August 02, 2010
Breaking Through with Tony Robbins on National Network NBC“Breakthrough” is a new summer reality show on NBC with Tony Robbins, which started last week. Many know Tony from his empowerment seminars and audiotapes, which are marketed worldwide, making Tony Robbins synonymous with motivation and life coaching. He has also written books and for years, held 2 day to week long seminars on getting your life on track and creating empowering choices in your life, whether that be around relationships, finance or your professional 'destiny.'
Given that I have done a number of Tony Robbins seminars myself and have met him personally on more than one occasion, the way he is often portrayed in the press doesn't do him justice, nor is it always accurate. People still respond to old infomercials from twenty years ago - a bit like pigeon-holing Ron Howard into his role as Richie in Happy Days when years later, he has gone on to become producer and director of well-known respected films.
C'mon people, move on - haven't you progressed in your career development and the things you have done in the past two decades? Tony has come a LONG way since the late-night infomercials he did early on in his career. Today, he spends his life work not just running seminars that help change people's lives for the better, but he coaches major luminaries, politicians, sports heroes and Hollywood celebs as well. Additionally, he has a non-profit foundation, which provides assistance to the homeless, elderly and inner-city youth, and feeds more than one million people in nine countries every year through its international holiday "Basket Brigade."
The New York Times article on his NBC debut writes, "Mr. Robbins is well spoken and persuasive, but the series is a reminder of how unusual his looks are for a man in the counseling field. Enormously tall, dark, with big teeth, high cheekbones and the hint of a five o’clock shadow, Mr. Robbins looks more dangerous than safe and more wolfish than shepherdly; he could pass for a Bond villain."
Anyone who knows Tony personally would be in stitches over this description......I still laugh at it re-reading it the fifth time around. Clearly the reporter hasn't met him if they think he could pass as a Bond villain after looking in his eyes or shaking his hand. But yes, Tony is tall and has a powerful presence. But, given her reference, it makes it seem like all counselors should be shepherdly and safe. Egads. Think about it, if you're a type A athlete who is muscular and 6 foot something, might you not want a personal development life coach who can not only get you to deal with where you're stuck emotionally, but also physically match you?
I'm not a professional athlete nor am I over six foot tall and I know I'd opt for someone with Tony's energy and presence than a shepherdly, safe counselor who what, starts the clock, stares at and listens to you from across the couch for 59 minutes until the bell rings? Hell, that's not what I call transformative work even though I'm not discounting that it can be helpful for some people along their life's journey. Bottom line, there are more effective techniques and approaches out there and Tony has mastered them.
It's time to rethink the paradigm and rethink the speed at which we CAN change our lives and break our old patterns. Transformation can be almost immediate. What I mean by this is that change happens the moment you make a DECISION to make change your patterns - really make that decision.
There are countless things that Tony walks people through in his seminars to break your patterns and create a life worth living but the big one is this: Rewrite Your Story.
A rewrite isn't done by seeing a shrink for months or years on end trying to analyze why your story is what it is and slowly migrating from an old you to a new one. It happens the moment you DECIDE to rewrite that story. It's yours to create and his point is a simple one - you're the author, so why not write an incredible life story?
Some kudos for Tony's new show below. And yes, as it may appear from my tone, I am also a fan of his work. More at Breakthrough Insider.
July 20, 2010
New Lessons from Old Spice
By now, I’m sure you’ve all at least heard of the Old Spice Guy campaign and the immense waves it made this week. It is one for the textbooks – a case study that will be reviewed, recounted and revisited for at least the next year, I’m sure. And with good reason. On every level, it was exemplary of what a digital campaign should be.
It answered all the social media ‘rules’:
- Be engaging
- Be integrated
- Be human
- Be transparent
- Influence the influencers
The campaign, which began with a string of hilarious print and TV ads, moved into digital using YouTube to broadcast personalised video responses to people talking about or to Old Spice across social networks (primarily Twitter, Facebook and YouTube but also across forums like Reddit and Yahoo! Answers). With YouTube as it’s very well-branded ‘homebase’, the campaign took the brand into other spaces with similar, but space-specific, creative treatments, behaviours and tone of voice.
The responses were instantly popular. Hilarious and off-beat, they very rarely spoke about the actual brand or product (unless, somehow, smacking a pinata with a dead fish is somewhere in the Old Spice brand guidelines). The brand became human. It wasn’t Old Spice the brand, it was the Old Spice Guy with (funny) stories. And it was responding personally to us, the users, the ‘dearest and closest internet friends’.
While the Old Spice Man created videos for the ‘average joe’ (and did he ever - he actually even proposed for someone), he also responded to users with high levels of activity, followers and authority (such as Digg founder Kevin Rose and celebritweeters like Alyssa Milano, Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres) which helped the campaign grow exponentially. It brought the level to an accessible user level and found celebrity involvement without the celebrity fee.
Old Spice started by sponsoring a tweet to solidify their space in Twitter’s Top Trends and the campaign was trending across Twitter and the web within hours of the initial tweet (something that would have happened organically, without the sponsored tweet – but still a safe move on Old Spice’s part).
