Redefinition of the free mid-market afternoon newspaper 24Timer in Copenhagen ( Denmark ). Great challenge: short pagination, high ad density, no designers, tight budget and deadline, and old friends.
The future of tabloid media
Is there any future at all for popular media on mobile? The answer is ‘yes’. But only when genuinely articulated on a proposition which intelligently values, respects, challenges and entertains its customers —not actually the poor proposition we suffer today. Appealing to the business of the flesh for the sake of the business contributes only to the brutalisation and complete depreciation of the human being —starting with the ones who actually put it together.
Aiming to offer 20 minutes of collectable entertainment, daily, and most importantly to encourage subscription and loyalty to a popular brand that urgently needs a solid ( and paid-for ) mobile strategy, I created the concept partially featured in the video above —the experience goes richer. This prototype aimed to target a completely new audience by taking cinematographic, gaming and sensorial narratives to a different level. The three key issues explored were: ( 1 ) device orientation, ( 2 ) content edition, and ( 3 ) emotion.
Seven 1 / 2
Seven’s mission is to serve a general audience that values being intelligently connected, informed and entertained. An audience that hasn’t got time for a lift of 128 newspaper pages or the interest in a neverending newspaper-like mobile experience. It’s a brand that moves from a traditional newspaper section driven proposition to a multichannel customer centric proposition, articulated on three pillars that could easily be branded (or bundled in) independently: Dispatches, Perspectives, Xtra. Seven is a natural-born cross-media brand that delivers a genuine content experience (in print and mobile), by pushing the boundaries of each medium.
Seven 2 / 2
New visual story telling narratives (2)
Quality journalism requires quality HD formats and techniques, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be affordable and scalable. This second project on visual story telling and new narratives, which I commissioned to photographer Matt Writtle and award-winning composer Alex Baranoswki, explores how to create a movie by deliberately using still photography —80% of the content is still photography. It also shed some light on the path our photographers at News could take to reinvent themselves.
This is also part of a more ambitious project that aims to create a visual portrait of Britain through the extraordinary live or ordinary people. It could be a collection of 365 first-person portraits that would serve well to nurture positive, inspirational and educational values in our community. By serialising quality collectable content we might be able to engage more efficiently and drive loyalty.
The main objectives of these project were:
- Researching quality cinematographic story telling narratives and techniques to present news stories through essentially still photography.
- Exploring unique but affordable visual narratives that could be scaled.
- Reinventing the role and skills of traditional photographers.
- Introducing a new journalistic genre, a visual 360 portrait in which images and sounds speak by themselves.
- Defining what’s the role music composers and sound engineers should play in our brands.
- Exploring meaningful content and educational formats that inspire and help to create a better society.
I’m working on a continuous innovation programme to research key themes affecting longer term product strategy at News Corp. The main purpose is to identify trends in A) consumer behaviour, B) technologies, and C) talent management that challenge the way we create, edit, distribute and enjoy media. Based on this research, I create customer-centric prototypes of products that encapsulate and try to offer a strategic vision on what’s ahead. One of main my areas of research is visual storytelling, as I believe it is critical for any creative industry to fully maximise the power of visuals in an era of multiple screens.
YouTube journalism vs. quality journalism
New visual storytelling narratives (1)
Mobile platforms are essentially sensorial animals in which visual content is king. One of our biggest challenges at News Corp is researching and developing meaningful visual storytelling narratives that help to deliver quality journalism and entertainment worth paying for. Quality journalism requires quality HD formats and techniques.
Newspapers and print media have borrowed and explored fiction techniques for decades. As part of a bigger project about visual story telling, I’m researching how cinematographic narratives could create textures that bring the content experience to an intimate level.
Sea Bites, presented in the video above, is a project commissioned to award winning war journalists and film directors David Beriain and Sergio Caro founders of ‘En Pie de Guerra’, and members of Medina Media.
The objectives of the project are:
- Researching quality cinematographic story telling narratives and techniques to present news stories.
- Introducing a new journalistic genre, a visual 360 first-person portrait in which images and sounds speak by themselves.
