Nike Chosen Crew Video Contest

A nice little comp for the action sports tribe from Nike to get ‘you and your crew’ to send in a video showing your skating,surfing, BMX’ing,  riding etc prowess – all with the hope of winning some dosh, product and rolling with  the Nike athletes for a while. Campaign lives here  It’s an obvious campaign extension off the ‘Chosen’ platform but I was expecting something a little more innovative and interactive from the guys at Nike. Looking forward to seeing the entries though.

Sneakerpedia – collaboration to create a real community

Absolutely love this initiative by Footlocker, a great example of community collaboration. They’ve created sneakerpedia, a social wiki where there sneaker freak fans submit  pics of their fav kicks to create & build the Sneakerpedia community. It’s built around a genuine youth culture passion point, offers simple utility and will drive strong engagement with the Footlocker brand. Just goes to show, that brands need to act as facilitatators and let their fans share their passion for the products they sell. Well done Footlocker.

The 7P’s of youth marketing

When I went to uni I learnt about the 7P’s of marketing; Product, price, place, promotion, people, process & physical evidence.  The last few years, marketing to youth has changed.  Today, it’s less about marketing ‘to’ youth, and more about marketing ‘with’ youth. Our role as marketers is to initiate and manage the conversations happening in and around brands. It’s about creating behaviour through engagement and influence.

I’ve put together my 7P’s which I believe are important things for youth marketers to consider when developing their brand and communications strategies:


Youth today expect brands to have a strong provocative point of view on culture. Marketing in the middle is to be avoided at all costs, as youth detest brands that are vanilla. The old adage of ‘stand for nothing, fall for everything’ is definitely relevant.  Brands like Axe, Burger King, the new Levi’s campaign, Diesel are all brands which have a strong cultural position. You’re either with them or against them and that’s why the create heat and energy.


Clearly, we are well into the age of participation. Every youth marketer needs to think about how they design social experiences which involve youth, treating them as partners in production, rather than a destination point for messages. Whether it’s a ‘Digital Fling’ (a quick fleeting experience or a entertaining content) with the Passive Massive or deeper engagement with Ambassadors, you need to work out how you can involve youth in the brand narrative and add value to their interaction. Designing ideas for participation is all about tapping into the power of social connection.


I believe the broader construct of ‘play’ is already heavily influencing brand behaviour. Look at the exponential growth of gaming platforms and now social games. Brands need to think of the interactions they have with youth in terms of a GAME. They need to encourage and create game play at all levels. It’s far more about your brands game, than your brands story. Nike Grid is a great example of this play fuelling discovery.


The mobile and tablet are the focus screens for youth. If mobile marketing isn’t part of your comms strategy, you’re missing the beat. Every communication experience you create has to be portable. Whether it be creating content that builds and spreads via mobile or useful utilities which help your daily, life, the portability of an idea is as important as the scale of it.


Your brands purpose is far more important than your positioning. Youth swarm towards brands or product that help them connect with each other as well as help give their lifestyles greater purpose. Think about your brands fight or crusade, not just how it’s different functionally. Converse’s purpose is all about engaging people who live creatively and rebelliously and everything they do in terms of music culture, urban engagement supports this purpose.


If it’s not worth sharing, it’s not worth doing. Brands have to develop propagation strategies and think about designing ideas  which have inherent social interfaces. They need to think about which tribes and fan cultures can be identified to help propagate the idea as well as which platforms are best suited to carry the idea. Remember young people’s social status is defined by what and how often they ‘share’.


Youth brands have to be media positive, not media neutral. Instead of thinking about filling media channels, think about how you can create media yourself, turning products themselves into the marketing. Apple is the king of doing this. Linking back to propagation, think about how you can turn youth into your main media channel to share your message.


It sounds obvious, but being personal and intimate within the social context is critical. Brands that help you better tell your own brand story win. The Intel ‘Museum of Me’ exhibition is a perfect example of a Facebook engagement idea which taps into people’s need to see their personal story brought to life in pictures, and then share that with the world.

Nike 6.0 ‘The Pool’ unleashing BMX culture

Loving this initative from Nike 6.0 to turn an old pool in East London into a massive indoor BMX expression park. They ran a comp with 40 of the world’s best riders and now the ‘The Pool’ is open to the public until June 12.  Awesome experiential event based idea. Well done Nike 6.0

300m Chinese Under 30..the biggest & most expressive youth market in the world

A  little video put together by Enovate  on Chinese youth. Blows you away to think that there are 300m Chinese citizens under the age of 30. These consumers as they have adopted western culture and brands will become one of , if not the most influential group of youth in the world.

An interesting stat I found recently from an Accenture 2010 study into how global youth use technology was:

32% of Chinese youth LOVE writing about themselves and their friends on social networks.

They are the MOST outwardly expressive youth market in the world. Conversely, in India only 11% of Indians agree with this statement, 8% of Australians and 9% of American youth.

They also spend 34hrs a week on communication tools versus the global average of 11hrs.

So we’re seeing a new generation of Chinese youth who are outwardly expressive on social media platforms which will have a huge impact on how brands create relationships with this generation.

Watch this group.

Diesel Island..a new country for youth

Just came across this really interesting social engagement/community creation  idea by Diesel.

