Wednesday, April 30, 2008

P&G Lets Consumers Act as Media Planners -- The nation's largest advertiser is inviting consumers to weigh in on its controversial media decisions. Last week, Procter & Gamble set up an option on its main consumer toll-free line over whether it should stop sponsoring hip-hop programs on MTV and BET. This week, P&G set up a second toll-free option asking callers to register support or criticism of the "story line" on "As the World Turns," from P&G Productions, which featured fairly passionate kisses between daytime TV's only gay couple.

If Media planners hate planning, what makes you think consumers will want to do it too?
Unless they get free stuff, you're talking.
The gay issue is one thing- getting people to share their opinions to combat the arguments against the AFA. This is actually nice. Telling naysayers to get a life.

This other thing- asking consumers whether a show should be sponsored by a brand? Who cares? What difference does it make to the consumer?
And the consumers who don't watch these shows on MTV and BET won't see the sponsorship anyway.
I'm still confused, is there something i'm missing?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Click Me, Baby... One More Time

by Anne Zieger: The click is it - the thing that's everything. Or it has been. For almost a decade, performance marketers have placed so much importance on initial click-through rates that they've forgotten nearly everything else. That's not such a big surprise: After all, while marketers have countless other metrics at their disposal, the click is the most basic unit of reaction one can measure. But the click is really just the beginning.

Clicking is bullshit and the title of your article sux ballz!
If click mechanisms work for you, do it. But banner blindness, negligible click through rates and plain shit ads are sure signs that most marketers should do something different.

And my favourite quote in the article:
"But the reality is that there's a new generation of consumers who have little or no privacy expectations"

The Reality is???
No Privacy expectations????

I'd think not.
What planet are you from Anne?
With the rise of identity theft, paranoid parents and sensationalised news stories in the current day and age, another one we've seen right here -- I think it would become more of a concern.
You can't just throw around statements like that. Cut the crap. Please?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Nielsen Shifts From Counter Programming To Counter Terrorism

by Joe Mandese: People in the advertising business tend to take Nielsen data pretty seriously, but a top company executive Thursday disclosed that Nielsen data is now being used for purposes far more consequential than TV ratings or product research. It's being used to detect and counter terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland.

Excellent way to cause concern over nada!
Read the article.
There is absolutely nothing in there about terrorism. It doesn't even make any sense. How can you track potential terrorist attacks through ratings?
Oh wait- I may bomb the sound stage where they film Two and a Half Men because that show is a fucking travesty and if I do happen to see it I have the urge to kill the person watching it, and, destroy the TV.

What does make a little bit of sense is the epidemic tracking, but even that is still contentious.

Nielsen, stop pulling shit and blowing smoke. Start doing what you're supposed to and make sure the ratings are accurate!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Social-media platform for consumer complaints

ClickZ: In an online survey by the Society for New Communications Research, 72% of respondents said they rely on blogs and social networks to scope out a company's reputation and gain feedback on customer service. Meanwhile, 59% of respondents said they use these forums to air complaints over poor experiences, although only around one-third of respondents said they believe companies take such online gripes to heart.

That's right, people are angry mother fuckers
Only recently have I noticed that people, when hidden behind a digital cloak of anonymity, really let it fly.
I've been seeing the comments on a client blog- certain individuals let any sense of rationality escape them and become these irate morons. They swear, and I'm talking real profanity. They have these ridiculous theories as to why something isn't the way it should be AND they have NO facts.
It almost becomes comedy, if it wasn't so shocking it would be. For other non-anonymous swearers out there who are taking the piss, this is when it's ok and does become comedy!

Do consumers need this outlet?? Are they angry at other things in general and let brands and products have it?? Do people need anger management against corporations? But, why in the first place, are they even this angry?

Some slut also gave it to me on my blog. The comment never got posted, but their attitude and anger towards me was frightening. Either I've done something to this person that I am completely oblivious to, or they are simply sick in the head with unnecessary jealousy.

