christopher miller discusses marketing, technology and emerging media in the digital space


No Passive Media

Posted by Chris under Advertising, Community, Mobile, Research, trends

Despite the title I don’t mean media in the strict sense but rather in the context that the consumer is/or can be interacting further with the brands we market. Or just maybe, I mean something even bigger.

For the past year we’ve been utilizing a customized version and experience of the Consumer Decision Journey (link the McKinsey’s white paper). Becoming a core to our context planning, that we’ve expanded further by segmenting the barriers that block someone from moving around the path (to purchase), and then adding the possible media touch points that could intersect at that moment.

Consumer Decision Journey

Consumer Decision Journey

Maybe not rocket science, but it’s been art and science, and highly successful for a number of clients and their business. Overlay it with our Institute of Decision Making: which brings (as described in Michael Fassnacht’s blog) “Behavioral Economics and Neuro-Science, or more scientific ways of understanding the impact and purpose of brands for the unconscious part of consumer’s minds and we’re ready for the next leap.”

No Passive Media, The ability to create systems that connect, that allow and plan for a next step with each touch point as a part of marketing.

Why now? Three things – Technology, Behavior and Content


Well on one side we have technology. Technology in which I can interact or take a next step (easily) with just about every media touch point out there.

We can think about this as one aspect of our 6.5 Seconds that MatterSM, the brief window of opportunity we have to make our message count.

However let’s expand it, not only to reflect multiple touch points but also to create flow and a depth of story that no singe medium can sustain. In other words, a series of 6.5 moments or 6.5n

Technologies like:

Connected TV* – widgets and apps on your tv

Bar, QR codes and even symbols and logos - and the apps that support them –See them in print ads today

App’s like Sound Hound and Shazam – what’s that song on Glee

Search – Where a lot of our next step takes place

SMS – Get a coupon from OOH

Social media – it’s already there

Mobile – perhaps the nexus point of next step

The list of technologies go on, but I think you get my drift that technology is allowing us to take a next step; to engage if we want to.

Now I’m not going to argue if this is good or bad, time and how well we do it will tell.


We’re seeing this connectedness/next steps with media with consumer behavior now, albeit perhaps with cobbled together technology. Is it everyone all the time? No and not yet, but that’s ok, it’s about scale across dedicated audiences.

Absolutely there are times you want to lean back (see * below) and we’ll take that into account. In fact it all has to start with consumer behavior and then using technology to support this


This can be the copy, the status post, the visual story; all that and more. It’s the information that we create and curate, which ultimately is the expression of the brand. And to bring the idea of No Passive Media to life we have to think like content creators, but that’s for another post.

How we think about it:

Here’s the foundation, the output of which is Commercial Transmedia Ideas; Ideas or media that connect and creates a system and allows for a range of passive and active interactions with the brand.

Modern Advertising System

Modern Advertising System

Next generation Experience Planning

This goes beyond integration. McKinsey gets at this a little in their new white paper:  Beyond paid media: Marketing’s new vocabulary. But we’ll need to go farther beyond just integrating, we actually will need to do interaction decision planning: a what happens or can happen next planning that creates advertising and marketing that connects the dots and doesn’t just leave room but creates space for a next interaction.

Of course not everyone will want to always do this for ever interaction, sometimes I just want to switch off and have a lean back experience with my TV/magazine/book/website, etc. and that’s ok, it’s part of our planning!


Evolving technologies, core and changing behaviors and multi channel content give rise to commercial transmedia ideas. This in turn will let us recognize and bring to life work that has No Passive Media.

It’s the evolution of what we once called campaigns, then evolved into what some called platforms and what we now call systems. More on that later!


*yes I know this one is the “farthest out” but I kind of consider a laptop / mobile phone interaction while you are watching TV the caveman version of this. Since there are TV’s and systems (Google TV for all it’s pluses and minuses) available now I’m counting it. And if the forecasts are right, mainstream over the next 12-18 months.


Apple and Flash – the saga continues

Posted by Chris under Adobe, Apple, Browsers, Flash, Microsoft, Mobile, Technology, iPhone

Apple hasn’t supported Flash in the past for what seems to be a couple of reasons, depending on which “side” you are on.

  1. Take away the closed app ecosystem – Since Flash has evolved from just being a animation player into a full on platform that can run its own Apps, allowing flash would let application developers to get their software onto the iPhone/iPad. Just build them in flash, put in to a webpage and it’s all go. This would take business away from the App Store and possibly let publishers distribute other content such as music, video’s and movies.
  2. It’s a resource hog – flash, even coded well can use a large about of CPU resources (see above). This can affect battery life and speed two key things on a mobile device.
  3. Cost to Apple – Apple would need to license flash from Adobe (as Microsoft did)  with Flash lite and reader.

All in all I believe it’s about control, Steve Jobs has proven that time and time again that we wants to control the ecosystem and you have to play within his rules. Flash doesn’t do that.

