Monthly Archives: February 2010

What if cinema became interactive?

What if cinema became interactive?

Thanks to Gregoire Lacoste whose blog brought this amazing interactive campaign to my attention. Produced by the Jung Von Matt agency in Berlin, for the German channel “13th Street”, this campaign gives horror-movie buffs a very personal experience with their favorite films—you can even phone characters in the movie from the theater.  Could this be even better than 3D?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRMNfwndtok&feature=player_embedded [/youtube]

What if Internet was inside us?

What if Internet was inside us?

Sunday is the “day of the thinker”.  Having already devoted this day to philosophers, economists, scientists and sociologists, I am now pleased to add a forecaster to the list: Joël de Rosnay, since writing The Symbiotic Man in 1995 has been reflecting on the Internet of the future.  According to him, this Internet will bring together biology and information systems, leading him to refer to this future manifestation as “The Symbiotic Web” or the “Symbionet”.  For de Rosnay, “Yesterday, we went on the net, today we live on the net” and tomorrow, the net will be inside of us!  French speakers can watch his talk at Tedx Paris on this subject here

According to his biography on his website: “Joël de Rosnay, Docteur ès Sciences and scientific writer, is presently President of Biotics International, a consulting company specialized in the impact of new technologies on industries, and Special Advisor to the President of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie at La Villette of which he was Director of Forecasting and Assesment until June 2002. From 1975 to 1985 he was Director of Research Applications at l’Institut Pasteur (the Pasteur Institute in Paris).”

In his most recent book, published in French as 2020—Les scenarios du future (“2020—Scenarios of the Future), de Rosnay states: “borders between biology, mechanics and electronics have faded away.  Researchers have now implanted chips in their arms to communicate with their environment and to be recognized by security systems.  Cerebral prostheses have come into contact with a machine-made environment.  While other researchers work on “neuro chips” that can be implanted directly into specific areas of the brain such as the hippocampus—offering new hope to those who have suffered neurological damage…But faced with these radical scientific developments, one must remain prudent—an ethical gap exists between the “repaired” person, the “transformed” person and the “augmented” person.  Chips and implants theoretically allow for augmented cerebral or metabolic functions for people in good mental health with the means to pay for such prosthetic advances—which runs the risk of creating “sub-humans” and “super-humans”.  The symbiotic web can create ethical problems.
The integration of new technologies in the human body is reminiscent of the “cyborg” (for “cybernetic organism”) concept popularized by Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline in 1960.  I would like to thank Mathieu Felx (better known on Twitter as “Publigeekaire”) for showing me the documentary that resonates with Joël de Rosnay theories:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urVXWUD8Q3Y&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

What if the movie was inside the book?

What if the movie was inside the book?

This post is a contribution from Nicolas Dalibard, one of (many) young talents of TBWA\France.  He’ll be talking about the very innovative book—that is so much more than a book—Level 26.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnzwNjOaKoc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Level 26 does not refer to the top floor of a skyscraper, rather it’s the title of a “digi- novel” by Anthony E. Zuicker (creator of the series CSI ) and his acolyte Duane Swierczynski.  Understanding that his readers might be more at ease looking at web pages than reading book pages, and browsing in their iTunes library than spending time in an actual library, Zuicker wrote this detective novel with the digital generation in mind.  Indeed, in Level 26, the reader must go to the book’s website, every 20 pages or so, to cross a so-called “cyber-bridges” of videos and other interactive features.

Level 26 is the first in a trilogy about the fight between a former FBI agent whose entire family has been murdered, and a killer named Sqweegel—a serial killer so violent, vicious and twisted, that a 26th level in the hierarchy of serial killers was created just for him.  The trilogy is kicked off by a killing so horrifying that the ex FBI agent comes out of retirement to track down Sqweegel.  Aside from the overall quality of the story, I am most interested in the “Trojan Horse” aspect of the novel.  Inside the book, the reader finds a series of codes that once entered in the website, deliver exclusive content: videos of murders and torture, crime scenes, key plot developments….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6mIQOem-CI&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Alongside the website is the community of “26ers”, hard-core fans who participate in writing the following editions in the trilogy through “deputy challenges”.  The 26ers catch various errors in the 1st novel, add content to the website, and discuss and participate in various forums.  The site gets about 300 new members per day.  And if you were unfortunate enough to have entered your email and telephone number in the site, the serial killer might contact you while you’re reading the book!  There is also an iPhone app for the book (compatible with iPod touch and iPad) as well as various Facebook pages for Level 26.  Below is Anthony E. Zuicker explaining the strong potential that “digi-novels” have for product placement:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgNVbwtmUHI&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

What if we went back to the best of comparative advertising?

What if we went back to the best of comparative advertising?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeig8osKUSg&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Comparative advertising.  In my home country of France, this form of advertising is highly regulated: only objectively comparable elements can be held up—thus providing very little creative interest.

Of course, what makes the Avis/Hertz, Pepsi/Coke and, more recently Mac/PC campaigns great is their overt subjectivity.  The infamous Mac/PC campaign has featured some 66 films produced by TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, since its inception in 2006.  Go here, to see all of the spots by year.

Which one is your favorite?  Personally, I am a fan of spot n° 49 “Bean Counter” (above), made in response to Microsoft’s massive 2008 “I am a PC” campaign and the brand’s subsequent problems with Window’s Vista.

However, when it comes to comparative ads, my perennial favorite will always be Pepsi’s “Archeology” spot (see below), dating from 1986.  Using their slogan “The choice of a new generation”, Pepsi imagined a future world where people wouldn’t even know that Coca Cola had once existed!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf1A8Ukk5Us[/youtube]

What if you were only 17 minutes away from your living God?

This post is a reprint (and translation) of an article excerpted from one of my favorite blogs “KairosMosaïque“, written by Alexandre Richichesu.  You surely know about the theory of “six degrees of separation”, established in 1929 by Frigyes Karinthy, that posited that every person in the world could be connected to any other person by a maximum of 5 other links.  Now we can measure our separation not only in degrees but also in minutes, it only takes 17 minutes to connect to George Lucas!

“Social Network’s efficiency needs no longer to be proved.  Imagine that you wish to meet George Lucas—how would you do this?  This was the question that the best site ever, The Cool Hunter, asked one day: “Does anyone have access to George Lucas?”  17 minutes after putting this message on their Facebook fanpage (that has over 44,000 fans) came a response from @philipbloom, who just happens to be the cinematographer for Mr. Lucas and who also just happened to be in his presence.  Only history will tell us if George Lucas then agreed to give 2 minutes of his time to The Cool Hunter.  What we will remember is that it took only a few minutes to connect two people who had nothing in common.

According to the Spanish sociologists Manuel Castells, the Network has always been considered to be the best possible organizational structure.  Today, new information and communication technologies “allow” and increase this mode of communication.  Castells places the network at the heart of contemporary social and cultural transformations.  Our social relations and our individual construction are “against and with society in a network”.  However, technology can intensify this communication ideal and thus, kill it.  In fact, some people regret the intensification and acceleration of social relations in a network-based society.  Smaller scale relationships, that give a real sense to interpersonal reactions, seem to be disappearing.  However, this type of postmodern critique that sees the Internet as a world that is turned inward has been going out of style.  Factually speaking, people who have a big network online; have a highly developed social life offline.  What’s more, these highly connected people are more likely to transform a virtual friend into a “real” friend.  George Lucas, hear the call and use the force of The Cool Hunter!”