This is probably what she looks like

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CW pulls Gossip Girl from internet

YPulse: In a bid to increase TV ratings, CW has decided to air the show Gossip Girl, only on TV.

In the words of the cute child, could you fuck up anything more royally?
What is wrong with these networks?? They do something right and then they want to take it away, only so they can bump up the cost of their ad rates??
What about doing something that people actually care about?? Who in the hell watches ads on TV?
Instead of taking the easy way out, why don't they think how they can integrate advertising online, encourage their extremely savvy Internet audience to participate and try make money that way??!
It's hard work, creating something new is tough and if it's good it will pave the way for the next iteration.

Please excuse the chopped in half 3 year old, I don't have a legal quicktime converter, but seriously "wat up dawg?"

Friday, April 18, 2008

HOT NEW NEWS: IM Chat on the Facebook

I just opened up my Facebook to see this new addition:

HOLY HELL Facebook
I don't know if I like it yet. I mean, I go on Facebook to perve on everyone. I look at their photos, see who's written on their walls and look at their friend collections.
I don't want them to know when I'm online and chat to me. Facebook is more the medium whereby you can stay in touch with someone without really staying in touch. A beautiful thing in many ways.
I'll see how it goes, but I'm thinking it will be more of a hindrance.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blockbuster Sued For Participating In Facebook's Beacon Program

by Wendy Davis: A Texas resident has filed a federal lawsuit against Blockbuster for participating in Facebook's Beacon program, which tells members about their friends' e-commerce activity. In the lawsuit, quietly filed last week, Dallas County resident Cathryn Elaine Harris claims that Blockbuster violated the federal Videotape Privacy Protection Act by sharing information about her movie rentals and sales with Facebook without first obtaining her written consent.

Blockbuster is too bloody smug
What were you thinking Blockbuster? You get hammered in the 80s and you think everything will be hunky dory now?
Even though the 80s was a decade that everyone would like to erase, laws, statutes and precedent still apply. i.e. You are up shit creek with no paddle!

Please listen to assisting blogpost music.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why nerds rock the kasbah

My definition of a nerd is someone who is absolutely passionate and completely knowledgeable about any one topic. For example internet nerds, science nerds, music nerds and the list goes on. I think I'm a nerd. An ad nerd obsessed with the change in the marketing world.

I have developed the following theory about nerds:

If you look at the world today, you see society works in a way where there is a very small amount of the population who are extremely popular. Celebrities and the like. Take a look at this diagram:

Sitting in the middle perimeter are the try-hards. This is the greater part of the population who try to emulate the celebrities, for example Tila Tequila or any other derivation of a reality TV star. Come on, how many soul mates does she really need to find?
Some wannabes do better than others and this is where clusters of popular groups are formed, represented by the dark green circles.

On the outer perimeter is the nerd group. There are many different nerd roles, however for the purpose of this theory we will put them into the generic branding of "Nerd". This is the group with the greatest intelligence and as a result is shunned from the other two groups as too enthusiastic and ‘left of centre’.
Nerds are in control of popular culture. With their free range of ideas and novel methods of thinking- due to their passionate nature, they are often the drivers behind society's development. Feeding brilliance to the cool people.

Case in point – Bill Gates is a massive trillionaire and the founder of a giant evil company, who has earned respect from the common man. Then there is Stephen Colbert.
Stephen, a god of the intellectually banal. I think I am in love with this man. I laugh when his jokes aren’t funny and he’s so good his show is on twice a night! He is the King of all nerds and as a bonus, he’s stolen my heart.

Other K.A.(kick ass) nerds of excellent example:
George Costanza: This nerd is incredibly resourceful and admirable. From sleeping under his desk, to creating Vandelay industries. Resources are always limited but being able to achieve the maximum result from little is always a fun challenge.

Screech: The nerd from Saved by the Bell knew a whole lot about nothing. Useless facts can be extremely useful when trying to develop an ad campaign. Now he’s a sexy porn star.

