Thursday, May 29, 2008

Marketing spiels by apparent experts, can often be embarrassing

i.e. Someone is about to get burned!

When you receive an email from your Ning group, it's more often than not, a spam attack!

"Hey friend,
When seeking the latest trends for your brand to follow, you should be checking out TrendPoo. TrendPoo is a user-generated directory that hooks you up with the best trendblogs to spot trends and inspirations in all genres- fashion, design, lifestyle, eco, tech, business / web and more.
Hope you find it useful, and if you do, please feel free to spread the word!
Also, if you’ve got any tips, don’t hesitate to forward me your insights.

It's not really called TrendPoo, I just called it that because that's what it feels like. You can see the poo here.

It's crafted so horribly. The worst is "dear Friend"! "Friend"!?! Don't you know my fucking name???? If you really want to connect, get rid of that horrid marketing speak, lose "you should be" and exchange it for my name (because you do have it, although I'm thinking 'dude' would also be ok).
If you want me to care, if you are wanting me to really take the time and like it, I want to feel special. You have a harder job because I really know how the system works and I expect more delight and surprise from ONE OF MY KIND. You actually used the phrase "user-generated" and the word "insights"! Seriously! You can't be serious!

Adding insult to injury, the horror continues when I got the identical garbage from your other Ning groups that you're also a member of. I doubt this person has graduated from an online marketing school. If they had, maybe they could have gotten something better like this:

"Hey dood,

How are you?? I hope work's not killing you like it is for me.
I just wanted you to know, a couple of mates and I put together this nice little site where you can get cool trend news in the one spot. Lovely! We decided it was time we made things a little easier for all.
We've got all the good stuff-fashion, design, lifestyle, eco, tech, business/web and more.

So come have a geezer AND if you have any suggestions or ways we could improve it to make it even better, feel free to let me know.
Oh- and you know what it's like, feel free to share the wealth!

Ta muchly"

Soft sell. No dramas and feels very personal.

I'm sorry author, but you really should know better.

Dell Moves To Protect Brand Name After Legal Ruling

by Laurie Sullivan: The Albany County (N.Y.) Supreme Court found that Dell deprived customers of technical support they either bought or were eligible for under warranty. The company failed to provide onsite repairs for contracts. They also required customers to wait for extended time on the phone without ultimately providing help.

Oh Dell. I think you've gone and done it now.
You were doing so well there for a second, but this is really pretty low. Leaving people hanging?! Basically telling people to get effed when they have a warranty?!! Wow....

The problem is most probably one of track back. The customer service staff have no care factor, demonstrated by their ass-hole-ness, and no pride in actually helping people. Which means they aren't happy with their jobs and ultimately filters back to the upper echelons.
You gotta have trickle down Dell. You need to make your support staff, who are your connection to the outside world, as happy as they can be. Little benefits do go a long way. Happy workers make good workers and if they care about the company they will ensure that the work they do for it is top notch. This is really customer service 101. I don't understand why it's so hard.

mmm...we really don't pay enough attention to the good things when we got 'em....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Web users want

BBC: Web users are looking for very specific pieces of information, according to a report from Web usability expert Jakob Nielsen, and they don't show much patience for distractions. Nielsen said, "Web users have always been ruthless and now are even more so."

Somehow, understanding the internets has become close to, if not surpassing, brain surgery
'oly Shit!
Who would have thought? Faster internet speeds, uncluttered web environments and lowly click through rates all imply that people want what they want on the internet, when they want it, with no dallying allowed.
'oly Fuck!
AND the great Dr Nielsen mentions that search rules the web. Unbelievable.
I'm sure you'll find in next years report that filtering and appropriate tagging are just as, if not more important. The internet has demonstrated that team work and contribution equates to a better user environment.
Just remember you heard it here first and that I didn't need a PhD to work that one out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why the "mobile Internet" is a poor investment

Boing Boing: Joi Ito, a shrewd Japanese/American venture capitalist, has written a great little blog-post about why he's not so hot to invest in the "mobile Internet." Basically, when a heavily regulated, big stupid phone company controls your "internet," then your ability to innovate and do cool stuff and make money is entirely predicated on the regulator's or the stupid phone company's willingness to allow that to happen. So if you're making money by disrupting something that matters to the phone company or one of its entrenched partners, forget about it.

