First Breath

This gave me shivers (in a good, kinda religious way). It’s an upcoming artwork from Luke Jerram:

“During our lifetime the majority of us experience the same mundane and life changing moments. Whether we’re cleaning our teeth, having our haircut or getting married, it’s these common experiences that help us to connect with one another. At any given time in each city, there are disconnected individuals and hidden communities living through the same life experience. First Breath reveals and makes visible one of these communities. In the city of Bristol (Pop 500,000) there are on average 11 babies born every day. First breath celebrates each new life with a searchlight projecting up into the nights sky. The lights are sited next to the homes of families where a new baby has just been born. Across the city vast ethereal towers of light will be seen touching the clouds. The lights will change location each day to the next set of homes, in preparation for the night’s declaration. Lasting for 2 weeks First breath is both private and personal experience as well a large scale public artwork.”

It would be quite moving to kick back on your verandah and watch as new life is welcomed to different parts of your city. I’ve never looked at the city like that. This is the kind of thing you normally see as a KML layer on Google Maps or something, but it means so much more when it springs from the real Earth like this. Reminds me of that phrase “making the invisible visible”…

Distribution is king

This is probably the most important aspect of doing work in the digital realm today. From Mediapost:

… I feel compelled to spill the beans about something said by Mike Rich, senior vice president of AOL Entertainment. AOL, he said, has embraced a “distributed content” model: It can no longer rely on consumers coming to it as a destination, but now must distribute its content, pushing it to online users wherever they happen to be spending their time.

Go read.

This topic is central to a lot of conversations I seem to have been having recently (but both the Mediapost author and the AOL guy articulate it much better than me).

It seems you can’t address a client’s marketing objectives by building a micro-site and mentioning the URL on your TV ad. You need to get the content out there where they’re already hanging out. You need to provide interactivity, function and/or entertainment around that content. And you need to listen to and understand the reaction to that content. This is what makes digital complex (and fun!). It’s not set and forget. It’s about creating a consumer-centric strategy that acknowledges and respects context. And it’s about building in an enduring distributed presence that doesn’t die when the TARPs dry up..

The Oxygen Sessions

Recently Pat and I conducted the first two of our newly formatted Oxygen Sessions. The idea is to ‘let a little air in the room’ by covering themes relating to social behaviour, media consumption, online innovators, creativity, technology and trends. Our clients have engaged in these discussions with an encouraging amount of vigor and are hopefully forming their own opinions on the first two topics: “Disruptive Thinking” and “When Worlds Collide”.

To quote Salvador Paniker (as you do): ‘Better than a face-lift, to stay young we need to be permanently in a state of intellectual curiosity.’ More soon!

The 2012 iTunes Olympics

I wonder why iTunes doesn’t have High Def Olympics highlights? You could slice and dice by sport, automatically downloaded to your phone/pod/AppleTV in Podcast form, hundreds of niche events that are hard to pick up in your region’s TV broadcast and have sponsorship already embedded in the streams.  ‘Liveness’ is paramount for sporting events but the on-demand/delay market for consumption is also massive and is really suitable for a range of devices and locations. Of course this is all to do with buying the digital and mobile rights, region-by-region but if the audience demand and install base is there to support the investment, I’d be surprised if this isn’t in place by 2012. In fact given where video consumption is going, I’d go as far as to say that if Apple and IOC can do the deal, iTunes could be a massive hub for distributing Olympic bits and bobs in this time frame. I hope so.

UPDATE: Someone did point out to me that the majority of the 7 billion people in the world in 2012 will still be glued to the TV. True and noted :)