- a review of the must have social media marketing book Wikipedia + Mentor + Superpower = #micromktg
- My unshakable relationship with a coffee brand Loyalty beyond reason = Nespresso
- Product innovation of the year candidate ?? Free #Summermash IPhone Bumper
- The catwalk comes to the nappy (diaper) category the war of nappies
- A simple and effective brand refresh How to refresh brand equity without alienating your audience
- Comeback brand of the year How #oldspice rescued 30' ads
- The best Christmas ad bar none this year Hyundai vs #Pamplamoose = outlandish soundclash
- A must read marketing rant The trouble with swatting flies
- Delightful US (football) world cup coverage ESPN world cup so far so good
- Hmmm.... already out of date Twitter tips ! Twitter 101 smart twips and top links
Devotion to uncover, investigate and learn about brands, music, innovation and creativity of all kinds.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
#YearInReview - Brand Curious: most read posts of 2010
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Xmas 2010 Ad of the year: Hyundai vs #Pamplamoose = outlandish soundclash
Enjoy all 3 of them.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Dream Big at the Langham Place - Kowloon HK
The Langham Place in Kowloon Hong Kong is remarkable because It was able to use smart branding and simple communication - executed immaculately to catch my imagination like no other hotel.
....During the evening turnover service you get a chamomile tea in cup shaped envelope with the message "Dream big".
I like to call this place the Langham Palace , because its more than a place.
Saturday, 16 October 2010
Thursday, 14 October 2010
Sunday, 26 September 2010
(the trouble with) Swatting Flies
Marketing buzzwords are plentiful, but when I heard the 'attention war' during a presentation by James Andrews (aka the key influencer) my ears pricked up, and I found myself exonerated from defending the status quo.
- What if you reverse your brand strategies to focus on being found rather than incessantly trying to find people ?
- What if you work only on tactics that elicit discovery and not tactics designed to interrupt ?
- What if instead of trying to out-do your competition you simply out-do yourself over and over and over again by delighting only a minuscule group of consumers?
- Why try ever harder to combat 'attention attrition' ? What if you just listened more to find out where people are spending their time ? how about an act of generosity - by helping them have more of that precious time.
Monday, 23 August 2010
Wikipedia+Mentor+Superpower = #Micromktg
Starting off with an introductory experience that every marketer can relate to delivers the implied presumption that you will proceed to read a manifesto, where Greg Verdino dismantles sticking with the traditional mass approach as a winning marketing strategy. He eloquently constructs his propositions that small is the new BIG, and micro is the new MASS, neither of which are new ideas, but are ample incentives to make you read on.
As any good 'guru' his value add comes via a new spin on micro marketing - re defining it as a sum of micro cultures, explosion of microcontent and the rise of insidious micro mavens that build (and kill) brands in real time. Yes! it's dramatic stuff, and in the light of the recent double rainbow and bed intruder Gregory Brothers music phenomena (as reported by Reuters) his very first viral example in the book "sasquatch" dancing man is spookily apt and validates that he's on to something.
The chapter titles, section headers and buzzwords earn and maintain your attention (my favourite coming from chapter 4 "Feed Me, stream me, like me, link me" (inspired by a U2 song title perhaps?) . Verdino initially romances you with charm, passion, sweetish words of wisdom, and subtle tones that leaves a twinkle in the eye.
Yes he's that good - and with skepticism now subdued his arguments lead further away from the comfort zone/status quo (antiquated safe plays of the 4P's traditional marketing blah blah). For example, the replacement for reach and scale is depth - and the commensurate new desire to establish lengthy rich engagements with small audiences.
Each of these propositions transform into sexy stealthy epithets that pummel you into a state of acceptance, anticipation and eventual awakening. In addition, Verdino perpetually ladens the book with multiple experiences and emotive examples where micro strategies and real time mindsets trump macro tactics, and in doing this introduced several that I was completely unaware of most notably of a fellow Brit called Lauren Luke.
