All posts by Andy Cowles

Five good links

Five-must-reads11From the FT, Adland’s continuing existential crisis, along with good observations as to how brands grow.

Twitter’s troubles, by Emily Bell along with a deeper dive from The Atlantic.

Story of the year; facebook’s interest in AI is going to become our reality. Posts from The Mail and The Guardian.

DC Thomson’s Jacqueline Wilson magazine goes Dyslexia friendly. A brilliant use of a really smart typography.

Dave Trott on the trouble with ‘content’.

Getting inside the closed world of professional comedy

Produced by me and directed by the talented Billy Boyd Cape, this new film tells the story of photographer Steve Best and the completely unique f.stop.funny project.

Steve’s many years on the comedy circuit has allowed him to build real trust with some of the funniest people on earth: ‘Comedians are very suspicious people, it’s hard to get that friendship if you’re not a stand-up’. These relationships have allowed him to take hundreds of intimate, documentary images that no-one else could ever get.

f.stop.funny is both a book and an exhibition, featuring pictures of David Baddiel, John Bishop, Jo Brand, Jimmy Carr, Julian Clary, Alan Davies, Sean Lock, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican, Al Murray, Alexei Sayle, Jack Whitehall and hundreds more.

But the thing I’m really excited about is that Steve’s going to work his pictures into his stand-up routine. What’s more, he plans to do this show inside the galleries featuring his photographs; a world first.

f.stop.funny will debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2016. Whatever else happens, it’s going to be a laugh.

Small, but perfectly formed

Facebook_Reactions3x2Here are the crisp new emoticons facebook is planning on us all using anytime soon. Will they give a better user experience? Maybe.

Will facebook aggressively sell the ‘nuanced responses’ to brand content that these emoticons might generate? Certainly.

facebook-emoticonsHere’s Mr Zuckerberg himself explaining how they work, using what the new pressure sensitive iPhone UI. This is a game changer in itself. Once the device in our hands starts responding to a nuanced range of physical gestures, it’s ability to express our feelings is significantly improved.

This is hardly AI, but it sure shows which way the river is running.

What’s Next For Banks

whats-next-for-banksThis project was produced in partnership with my colleagues Andy Pemberton and James Lumley from furthr. What’s Next For Banks delivers a clear outline as to how banks can create both deeper emotional customer engagement and take advantage of new technology inside their own operations. Here’s the extensive slideshare we presented a few weeks ago at an invitation only event organised by our colleagues at White light Media.

You lookin’ at me?

ed-walker-tube-girlTaking pictures of strangers in public places without their permission requires some nerve. Photographer Ed Walker clearly has plenty of that, as he’s taken loads of pictures in this very way.

There’s an extraordinary quality to his images. Because the sitter is given no notice that they are to be photographed, the look Ed gets is unlike any with-permission portrait.  But nor are they reportage, as the eye contact creates a sensation far stronger than just a documentary image.

ed-walker-tube-manWithout model releases of course, the commercial potential for this approach is zero. This is Art, with a capital A.

Which is why I was so pleased to be able to use some of Eds’ pictures to illustrate a presentation I’m giving next week; What’s Next For Banks. The images have the same feeling, but as all the subjects are looking at their phones, none are recognisable. See more

Rock n’ roll meets corporate finance

What's-next-for-banksAlong with my colleagues Andy Pemberton and James Lumley, I’m presenting at this top-notch event next week. Our agency Furthr has teamed up with White Light Media to challenge your expectations with a provocative line-up of speakers with backgrounds in business investment, disruptive thinking, brand development… and rock music.

It’s an invitation-only, free event for senior comms and marketing professionals in the banking sector from 4-6pm on Thursday 24 September at the 71A gallery and bar in Shoreditch, London. If you want to come, drop me a line! See more

Digital 6

digital-six-furthrA partnership with Andy Pemberton (on the left) from furthr, this is a package of six training courses to make sure your teams are up to snuff on the very latest developments in digital marketing and advertising. The six courses are SEO, Email, Programatic, Display, Mobile and Data. Delivered by the UK’s best trainers, they’re very much all skills, no frills, representing excellent value for money. Take a look at the courses after the break, email me for more details.

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