Three years ago this month HP and Federated Media launched a campaign that allowed bloggers to publish audio-posts from their mobile phones — dubbed voice posts. From the ChasNote write-up then:
“Earlier this week, several FM sites rolled out their first ‘voice posts,’ a new series of editorial segments served up as audio files on blog sites. HP is the sponsor of the series, meaning their logo appears under the audio file with copy that says ‘voice post technology sponsored by HP iPaq 510.’ HP also bought banner ads on the sites. Beyond that, though, HP has no relationship to or influence over the content of the voice posts”
Now WordPress is making it easier for all bloggers to publish audio-posts. From Mashable:
“You can already write and publish WordPress blog posts from your iPhone, iPad, Android, e-mail and desktop, but now you can also post audio via your phone.
“Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg announced the new feature for WordPress.com earlier today. It’s rather simple: enable ‘Post by Voice’ in your dashboard and you will receive a phone number and a unique code for posting audio from your phone to your blog. You can post up to one hour of audio at a time.”
Awesome. Congrats, WordPress, for turning this idea into a real product that everyone can use. And congrats, HP and Goodby, for the foresight!
(Disclosures: I’m a co-founder of Federated Media and was employed by the company in 2007 when this idea was hatched.)
Congrats, TBWA. Well done. (And congrats to you, Hash!)
From Media Bistro:
“TBWA announced via their Twitter feed today that they hired Hashem Bajwa, former Goodby SF digital strategy director.
“The tweet: ‘Introducing Hashem Bajwa, former Goodby, Silverstein Digital Strategist… now a TBWA\Digital Artist. Innovation and Strategy.’”
Guy Kawasaki, John Battelle and Mark Frauenfelder have published content (plus bonus videos and other features) from their upcoming books and are distributing them to readers of their blogs as Adobe Acrobat 9 PDF Portfolios. Adobe did not shape or influence the content itself, but it is paying to run ads on all three authors’ sites.
The free “sneak previews,” not surprisingly, are moving like hotcakes — 1600 downloads in a week — and with each download Adobe takes a new prospective customer on a tour of Acrobat 9.
Ads on each site (like this one, running on Guy’s site) not only promote the PDF preview, they also let fans re-post the ad unit on their own sites:
And since circulating these previews benefits the authors too — they are the book-equivalent of movie trailers — Adobe’s campaign is getting extra mileage beyond the paid sponsorship. Here’s a post by Battelle on Searchblog:
(Credits: Steve Weeks and the Adobe Acrobat 9 marketing team; Yiming Roberts, Erica Milanese and Jenny Yumiba at Goodby Silverstein; and Liam Boylan, Nicole Cook, Stephanie Loleng and Lester Lee at FM.)
At least twice a week I hear some variation of this question: “Gee, that conversational-marketing stuff is cool, but how does it scale?”
HP’s computer-skin design contest offers one answer. Back in September HP put out a call to artists who’d be interested in designing a notebook “skin” for an HP Pavillion, and 8,500 creations were submitted. HP then featured the winning design (by Joao Oliverira) in print ads to take the “Computer Is Personal Again” message to a significantly larger audience. Here it is, ripped from July’s issue of Wired:
Other examples: BMW, Dell, Haagen-Dazs and Intel sponsored Graffiti contests in Facebook.
Here’s a sampler of entries in the contest.
Graffiti, the popular Facebook drawing app, adds a new feature today with help from Intel’s sponsorship dollars. When you see a Graffiti you like, you can embed the animated version — the artist’s virtual brush strokes as he or she draws the image — into your own site, just like you’d embed a YouTube video.
Here’s one I like from the recent Haagen-Dazs sponsored bee drawing contest by Priya S Patel:
A year ago, HP signed on as sponsor to a collection of sites that cater to designers and digital artists, what we call (in FM-speak) the Graphic Arts federation. They took a PBS-style “sponsored by” approach to their messaging, and left the authors and readers of those sites alone to have their haute design conversations without any interference. Pay respect to your core audience, HP figured, and you just might win its affection.
The approach appears to be paying off. Jean Aw, author of “indiellectual” design and aesthetics site NOTCOT, blogged her experience walking the floor of CES: “I must say that i was proud to have our sites sponsored by HP when i walked into this booth… ”
iMediaConnection invited me to contribute to the Best & Worst of 2007 round up. My favorite campaign of the year: Ask.com’s sponsorship of Ask A Ninja. The campaign that made best use of user-generated content — if you count editorial posts on Boing Boing or OhGizmo “user generated” — was HP iPaq 510′s sponsorship of “voice posts.” The agency that, to me, went furthest in pushing the envelope was Goodby Silverstein for Sprint’s WaitLess.org concept, HP’s campaign around voice posts (above), and HP’s Blackbird gaming system launch.
As part of their “What Do You Have To Say?” brand campaign, HP is sponsoring Facebook’s Graffiti Wall. In addition to banner units, HP helped Graffiti add comments and the ability to print Graffitis. Within 3 hours of the launch of comments functionality, Graffiti users had posted 1000 comments. (Artist on the below: Crystal Hughes.)
Boing Boing’s David Pescovitz thanks HP “for supporting the development of all our new community features.” That doesn’t happen every day: Hundreds of advertisers have run on Boing Boing over the past 3 years, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen the Boing Boing editors thank one by name. Perhaps it’s because HP didn’t just write Boing Boing a check and send them ad tags — they helped the Boingers improve the site by financially supporting the roll out of new features. Intel had a similar experience when they sponsored the launch of Digg Arc, and found themselves getting thanked by Digg staff and the Digg community.