Starters-Campbell Mithun Listens Out Loud-June 2011

The agency turns up the volume on being a Web 3.0 brand by hosting multichannel “Talkinars.”
Starters-Campbell Mithun Listens Out Loud-June 2011

The “great irony” of his industry, says Heath Rudduck, chief creative officer for Campbell Mithun, is that “as an advertising agency, it’s difficult to advertise yourself.” Another Minneapolis ad shop, Olson, decided lately that the challenge merited appointing a dedicated chief brand officer to manage the firm’s image. Campbell Mithun is finding another way to elevate its own brand: the “Talkinar.” And the great irony of the Talkinar is that it’s much more about listening—in a Web 3.0 kind of way.

Talkinars—Campbell Mithun hosted one last June, another in February, and will do a third on June 22 (—feature live streaming video of panelists, most often the firm’s own talent, each with a laptop. Viewers—clients, partner firms, others who learn of the events via word of mouth or social media—participate in panelists’ conversation on brand-related topics via instant chat or a scrolling Twitter feed, and get real-time answers to their questions from panel members.

To add another layer of interactivity, audience polls are interjected throughout the video stream, and instantaneous results help steer the dialogue. Campbell Mithun turned to San Franciso–based Webcasting platform developer Ustream to create its multifaceted Talkinar forum.

The February Talkinar, on creating “empathetic brands in a Web 3.0 world,” emphasized that while Web 1.0 was a read-only posting of content, and Web 2.0 was built on user-generated content and social connections, Web 3.0 will be built on technologies—often location based—that can draw inferences about the individual user’s context and behaviors. The differentiator of this new Web is that it can provide exactly what’s needed exactly when and where it’s needed.

That’s the kind of hyper-responsiveness that Campbell Mithun hopes the Talkinar format demonstrates. Rudduck says, “It allows us to demonstrate that we as an agency can listen as well as we can talk.”