July 10, 2013 #003
Where I see YouTube stars using Tumblr really well, is that they go beyond video David Karp Founder, Tumblr
Great print ads – and none of them scam I
Rado and Adidas are officially in relationships with Wimbledon/ Murray, but David Llyod and The Times have to struggle to find a tennis idea which is legal. Extreme right: Land Rover’s brilliant rugby post-win ad
Newspaper wars get noisy in Hyderabad
It’s an interesting battle between David and Goliath, Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India. There’s obviously some confusion about which of the two is the number one in Hyderabad, thanks to the use of two different measurement yardsticks. The Times of India, which is not the biggest fan of the Audit Bureau of Circulation, uses the ABC certificate to project an independent, third party ratification of their numbers. Deccan Chronicle latches on to the gap between the ABC numbers and the IRS readership numbers, pointing out that the IRS readership numbers for The Times of India are, bizarrely, less than the ABC circulation numbers. This fact could have been leveraged to hit The Times of India where it hurts, but Deccan Chronicle is hamstrung by very poor advertising. The art is terrible, the copy is terrible, well, everything is terrible. It doesn’t help that the DC ad appears only in Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age editions, while The Times of India Hyderabad ad is carried in all editions of ToI. In this David Vs Goliath battle, Goliath prevails.
n India, we’ve seen, over the last two decades, a growing and marked disinterest in print advertising. The senior-most creatives have no time (or inclination) to work on print. The only time they seem to do so is when it’s Award time – and the creatives get to work on those pieces of genius which do little for the brands that purportedly released them. When you consider that print is still the biggest media (just a bit, perhaps, ahead of television) by revenue, it’s surprising that marketers and brand managers do not put more pressure on their agencies to churn out better print advertising. After all, they’re spending their money there. And perhaps the print medium is not doing enough to further their own cause and catalyse creatives and marketers into action. Would things be different if we had a body along the lines of the Newspaper Marketing Association (UK) in India? The NMA is funded by newspaper publishers, with all their activities focused on proving the efficiency of the medium – as a sole medium, as a multiplier, and so on. Look at how much one could learn from a study like NMA’s qualitative study on topical advertising.
• Topical newspaper advertising can reinforce a customer’s connection to a brand, or help potential customers to re-evaluate and think differently about a brand • The newspaper does the work of setting out the story, and the brand surfs through. Consumers see the ad’s relevance from following the news story • Topical ads can align a brand with positive values, like the passion of sports event or the glamour of a fashion show. Equally, they can work to counteract negative associations • Identifying with a particular group -- like sports-mad men or fashionloving women -- aligns the brand with the interests of those readers. The range of national newspaper titles, special pages and sections provides plenty of opportunities for targeting • Because of newspapers’ flexibility, topical ads can not only be planned in advance around predictable events, they can piggyback on news stories running in that day’s newspaper So what happens when creatives fall in love with print, are aware of the benefits of topical advertising, are aware of the connect that sports can make with sports fans? Simply put,
you get great print ads. Last week was a goldmine of inspiration for creatives, with both Wimbledon and the British and Irish Lions win over the Wallabies at rugby. The cherry on the cake was the fact that Andy Murray, a Scotsman, became the first male Briton to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. Look at the lengths that these brands go, as they navigate the treacherous territory of image rights, etc. For example, brands who did not have an official association with Murray or with Wimbledon could not use his image (or, perhaps, the name ‘Wimbledon’), but they still managed to create some stunners and captivate readers. When will we see ads like this in India?
