Mashable is one of my favourite websites. I find it an indispensable way of keeping up-to-date with the frighteningly fast developments in digital media and its hinterland. The fact that it was set up, and is run, by a young guy from Aberdeenshire is a source of pride for me too. I’ve never spoken to him far less met him so that pride is of course misplaced provincialism, still, impressive work from one so young.
Mashable announced their top ten ‘virals’ of 2009 this week and the work in it is truly inspiring. Some of it I’d seen or heard about before, but some was new to me. The Schweppes piece is, I think, stunning. At 12 minutes long it is really a short film and it certainly has the production values of something Hollywood might make. From a marketing point of view the branding for Schweppes is so minimal you do wonder if people would really know what is actually for, perhaps that’s the point, make people go and find out, but as a piece of art it’s great.
United Breaks Guitars is pretty well known, a song written and recorded as a riposte to the experience of dealing with United Airline’s complaints department, every musician I know wishes they had written it as they all have a similar horror story of instruments damaged in transit. What’s interesting is the effect the song has had on the artists career. Dave Carroll was no household name prior to this, he still isn’t to be fair but his song has had 6.4 million hits on You-Tube this year alone. Great news for Mr Carroll, no so much for United Airlines. His career has been transformed, whilst breaking their instruments was an ostentatious success for The Who many years ago this is really taking it to another level. Good luck to him I say, although some of my friends less inclined to modern country music feel United Airlines had the right idea.
You can view the top ten yourself on the link further up the page, they are all worth watching. Interestingly the number one is another young Scot, Danny MacAskill, who can do barely believable things on a bike, another example that resources, connections and experience are not the be all and end all in marketing anymore; more inspiration to show that even young(ish) provincial Scots are able to compete in this global marketplace.