T3 has changed in many ways since 1989, when I cashed in a modest IRA to start my own advertising agency. Since then, we’ve spread our wings east and west and evolved into an agency beyond my wildest dreams.
Along the way, we’ve partnered with great clients to deliver pioneering work across print, digital, social and mobile. We’ve hired people who humble me every day with their intelligence and dedication to making us the best independent agency in the country. We’ve let moms bring their babies to work through our T3 & Under program and even welcomed dogs into the workplace.
Now we’re making room for what we jokingly refer to as T3 & Over. This influx of second-generation employees, including a couple of my own, are breathing new life into the idea of T3 being an extended family, not just a place to work.
One of my intentions when I started this company was to create a family-friendly agency. We’ve succeeded on most counts, fallen short on occasion, but never because the effort wasn’t there. While we depend on people working hard and being invested in the work we do for our clients, we also believe that you don’t have to be consumed by work to be effective. Championing a healthy work/life balance ultimately turns out better work and happier employees.
Seeing second-generation employees in the halls is affirmation that we’re doing something right at T3, that we’ve not only stood the test of time, but also stood for something. It’s organic marketing in its truest form.
If you drove by T3 Austin headquarters in the wee hours of Saturday morning, you might have noticed all the lights on. We didn’t forget to shut down for the week, but instead to open the doors to developers competing in the official SXSW HackATX all-night hackathon competition.
Competing teams were given access to 23 enterprise-level 7-Eleven APIs developed by T3. The goal: develop new and innovative ways to provide digital convenience.
After a kick-off party at T3 Austin headquarters, a group of experienced developers settled in for a night of coding and creativity to help 7-Eleven re-imagine convenience. We provided caffeine, snacks, T-shirts and development advice. On the line were bragging rights and cold, hard cash.
The night was fueled by a creative spirit, plus lots and lots of hard work from the 27 competing teams. After a sleepless night of coding, 10 teams were asked to present their ideas to a panel of judges. Sean Devlin and Team Doo emerged as the overall winner. His SMS-centric app focused on the convenience of reaching as many 7-Eleven customers as possible. With a simple text message to a dedicated phone number, mobile customers using his app can find the closest 7-Eleven, current promotions, available services (gas pumps, Redbox, etc.) and directions.
Winners were chosen by a panel of industry-leading judges based on a combination of functionality, design and presentation.
“We want to thank everyone who participated and competed at HackATX,” says Pamela Crosier, T3 director of Creative Development. “It was exciting to see such a collaborative spirit coursing through this place overnight. Great fun, great work.”
This Samsung mobile phone commercial made me laugh — and not just for the “Dude, you’re a barista” line. Mostly I laughed because of the predictable outcry from Apple fanatics in the comment area on YouTube and the equally weak, but more formal rebuttals, that popped up out there, including this one.
The basic gist of both the outcry and the rebuttals is that an attack on Apple is an assault on genius and upon potential converts.
The convert alienation argument always amuses me. It’s so reflexive and narcissistic in its assumption that the Apple base is:
1. Large enough to warrant conversion
2. Even susceptible to conversion in the first place
I’m afraid the actual mathematical equation is pretty cruel and actually quite simple: Addressable universe equals the number of adults considering a new phone purchase minus the number of idiots who would spend the night in line for a new phone.
The scale model of this equation is right in front of us on Youtube: 680,960 views minus 380 dislikes. That’s pretty simple and favorable math.
The success of Samsung’s effort is predicated on the audience’s ability to recognize a fool when he/she sees one and then making the decision to not be one, but also upon the rabidity of the loyalist/fanboy response. That last bit is the one we always miss.
Basically, Samsung is banking on the very people that they will offend the most to propagate the message for them via social media, email, blogs, etc. This is where it seems to have fallen apart. I was in both BlogPulse and Google Trends today, and saw no major spikes in “galaxy 2” or “Samsung commercial” mentions or searches since the commercial was released.
This could imply a couple of things: initial distribution was low/too low and/or it didn’t really tick off the fanboys at all. The latter has serious implications for Apple. Could it be that the absence of Mr. Jobs has exposed that we were dealing with a “cult of personality” after all? That rising to the defense of a company as opposed to a personality isn’t worth a fanboy’s energy? If that’s so, then Apple is in the same boat as its competitors, where marketing and innovation are nearly equally paired, and neither is a sufficient screen for the shortcomings of the other.
I would also argue that Apple is suddenly at a significant disadvantage created by the loss of one of the great marketers of all time since (and everyone, please feel free to fight about this) most of their innovation of late was primarily in the marketing space versus the technology space. These are fighting words, and maybe I’ve said them just to gain the assurance that there might still be some fanboys out there.
For the record: I have a 4G iPhone, an iPod Touch, and a drawer full of previous iPods, Shuffles and Nanos. Each works, and was great in its time, but I’ve never been a fan. If anything, I’ve resented the accelerated rate of engineered obsolescence, the absence of memory expansion and proprietary batteries.
But what has really always irked me is the absence of solid competition. I love that Samsung is taking a big swing at Apple, but they better bring the product to back it up. Oh, and I sincerely hope that you former fanboys out there find something worthy of your passion again.