Yeah mobile companies. Stick that in your pie hole.
Mobile companies have a huge stranglehold on the growth of happy consumer voices across mobile phone airwaves. I cannot believe the ridiculousness of phone companies in the US and am still to decide who to choose as a supplier (it's been 8 months) based on the baseless lies I see in ad campaigns. I'm surprised that I'm surprised by their lies.

They make so much money and they have no problem generating huge profits either way. Why don't they just play nice and let everybody eat cake? Just as open platforms create better platforms, don't they realise that the happier the people are, the more they spend?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Teens open to giving their mobile digits to marketers

Los Angeles Times: Teens are receptive to receiving ads on their mobile phones, especially when the messages offer useful or entertaining information, along with the sales pitch, according to this article. "For them, responding to an ad that's relevant by sending a text or following a link on their phone is a logical brand engagement," said Nic Covey, director of insights at research firm Nielsen Mobile.

Hang on, Hang on. You can't blatantly twist a headline like that
What they really mean is that teens are open to receiving short, to the point information on their mobiles AND it has to be information that they want to know about.
Oh- should I mention that none of this really involves advertising? It all relates to magazines having mobile sites and mobile messaging/interactivity and, for some reason, PROMS! I'm sure there are banner ads involved, but really, no sane person wants a banner ad MMS! Don't insult me into trying to make me think that teens do either. P.S. don't give me BS about higher click through rates because most of those are mistakes due to poor navigational skills.

I don't understand why the media needs to twist and trick people into thinking that the old way of doing things must still permeate in the every day? Why? What's the point? Or are they trying to speak in a language that people are used to understanding? That doesn't really make sense, because they even confused me into thinking they were talking about something else.

Well, there was one small mention of teens receiving ACTUAL ads (the gaming and other stuff that brands have created for teens are good and brands should keep doing those. Yes. Applause). And what does the one kid say about the multitude of ad messaging he received when he signed up to something else:
"They were kind of stalking me," he said. "But then they stopped and I was glad."

How cute. But, pure genius.

Enjoy the prom

Thursday, May 22, 2008

For Hall and Parker

"Your computer just got a whole lot sexier! This working mouse is shaped like a woman, and the "boobs" are waterball click buttons! The Sexy Mouse is compatible with Windows 2000/98/95, and includes left an right boobs - I mean buttons - scroll, and free zoom. Click away!"

Sex sells and these two love boobs..... .... ... although I think they missed a button.

Put any brand logo on the 'body' and you have a winner.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Michael Eisner Sees Web's Future in Storytelling

SEATTLE ( Strong Content Also Needs Interactivity, Community. -- According to Michael Eisner, story-driven online content is the next big app. "YouTube is to the internet what a nickelodeon is to the movies. It's the preliminary instalment of what is to come," he said, speaking to advertisers and publishers at Microsoft's Advance '08 event. So what is to come? "Great, creative storytelling."

"YouTube is to the internet what a nickelodeon is to the movies" wtf does that even mean??
If they put that in a Mensa test no one would know what the hell they're talking about. I'm not sure I even understand what the point of the article is. Maybe it's just meant to confuse you into thinking it's something you don't understand. The article is full of words and phrases that have no meaning.
They go on about Synergy for a whole paragraph before they mention that there are all these divisions within Time Warner and no one talks to each other. Great. I'd say you better fix that shit up before you start saying nickelodeon is like YouTube!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Advertising as we knew it is doomed. When will people wake up??

