Monthly Archives: December 2015

Farts, Apple Watch, Racial Tensions: This Is What People Read in 2015

Another year is nearing its end. This year the most popular posts ranged from flatulent humor to Apple watch (and everything in between).

I had time to post a little bit less than on previous year, but readership remained stable and some surprises in the most read post list as well. You never know yourself what post will tickle your reader´s fancy.

This year I read lots of interesting books, saw some interesting movies and had some interesting debates. However, despite the Apple Watch, the year seemed a little bit boring from advertising and technology point of view.

I think it will be calm before storm, and next year will be humongous (both in macro and micro –level).

Or it is just the same old shit, you never know.

Most read posts 2016

  1. Ideas are like farts
  2. Why Apple Watch is Crucial For The Future of Apple
  3. Anatomy of An Insight: #Joulurauhaa
  4. Rethink Your Marketing Research
  5. Forget The Apple Watch This Is The Only Wearable That Truly Matters
  6. 5 Ways To Make Your YouTube Pre-Rolls Kick Ass
  7. Agencies Are Slow
  8. Digital Pre-Testing: Harmful Waste Of Money
  9. Just Say The Obvious, But Do It With Flair
  10. Anatomy of Insight: Straight Outta Somewhere

This will be my last post for the year.

I will be returning, whether you want it or not, in 2016.

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#sometrendit2016: The Only 2016 Social Media Trends You Should Read


As the year approaches the end, it has become an annual tradition for me take a look at crystal ball and share my views with Kurio Social Media Agency on the next year´s social media trends.

For those adapt at Finnish, I recommend reading the whole report. If you are not interested in the predictions of 28 other Finnish digital marketers, you can also jump straight to the most important ones (mine) below.

Before I go into my answers, I have to quote myself from the last year:

I have to say that I have not been interested in social media as such for a long time. Do not get me wrong. Social plays crucial role in digital business. But I seldom think digital as a separate entity either: digital is air. Digital, mobile and social should be a part of every business. Sometimes at the core, sometimes playing supporting role and sometimes playing no role at all. Strategy is about deciding what to do, but even more importantly what not to do. If you are thinking social media as a separate unit you are missing the bigger picture. 

The dominance of digital universe goes well beyond our traditional silos.

And here are the bold/boring predictions of 2016:

  1. 1. Biggest Social Media Trend in 2016?

Internet will be build more and more upon instant messaging. We have moved to the latest phase of Internet: the Age of Messaging. What is most interesting, who will be the master of that era? If previous phase was the Age of Social and Facebook was the undisputed king, is it able to keep its lead? Currently it seems with the dual-strategy of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger that Facebook will continue to dominate.

2. Social media platforms to look out for 2015?
Last year I was speculating about anonymous messaging and those services were not able to live up the hype. On the same speculative tip, I would keep an eye on live-streaming platforms like Periscope. It is easy to recognize the opportunities Periscope can bring to the brands. Bigger question is will they be truly interesting to actual users?

It is worthwhile to keep an eye on WeChat, because what it does today in China, Facebook will do in western world tomorrow with its Facebook messenger.

3. Biggest challenges in doing social media marketing in 2015?

The huge portion (probably somewhere around 3/4) of sharing in social media is so-called “dark social”. This means that social media listening gives one-sided and even totally faulty picture about what people are really talking about. People share where the brands play no role.

This is great for consumers, because brands are not ruining your conversation or begging you to like them. It makes our work way more difficult. Established channels like FB and YouTube are 100% paid media. To some IM services you cannot get even when you are paying. There is no such thing as earned media anymore.

4. Social Media Buzzword, which hopefully disappears in 2015?

Content marketing.

Despite all the hoopla about native advertising and new content agencies, the division of labor is simple. In Internet there is only good (or bad) content or good (mostly bad) ads. Ad agencies have shown that they cannot truly create content and content marketers have not been good at creating ads (which essentially move products of the shelves). There is role for both counterparts, but it is utter stupidity to think that you could replace one with another. Or that one agency could be great at creating both of them.

To see what I have been predicting in previous years, see the following links:

Social Media trends 2013

Social Media trends 2014

Social Media trends 2015


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Obey Your Data

For various reasons I have been reading quite a bit about big data lately. Based on everything I read and the experience, I have come to three conclusions:

  1. It does not matter anymore why something happens. It matters that it happens.
  2. In life there is no such thing as certainty; therefore you should just aim for high probability.
  3. Correlation trumps causality.

