Writing

Top 10


Facebook and Google each have what the other doesn't, and they are going to fight for it.

One Week Without Cable (Hill Holliday, January 2011)
We invite several families to give up their cable and instead use a “connected TV” device for one week following Christmas.

Mad Men Against The Machine (Adlab, November 2010)
Advertisers used to define tastes and influence choices.  Today, algorithmic recommendation services create an extra layer around customers, a cocoon that is becoming increasingly harder to get through.

We build, launch and monitor Jerzify Yourself to get a glimpse into the dynamics of spreadable content.

Google Needs a "Try Again" Button (Adlab, April 2010)
I wish Google had a "Try Again" button that would fetch a new set of results based on the algorithm's different set of assumptions about my search intent.

Next Business Day (Adlab, December 2009)
The only advice Dell really needed in 2005 was not to make promises it couldn't keep.

There Is This Company (November 2009)
This company thinks so different it must have fallen off a cluetrain.

Human gatekeepers are giving way to a new breed of automated tastemakers – sophisticated software that separates the information wheat from the chaff and whose influence is growing as fast as the amount of information we produce.

The fine art of headline writing is under more and tighter constraints then ever before. Why and for what purpose are headlines written today?

Calculating the ROI of Second Life (Hill Holliday, December 2006)
If it’s not about fame and if it’s not about money, why bother at all? The answer is knowledge.







Research


For this experiment, our formal objective was to understand the effect of advertising on a secondary screen during concurrent content consumption of television and mobile content.

One Week Without Cable (Hill Holliday, January 2011)
We invite several families to give up their cable and instead use a “connected TV” device for one week following Christmas.

We build, launch and monitor Jerzify Yourself to get a glimpse into the dynamics of spreadable content.



Myth-busting

Influence Is Not Star Juice (Adlab, March 2011)
Because it's not like you can buy star juice by the gallon.

Why Banner Ads Really Suck (Forbes, June 2010)
No, it's not because the industry is complacent and smug.

Study: People Share Room With TV Ads (Adlab, May 2010)
But do they really pay attention? Dissecting a Nielsen's press release.

Debunking The Ad Contrarian (Adlab, April 2010)
In one sentence he insists that his ideological opponents should support their claims with solid data and in the next he makes sweeping generalizations that have little to do with reality.

Busted: Another "Consumer-Generated Ad" Myth (Adlab, February 2010)
The whole "random consumers are taking over Mad Ave" myth is just that -- a myth.

Next Business Day (Adlab, December 2009)
The only advice Dell really needed in 2005 was not to make promises it couldn't keep.

Why Measure Engagement? (Adlab, April 2009)
It's been years, and I still don't quite understand the obsession with measuring site engagement at any cost.

The Elusive Advertising Clutter (Hill Holliday, November 2007)
You’ve seen this number before: an average American consumer today is exposed to — or “bombarded by”, or “inundated with” — 5,000 advertising messages a day. But do you know where the number is coming from?

Why Adblock Plus May Be A Good Thing (Hill Holliday, September 2007)
It will put pressure on ad makers to create better ads in an environment where the universally low click-through rates alone are not indicative of the ads’ quality or even performance.

Calculating the ROI of Second Life (Hill Holliday, December 2006)
If it’s not about fame and if it’s not about money, why bother at all? The answer is knowledge.



 Media Design

Why Facebook Will Do Search And Why Google Needs Social (AdLab, February 2012)
Facebook and Google each have what the other doesn't, and they are going to fight for it.

Will Daily Deals Turn Newspapers Around? (Adlab, July 2011)
"Groupon is Hastening the Demise of the Newspaper Industry," wrote a daily deals trade pub in April.  It could be the other way around.

Mad Men Against The Machine (Adlab, November 2010)
Advertisers used to define tastes and influence choices.  Today, algorithmic recommendation services create an extra layer around customers, a cocoon that is becoming increasingly harder to get through.

