Archive for March, 2009

Politics? Viral? Europe? Are you mad?

This clip from Channel Four News describes a verbal attack on Gordon Brown by a Conservative MEP as the most viewed political speech in the fastest time in internet history. Two factors make this particularly interesting.
Firstly, the role that media such as Twitter and YouTube played in spreading an event which would otherwise have gone unreported (and is still curiously underplayed or ignored by the BBC) underlines a power shift away from traditional media.
Secondly, the political machinery in the UK, and possibly across Europe, has yet to seriously grasp either the threat or the opportunity offered by this new media.
There are some lessons that we can take from this episode if we look at the political environment. It’s arguable whether the dissatisfaction that helped fuel the speech’s popularity is felt mainly by people with a certain political view, or whether that feeling is more mainstream.
If there is a perception that a need is being ignored, does that make it easier for a maverick voice to be heard?
The speech has already received over 1 million hits since it was posted on YouTube. Watch it here.


Life imitates art

We’ve created a lift blog: about as analog as you can get. These are a series of posters made to promote my department as well as provide some unexpected inspiration. They’re very ephemeral – staying up for one day only in each of the main lifts – but the feedback is phenomenal. Content is varied, but is linked to the market intelligence, consumer and social trends that we analyse and provide to our agencies. Sometimes the content is quirky and can be as unusual as today’s or this week’s big web meme, even if it’s just a picture.

I’m particularly pleased with today’s offering: a quick mock-up of the real BBC story about the ex-RBS chairman’s home being vandalised by a shadowy group angry at what is perceived as bankers’ greed juxtaposed by an apt quote from Fight Club.

Self-important bit

I’m Victor Houghton, a, er... something or other in one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. My job title has a comma in it, which is embarrassing. I’m the chief finder-things-outer with a splash of trends who is lucky to work with all the major functions of the agency, even though I am most closely associated with strategic planning. Everything in this blog has most probably been stolen from other, infinitely more talented people, although the opinions are most definitely my own and not those of the agency.



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