Gareth: The unknowing risk taker and a genius in his own right. By creating random bizarre social experiments he has developed a great tool in cultivating creativity and new ideas, something creative peeps like to dabble in. And you may ask why take the risk? Well after calculating the probability of success, the chance of a social experiment working is actually incredibly high. I do pretty well in my nerd blog every day.

So why am I talking about nerds anyway? Because there is something about nerds and the benefits returned on their outlandish nerdish behaviours. The basis is that because they are already shunned from the larger community, they have nothing to lose by voicing new opinions. Their thinking is limitless because they can reach above and beyond the contemporary. They think if your mind can conceive it, than it is not impossible.

Nerdz rule and for fuck's sake, stop doing what all ad people expect of you. Challenge the status quo and believe in your inner nerd!


A freak crazed ex-wife lashes out on her ex husband on YouTube.
How about you read the prenup before you sign it.
Oh, and the no-sex thing. Well if you're that dumb, you don't deserve anything.

Would make a great show. Can't wait for the next instalment, plus vids from the daughter and husband.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Does Gen Y think it's OK to cheat?

Knowledge@W. P. Carey: Millennials -- workers younger than 31 -- grew up with "helicopter parents" and trophies for every game. They're bright and tech savvy, but also demand more validation and prefer rules that fit their own style. Barbara Keats, an associate professor of management at the W.P. Carey School of Business, wonders if their anything-to-get-ahead attitude also makes them more prone to cheat.

Not cheating, but I'd call it being more efficient
Oh, love those stereotypical labels.
Love it even more, when old farts try to suss out the elusive Gen Y.
Look lady, the truth is we know what we want and how to get it. We believe we can do it all. What's so wrong with that? We're hard workers, we'll get the job done (even if that means being extra resourceful), but we want to be rewarded and validated for our efforts.

The only downfall is the impatience.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Social Networks Still Not Advertiser-Friendly

GigaOm: In a memo to employees about the Yahoo saga, AOL CEO Randy Falco underlines the problem facing social networks.
Falco hits the nail on the head: social nets want marketers to foot the bill for content that's specifically tailored to an experience where the user is completely disengaged from marketing messages. Falco thinks that by combining Platform A and Bebo, AOL could fix the problem.. But lumping another company into AOL's portal and then using an ad network, even a highly targeted one, to serve it ads won't solve the social networking question. Someone still needs to come up with a way to make social networks more relevant for advertisers.

So what? Advertisers aren't number one, people are
Marketers and the digital world is so caught up in assessing what's right for advertisers that they keep forgetting about what the people need or want.
We're working with 3 entities: Advertiser, Publisher and Consumer. And both the advertiser and publisher are directing all their attention towards the consumer.

I don't get why these discussions miss out the main player? Because if you don't answer their needs, you simply won't get anywhere.

Why automated customer service is shit

In particular, Chase.

They send you on this infinite press this, press that loop and you can't even do anything else at the same time because you have to concentrate on listening to what numbers you want.
I always aim straight for a real person, but on Chase you can't even find it until you enter your choose your own adventure package and then your account code 6,000 times.
I wonder if there is a little automated number map website to get to the customer service area that you want, quickly?

The whole loop de loop also seems to be a tactic to make people appear that they're getting somewhere, but in fact they're killing time moving in the queue. You just speak to any person on the other end, regardless of what numbers you've pressed.

To add further insult, why do Southern people not understand my Australian accent? I tried to tell the woman that I speak English, what's the problem?
The lady, she was probably a bit of a smart ass, because responded with "What, you don't understand English?" Good one lady.

For the other ones that ask for verbal responses, I completely mouth off at them.
"No bitch, get me an operator"
I believe it can be quite entertaining.