This leads to the only gripe I have with this book; namely that it is (over)jam packed with proof points, examples and cases with corresponding web links. Perhaps they were planted to overwhelm 'uber-skeptics', or to futureproof the content, but to a 'micro' convert such as myself it left me feeling that the pace and vitality of the main message was being constrained . Perhaps, an interactive eBook/vook version would be the immaculate solution and premium priced masterstroke ! STOP PRESS on page 220 you will find a link to enhanced content ( and of course for free) ...
I lie, one other trivial gripe is that on page 200 he misspells Procter & Gamble (incorrectly using Proctor) - bound to aggravate all P and G readers!
I had fun writing this review, and it proved as effortless as absorbing the multiple micro messages that Verdino seeds. If you're a brand manager, social media expert, CEO or even small business owner who thinks you've seen and heard it all for free (in multiple blogs) then....you just might be right, and good luck on cataloging and synthesizing it all. But if you truly truly believe you don't need another social media/marketing book - I urge you to think again.
Think of #micromktg as 1/3 'grown up' Wikipedia, 1/3 nurturing mentor (uniquely poised, respected, and with a bountiful repository to deliver persuasive democratizing and honest wisdom) and 1/3 (not so) secret superpower in rendering 'old school' thinking impotent.
Armed with a hugely disarming writing style I found that Verdino was as provocative as business(ish) authors such as Gladwell and Godin, but wasn't as polarizing. I recommend Micromarketing as THE go to book that bridges marketing and social media, a book you urge your VP or CMO to place at the top of the reading list for your team, and the book you reference in agency meetings whenever 'one-upmanship' is necessary. To repeat myself yes this book is that good !
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Free #summermash Iphone bumper
The war of Nappies
A brand war between designer brands is underway.....The cool twist is that its happening in the aisle where you find nappies (aka diapers to my US! readers). A recent visit to my local Target made me realise that the days of boring functional benefit driven (poo catching claims) are long gone in the category.
The largest collection for this season belongs to Cynthia Rowley with c. 15 styles for Pampers.
Emotive marketing that focuses on child development and peaceful sleep may be taking a back burner for a while. So, are babies getting vain.... or is it actually their parents (rhetorical i know)? But it did provoke the thought - how do the parents actually justify spending more for stylish nappies vs their regular brethren?
Could the cache of Fashionistas and celebrity style be enough to get parents to consistently invest more in the category? With two huge brands such as Huggies and Pampers slugging it out you know that this will be a battle worth watching.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
Almost Bigger than Michael Jackson ?
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
How #OldSpice Rescued 30' ads
1. Creativity and Context are powerful
- For example, lets quickly look at this from the Sales department perspective - they can now call their retail partners in the full confidence that their brand has been elevated, eulogised and is front page news. The call or visit will run smoother, the promo plan will be seen more favourably, the orders will be placed more promptly.
- Now Imagine being the Old Spice brand management folks who are now able to show metrics that are transparent to product development, design, finance, customer services....they can now more easily demonstrate the value they can add, they can show engagement growth, viewers, new prospects, influence change, brand image improvement etc etc.
4. Raising the Bar
The challenge has been set to every brand mananger and marketing/ad agency out there. What are you doing to get a consumer to care about your brand, that doesn't involve the easy option of maintaining the status quo or doing the same old thing?
That's the kind of challenge that makes me LOVE what I do.
Disclosure - despite being a former P and G employee, yet a competetitor deodorant brand user, the thoughts here are without any predetermined bias for or against Old spice.
Friday, 16 July 2010
Sharp copywriting from Proactiv
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
ESPN World cup - so far so good
Saturday, 22 May 2010
On a personal level I am shocked at the lack of inhibition and naivety people have when they use a medium such as Facebook. Having seen the expression "get off my Facebook" a few times - it is clear that some people have become desensitized to any implication of 'Liking/following/friending' a person, product, brand, company, or cause, (or poking them for that matter !). Doing this on a platform such as Facebook is intrinsically a public and not a private event.
