5 examples of video series that don't feature brands but should.

Video content is hard to do and even harder to do well.  Here are five examples (ok, four but we couldn't leave out 'Comedians Getting Coffee') we think deserve your time and adulation.  Some include product placement, most are on YouTube and others are simply great ideas that are well executed.  

1) Thug Notes

- An interesting take on Cliff Notes - a popular student study guide company - Thug Notes takes the old and makes it new.  High quality production, content and clever idea.  [YouTube]

2) Honest Trailers

- Simple idea, incredibly passionately executed - what trailers should say, not the Hollywood version.  Whilst the ability to integrate and place products is somewhat limited, the content and passion behind Honest Trailers (and the demand from the community it has created) is undeniable.  Possibly Copyright issues.  [YouTube]

3) My Drunk Kitchen

- Let's be honest, we don't always cook as sober as we should.  At least that's the idea behind Hannah Hart's "My Drunk Kitchen".  Booze brands, food brands and appliance brands should be sending her goods to use on the show.  Hart already has a book deal.  [YouTube]

4) Coffee with Comedians

- The premise is simple, coffee with Jerry Seinfeld and another comedian... in a vintage car... with product placement from Acura.  It's simple, funny and the placement feels natural.  Great editing and recurring theme makes this great viewing.  [Sparkle]

5) MinutePhysics

- Whiteboard videos are incredibly popular right now.  From RSA to TED Talks, they're fast becoming the defacto video for conferences etc.  One outlet that has consistently created useful and high quality videos is "Minute Physics" - a Physics idea explained in a minute.  Simple, effective and (with the topics carefully curated/picked) shareable. [YouTube]

Themes/ideas that might work for your brand:

- Find an idea that people agree with (or it's hard to disagree with)

- Post regularly and passionately 

- Funny works (but so does simple and honest)

- Short does not always equal views (four out of the five are +3 minutes long)


Will Micropayments make a difference for Twitter?


HERE/FORTH Founder, Paul Armstrong, was asked by Giga Om to pen an essay about the potential for Twitter's rumoured "Buy Now" button.  With Q2 results out soon a lot of eyes will be on Twitter to improve its weak performance in previous quarters.  

It will be interesting to see new strategies emerge for free content and locked-down content — the rise of new models and existing opportunities but in a new way (pay with a Tweet for example) all take on a new dimension when there is a built-in and understood singular system (read: iTunes). If I worked for a media house, I would be looking at this roll-out carefully, but determining my strategy now. It could be time to rethink “the penny gap.”
— Paul Armstrong

Read the full article here.


Are you measuring Dark Social? [Guardian]

HERE/FORTH Founder, Paul Armstrong, has been asked to write regularly for The Guardian and his first piece went live today.  In the piece he gives practical advice for people looking to measure Dark Social - the vast amount of sharing that is currently being mis-analysed the world over...  

Recent data from RadiumOne suggested that 72% of sharing is copying and pasting. However, delving further into the data we find that it varies between sectors. Sharing information about cars via dark platforms, for example, is more than double that for sport (38.3%), FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) clients can expect to see about 61% of their traffic from dark platforms. This data is interesting in itself but the behaviours surrounding FMCG and finance, for instance, are very different, as people are fine to share their musical tastes but are less likely to talk about their bank account.
— Paul Armstrong

POV, Insight

3 Things we learned at #WIREDMONEY

Yesterday we went to Wired Money 2014 to learn about the latest developments with P2P lending, cryptocurrencies, online security and new banking models - we weren't disappointed.  

Here are three takeaways you may want to think about implementing (contact us if you'd like more information):

· Bitcoin has huge potential but an unknowledgeable masses : If it is to truly have the transformative power many believe it can – retail, businesses and the consumer has to a) understand it and b) want it.  Start talking to your customers and seeing what you can create before you are stuck with systems and processes you’ve not had a hand in creating.  As Khan puts it “…we are step 3 or 4 of 100.”

· Security can be fixed but remains a core issue for banks and retail - there are still many flawed approached to security that are holding companies back from giving better service and building real relationships with their customers.  Smart companies will review practices and really invest in this area to break down barriers, change faulty procedures if they truly want security (and a happy customer).  An interesting fact from the day was that ¼ of all students leaving college this year have no signature.

· "True" value is the key – I think it was mentioned in one way or another in almost every presentation.  Currently banking is sufficient but it does not add value to the end user.  Successful start-ups are focusing on the small things that seem to make a big difference.  Have you navel gazed recently and seen what you can fix?  Lee Sankey from Barclay’s named three small changes his team identified and rectified that have raised customer scores significantly.  What are these things for your business?


3 very good reasons why you should tread carefully with native advertising.

Some interesting tweets from the #GDNCMS Conference by the Guardian appeared this morning and there was heated debate about algorithms being better than young planners, innovation and native advertising was unsurprisingly a big part of the day’s talks. Words like authentic, hoodwinking, value and engagement were banded about and there are clearly those that are ready to merge these worlds and others that are clearly opposed to it.