What's wrong with all these companies? Customer service is a massive component in your product deliverable. By tricking consumers into thinking it's convenient, it isn't and you piss people off. And it doesn't save the corporation money because in the end I have to go into the physical branch and waste valuable time with a banker. And believe me, I'm going to spend as much time with them as possible!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Core reason why brands don't do the right thing on Facebook

Let's take a look at 2 examples of Facebook groups. One that works and one that doesn't:

Berocca Energy
My old agency in Australia put this little doozy together. Berocca is a vitamin drink, infamous for being a great hangover cure. You buy it in the supermarket and it ain't cheap.
Why this page sucks? They take themselves way too seriously with too much pack and product information. They even put pack shots in the photos!!
It's meant to be a page encouraging some competition, but the page has no added impact to the challenge and once you participate once in the group, there is no drive or reason to go back and participate again.
I can also guarantee that most of the 300 group members are from the agency or Bayer.

May look boring, but a very fun fizzy drink.

If the Pillsbury Doughboy had a facebook, I'd poke him 24/7
A fan group with 13,000 members. Just a fun cute site, enjoying the benefits that the doughboy has to offer. Nothing too crazy, nothing against the brand, just pure lighthearted fun.
There's lots of interaction and people are continually joining.

Look how cute he is. I'd also want to poke him 24/7.

Putting money where my mouth is
Spending time on any social network, particularly Facebook or mySpace, is a leisure activity. Do you need me to say that again?

A user participates in these spaces to connect with friends/family, to socialise and simply to play.

Many brands fall down in these spaces (and can't get up) because they forget why consumers are there in the first place. This is why you’ll find consumer generated groups on Facebook are more successful than their official counterparts. They leave out the marketing spiel and cut to the fun and joy of why they love a brand.

U.S. digital shops look for talent overseas

Advertising Age:
U.S. digital agencies are recruiting more foreigners as a way to address a domestic talent shortage, as well as build staffs with diverse skill-sets. Hiring from an international pool can significantly increase the expense of recruiting, with one New York shop last year spending around $100,000 on immigration-related legal fees.

...and Immigration lawyers are making a bundle for filling out 3 forms with their eyes closed
Been there, done that! Twice!
One used a lawyer and spent an exorbitant fee on documents and masses of paperwork that nobody needed, for a visa that costs $150.
The other one, did it ourselves, wasted a bit of time messing with USCIS in the country and realised it's smarter to go to Canada. 2 days later, all sorted.

And you know why talent outside the country is better? Because they aren't insulated from the rest of the world.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bloggers Beware

The New York Times: Full-time bloggers, who are often given incentives based on the number of page views they generate or the number of stories they write, put their health at risk due to the 24-hour demands of the profession. Being first to a story can generate a page view boon. Hence, bloggers rarely sleep, are addicted to coffee, are constantly connected to their computers. It uses the examples of tech bloggers Russell Shaw, who died of a heart attack two weeks ago, Marc Orchant, who died of a massive coronary, Om Malik, who nearly died of a heart attack in December, and TechCrunch creator Michael Arrington, who says: "At some point, I'll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen. This is not sustainable."

Some question the impartiality of the Times' article. The blogosphere isn't blogging itself to death. Sure, some bloggers work too hard trying to grow their company or make more money, but these are personal choices. Bloggers, like any professional, choose how hard they drive themselves. Truth is, there are many overworked people across a broad spectrum of professions. As Marc Andreesen says, let's not blame the bloggers for it. Many bloggers are overworked, but so are many advertising executives.

Blah blah blah
What's the definition of a stereotypical blogger- a computer nerd who stays at home all day, with white pasty skin, glasses, scraggly hair or bald, never getting out of their pyjamas or never even really going to bed and lives off and through the internet.
I don't succumb to that whole sick blogger culture- taking the laptop everywhere I go. Going to conferences and not even listening because I'm on the internet the entire time. Snickering about other bloggers because they're only B listers. It's such garbage.

Bloggers, how about you snap out of your fantasy land, get back to reality and maybe live a little healthier?

