Northern Voice 09: the love-in

From Stewart Butterfield’s keynote, The Internet 1992-2009, A Love Story through Chris Heuer’s Death of Advertising, the official presenters’ track at NV09 is a paean to what the internet can do for you and your business.

The last thing Butterfield said before he wrapped up the keynote was that now, instead of gathering at the water cooler at work to talk about last night’s Lost, you put up the clip on YouTube. He didn’t take it any farther than that, but I caught myself thinking that to finish that thought, what’s been lost in the intimacy of idly wondering if your wife bought you that tie to ward off other women while discussing last night’s Lost, has been supplanted by a greatly expanded potential for free and easy global reach.

Death of Advertising began with the question, what killed advertising (answer, TiVo, DVR) and ended with a participant recommendation that we should read the Al and Laura Ries book, The Death of Advertising and the Rise of PR. Chris Heuer trotted out several of Will Rogers’ old chestnuts on advertising, quoted Saatchi, showed the ‘bring out your dead’ clip from – you know – one of those Monty Python movies, Life of Brian or MP & THG and announced that marketing’s become a dirty word. (Here I thought it was just marketers we didn’t much care for, with the exception as always of our strategic partner.)

‘We don’t want to be sold to, we just want to buy.’ Hasn’t that always been true, I wondered.

And then he said a couple of things that made me wonder if he knew what he was talking about. He said ‘if the purpose of advertising is to create a transaction, it’s failed singularly in this aim.’ Which, like the Al and Laura Ries book, is very old news by now. Then he said, ‘it’s not advertising if it appeals to us.’

BTD (beg to differ).

But I did like what he had to say about the BlendTech CEO who grinds up the iPod. Which was that this really is the CEO, this is his ‘game face,’ so when he goes on TV talk shows he has no difficulty replicating the stunt.

And then he said he doesn’t read, when asked what was the best recent book on his subject. I’ve obviously got issues with this one.

On to David Ng’s Biodiversity to Pokemon, which was introduced as being one of the Ways Darwin Could Jump the Shark , I think – I didn’t quite get that part of the whole thing. Perhaps it’s another shark Darwin should be jumping, I don’t know.

He wants to create a crowd-sourced card or board game to increase the cognition value of children’s ecosystems so they’re as familiar with the species with which they interact as they are with the Pokemon characters, after Andrew Bonfit’s Cambridge research study of several years ago showed that six year olds could identify all the Pokemon characters and their personality attributes but couldn’t identify a European Starling. (Neither could we, although David said it’s the sixth most popular bird in the Lower Mainland. I think he meant sixth most common. I’m not a big bird fan, personally, and that European Starling is never going to make it into my personal bird top six: dead, dead and stuffed, dead and vapourized, in someone else’s yard, outside, and over there. Sorry. Rant over now.)

There was some good feedback from conference goers on this one, and it was nice to see a Moosecamp in action. David got quick gaming, outreach, and marketing/PR brand positioning from audience experts. The project’s got some funding – I’ll be interested to see how it evolves.

Sorry, too tired for the linklove today. Back at it tomorrow.

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About ruthseeley

Ottawa born, Toronto educated, lived in the Lower Mainland and southern AB for more than a decade. Geographically, I get around a bit (at least within Canada). Passionate about community, democracy, and good books. Fond of the Oxford comma.
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2 Responses to Northern Voice 09: the love-in

  1. Pingback: Zodomatica - Bits of Tzaddi's Life

  2. Pingback: Northern Voice 09 - afterglow? « No Spin PR

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