So what does that mean to development. Flash isn’t going away from Mac’s. It’s too entrenched on the Mac platform for it to disappear but in the controlled environment of the iTunes store it’s different.

But let’s first look at the penetration of iPhones, which is still small. Of all mobile phones in the US, 11% are smart phones and of that 21% are iPhones.  Sure when we add iTouch in there it goes up but it’s still small.

When we talk about mobile we have three things that we (Draftfcb) think mobile should do:

Bite Sized:
Mobile offerings need to be conceived as small.

Mobile offerings need to address an immediate need.

Mobile offerings need to be easy to leave behind.

This helps form the strategy and creative thinking and you don’t need flash to do these things. However it also means that what you create for your web (read that computer or larger screen) experience should probably be different from what you do for mobile. It means that we should create experience specific platforms so while flash could be appropriate technology to use on the web it may not be needed on mobile. And you probably want to create a different experience in mobile anyway.

Look at some of the great mobile apps. UrbanSpoon for example, the website and iPhone app are reflective of “where” you are when you access their content. The website giving you deep and rich content while the app asks you a couple of easy “questions” and then suggest what restaurant to go to.

So in summary a couple of key things:

  1. Flash won’t disappear from the Mac
  2. Flash may come to the iPad if users revolt as it’s built for web surfing but doesn’t support Flash  -
  3. This may bring it to the iPhone/iTouch
  4. When we develop for users that may access our experience (site) from multiple-devices we should think about what that unique experience should be.


Mobile, at least there’s something to be bullish about

Posted by Chris under GPS, Google, Mobile, Technology, privacy

I continue to be more and more bullish on the so called third screen, the mobile phone. I’m up to 10 pages full of icons=app’s on my iphone and while some are played with and casually tossed away, most are becoming a daily part of my life.

The area I’ve most be intrigued about is location services. Sure there’s dopplr and brightkite and app’s like Loopt, Cellspin, etc. as well as service app’s that don’t just connect you to people but to product like Where and Urban Spoon. But when Google gets into the game with a service like Latitude, you know the game is changing.

As an advertiser and marketer for my clients, data is becoming increasingly important. Well not just the data but the analysis, use and marketing through it, that’s the important part. For years we’ve talked about: the right message, in the right place, at the right time to the right person. It would seem marrying: mobile, data and, on the fly/flexible creative messaging are we’re just about there.

Sure it’s a little bit out there and not the least annoying to others unless those voices are in your head (or bluetooth headset) is the advertising scene from minority report. But are we really that far away from it.

Take a read to the latest Business Week article for their take on mobile marketing, privacy and where it’s going


Off to see Sleeping Beauty

Posted by Chris under Travel, YouTube

My wife’s best friend works for the Scottish Ballet so we’re off to see Sleeping Beauty in Glasgow! Now mind you it’s a tough call as it’s also the Old Firm match today. That’s Celtic V. Rangers for the uninitiated. Of course you know I’m pulling for the Bhoys in the hoops but since we’re away at Ibrox it’ll be a great match.

I’m wondering do you think they’ll announce the score during the intermission ;-) .

Seriously though I do like ballet as well and we’re supporters for the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago so it’s great to see another company in action.


26 seconds of booze (or an early shot with the MinoHD)

Posted by Chris under Broadband, TV, Technology, Uncategorized

Sample Booze Video

I thought what better to use for a first still life then my liquor cabinet. And while it’s no Russu bar, it serves it purpose for holding my near and dear whiskey’s (that’s Scotch, Mash and Rye), along with other assorted choice beverages.

Also you’ve got low light, dark colors, glass reflecting some light, etc. so a pretty good test environment to check out the video. And wait for the load, I don’t have the fastest server and it’s 33MB, remember it’s HD

But more important is the 26 seconds of HD video from a $200 camera. Sure it’s a bit grainy but it smaller although thicker then my iPhone. I’ll be playing with this over the next couple of days so look for shots from the family Thanksgiving!


Paperless check-in on AA

Posted by Chris under Travel

So I’m flying on AA tomorrow out of ORD and plan to try to new paperless check-in, info below. But here’s what I’m wondering. When you go through the scanner and they say “keep your boarding passes out” and the TSA person looks at it once you go though the metal detector, how’s that going to work with my iPhone or Blackberry?

Will let you know tomorrow!

12. Paperless Flight Check-In

Q:  What is Paperless Flight Check-In?

Now when you check in for your flight departing from Los Angeles (LAX),
Chicago O’Hare (ORD), or John Wayne/Orange County (SNA), you can choose
to receive your boarding pass for any nonstop flight with a single
passenger electronically on your mobile phone or PDA.

  • When checking in on, choose the
    “Email to Cell Phone or other Mobile Device” option and include the
    email address for your mobile phone or PDA.
  • Retrieve your
    Mobile Boarding Pass via your email and save it to your phone for easy
    access at the security checkpoint (check your phone/PDA manual for
    options on how to save emails and view offline).

Q:  If
I’ve checked in with Paperless Flight Check-In and have a Mobile
Boarding Pass on my cell phone or PDA, what should I do once I arrive
at the airport?

