Last night I went to a Memorial Tribute arranged by a co-worker and friend whose father passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I have been to my fair share of funerals, "Shiva" sittings, and memorials over the years, but I have never had the honor to experience one like this. It was a true celebration of a life, and an evening filled with much more laughter than tears. There were probably 400 people in attendance, and a heavy presence of both law enforcement professionals and leather clad bikers, two seemingly disparate communities, yet my friend's dad was clearly beloved by both.A Story Well Told...One by one, dozens of family, friends, and former co-workers took to the podium to share very personal, emotional, and overwhelmingly funny stories of their experiences with, and love for, my friend's father. To say it was inspirational would be a gross understatement. I felt I was witnessing an incredibly special moment, driven by pure love for someone who clearly had been an incredibly special person. While I never had the chance to meet my friend's dad, hearing the stories and seeing the slideshow of so many captured moments, I could clearly see his spirit and influence in my friend, and even in my friend's young son. Yes, it was sad, but it was also very beautiful and filled with hope. Influence And Impact
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Clearly, my friend's dad touched many lives, and lived his own life to the fullest. Trite as that may sound, from what I witnessed and learned, in this case it really is true. It was wonderful to see how they celebrated him now that he is gone. As I walked to my car after leaving, without hesitation I took out my phone and called my own parents, something I know I don't do often enough. Though I never met him while he was alive, meeting him now, through the stories told, and the shared experience of their telling, my friend's father has indeed impacted my life too. There's Always Room To Learn
I think I learned many things last night, but the one thing I want to try harder to focus on is to celebrate life now. I want to celebrate my life and all that I have to be grateful for, and I want to celebrate the lives of my children and my family and all the people that I love. I don't want to wait for the memorial. How about you?
Photo Credit: © Sascha Burkard - Fotolia.com
Posted by Jeffrey Sass at 3:53 PM
Thursday, July 22, 2010
When we were kids, entertainment was mostly a passive activity. We plopped down in front of the TV and zoned out on BATMAN and THE MONKEES (ok, I might be showing my age here, but those are the shows I was enamored with…) Our kids, however, are growing up in an increasingly connected, interactive world, that is changing the shape of entertainment and entertainment marketing. Already their world is filled with immersive games, and high definition and 3-D images. They are constantly connected with their friends through their social networks (as are we), so to get our attention marketers really have to raise the bar.
I Joined The Colony…
As part of a promotion for the upcoming (July 27th) premiere of season 2 of THE COLONY, The Discovery Channel has created a rather ingenious interactive and very personal experience that makes clever use of our individual social graphs. If you visit jointhecolony.com and log in using Facebook Connect, you will enter a very real, interactive simulation that blends status updates, news reports, video and more, from your real friends, to tell a detailed and realistic story about a fictional Pandemic. It is a taste of what the classic WAR OF THE WORLDS radio broadcast might have turned into if Orson Welles had worked his magic today. Instead of Welles, much of the content at JoinTheColony.com was created by the talented author JC Hutchins, but it appears, quite convincingly, as if the messages, comments and news stories are being presented to you by the people you know and trust. It is very cool, and worth spending some time getting lost in the fantasy…
And This Has What To Do With Dads?
Ok, so perhaps The Colony and Jointhecolony.com are not really targeted to families or kids, and certainly they are not appropriate for young kids… However, I think the way this promotion leverages Facebook and drags real people we know into a fictional but realistic story is a small taste of what is possible, and an indicator of the kinds of interactive entertainment that will perhaps soon be commonplace to our kids. As parents we already know we have to guide our kids through their digital lives and make sure they understand the implications of their social lives online. Raising digitally aware and digitally responsible kids will be even more important as they experience creative uses of their social networks, like this one, that may temporarily blur the lines between fiction and reality. Our kids are going to be exposed to new and exciting forms of entertainment that we might only have dreamed of when we were their ages. I think that is pretty cool, and look forward to seeing how things evolve. What do you think?
Survival Of The Fittest?
I found out about JoinTheColony.com from an unexpected package that I received, and I made the short video below to document my own experiences with this clever promotion. If you are reading this, then you can assume I survived and am #STILLHERE. Enjoy!
I Joined The Colony and am #StillHere from Jeffrey Sass on Vimeo.
DISCLAIMER: I am not expected to return any of the items in the package. I can keep them (and they may come in handy during hurricane season). CC Chapman, who was involved in the promotion on behalf of Campfire is a friend, and a co-host with me on the Cast of Dads podcast. JC Hutchins is also a personal friend. No pets, children, or neighbors were harmed during the making of this video, but some may have been spooked by seeing me running around the backyard in a bio-protection suit and mask… That’s their problem.
Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18). He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast. You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.
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#stillhere, Cast of Dads, Discovery Channel, Entertainment, interactive entertainment, Jeff Sass, JoinTheColony.com, The Colony, The Discovery Channel, TV, Video
- Documenting Your “Now” For The Future (stevegarfield.blogs.com)
- I’m #StillHere – Are You? (cc-chapman.com)
- The end of the world, as seen on Facebook (adweek.blogs.com)
- #StillHere, A Fiction Experience For Discovery Channel’s “The Colony,” Is Online (jchutchins.net)
- 5 more fresh articles...
Friday, July 02, 2010
I first met the GEICO Caveman at a party at SXSW in 2008. I was immediately struck by his charm and good looks, as were many others at the party including Robert Scoble and Mashable's Pete Cashmore (see the picture I took below). Since that chance meeting with the Caveman, I have been very impressed by GEICO's ability to manage three very distinct, equally entertaining and effective branding campaigns at the same time. In addition to the readily recognizable Neanderthal, GEICO's plucky Gecko and wide-eyed wad of MONEY are also fun, friendly and powerful bits of branding for the Insurance giant.
GEICO Gets It...
Clearly the GEICO team gets the value of entertaining marketing and has wisely leveraged all types of media from traditional TV ads to YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and Mobile to share and spread the fun, never losing sight of the underlying message that GEICO can save you money on your insurance. They have leveraged new media platforms for both entertainment and practical services as well. For example the GEICO Glovebox iPhone app lets you do everything from manage your account to learn how to change a tire, to find a taxi or roadside service. Smart marketing all around.
Ringa Da Ding Ding Dingy Dong...
You have probably seen the GEICO "ringtone" commercials (see below). Since I work at Myxer I was thrilled to see such a clever use of ringtones in a national TV ad, and at the same time I wished we could have all of GEICO's great mobile content available to the Myxer community. Well, sometimes you get what you ask for, and I am very pleased to say that we have partnered with GEICO to offer some awesome (and free) ringtones and wallpapers for your phone. You can guess which one I have already set as my default ringtone... it's BOSS!
Posted by Jeffrey Sass at 2:31 PM
Thursday, July 01, 2010
The latest edition of my employer Myxer's "BoomBox Report" takes a look at music and surveys 1,049 Myxer users to learn more about how they discover and listen to their tunes. Myxer recently started offering full-track MP3's for download online and on Android phones, so it seemed like a logical time to turn up the volume on understanding user's music consumption patterns.
Discs And Discovery...
Surprisingly, 74% of the respondents said they still buy physical CD's. When it comes to discovering new music the number one with a bullet was radio, which was also an unexpected response. 47% said they use radio to discover new music. 15% got turned on to new tunes at iTunes while Facebook, Twitter and MySpace collectively accounted for 18%. As an avid Pandora user myself, I was surprised that only 5% of those polled opened that box for new music discovery.
Where do you discover and buy your music?
Posted by Jeffrey Sass at 5:44 PM