“In many cases, the deeper search for causality will take place after big data has done its work, when we specifically want to investigate the why, not just appreciate that”
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Kenneth Cukier (Big Data)

I would say that in our industry knowing why is more of a philosophical question. Examples show that when you just work on what you have (data) and act on that, the results are better. If data shows that it works, you don´t really need to know why it works. It might be interesting from academic point-of-view, but should not matter when doing marketing for the people.

There is still aversion against data in our industry. Maybe it is because logically thinking people generally don´t gravitate towards advertising (and why our business models are so antiquated). For lack of better data, we have tolerated egomaniacs (disguised as gurus) in our industry for too long.

Advertising is not a rocket science; it is just a data science. Just like everything else in this world.

We have self-inflated view of how difficult our work is, but eventually we will be replaced by algorithm. Gut feeling is not necessarily bad if it is based on experience. I.e. if you have done thousand display campaigns you know anecdotally that call-to-action button should be red. Too often, someone just wants it green because it is his favorite color. And person with no experience could say the right thing just based on the right data.

Experience will trump stupidity.

Data will trump experience.

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Anatomy of An Insight: #joulurauhaa

I haven´t been following that actively the advertising scene in Finland, but this ad truly moved me:

Insight: The vibe in Finland has been quite depressing for a while. There has been lots of animosity against immigrants. This animosity is usually from people in small cities (rather like villages) who have most likely never even met a foreigner. They attribute their own misgivings and failures to foreigners coming to Finland. They let their prejudices cloud their mind. They view themselves as true Finns, but in reality they are not representing true Finland at all.

This film shows how being a Finn is not about your color of your skin. It is great that company takes a stand against xenophobia. It is everyone´s responsibility to fight against it. Different cultures are richness, which countries like Singapore have understood. Finland should understand that as soon as possible.

Great ads touch emotions and this is one of them. The story is a juxtaposition of traditional “manly” Finnish activities (which I never done, expect gone to Sauna and army) done by Finns, who are not necessary fitting to your general stereotype of Finnish person. You should also never underestimate the power of a great soundtrack. The song in the video, for those who are not that familiar with Finnish popular culture, totally summarizes the Finnish psyche:

unemployment, booze, axe and family
Snow, police and the last mistake

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Learning How To Lose

I ran my 16th marathon last Sunday (exactly to my target 4:00:00). Coincidentally I came across this paragraph from J.M. Coetzee:
“Sport teaches us more about losing than about winning, simply because so many of jus don´t win. What it teaches above all is that it is OK to lose. Losing is not the worst thing in the world, because in sports, unlike in war, the loser doesn´t get to have his throat cut by the winner.

Because that is the great lesson of the sport. You lose most of the time, but as long as you stay in the game there will always be a tomorrow, a fresh change to redeem yourself. “
J.M. Coetzee (Letter to Paul Auster, October 21, 2010)

Although I generally share the sentiment of Coetzee, where I differ is the line “it is OK to lose”. I think what sports teach us that it is never OK to lose, but it is normal to lose. There is a huge difference in that. Practicing sports helps us to deal with setbacks in life in general. It does not matter how many times you have been knocked down, it matters how many times you get up.

Whether it is my recreational running, weightlifting or pick-up basketball, I want to win. Depending on the sports it is against a real opponent, imaginary opponent or just myself, which I guess is a mixture of both. More often than not I´ll lose, but that does not mean the losing is ok. It happens, but you should not tolerate it. It just makes you want to win harder. I have never understood people who just run, or just play and don´t want to win.

If you do not care about losing or winning, you do not care about anything in life.

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Sex is The Killer App

Pornography was the unacknowledged “killer app” of the World Wide Web, not to mention the printing press, photography, and video before it.

The vibrator was the first handheld electrical device, predating the cellphone by century. Scooters took off in postwar Europe, particularly Italy, because they let young couples get away from their families.

Facilitating dating was surely one of the “killer apps” of fire when Homo Erectus discovered it a million years ago; and equally surely, a key driver of increasing realism in humanlike robots will be the sexbot industry.

Sex just seems to be the end, rather than the means, of technological evolution”

Pedro Domingos (Master Algorithm)

Sometimes the most basic needs are driving the consumer behavior. Many marketers fail taking into account those animal urges that still largely are driving us. As marketers try to stay politically correct, they will come up with lukewarm insights that are not really rooted in true human behavior. Tinder is growing in conservative countries like Indonesia & India, although it has not been that widely acknowledged. Humans are always humans, no matter where you are from.

People are driven by lust, hunger, jealousy and greed. Your brand might not be about those things, but if you fail to understand the real motivations you will not be able to make the connection with your audience.

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