2 Anant Rangaswami
July 10, 2013 #003
issues of the day Why the TAM dispute is personal, not professional
At Cannes, in an interview with Pavni Mittal, my colleague at Storyboard, WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell had this to say on the ongoing TAM imbroglio. “Well, I think it is being resolved. I'm very upset on a personal level. Some of the criticism has been leveled at LV (Krishnan) and his colleagues who have run TAM successfully, I would say, brilliantly and effectively for many years and a large number of television stations and media outlets in India have been very successful for many years, even, including your own (with reference to Network18 channels)…”. “It has become, in some quarters, highly personal. It's outrageous. They've always done the right thing, they've always gone about it in the right way, they've always tried to provide the best measurement system they possibly can given the resources they have,” Sir Martin added. “I think it is being resolved,” he said. Well, as this is being written, it’s apparent that the issue is far from being resolved – it’s
gotten worse. From being a battle between broadcasters and TAM, it’s now clearly a battle with advertisers and agencies on one side of the divide and broadcasters on the other, now reaching a point where we might see no TAM data at all till the issue is resolved. And TAM is caught in the middle – unable to please both agencies + advertisers and broadcasters simultaneously. Each day sees LV working the phone lines, assuaging increasingly impatient users of TAM data. The problem is, the moment TAM offers a solution to one half, the other half is more than dissatisfied. That’s why, Sir Martin, it’s become personal. Actually, it hasn’t become personal – it always was. There has been unhappiness with TAM (I must add, that unhappiness with measurement is global, in TV, print and other media) over the years, and it is LV’s personal assurances that problems would be addressed that have prevented the situation from getting out of
control earlier. It’s because it’s always been a case of handling each issue individually – and personally. If a solution has to be found to the TAM issue, these individual and personal conversations and individual and personal assurances have to end – because they have stopped working. Sir Martin’s correct – the issue should not be personal. The issue should be between companies and not personalities. And the issue should not be solved in private, one-on-one conversations and meetings. All the stakeholders – TAM, the agencies, advertisers and broadcasters – need to get into a room, into one extended meeting, and discuss every single aspect of TAM. Each contentious issue needs to be listed, debated and discussed till a consensus is found. Let me underline that I do not, for a moment, think that TAM has not delivered. It has. But, with the television business growing to almost Rs.15,000 crore, the
stakes have never been higher and slight tweaks (for example, an increase in the number of people meters or inclusion of the LC1 cities) can negatively or positively affect different stakeholders simultaneously. It will be well nigh impossible for both sides to agree on all differences, but it is in TAM’s interest to try and build consensus – and that can be done only with absolute transparency. The consensus-building will certainly take considerable time, but each minor resolution will take the warring parties closer to a mutually acceptable final solution. The way things are being handled today, in near-surreptitious personal conversations, things seem to be getting worse by the day, nearing a point of no return. There’s the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The corollary also holds true. “If it is broke, fix it.” TAM is broke. Fix it.
Pixel Perfect: The essence of app development
It’s time. Sweaty palms. Check. Nervous heartbeat. Check. You are about to submit your baby on the app store. And you have already decided what you are going to do after this. Shutdown. Pop the champagne. Celebrate. But hang on… have you checked the ppi (pixel per inch) of your Navigation Bar? Does the ‘blue-on-green’ look better than the ‘red-on-green’? Are the buttons realistic enough? In a nutshell, is your UI (user interface) going to lure your customers to download the app and make it an instant hit? If the answer is “not really” or “I’m not sure” then read on to become Pixel Perfect! First things first, if you are a developer and planning to design your own app (yes, the blue bird told me that you are good with Photoshop), you should drop that idea and hire a designer. If you don’t then you are making a compromise. A seasoned dev once told me that an app should look good both from inside and outside. Your job as developer is to make sure that the inside is impeccable. Now leave the outside to a pro. You must be wondering why this bloke is blabbering on about design. I’m a super coder. I can code apps à la Angry Birds. But mate, your creation will only come to life once a designer gives wings to your imagination (coding). Your customer doesn’t know (or rather, doesn’t care) how many hours you have put in to perfect the code. They only care about whether your app serves the purpose, is bug-free, offers a great experience and how good it looks, visually. So let’s see how can we make your apps look super-cool by eliminating the following mistakes we make while developing. Mistake #1: Reinventing the wheel The process of developing an app is a) Come up with a cool app idea b) Research to prove that it has business potential c) Create the wireframe (UX and UI) d) Design the UI f) Start coding. In most cases, if you are an independent developer or an app creator you’ll jump from point ‘b’ to point ‘f’, and then try to retrofit point ‘d’ while sometimes completely eliminating point ‘c’.
