This has been a delicious interactive week, with the discovery of 2 great interactive experiences, both sponsored by chocolate brands.

Ogilvy Athens launched an interactive love story for Lacta chocolate (Kraft), entitled “Love at first site” at http://www.loveatfirstsite.gr.

A 17 minutes interactive film shot this summer, with users invited to play the role of Peter and Joanna, on their summer love story in Paros, and help them get together for a big finale. The campaign was also run on television, radio, cinemas and on all Lacta packages.

And today there was FWA’s site of the day for Sweddish chocolate Premyum, a Papervision delicacy.

Unfortunately, as usual with Papervision powered websites, the whole thing is heavy on the CPU. And the fact that i don’t understand a word of Swedish didn’t help either. But we’ll always have chocolate. I’ll give thanks for that.

Bruce Lee Ping Pong

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Seems like Nokia is doing more viral stuff, with Bruce Lee on a ping pong challenge.

Today Russell Davies was at the 10th anniversary of CCP (the Creative Club of Portugal). His presentation was pretty much i was waiting for, but it’s always interesting to meet and hear someone you admire as a blogger and as a planner.

Photo credits: Russell Davies

At the end, i realized that most of the things that were presented have been around for as much as the CCP has existed. As i shared with Russell, a substantial part of the future of advertising has been written 10 years ago, on the remarkable Cluetrain Manifesto.

For instance, on the four main topics discussed:

  1. Blurry How media and creativity are no longer clearly defined Thesis #6, 19 and 39, are some examples of this blurriness. 11, 31 and 93 would fit also.

    The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media. People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products. Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end.

  2. Interesting (on creating engaging experiences) This one’s easy: 75. If you want us to talk to you, tell us something. Make it something interesting for a change.
  3. Useful (being useful to people and providing branded utilities) Next one, #76: We’ve got some ideas for you too: some new tools we need, some better service. Stuff we’d be willing to pay for. Got a minute? or on a more lighter tone, #22: Getting a sense of humor does not mean putting some jokes on the corporate web site. Rather, it requires big values, a little humility, straight talk, and a genuine point of view.
  4. Always in Beta (and how software ethos is reinventing marketing and creativity) Starting with #17 and ending with thesis #84: Companies that assume online markets are the same markets that used to watch their ads on television are kidding themselves. We know some people from your company. They’re pretty cool online. Do you have any more like that you’re hiding? Can they come out and play?

What really puzzles me is how 10 years have passed but companies still don’t get it? More worrisome, is that by looking at the audience of young creatives in the room, it really scared me that most of these folks aren’t immersed on the tools and new kind of dialog that will be their job for the next decade.

Let’s hope CCP and other industry groups have the courage to question traditional media and embrace networked markets and conversations. Once this happens, i’ll subscribe to their membership.

Meet John Scope and Emma Creep.

Scope is tidy and well structured, with nothing disturbing his world order. He completes his duties on a very efficient and resourceful way.  And even if we scramble their world view, things donÂ’t fall apart. On the other hand, Mrs. Creep is quite flashy, very liberal and never stays too long on the same place. She loves to please her friends and clients, even though she doesn’t succeed every time. Here’s our Scope Creep couple, a vision of what goes on in interactive projects.

Scope starts at the activity definition, with an overview of required resources. It then continues to create the processes that are agreed among all parts towards a final goal. And then comes the Creep, with the chance of being hit by last minute change requests, way beyond the initial briefing or suddenly being confronted with a reality that wasn’t present as the project started.

Scope creep usually happens when the initial requirements and resources are incorrectly defined or when unforeseen changes and tasks appear along the project, requiring new functional adjustments and project rescheduling. The saddest truth, at least for interactive projects, is that scope creep is bound to happen. There’s no sure way to avoid it, but one could start by finding out why it happens, instead of just focusing on the final project stages (with programmers or producers getting all the blame), where each change requires a profound restructuring of what’s been developed beforehand, whether it’s animation, programing, rendering, etc. The most reasonable approach to scope creeping in web projects is to focus on the whole process, instead of the individual .

How to deal with Scope Creep?

We start with risk analysis, a rather common technique in project management, establishing the details before the project gets started and actually produced. But with more complex projects, the greater this risk analysis becomes. On what interactive projects are concerned, the complexity gets really huge. The web has only 10 years but it’s constantly changing, with teams having to deal with several different browsers, platforms and a variety of programming languages and product release cycles of months, if not weeks or days. Keeping the pace with all this innovation, with lack of talented or trained team collaborators and still being able to deliver projects on short schedules is a challenge that many agencies and digital studios face these days. On top of that, the constant stream of change requests and approval process are wearing out interactive teams.

