Another thing caught my eye on our recent trip to Toronto: the AddMirror.

It all started with a trip to the restroom at a downtown brunch spot. Take a look:

That's right - as you're standing in front of the mirror, words and phrases fade in and out, resolving into an ad. Brilliant! It's clever and attention getting, and certainly caters to a captive audience. 

According to AddMirror, there are about 1,500 mirror placements in the UK and over 3,000 worldwide, which have yielded impressive ad effectiveness measures:

RECALL 69% unaided recall of actual brands
WORD OF MOUTH 25% discussed the campaign with friends in the restaurant/bar
POST CAMPAIGN RECALL 45% recall…6 weeks after the campaign ran
AUDIENCE APPROVAL 84% rate AddMirror very good to excellent

Think of the fun you could have playing around with different executions - like including an SMS-based call to action, or even a QR code. And what about use in fitting rooms?

I haven't seen this anywhere in the States; have you?

Marketing, now that "The Web is Dead"

Hello, Readers,

I know, it's been awhile since I've posted. Life has been busy, and lots of travel (for both business + pleasure) has kept me from the keyboard.

For now, I'll share my latest post that just went live over on the PARTNERS+simons blog. Enjoy!


The folks over at Wired Magazine created quite a controversy last week when they proclaimed, “The Web is Dead.

Throngs of bloggers, tech professionals, and media pundits weighed in with their thoughts on the subject. A co-worker of mine even framed the cover, preserving this day in pop culture history:

The Web is Dead
The Web is Dead

Why all the controversy, and why should marketers care? It has to do with the changing nature of media consumption and the role of your corporate website.

It should be noted that Wired makes a distinction between the Internet (the core infrastructure for transferring digital content) and the Web (the hypertext documents accessed over the Internet). In fact, the full article title is “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet,” but the more provocative, truncated version surely sells more magazines.

We’ve seen a huge shift in recent years away from primarily Web-based browsing to platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display (e.g., email and instant messaging clients, mobile apps, networked games, iTunes). Wired points out that the HTML data delivered through the Web now comprises less than 25% of traffic on the Internet, and will continue to shrink as app adoption grows.

Why the Web is "Dead" (or Dying)
Why the Web is "Dead" (or Dying)

But to paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Web’s death has been greatly exaggerated.

To be sure, app usage will continue to grow, likely at the expense of browser usage. But marketers should consider apps as a complement to their marketing mix, and not necessarily a replacement of an existing channel. Just as the Web didn’t kill TV, and MP3s haven’t killed radio, apps have not killed the Web (yet, anyway). In fact, Wired’s attention-getting headline harkens back to the December 13, 2006 issue of Time Magazine, which predicted that user-generated content on sites like Wikipedia, Youtube and MySpace (yes, MySpace!) would “seize the reigns of the global media” and “beat the pros at their own game.” Of course consumer-generated content is now pervasive in modern media, but it has hardly “killed” more traditional outlets.


Does your brand website still matter? Heck yes; the Web is still very much alive.

But its role is changing: in a fragmented media marketplace, your brand website forms the hub of all other activity. It is here that you formally articulate your product and service offering, your value proposition, and your market differentiators. It is here that you anchor all of your offline initiatives, allowing TV viewers, radio listeners, and print readers to find out more (and share it with friends). And it is from here that you syndicate content to all of the new media channels now at your disposal, be it mobile, social or app- based.

Nielsen’s Pete Blackshaw said it best in a recent column for AdAge:

At the end of the day, brands today live a decentralized, if not fragmented, existence. The brand "home" has line-extended itself into a network of smaller residences and rented apartments -- or what we might call "brand stands" -- all primed for meeting and interacting with the consumer at various stages in the purchase, loyalty or advocacy cycle...A smart website feeds and refreshes the brand stands. It anchors the brand database, arguably the most coveted asset, and sets the tone and standard for the brand's ethos and attitude about feedback, expression and service. Put another way, it establishes that first critical (often unforgettable) impression. A great website also smartly syndicates, re-circulates and curates social content from the brand stands. Importantly, if we're truly entering a POEM (paid, owned, earned) media mix model, brand websites are key. They anchor the owned, reinforce the paid and incubate the earned.”

So rather than thinking about scrapping your website and focusing on the latest marketing craze, rethink your distributed Web strategy so that your site will best support all of the innovation happening around it.

PARTNERS+simons can help.

Dock25 Photo Shoot with The Penguin

No, not Burgess Meredith or Danny Devito. This guy:

Roast Beef

How great is that? Yes, I have a penchant for penguins, but these shots from the New England Aquarium's new Penguin Power campaign will grab just about anyone's attention.

The photos are the work of the very-talented John Holt at Dock25 (photography + digital imaging). He collaborated with another Boston shop, Mullen, on the campaign. The copy and images are just fantastic. Here are a couple of my other favorites:

Argentina and Chile

Check out behind-the-scenes at the photo shoot here and full credits here.

If you are in need of some stellar photography, contact John Holt

And don't forget to go visit Roast Beef, Lillico, Argentina and Chile over at the Aquarium. I'm sure they'd love to see you.

Butch Bakery

Cupcakes have become a nationwide craze in recent years, and Boston is no different: we have several cupcake shops in the Boston area, including Sweet (amazing Red Velvet), South End Buttery, Lulu's Bake ShoppeTreat Cupcake Bar, and my personal favorite, Kickass Cupcakes (get the Mojito!).

All, with the exception of maybe Kickass which offers a Guiness-laden Green Monster cupcake, are decidedly girlie and/or family friendly. Which is why this new, New York City-based entrant is not just another cupcake joint.

Butch Bakery's cupcakes for men aims to be the place where "butch meets buttercream." How? With flavors like Rum & Coke (Madagascar vanilla cake with cola Bavarian cream), Beer Run (chocolate beer cake with beer-infused buttercream topped with crushed pretzels) and the Jackhammer (chocolate cake with chocolate hazelnut filling and hazelnut buttercream) and designs like camoflage, wood grain, and plaid.

Butch Bakery 
Like many of their fairer Boston brethren, Butch Bakery's cupcakes cost around $4 each; currently only available for purchase in NY, but nationwide delivery is expected later this year.

I think this is hilarious. In keeping with DiaperDude ("cool" diaper bags for men) and the latest round of ad campaigns from Old Spice, Dos Equis, and Canadian Club Whisky.

Viva machismo!

[Butch Bakery via Springwise]

What I learned at #adclubedge - Part 2

Note: this post originally appeared on the PARTNERS+simons blog.

Earlier this week, I posted Part 1 of my recap of The AdClub EDGE Conference, the industry organization's event to celebrate some of the people and brands that are driving innovation in Boston. It was a great affair, and there was simply too much to cover in one blog post alone. So here, I give you Part 2 of what I learned at #adclubedge (again, in no particular order):

Continue reading "What I learned at #adclubedge - Part 2" »

What I learned at #adclubedge - Part 1

EdgeNote: this post originally appeared on the PARTNERS+simons blog.

Last week's Ad Club EDGE Conference: Branded in Boston was a smashing success, judging by the sold-out crowd in attendance at the Westin Boston Waterfront. The day-long event brought together people from all aspects of advertising, marketing, public relations, production, design, and academia to learn more about - and celebrate - brands that were born and raised in our own back yard. Here's what I learned there (in no particular order):

Continue reading "What I learned at #adclubedge - Part 1" »