Social Digest – How much would you pay for a full stop?

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London.

Guess what? This week actually marks 2 years since I started Social Digest. I’m SUPER chuffed that it’s read by so many of you fabulous people around the world, so as a thank you, here’s a little video to let you ‘behind the curtain’ of Social Digest. If you’re interested, give it a watch. If not, scroll on for your usual dose of social media goodness. Enjoy!



In other news…

  • Thousands of private Snapchat images (including naughty selfies) have been leaked online in what’s being dubbed The Snappening
  • Is this the best worst ad of 2014? (Regardless of what you think, you’ll marvel at the fact that somehow it achieved a 110% increase in bookings)
  • Biz Stone will follow up Jelly with Super, the app that puts your words in upper case then plasters an image behind them, so you don’t have to
  • And finally, I never thought that a lack of information about an app would make me download it. But that’s what happened with Ping:


Just for fun

  • Entries from the National Geographic Photo Contest… why WOULDN’T you want to see these? They’re magical


Worth a Watch

God Only Knows

Vine of the Fortnight

Game on

GIF of the Fortnight

2 displays of awesomeness for you this week:

See you soon!

@biz987  || @socialogilvy


Social Digest – Email is exciting!

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London. This week dive into the iPhone chatter, some brand experimentation, and a few pretty scary GIFs. Take the plunge…

Continue reading Social Digest – Email is exciting!

Spotify plans to recommend tracks based on your mood

It was recently reported that Spotify are considering using pulse and temperature sensors to tailor music to suit the listener’s mood. But with the wealth of music discovery apps and services out there, do we really need another?

Before you get too excited, it’s only a concept at the moment, and the thinking is that sensors will keep track of the listener’s heart rate, body temperature, and movement to suggest songs that match mood and activity. Lying on the beach would trigger relaxing songs, and heavy exercise would bring up something more upbeat. It’s a nice idea, but, although Enya might be appropriate whilst I’m mastering the most epic of splits, I really don’t want to hear her when I take a lunch break in the park. Hearing Eye Of The Tiger at the start of my run might be great the first time (and make me feel like Sly Stallone for four minutes), I’d get sick of it pretty quickly.

There are of course many unanswered questions

Would the generated tracks take into account your current listening preferences, thereby avoiding Enya-gate? Presumably. Would Spotify remember what tracks it played me on yesterday’s run, so it could give me some variety today? Hopefully. Will this work in conjunction with devices like Nissan’s biometric smartwatch for drivers or will Spotify be releasing their own wearable tech? Probably neither. The listener’s physiological data will likely be measured via their smartphone.

Recommended songs generated would be a cut above those suggested by apps like or Filtr, since they’d be based on real-time data rather than just past listening preferences. However, one could argue that there’d be little point generating a playlist based on your heart rate, since it may not fit your mood next time.

So what opportunities does this present for marketers?

What if the music playing at a product launch event was controlled by the mood of the room? Could brands from Adidas to Durex provide tailored playlists for your session (exercise or otherwise), and use your activity level to determine the upcoming track? Could Volvo create road trip playlists based on your speed and location? Or could Tabasco bring out a new sauce that’s so hot it gets your temperature all the way up to “Sandstorm” by Darude?

Finally, there’s potential for advertisers on Spotify to receive stats on changes in listener heart rate and temperature during their adverts. Wouldn’t it be nice to see data on how those variables changed as the same person hears the same ad again and again, over a given time period? Maybe, but given how basic the monitoring technology would be at launch, maybe not. How would Spotify know if my heart rate increased because I hate the ad I’m hearing, or because I’ve just missed my train? Answer: it wouldn’t.

We’re not sure how this will play out yet, but watch this space.