Trust me, it doesn’t work that way. So let’s not reinvent the wheel. Follow the process so that you do not miss out on any of the crucial steps. Mistake #2: Hiring a friend (read taking a favour) Like any other business your app needs to be managed by a professional. And you should not expect professionals (like UI/ UX designers) to do charity in lieu of their precious time and expertise. Even if you are appointing a friend or a family member, make sure you pay for the effort. This will ensure accountability plus a better output because of your relationship with them. Mistake #3: Wireframes are a waste of time. Let’s skip it If you are on iOS, then you must have used Tweetbot – a twitter client for iPhone; or Instagram, for that matter. Apart from cool graphics what these apps offer is an amazing user experience. And to create such UX you first need to jot down your thoughts, and then translate them into wireframes. If you eliminate wireframes, well then you are eliminating your chance to stand out in the crowd. So how can you become Pixel Perfect? Step #1. Design for mobile, not web (or print) You are probably wondering how different can it be to design a mobile app from designing a mobile site. The difference is poles apart. On web, the interaction is between the cursor and pixels. Whereas on mobile, the interaction is between your finger (natural stylus) and pixels. On web, it’s mouse clicks and keystrokes. On mobile, it’s gestures and multi-touch detections. As you can see designing for mobiles is a completely new ballgame. Not only we are working with myriad hardware, but mobile design also has the potential to impact us in very different ways emotionally. It is a personal and people-centric platform. Hence, designs should be able to create a connection between users and apps. Step #2. You are selling an experience and not just a piece of art Designing for mobile devices requires
Photo credit Martin Deutsch & Johannes Konrad via flickr
a dedication to user experience beyond anything that has been witnessed in designing for the web. Designers who have the easiest transition to mobile are those who embrace a high standard of usability and creativity. The idea that designing for the user experience first somehow deflates creative potential is the exact opposite of reality. Think of it as not just “there’s an app for that,” but instead as “there’s a product for that.” You’re not just designing apps you’re designing products with planning, attention to detail and aesthetic design. Step #3. Template vs. Custom Designed With 700,000+ active apps and 25 billion downloaded apps, do you think you stand a chance with design templates provided by Apple (or Google, Microsoft)? I can bet not. The decision to use custom versus standard graphics is often based on the overall budget available for the project. Just having the budget for good coders isn’t enough; a budget must also exist for a designer to create custom graphics. But you must remember, custom app design integration
Hashtags: The New Age of #Conversations Back in the day, they called it the Pound Sign. Now more commonly known as the Hashtag, this familiar refrain from automated telephone systems everywhere leads the way in the present era of Pop Culture. The Hashtag has arrived. The wonky “#” symbol is now so ubiquitous in its use, both online and offline. At Unmetric, the Hashtag is our new frontier. In our soon to be launched revamped Twitter platform, we distill the pervasiveness of the Hashtag phenomenon amongst brands and provide a way to gauge their engagement on Twitter. We also analyze the hashtag to assess relevance of brand content and social media strategy in a challenging 140-character playground – How are brands driving conversations on Twitter? Or more specifically, How “with-it” are they? And does that work? There are a couple of different reasons why we at Unmetric are deliriously gung-ho about rolling out hashtag analytics in our platform. To begin, we recognize that Hashtags are awesome. So much so that even Facebook wants to be them. Hashtags began their journey on the World Wide Web as a mere function, a way to index and label messages. Since then, owing to Twitter, Hashtags
have evolved to the point where they are considered a literary phenomenon. Witty use of a pithy Hashtag on Twitter can even make a celebrity. Importantly though, Hashtags serve as a visible and concise link to popular culture and current events. They are the inside jokes, the call to action, the imagined fist-bump – all rolled into a short phrase preceded by a pound sign. And whatever you do, don’t ever press the spacebar. But, why on earth should Brands care about analyzing hashtags? Hashtags embody Relevance: Using Twitter as part of a brand’s social media strategy implies going beyond chopping Facebook or website content into 140 characters. It also means adopting the nuances of a medium of communication. Hashtags aren’t just words – they trend, they link to conversations, they draw in the eyeballs. Take, for instance, the #Superbowl of 2013 – Brands like Tide and Walgreens that news-jacked the #blackout with funny tweets weren’t just putting the right content out at the right time – in a matter of minutes, they became the cool kids in the classroom that everyone knew and heard about.