Change your mindset
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
I am NOT an Olympic Champion
Saturday, 1 May 2010
50% NOT Seth Godin...more books that provoke action
Sunday, 4 April 2010
50% Seth Godin - Books That Provoke Action
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Help nourish your brain
Monday, 22 March 2010
Throwback is back
The packaging artwork with old skool cartoons are so much more captivating simply because they look hand drawn and lovingly cultivated - although to what extent they represent todays 'family' highlights how the perspective of that era has evolved so dramatically.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
I'm an ardent Man Utd Fan and was content to scour 3 channels via my provider Comcast(ESPN, Fox Soccer Channel and formerly Setanta USA) to catch their games (of football ...soccer). I have been forced out of my comfort zone this month with the demise of Setanta USA, leading to the creation of Fox Soccer Channel Plus. The downside has been that Comcast have not signed up the channel.
The good news is that Foxsoccer.tv has an online service that is showing games and at $4.95 for 24 hours access is reasonably priced, and I was able to tolerate (just !) a few of the glitches during transmission of today's Man Utd vs Liverpool game.
Today was the first time that I contributed to the decline of 'tv' as a broadcast medium. Comcast now have a dilemma, as a disruption to the status quo has led their consumer (me !) elsewhere and I don't see a reason to return them. The savvy content providers will serve their audience, and build relationships with them directly........Now Comcast have to make an effort to win my custom back .. eg make it easy for me to have online access to my sports channels as part of my package and perhaps I will return...
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Dont forget... to do something different
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Al Gore is watching
Friday, 5 March 2010
Fast Company - Masters of Retention
- have a remarkable product (service etc..)
- use implied permission to hold on to their consumers.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Persistent innovation at its best - Gorillaz (Stylo)
Saturday, 27 February 2010
Breathe (the ad)
Sunday, 7 February 2010
SuperBowl 44 Ads - The first Top 5 winners
So here we go....
1. MOST LIKELY TO DRIVE CONSIDERATION: HomeAway.com ! Never heard of them before, and now I have 'binged' them (c'mon google is getting all the attention) !
2. MOST FUNNY: Car Max/Doritos - great use of humour and making the drama about the product benefit that consumers love them for.
3. MOST ON EQUITY: VW – totally on their US equity with an irreverent attempt to bring alive their relevance. The use of Stevie and Tracy Morgan was the twist you weren’t expecting that left a little twinkle in the eye. I would love to see this aired in Germany - its just so different they wouldn’t have a clue.
4. MOST TALKED ABOUT: Google, clearly a grown up ad going for the “mega brand”/”epic “ ad – that would elevate their brand as market leader.
- I felt I knew where the story was going and where it was going to end – so the question for me is authenticity Was it really authentic ?
5. MOST EFFECTIVE PLACEMENT: Doritos (Gym) 30 sec ad after a Saints Interception you deserve that piece of luck if you go after so many spots.
Monday, 1 February 2010
The Blanket with sleeves
If there is ever a case of gaining attention you have to respect what Snuggie is achieving. Snuggie has clearly captured hearts and minds, even if it wasn't the first its gained the most attention. Cozy Blanket needs a much more compelling proposition because claiming "the original" won't influence consumers.
Saturday, 23 January 2010
1. Give people a piece of nostalgia, but in a way that piques curiosity and creates excitement.
2. Keep it simple and find a claim that is truly distinctive "Made with real sugar", in the face of the healthy eating mindset - the perfect 'disruptive' claim !
3. Keep it limited - lasts til Feb 22nd 2010. Check out more below.
Saturday, 2 January 2010
You can call me Al
I welcomed in the new year with my wife and 4 friends at a restaurant. Music was provided by a 3 piece band.
Unfortunately a lot of the music they played wasn't to my taste and the vocalist wasn't exactly the best singer, especially during a rather painful (yet entertaining) rendition of Paul Simon's 'You can call me Al' (I have truly never heard a trumpet played that badly in my life).
Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining, because I had a great time, and I get the sense that the band did as well. They played with enthusiasm and with a feel for the crowd. They played stuff that filled the dance floor, and emptied the dance floor, stuff that people liked, and stuff that people didn't know. But they kept playing and they kept trying.
Were they remarkable ? Not necessarily in the way that will take them to the top of the Billboard 100, but enough for me to enter 2010 with joy and anticipation, because they played with passion, and that is priceless.