- Creating an original soundtrack and defining the role of music and music composers in news gathering and storytelling.
- Challenging and verifying existing photography cameras and techniques (go-pro, helicopter, underwater, time lapse, slow motion) as well as innovative sound systems —multi-channel surround sound system like sound 5.1.
- Questioning what would it be necessary to offer a genuine and exclusive experience. What cameras and sound technologies? Would they need to be created? Who’d be the right partner to do so?
- Pulsing the potential of collectable content. As on TV-shows, serialising quality content on mobile might be efficient to drive subscriptions. What’s the right format and genre?
- Exploring encyclopaedic and educational (timeless) content that live longer than stories which fit into the traditional 24/7 news cycle.
This is a first person portrait of an ordinary collector of goose barnacles (those lovely crustaceans!), one of the most appreciated and expensive delicatessen of the Spanish cuisine —last Christmas the price rocketed to £180 per kilo. The story is been filmed in Cedeira, a tiny village from Galicia, in the North West of Spain. The soundtrack has been created by musician and folk artist, Anxo Pintos, using local instruments.
You can watch the making off in here, and learn about the team behind it. It’s been a great honour to work with David (thank you!), and I hope to come back to him soon with more challenging opportunities.
I’m leading News International’s Product Vision Lab here at News Corp in London, and master-minding a fascinating innovation programme for the next year. My mission is: 1. To research trends, technologies and events that will change the way we enjoy and promote brands. 2. To create radical and meaningful products that people will love.
I’m gathering a very special unit of experienced cross-platform developers to work on amazing new IP projects, mid-weight motion and interactive designers to dream off future media, games and movies music composers to craft beautiful experiences, and passionate and creative psychology graduates to explore trends. Only A+ players to apply. Get in touch soon!
I’ve recently launched an innovation observatory —you can call it an ideas/trends radar— where I’ll be archiving ideas and people worth getting closer to. Access is restricted —by invitation only. It’s called ‘eyepiece’. An eyepiece is a type of lens attached to optical devices such as telescopes and microscopes. It should help to see what’s coming next from a macro, micro and nano perspective, across multiple industries, in order to inform thinking into our global strategy at an early stage.
Strategy, and editorial and creative conceptualization
Exploring generic browsing alternatives on tablets, as well as some genuine content behaviours.
Editorial and creative conceptualization.
NY, USA. August 2010
I envisioned three different editorial and creative alternatives for News Corp’s first tablet only proposition, The Daily. These prototypes informed thinking and helped to set the DNA code of what the product is today —I’m not responsible for the final presentation and the current execution of those concepts. The images above correspond to the contemporary and traditional options —a radical one is showcased below.
Strategy, and editorial and creative conceptualization
I’m currently prototyping a natural-born crossmedia brand that understands the importance of tailoring just the right amount of content (both editorial and commercial), at the right time, in the right place, at the right price, for an audience that hasn’t got neither time/energy for a heavy lift of 96 newspaper pages nor the interest in a neverending daily newspaper-like mobile experience.
More to come.
Founder and creator.
London, UK. Nov 2010.
Liquid media are perfect channels from where to enjoy rich visual content. I’m also currently embarked on a personal project to market a tablet centric, content and commercial quality proposition aiming to serve a global audience that wants to be intelligently informed, connected and entertained.
I’m teaming up with cinematographers, composers, photography directors, photojournalists, screen writers, psychologists, animators, visual explainers, typographers, developers, production artists, strategists.
Does it sound like a good ride? Please say ‘hello’.
Global values, individual customers. Local audiences share global patterns, passions and habits, and talk similar visual languages. But global brands struggle to find an effective media from where to engage with them.
Editorial and creative proposition
NY, USA. August 2010
I created a brand identity (colour and type palette, textures, sounds, iconography and behaviours) with a thick kryptonite blend in mind.
Editorial and creative conceptualization
NY, USA. August 2010
I envisioned three different editorial and creative alternatives for News Corp’s first tablet only proposition, The Daily. The radical alternative, here showcased, has an obvious and intentional tabloid cut. (The traditional and contemporary alternatives are presented above).