I just filled out some survey for Harris Poll surveys.
It was for media peeps.
The questions were so wrong. They were trying to ascertain places that people were advertising in - eg mobile, online, tv blah blah; but there was no "other" option for things outside the box like custom made ad platforms. Again trying to fit an old methodology into a new dynamic.
It was very annoying. Very sad.
At the conclusion of the survey I got to see some results. This was the worst:

That 58.6% of media dinosaurs are the bane of this industry's future.
Snap out of it men! Because you are men- men in your neat little suits, with the handkerchief in the pocket and comb overs. I know you and your kind. The glory days are over. Embrace the challenges and stop ignoring reality.
And the change is definitely one with a coolness quotient. As John McCain said last night on The Daily Show - it's about reaching out to people as people. If he can embrace that as a politician, it really can't be that hard for advertisers.

oh...and thanks for the $20!

CEO Who Shared His Social Security Number In Ads Had ID Stolen

Charleston Gazette: Well, he asked for it. Literally. According to a class-action lawsuit filed in West Virginia last week, the CEO of ID theft prevention firm LifeLock-the same one who, in ubiquitous TV and print ads, displayed his Social Security number as a challenge to thieves who thought they could outwit his company's service-has had his ID stolen many, many times in the past year.
More than 20 driver's licenses have been issued in his name, and "his entire personal profile has been compromised to the extent that the birth date associated with his Social Security number is Nov. 2, 1940, which would [inaccurately] make Davis 67 years old," read the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that the company is fraudulently claiming to be able to protect against crimes it cannot, as witnessed by the theft of Richard Todd Davis's identity.

Finally, the use of the word "literally" gets a rightful placement
Talk about really knowing how to screw up your business in the simplest way possible
What a retard.
I just feel more justified in my belief that anything companies declare in advertisements, is bogus. That burger you see in the commercial is never the one you would put down the hatch.
Why do they continue to purport their wares, spending millions of dollars on wasteful false advertising, when we all know the real truth?

Why do I continue to fight for this? This country is in a whirlpool of dogs chasing their own tails in categories ranging from petrol prices, environmental impact, healthcare, taxes, food prices and dvrs. It's never going to let up, it is a complete mess.

It all justifies that now is the time for the flying penis:

Video link via Sharenator.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Social media still searching for hit ad formula

Adweek: Social networks have adopted a trial-and-error strategy to develop ad practices that engage users, according to this article. Steve Jang, CMO of social network Imeem said, "We're branding the experience, not the content."

Hmmm, I wonder what's wrong with this picture?
AS the idiot savant piped up from the corner with the most obvious and crystal (as in clear) answer: Ads don't work on social networks, because people don't want to share or connect or engage with an ad. They want to be sociable and enjoy the voyeuristic nature that networks have to offer.

The problem with agencies and publishers today is that they miss that. They are trying to squash an old methodology into a new dynamic. It's not going to fit and maybe I should also just accept that in several aspects of my own life (take that as you like it).

This article is 3 pages long and it's just full of so much blah! I've also come to the conclusion that there is nothing in there. Maybe I should get excited and get ready for another idiot themed week.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Sex" and marketing

AdAge: The summer movie "Sex and the City" based on the hit HBO show is proving to be a field day for marketing integrations. This article runs down the list of the film's marketing partners, detailing how brands appear in the movie. Advertising Age

It's a sitting duck
I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's gonna be a stinka, but everyone will be seeing it.
Good on these brands for taking the one thing that really has mass reach and using it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Better than the Charlie Brown adult trumpet speak

The kind of reaction you get, when you walk into an agency these days and ask:
"So... what are you guys doing in the conversational arena? You got any social media initiatives in there? And are you thinking about your consumers as people? That's right I said people.
Say what?"

Via flickr and Boing Boing

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Starcom Breathes Oxygen Into Media Planning

ClickZ: Starcom Worldwide and its research and planning partner Strategic Oxygen are now using the digital channel to map engagement in cross-media campaigns.
Generally, such engagement mapping research focuses on digital media, but Strategic Oxygen builds media maps from roughly 40 online and offline media sources -- from TV to radio and RSS -- and measures how people connect those components together, says Michael Gale, Strategic Oxygen chief. "We track the way people consume complex information globally."
The purpose is to show advertisers how best to combine offline media with the online channel. "The more research and grounding we have...means we are not just looking at numbers, but understanding what's happening along the way," say Latha Sundaram, Starcom director.

