when digital got in the way April 7, 2011Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, automotive, digital, digital advertising.
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This time last year I had a strange desire. No, not that you dirty minded pervs. No, a desire for throbbing engines, helmets and leather. Yes, I wanted a motorbike. Part practicality – I could save a chunk of cash by parking at a different train station – and part just because I’m heading into the dreaded 4 and 0. Not yet though. And then it all went away. Overnight. And it’s been taken over by another desire.
For a massive 4×4. Partly because any moment now we will have child no. 2 but also because I enjoy driving big cars. I enjoyed immensely driving the humoungous 8-seat Dodge Durango while on holiday in Florida a couple of years back – except when you went round a corner. We have corners in Europe.
So I should be frothing at the mouth at this new partnership from Microsoft and Ford for the all new C-MAX. I know the old C-MAX from my previous life on the Ford of Europe account (I didn’t work on it btw). It was the bastard child. Nobody liked it. The Focus and the Mondeo looked down on it and the S-MAX showed how versatility and all those other things can be put together in a great driving package. Some time down the track it’s been re-born. And here’s where my current desires fit in. I perceived the C-MAX as crap. Then I saw the telly ad. It looked nice. And what’s this? It has 7 seats! Woo hoo. We NEED 7 seats. (I know we will have 2 sproglies but have you EVER tried fitting your mum/mother-in-law in between 2 car seats in a V50? No? It just won’t go. So 7 seats are now officially tick box requirements for our next automobile.)
And then I completely forgot about it. And then I saw this tie up with MSN. Partnering with MSN gives you lots of good content, instant access to a gazillion people and a whopping amount of digital platforms on which to share the product love. It’s got lots of nice technology content, men things, stuff that men will like, manly stuff and things that are loosely related to the technology and men things about the car. I didn’t read any of that though because I watched Tiff Needell driving the car. The production quality was horrific which is inexcusable for a brand like Ford. And the car was DIRTY! I almost fainted. But the film content was good. I had no idea it had Active Parking. Which would terrify me at first in the same way Stop-Start mechanisms do. I am paranoid the bastard won’t start again. I couldn’t get as excited as Tiff at the automatic boot release though. I would get more excited at an automatic boot close as you get on premium motors from Germany. No more slamming. I even smiled knowingly as Tiff flashed his headlights in a retro Top Gear over-taking manouvre on the Oxfordshire back roads where it was filmed.
But where are the 7 seats, Tiff? WHERE? Nothing. Not even a nod to say “for those who want extra versaility there’s a 7 seat version.” So I had to jump ship to the microsite. Which seems to have no reason to live as it’s same content as the main site. And discover it’s called the Grand C-MAX. And try and find the video for that. And it was a bit rubbish. And then I looked at the prices and thought ouch! And then I figured I could get a decent used XC-90 for the same amount of cash and enjoy it more. Because it’s bigger. And it’s what we wanted all along. And they have some lovely films of Sweden. For the first time in ages I felt let down by digital because it got in the way.
2011 – a hope rather than a prediction January 12, 2011Posted by nicholas gill in #fail, 2011 predictions, Behaviour, Contagious, Cwora, digital, Ecelman Digital, Edelman Digital, Quora.
Usually about this time of the year the great and the good pass judgement on what will be this year’s shiny new things that we should all cut and paste into our client presentations and PR whoring look at me documentation. Yet again I have failed to do this but here’s a couple of great examples if you haven’t found them already.
No, rather than do any predictions this year, I have a hope.
And the hope is that we all behave more like gentlemen in 2011.
I’ve dropped down my level of participation in the online world of late partly because of workload and wanting to spend time without my phone in hand while doing things at home but also because I’ve been bored by the boorish behaviour.
You know the sort, ranting at everything and anything, shouting #fail!! at the earliest and slightest opportunity, talking about me, me and more me and indeed those proclaiming statements of such nonsense and expecting them to be taken seriously. I’m already hearing you say, “well, it’s free speech cockface, if you don’t like it, unfollow me.” Which I have or probably will soon. So there, ner.
I was particularly moved recently watching Jeremy Clarkson’s documentary on World War II – where a small group of British army chaps took on an almost impossible task to blow up whatever it was armed with courageousness, ingenuity and gentlemanly conduct. While this was moving enough, what got me was the passage where on trying to escape, a lone gunner on a doomed ship was holding his own against the might of the German army who were literally shelling him to death. When the soldier finally perished, his German aggressor was so taken by the spirit of the man that he made sure he contacted the British authorities to pass on his complete respect and awe of this man who had stood against them. The man was awarded a special honour. It is not known of what became of the German commander who made this gesture in the midst of fierce battle.
I doubt this would happen today. We are obsessed with ourselves. Whatever the business benefits and cultural shifts of openness and connectivity social media has delivered, it has also given us a narcissistic and self-indulgent culture. And one where ranting and raving is the norm. We would be more likely to tea-bag that soldier and TwitPic it than make an astounding human gesture.
So this year, let’s try and act more like gentlemen shall we? Do the digital version of holding the door open, helping a lady with a pram navigate the stairwells of the tube and standing patiently in the queue. We should do these in real life too. Obviously.