October 5th, 2009

Digital Dump 05/10/2009


The Wave of the Future?

As you’ve no doubt heard, Google Wave was put into limited release to 100,000 key users this week. To quote it’s promotional press, it is “is a web based service, computing platform and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging and wiki and social networking. It has a strong collaborative and real time focus supported by extensions that can provide, for example, robust spelling/grammar automated translation between 40 languages, and numerous other extensions”.

Google are billing it as the next generation of internet communication. Without testing it – or more accurately, without testing it at the same time as several of my friends and colleagues, it’s hard to qualify whether that claim is feasible. There’s some interesting support material on Google’s blog, though, with various professionals talking about how they will use the technology – a journalist discussing how he’d use it when submitting an article;  a film maker on how it could help his process (which is slightly more about potentials than copy writers) and a quite perceptive piece about enterprise uses .

Because it’s so new and hasn’t been tested in a live environment, the general online attitude to Wave has been pretty positive. Perhaps the main reason for apprehension shouldn’t be about the Wave itself, which has obivous and tangible benefits, but about whether it will achieve what, at the end of the day, is it’s goal – replacing email. To do this (the problem’s explained in detail here) it will have to generate a huge, organic shift in the behaviour of everyone who uses email. No easy task.

(If you’re interested in any of the other potential pratfalls, check out this list by Fast Company).

Driving with your Head

A few weeks ago I blogged about the new on windshield display which feature from the new Lexus. It seems the trend is spreading, with Toyota Prius’s new European model also including the feature. And they’re showcasing it in these fantastic banner ads produced by Glue UK, in which you can steer the car using your head, via your webcam. Clever stuff.

They Don’t Make ‘em Like They Used To

We’ve featured a few automotive campaigns on the Dump lately, particularly those which are interesting or innovative, and some of the more out there campaigns got me thinking about one of the most most out there, and effective, campaigns of all time – Dunlop Tyre’s 1993 TV ads, produced by Tony Kaye. The campaign was called “Tested for the Unexpected”, not exactly a groundbreaking tagline for a tyre company, but the response to the brief – featuring heavily made-up naked men, explosions, and spiked gimp masks, soundtracked by the Velvet Underground’s 1967 paean to sado-masochism Venus In Furs, was anything but. The result is brilliant, though, not because it is shocking or unexpected, but because it manages to to remain obviously an ad for tyres despite these qualities. It’s a great reminder of how a response to a brief doesn’t have to be limited by your preconceptions of the product or of the client’s expectations.

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