Let's open with a song today, because if you're going to get it, what better way to get it than through song?

You know what Starcom, the title of the article is right. Breathing oxygen into something that's dead. Deader than a dead door nail. Deader than friendster!

The best part of the article are the nice buzz phrases which basically equate to same shit, different smell:

"Integrate or disintegrate" the need for companies to adopt new ways to speak to consumers. "Do it the way customers want it, and you're probably going to be successful,"
Nice one. I'd like to see that. I won't hold my breath

"Reverse osmosis" is the realization global leadership is not centered in the U.S. "An idea can truly generate anywhere in the world." Digital trends in particular start in Asia.
Yes, the world is not centered around the US. Actually more countries hate the US than appreciate it.

"Search is more than words" marks a need for a wider set of search marketing. "Just having the right word doesn't guarantee the right success," said Gale. "Some markets, forums, and blogs have become a secondary and interesting perspective on search, producing interactive journeys."

Yes, blogs, like this one, can be fairly intuitive.

Just don't spend too long looking at all the data, because the time it took you to discover these gems makes me worry at how long it will take you to perform a media buy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I have a favourite Facebook app...who would have thunk it?!

Yes, it's true. I love my FB.
I especially love my Burn Alter Ego on FB.
It is this really great thing from Coke. And I mean really great. They work the shizz out of this Facebook app thing.

How it works is this (let's use bullets because I feel particularly lazy this evening)
  • Burn is an energy drink from the Coca Cola
  • The Burn app is an app where you arrange to go out all night with your other burn friends or randoms if you so wish
  • The cool thing is you get to assign your outfit with your head on the body, your name (I'm debilicious) and choose your apartment decor. You can change this as often as you want. So it's your cooler than you alter ego.
  • The even cooler thing is that the more you go out, the more stuff is unlocked for you to wear and redecorate your apartment with. So you keep coming back to unlock more and more stuff. This is probably a key element of why it is so fun and why I'm not yet bored.
  • The best component is the blog and pictures from the day after your burn. The posts of what you did are always fucking crazy. I think I had some fun with a donkey one night and had a foam party in my pad another night. Another key element- being told your adventures and keeping the app fresh and appealing.
  • The strangest thing may be going out with a random burn member and then that person may want to be Facebook friends after your evening. I've had a few of those. They weren't even put into FB purgatory with the other 36. They were ignored.
So do it. Go out with me one night. It is very fun.

Check out my pad and those legs! Sic!

Kick ass foam party. I think we had to turn away Beyonce and Jay-Z

Friday, May 9, 2008

Oz: Mars launch chocumentaries

B&T Australia: Mars use ‘chocumentaries’ for major Dove launch. Mars Snackfood will launch its biggest campaign of the year on Sunday to promote Dove chocolate, and has moved away from traditional confectionery advertising

OH MY GOD. Can we please call a spade, a spade!
This is not a step away from "traditional confectionery advertising", it's merely a new creative execution.
You can't convince yourself, Nicole McMillan, that you really are stepping away from the traditional. You're still doing TV ads and it clearly states it's the biggest campaign of the year for you guys. Which equates to spending a shitload on TV.

Ohh, Australia, you're so cute. You're almost there, I think you just need a bit more of the bullshit before you cross over to the other side.

Social networking wars

This is pretty good. And it gets really good when the other networks make an appearance- Friendster, then especially Second life and its avatar!!

This is dedicated to Georgie!

