We’re back on Broad Street. Morning engagements kept me from the first two presenters, and I’ve come into the middle of a presentation on “Entertainment.” The session is “curated” by Lee Maicon; Bald Guy, and Head of Planning at StrawberryFrog. The program doesn’t contain the names of the three panelists. One of the panelists is a particularly smart cat who is speaking about narrative and meaning. He (the smart dude) just walked us through some movie clips – one from Kurosawa’s “Ran”, and one from the Matrix. I haven’t been able to determine what exactly they’re trying to tell us, but I’ve only been here for a few minutes.

Update 1 – One of the panelists is apparently from VH1, because he just explained to us how “The Surreal Life” saved VH1 from irrelevance. They just showed us a clip of MC Hammer convincing Vince Neil to come back to the fold and pray to God, despite Vince’s contention that the loss of his daughter demonstrated the vacuity of prayer. The smart guy says it was a moment that transcends irony, which is a device that he says has matured and needs to be pushed past.

Update 1a – I’m starting to discern the panel’s goal. They are pushing narrative in the context of marketing and using examples from longer format entertainment to support this notion. VH1 guy showed the “Diet Coke Break” ad as an example of good use of narrative in an ad. “I’m not saying customize ads for VH1. I’m just saying think about narrative in your commercials.”

Update 1b – One of the panelists is apparently involved in American Idol, (for which I won’t bother finding a link,) and guess what; he’s bald.

Update 1c – I just asked American Idol guy about the spoiler community and the enmity that developed between that community and the producers of the show. They put it back on me to ask what, if any, impact the community may have had on the sponsors of the show. All I could think of was to suggest that the kerfuffle surrounding the ostensible vote fraud probably had a fairly negative impact upon general perception of AT&T, a sponsor and the assumptive stewards of the phone system used for voting.

Update 1d – It turned out to be a really rather good panel. Probably the best so far. Their discussion revolved around narrative and entertainment as it intersects with marketing and advertising. A recapitulation of the Madison + Vine theme that popped up occasionally yesterday.

Update 2 – Battery died on the laptop and the condescending sound engineer at the back of the room went apoplectic when I tried to plug into his circuit. Given the paucity of power outlets, I have to offer a little criticism of the organizers for not foreseeing the need. People would want to blog such an event, yes? Why not have a power bank available for those bloggers? As a result I couldn’t liveblog the technology session. But right after I eat, I will endeavor to make something up that sounds similar to what they said.

Update 2a – So the technology panel was decent. More of the same self-serving use of the stage to show the panelists’ firms’ work. The only takeaway from it is just, know what the hell you’re doing with technology. Don’t just do it because everyone else is doing it. Don’t just jump in without consulting the experts.

Update 3 – Richard Notarianni, Executive Creative Director of Media at Euro RSCG Worldwide is now speaking about “delivery.” He’s pushing the notion that brands should be more human. He’s delineating the difference between people and brands. I’ve heard that somewhere else.

Here are some of his premises:

  • Brands are Rigid and Unfeeling – People Have Likes, Dislikes, Moods
  • What does your brand love? – “Monstano Loves Agriculture” anyone?
  • Brands are Constrained by Markets – People Connect Beyond Geography
  • Brands Seek the Spotlight – People Share the Spotlight With Others
  • Brands Target Influencers – People Have Influential Friends
  • Brands are Greedy – People are Generous … and Do Something About It
  • Brands Build Reputation – People Elaborate
    “People have a low tolerance for repetition.”
    “Add to the story. Create incremental detail. Elaborate.”
  • Brands Exist on a Narrow Plane – People Live in 3 Dimensions
    “Create physical experience.”
  • Brands Are Secure In Their Categories – People Are Immersed in Popular Culture … and Have a Deep Relationship with It
  • Brands have Guidelines – People have Beliefs … and Live According to Them

Update 3a – This guy has been the best speaker by far. He spoke off the cuff. His message is powerful. Too bad the audience is so small; they were clearly underwhelmed by yesterday.

Update 4 – This guy, Eduardo Braniff, CEO of Imagination is doing the “Round-Up.” I’d describe his presentation, but you can click that link and look at the picture and get everything you need to know. No, really.

Update 4a – In a moment of unselfconsciousness, Eduardo suggests we may be in a new Renaissance. His ego creeping back in, but not without some perspicacity, he said, “The agencies need to be the new Medicis.”

Update 4b – “We cannot pick and choose our battles. Great champions never say, ‘I’m going to sit this one out.'”

Update 4c – “Maybe the word, ‘marketing’ will go away.” In spite of his monotonic delivery, Eduardo said some stuff that seems to me to be right on the money.

Update 5 – Some awards are being given. The recipients have been invited to describe the work that won them the award. First up is Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. They’ve started with a video containing bits from various of their interactive pieces.

Update 5a – Now they’re showing a video of some installation work they did for Saturn. Enormous holographic people. An enormous interactive video wall. Video projections mapped to an enormous skydome and onto the surface of cars. Really great stuff. I think this is the video we just watched, but I’m not sure because the bandwidth seems to be throttled and I couldn’t continue to wait for it.

Update 5b – Then they showed the collaboration between Saturn and Google that they architected. Check it out here. And followed it up with their collaboration between Saturn and Jon Bon Jovi; Have a Nice Gig.

Update 5c – Now an award to goes to Droga5 for their work with Mark Ecko. Surprise, surprise, it’s for the Air Force One stunt. The video is the first result in a Google search for “ecko stunt,” if that tells you anything.¬†Ecko actually suggests in the little documentary we’re watching that it is a political act because AF1 is a symbol of our freedoms; “…it belongs to the American people.” That strikes me as a facile and disingenuous cover for a piece of marketing. One YouTube commenter sums his thoughts on the piece; “Marc Ecko is a douche.”

Update 5d – Satchi LA (I think they said LA) is getting an award for a campaign for the Toyota Yaris. The presenter from Satchi said they were trying to be, “both laser focused and dropping H-bombs.” They did some stuff for E3, some Street Fighter tournament, some TV (only Lost and Prison Break), video on mobile phones, a video-game-in-a-banner, and a comic book. It’s clever.

Update 6 – That’s all she wrote. For my part, I think I’m gonna get outta here and go see ground zero.
Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.