Day 4 Reflection at #SXSW 2013 — #SXSWOgilvy

1. The art of the mash up, via Downton Abbey

The Mashup is a big part of life on the internet today. Creating the perfect Mashup requires creative skills and an irreverent creative eye. The team from College Humor talked about the synergies between visual content and music, and the techniques behind such pieces as their excellent Fresh Prince of Downton Abbey–

2. Shaq chooses the next big thing in social

The bigman himself put in an appearance at his first SXSW this year. The NBA vet has long been a force on Twitter, with a whopping 6.8 million followers. Also a shrewd business man, he bought a lucrative stake in Google before its IPO in 2004 & currently sits on the advisory board for Tout, a social media startup that lets users make and share 15-second videos. At South By, he launched a “Pitch Shaq” contest. He invited registered attendees to submit 15-second elevator pitches about their startups.

The winner was promised a personal audience with Shaq and possibly an infusion of his cash. Shaq said he had viewed more than 150 pitches and had chosen two winners: Beam, which makes a mobile video conferencing device that rolls around on wheels like a Segway; and Speakerfy, a social-sound app that lets you wirelessly sync music between different Apple mobile devices.

3. Sports gets social

Sports teams really were prevalent at SXSW 2013, talking on a wide range of topics from activating the new fan experience, the importance of compelling content all with sharing learnings across the different teams in mind. This ranged from discussions about the differences between soccer and football in social, the presence of UK teams such as Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to the MLB sharing its command center for digital content, which it uses to produce 250-300 pieces of content nightly.

4. Music is a’ coming

One of the core strengths of the SXSW experience is the concentrated intersection of the creative industries, from Music to Film to Interactive and beyond. As Interactive draws to a close the vibe of SXSW definitely shifts, with many more bearded faces arriving in Austin and the launch of installations such as The Spotify House. This opened its doors on Day 4 of SXSWi offering everything from Spotify Sessions, local food truck flavors, ping pong, giveaways + more. The Flavorpill + #FEED collaboration at the AMOA Arthouse was also notable – offering daily spin classes, yoga, and a juice bar in the mornings, then DJs and live music from the afternoon onwards.

5. The Computer Whisperer – Stephen Wolfram

Arguably one of the smartest men on the planet – Stephen Wolfram – talked about the future for his Wolfram Alpha computation knowledge engine, as well as demonstrated his upcoming Programming Cloud. He also indicated he was developing a mobile platform for engineering and mathematical applications.

Did you know Wolfram Alpha contains more than 10 trillion pieces of data cultivated from primary sources, along with tens of thousands of algorithms and equations?

Solving complex math problems is a particular strength: simply type one into the search bar, and the system produces an answer. Wolfram described its development and how he thought that it would require building something “like a brain.” In the future, Wolfram Alpha will become more anticipatory of peoples’ queries.

Day 4 Reflection at #SXSW 2013 — #SXSWOgilvy from Social@Ogilvy

Is Google+ the Jan to Facebook’s Marcia?

Last week, Google+ announced changes 91-107 for the platform many of which are strong indicators of a site that is listening to its users and thinking thoughtfully about use cases. Unfortunately for a fledgling social media site, the very next day at f8, Facebook shared its latest and greatest rollouts with developers and the public.

Amid Andy Sandberg appearances, Spotify integration, and a sweeping UI change called Timeline (all of which are well recapped by my colleague, John Stauffer, in his post), it was tough for Google+’s more functional changes to stand out in conversation.

In fact, if you look at online conversation about the two, Facebook conversation eclipses Google+ conversation ten to one the last two weeks.

Volume of Social Media Conversation about Facebook and Google+ from 9/14/11-9/28/11

Volume of Social Media Conversation about Facebook and Google+ from 9/14/11-9/28/11

Continue reading Is Google+ the Jan to Facebook’s Marcia?

Spotify: Changing the face of social music consumption

Music: the most social concept in the world. We make music together, we play music for others, we enjoy music in groups and we make music before we can even speak. Music crosses cultural boundaries and can become viral in an instant. This is why music fits in, so naturally, to our world of social media.

Let’s check out the current social music consumption landscape:

iTunes rules at music organization. Pandora takes the cake for music discovery. Grooveshark has the gold medal for playlist creation through streaming. Turntable revolutionized the game of social music enjoyment and Indaba has connected social to the music creation process. Nearly two weeks ago, Spotify came to the U.S. and changed the face of social music consumption for good.

Continue reading Spotify: Changing the face of social music consumption