The standout experiences of LeWeb London 2013


The second LeWeb London conference took place earlier this month when 1,200 or so people gathered in London  – joined by thousands more via the net – to hear other people talk about the sharing economy.

That dry description belies the dynamism and exuberance of this seminal biz/tech conference and exhibition  that has grown from the social homebrew kick-start days of blogging nearly a decade ago to being arguably the most influential European conference of its type today.

I was there on June 5 and 6, at the splendid Methodist Central Hall just across the way from the Houses of Parliament,  as one of the official bloggers. It was my first LeWeb since 2006 although I did parachute in via Google+ Hangout On Air sessions in London and Paris last year. Huge fun!

In actually being physically there this time, my goal was mostly to listen – to meet interesting people and hear interesting ideas. And that is exactly what happened.

I met up with my good friend Silvia Cambie – who along with her colleague Gloria Lombardi have written terrific perspectives of their experiences of LeWeb – and we shared some of our own thoughts about what we saw and heard as we saw and heard them (and we chatted about some of that on a Simply TV interview on June 7).

Last week, on June 10, I spoke of my impressions of LeWeb London 2013 in a 10-minute report on episode 707 of For Immediate Release, the weekly business podcast I co-host with Shel Holtz. I’ve embedded that specific clip below if you’d like to listen here and now (and feel free to download it if you prefer):

You might want to listen to the whole podcast episode as after my report, Shel and I continued talking about LeWeb for another five minutes or so.

In my report, I highlighted these standouts:

The audio-visual spectacle that was the “LeWeb experience” in terms of how the plenary room and each of the session rooms were decorated, lit,  audio’d; in essence, the full experience. Awesome, in a word.

You can get a sense of that from the many photos taken in or of the plenary room, such as these from my LeWeb London set on Flickr.

After a few teething troubles at the start of day 1, the wifi turned out to be excellent. As I mentioned in the FIR report, there were Cisco routers everywhere you looked, even peeking from behind John Wesley.

3 official bloggersThe Official Bloggers I met were a great bunch. The blogger programme was very ably set up and managed by Ricardo Sousa who set the bar pretty high for future such programmes at LeWeb.

We did have some group photos taken on the last day but I can’t find any of them online. So until I can, here’s one I made, a selfie during the photo shoot.

The stand-out blogger for me was Adam Tinworth who live-blogged much of the two days. Excellent posts, great content and full of detail. (Adam’s very good at this, as I know from his work at the last B2B Huddle in May.)

Of the many speakers, a half-dozen of all I saw and heard really made a strong impression on me. Not only because of what they said – good though it all was – it was also in the telling of their stories: how they said it and the attention their story-telling attracted.

You can watch video recordings of each of those speakers – either presenting to the audience or in conversation with LeWeb founder Loic LeMeur –  and see what you think:

These are but six of the 38 individuals who spoke at LeWeb London 2013 and who were video-recorded in wonderful high definition – check them all out on YouTube.

As I mentioned earlier, my major goal in being at LeWeb London was to meet interesting people and hear interesting ideas. That also enabled me to record two special interviews that I published earlier this week as FIR Interview podcasts:

A final congratulatory word must go to Loic LeMeur and Géraldine LeMeur, the two founders of the LeWeb conferences, for their peerless dedication and outstanding presences over almost a decade with a brand that has now moved to a new level.

Take a look at what others have said about LeWeb London 2013. And here’s looking to LeWeb London 2014!

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Your gleeful inner child: a marketing winner for Evian

evian baby&me

Evian, the premium bottled-water brand of French foods group Danone, has enjoyed some success in recent years for its imaginative and virally-attractive online video campaigns centred around babies.

Not ordinary babies, though – these are dancing babies and roller-skating babies, all behaving in their body movements and expressions like miniature grown-ups.

From a brand marketing perspective, the success behind such campaigns can be seen in metrics like the 17.8 million views to date of the roller-skating babies video since it was first posted on YouTube in July 2009.

Yet that number pales in comparison to what’s happening with Evian’s latest video posted last month: Baby & Me.

This latest video sees Evian’s babies repeat the formula of previous babies videos to represent “your gleeful inner child,” but this time they want to dance with you. Take a look:

As of today, the video has garnered over 45 million views in the three weeks it’s been available on YouTube.

