Tag "Announcements"

Sometimes the most interesting ideas are sparked by the most throw away of conversations. Just such a conversation became the evolution of this presentation: ‘Death To Online’ (a deliberately punchy title I’ll admit…) was conceived at one of the many, many portfolio nights that we have in and around the world of advertising. While not to give too much away, a seemingly throwaway line by one of the junior’s presenting their work, led to an exploration of where Advertising is going, and where it needs to head to keep Brands evolving and innovating. And, how the nature of our digital language is hindering this evolution.

When 75% of Agency CEO’s reporting that online ‘ads’ are more effective than traditional TV ads (when they are basically the same thing) it shows how far our digital language has helped deform and deny advertising’s need to work with the Internet as a tool, not just a channel.

One way of moving beyond the language of online is to delve into the vibrant arguments around ‘digital duality’. This debate is spinning back and forth between a series of cultural anthropologists with fervour and verve (and a smattering of pretension.) Their arguments are well worth the time to read and digest, for they form the backbone of what I’ve come to dub the ‘Semi-Internet State’ as it relates to Brands and Advertising/Marketing. It only takes a minute to look at the interest around Douglas Rushkoff’s most recent tome ‘Present Shock’ and the disquiet and debates around Google Glass to know that we are at a next significant stage of our relationship evolution with the internet. And the Semi Internet State is only getting more pronounced and difficult to penetrate. No matter how big, tagged, or trailered your ‘online ad’ is.

So… take a look, share and comment. I’m really interested in hearing people’s thoughts around this idea and the role of language in our industry.

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It’s been a long while since I last blogged. After 4 years of almost constant blogging, with a few glitches in between, I just stopped. New job, a new life in the USA saw me take my eye off the ball. It happens.

Close to 6 months later, I find myself at the heart of a great digital agency, in a city teeming with digital talent and digital stories to tell and a country that spits out more of these innovations and inspirations than any other.

I was ‘on the fence’ on a renewing this relationship. (As that’s what it feels like). Going back to the Society of the Spectacle is more than just starting to write again. It’s (a soon to be) redesigned site, that reflects something new and intriguing, it’s also a thematic refocus.

A couple of events helped push me back onto the art of blogging. One was an email from a friend, out of the blue, short and sweet, that professed how much she enjoyed the blog. Nothing more, just a word of respect and encouragement. Last Saturday, someone else enquired where the blog had gone. How he had used the blog as a resource for himself, and shared the stuff I had written about with fellow colleagues. In short, what I blogged about had relevance and value to people.

Most of the time, blogging can feel like a selfish act – an isolated place. I never expected my blog to be anything other than a small slice of the creative and strategic world, a bit of a messy hybrid, hopefully getting some clicks and hopefully building a core little fanbase that used it. The Society of the Spectacle was no BBH Labs. But, something about blogging is still hugely therapeutic and cognitive. It allows both long form arguments and little slices of creativity to nestle side by side with each other and have helped shape my own thinking.

Turns out it was more than I anticipated. It was helping to serve people with ideas and thoughts that might have slipped through the cracks. The nature of social sharing these days means we can always see the biggest creative ideas around, but sometimes we miss the these ideas and projects that push and fuel the boundaries of creativity, technology and beyond. It’s the little hacks, the people playing about with things, that are fueling some of the most inspiring work around. If the blog helped formulate my own thinking on digital creativity and culture, I didn’t realize it helped others too, so maybe there is still a small space for something like the Society Of The Spectacle.

So here’s what this blog will be from now on: This is a blog that helps articulate how and where the internet is changing creativity and culture. Showcasing the things built by and for the internet. Not just the creative that goes on it. This as digital practitioners is now our biggest challenge, to help frame this understanding.

The Society of the Spectacle, is named after Guy Debord’s manifesto for the Situationists. Debord’s arguments centered on ‘detourment’. The involvement of “using spectacular images and language to disrupt the flow of the spectacle”. I’ve always felt that detourment is the Internet’s go to truth (just in less pretentious forms); it is the ultimate disruptor of our times. It lives by constant evolution and revolution. Our business (Advertising) is fundamentally changing as a result of it. These detourment lies at the heart of what I want to uncover and put out there for people to see and understand.

It’s time to live again by this mantra from the 1968 Paris Student Riots:

‘Under the paving stones, the beach’.


Thanks for joining me on this new trip.


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(Blue Source For Don’t Panic waaaay back.)

Hello friends, old and new.

As regular readers would have noticed, I haven’t exactly been setting the blogging world alight recently. (Well, since June 22nd to be exact) There are many reasons for this. But it has presented an opportunity to refocus and re-imagine what I want this blog to say.

The Society Of The Spectacle has evolved and grown hugely over the 18 months I have been writing and curating it. It started out as small snippets of creativity, as I found my writing feet. As the months rolled by, I got more into delving deep into my subjects. As my ‘voice’ has grown, I hope the Spectacle has become a richer and deeper experience to those that read it regularly, or those that stumble upon it in the gloriously random way the web operates.

The Spectacle offers what I hope is the best of the blogging experience, the chance to uncover, discover and be enlightened or inspired by the web. My mission has always been to uncover some of the more obscure elements of creativity, as well as music, film and fashion. Expressing my interests to the widest audience possible. Not out of an ego boost, but out of a love and passion for brilliant things that enter my world day in, day out. The stuff we create to stimulate our minds, our bodies and our soul.

The Spectacle has also offered the opportunity to embrace our increasingly ubiquitous social connections, and is my walking talking evidence to the richness of conversations and relationships that can be fostered and become hugely valuable. Writing and observing these developments has me assess the entire relationship between collaboration, creativity and what even the word ‘creative’ means. It has helped to question not only the validity of what I do, but, happy with my chosen path; understand and recalibrate this blog to create a clear and vital articulation for the wider world.

The Spectacle has also given me the opportunity to find out that I’m not just a designer, but something more, a thinker, a doer and an optimist. Both for our industries, and our collective ability to achieve great things. I want the Society Of The Spectacle to become the primary focus of this ‘goodness’. To give the site a chance to breathe, to take it’s next evolution. Hence the fact that I’ll now be using lots of other sites to spread my passions and clear the decks as it were for the this blog to breathe. Starting with Tumblr (for the music musings and yacht rock goodness)

So, say hello to REALLY REALLY SMOOTH MUSIC. Sort of does what it says on the tine really. Smooth music, smooth musings, and everything in between.

All of these sites will be going under some cosmetic changes to reflect this new approach (bear with me, I’ve got alot on!)  It is also an experiment. It may well be that the challenge of juggling an expanding network of blogging platforms might be just TOO much. But as ever in this age of experimentation, to not try seems more selfish and against the grain than trying and failing and learning more in the process.I hope you have enjoyed the journey so far, have found it inspiring and fun in equal measure, and will continue to enjoy it, in whatever size of chunk you desire.


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