Throughout the campaign, the agency behind it all – Wieden + Kennedy – brilliantly kept an open-door policy about the whole thing, offering up behind-the-scene shots and tell-all explanations of how the process was working.
The campaign is a simple idea, executed well. It hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but it has defined the way we use it.
What’s the big takeaway that B2B marketers can take from this? That thisn't just a B2C case study - it is a case study for B2B, too.
Before this, Old Spice was not an exciting brand. For as long as I have known it, it has been ‘the stuff my dad wears’ (and my Dad really does wear it which he will now claim makes him a trendsetter).
Campaigns like this are what give brands new traction. B2B has long had the reputation of being less fun and creative than the consumer side of our industry. We know that’s not true, so let’s get out the dead fish and started beating the piñata with it!
July 20, 2010 in America The Free, Arts & Creative Stuff, Entertainment/Media, In the News, On Branding, On Video, PR & Marketing, Social Media, United Kingdom, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 12, 2010
Exporting Raymond to Whoaah Moscow?Film writer and director Phil Rosenthal and producer John Woldenberg is doing a preview of their latest film - Exporting Raymond - in Montreal Canada this Thursday, July 14, 2010.
Rosenthal, who is best known for his creation of the American hit TV series Everybody Loves Raymond, is now introducing Exporting Raymond to the big screen.
The film is a funny true story of the attempt to translate Raymond into a Russian sitcom. This amusing tale, where culture clashes lurk around every Moscow corner, will have you in stitches.
Below is Rosenthal on the set with the Director.
Rosenthal and Woldenberg take us on a hilarious, warm and intimate journey of one man, considered an expert in his country, who travels to a land to help people that don't seem to want his help. Lost in Moscow, lost in his mission, lost in translation, Rosenthal tries to connect with his Russian colleagues but runs into unique characters and situations that conspire to drive him insane. The movie is an international adventure, a genuine, fish out-of-water comedy that could only exist in real life.
June 24, 2010
Host Your Own Show on OprahOprah and reality TV super producer Mark Burnett (Survivor & The Apprentice) are joining forces in search of the next big TV star.
They're seeking big personalities to host their own talk show. People can also help decide who wins - you can view nominations and vote for your favorites.
June 11, 2010
Israel Film Festival: What We Can ExpectLast week at The Israel Conference, I interviewed Meir Feningstein about this year's Israel Film Festival, coming to Los Angeles from October 20 to November 4, 2010 and New York from December 2-16, 2010. They'll also be holding one in Miami in February 8-17, 2011. We learn about some of the highlights and what you can expect. Join us.
June 10, 2010
The Operating Room: Bringing Israel Film & TV Talent to AmericaI chatted with Oded Turgeman and David Israel from the Operating Room last week in Los Angeles. The Operating Room is a production company set in Hollywood, a few miles away from the corner courtyard where we hung out in for the day at the Luxe Hotel. They recently opened up an office in Tel Aviv to explore the untapped innovation and talent in Israel. Their goal is to bring over some Israel programs and films in the near future - have a listen.
June 09, 2010
James Cameron: Scientist, Creator, Artist & VisionaryI had the fortune of seeing and hearing Canadian-born James Cameron speak at the D: All Things Digital Conference, last week in southern California.
Not only is the man a director, producer, editor, inventor and screenwriter, but an award-winning one who is also known for co-developing the 3-D Fusion Camera System. He says 3-D is on the rise and studios are telling people to make their films in 3-D, not an easy or inexpensive endeavor if you don't have the weight and resources of James Cameron. That said, he brought Avatar to the screen and I thought about its magical impact weeks after seeing it.
Below are some images I captured on-site which are accompanied by some pithy things Cameron had to share with the D8 audience. I loved his energy on and off the stage, where he graciously took questions and engaged one-on-one before heading out.
"There's something to be said about working with people who know the system and how it works."
"Asset management is a huge huge deal."
"I like a certain amount of autonomy in a production so we can go to a number of vendors and it can work seamlessly on other platforms."
"For 3-D, you can put the left and right image on top of each other at the same time - you couldn't do that before."
"Every breakthrough comes with a breakthrough for the pirates. You have to come up with a time synched image and transfer it over - it's harder."
"The more that things change, the more things remain the same."
"Augmented reality is a great bag of tricks but its still something that is on the side."
"Movies are a passive experience. Games are where you lead."
"I want to merge games and movies in a way that support each other."
"At the end of the day, it's still about taking you outside of yourself."
On Microsoft: "They approached us to be part of a 3-D project."
"Studios want to see more films in 3-D. They're asking people for it."
On Avatar being his closest connection of all his movies: "I always liked nature as a child."
"It's still all about the story at the end of the day."
June 04, 2010
NPR's Vivian Schiller on the Future of MediaPresident and CEO of NPR Vivian Schiller, the only female interview on the D Conference stage (D: All Things Digital Conference) this year, was both articulate and refreshing about her views on where the media industry is heading. She says that the broadcast side of the house at NPR isn't being cannibalized - digital content is all supplemental for them and it's obviously growing.