Deals, Not Badges Will Attract Mainstream Check-Ins (Forbes, July 2010)
Branded badges as virtual symbols of conspicuous consumption will probably have about the same shelf life and the breadth of appeal as corporate islands in Second Life.

The Spreadable War on Viral Media (Forbes, June 2010)
It is an important debate because metaphor-based terms rely on our understanding of the underlying concepts to guide our actions.

Why Is TV So Much Work? (Forbes, May 2010)
All these new features bolted onto TV sets add little to how we really watch television.

Google Needs a "Try Again" Button (Adlab, April 2010)
I wish Google had a "Try Again" button that would fetch a new set of results based on the algorithm's different set of assumptions about my search intent.

The Appstorization of Everyday Things (Adlab, March 2010)
I'd take an ability to customize my camera with a custom interface and features to suit my needs over a meaningless handful of extra megapixels every day.

Demand-Based Variable Pricing For Publications (Hill Holliday, January 2010)
All articles start free, and the more readers they attract, the more expensive they become. Over time, as the interest subsides, the prices would gradually slide back down.

Cell Phones As Personal Information Filters (Canvas8, November 2009)
Human gatekeepers are giving way to a new breed of automated tastemakers – sophisticated software that separates the information wheat from the chaff and whose influence is growing as fast as the amount of information we produce.

Bookmarkable Advertising (Adlab, May 2008)
People bookmark ads. They circle ads with red markers, cut them out, paste them on the fridge, carry them inside wallets, give ads away, put ads on the walls. Why?

Offline Retailers and Online Expectations (Adlab, November 2007)
Online shoppers are developing new expectations for how the brick-and-mortar stores should perform.

Pencils Have Better Interfaces (Adlab, October 2007)
Most regular pencils have better interfaces than most regular pens.





Listicles

Ten Years Of "This Will Be The Year Of"  (Adlab, January 2011)
What year was "the year of internet appliance"?

15 Stories From Fast Company About The Future of Advertising (Adlab, November 2010)
I've looked through the first 100 issues published between 1995-2005, and found at least 15 stories describing how broken the ad biz is and offering some version of its future; that's at least one story published every year.

The Ultimate Compendium of Old Spice Lessons (July 2010)
Hello, ladies. I am on a bandwagon, backwards.

The Improved Advertising Brick: 10 Ad Inventions From the 19th Century (Hill Holliday, November 2009)
Ten patented inventions designed to rock the ad world – more than a century ago.

10 Tips For New Ad-Supported Web Businesses (Adlab, March 2008)
Some thoughts from the ad buying side of the table.

10 Forces That Shape Headline Writing Online (Adlab, December 2007)
The fine art of headline writing is under more and tighter constraints then ever before. Why and for what purpose are headlines written today?



Advertising In Video Games

The Evolution of Advertising in Sports Video Games (Adlab, April 2010)
Ads in sports games published by Electronic Arts between 1983 and 2006.

19 Tips for In-Game Advertising (Adlab, December 2008)
Stay in character and treat it as a research investment, not marketing expense.




Reviews

Game-Based Marketing: Book Review (AdLab, March 2011)
The biggest problem with Game-Based Marketing: contrary to what the authors suggest, your marketing program is not going to be automatically fun if you simply slap points and a leaderboard on it.

We Take iPad for a Spin (Hill Holliday, April 2009)
Watching HD videos on the iPad gives a strange sensation you don’t get from TV or laptop, a feeling of proximity, almost intimacy.

Meet Gutenborg, Your Friendly Neighborhood Book Robot (Hill Holliday, November 2009)
I took a walk to Harvard Book Store to see their famous machine that bakes books on the spot.

Google Wave Washes Ashore New Advertising Opportunities (Hill Holliday, October 2009)
If Wave takes off, replaces Gmail and eventually becomes a new email standard, it will be the biggest thing to happen to email — and email marketing — in more than a decade.