”

Yeah, yeah, we probably think this song is about us, or at least written in the key of Nerdery. Shshsh, let’s listen in: “The creative technologist introduces emerging technologies into the creative concepting process.” Prindle asserts that because creative technologists “think in code … and in left-brained, logical, rule-based constructs” that therefore, “the creative technologist manages complexity” and can use a growing development toolkit to tinker constructively in an expanding digital universe, backed by “an in-depth understanding of core computer science and IT principles.”

If you’re a marketer so busy you can read only one slide, skip on down to #85 for a whole-lotta truthiness on getting the most out of nerds (OK, creative technologists). Truth marches on in the next slide as programmers get marching orders on how to contribute to the ad world.

It’s a good kind of burn (this sensation in our ears) because it’s true: “Technology will continue to bring about disruptive change in our business. The creative technologist will play a lead role in creating ideas that carry across the rapidly expanding digital ecosystem.”

The Role of Creative Technologist

The Freakiest Ads of 2010


It’s sort of like rubbernecking at an accident. You know you shouldn’t do it. You know that looking might be dangerous to your well-being, and yet, you can’t not look. That’s how I felt going into Ad Freak’s 30 Freakiest Ads of 2010.

At least they warn viewer’s right up front, “It’s that time of year again—when we grit our teeth and pick the weirdest, goofiest, grossest, silliest and freakiest ads of the year.” They also mark the ads that aren’t NSFW which is nice for people who are easily offended or work with the easily offended.

Target’s Christmas campaign with Maria Bamford made the list, which is awesome. I laughed my head off every time I saw this commercial over Thanksgiving weekend (which was roughly 382,183 times).

If your heart is strong and your stomach calm, go take a look at the 30 freakiest ads of 2010.

Nerdery webinar on banner ads, Aug 31 and Sept 2


Some people find banner ads maddening, sometimes with probable cause. Some are conditioned to never ever click a banner ad, but with the right design you can get them to have a look. And we can help. RSVP at to check out one of our two free webinars on banner ads – Tuesday August 31 at 10:15 a.m. Central and Thursday September 2 at 3:15 p.m. Central.

We’ll address two primary kinds of banner ads: those designed as a call to action (the ones that beg to be clicked, made to drive traffic) and those that just sit pretty for the sake of brand awareness. We’ll cover development best practices favored by media service providers and the standards of rich media service providers regarding tech specs, sizes, bells and whistles.

If you want your banner ad to really make a scene, we can make that happen – but buyer beware that placement costs rise, as do risks of being more distraction than attraction to some online consumers voting with dollars of their own. Maybe a game is the right play for your banner, but maybe not. Nerdery developers are good at weighing in on what will work, and really good at working directly with media and rich media service providers to implement the ideas of our agency partners.

Good seats (of your choosing) are still available, please RSVP.

Tech Tuesday: Development for (and getting our Nerdery hands on) the Apple iPad

By now, you’ve read all about the Apple’s new tablet, the iPad. You’ve watched the videos. You’ve maybe giggled about the product name; let’s be honest though, the Nintendo Wii’s name hasn’t hurt its popularity. You’ve either dismissed it as a big iPod Touch that won’t go anywhere, or, you’ve already smashed your piggy bank and have money in hand. Regardless, Apple has a pretty good track record with their latest products (iPod, iTunes, iPhone) and we don’t want our ad and marketing agency partners to be the last ones to the party.

First, the iPad debut doesn’t mean that our agency partners should stop making iPhone applications. All iPhone applications will work on the iPad out of the box.

But how does the iPad affect our agency partners who have already created applications for iPhone and now also want to take advantage of the bigger screen of the iPad? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as hitting an Easy button (trust me, I have one) and magically all your applications are reformatted for the iPad. The user interface will have to be redesigned to support multiple resolutions. It’s also not just relaying out the design for the larger screen; it’s also understanding what the iPad is, and designing an amazing user interface to take advantage of the new user interface features.

When looking at creating a new iPad application, our agency partners really have two options: target just the iPad or target the iPhone and the iPad.  Targeting the only the iPad should have a similar development cycle and cost as developing an application just for the iPhone. If the choice is to target both devices, there will be some design layout changes, but the core of the application will stay the same. There will also be some additional time for our crack Quality Assurance team to make sure we release a great application.

If you don’t think the iPad is going anywhere, I present Steve Ballmer.

Then again, if you think Apple is infallible, I present the iPod Hi-Fi.

Either way, The Nerdery is ready to help you create great applications, no matter the platform.

Vote for the best advertising & marketing of the decade


The editors at AdweekMedia are slated to announce their picks for the best marketing, media, and agency performances of the 2000s in December. They’ll be pointing out stellar brands, commercials, agencies (large and small) and more in over 33 categories.

And because this is America, you too can vote on some of the best advertising, marketing, and branding of the decade. Get your vote on over at Best of the 2000s.

Even if you don’t want to vote go over there and take a look at the nominees in the 33 categories, and click view results at the bottom, right now it looks like Steve Jobs is going to be crowned king of the world.

Macy’s has seen the future

Or at least they thing they have. Check out this ad that ran in Philadelphia papers today. I wonder if they’ll wait to see the actual outcome of the World Series before firing anyone.
(found on Ad Freak)

The eternal battle between art & commerce

Over at Slate today they have an excellent write up of the new Levi’s commercials created by Wieden + Kennedy. The commercials feature the poetry of Walt Whitman, and probably want to send a lot of lit-snobs running into their candle-lit rooms to write about their feelings. But not this one. These commercials are awesome, and Seth Stevenson, author of the Slate piece, succinctly sums up the internal struggle most ad people face:

Among those who work in advertising, there is an eternal battle between the desire to make art and the imperative to serve commerce. This 60-second film is, to me, a small artistic gem. Right up until that Levi’s logo at the end.

While the author is specifically talking about the “America” commercial, I like the “O Pioneers!” one better.

Ad-O-Matic: Taking care of all your creative advertising needs

I spotted this little gem over on AdFreak mere minutes after discovering that October 19 – October 24 was National Design Week. So here you go, consider it my gift to you.

The Ad-O-Matic from James Kiersted on Vimeo.