Hashtags are Niche: A brand can totally create and own a Hashtag. They are the not-so-obvious way a brand uses to build relationships with their customers. Ever heard of the Southwest flight from Austin to San Jose? SXSW to Silicon Valley, Tech Hub to Tech Hub, UT to Stanford? Or as Southwest’s Twitter Peeps know it – the #Nerdbird. Genius. Hashtags are Conversational: Brands adopt popular Hashtags all the time. What this does is make them a part of the larger conversation in the online world, be it about a natural disaster or upcoming holidays. Remember the Blizzard named after a Fish named Nemo (or, as the great readers of the world would know, a Captain of a very famous submarine)? In a great example of real time marketing, Starbucks linked their Twitter ads to the Hashtags #Nemo, #blizzard so users would see them when they clicked on the Hashtag. In Connecticut, Starbucks even put out a deal on Twitter for free coffee and the lure to come in and warm up, using the same #Nemo Hashtag. #Win. See more at the unmetric site This article is reproduced with the permission of unmetric
can sometimes be very difficult for the developer or development team, and that time can add up to your overall budget. But at the end of the day it’s definitely worth it. Step #4. Photoshop rules! What software should I use to design apps? This is the first question designers new to mobile seem to ask. Good news – it’s Photoshop! That said, with the proliferation of devices, screen sizes, and resolutions, vector shapes are also a big part of designing for mobile devices. So instead of saving an Illustrator file as .png, import it to Photoshop, and play with it. Step #5. Be insanely simple Last but not the least, to be Pixel Perfect you need to be insanely simple in your design and your thoughts. As the greatest visionary of all times, Steve Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it at the end, because once you get there, you can move monuments.” And Pixel Perfect is the direct outcome of being insanely simple. It’s the art that will act as a key to your app’s success.
July 10, 2013 #003
the really long interview
Six-year old microblogging network Tumblr made headlines when it was bought over by Yahoo for a whopping $1.1 billion in May. With a target of $100 mn set for the year, Tumblr’s founder, David Karp, was in Cannes to convince brands and creatives to shift some of their advertising dollars to the network. Storyboard’s Pavni Mittal spoke to the 26-year old David Karp to find out just what Tumblr’s plans are
David, what brings you to Cannes? Karp Tumblr is a home for creators. At least, we’re trying to be ‘THE’ home for creators. And Cannes is the premier event, celebrating some of the most creative people in the world. We’re now a year into our advertising business. This is a chance for us to meet one of the most creative advertisers, who are doing the stuff that we really want to see brought over to Tumblr. There are some really big brands here, and I’m sure you have been talking to advertisers as well. What are they asking you about advertising on Tumblr? Karp They are looking for examples of people who are doing it well. They are trying to understand where it fits into all of these other things. I think there’s some sense of exhaustion with the need to build these bigger social teams to support more of these social platforms. They understand that Tumblr isn’t exactly social, so they’re trying to understand how their efforts and resources can support success on Tumblr. And what we generally say to that is that Tumblr is not about your friends, it’s not a social context. It’s a media network. It’s a place to create art and media that surprises people, that people enjoy. And the great thing about art and media is that when it’s really good, it can spread all over all of the social networks. So, what we’re trying to get people to think about is to invest in creating really great content. Take your creative resources to people who you have making your movies, making your thirty second spots, making your great print ads. Have them take those creative resources and steer them towards stuff that lives on the web, stuff that lives on Tumblr. And what you see is those social themes that you’re building can turn that into more and more people who are talking about and getting excited about those things that they’re creating. Post the Yahoo buyout, is there increased pressure to deliver? Karp There was always pressure. I think as an independent company where we don’t have those resources behind us, there’s even more pressure to make sure that we’re keeping a handle on things. But we’ve been so excited to prove our business thesis and to make this a sustainable thing that can be supporting and serving creators for a long time. The pressure is no different. It’s huge.
