Friday, April 18, 2008

Spikes 08 learnings

Currently I am attending the Spikes Award and Conference, which Microsoft have sponsored and added digital specific sections to.

Thought I'd share some of the more interesting 'stuff'...

Stuff take 1
South Korea is currently building a completely new city from a connectivity / infrastructure perspective, ground up, it's name is New Songdo City. It will be interesting to see this come to life as Microsoft having won the tender are incorporating technology into every fibre of the city. So think the Jetsons and you will be on the right track.
What this means for advertising in Songdo is a true glimpse at the future. They will not permit any advertising that doesn't serve a purpose. Every advertisement will be governed to only appear in context and be interactive.
We were shown a new product in development called Microsoft Surface which will be part of every home. See if you can find a demo online, it's amazing. It looks like a table and is your portal to 'your world'. Walk in and put your phone on it and it will instantly sync. You can move data, photos, videos, music etc at the shake of your hand. Every element within the screen is interactive and easily available to move across every device.
Moving on from Songdo, stuff take 2.
A recent worldwide study into 14-24 y/o found that this demo on average have 53 friends. That's a lot of friends right?! When probed further their friends fall in average as follows:
- 6 close friends
- 27 friends but not considered close friends
- 20 friends whom have met online but never in person
My immediate reaction was sure, but this would be driven up by some Asian countries who are more wedded to the net than most. Apparently not. Whilst there are skews, Australia falls almost bang on average! The two countries with extremely high online only friends were China and Brazil with 40+.
Final stuff
The final item to share today is regarding branded entertainment. Gayle Troberman, the Global Microsoft CEO of this pillar was an outstanding presenter, full of passion and energy for her topic. They have accomplished some amazing work around the world, I was left with a determination to get something happening in this arena.
One example she shared was for a brand targeting mums. Their approach was to solicit real stories about kids from mums and make them into video segments. She called this user inspired content. The reason being they took the real stories and hired Hollywood actresses, and used high production facilities to shoot. The results? This online TV series called 'The Motherhood' has been streamed over 50 million times. Brand awareness, consideration and sales are all ahead of forecast.
A final thought was regarding the length of video content a consumer is likely to 'snack' on. They have found that the absolute max is 3 minutes. What is more interesting is that if you are able to pack compelling content into say 45 seconds you are in a position where the user is still on the edge of their this instance, a perfect time to populate the screen with eg search links to every possible direction relevant to the clip. In doing so, they are converting 10% through to search results.
It's now 9am and I've another full day of sessions ahead so will report more later.

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