It’s always interesting to find out what happened online and/or in the blogosphere when I come back from vacation. One of the first things I noticed was the commotion around the agency.com Subway pitch.
As part of a Request For Information from Subway, agency.com created a video and tried to demonstrate their online marketing abilities by demonstrating their viral marketing by posting the video and outtakes on YouTube. The blogosphere exploded immediately. In particular advertising related blogs. And the opinions weren’t pretty. Other advertising professionals are mostly commenting on the quality of creative, whether or not it is considered viral marketing, the looks and behaviour of the people included in the video and the language they use. “When we roll, we roll big” will probably become part of (at least agency) vocabulary and agency.com smartly put more oil on the fire by starting a blog called whenwerollwerollbig.com.
I happen to be somebody who works client-side so I’m going to weight in from my perspective. No, I didn’t like the video either when I saw it. It wasn’t funny, full of buzz words and some of the “big ideas” and meetings reminded me of bad episodes of “the Apprentice”. The comment about the salary of subway employees was offensive and should have been edited out. But beside the salary comment, none of all this matters. Results matter.
And I recognize the results. The video has been watched over 80,000 times so far and everybody is talking about it. So they’ve successfully proven that they understand online marketing, viral or not. When I talk to my peers outside Tourism BC, the frustration I hear the most is “our agency doesn’t understand online marketing“, right before “our marketing department doesn’t understand the User Experience“. The two are related because the latter select the former. And for the record, I consider myself more fortunate then most of my peers. If Agency.com can produce this kind of reaction for this purpose, they might just be able do it for a consumer campaign as well. At least I would give them the benefit of the doubt for whatever the next step in the process is.
Here’s the video:
Update 8/25: Just found out Agency.com pulled out of the running. My guess is that a higher-up pulled the plug because of the negative backlash. We’ll never know what Subway thought of the whole thing.
I’ve been on vacation the last two weeks with very limited Internet access. Coming back is always interesting for a variety of reasons. First of all, what blogs/media did I read first? What am I interested in the most? It’s interesting to learn about myself.
I’ve completed the sign-up process and added my first entries into my two travel journal websites Yahoo Trip Planner and MyTripJournal.com.
The sign-up process with Yahoo was dead simple. I already had an account so it was just a matter of naming my trip and the dates of travel. The tool is free as Yahoo puts advertising on the page and encourages the user to use the tool for pre-planning as well, something I didn’t do because there was almost nothing available for Ireland.
The sign-up with MyTripJournal took a bit longer because I had to create an account first, but it was very fairly standard as well. I get a few pictures and entries for free but I’ll have to start paying for the service soon.
Adding entries is very slick in Yahoo. It’s very web 2.0 and integrated with Flickr, so you use your Flickr account to manage photos. You can drag and drop your entries into the text entry field. It works very nice. A spell check is missing. MyTripJournal’s entry isn’t as fancy as Yahoo but it gets the job done. You can’t embed your pictures within the entry itself but you upload them as part of your entry. The feature that makes MyTripJournal cool is the way you can show your location. You choose from a variety of maps and you can highlight your location and showing your journey.
From an output perspective, Yahoo looks nicer. The design in contemporary and the integrated pictures make it look very pleasing. MyTripJournal looks a bit outdated. None of the two offers an RSS feed, a no-brainer in my opinion. I expected more from Yahoo. I thought that the “map view” would offer similar functionality as in MyTripJournal, for example. Maybe that’s still coming. I also expected that the journal part and the schedule part would be integrated, encouraging users to review attractions as part of their journal. Now everything I say about attractions is lost in my journal. It would be an easy way to add more content about Ireland.
So as of the moment, I like both sites, for different reasons. If MyTripJournal would integrate the pictures like Yahoo does, they would be the clear choice. If Yahoo would make a similar mapping tool, it would be my prefered choice because it’s free.