2010’s best viral videos

The only kind of “viral” we like to share and experience at Brio, is the viral ad/campaign!

With social media taking over a lot of advertising space these days, it’s a given that viral advertising is only growing more popular amongst brands and consumers. Why? Well, the best thing about viral advertising is that it not only excites, engages and intrigues consumers, it also allows consumers to share their experience of a brand with others in a positive way.

AdNews is currently putting together a list of the Top 20 branded viral videos for 2010 and is calling on its readers and site users to submit their favourite advertiser funded videos (national and international) uploaded to YouTube this past year. If you would like to vote or submit entries, all you need to do is to subscribe to the AdNews website.

The judging process will take into consideration not only the creativity of the video but also the popularity of the video. Popularity will be measured through the amount of times a the video has been viewed on YouTube as well as how many times it’s been shared and mentioned via social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and blog posts (ahh, the power of social media!).

The final Top 20 for 2010 list will be revealed on the 3rd of December, however in the meantime here’s a few of my favourite viral ads; some you have probably already seen, some you may not. Enjoy (oh, and if you know of some more great viral ads, please share! We’d love to see them!).

The War of the Salmon: Man vs Bear


Mice One! (don’t turn away from this one half way through … watch it until the end!)


True Beauty


Welcome Back


“What’s my line?”

“You’re probably too young to remember”, was the response I received at a party this weekend. And I sure was!!!

“What’s my line?” was a popular game show from 1950-67… when they had black & white TV!

The idea of the game show was for 4 panelists to guess a person’s occupation by asking questions that had “yes” “no” answers. If the special guest was too recognisable the panelists had to wear blindfolds.

Many famous people from the ‘arts’ were invited on as special guests
Hugh Hefner – 12 years into the Playboy magazine
Ronald Reagan – when he was an actor
• A 33 year old Barbra Streisand
Clarence C. Nash – the voice of Donald duck
Colonel Sanders – today his caricature is so widely recognised
Elizabeth Taylor – onto her 2nd husband by 1954

My favourite guest was Salvador Dali who led the panelists to believe he was a jack of all trades.


I found it more interesting watching “What’s my line?” on youtube than switching on the TV.

Have you watched this show? How do you compare it to the game shows / reality shows of today?

Yours in Design,
Amber van Sloten

Never Judge by the looks

Looking for inspiration for my blog this week, I came across this success story (and a bit of trivia), which also forms part of a true story.  Well, at least the characters are real. Perhaps the finer details may have been enhanced slightly for the message it also sends. How many real life success stories do you know that started from humble and innocent beginnings.

Read it for yourself………

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the president’s outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn’t even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned.

“We want to see the president,” the man said softly.

“He’ll be busy all day,” the secretary snapped.

“We’ll wait,” the lady replied.

For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn’t. And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted to do. “Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they’ll leave,” she told him. And he sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn’t have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him, “We had a son that attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus”. The president wasn’t touched he was shocked.

“Madam,” he said gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.”

“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly, “we don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and
homespun suit, then exclaimed, “A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard.” For a moment the lady was silent.

The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now.

The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, “Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don’t we just start our own?” Her husband nodded. The president’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.

Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about!

I researched Stanford University and discovered the following:

Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world.

Flash Ads Are Broken

Hate those pesky ads that cover the content you are trying to read? They generally make me leave the site as I don’t have time for people that want to place ads over their website content to entice me to go somewhere else and buy a Nokia mobile phone or get American Express credit cards… No one really cares!

Maybe we should try and put a stop to them or at least try and get them to be a little less intrusive. That’s where Flash Ads Are broken come in to it.

Take a screen grab of it and upload it here: Flash Ads Are Broken get some awareness happening and maybe they might start taking note.

How does everyone feel about Flash Ads? Leave a comment below.

Apple teases ‘Black Friday’ shoppers

Apple has advertised that they are marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season with a special one day shopping event. You’re invited to “wrap it up” this Friday when the apple online store will be having a sale on iPods, iPads and other Mac gifts.

This isn’t the first time Apple have had a Black Friday sale with no pricing details divulged. Each year the mention of less expensive products intrigues and tantalises shoppers!

Yours in online shopping,


When Facebook becomes a book

When Facebook becomes a book from Siavosh Zabeti on Vimeo.

I think I’ve become a little obsessed with the digital word lately. I’ve pretty much stopped buying newspapers and magazines and get my fill online. I use my iPhone for my shopping lists and to jot down the epiphanies that come to me in the night. I’d rather put all my photos on Facebook than have them printed at a photo lab.

But this campaign for Bouygues Telecom’s Facebook Platform by Perfect Fools & DDB Paris really struck a chord with me. They looked at the way we use Facebook and found that even though we use the social networking site everyday, we forget our favorite moments we share online. It seems that by capturing all of your Facebook status updates, photos and activity in a book, you somehow make it more ‘real’ and ‘permanent’. I’m not sure if the printed Facebook actually exists or of you receive on when you sign up with Bouygues Telecom (would be awesome if you did) but the idea and filming is nice enough.

Maybe it’s time I brought back some ‘real’ and ‘permanent’ things in my life? How about you?

Yours in digital life,

AVOID these Black Hat SEO tactics

As with most things in life there are people who always do the right thing and there are those that seem to always do the wrong things. When it comes to SEO there are many strategies a business can implement to help them rank higher in search engine searches but not all of them are good. Bad SEO strategies are often referred to as Black Hat Tactics. These “tricks” attempt to bluff search engine results into ranking sites based on corrupt means that offer little help to the person searching.

