15 December 2010

What is Hyper Island?

NEW YORK – This is the first of three days I’m spending at Hyper Island Master Class, a sort of boot camp for marketing and advertising people catching up on “Digital”. For more about Hyper Island, read the recent article in Fast Company, and a response of sorts published in Adweek.

Even having read about Hyper Island in advance, I didn’t know whether to expect a class in writing code for HTML5, or how to sign up for Twitter, or… well, I imagined a lot of possibilities.

Here is what I’ve gleaned so far, after the first morning’s agenda.

Change Management. While the curriculum features digital tools, case studies, best practices and important principles, the real topic of discussion is adapting to changes around us. This isn’t only a matter of increasing knowledge, it’s about increasing our ability to embrace the changes going on in our industry.

Communication is what’s changing. Digital is partly a range of media we must all learn, but its significance lies in the way it permits people to comment and connect much more rapidly than in the days of Ye Olde Marketing. Word of mouth has always been the most reliable form of marketing communication, and it’s more out of control than ever.

It’s not about how you sell something, it’s about what you sell. The old paradigm is “market what we can make”, creating ads with finely tuned messages, hoping for big awareness among a mass audience. What shatters this paradigm? Consumer experiences drive commentary far more authentic than what we can possibly say about our products or services, regardless of medium.

Time for lunch now. I’ll write more later. You can follow all the action on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #HIMC.


  1. Hi Steve,
    Thank you for the great overview from Hyper Island's master class in December.

    In case your readers are interested, here are highlights from the January 2011 class that I attended in NYC: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1938637/interactive-marketing-crash-course

    Anna Maria Virzi

  2. Hi everyone -- yes, I highly recommend Anna's post on Hyper Island. Click the link above to read it!