Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Get This Viral Out of My System

Is anyone else tired of the word "viral"? Anybody? Bueller? 
In my circle, using that horrid word is a red flag for someone who just doesn't "get" digital. I think it's because the word's origin has to do with viruses. 

As we know, viruses spread between people like wildfire (whether we like it or not!)  If we really reflect on the way the internet works, we find that viral is one of the worst words we could be using to describe this phenomenon.

Content of any kind has no inherent "virility" - a piece of content would stay in the long tail of garbage on the 'net without a conscious decision to share it. It takes someone discovering it, loving it, and choosing to send it to friends that makes it go anywhere at all. 

When clients ask you for a "viral" video, it's important to temper expectations and ask a lot of questions. Nothing... no, no amount of cute kittens will guarantee your stuff gets looked at on the internet. (Unless you buy views, which means your content probably sucks anyway. Not to mention it's inauthentic.)

How Things Spread on the Internet
There are some things you can do to up your chances of going "viral." (It even feels gross typing that word.)

The first is to understand why people share things. MIT/USC scholar Henry Jenkins talks about a few things your content needs to do to get some digital love.

It must:
1) Strengthen my bond 
2) Define our collective identity 
3) Give me status

Know your audience and hit one of those three. The other way to up your chances is to allow the content to be spreadable. A bad idea would be to host a video on your own website. Nobody goes there and nobody cares. A better idea would be to host your video on YouTube and embed it in your website. An even better idea would be to find out where your audience likes to watch videos and host it there. And if you don't know all the hipsters are on Vimeo, then I really can't help you. Be transparent. Focus on relationships. Make content that feels good to your audience first, not you. 

And stop saying viral, jeez.

Written by Hyper Island's Learning Designer Amy Rae - get in touch by email or on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Future of Advertising - Cindy Gallop at IAB Master Class, Paris

Hyper Island and IAB France (Interactive Advertising Bureau) held a conference in November 2011 and Cindy Gallop spoke about the Future of Advertising.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hyper Island Speaker Francois Grouiller - More Value & Convenience - Less "Flashturbation"

Who are you & what do you do?
I'm Francois, a brand strategist with a digital background (and, I hope, a creative mind). I'm from France, but I've been living for 8 years in the US. I work as a global brand strategy director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco (but I miss New York everyday).

What is creativity to you?
I think the biggest misconception regarding creativity is that it is a gift, something that only a few people have. That's not true. I think we're all creative, but some people just don't use this great asset, because of fear I guess, or maybe because they are too conservative: they don't allow themselves to play with and recombine their thoughts. I mean, everyone has imagination - and that's really the ground base you can build your creativity on. The only difference is that some people learn to train, liberate and apply their imagination, and some people don't - they keep it locked inside their head. That said, not all creative people are created equal: the most creative people in the world express their creativity in new, outstanding, brilliant ways. They have the ability connect the dots to surprise us. My belief is that in an agency, everybody, from the strategist to the receptionists, has to be creative - at least, that's how the best agencies work. 

What is innovation to you?
I think innovation is the new frontier in advertising. We're shifting from just being creative to being innovative - it's the new holy grail. In our industry, the goal was to be the most creative and the most clever. Today it's not enough. Today, we want to be the most innovative and ingenious, and we want to re-invent, push the boundaries of what advertising is. By innovation, I mean "applied creativity" with a desire to make things and strive to actually improve people's lives beyond just crafting cute, funny messages. We must help brands make people's lives more meaningful. Innovation is about combining things differently, ingeniously - actually doing things. It's more exciting than old-school creativity, because it's creativity plus something else. It makes us do real progress. While old-school creativity is fun for a moment, new-school innovation has a longer lasting effect.

You say that competition is fierce today in the advertising industry - what do you think this means for young talent entering the industry?
I think there are two sides to this question. For students who are looking for a job, it's hard to get attention from CDs. You need to find new ways, develop your portfolio. The best portfolios are usually very diverse portfolios, that show agility across media, genres, clients, and more. They must show how good you are, but also the width and depth of your skills. The second thing is: how do we help brands communicate and get people's attention, when the competition for attention is more intense. The key here is what some bright thinkers call "return on attention". The principle is simple: since you won't have a lot of attention from consumers, how do you maximize the reward they get in the short attention window they give you. And also, how do you minimize their effort and maximize the rewarding aspect of the experience? I think that's the biggest challenge right now, together with the adoption of all the new platforms out there. I call that other challenge "invent for the context". This is basically a way to say that
ingenuity doesn't just apply in an absolute world. It must be considered "in context", keeping in mind the rules and behaviors native to the specific platform the idea will live in: you can't engage on Facebook like you do on a microsite, or on Twitter, or on Tumblr. It's going to create a new level of complexity to bring our ideas to life. Finally, we need to bring more value and convenience in the experiences: we can't afford to spam people with long loading time, or 3 minute "flashturbation" intro on microsite (with no "skip the intro" button of course). It might be impressive to us, but it's not what people are looking for.

