Get a Mac UK

Peepshow is one of my favourite comedies of the last few years, and Mitchell and Webb are inspired choices to play Mac and PC in the UK version of the Get a Mac ads.

Apple (UK and Ireland) – Get a Mac – Watch The New Ads


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…

More Internet Scribblings in the Real World

What a shame.

From a pub toilet near Spittalfields. Which also had the great line writ large on the wall “England isn’t competitive”. Which I thought was rather profound.

Saturday Newspaper Graphics (1 of 2)

2 very different newspaper graphics caught my eye at the weekend when I was reading the papers in the pub. Firstly this infographic from the Guardian, it shows which European countries people Polish people are emigrating to. I looked at it for ages and after thinking it was really good and clear, I realised that the lines weren’t actually really to scale, so I was a bit put out and thought it was a bit misleading. (e.g. the German line should be almost 3 times the thickness of the UK line, and it’s not even double).

But it does get the info across quickly. The real power of this as an infographic though is when you use it as a tool to compare against other countries. If you view it alongside the graphics for Slovakia and Czech Republic you get an impression of migration patterns really quickly.

logo.pngA response from the camp regarding the Subway video. It’s basically saying: “we did it, we got people talking, that’s the whole point”.

I’m sure the debate will rage on around whether this is just a good piece of post-rationalisation and speedy ass-covering. Or a cunning master-plan that was in place from the start. (As an aside, if it’s the latter I think there’s a much better way of presenting this, a making of the behind the scenes video perhaps? Showing the point at which the decision was made to target the advertising community maybe?).

On their site ‘Jeff’ is quoted as saying:

“They made this for ad people to watch, think about, talk about, and spread. And that’s what we’re doing”.

But did they? I thought the whole point was that it was a video for a Subway client. Or is that all part of the subterfuge as well? Maybe they made a 5 minute boring ‘meet the team video’ and sent that to the client too? Along with a pitch based around:

“See how much noise we can generate with one video clip within the (online) advertising community, imagine how much noise we could make with 5 clips and a decent budget within the food eating community…”

If that’s the case then maybe they come out of this looking like genii…

But, based on the original premise (as we, the audience, were shown it): “we need to create a video for a client” (a private piece of communication), “let’s put it on youtube” (a very public communication channel). I think the naysayers were right to pound this tactic for it’s apparent naivety. (An interesting conversation starting tactic maybe?).

Whether they’re very right, or incredibly wrong I don’t regret being part of the spreading this meme. I called it as I saw it. I made the t-shirt, and I’ve either helped them look smart (or not). If I’ve been ‘duped’ into being part of this whole thing I’m glad, I’ve been a part of an ‘evolving, collaborative, dialogue driven online experiment’ – and that’s the kind of thing that we should all be doing. Whether I have or not, I guess is still the question.

The great thing about the web is that at some point the full story will come out. There will be winners, there will be losers, but as my P.E. teacher used to say “it’s the taking part that counts”.

In case it matters (and it probably doesn’t), the fact that the domain name ‘’ was bought yesterday doesn’t indicate all that much forward planning in terms of the meme ‘going viral’. But that might just all be part of the plot…

Oh, and I’m pretty sure that the line in the video (as pointed out to me by others) is ‘if we roll, we roll big’. So I corrected my t-shirt yesterday. On the site they feature the old shirt, with the erroneous line on the front. But their domain is “when we roll, we roll big”, so maybe my old t-shirt was right after all. Or maybe we’re all as confused as each other?!?

Ultimately whether this works or not depends on how you measure the value of conversations and noise. I’ve seen a few comments where people have said things like “it’s better that people are talking about you than not”, but I don’t buy that. And I can think of a few examples where brands would probably agree. Coke with their Desai water launch ‘conversations’ in the UK. The noise around Hoover and their Free Flights offer. The awareness driven by Mercedes and their rolling cars. These are much more serious examples than a pitch video on YouTube. But you get my point.
I’m going to stop now. This is way too meta for me.

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Where I work is OK

Poke have just been rated the top Digital Agency in the UK by Revolution Magazine. Actually more importantly we weren’t rated by the magazine, but by clients (as reported in Revolution Magazine).

This is the second time in 2 years that we’ve won this award which is either great news (or proves that their scoring is fundamentally fucked). They basically ask clients what they think of agencies and ask them to score them on lots of different criteria. It’s nice to be recognised by clients rather than peers or ‘judges’. So I’m pretty happy today.

In our ‘School Report’ they’ve misspelled my name in rather an amusing fashion. No longer will I be known as Iain Tait, I’ll now be known as Ian Tart.

Oh well, people seem to think it suits me… I’m still happy.

It’s not mentioned on the: Revolution Web Site

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BT luvs Bebo

TechCrunch report: Bebo Shuns $550 Million Acquisition Offer

San Francisco based social network Bebo, which recently raised $15 millionfrom Benchmark Capital, rejected a £300 million ($552 million)acquisition offer from British Telecom Group “a few weeks ago”,according to an insider on the transaction. Bebo’s asking price? North of $1 billion.

Sounds like another big media company trying to pay big money for something they don’t understand? Maybe? But then you read something like this:

Hitwise research shows that users of social networking site Bebo generate more than half of all UK visits to VoIP provider Skype.Visits to Skype from Bebo make up 56% of the VoIP site’s total visits.

From (appears to be subscription only – although I accessed it earler ?!?): Half of Skype visitors come from Bebo as young users adopt VoIP

If you can’t get in to you can read about the Hitwise analysis (where I think their figures came from) at: Heather Hopkins – Hitwise UK: Skype, Bebo and Vonage – Why Skype Visits are Through the Roof

Heather says:

Earlier this month, Skype and Bebo announced a partnership to take VOIP social. The partnership allows users to host “Skypecasts” with up to 100 participants on the same call and we have already seen a massive impact on Skype’s traffic. Last week, 58% of visits to Skype came from Bebo

Be interesting to see how much real uptake there is of Skype through this.

Maybe their valuation isn’t so crazy after all…

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