By Warrick Sears

Will a machine take over your job?

Here’s a piece of fun with some serious consequences.

The lovely people at npr.org have come up with an online calculator that predicts the chance of your job becoming automated in the future. Try it out for yourself.

On the positive side your tax accountant is 98.7% certain to be spending more time at home with the kids. On the negative, the chance of your ex’s divorce lawyer ceasing their shake down of your bank account is only 3.5%. Weirdly enough the judge that rules you’ll have to hand over half of everything is 40.1% likely to be some form of AI.

The good news (Or is it bad, I can decide?) is that those in the creative industries have a very low chance of ever being replaced by a machine.

Now this is all a bit of harmless fun, but it does raise a very real question about employment in the future. Manufacturing is on the way out and we as a society will need to figure out how to keep a large chunk of our workforce employed or at the very least happily occupied.

If you want to put it into a near future perspective imagine this – in the next decade or so 3D printing will do most of our manufacturing. The US, UK, Europe and Australia have already outsourced most of our manufacturing to China. But what happens to the millions upon millions of Chinese workers when we are printing our new iPhone 16 at home?

The solution is creativity. Someone will still need to devise the blueprint and 3D model the printer uses to manufacture the product. Someone will still need to write the script for the movie/TV show/game to keep the masses entertained. Our intellectual property will take on new value and credibility.

I’m not sure if am at the point of welcoming our new mechanical overlords just yet, but if there is one thing you can be certain of is that nothing ever stays the same.

By Warrick Sears

Get responsive to Google’s Mobilegeddon

Since heading out as a freelancer a good part of my time has been spent in the digital realm designing websites. I enjoy the process from a pure design perspective and I especially enjoy the challenge of designing responsive websites that look good and function well.

One thing I haven’t enjoyed so much is justifying why a site should be be responsive. I’ve trotted out the stats about Australian’s browsing on phone and tablet compared to desktop many times. Most clients get it, some seem skeptical and one accused me of trying to create three times the amount of work for myself when just a desktop design would do.

Now there is a new reason to get your site mobile ready – mobilegeddon.

As of yesterday (21 April) Google search will not look favorably on your website if it isn’t mobile-friendly. You will be pushed down the search ladder in favour of sites that are responsive and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. You can find Google’s official declaration from their webmaster HERE.

If you have a lump in your throat as you are reading this, don’t feel too bad. You won’t be the only one missing out on valuable search hits as around 66% of businesses in Australia don’t have mobile friendly sites. And it’s not just the small Mum & Dad brands either. Dominoes are probably scrambling right now to get their desktop-only clunker into shape, and to be honest they should have years ago. Anyone who has endured ordering a pizza from them on the phone will know it isn’t a fun experience.

The real losers in this mobilegeddon for me are those beautifully crafted sites that are closer to artworks than digital information portals. Companies like French advertising agency Numero 10 whose site is a gorgeous hand illustrated parallax wonder, but unfortunately won’t do them any favours with the worlds most popular search engine.

As an modern agency they should have known better than to have put form before function, but that is a discussion (and blog post) for another day.

By Warrick Sears

It’s hard to hate Google on April Fool’s Day

Have you seen Google Maps today? For one day only (April 1) you can play Pacman in your own town, on your own street! As a child of the 80s I love this.

A lot of people think of Google in terms of an online behemoth seeking to control the online ecosystem. It’s hard not to when you look at their vast ownership of all things net. This has the effect of making some of us suspicious of the company and others down right hate them.

BUT one thing Google do well is digital engagement pieces that make us like them. The changes to the search image for special occasions, turning the search image into an interactive piece you can play with or the yearly release of the best of Google Street View images. And always an April Fool’s gag. All these things make us smile and like Google just a little bit more than we want to.

There is no hard sell here, but there is an experience that makes you want to tell and share with your friends – like I’m doing with you right now. And I can guarantee you that your opening sentence will be something along the lines of, “Hey, have you seen that cool Google…”

It gets you spruiking the company’s wares and being a brand ambassador, unwittingly or otherwise. Good digital makes you the media and this is what Google does brilliantly.

Now if we can just get Pacman made a permanent feature.

By Warrick Sears

What is branding?

 

There’s 1000s of different answers to this question, not to mention countless essays, books and lectures. David Brier  commissioned this simple explanation of what branding is.

I appreciate the simplicity, but do you agree?

The word ‘genius’ getting bandied about does make me a little nervous as I think good branding shouldn’t feel elevated and hence doesn’t need genius. Just a good understanding of who your company is and what it stands for and a little originality.

What did make me smile is the piece at 1:35 where the graphics form a crescent and the voice over says ‘For something nobody ever thought of before. It made me think of one of my favourite print ads.

 

 

 

By Warrick Sears

30 second Super Bowl spot VS. digital media – FIGHT!

So it’s almost Super Bowl time again and the advertising world goes into a frenzy over 30 second TV spots (or at least in the US they do). At $4.5 million US for 30 seconds of airtime, if you can make it onto The Bowl you have some serious cash to spend. If you have an ad everyone remembers and talks about, then there’s some serious cash to be made BUT…

…what else could you be getting for that money at Super Bowl time in the digital world?

How about 10 “Premium Day” promoted trends on Twitter @ $425,000US per day with a reach of 55 million users. Now that’s half of the Super Bowl audience, but with a minimum of 10 times the frequency and a link your audience can click to actually get to you.

Or 8 days of Facebook Reach Blocks @ $475,000US. Facebook don’t even whack a premium loading on their Reach Blocks for the Super Bowl and you get in 100% of your targeted audience Facebook feeds (You know, the people actually interested in your brand.) at least once a day. Reach = 100 million users only 11 million shy of The Bowls viewing figures, BUT with a frequency of up to 5 times a day. You could book out the entire Super Bowl week and still walk away with $700,000US change in your pocket!

Perhaps 5 days of rich-media Youtube mastheads @ $800,000US a day. Unlike Facebook, Youtube do double the price in Super Bowl week for their mastheads. But what you are getting is an audience of 75 million people actively looking for Super Bowl video content who will see your interactive and video enabled masthead and, once again, with an actual link that will take them straight to where you want the audience to go.

I haven’t done a lot of Youtube mastheads, but the last one I did do received over 500,000 hits in three days and that was within Australia, not the massive US market. The examples above are only the premium spots on the biggest sites, so who knows how many locally targeted page take-overs, content-marketing blog articles or social media campaigns you could get for the same money 30 measly seconds of crowded airtime will get you in front of a distracted (and I suspect drunk) audience.

The moral of the story is no matter if you have $4.5 million US or $4,500AUS in your next media budget, are there wider reaching, more effective and better value-for-money options for you to get you message out there?

 

 

 

By Warrick Sears

Hello!

Welcome to the I&C blog.

Check back regularly or subscribe to the RSS feed to see new work, advertising news and creative inspiration I stumble upon.

I’ll also be posting up free ideas occasionally. So feel free to do with them what you will.

Will a machine take over your job?
Get responsive to Google’s Mobilegeddon
It’s hard to hate Google on April Fool’s Day
30 second Super Bowl spot VS. digital media – FIGHT!