At the airport, retrieve the boarding pass from your cell phone or PDA
and make sure the entire barcode is visible on the screen. Also, turn
the backlight setting for your phone/PDA display to the brightest mode.
Proceed directly to Security with your government-issued photo
identification and mobile boarding pass. Show the barcode at your
security checkpoint as you would a paper boarding pass. If the scanner
cannot read your barcode, a paper boarding pass will be required.

You may then proceed right to your departure gate where you wait
for your boarding group to be called. Be sure to verify your gate
assignment when you arrive at the airport as gate assignments and
departure times may change. You must be at your gate for boarding at
least 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure time. Reservations are
subject to cancellation if you are not checked in and at the departure
gate at least 15 minutes prior to departure

Be sure to have your boarding pass displayed on your mobile phone or
PDA once your boarding group is called. You will need to show the
mobile boarding pass to the gate agent for it to be scanned, as you
would a paper boarding pass. If the scanner cannot read your barcode at
the gate, a paper boarding pass will be required.


AT&T + iPhone = Free Wifi

Posted by Chris under Apple, Broadband, Mobile, Technology, Travel, iPhone

That’s right, recently announced by AT&T and shared across twitter and the web, free AT&T Wifi for iPhone users at AT&T WiFi hotspots. So beyond just Starbuck, including any of the public AT&T Wifi hotspots, you’ll get free Wifi on your iPhone, can you tell I’m excited.

As AT&T says

AT&T knows Wi-Fi is hot, and FREE Wi-Fi is even hotter. Which is why FREE AT&T Wi-Fi access is now available for Apple iPhone at thousands of hotspots nationwide, including Starbucks*. Users can relax and access music, email and web browsing services with their favorite blend in hand from the comfort of their nearest location. For information visit

Enjoy the experience of mobile Internet on Apple iPhone. Your iPhone now has free AT&T Wi-Fi access at thousands of hotspots nationwide, including Starbucks*. Visit for more information or find a Starbucks location near you. That’s all you need to get going – so go ahead, see what your iPhone can do!

And it’s pretty darn easy to activate, instuctions via AT&T are below.

iPhone users, get started with Wi-Fi

  • Activate Wi-Fi from the settings icon on your iPhone
  • Select “attwifi” from the list of available networks
  • Enter your 10-digit mobile number and check the box to agree to the Acceptable Use Policy. Tap ‘continue’
  • You will receive a text message from AT&T with a secure link to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot. You will not be charged for the text message.
  • The SMS link will only be valid for 24 hours at the location it was requested. Another request must be submitted when using another hotspot location.
  • Open the text message and tap on the link for 24-hour access to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot


A sad day

Posted by Chris under Uncategorized

I got home from a business trip today to discover in Crains and the Tribune and via the Joffrey blog that Gerald Arpino, internationally-renowned Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of The Joffrey Ballet, had passed away peacefully today in his Chicago home after a long illness.

My wife and I have been attending the Joffrey for over ten years, and every performance we’d look the the stage left balcony and he’d be sitting there, leaning forward ready to watch the company he loved so much. It somehow felt oddly comforting to see him there at each performance.

We attended last Saturday, to view Ashley C. Wheater, the new Artistic Director for the Joffrey and sadly noticed that Mr Arpino was not there.

But we’ll be looking to the balcony each time as just like our ongoing support and attendance of the Joffrey hasn’t wavered, I seem to think that Mr. Arpino will still be watching each performance of the company that he grew and nurtured so well.

And even in his passing he’s left the company a legacy, not only in what he’s done but in bringing in Mr. Wheater as the performance of the new fall season of Postcards, In The Night and Age of Innocence were the best we have every seen of the Joffrey.


Let’s get social

Posted by Chris under Advertising, Chicago, Community, Conference, Google, Social Networking, Twitter

Last week Google, at their Chicago office, hosted an afternoon event on social marketing along with a rawkstar party later that evening.

The event featured two keynote speakers: Jeremiah Owyang, Sr. Analyst Forrester and Paula Drum, VP, marketing, H&R Block. It was great to meet both of them as I’d spoken with them via phone, email and twitter but not met face to face. Both of their presentations were great, as expected.

Prior to Jeremiah’s presentation he sent a tweet that I’d be tweeting the presentation and thanks to Mrs. Naslund’s Freshman typing my typing speed allowed me to keep followers up to date. Interestingly his one tweet added about 30 followers, again showing the power of social networking.

Dick Costello, that’s right of Feedburner hosted a panel discussion, which unfortunately I couldn’t stay for however you can catch the photos of the even here (thanks Kate for posting on Picasso). And in addition to the photo’s Google has also posted PDF’s of the presentation which are here as well.

If you want to see the archive of tweets from the presentations they are here, but you’ll have to go back a few pages as well.


Congrats to my cousin Roland “Chris”

Posted by Chris under Uncategorized

Big congratulations on his recent promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army!