Monthly Archives October 2010

Is Candy Evil? Confer with Your Social Network

Candy and Social Media

I quit smoking 10 years ago and in the process, ended up exchanging one oral fixation (smokes) for another (candy).  I’m not super-crazy about the stuff but do probably consume more of it than most people and even had to forbid our office manager from regularly filling a communal candy bowl so that I wouldn’t gain (too much more) weight.   – I guess you could say, I’ve got a love/hate relationship with sweets.  So, it was with real interest that I read an article in this week’s New York Times with the title ‘Is Candy Evil or Just Misunderstood?’

While the story did address the pro or con question, the main gist of the piece was: people are passionate about candy!  This should probably come as no surprise.

There are blogs like Candy Addict and Candy Blog.  Apparently, last century doctors blamed candy for the spread of polio! And of course, all kinds of boutique candy companies are popping up – from Liddabit Sweets (quoted in the article) to my West Village neighborhood’s Chocolate Bar.

So, whenever people are passionate about something, where does it provoke the most attention or conversation?  It shouldn’t be a secret that (as of this writing) Skittles has 11,731,208 Facebook fans or that Nestle Crunch has a respectable 242,003 likes.

Candy and social media go together (like chocolate and peanut butter).  So seek out your favorites – whether they’re Life Savers Gummies or Dylan’s Candy Bar and partake in the conversation.  Happy Halloween.

Keith Richards Builds a Digital Life

Keith Richards’ new autobiography Life debuted yesterday, and from what I know about the man and his band, the book must truly be full of it!  In the best, most irreverent, original kind of way, of course.

Keith’s book of Life has a great digital consciousness including a cool, but understated site, www.KeithRichards.com, and all the expected social links. Though I will say, Mr. Richards’ fandom and followings are not-unexpectedly small (given his generational chords); while, his publisher – Little, Brown – has a quite robust social outreach.

So, even before listening to his own introduction to the book, uploaded at www.keithrichards.com/Life, you get a flavor for just how real the book and experience is going to be.  This digital primer provides the emotional glue to the man and his place in the world that a book by itself could never really do.

Little, Brown has done a great job using Twitter in the days leading up to the book release, from seeding bite-sized juicy quotes and factoids, to trivia question giveaways, to even seeding clips of Johnny Depp reading the audio book. Fans have been posting about the book to Keef’s Facebook wall as well, adding fan drawings, photos of ticket stubs and more.

There are some missed opportunities here, too. Keef’s Twitter feed is clearly the work of a publicity team, and has no feel of coming from the man itself – a shame when you have one of the most unique, defining personas of the past 40 years of pop culture to leverage. There’s no sense of interaction between the icon and his fans on Twitter or Facebook, which many followers now rightly come to expect.

Nonetheless, how fitting that such a historically-significant musician from one of the most defining bands of any generation writes a memoir titled Life and it actually comes alive, in an emotionally relevant digital experience. Proving once again, as we inch towards 2011, that it now does take a “digital village” to really tell a story for this generation, let alone telling the amplified story of a musician for any generation!

Change Is In The Air

Fall is always a fresh and interesting time of year for me: the end of summer heat, the crispness of the early AM chill, and warm afternoons filled with memories of seasons gone by. This change of season could not be a better, timelier metaphor for the new Flightpath website and blog that launch today. Without going point by point, comprehensively, let me say our change to a fresh site design and a re-focused blog is based on our evolving point of view of the real importance of emotional content in a digital world.

What I am saying surely rings true for many of us who started early in the brave new world of digital marketing. I launched the agency that is now Flightpath back in 1994, and for quite some time, strong visual design and breakthrough technology won the day. That said, great technology is no longer the killer app (pun intended) of great digital marketing but, rather, functions now as a practical and understood fundamental. Visual design is still important, but as a means to an end, rather than an end unto itself. As an agency steeped in a constantly evolving skill set, we know and thoroughly appreciate the importance of the many sides of what digital fluency means today—from the broad view of the social web to the opportunities of dynamic SEO/SEM nimbleness to being very hip to app development and deployment.

So what’s the Flightpath story as we race toward 2011? It’s not a design story and it’s not rocket science either (read: tech). Our work on behalf of many of our clients over the past 12-to-18 months or so reflects a real evolution into what we think of as rich “emotional currency,” the telling of important and insightful brand stories.

Digital platforms, social media, and even the specific world of blogging have provided incredible tools to deliver compelling “humanity-infused” brand value and story. This is the first of many posts that will thread this discussion.

Our blog historically, over the past two years, has been about a collective agency review of “everything digital.” While this blog will still patrol the digital landscape for important, influencing developments across the industry, our refocused Flightpath blog will really earn its keep by focusing the majority of its time/posts on connecting across the “digital un-divide” between the digital and emotional world. We know there is a lot to explore, a lot to say regarding the how (let alone the where, when and why) of digital platforms, and a lot to share about these brand stories told from a very human vantage point. I love adding value to clients and to our readers. It’s why the idea of creating “emotional currency” really works for me; it’s a declaration of value.

Thanks for reading and welcome to our brave—yet quite emotional—new world.  Welcome to the New Flightpath Site – And Blog.