That’s not all: perhaps of more interest and significance – that brings the phrase ‘viral video’ to life – is what’s happening across the social web according to Visible Measures:

[…] Baby & Me took top billing on the Viral Chart [in the last week of April], garnering a True Reach of more than 35.8 million views. The campaign also has more than 80 related clips, 740,000 Facebook shares, and 11,000 comments. Since it’s debut on April 19, the campaign has raked in a True Reach of more than 42.3 million views.

I would imagine Evian’s marketers are pleased with such results although I claim no knowledge of their specific objectives for this campaign, nor how they measure what success looks like. (A case study of Evian’s Live Young campaign by Syndicate Media Group gives you a great sense of what the measures may be.)

Creatively, I think the video works well. So I was interested to find out how the producers matched adults with babies in appearance. Yes, they searched for actors with a clear resemblance between their generations.

AdWeek has the story:

[…] The spot, filmed in Buenos Aires and Paris, features adults and kids who were cast because they looked like each other. From there, thanks to some CGI, they mirror each other’s dance moves.

AdWeek goes into some detail about the campaign and what else it involves beyond the video.

Marketing and social – an imaginative collaboration.

[This post is part of an experiment in brand story-telling.]

The sound of an F-type

Jaguar F-type
Intriguing piece of story-telling in this short (13 minutes) film “Desire” for Jaguar and its new just-launched F-type sports car, made by Ridley Scott, starring Damian Lewis and Shannyn Sossamon with music by Lana Del Rey.

Best viewed in 1080p HD at full screen to get the maximum impact from the beautiful photography.

Not sure about the story line itself but the photography really is excellent. The audio star is the car’s exhaust tones.

And maybe that’s what it’s all about.

More about the car (and the film):!/scroll

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Six reasons why Vine is worth your time


The buzz about Vinepro and con – is non stop. BBC News has a great 6-point analysis of why they think it will continue grabbing attention:

  1. Stop motion animation is alive and well
  2. Ads work at six second length
  3. People tend to do rather than say
  4. Artificial limits help hype a social media offering
  5. Aggregations of Vine are mesmerising
  6. Cats/porn dominate every platform on the internet

All credible. Read the detail behind each point on the BBC website. And a nice video quiz there well illustrates some of the imaginative uses of Vine.

BBC: Six things people have learned about Vine
Twitter’s video app Vine, which allows users to share six-second clips, has generated masses of hype in its first week.

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Image at top via Mashable: What Makes Vine So Hot? Add to your reading after you’ve read the BBC story.

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Gangnam Style heads towards a billion views

Gangnam Style

840,131,442 views since July. Wonder how soon Gangnam Style will hit a billion views. AdAge reckons Dec 11.

Watch the video at YouTube:

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  • If you’ve not really heard of Gangnam Style other than that it’s a music video, here’s a bit of background from its Wikipedia entry:

“Gangnam Style” […] is a K-pop single by the South Korean music artist PSY. The song was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1. “Gangnam Style” debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart, the national record chart of South Korea. As of November 27, 2012, the music video has been viewed over 835 million times on YouTube, and is the site’s most watched video after surpassing Justin Bieber’s single “Baby”.

The phrase “Gangnam Style” is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song and its accompanying music video went viral in August 2012 and have influenced popular culture since then. “Gangnam Style” was almost universally praised for its catchy beat and PSY’s amusing dance moves in the music video and during live performances in various locations such as Madison Square Garden, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Samsung commercials. On September 20, 2012, “Gangnam Style” was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most “liked” video in YouTube history. It subsequently won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards held later that year.

A lot more information at Wikipedia including about parodies and politicians. AdAge has more on that including the big advertising and marketing dimension.

Gangnam Style: a popular cultural phenomenon that transcends national cultures.

[Update December 21:] A billion views achieved today!

1 billion views

#Skyfall: impressions of the latest James Bond adventure

We saw #Skyfall this afternoon at our local Showcase cinema. Very hard to say much about it without being a total spoiler.

Five non-spoiler impressions:

  • Daniel Craig is a brilliant Bond, grittier and more credible than before. And he was highly credible before.
  • Javier Bardem, a bad guy so bad he’s… bad!
  • Brilliant new Q, the role and Ben Whishaw the actor both spot on.
  • Great focus on the characters and personalities, especially M.
  • Outstanding support roles by Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris.

In short, a terrific audio-visual treat, a Bond movie for today that gives a great nod to the past and Ian Fleming‘s original story-telling. This preview trailer is a great taster.

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