Friday, April 4, 2008

New EMI digital chief sounds off Douglas Merrill, the outgoing Google CIO who is taking up the newly created post of president of digital at record label EMI, talks about the challenges of his new position. "Artists want to create and they want to sell, fans want to experience those things," he said. "What's the role of the labels? I don't know."

Mmm, "TBD": sounds like someone has no idea
Music, music, it's what the people want. But, they want it unshackled, flowing and free.
Screw DRM free music. Listeners are going to be able to get that anyway, whether they pay for it or not. Where music labels make the bulk of the profit is no longer in CDs. It's in all the add ons.

Merrill says a whole lot of blah. Read it if you want, but you're wasting your time.

R U ready for SMS lingo in ads?

The Wall Street Journal: Top marketers are using the mobile text-messaging lingo popular with teens and twentysomethings in ad campaigns. Unilever's Degree deodorant has a campaign focused on "OMG! Moments" while an ad for McDonald's from Leo Burnett poses the question, "r u ready?"

OMG, I'm not and don't subject me to this uncouth crap
Suzanne Vranica, what the fuck is wrong with you?? You open your article with:
"OMG, ads r kewl!"
Are you serious? Ads are shit and a waste of time.
Especially ads which enforce text message lingo. Considering 'text message lingo', means it for text messages.
And whilst were here... Americans, text messages are for informational, quick updates. They are not intended to be used for conversational purposes. Eg "how are u?", replied with "good and u"?
Pick up the phone if you need a catch up, but if you want to tell me where I'm meeting you in 10, please oblige!

'Influencers' Possess Less Clout

by Gavin O'Malley: [Social Networks] In the world of social media, so-called "influencers" might have less clout than some marketers think. According to a new study from Canadian research firm Pollara, self-described social media users put far more trust in friends and family online than in popular bloggers, or strangers with 10,000 MySpace "friends."

What a retarded study!
I always understood "influencers" as those who have a direct impact on an individual. The influence is enforced due to:
  • Their existing relationship
  • The individual's reliance on the influencer's opinion
  • And a group of people sharing a unified opinion, to become a voice of influence

It was never meant to be some random 'influence' due to massive blog hits.
Where's the common sense?
Blogger influence and trust, like any relationship, forms over time.
A user visits a blog once, they like it, so they return. Each and every time the relationship gets a little stronger. If the blogger says something the reader doesn't like, there would be a step back in the relationship.
But, as healthy relationships go, the reader will come to respect the blogger's opinion, whether against their own or not. Anyway, life would be boring if everyone had the same opinions and that's why comments are so handy.

No brainer.
Go spend your study money on something useful. Or next time, ask me whether the study is of any value.

Things I missed whilst Down Under

Being back, feels good.

I had a lovely time in Sydney. A little browner, a little wiser and feeling satiated from too much fun and more than enough alcohol!

I'm looking forward to some more advertising shenanigans and the like. So advertising idiots, please bring it on!!

Yahoo!/Reuters: Second Life founder: Virtual world safer than real one
The virtual world is taking steps to ensure its members' safety, and is probably more "policeable" than its real-world counterpart, according to Philip Rosedale, founder of virtual world Second Life, who appeared in person and as his avatar on Tuesday before a House panel. Rosedale and other virtual world experts sought to reassure the committee that terrorism and other problems of the real world would not infiltrate these alternate realities.

Second Life is a refuge to act out inappropriate 'real world' fantasies
I've heard some stories of female avatars being harassed, propositioned and a couple of rape attempts. Not cool.
I've also realised any avatar that looks like a freak of nature on the inside is just as much as freak on the outside. Those normal, are well, normal.
The terrorists attempts are funny. I think it's due to the fact that the attacks have been on advertising initiatives. Clear message on how consumers feel about that!
Don't parallel it to the rape and harassment scenarios. Those feel like sick and twisted men acting out fantasies. No one dies in the terrorist attacks.

But lucky for all of you I'm on the case. Always thinking about advertising, media and the digital space.