Lego Batman’s take on the Future of Advertising 2020.

Last year, the Herdmeister Mark Earls and I were asked to contribute to the Wharton School of Advertising.  Given that it’s a celebration of different views from across academia, business, students and more, we thought there might be enough long reads already, so we’d do something…

…well, a little different, using Artefact Cards.  And Lego Batman.  Enjoy:

Developed for the Wharton Future of Advertising Program’s Advertising 2020 Project 2012-2013,

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The Planner's Book Of Things To Make

The planner’s book of things to make

View more webinars from John V Willshire.

UPDATE – I felt a bit guilty about posting just the below.  So I’ve uploaded the presentation on Slideshare and done a wee voiceover.  Hoorah for the interwebs.


…yes, fair enough, you might click on a post expecting something interesting, but you’re going to be disappointed, because all it actually is so far is some photoshop I’ve bodged together as an intro slide for the IPA – Level One talk I’m doing tomorrow…


Sorry.  It’s all I have at the moment.

If you want to read stuff on what you thought the subject area implied, then you should wait until I write the bastard, and manage to record a wee narration and upload it here, or maybe read Mark Pollard’s post on Why Strategists Should Make Stuff again (a faster, better option, probably).

Or you could watch a video that We Are The Physics made:



Bonfires, Sid Meier, Ice Cube & The Wire

Yesterday I spoke at Measurement Camp, a multi-discipline working project which looks for people to share their thoughts and ideas about measuring social projects.

I said I’d share the deck, and I’ve gone through it today and made it better. 

It features Bonfires, fireworks, Ice Cube, The Wire & Sid Meier. 

I may try and do a version in future that includes even more rhyming things (U2’s ‘Desire’… a pair of pliers…)

Anyway, enjoy…


Social Production… my 'big idea'

I was invited to take part in yesterday’s APG/Campaign Battle of Big Thinking (yes, an honour to be asked, thanks guys), and managed to carry the public vote in the innovation section…

I talked about Social Production… I’ve put it together as a slidecast here, I’d love to know what you think.

Just click the green ‘play’ button at the bottom to hear the voiceover… 

…it’s not the original audio, I quickly rerecorded a track this morning, hence it being longer than the allocated 15 minutes…


Ice Cube & The Battle of the Big Thinking…

I’m honoured/scared/excited to have been asked to speak in the innovation section of the APG / Campaign annual ‘Battle of Big Thinking’ event, which is on November 26th. 

That’s now less than a month away, so it’s time to start worrying about ideas…



…and I think I might have one (it occurred at 4am this morning as I was trying to persuade young James Willshire to sleep for a bit…). 

Not that I want to let the cat out of the bag, you understand. 

I just want to put a stake in the ground to try and form more solid thinking around it.  And if I do it in public here, maybe that’ll convince me to not leave it to the last minute…

So I’m not going to tell you what it’s going to be about.  Not just yet, anyway. 

But there’s a clue in this Nike video below…

(HT to Iain for sharing the video a while back)


The Future, Xplane'd

I’d seen this video around in a few places (including Rosie’s, Fiona’s and Simon’s blogs), and I wasn’t going to re-post it here… but I now have:

It’s promoting the Economist’s Media Convergence Forum in October in NYC, and it’s a treasure trove of facts, stats and info on the things that, when you piece them altogether, help build a picture of how the world is changing. 

(Steve, in his endearingly grumpy way, points out that some of the stats might be a little shaky…)

So, why did I repost when I wasn’t going to? 

I saw that it was actually created by Xplane, the visual thinking company.  Their mission is to ‘create understanding’ by helping their clients find simple, clear ways to visualise things

I’ve got a book written by founder Dave Gray called Marks and Meanings I’m a big fan of, and generally think they’ve got a great approach to simplifying complicated things to explain them well.


So the Xplane video above is a great example of using a mix on minimal words and illustrative visuals to make points quickly and simply.  Make one simple point at a time, and build up the story sequentially.

