Adam Sugihto

I quit social media

19 year old Instagram superstar Essena O’Neill yesterday dropped a bombshell on her 835k ‘fans’ by announcing she’s quitting social media.

Instead of going out quietly, she made the incredibly brave move to ‘come out’ and re-edit all the captions to expose her incredibly staged Instagram selfies.

In an incredibly mature decision Essena vulnerably confessed her addiction to Social Media validation and that she’s now decided to …

The $9 million jacket

In September, the Baubax travel jacket raised $9 million in crowdfunding making it the most funded clothing project and the 4th most funded project of any kind in Kickstarter history.

The end result totally blew apart the initial project goal to raise $20k.

What made this jacket so special compared to any other jacket one can buy on the market today?

Ads we would pay for

Last week, Google announced YouTube Red – the ad-free, paid subscription version of YouTube.

The free, ad supported version of YouTube will continue to run in its current form, making it the Freemium offering to the new Paid upgrade.

The underlying assumption of all Freemium models of course, is that advertising is bad, no one wants it and we would be prepared to pay to get rid of it…

Trick and Treat

Last year Adobe played the best Trick possible for Halloween by turning Photoshop into a Murder Mystery – and winning several Cannes Lions in the process.

Here Adobe, created a heavily layered, 200Mb Photoshop file which contained clues to a Murder Mystery that only fans with sufficient skill in Photoshop would be able to uncover.

Adobe’s campaign became the treat of Halloween as …

Herman Miller quote on problems worth solving

‘While we definitely have to care about technology, we only have to care about it in the sense…


Imagine building a business that relies on original content that you need to provide fresh, daily and that’s here today and gone tomorrow.

That’s what florists, bakers, fishmongers, fruiterers have been doing for centuries.

Why Playboy dropped nudity

“For Playboy to survive in a platform-driven world, the pressure to conform to those standards is immense — so much so that the publication is abandoning the core of its brand’s identity”

Such is the power of the online platforms that this month Playboy made the shock announcement that it would drop the one thing it is famous for …

Neverending Story

Television has a beginning, middle and end. Digital has no real end. What it becomes is another part of the idea – you can nudge it and iterate but you can’t think of it as this contained thing – David Droga

The traditional approach to advertising is a carry over from TV – a story arc with a beginning, middle, and end in a 30-second spot – designed to interrupt people with a quick one way message.

The ability digital now gives us to be connected over time fundamentally changes …

Valuing the intangible

Back in 2001, I remember being fascinated by the news of how the Australian government made over $1 billion out of thin air (literally) – by auctioning the rights to the 3G Mobile frequency spectrum to the local telcos.

Here was an astronomical amount of money being handed over for something you can’t see, touch or feel …

Coca-Cola quote on Mobile First

“Mobile is at the core of everything we’re doing. If we can’t make a story work on a…

Blind spot

I showed my 12 year old son a floppy disk. He said “Cool! You 3D Printed the Save Icon”

The hard truth about skeuomorphism is when we’ve come from the old, we’re blind to it.

Sometimes we need a …

Back to a different Future

Oct 21, 2015.

Die hard Back to the Future fans have been waiting for today – the ‘future date’ that Marty and Doc Brown travelled to – since the movie sequel was released in 1989.

The obvious questions circling around the interwebs have been regarding the technology – where are our flying cars and hoverboards?

Art School

As different as Facebook, Google and most online platforms are, there is one thing that they all share.

In their own way, each platform exposes the long tail.

The algorithms behind these platforms filter out content that is …

The Blank Page

Every artist is familiar with the dreaded blank page.

“What am I going to do today? How do I even start? I have nothing… ”

Of course, its not the page that’s the problem …

Duan Evans quote on human psychology in marketing

“(Our work) is all about empowering the audience to help them achieve more… understand that its better to…

Department Store Lesson

When I was growing up I was fascinated with the Myer department store that anchored our nearby shopping centre.