Here is a list of some of the common techniques we have seen that should be avoided, as they could result in your site being banned:

Keyword Stuffing is where you cram multiple instances of  keywords that you want to found by into a sentence/paragraph to the point that it no longer makes much sense. The aim is to hope that search engines will return the site as a result thinking the content is relevant.

Hidden Text was a tactic that has been employed for years by web developers and means putting white text (full of key words) onto a white background. Search engines are beginning to search for these instances, so lately we have seen developers putting text on very similar coloured image files set to the background in an attempt to avoid being found, but it is only a matter of time and certainly not worth the risk.

Duplicate Sites was a tactic that will rarely works these days. It was a tactic, especially with affiliate programs, where developers would duplicate a site they were trying to promote and make a few changes to it, then would put it online in the hope that it would outrank the site it was promoting and capture the sales instead. It does still happen these days if the developers change just enough of the content to avoid detection from the search engines. If you see this has happened you should report it.

Remember it’s in a search engine’s (like Google) best interest to only return the most helpful results for you when you’re searching, otherwise you will eventually get fed up and use an alternative search engine. That is why techniques such as these should be avoided at all cost as the Googles of this world are out there actively looking for these people to put a stop to them, and there is nothing worse than having your site banned.

Yours in good design and SEO strategies,


Advertising on social networking sites

It seems that brands are popping up everywhere in paid social media advertising spots lately … brands that I’d consider either buying from, or at least aligning myself with (by ‘liking’ their Facebook page for example).

I’m interested in yoga, travel and cult TV shows like Mad Men and Dexter – and like magic, local businesses delivering messages and offers about these very interests grab my attention when I’m Facebooking. This is because social networking sites know alot about their users. Advertisers can tap into this invaluable data and target their marketing very effectively.

I’ve compiled 5 reasons why businesses should consider advertising on social networking sites:

1. Control is in your hands with self-service ads.
Self-service ads are not like online display ads. Instead, they consist of an image, brief copy, a headline, and a link. So first off, they don’t take hours to design. To set the ad you need about 20 minutes and a credit card. It’s important to first indentify your goals and expectations, and then define the reach and set a budget. I recommend selecting CPC (cost per click) ads and monitor daily to see how much of your budget you’re spending. The beauty of self-service ads is that control is at your fingertips to change your budget, copy, reach, and more to maximise your campaign and get the most clicks and conversions. To learn more, see Facebook’s Fan Engagement Ads, YouTube’s Sponsored Videos, and LinkedIn’s DirectAds.

2. Target your audience.
Advertise through Facebook and you can narrow down who you want to target by geography, age, sex, martial status, education, interests and more! This data produces an estimated reach so you can determine if your reach fits your goals and expectations. Meanwhile, LinkedIn allows you to target your reach by geography, job function and seniority, industry and company size, and gender and age.

3. Set a budget that works for you.
Set a daily budget that you’re comfortable with and remember you can adjust your budget at any time. If you’re a first time social media advertiser, why not start small and test your ad’s performance? You can choose to pay only when people click or see your ad (impressions). Plus you can cancel your ad at any time. No commitments. No stress … I like that!

4. Enjoy the benefits of word of mouth.
Every time someone interacts with your ad on Facebook, it’s shared with their friends. Their engagment, or affiliation, with your brand is spread like word of mouth – opening your business up to new audiences it currently doesn’t reach.

5. Australians are big social media consumers.
If your target audience is within Australia, you’re in luck! A 2010 Nielsen global survey revealed that Australians spend the most time on social networking sites than any other country. Did you know that Facebook users spend just under an hour a day on the site; whereas, an average YouTube user spends 2 hours and 38 minutes on the site each month?

If you found this post useful, and would like to discover more about how your business or campaign can benefit from social advertising, please contact Brio Group on 1800 8710 8710.

Have you ‘liked’ a business on Facebook, after seeing the brand’s Facebook ad? What was your experience?

Yours in social media,


Lighting of the Christmas Tree

Love the Christmas spirit? Head to King George Square on Friday 3rd December to see the Lighting of the Christmas Tree.

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and a host of special guests (including Santa!) will be there with performance excerpts from Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker and plenty of your favourite Christmas carols. Festivities begin at 6:45pm so head to the corner of Adelaide St and Ann Street in the CBD to join the celebration.

Microsoft Launches Kinect

It’s been a long time in the making, but Microsoft have finally launched Kinect.

For those of you unfamiliar with Kinect, it is Microsoft’s brand new controller-less add on for the Xbox 360. Kinect allows the gamer to control not only the menu system of their Xbox 360 simply by moving, but to interact with games in a way that’s never been seen by this console before.

In the initial stages, game types and the number of games available seem to be quite limited, however that hasn’t stopped more than 1 million customers already snapping up a Kinect unit.

The unit completely scans and reacts to full body movement, what’s more, it recognises the Xbox user that is playing! It will scan you and log you directly into your gaming profile, you can also control your Xbox by voice commands that will be recognised and specific actions taken out such as starting playback on a movie and even pausing the movie when needed!

The interactivity of Kinect is amazing. If you’re not familiar with Kinect, check out the video below which shows Kinect during pre-launch (it’s working title was Project Natal). The video demonstrates the capabilities of the system with an interactive “game”.

Will you be trying out Kinect?


Yours in Interactive Games,