They’ve created Diesel Island. Home of the stupid, land of the brave. It’s a fictitious place  digital country whereby they are seeking out people to become ‘pioneers’ of this new country, free from all the bullshit of most countries. They’re obviously building off their ‘Be Stupid’ positioning but adding a fun community layer to it. Via the site and Facebook you’re able to become a resident of Diesel Island, the more you interact with the Island, the more benefits you get.

The New Nation manifesto talks through the goal of the new country.

There are 5 key steps to becoming a resident on Diesel Island, all aimed at driving participation and community interaction within the idea:

1. Settle on the Island (by joining the FB group)

2. Complete a Visa Application (by profiling questions on your web behaviour)

3. Propose a law for Diesel Island

4. Suggest a public holiday

5. Make 10 contributions.

The more you interact with the community, the more benefits you get as a citizen of Diesel Island. You can even become President for the Day.

I applaud Diesel for creating a ‘country like no other’, a its a great social engagement idea which builds a community and becomes a fun way for people to interact with the brand values as well as view product. It connects the community of ‘pioneers’ around interesting fun challenges. They’re promoting Diesel Island within the Diesel Facebook fan page of 790,000 fans , however they’ve only got 1,347 inhabitants so far which isn’t great.

 Not sure how hard they are promoting it for it to drive larger participation.

Will be interesting to see if Diesel Island gains critical mass, cos it is a cool idea

The Art of Flight: Red Bull collaborates with Quiksilver

I’ve just got back from 3 weeks skiing in Squaw Valley and Jackson Hole and had an epic time. I am a die hard skiier, I’d never go to the darkside of snowboarding, but I was impressed with ‘The Art of Flight’ trailer. It’s a collaboration between Red Bull Media and Quiksilver. Just another example of how these brands (esp. RB) are amazing media producers and are maintaining their places as cultural leaders in the snowboarding subculture.

‘Blurtl-it’: mobile audio Facebook updates

Our (DDB Sydney’s) latest piece of brand utility for client Telstra. To help communicate Telstra’s new ‘Free talk & text all weekend’ prepaid offer we wanted to look at how we could contextually demonstrate the power of this offer. We knew that our community are addicted to updating their Facebook via their mobile so we wanted to put a fresh spin on how they interact with Facebook via their mobiles. We wanted to create a new media channel for youth to express themselves as they love capturing and sharing the moment, but so far, they can only do that via words.

The answer: Blurtl: mobile audio Facebook updates. FB fans are able to post audio status updates on their FB wall and their friends walls, all via their mobile.

As the short video above shows, we’re bringing a new audio dimension to Facebook updates from your phone and so far Aussie youth are having a blast with it.

We’re hoping to create a new behaviour in the social environment, the act of ‘Blurtling-it’.

Big ups to Anna K and Rupert for their work on making Blurtl happen.

10 Commandments of Youth

I came across a great study by MTV called Youthtopia which had fantastic insight into global youth and the key values driving their behaviour. It’s from early 2010, but I believe the insights are still very true today.

According the the study there were 5 meta values which created the 10 commandments of youth. These 5 meta values are INDIVIDUALITY, TRADITION, HONESTY, EFFORT and POSITIVITY. Off the back of these 5 values, here are the 10 commandments driving youth behaviour:

1. Believe in yourself

2. Honesty is the best policy

3. Take responsibility

4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T  your parents

5. Be passionate and live life to the max

6. Stay optimistic even when things aren’t great

7. Dream big

8. Be a creator, not a destroyer

9. Embrace differences in culture, in beliefs

10. Stay true to your friends

What was interesting to me was that there are some myths about Gen Y and Gen Z and how they behave which were uncovered in the study. They are:

– Born to be mild NOT hedonistic

– Industrious NOT lazy

– Achievement obsessed NOT celebrity obsessed

– Looking for love NOT sexually promiscuous

-Family focussed NOT selfish

5 Communication principles to turn people into message carriers

People have always been the most powerful media asset. It’s just been turbo charged in the social media age. If your brand isn’t social by nature, you’ve got serious issues.

It goes without saying that recommendations from mates are infinitely more powerful than traditional media channels and messages in changing behaviour. Management consulting firm Bain believes that the most recommended brand in any category grows at 2.5x the category average.

So, how do you turn customers into advocates? Advocates who ‘become the media and message carrier’ thereby reducing the brands dependency on ‘paid’ media and playing more in the ‘earned’ media space.  Brands today need to think as much about potential ‘earned’ media and how they can amplify ideas as they do about traditional ‘paid media’ and ‘owned media’ channels.

Brands need to interact differently with people if they want to people to become message carriers and amplify their ideas for them.Here are some thoughts on principles brands need to think about when trying to harness the power of people media:

CONVICTION – Be crystal clear as to what your brand stands for, is fighting for or is trying to change. The middle is to be avoided at all costs, as people gravitate to brands with a strong point of view or belief which aligns with their own.

CHANGE CULTURE – Culture wants to change, and people want to be part of that change. Find something in culture worth changing and align your brand to that new culture change.

RESOLVE TENSION – Find a cultural tension or gap worth resolving or passion to be exploited. Where there is tension or passion in culture there is conversation waiting to be unleashed.

LET ME PLAY – Create ideas which are inherently shareable – that can drive participation, be played with, be prodded and of course, be passed on.

Be ENTERTAINING, USEFUL and INNOVATIVE – These three things are the evergreen themes of social ideas. Ideally be all three, but at least be one. Eg: Entertaining (Old Spice ‘ Man’), Useful (Fiat Ecodrive), Innovative (Orange Glastotag).