As a kid the only place I naturally was interested in was the Toy Department – why was the toy department always on the top floor? Can’t these adults plainly see that all toys should be at the main entrance?

But no, we kids always had to make it past the overwhelmingly smelly main entrance dominated by perfume counters and …

Chicken or Egg?

Does content have advertising?

Or does advertising have content?


The elevator pitch alternative

Most people are familiar with the idea of an elevator pitch – to explain what you do to a stranger within the time it takes them to get on and off an elevator, say 30 seconds or less.

The ability to succinctly explain your USP is important, however many brands are such masters of their craft that …


Skeuomorphism occurs when designers incorporate concepts and ideas from existing things to help consumers navigate and understand how to use completely new things.

Last month, Google made a big splash with a very conspicuous rebrand, but actually, this was a smaller part of the much larger Google Material Design initiative.

With Material Design, Google designers are deconstructing how …

Why blog?

We often get asked, why are we blogging?

Why blog particularly when we are busy, when blogging is time consuming, isn’t directly related to sales and isn’t always specifically about the technicals of our craft?

A simple question with both a long and short answer …


Kudos to the team at BMF for their remarkably mysterious, almost Wes Anderson like videos, The Conspicuous Awakening of Owen Wilson, that appeared in my Facebook feed.

BMF have embraced the art of mystery here – instead of …


In a global economy, many markets and niches are approaching parity – what’s on offer by one brand is not a whole lot different to what’s on offer by others.

Now that we’re connected to brands we follow in relationship over time, personality matters.

For better or for worse, we like people who …

Marissa Mayer quote on advertising

“Art is advertising and advertising is art” – Marissa Mayer

Quality vs Relevance (or Google vs Facebook)

Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist, is famous for developing Adwords’ Quality Score algorithm – his instructional video is mandatory viewing for anyone even considering using Adwords for advertising.

Less well known (for now), is Jon Hegemon, Facebook’s Chief Economist. Jon’s decisions into the Facebook Ads Relevance Score algorithm significantly affect both advertisers and Facebook’s shareholders.

So how have Jon’s decisions differed from Hal’s?

There are really two key distinctions …

Why pay more?

The other day I passed a shop with a huge sign out the front saying ‘Why pay more’?

Although this is a win for the customer, this strategy marks a slow death for brands.

If your only USP is low price, you don’t have a USP. Now that we’re globally connected, there is always someone, somewhere who …

[Video] Getting Things Done

Today, we live in an information age – even if we deal in physical goods, we’re still inundated with the information created around the product.

The hallmark skill of our time is the ability to …

Andrew Bosworth quote on his mission as Facebook’s Senior Ad Engineer

“The mission of my organization is to make meaningful connections between people and businesses.” – Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s…

What marketers can learn from VW

The beauty of online marketing is that we have data for everything.

The danger of online marketing is that we have data for everything.

We can become so overly fixated on the numbers that we can forget our real mission …

The Looming New Normal

Those in senior marketing roles today most likely can you remember life before smartphones, broadband and possibly even before the Web.

Such folks (me included!) were raised with thoughts & perceptions of the world shaped by local, Industrial Economic conditions.

The fact that you’re reading this blog means you’ve made (or are making) the transition to think and understand our new Global, Connection Economy environment.

Gen C (Generation Connected – born from 1990 onwards) will be the first generation to …

Net Love

If everything was taken away from your brand except the relationships you’ve built (brand-fan and fan-fan) – how much would you have?

This is your Net Love.

Are you rich in Net Love? Are you poor?

Your product/service may get us …

Google is from Mars, Facebook is from Venus

“Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. His character determines the character of the organization.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Google was founded by Computer Science majors Larry Page and Sergey Brin (also a Maths prodigy).

Facebook was founded by Computer Science and Social Psychologist major Mark Zuckerberg.

Google is famous for …

Reid Hoffman quote on his job description

“I build, design and improve human ecosystems through software” – Reid Hoffman, Ex-PayPal COO, LinkedIn founder and Silicon…

Who’s out?

