Lots of great stuff this week as I’ve done a lot of reading over the Christmas break!
Despite a fairly muted reception, Anchorman 2 was always bound to be a huge success. Ferrell and co. have created a country specific ‘real time’ viral video campaign to attract new fans to the franchise (trying to fit as many buzzwords as I can into that sentence!), and it’s worked. With such a strangely large student fanbase in Ireland, the team has concentrated a disproportionate amount on our fair isle, with videos referencing Love/Hate, the Late Late Toy Show and even Enda’s recent ‘State of The Nation’effort. Production company Paramount has also partnered with Tumblr and created plenty of gif/meme type assets, and quite obviously followed a ‘paid, owned, earned’ strategy. Whatever the quality of the sequel, such inspired marketing is guaranteeing a good box office return for Ron and the boys.
Global ad firm JWT’s yearly round up of potential trends for the New Year has been released, and while there are a few red herrings (savoury yoghurt and aerial yoga anyone?), there’s plenty of food for thought too.
This really resonated with me for some reason. 2014 will be another year in which journalists and print media will continue to be squeezed from all angles, while still being expected to product earth shattering stories and compelling narratives. Most experts have known for years now that the web model for journalism is broken, with users expecting everything for free, but do we have a civic duty to continue to pay for quality journalism?
Whatever your outlook on viral farms like Upworthy, Viral Nova etc (mine has moved towards the negative as the year has wore on), 2013 has certainly been a good year for them. Using smart tactics, SEO and click friendly headlines and directorial experience of social sharing, Upworthy has growth dramatically this year. Here’s how.
A key speaker on the future of web news, Felix Salmon released this excellent, thought provoking piece on the ‘veracity of viral’ during December, outlining why ‘real’ viral content is increasingly rare, and how brands are putting together formulaic stories designed to be spread quickly and without question. Enlightening, albeit slightly scary stuff.
6: The Fifty
It’s been another ground breaking year for The Verge. Excellent journalistic content which manages to stay away from the gossip column tinged nature of sites like Techcrunch, combined with brilliant design/UX and some quality video output has seen the site go from strength to strength. (It’s my first port of call each morning too). To cap the year, the site created a standalone list of 50 people who epitomised 2013. Slick design here too by the way.