Our ‘Secret’ Creative Director

OK. It’s time. I can now finally reveal the all-new 3rd Poke Creative Director (after all the buildup). He’s the guy on the left.

His name is Yacco Vijn – pronounce it as Jacko (like Whacko Jacko) Fine – pretty simple, and he claims it’s close enough to how you’re supposed to say it. Yacco has left behind the agency that he co-founded (skipintro.nl) to come and work with us at Poke in London. We’re looking forward to making sure he doesn’t regret it.

We’re dead excited that Yacco found us. And once the connection had been made we realised that we knew lots of his work and loved the way that he thinks about stuff. I really love the Rijkswidget they made for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam – basically its a widget that gives you a painting a day (and the history of it when you flip it round). Can still be downloaded and installed from: http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/widget. Simple and brilliant. Self improvement never looked so good.

And he used to be a top Techno/Trance DJ/ Producer, which is nice. Plus he’s got a MySpace page with his own music on, which is cool.

Perhaps Yacco’s biggest legacy to date is creating the legendary skipintro.com, described by one website (in an article called “it’s a car crash out there”):

So how did we get here and where do we go from here? While none of the experts would point a finger at a single cause, they did point to some causes and all agreed that skipintro.com is a great example of what not to do.

High praise indeed! Unfortunately the site isn’t there any more, so unless you were there at the time, and many people were. This is probably a bit meaningless.

We’re all looking forward to doing some good stuff.

BBH Wins Lynx Digital Account

An interesting ‘moment’ in online advertising. BBH win Lynx digital account. To my mind Dare have done some really amazing online advertising for Lynx (Feather and Blow to name but two), and I’m really surprised that the account has gone elsewhere (if the story is to be believed).

In principle I agree with this quote from the article:

John O’Keeffe, executive creative director of BBH London, said: “A couple of years ago, we might have been at a disadvantage in a pitch like this, simply for lack of having the digital craft skills in-house. We now have that capability: whereupon this, and any other digital pitch for that matter, comes down to the same question that decides any such process: who has the best idea?”

But at the same time I wonder if this is really true.

Is it always down to the best idea winning out? Not really. Do BBH have great ideas? Undoubtedly. Do they have outstanding ‘salespeople’? Almost certainly better then most digital agencies.

I’m not trying to put forward the case for ‘digital agencies’ (interesting how I’m now feeling more and more compelled to use inverted commas around various parts of the term digital agency) particularly. However, something I’ve noticed recently is that the nature of our clients is changing. Whereas previously we used to sell our ideas into digital people, we’re now increasingly up in front of a mixture of digital and advertising people.

The way in which you pitch your ideas to these two groups are massively different. Online people typically want to see more of the ‘how we’re going to do it’, where as advertising people take that stuff for granted. You see an idea, it gets made. They’ve never been through the pain of cross-browser testing a complicated website. And they don’t care how it gets done. And maybe that’s the way it should be (for advertising).

My prediction is that we’re going to see a fragmentation of how brands operate online, there’ll be a bunch of people competing to do online advertising. And a bunch of people doing ‘other stuff’.

I think I know where I’d rather be…

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OK! OK! I’m going to do it. I’m gong to succumb to the blog tag 5 things meme. Thanks to the following for tagging me. I might have missed some others (if I have let me know and I’ll add you to my thank you list).

In case you’ve not come across this thing it’s basically like a blog chain letter, only it’s not really. There’s something quite nice about the fact that it creates new links between blogs and their authors. (I only really ‘recognise’ 2 of the people who tagged me – I think).

Anyway, it works like this:

Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 5 facts about yourself. Then choose 5 people you want to tag and list their names. Then leave a comment on their blog letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Actually I had to go and find someone who’d written the rules down, as lots of people seem to be propagating the meme in different ways. I suppose that’s the thing with memes, they get ‘chinese whispered’ as they go around. I’ve even seen some people suggest that their tagees have to write 7 things. How wrong is that!

Anyway, enough waffle, here are 5 ‘interesting’ things about me.