It’s something I try to do with my own work, and encourage a culture of at PHD.  

I guess I’m on the right track; Ted at The Conversation Group took the first half of this ‘Future of Advertising’ presentation (didn’t listen to the audio) and presented it to a University class over in California… which I guess means it must be pretty self explanatory.

So yes, I think we’ve all slept through enough presentations where people read the 50 words they’ve written on a chart off the screen. 

Let’s keep it simple.


It's not what you say; it's what you do

Paul Isakson at space150 very recently posted this up on slideshare (found via Simon)… he says it’s roughly the first half of what they’ll typically show to clients as an introduction to what they should be doing in the social media realms.

I think it’s a great introductory overview.  It covers a lot of the areas we’ve touched on here on Feeding The Puppy, and in a very elegant, zippy way.  It’s well worth spending five minutes having a flick through.

As an aside on ‘style’, I think slideshare as a tool is changing the way a lot of people create ‘presentations’…

…the modern shareable presentation works more like a comic book strip, with the speech bubbles embedded.

I believe that the comic book is a great template for presentations.  This image from Austin Kleon is represents it well:


I’d be interested to find out from Paul whether he has a different version of this for when he presents live… in fact, I may well ask him.


Social Bonfires & Advertising Fireworks, pt III

The Social Bonfires & Advertising Fireworks discussions & continuations have set our little corner of the internet alight (yes, pun intended)…

…a quick recap if you’ve not seen:

It’s all helping improve and refine the analogy (which is great, as the IPA group I’m working with, for which this was originally started, meets tomorrow).

So from Daniel Goodall at Nokia, this fine build


“many people already have bonfires, and they usually want to build their own bonfires; you know, with their friends and that. They probably don’t want to come to your Corporate Bonfire.”

“…how can we help people with what they want to do at a bonfire?

1. Provide some stuff: some blankets to keep people warm, some snacks and drinks, maybe even provide some entertainment (a guitar?)

2. Go along to the bonfire and actually have a conversation or two (remember to be a good listener!)

3. Most importantly, of course, you could do something *genuinely useful* like put some extra wood on the bonfire to keep the damn thing going!”

(You’ll maybe remember that we’re big fans of being useful to people at PHD.)

Anyway, thanks Dan, great post and a hugely important point.

I shall report back on tomorrow’s meeting at the IPA with Mark, Le’Nise, Katy, Neil, Amelia, Graeme, Jamie, Nigel when I get a chance…


Yes, I know, part III in Hollywood Blockbusters is usually where things start going wrong… 

…Rocky III (Mr T?  WTF??). 

…Police Academy III (Zed’s now a Police cadet??  WTF???). 

…Return of the Jedi (Muppets?  WTF????).

Remember though, those Ewoks loved a bonfire…




Advertising Firework, Social Bonfire pt II

A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post on why if advertising was a firework, social media was a bonfire. 

A lot of people liked it (in PHD & beyond) and found it a really helpful way to think about, or explain to other people, the differences between the world of campaigning, mass media advertising, and the new social landscape.

So I’ve been improving it and have written this, so thought I’d share it here too…

(Thanks to Simon, David, Beth, Chris, Dan, Mat & Vijay for chipping in with excellent thoughts)


Trust me, this is excellent…

Trust.  It’s a funny thing, trust. 

Do you trust me?  I’m just a Scottish bloke that works at PHD, writes some things on here, has ideas every so often. 

But you might work with me, know me socially, we might have had little online conversations here and there, or you might just see that I am having conversations with other folk, and trust me a little because of it. 

So, whatever trust you do have in me, I’d like to use it to get you to watch this, by Lawrence Lessig, which is what I think is a brilliant presentation on the nature of ‘trust’ in this brave new world…

<embed allowfullscreen=”” src=”true” allowscriptaccess=”application/x-shockwave-flash” type=”always” height=”378″ width=”480″/>

(HT to someone I don’t really know, but do trust when he says something’s great – thx Huey)