John Scope could try to get things right by setting a project duration in regards to historical records, but that just doesn’t work. No two projects are the same, no two clients are the same, no two programmers or web designers are the same. He might also try some fancy new techniques like SCRUM, and while it might work for some teams, it’s really just dividing bigger problems into smaller ones so they get more manageable. Web projects don’t seem to have a way out of the rabbit hole, as long as the creative process is based on visual comps, storyboards and those pesky JPEGs sent for client approval.

Integrating and early planning

I stand with 37 Signals, and their “no-Photoshop” approach, using fast prototyping and wireframing on web applications and services. Focus on functionality, not visuals. Worry about what really brings changes on the process, not what is the result of the process. Unless creative agencies start rethinking their silos there’s no way out of scope creep. These days, most RIAs have drag and drop capabilities, Rich text editors or javascript libraries that can bring a client or creative into the production process to perform live edits, shortening the iterative release cycles. This process also empowers other project members, presenting them tools and concepts that they were not aware of.

And before writing the first line of code, be sure that all interested agents have the same expectations regarding the final product. The earlier you do it, the earlier you’ll finish it. And have it written, with client, agency and production team with one common agreed goal.

It’s hard, it requires everyone’s commitment, but once we get in the flow, i’m sure you’ll make John Scope and Emma Creep happier.

Last week was really busy, with tight project schedules and a 24h coding marathon at Codebits. Nonetheless, there’s always time to share the latest fresh inspirations:

First, another great idea by FarFar, with Nokia presenting the next step in workload management. Just upload that boring document you have on your Documents folder and be surprised.

Speaking of mobile, and for not accusing me of a Nokia bias, there’s Samsung Omnia, a video exploration on what a mobile device has to offer, at 42goodthings.com. Also created by a Swedish agency, Projector.

Having a great time? Then grab a Heineken beer, and take a good look around the bar to know the signs.

It could be easier to understand, so i wouldn’t had to put up with the annoying voice off. The Oddcast custom video is nice though. Work by Unit9.

After the digital inspiration, a few more video bytes on creativity, starting with Lit Studio‘s Interactive Mirror (not sure how it would work out on a Monday morning)

Interactive Mirror from Alpay Kasal on Vimeo

and ending with an essential talk on creativity and play by IDEO’s T shaped men, Tim Brown.

One quick post, sharing a few today’s things.

Have a great Tuesday.

In a week were Obama represented not only change, but also wisdom, this project seemed quite appropriate.

The Wisdom project is a cooperation with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, creating a record of a multicultural group of people who have all made their mark in the world. Voices, words and images are brought together in this inspiring book by Andrew Zuckerman.

View in high-quality

And it feels good to stand of the shoulders of these giants: Chinua Acheb, Richard Adams, Madeleine Albright, Buzz Aldrin, David Amram, Alan Arkin, Burt Bacharach, Dave Brubeck, Dick Bruna, Zbegniew Brzezinski, Chuck Close, Billy Connolly, Bryce Courtenay, Terence Conran, Dame Judi Dench, Clint Eastwood, Dr. Garret FitzGerald, Malcolm Fraser, Frank Gehry, Jane Goodall, Nadine Gordimer, Vaclav Havel, Denis Healy, John Hume, Edward M. Kennedy, Billie Jean King, Henry Kissinger, Kris Kristofferson, Jimmy Little, Esther Mahlangu, Kurt Masur, Willie Nelson, Nick Nolte, Michael Parkinson, Jacques Pepin, Rosamunde Pilcher, Mary Quant, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Robert Redford, Vanessa Redgrave, Richard Rogers, Ravi Shankar, Graham Nash, Wole Soyinka, Helen Suzman, Desmond Tutu, Lella Vignelli, Massimo Vignelli, Bill Withers, Andrew Wyeth and Nelson Mandela.

Thanks for the tip, Miguel. This one slipped me. Besides, it’s a great Christmas present.

My friend Andre, and blogger at AdvertisingEtc, just directed a visual delicacy using a Phantom camera at 1000fps. The commercial announces the release of a new magazine: Relance.

On his own words “the concept of the ad is that the subjects are being compressed into the magazine“. And, boy, they look pretty good to me. Congrats Andre.

Credits Agency: Uzina (Portugal) Creative Director: Gustavo Suarez Art Director: André Breda Copywriter: Roberto Ferraz Account Director: António Roquette Production Company: Garage Films (Portugal) Director: Enrique Escamilla Photography Director: Carlos Lopes (Cácá) Executive Producer: Miguel Varela Editor: Marcos Castiel Post-production Director: Marta Metrass Phantom Operator: Raoul Rodriguez Post-Production: Ingreme (Portugal) Music Supervision: Level Two Music (Australia) Song: QUA – Painting Monsters Composer: Cornel Wilczek Sound post-production: Ameba (Portugal)