“An enemy of my enemy is my friend” – Ancient proverb

Who’s clearly not in your tribe?

Who doesn’t cut the mustard?

Who’s out?

Connection Marketing

The buzzword in online marketing today is Content Marketing.

Content marketing, however, isn’t new – David Ogilvy perfected long copy content marketing back in the 60’s.

What is new is that today, we live in a …

Sympathy and Excellence

Recently I had an unusual choice to make.

I was in an unfamiliar part of town and needed a coffee and there were two cafes next to each other I could choose from: a Beanhunter top rated cafe or an unrated, Not-For-Profit cafe.

I had heard of the NFP before and believed in their cause so I decided to …

Supply and Demand

The law of Supply and Demand states that:

The greater the supply and the lower the demand, the lower the price will be, and conversely
The lower the supply and the greater the demand, the higher the price will be

Thanks to decades of Industrial production and efficiencies, what used to be in low supply …

Jackson Pollock quote on art

“The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through” – Jackson Pollock


A word that grates me when I read online marketing blogs or attend conferences is: traffic.

Of course, when we say the word traffic, we mean visitors, individuals, people. However the word traffic communicates very different connotations.

Traffic is a …

Stunt Fatigue

What does fish to the face have to do with money transfers?

Admittedly not much, however, kudos to the creatives behind this ad for TransferWise. They have achieved the very difficult task of getting cut through, brand awareness and engagement with this …

Set & Forget

‘Set & Forget’ was the promise of the Industrial Economy – that if one was able to setup processes well enough, one could leave the system to do its thing and get consistent results month in, month out.

‘Set & Forget’ works incredibly well for inanimate things – objects, processes, systems.

‘Set & Forget’ fails spectacularly in the one area that matters most …

Joseph Chilton Pearce quote on being creative

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

The 30 Year Idea

“I doubt if more than one campaign in a hundred contains a big idea” – David Ogilvy

In one of the all time classics, David Ogilvy outlined his criteria for a big idea: “Could it be used for 30 years?”

The wisdom of the 30 Year Idea, is that …

Green Runs

I recently went snowboarding for the first time in more than 10 years.

I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to make it off the chairlift let alone board down the mountain.

Thankfully, I wasn’t alone.

The entire weekend, people were …

Pablo Picasso quote on being an artist

“Every child is an artist. the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up” –…

Modern Elders

Hotelier, Chip Conley, is perhaps best known for his TED talk on Measuring what makes life worthwhile.

Recently he posted his thoughts on being a Modern Elder in today’s age where we (western society) really don’t have rituals or rites of passage.

As Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for AirBnB, he commissioned …


The test of a great song is when you can strip it right back to raw – no effects, no gloss – and it still gets you.

In the same way, if you were to strip back your brand’s effects and gloss – what are you left with?

*This* is the real reason people come to you, followed you …

Julia Cameron quote on taking risks

“Leap and the net will appear” – Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way

One Thing Well

BMW has recently done a cross collab with Melbourne rag Broadsheet, to explore the future of food and drink. (As an aside, expect to see more of this style of marketing – in this case, BMW leveraging Broadsheet’s relational influence over its target market for the launch of the new 1 Series).

One article caught my eye in particular: The Perfectionists.

Here, Broadsheet spotlights a rising trend …

Levittown 2.0

Levittown was the first mass produced suburb that applied the industrial assembly line model to housing construction.

Levittown made ‘the American dream’ of owning a home possible by keeping all houses identical, save for small cosmetic variations. Developer, William Levitt, was even quoted as saying: “We’re not builders, we’re manufacturers”.

This only worked because …


Positioning isn’t about making your brand appear cheap or expensive, elegant or everyman, tasteful or functional.

Instead of competing with other brands so that you are one of several options, Positioning is about inventing and owning a category of one in the mind of your consumer.

Which brand comes to mind for women looking for …