Kraft sign up the velvet voice from the streets

Remember the golden-tongued web phenomenon Ted Williams? The 53 year old homeless man, once an alcoholic, who was filmed at an Ohio roadside pitching his now famous radio tones?

Well, Kraft have just used him to record their new advert which aired on ESPN on Sunday 9th January.

That’s the power of YouTube. After his debut, Williams’ clip racked up 12 million view in a matter of days, featuring on famous talk shows including NBC’s Today Show and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. A barrage of commemorative comments followed, showing how users fully welcomed Ted’s rise to fame, ever hopeful it would be enough to get him off the streets forever.

This story is one of many in a series of newsjacking, using breaking online videos to convey a brand message. They’re topical, relevant and a sure-fire way to get your brand noticed. You can listen to Ted’s debut as the velvet voice in Kraft’s latest advert below.

Can I persuade you to read this blog post?

I’m reading a very thought-provoking book at the moment. ‘Can I change your mind?’ by Lindsay Camp dissects the art of persuasive writing. It focuses on getting your audience right and the rewards associated with making every single word count. As Lindsay shrewdly points out, “Bad writers worry about whether the reader will understand them. Good ones are more concerned about how well they understand the reader.”

These days, the modern reader has better things to do than read copy. They will also never read from start to finish, preferring to skim the text, flicking over pictures and scouring the content till something jumps out at them. And as Lindsay recognises, they repeatedly ask the question “How long will it take me to extract what I want from this text, and will I get enough from it to justify the time it takes?”

Once talking directly to your audience, good advertising copy will write like it’s speaking directly to you; and only you. “Reading is a solitary activity. It happens inside your head. When you read something I’ve written, you are in fact allowing me to join you there”, Lindsay says.

The aim then, is to strike up conversation with your reader, just as you would in a crowded bar or on a train. But in this case, you make absolutely sure what you say is engaging, exciting and down right spine-tingling.

The challenge for Copywriters is simple. To make writing for a reader you’ve never met as similar as possible to one you know really well. And that, quite simply, is why I love it.  :)

What can console the Australians? Oh a cheap BA flight will do…

Australians all over the world must be crying into their Fosters right now. So well done to OgilvyOne London for dreaming up their latest online Ashes campaign for BA. While the boys were busy bowling and batting, BA were asking Aussies to do the unthinkable – cheer on England. Why? Because the more the English score went up, the more the price of flights between Sydney and London went down. This was proudly displayed in scoreboard with a live feed displaying the crucial points.

The campaign ran on Australian sites only, like the Sydney Morning Herald. And it’s strap line, “Do something you never thought you would do. Cheer on England”, certainly offered some sort of comfort for the disgruntled Aussies in the face of defeat. Just as well really.

If Facebook ruled the world…

…it would look a little something like this. I watched The Social Network recently and even though Mark Zuckerburg is said to have been displeased at his negative portrayal, it successfully documents his rise to fame and fortune.

6 years later and Facebook is the No 1 social phenomenon. But have you ever wondered how big Facebook really is? Paul butler, an intern on Facebook’s Data Infrastructure Team wanted to visually show the friendships Facebook has created between various cities around the world. So he began experimenting with complex data and lines of longitude and latitude. The result simply blew him away.

His experiment had turned into a detailed map of the world. Not only are entire continents visible, but international borders too.

Take a look at the image. When you’re admiring it, remember that the lines don’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders but real, human relationships. Truly fascinating; real representation of how powerful human connections can be.

It’s enough to make you study it for hours. Could it be friends made whilst travelling, a couple separated by seas, or family members staying in touch all year round?

The result is a stunning ‘map’ of social connections all over the world. And one can only wonder what the next 6 years will bring.

Converse takes the next step

Have you ever browsed a funky footwear catalogue and wished you could try the shoes on, right there and then?

RG/A New York have developed a new Augmented Reality app for Converse which allows you to do just that. Just point your phone at your foot for a virtual indication of some pretty trendy kicks. Try on as many as you like, but when you’ve found ‘the ones’ a few clicks will take you direct to the website where you can purchase them. Simple and effective, this is one of my favourite uses of Augmented Reality yet.

The Sampler by Converse is available free from the app store