2009 was insane.
StrawberryFrog New York, Amsterdam and Sao Paulo grew against two massive pressures - recession and the explosion of technology. Oh, and huge clients wanting more of what global agencies like Frog deliver: innovations, fresh perspective, customization, and a heck of a lot of agility.
Some highlights were the primary sponsorship of the 2009 Academy Awards for Frito Lay, the pan-Latin American campaign for Quaker and some super cool mobility and gaming work out of Amsterdam.
StrawberryFrog Mumbai is in progress.
Next year we've got a lot on. One pet project for me is http://101women.org
The last couple of weeks leading up to the Holiday break have been a whirlwind of planes, trains and automobiles. Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Cinncy, Chicago again. A European trip was diverted last minute for a conference call. A fifth trip to Chicago cancelled today. One more flight awaits, then a much needed break. All this travel is in the interests of better work.
The New York Times magazine: 9th annual year in ideas features lots of good reading. There were three stories which I especially liked.
The first was the Japanese idea of putting Lithium into the water supply alongside fluoride. There is naturally occurring Lithium in a few towns in Japan and these towns have, I suppose not astonishingly, among the lowest suicide rates in Japan.
The second story that I liked was all about "The Good-Enough
Revolution." It's hugely relevant for brand digital communications. It says that companies that had focused mainly on improving the
technical quality of their products have started to notice that, for
many consumers, "ease of use, continuous availability and low price"
are more important.
televisions have turned every living room into a home cinema, yet
millions of us choose to watch small, blurry videos on our computers
and our mobile devices."
professional television camera will produce a higher-quality image than
a phone, but when something important happens, from the landing of a
jet on the Hudson River to the murder of an Iranian protester, and
there are no TV cameras around, images recorded on phones are good
And the third story of note was called "Myth of the deficient older employee." A welcome finding of the study came
during the cooperation portion, when researchers found that
groups with a mix of ages outperformed homogeneous groups. For an
optimum work force, the report says, it is best to have a range of ages
in the office.
Adam Ostrow has written a practical guide around basic social media, mobile and some developments worth thinking about. I like the mobile thinking. I also like reading posts from the likes of Mr. Ostow because by hanging out with interesting media minds I am helping myself get a better idea of where this is all heading. No one really knows.
rise of social media over the past few years has left several companies
and platforms in a position to dictate the way in which we’ll use
technology in the future...etc
This is the interesting stuff:
Mobile: Where Social Media Meets Location
At the same time social networks are trying to aggregate all your online activities in one place, they’re also looking to extend beyond the
Web and into the realm of mobile. And it’s happening quickly: Facebook
has more than 65 million active mobile users, Twitter sees 20 percent
of tweets stream in from mobile devices, and mobile video watching on sites like YouTube is up 52 percent in 2009, according to a study published in May by Nielsen.
However, there’s much more going on than big social networks porting
their features to the mobile environment. The combination of advances
in mobile technology, a number of innovative startups and upcoming
features on services such as Twitter point to a future in which cell
phones are central to the social media experience and an equally
important platform for businesses.
Mobile Applications For
starters, the iPhone has completely changed the landscape for mobile
applications. What used to be a largely closed system is now open, and
more than 85,000 mobile applications are now available on the iPhone
alone. Meanwhile, virtually every other device maker, from
BlackBerry to Palm to Nokia, is following Apple’s lead and launching
its own app stores.
Fortunately, much of the groundwork has been laid for businesses small
and large to play in this arena too. While initially apps cost
thousands of dollars to develop, new do-it-yourself solutions like
SwebApps allow you to set up your own iPhone apps, with templates for
different types of businesses like restaurants and retail stores, and
be up and running for a few hundred bucks.
Geo-Targeted Applications Another
increasingly common feature on cell phones is GPS. While this has some
practical applications – like the ability to find your phone if you
misplace it – it also has huge potential for business. For starters,
location-aware applications are emerging that allow users to share
their longitude and latitude with friends.
Is Nokia's decision to close stores another step in the company's evolution into a new kind of company or this simply a business failure. When I lived in Sweden in the 1980s Nokia had just made the transition from boot company to computer company and had just launched the Mobiman - their first leap into cell phones. The company has evolved a lot since then and pundits know that this company is always looking for the next step in evolution. So, these store closings could mark a step in a new direction. Or maybe not. Rumors are that the company is planning a significant foray into a new kind of media business.
I was one of those who thought the gaming biz was on the eternal rise. But this Xmas season has dealt a blow to the gamers. New estimates suggest the gaming industry is down between 10-15% over last years sales. What to make of this? Anyone know?
There are a lot of predictions for 2010 when it comes to the impact of mobile. There are a long list of long lists. There's a short list by James Kendrick posted today that's worth checking out. Rather than make shot gun predicitions, he talks about three big thins that will happen next year - worth noting.
1. Smartphone adoption will start driving down data plan costs.
2. Google Computers will appear, maybe even for free.