• What Makes A Good Social Strategy?

    What does a good social strategy look like?

    As one of the judges of the Warc Prize for Social Strategy, which has just named AMV BBDO’s ‘Doritos Mariachi’ Facebook campaign ‘the world’s best social strategy’, you’d think I might have my answer down pat. But after four months spent arguing the mer

  • How Social Media Is Coming Full Circle

    Last month, I took seven days’ holiday, in a remote cottage on the Suffolk coast. There was no phone signal. I switched off the WiFi. I cooked some locally caught fish. Then I sat in front of the log burner and read The Circle, Dave Eggers’ controversial Google satire.

    Eggers is a star of con

  • The Gnarly Art Of The Social Brief

    What is the single common thing that drives every social media strategy? A belief in the power of word of mouth? People? Measurable objectives? Facebook?

    Nope. It’s the brief. Whether created by a planner or a marketer, whether served to an agency or an internal team, the brief is the genesis of

  • The Power Of Strangers

    The image shows a young man leaning against a marble bannister in Grand Central. He is wearing a beanie and a straggly beard, with a skateboard in one hand and a bottle in the other. He looks half-hopeful, half-resigned. The caption above reads: “I told her that if she wanted to start over, to meet

  • Social Media Needs Strong Brands

    Hands up if you hate the term ‘brand’. Yep. I thought so. The word originally comes from the Old Norse ‘brandr’ – the practice of stamping hot metal symbols on livestock – and the etymological whiff of brutality still lingers. Brands stink of globalized uniformity, of slick corporate

  • Scarlett Johansson Gets Under The Skin

    Velcro books. You probably have a few: those quiet, quirky novels that you relentlessly recommend. They’re not blockbusters; you most likely stumbled across them by chance. And although you find it difficult to describe precisely why you find them so compelling, you just want other people to h

  • Are You A Junk News Addict?

    It’s Sunday morning, and in an uninspiring lecture hall somewhere in the boondocks of Bloomsbury, bestselling popular philosopher Alain de Botton is teaching us how to read a newspaper. He brings up a slide showing a photograph of a glacier crumbling into the sea, then flicks to a photograph o

  • Time For A Social Media Detox

    You’d better accept it now: your January detox is bound to fail. The British Liver Trust has described short-term New Year abstinence as ‘medically futile’, but we don’t need scientists to tell us that attempting to embrace salads and spinning classes at what is possibly the darkest, coldest and

  • Social Commerce Comes Of Age

    Social commerce – where the act of shopping becomes seamlessly embedded in the creation, sharing and consumption of social media content – has always been the pot of gold at the end of the social media rainbow. According to McKinsey, word of mouth drives 20-50% of purchase decisions, so ena

  • Why Every Writer Needs A Group

    “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life,” said Ernest Hemingway, whose idea of a great social life involved a remote cabin, dead animals, and the bottom of a brandy glass. “Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing.”

    Isaac

  • Does Jude Law Do Henry V Justice?

    Image credit: Johan Persson

    Henry V, Act 4, Scene 7. The King of England, engaged in the midst of a bloody battle with France, strides onto the stage with his nobles in tow, having just discovered that, against all codes of military conduct, the French troops have murdered the group of Engli

  • The Zen Of Social Media

    Two years ago, I went on a 10-day silent retreat at a Buddhist monastery in the middle of the Thai jungle. One morning at 5am, in the first of the day’s meditation sessions, with bites on my arms from the spiders I wasn’t allowed to kill and cramps in my stomach from the food I wasn’t allowed to