What are the key considerations when building brands for the future?
They are couple of them: first, it will help you focus if your brand has a clear purpose in the world. Once you have that, it's about making an impact, evoking a feeling, in a short period of time - when you get people's attention. 

The other thing you need is an "editorial angle" - which is a way to create coherence versus consistency (since consistency is impossible to achieve on so many diverse social platforms). Once you have an editorial angle for your brand, you don't need to script everything. You can adapt to Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr, be reactive and contextual, while never loosing your coherence. So agencies should help brands stop being obsessed with consistency, and start inventing for the context. That means we all need to reinvent the old advertising process - both on the agency and the client sides.  

Francois Grouiller recently spoke about "Celebrating the Hacking Spirit" for Hyper Island's Students in Stockholm.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Adidas 40h Brief

Earlier this fall, Adidas worked with our Digital Media students for a 40h brief/contest. Here's what happened:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Creative Task 2012 Is Released

Our Creative Task for Programs starting fall 2012 is out and you'll find it on our Programs site.

Friday, November 18, 2011

72 Hours For Peace Ideas Are Online

It's been 72 intense hours and the Creative Commons database with ideas from the Hyper Island students in Stockholm & Karlskrona is now live! Check it out!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hyper Island Students Work With CP+B For World Peace

Today marks the start for 72h for Peace - a project with all Hyper Island students in Karlskrona and Stockholm working with Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Read more about the brief at the site and follow the work process live on Twitter (#72hpeace).

Featured in:
Dagens Media
Business & Leadership
Hello You Creatives
Agency Spy
Creativity Online
Fast Company

Monday, November 14, 2011

Have a Look Inside the Hyper Brain

Have a look inside the brain of a Hyper Island student at featuring a couple of beautiful videos where students talk about their Hyper Island experience.

A student project by:
Sandra Stadelmann @s_stadelmann
Richard Herries @richardherries
Ana Cecilia Boman @anaceciliaboman
Patrik Lythell @patriklythell
Matilda Dackevall @matildackevall
Johanna Wignell @johannawignell
Gian Carlo Belleza

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interactive Media Management Students Catches Milk Thieves

Four Hyper Island students at the Interactive Media Management program in Manchester have created a tool to catch milk thieves after experiencing problems at Hyper Island's Manchester campus.

Visit Milk Busters and learn more!

The Team:
James Peacefull
Olga Medennikova
Dan Grocock
Mitchell Pierce

Monday, November 7, 2011

Digital Media Students Builds Bridges Between Traditional Magazines & Digital

During the Final Project for Digital Media 2012, before going on internships, a group consisting of six students was asked to help Condé Nast to create new experiences for two of their leading magazines, GQ and Vogue. The students developed concepts that would bring the magazines into the future of using digital tools and social media. 

Vogue Enhanced
For Vogue the students created a concept to bridge the analog and digital reading experience of the magazine, without altering the existing magazine. Utilizing augmented reality and the wide spread of smart phones, the students wanted to add value and introduce new tools to a hard to reach target group. They created an augmented reality mobile application with connection to social networks, e-commerce and videos.

What's Your GQ IQ?
For GQ the students aimed to improve the magazine's status in social media with an online game that allows the user to measure their manliness against their GQ IQ. The user is faced with questions, challenges and scenarios which shapes the interactive story and makes the game highly personalized. The user also connects with Facebook to gather data which is used throughout the whole story.

The Team 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Most Hated" Service Experiences 2-Day Workshop

Hyper Island's Interactive Art Director class had a therapeutic two day workshop where they vented about their "most hated" service experiences: everything from Windows Vista to the voting system. Workshop leader Lauren Currie of Snook tasked students to re-imagine the flawed systems with a digital service design lens. She taught the IAD group to use Snook's toolkit, including emotional experience mapping, primary interview research, and storyboarding.

The two-day workshop wrapped up Wednesday with thirteen engaging group presentations. The audience laughed, they cried, they threw pieces of recycling through a basketball hoop. An overview of a few presentations is below. For more detail about the workshop process and service selections, check out Lauren's blog post here - It's awesome.

⁃ Finding housing can be a miserable experience. is a website designed to match tenants with landlords, almost like a dating site. Tenants can submit personal videos, desired neighborhoods, rent, and references. Landlords get an interactive dashboard with housing price information, contract creation tools, and rent tracking.

⁃ Trashket Ball makes Sweden's great recycling system better by incorporating game elements. Multiple levels of baskets exist at different locations, including the recycling center. Citizens literally throw recycling through a basketball hoop and compete to win prizes. This interactive experience makes recycling fun for the whole family, and gives everyone a reason to bag it up and schlep on over.

⁃ YourDash is the new SCAS. Hyper Island students rejoice! Download it to your desktop and choose the widgets that meet your needs. It's completely customizable. The simple, clean tool allows students to do innovative things, like "check in" to course hand outs, an alternative to handing out papers in class. Oh yeah, it's also available on mobile!

Written by Hyper Island's Learning Designer Amy Rae - get in touch by email or on Twitter.