What is your business model? David: The business model is very simple. Think of Tumblr as a media network – like any magazine, like any TV show, where people come, hungry for content. They come to Tumblr, spend more time there than any other network. Spend more time than Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, enjoying stuff that they love; enjoying content. And the thing is when people show up hungry for new great content, you can put more content in front of them. And even if it’s
Very often there are things that aren’t getting done. Things we haven’t hired for yet. A role that we haven’t filled. There might be something that I’ve forgotten about, that’s been overlooked branded, they don’t balk at it. They actually really appreciate it. They actually really enjoy it. It’s a chance for a brand to show off their brand, show a person a lifestyle they can get inspired by.
ACCEPTED dotcom since 1999
Many of your attempts to monetize and advertise have been met with a lot of resistance from your users. How big a challenge is this? And, is there a way out? Karp The difference (with Tumblr) is that so much of online advertising (is already) linked to social activities. So, you show up on any of these networks because your friends are there with whom you want to interact and communicate. And so, when there’s a call to action to go buy tickets to a movie, or sign up for something, or watch a trailer, that can be jarring. It’s not really a part of the experience. Now because Tumblr is media and art, people come there to see stuff that they love. When you’re injecting more stuff that they love, more stuff that they enjoy, it works. I’d say Vogue is the clearest example of this. If you took out all the ads out of Vogue, it will be a much smaller magazine. But at the same time, it will be much less of a magazine! Those ads are great content. They’re a big part of the experience. We’re here in Cannes to push those creative advertisers to make ads that make Tumblr better. That make for more great, fun stuff on Tumblr for people to enjoy.
What is the advertising technology and scale of Yahoo that you’ll be tapping into? Karp Yahoo has decades of ad tech. It’s an incredible resource that we are building from scratch right now. We’re just a year into it, and we’re really going from the zero start. So we were either going to be building it ourselves, buying something off the shelf, acquiring somebody. Now we have all of Yahoo’s technology behind us. That’s huge. The other thing is that they have relationships with advertisers that we are still building. They have relationships going back decades. That’s a really powerful thing. We hope to really turn this into a big business. Who do you think is your biggest competitor? And how do you stay ahead of the curve? Karp This is something that we’re very opinionated about. Our thesis in all of this is that we’re not so smart. It’s actually kind of silly that engineers get so much credit in this world right now. I think that the most rewarding thing, the most fulfilling thing, certainly for me and the team, is us coming up with the next great idea and us staying ahead of the curve. It’s us keeping up with the technology and supporting all of the stuff with the new technology supports and letting the creative people here, who have some idea, who have some vision, make sure that they have the tools to make the thing that is way ahead of the curve, that surprises all of us. Our hope in all of this is that we set up the most talented creators, the most aspiring creators to make something that surprises us. What’s your opinion of YouTube? Karp I am a huge fan of YouTube. Anybody who is building a new commercial tool for a creator is incredible. The idea that if you make a video, some music, comedy film, documentary, whatever your art is, if it works in video, you can check a box and start making real money from that, it’s amazing and they deserve so much credit for that. But do you think they’ve messed up somewhere. Do you think they could have been bigger? Karp I don’t like any of these networks being so narrowly defined. Where I see YouTube stars using Tumblr really well, is that they go beyond video. So, everybody on YouTube is the same sort of gray YouTube channel and yes, it’s a great way to distribute video. But when you want to go beyond that, when you want it on your own domain name, when you want to present it in a way that you’re truly proud of… So that it looks and feels like you in every little link, it’s in your voice and in your language. And you want to go beyond video. You want to share the behind-the-scenes photos, writings, your short jokes and your long essays, links off to other content, quotes from things that you’re reading, that kind of stuff, the idea that you cap out the creator in one medium, I think there’s more to do. But I think when it comes to that medium, YouTube is doing an incredible job. What’s the key to monetizing mobile? Karp I don’t know. I’d like to believe that we’re doing a good job with it but time will tell. I think my best guess