Ups! I just tripped into the DeFi rabbit hole

Today I learned what a DeFi app is. Goes to show you how little I know about the crypo-verse.

The name DeFi, that is ranked first on Techmeme, and the shear amount of volume was moved in Ethereum, caught my eye.

I went and searched what DeFi was. I learned it stands for “Decentralized Finance Applications”.

This blew my mind for short time. The implication of such system are pretty wide and wild. It felt to me that cryptocurrencies where becoming more usable in terms of everyday financial or legal transactions (they probably already are).

But most importantly! It was a wake up call to go and make the effort of understanding and maybe, why not, to participate in this possibility.

Help me find my way.

Thinking of starting here.

Thanks.

Work the algorithm – Part 1

I have been aware of how algorithms try to compete for my attention depending on my online behavior.

This is especially true inside de Facebook universe, start searching certain keywords, click on ads, join groups, participate, and you will almost immediately see how any of these behaviors send signals to the mothership.

By doing this you are inviting brands to start competing for your attention.

I like doing this. I feel I have certain control over what I would like to see displayed to me (more on this in part 2). I don’t mind seeing good social media ads while scrolling my feed.

I know believe this is also happening while watching “cable” using YouTube TV. 

Just like surfing the feed, I like to watch live TV. I like the noise and the randomness of what is on. I like to channel surf.

Here too I pay attention to the ads. Since a kid, I have enjoyed watching ads. 

My wife went shopping at the begging of the week. This was on a Tuesday. First time this quarantine. She bought some shampoo. She was very excited about this. Then, on Friday, I started noticing new TV ads on channels that lean towards male demographic, several ads for shampoo and conditioners.

And as usual with commercial TV content, these ads kept on coming (reach and frequency baby), with more brands joining in the competition for my attention or that of someone in my household. 

Yesterday, my 15-year-old son, pointing at the TV, said: “Hey mom look!”.

The ad was for a shampoo that promised to straighten your hair.  

I like how I am starting to see commercial TV content that is connected to who I am (I assume that buying power plays a part in creating my persona).

I just wish there was a form to have even more control over what I see and what I don’t.

That constant feeling of fear

Since the arrival of the great disruptor, my dear friend the Internet, agencies have adopted living in a constant state of passive fear.

Many of these agencies prefer to live in that passive state rather than doing something about it.

It’s just weird. It keeps feeding that addiction to anxiety agencies seem to have.

Anyway, who is the enemy? The complacent attitude, the lack of hiring of people of different skills other than art director, copywriter, planning, or account executives? The fact that any person not fitting these skills are relegated to a dark corner of the agency? The fact that creatives are not encouraged to be makers and are instead only asked to think ideas that will end up being made by a third party? The fact that big tech and consulting groups are taking away our business?

Probably all of the above. But, to me who we should fear are companies that are known as production companies. I am thinking about the Media Monks, Unit9, or The Mill of the world. These companies have an amazing advantage over us, traditional agencies.

  1. They have digital in their DNA.
  2. They have welcome skill diversity.
  3. They are natural makers and are experts at building experiences. 

I decided to write this post after reading a great article by Ben Jones in Think With Google. I was especially surprised by this chart.

When reading this chart I understood that production companies have us by the balls, they could and will at one point remove us from the equation.

So, what should we do? I believe that creatives need to go beyond the use of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Account executives need to deeply understand all available touchpoints. Planners should immerse themselves in digital pop culture. Media should be brought back and not seen as an external business model. And, producers and project managers should be treated as a vital cast within the agency.

Facebook Shops and Libra

What a week for Facebook. I think these times have been good for the company.

I find it fascinating how some of Mark Zuckerberg’s game pieces are coming together. A couple of days ago I wrote about the launch of Facebook avatars and how they will tie to Oculus and a virtual world.

A couple days ago Facebook launched Shops.

It will turn the platform and all its ecosystem an e-commerce platform.

I believe that this will be the way that Libra becomes what it pretends to become, a truly global currency.

I like this idealist notion of commerce and trade. I’m an idealist.

All we want for Christmas is an Oculus Quest

Some time at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I thought that Facebook should give away their Oculus Quest to anyone who wanted one. I mean, this is like the perfect storm to massively introduce VR as a new way to interact with each other.

A couple of days ago Facebook launched their answer to the video hangout explosion caused by the pandemic. And today, on my morning visit to the platform, I noticed that lots of my “friends” were showing off their new avatars. This seemed strange, why introduce something that seems already kind of old within the tech trends?

Then it clicked.

Facebook is preparing us to start migrating part of our life to the virtual world.

I want to believe

I want to believe that our industry will become more empathic or human. For example, yesterday, seeing the #GraduateTogether event, made me realize that TV as a medium has already changed. It now allows new forms of visual narrative, it is now expected to be consumed pretty much anywhere, user participation is expected, and it is also self-made.

I also welcome the other more sarcastic side of things. The voice that has seen a lot and been through a lot, allowing it to smell the bull shit.

I guess that reading Bob Hoffman does that it keeps me real. Not fall into some sort of over idealistic ad man messiah preaching the end of advertising.

But, I still want to believe, think that someday we will have more natural mellow ways to connect a brand or product with a person.

“just be nice”

I always wondered why people in advertising where such assholes. Why ego was one of the main enemies of being nice and collaboration.

But not all are ad people are made from the same mold. Thank God there is another variant to the whole advertising diva school of behavior and thought. People that share, the converse, and that truly seem to care about the future of the industry.

Some of those people are Rosie and Faris. So, just google them. Read the book. Subscribe to their newsletter. And, be like them: just be nice!