Stealing from the best: why thieving makes for great communication.

I went to a digital conference.  A mixed bag.  Far and away the best speaker was Carl Moggridge from Naked ( Follow him on twitter @Carlmoggy or his blog)

He started with a wonderful provocation: “For an industry that’s in the behaviour change business, we’re not very good at it.”

Think about that for a second.  True, huh.

On a day where alot of people talked about conversions and actions, he was very clear about how to approach things differently.

Think about behaviour. Not technology.

People have always gossiped, sought feedback, searched, done other stuff in ad breaks.  Now they just do it differently.

Take the old AIDA (Attention – Interest- Desire – Action)  model, and turn it on it’s head.

Put action and experience at the heart of everything you you do.

As evidence, he referenced an experiment Naked conducted last year , that demonstrated getting people involved in a campaign for Save the Children, resulted in much higher donations than just telling them about it (with either rational or emotional messaging).

And the case study he showed us, Steal Banksy, is the one that is winning awards all over the place, but watch the video in case you haven’t seen it.

His principles:

1. Look harder at what people actually do

2. Use language that changes behaviour, rather than defines a message (Think Nike: Just Do It or Apple: Think Different)

3. Build out from an action, rather than to an action

Pinboards in the flesh- pinning looks at Highpoint

Highpoint Spring Style Board

The Spring Style Board idea: Shoppers can create an online pinboard in a live shopping centre environment.

In an interesting case of offline world imitating online , Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne is offering shoppers the opportunity to create their own Spring style digital pinboard- called the Spring Style Board.

On the large LED Screen, people can search for pieces, compare styles and select their favourites to go on their own personalised pinboard.

They can make it portable via email or share it for comment via their facebook page.

The style board currently features products from over 25 retailers, including Novo, Kookai, Tilkah, Swarovski, Collette, Oroton, Mimco, Lolitta, Edge Clothing, Just Jeans, Jeans West, Betts with expectations more retailers will come on board throughout the season

So if you need a weekend excursion, go take a look.

I’ll try and get out there in the next few weeks to see how shoppers are interacting.

Finding out stuff about online shopping. Designing a fruitful chat.


As part of collaboration, I plan to include posts that describe how I go about working with people to get results, insights or whatever it is I need to make a project better.

In this post, I’m going to describe a “chat” I had with some of the folk at work to inform some work I’m doing online shopping.

I hope these posts help inspire other people in designing similar groups.  And I would love to hear feedback on how I could have done it better!  Don’t hold back!


I needed to understand how consumers segment online shopping destinations and get a bit of a sense of how online shopping fits in to their lives.

I had a lot of ground to cover and a raucous group of girls.

This group went incredibly well, delivering some great insights.

Here’s how I went about it.


Everyone in the room has a stack of post-its and a pen at hand.

I have a sheaf of A3 sheets in front of.


Me: OK, to kick off, can you all write down the online shops you’ve used lately.  One to a post it note.  Just write down as many as you can think of.  Start with the ones you use the most.

This generated heaps (!!) of post it notes.

Everyone keeps their post it notes.


Me: (choosing someone very confident) “ Jen, Will you kick off by telling us, which store is your favourite.  Then try to describe that store in one sentence”

From here, I note down the first descriptive sentence and then work with the multiple comments from everyone else to refine it down to a sentence the room is more or less happy with.

Then I ask everyone to hand in any other stores they think fall into this segment.


So, for example, our first segment included mycatwalk and net-a-porter (among others) and we ended up describing the segment as “Highend fashion boutique with access to exclusive overseas designers”

Repeat with other stores until you have pretty much exhausted the post it notes in front of them.


We then interrogated a couple of segments.

“What do you love about this kind of store?”

“What do you hate about this kind of store?”

(Be prepared for some passionate answers!)


We then explored “When do you shop online?” which gave some interesting pointers in terms of when to connect:

–       When I’m bored at work

–       On my phone when I’m waiting for the train- apps are popular!

–        I was looking for a quilted jacket, googled it and browsed

–       The store sent me an email and I loved the jacket

–       A friend was selling it on a facebook garage sale

–       I stalk the sales in Europe- their summer stuff is cheap when we’re heading in to summer

Now playing in a magazine near you

Marie Claire in the UK has a page in mag (in a couple of thousand copies at least) that plays a 45″ Dolce & Gabbana video with sound when readers open the page.

Technology by the US firm Americhip, which has already used it in foreign titles, including Russian Vogue.

My thoughts:

1. The visual content is not what I consider compelling.  Instead of showing a TVC, why not show me something of higher value, something I won’t see on TV.  Could have worked better for a fashion label with a look at the new season looks or similar.

2. Broadcast via a page- a bit old school.  I think the new players that run through consumers phones that allow for interactive functionality are of much greater value.

Feels a bit like innovation for the sake of it.  Yes people will have a high curiosity factor, but what will they remember?  Is it of value for a perfume brand to be remembered as the brand that ran a video ad?

That said, with the right content, this style of advertising could be effective.


One question though: can I put this page in the recycling?



2 Screens Bad. 4 Screens Good.

A new study from Google (The New Multi-Screen World: Understanding Cross Platform Consumer Behaviour, August 2012)  has some interesting pointers when it comes to building the content across various screens for campaigns.

Most of it reinforces common sense.  I love how concise it is.

Some great thought-starters for those of us who design campaign experiences:

The four screens account for 90% of all media interactions.

The phone is the most common starting point and the most common companion device.

TV is the major prompt for search.

There are 2 forms of Multiscreening behaviour:

1. Sequential Screening

2. Simultaneous Screening

Which breaks out into 2 groups. Unrelated activity and Complementary activity.

Where do you take the consumer after they have seen your ad, or while they are watching your ad?