NPR has been tapping into the developer community more and more and plans to expand their API in the near future. They apparently get over a billion requests for the API and the hope is that by extending it, it will lead to more creative forms of expression and distribution.
Says Vivian, "The sky is the limit. You can imagine combining stories from NPR with information from stations who have data and then creating some kind of news product that tracks trends, such as the flu epidemic or the oil spill. We don't know what will be created but we know that mashups will lead to more innovation and creative content for consumers.
There are guidelines of course. For example, they don't want their content to be used to support a cause nor do they want the meaning of their content to be fundamentally changed. What they do want however, is to harness the intelligence of their audience.
Vivian says, "Our fundamental business is audio and programming and making the migration to other platforms. The broadcast tower will be gone in the next 5-10 years. Internet Radio will replace it. Mobile is the second coming of radio. On your mobile devices, you can listen to anything you want."
"The power of what we have is the combination of national and local. And, we are free. As web traffic becomes more substantial, then we can figure out a business model that makes sense such as a licensing fee," adds Vivian.
She reinforces that they don't plan on charging the end-consumer. She feels that it's important to separate the issues of whether people in large numbers are willing to pay and whether publishers need to make money from a fee.
Kara Swisher who is interviewing Schiller asks, "How do you look at the overall news business right now and the challenges they face?" "We're in the midst of creative destruction," responds Schiller, who says she loves that phrase. "All the new online organizations are sprouting up. Traditional journalists are starting start-ups, such as the Texas Tribune and San Diego Tribune. They're now online and some of them are not-for-profits."
The biggest problem is aggregating the content. She says, "we have a huge megaphone so its critical to have even more content than ever before." Because of that, the notion of partnering with others is the way to go for NPR right now. They're not trying to create a mega-portal but a mega-network, a community. She makes an important distinction that the partnerships she is referring to are not acquisitions but arrangements with regional sites so they can provide really great local content to their audience.
"Is this where journalism is going?" asks Kara.
Schiller feels that the business model for public radio is more suited to commercial media than traditional media today. She says, "we have five revenue streams. When we get hit with one, the other revenue streams can sustain us so, even when we had a blow, it wasn't a failed blow."
"Where will people be consuming information?" asks Kara. Schiller touches on both the iTouch (which she wonders if it will be obsolete very soon) and the iPad, which she claims has been extremely successful for them.
They have had about 300,000 downloads on the iPad. She says, "what we have on the iPad is suited for that form factor - it doesn't look anything like what you'll from us find online. You can listen to it, you can touch content, you can be moved by it from interactive text -- whatever the best form of media is right to share the story is what we offer." She adds with conviction, "our purpose is to serve our audience." Love that word serve when it comes to customer service. People who 'get' that always succeed in the long run.
May 30, 2010
Taj Mahal LIVES the BluesInternationally recognized blue musician Taj Mahal (stage name for Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) played at the Santa Cruz Blues Festival this weekend. His stage name apparently came to him in a dream about Gandhi and India.
Winner of two Grammy Awards, Taj played up a storm with guitar, banjo and keyboard and while he didn't play the harmonica yesterday, it is yet another instrument in his bag of tricks.
Every Blues festival needs performers like Taj Mahal, who sounds as though he's played the music every day for as long as he has lived. He had a set-long conversation with his guitar, mostly about women and lovin', and he welcomed us to listen in.
With passion and humor, he fuses sounds from Africa, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and traditional American blues to get his audience moving. He asks the girls to scream and the guys to hollar. He then asks all of us to shout and adds a bit of relationship advice for all the men in the audience - "men, do yourself a favor, learn how to dance and you won't have any more problems."
Below, Taj's bass player Bill Rich
What I loved most about his candid style was not just the fact that his music was all blues, but his raw authenticity, his quiet energy and his ability to make you smile with every note he hit on his guitar.....simultaneously he adds witty words of wisdom into the mix.
He has played with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, Ry Cooder and Lightnin' Hopkins as well as in the legendary Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. Critics describe his voice as "gruff, gritty, smooth and sultry" all at the same time.
Emphasizing dance more than once on stage, Taj is a musician who wants his audience to move and I might add: move as if you mean it. And believe me, I did and loved every minute of it.
May 29, 2010
Santa Cruz Blues Festival: Authentic & IntimateBrad Kava, co-owner of the Santa Cruz Blues Festival talks about this year's Blues Festival which is being held this weekend at Aptos Village Park.
The event drew more than 2,000 people today who threw down blankets and beach chairs and took in New Orleans style pork and ribs, draft beer and music from the likes of Ben Harper & Relentless7, Taj Mahal, Joseph Arthur, Eric Lindell and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk. Sunday is sold out but those lucky enough to have purchased a ticket in advance will be able to take in Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, Eric Burdon & The Animals, and Coco Montoya Was (Not Was).