• Our Friend the Faceclutcher
  • Conspiracy Media Group is a social research and communication strategy agency.

    We focus on finding insights amidst the noise and guide clients in how those insights can but used to move their business forward.

Back to the Future of Long Form Video from Toyota

Toyota released a five minute video from Doga5 that brings together a real-life Doc Brown, the movie Doc Brown Christopher Lloyd, and Michael J. Fox. The Toyota scientist (a Back To The Future geek), introduces Lloyd and Fox to a Toyota hydrogen fuel car that runs fundamentally the same way the DeLorean does when Doc returns from October 21, 2015 (the date of the video release).

The video is a wonderful mix of Lloyd and Fox chatting about how much the movie predicts the future, the science of the Hydrogen car, and nice patter between the Toyota scientist and actors. All in all it just keeps on proving how valuable these long-form videos are for informing people about products that require consideration.

Bravo Toyota and Droga5!

Old McDonald Had a Frigging Great Billboard. Again.

I realize their food is the poster child of all that’s wrong with this country but damn they do good outdoor.

This new one in Stockholm let’s you play pong on the giant board through your phone.  If you last :30 or more you get coupon for free McDonald’s treat of your choice.  They also map it to the closest store so it’s nice and immediate. It may just be me but the McDonald’s workers at the store in the video are the best looking, fittest staff I’ve ever seen.  It’s possible everyone in Stockholm is good looking and thin but any chance they are plants for the video?

McDonald’s also did this brilliant SunDial billboard.   As the sun moves across the sky it reflects down on a different McDonald’s food as the morning progresses.

What’s the relevance to social?  Seriously?

They aren’t doing these exercises because a

few thousand play pong or see the sundial.  It’s because millions see them online when people

take pictures and post them.  It’s outdoor as social content.

Good stuff from Ronald

Iceland and the greatest tourism video ever.

A great tourism video for Iceland was released recently:

It’s fun, Bjork-like I guess, and longish-form.  It will get distributed socially, get tons of links and inevitably do wonderful in natural search results.  It’s perfect.  Every time I see one of these, like the Johnnie Walker video, I am perplexed why more brands don’t tackle long form video.  It’s great for social, digital, search, brand awareness, brand reinforcement, consideration, employee satisfaction, and probably another dozen or so marketing benefits.

So come on marketers, get off your asses.  They’re hard to do well but worth it.

Rotten Tomatoes vs. Red Letter Media

I liked two places for reviews of Avatar.

The first, Rotten Tomatoes, I always check before seeing a movie. If you haven’t been there, it’s basically a calculation of most of the traditional media movie reviews and a batch of blog/digital reviews. They average out all the reviews so you get a kind of wisdom of the masses evaluation of the movie. You can just look at the average score, or you can look at a paragraph from each reviewer, or dive in deep if you want the whole thing. It works in the same way yelp or any other wisdom of the masses system works. Data driven, very efficient and very successful.

I also watched the Red Letter Media review of Avatar.
If you haven’t seen Pinkett’s reviews of Star Wars or Avatar you are missing out. Very funny, very smart and in the case of Star Wars, 70 minutes long.

These two directions seem to be where we’re all headed. 1) Data driven, aggregated, providing value through efficiency and ROI.


2) Total engagement. Information as entertainment and we become fans of the engagement as much as the thing it’s reviewing.

It would seem that if you’re reviewing movies or marketing cars or trying to decide what kind of agency to be this is something to keep in mind. The successful models seem to skew in either of these two directions:

Rotten Tomatoes vs. Red Letter Media

Google vs. Apple

Draft vs. Crispin

In the marketing world I imagine marketers ending up with a blend of these two types of agencies. The underlying “data” shop performing all the evergreen services and the “engagement” shop developing the big ideas that create marketing as entertainment forms.

Johnnie Walker

Picture 2If you haven’t see the Johnny Walker – The Man Who Walked Around The World video: the take the time.

It’s 6 minutes long but well worth it. At the end you understand the history of the whiskey, the walking story and undoubtedly feel bonded to Johnny Walker and the whiskeys in a way other communication forms could not have achieved.

I want to start seeing equivalent forms of communication from other industries. Why is it I know more about Johnny Walker than the cars I purchase from General Motors? (my family works for GM and I worked for the agency that does Chevy ads).

This form of communication in which information is delivered in a reasonably entertaining fashion strikes me as the absolutely first thing on the list of responsibilities were I introducing a new car into the market. When the Chevy Volt launches (or any of their brands) I better be able to learn at least as much about the reasons that Chevy has gotten it right as I learned from Johnny Walker about the reasons they’ve gotten it right.

Johnny Walker also did a very cool multimedia event described here at <a href=”“><a href=””>Food Monkey
Amazing, compelling experience driving deeply the passion for the brand. Now you could argue that it’s easier to win someone over when they’re all liquored up and you’d be right but c’mon, when that Volt launches they should be able to create a comparable experience for anyone interested in learning some more.

Radio Shack / fork-in-the-eye marketing

Lots of press lately about Radio Shack’s plans to use The Shack as a nickname in their latest blitz marketing effort. While I don’t like the nickname much it doesn’t really matter.

What matters is how anyone can think the right way to do this stuff is to launch an all-out campaign in the face of significant customer satisfaction issues. In an article in Adage the CMO responds to the question of why they’d launch the campaign with people unhappy about the store experience by saying that people don’t understand how “The Shack” nickname will be rolled out in the ads. Unless this campaign is going to be a public acknowledgment that the stores have issues and they’re working on them I can’t imagine how these things relate.

It’s simple, you cannot launch a big marketing effort in the midst of having very large customer issues. You have to start with the issues, solve them, and then market any way you’d like. The reverse is incomprehensible. The CMO suggests they’re in the process of addressing these issues but then goes on to talk about the campaign. For Christ’s sake, just wait on the blitz until you’re done. Until then run your Sunday circulars or promotions or whatever you need to in order to get foot traffic.

Now the CMO may be under the gun to do something big prior to the store fixes. He probably doesn’t control that aspect of the company. Many don’t. But that’s the problem then. The store experience is the number one form of marketing for Radio Shack. If it isn’t brilliant then there is no amount of money on earth that will make this campaign work.

After the dust clears, and the campaign fails to lift the fortunes of the chain, and the CMO is ushered to the door he’ll claim, “I told the CEO the stores needed to be fixed”.