is that native (advertising) is even more important. Native (advertising) is advertising that’s really well integrated. It’s part of whatever the main behaviour is. Whatever you do with an app, whether it’s searching for something, checking in, looking at a location, seeing your friend’s updates, looking at links, looking at media, whatever the ad is, it has to be really built in to that because you don’t have room to do anything else. But I don’t know if that’s true forever. It only takes one great idea and one good example to completely change the way that we think about that stuff. So I would never be so presumptuous to say that we’ve got it right, or there is a right way to do it. We’ll see. If you had to recruit someone, say from India, and that person had to report directly to you, what would be the key qualifications required? Karp We have two things that we talk about, which we give awards for every month in our team. One is the ‘Humblr’ award, which is given to those who put Tumblr before themselves. To those who do some extraordinary work that goes beyond their normal duties. So much of why we’re doing this is not about building the biggest business in the world, it’s not about doing work so great that we can show off. There’s this community of creators out there that makes the stuff that we love, that we just adore and who we want to support. We’re constantly in service of that community and so people who show off a humble spirit, it’s something we celebrate. The other award we give out is the ‘F**k Yeah’ award, celebrating people who really take initiative. Tumblr, we’re still just 187 people today. Very often there are things that aren’t getting done. Things we haven’t hired for yet. A role that we haven’t filled. There might be something that I’ve forgotten about, that’s been overlooked right now and something that none of us realize is important. But somebody catches on, and they take it and they figure out how to do it. And they don’t always ask for permission. They see that it’s important, they figure out what needs to be done and they go and do it. And that’s something that all of the leaders who have emerged in Tumblr have been truly successful at. They are people who’ve showed up and didn’t wait for my orders. People who saw something that needed to be done and they figured out how to do it. David Karp spoke to Storyboard’s Pavni Mittal. Click here to watch the exchange
July 10, 2013 #003
the back of the book
tv tracker And just when we were bitching about print ads... ... we come across these stunners from Bang in the Middle as they
The What's-ON report is based on millions of observations seen across multiple platforms
showed up on Facebook updates. Waiting for the rest of the week
This is a must buy, but it could have been cheaper “The Curious Digital Marketer (2.0), to me, is like my copy of Chambers Dictionary. I don’t need it all the time, but when I do, it had better be around,” I wrote in a pre-publication blurb for the book. Here’s a longer take. The book is, in deference to the publisher, afaqs, a collection of answers to questions that the Curious Digital Marketer is troubled by. Answers are written far better than they were in the 1.0 version, and are supported by clear graphics and charts. Answers are also supported by
illustrations of real cases, so readers have a point of reference. Most importantly, the content is keeping up with the furious pace of change in the digital world, so that makes it even more useful. I’m going to bitch again about one aspect of the book – the price. Sponsors and advertisers have helped defray printing and paper costs, so why on earth is it priced at Rs.350? The price aside, I’d advise you to go buy the book. So go on, click here and keep your credit card handy. Anant Rangaswami
Afaqs Campus' Kapil Ohri is the author of the book
A Street Sign For The Digital Age
ere’s a street sign that does much more than just point you to your destination. Developed by New York based agency Breakfast, ‘Points’ is an interactive, social, and futuristic version of a very low-tech tool. Using an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection, the sign taps in to RSS, Foursquare and Twitter to display trends, hotspots, and even the news, all tailored to its current location. The current version, that took three years to develop, is 9 feet high, 6 feet wide, and outfitted with 16,000 LED lights, with its three arms free to move a full 360 degrees.
Breakfast expects ‘Points’, which is already being rented by luxury hotels in Dubai and Las Vegas , to be used at events like concerts, conferences and sports games. And since it’s programmable, brands can easily tie in and have their messages displayed to direct consumers. Sure, in the age of the smartphone, critics are already panning it as redundant design, but you have to admit, ‘Points’ does have a certain wow factor. It’ll certainly get you to notice street signs more often. Thanks, Animesh Das, for pointing us here. Click here to see how 'Points' works
Agency Breakfast, New York Client None Medium Digital