  1. I can fit my fist inside my mouth. I can’t remember how I found this out. But I’ve always been able to do it for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it hurts the edges of my lips, but not normally.
  2. I’ve never eaten meat in my life. Well never intentionally anyway (I once had a British Rail pizza at Kings Cross station that mistakenly had ham on it. I think I ate some. My mum complained to British Rail and they were very sorry, or so they said).
  3. I can’t drive a car. I’ve never really felt the need. Occasionally it’s a pain – on holiday and things like that. And I suppose for moving things around the place. Actually it would be useful quite often, at least to be able to hire a vehicle. But I suppose the real fact is I’m now quite scared of driving (in London anyway), there’s so many nutters on the road and I’m not sure they’d like me getting in their way. Perhaps I’ll take my test in Brighton… But I did used to own an Austin Allegro 1300 Estate. Perhaps more embarrassing than not being able to drive is the fact that I drove one of these for a year (when you were simply allowed to drive with a passenger who’d passed their test sitting in the car). It was voted the worst car ever a couple of years ago. I quite liked it at the time though.
  4. I like dancing. I have done ever since the heady days of breakin’ in the park back in ’84. Culminating in the near legendary uprock outside the Burton-on-Trent branch of WH Smiths. I can’t do that stuff anymore, but there’s an Orange video banner from last year that features me dancing. Thankfully hardly anyone I know has seen it.
  5. I have a secret love of trashy reality TV shows. I watch them and it makes me feel unclean. However, I try to justify it to myself in the name of anthropological research ;-)

Phew, done it. Now who am I going to tag. I pick:

5 fine, upstanding people who I’d like to know 5 interesting things about…

My Mini Adventure

I sort of wrote myself an unwritten rule that I wouldn’t blog this.

But when I did a search for Mini Adventure London and nothing came up, I felt a bit bad. Mini have obviously spent a lot of money on an awesome piece of experiential marketing. Actually I’m not sure it is. It was an awesome experience. But I’m not sure how good the marketing actually is, given that I couldn’t find any mention of it online. And I reckon they can only have managed to give about 100 or so people the experience per day.

I’m not going to give the whole game away as I’m sure that they’re touring this experience. If you see a bunch of new Minis that look like shrunken black cabs you should try to get a go.

Basically a guy asked us if we wanted to go on a Mini Adventure. We were on lunch break and said yes. We got taken on a test-drive around East London showing off all the features of the new Mini, in a fun way, lots of local history, chit chat, etc. Then at the end there was a section of freaky performance art/drama that culminated in a big surprise. I shall say no more… For now…

It was fun though. And I did quite like the car. Even if the dashboard did look a bit Noddy.

Microsoft Live Local – Birds’ Eye View of London

my house

I was attempting to write something about Friday’s Microsoft Day that I went to. But I visited Live Local search to look something up, then realised I could see my own house from the air, from multiple different angles. And it’s, dare I say it, way slicker than Google maps in terms of visual quality. Not sure if it’s the same everywhere, but in central London it’s very very cool!

Give it a go.

Trains are cool

Came across this yesterday:

The London to Brighton train ride in 2 mins.

Reminds me of the Star Guitar video for the Chemical Brothers by Michel Gondry. I’m not sure if the music almost sounds similar too, or whether that’s just associations in my brain.

One of my favourite videos of all time. So effortless and simple on the surface, but so damn complex underneath.

Feels like the top one had the music edited for the video, and the bottom one is obviously the other way round.

I love London (a little bit)

Busking on Brick LaneSome of you may have seen my ‘I love London’ blog – an experiment to try to get me to love living in London a bit more. And whether having a blog that makes me look out for good things would help me to see good things.

After a strong start it faltered badly. I couldn’t find anything. Everything just seemed generic to living somewhere that isn’t ‘in the middle of nowhere’. And I started to feel like I wasn’t loving London very much. Then I saw something unexpected on Sunday that strangely fired me up…

A couple of people busking on Brick Lane: I’d given up… Until… – I Love London

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My New Blog Experiment

Early Morning From My Window

I Love London

Actually I don’t. That’s the whole point. Me and London haven’t been getting along all that well recently.

So I thought I’d try a little experiement. To see if blogging about great things in London can inspire me to think more about great things in London. And make me more attuned to noticing these things around me.

Basically, can blogging inspire positive thought.

The project was inspired by a conversation with Russell last week about how blogging can affect your view of the world (in a good way) and an invite to try out Vox (a new service from Six Apart). I started this morning.

Have a look: http://iaintait.vox.com. Leave your thoughts.

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