We all know that B2B advertising is boring, and almost never creative, don’t we? It seems that no-one told Volvo Trucks*.
You’ve probably already seen their recent piece of content which shows Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two moving lorries. It’s at 21 million views and counting. But what you may not know is that this is just the latest in a series of great pieces of content, each of which simply and clearly demonstrates a product benefit.
They started with a ballerina, took in a hamster and some bulls (no bullshit), put their President on the line and were willing to risk everything to get ahead.
Now views aren’t everything, and they haven’t all reached Van Damme levels, but most of them have done a great job at turning entertaining (and informative) content into large-scale audiences. As phrases like content marketing and native advertising gain traction it’s great that Volvo can serve as a positive case study, as opposed to the recent efforts by Guinness.
Some people, including, unsurprisingly, those being paid by the publications he was attacking, found this distasteful: a middle of the road actor who had, famously, been found with a prostitute, taking the moral high ground. It made them so mad it caused them to spit more of the bile that Hugh Grant was chastising them for, probably creating even more sympathy for his case.
But that, of course, was the whole point – Grant had never claimed to be a moral arbiter, just someone who got paid to do dress-up for a living who had, much to the disgust of the press, avoided the spotlight in so much as he rarely did interviews and didn’t make a living from selling his family photos to magazines and tabloids.
One didn’t have to agree with everything that Hugh Grant was saying to have a large amount of sympathy with his spirit.
The same thing, however, can’t be said for Alistair Campbell. As the Director of Communications for Tony Blair’s government, who now wishes to be seen as a champion of privacy and an honest press. I mention this, not only because he has been busily writing essays about the issue, but also because, bizarrely, he responded to a tweet I made about how badly the role suited him.
As Blair’s spin doctor in chief he led the strategy to win the right-wing papers over, and succeeded in the case of the Murdoch ones (including the News Of The World). The strategy failed with the Daily Mail because, noxious as most of its views (and those of its powerful editor Paul Dacre) are, it had some sort of integrity.
This, at the heart of it was what led, inexorably, towards the phone hacking and Leverson: politicians, spurred on by former tabloid hacks like Campbell, who believed that newspapers could make or destroy governments. In fact, as I learned during my brief political studies at university, research showed that the press had no real impact on voters.
What the tabloids had actually done was perfected the art of predicting the winner and then swinging solidly behind them, thereby making it look like the win was down to them. Unfortunately it’s not until Campbell had no more elections left to win that he discovered his crusading zeal.
Finally, when he did have elections to win he was still full of zeal. It’s just that it was aimed at bringing down respectable journalists for daring to suggest that he wasn’t that wedded to the truth, no matter what the cost.
In his desire to “fuck Gilligan” and the BBC, he caused an innocent public servant to be hounded to suicide. When the likes of the Daily Mail used the bizarre result of the Hutton Inquiry to call for the resignation of its Director General, for some reason Alistair Campbell’s attacks on the Mail’s journalistic integrity went missing.
British journalism through much of the last 30 years has been a sorry affair, a mix of brilliant campaigning, vile character assassination and, what looks like, criminality. But Alistair Campbell was deeply involved, whether directly or indirectly, in much of the worst of it, and every time he tries to play the innocent, or even some sort of journalistic St. Paul, he only weakens the cause he claims to be fighting for.
Tonight will see Matt Corby playing in the historic Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney, whilst tomorrow, November 16th, will see a number of up & coming local acts doing 30 minute sets with me filling in the gaps. The tour is being run off of the back of Ray-Ban’s Envision series, which aims to inspire undiscovered artists by highlighting the great work being done by inspiring people from across the globe, including LA based electronica-artists and Soundcloud superstar RL Grime and street artist Chase.
I start playing at 10am and end, after a number of great bands have played, at 6 and, with what looks to be rather changeable weather, it’s hard to know what to play. But this is the sort of stuff I’m thinking of – why not come along and have a listen? We’ll be opposite The Steyne Hotel on Manly Beach.
I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the hilarious video of a group of Russian police singing a version of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky whilst in uniform. Oh how we all laughed as they danced badly, sang in almost clichéd Russian accents and generally looked rather out of place.
Back when I first started at Mindshare, over 4 years ago now, I helped set-up a blog on our main site. Unfortunately, due to an imminent redesign, that blog is soon to be turned off. So, I’ve pulled out all of the posts I wrote and have uploaded them here – you won’t suddenly see 14 posts appear as they will all automaticlaly head to the archive.
Recently I discovered great music via the intersection of Gilles Peterson’s Instagram feed and Spotify; this time around it’s listening to Gilles Peterson’s BBC Radio 6 Music show and then finding free downloads on Soundcloud.
Louis Futon appear to be a hilariously named young duo from Philadelphia who, in their own words, like to bump. I’m not really sure how to describe their stuff. When he played it Gilles described this remix of Shoulda Known by GANZ as
Trappy, beaty, instrumental hip hop
But if you’re still not sure, I’d say it’s like a disco-y dubstep take on acid hip hop. Or something.
Whatever, it’s bloody amazing and is going to my tune of the summer.
In one of those weird coincidences that seem to happen more and more these days, probably due to the network effect of the internet, their record label, Llucid, is Australian. I’m looking forward to hearing more of their stuff, as well as more from Louis Futon and GANZ, particularly as I think the GANZ remix is better than the original, and certainly superior to the (slightly elevatory) Kruisemode version.
With their video-games they have tapped some of the most important pop-culturephenomenonsofthelast30 years. And as the trailer below shows, they don’t suffer from the franchise conflict that affects the movie versions of the Marvel characters which is the reason that we are unlikely to ever see the X-Men and Avengers in the same movie.
Their UGC efforts go back to 2006, with their Lego Factory, though it obviously couldn’t scale as they have now closed it. Their Architecture products allow big kids like me to get away with buying Lego for ourselves (I bought the Opera House one). They’ve had their own fan culture, complete with AFOLs (adult fans of Lego) for years, and Lego even officially recognises some of them (including one in Melbourne) for the art they create.
For anyone who hasn’t lived in Australia, it’s kind of hard to grasp. It’s literally, in the old fashioned sense of a word, a public holiday in Victoria whilst there are some who claim (perhaps with their tongue in their cheek) that it should be a national day of celebration.
I’ve never been a massive gamer, though I’ve always loved arcades and used to have a Pac-Man digital watch that I’m actually thinking about buying again. The cost of buying the consoles, let alone the games, always kind of put me off getting more into them. But the fact that you can now get great games on a tablet for less than a tenner…
So, anyway, I’ve recently started to develop minor addictions to Grand Theft Auto 3 & Grand Theft Auto Vice City. When the new GTA was released one of the DJs who was selected to curate one of the stations you can listen to whilst driving your stolen car between missions to rob or kill people (it’s even more fun than it sounds), was the one and only Gilles Peterson.
This video captures Gilles playing at a GTA V launch party in New York, and features some great footage of him discussing why he did it. To be honest, being part of the biggest entertainment event of all time was probably a no-brainer.
But as he says, the fact that by doing so meant that he might introduce some 15 year old gamer to Donald Byrd, and everything that’s likely to follow from that, was too much for him to turn down. And, as someone who has discovered untold acts thanks to Mr Peterson’s dedication to finding and promoting new music, as well as the best old stuff you’ve never heard of, I almost envy that 15 year old the journey of discovery he’s about to go on.
So, with no further ado, here’s the (almost complete) playlist of Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM from Grand Theft Auto V. There’s a Donald Byrd track in it, I’ll leave the rest as a nice surprise.