Via Current

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dove's 'Real Beauty' Pics Could Be Big Phonies Photo Retoucher Says He Improved Images in Controversial Campaign-- Dove's "real beauties" may not be so real after all, at least by the account of a renowned airbrush artist. In a May 12 profile in The New Yorker posted online, Pascal Dangin of New York's Box Studios is quoted as saying he extensively retouched photos used in the Campaign for Real Beauty, which, if true, could seriously undermine an effort that already has subjected Unilever to considerable consumer and activist backlash in recent months

Looks like the old ugly fat cat is out of the bag
How amusing. Really.
Before I even begin to laugh, I do acknowledge that the accidental arrangement of Ogilvy and Unilevers ad program changed the way people market today. Combining so many different social components into a movement rather than just selling a product, makes so much more sense in today's society.

The movement is not bogus- encouraging people to feel comfortable in their skin, giving young girls a chance to build their self is a lovely initiative. And they tried and they took a massive leap. They moved a lot of those regular ad dollars to give something back to the people, over and above a tv program sponsorship. Just some things they couldn't pass up on- like the retouching and other BS.

It's a miracle they even got the whole campaign off the ground- with so many marketers sticking to what's safe and not even caring to venture out into this shit scary unknown, which to those in the know is the new and exciting.

We see it all the time- marketers going back to advertising of the 1940's- they need jingles, they need a face, they need a catchy slogan- and they ALWAYS need something old school to hold on to. i.e. The retouching.

Still the bottom line remains and no one has been able to answer that question definitively. Come on Unilever- cough up the results. If it really is successful, no one in the marketing world will give two shits about the retouching.

Speaking of which, apparently this is how it panned out:

Elephant man, big bum, peg leg, dog ugly, elongated arm and 3rd leg.

Click to enlarge!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Everything is so boring

Where's the controversy?
Where's the bullshit?

In the meantime, enjoy this.
Piggy and Peaches. You can't go wrong:

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nets Try to Get Fans to Go Where the Money Still Is: TV

AdAge: CW Will Use Contests to Lure Viewers to Couches Instead of Computers. The CW, the fledging network stitched together from the remains of UPN and the WB, is testing some new methods aimed at getting younger viewers to think of the boob tube -- not the computer screen -- as the place to go to see first-run fare

Networks, you really piss me off
A continuation from my previous post on the matter

Seriously. How dumb can you be??
Why would you want to end a good thing so you can focus all your energies on something with an end in sight?!
TV is on its last legs. DVRs will get cheaper, people will continue to miss ads and the value of the ad will continue to decrease. The only TV ad that's going anywhere is the one in a must see now, live, you cannot wait till tomorrow type show. Those are few and far between.

Instead of investing resources to find a solution to make the internet more lucrative (as that is where the future is, it does seem to be a no brainer), these gits are investing time and money into the stinker.

How could I forget the most important? It seems the networks did too...
People seem to want their TV online and if they are coming online, to the network site, isn't that a great place to entice them further? The possibilities are very exciting. And if you nut it out, you've got a great long term future worked out (that can keep adapting) before it's all too late.

Consumers Post To Web Due To Experience, Not Advertising

Karlene Lukovitz: Advertising and promotions, whether in traditional media or online, play only relatively small roles in driving consumers to post content about products and services. This is the somewhat humbling reality, according to survey data from Nielsen CGM/Homescan Buzzfacts.

This is a good little article
Very good.
I often see many agencies and ad execs trying to chuck in all these "sexy" and "Web 2.0" devices into an ad program, without really knowing what they're doing or what they mean.
I don't even know what "Web 2.0" means! It's just some buzzword that people throw around that sounds good and they use it because it's ambiguous and expect you to think it's ambiguous because they really have no fucking idea of what they are doing!

The biggest problem is that a lot of ad people forget that consumers are people. Why would anyone want to go all out for a brand?? There would have to be some pretty big motivation behind it- and the article is right- companies have to put in the hard yards with successful customer service (even reaching out when not needed) and a good quality product.

Do companies screw up because their thinking is backwards?
They have the outlook of
"How do we make consumers are spokespeople and get them to spread the good word?"

Instead of
"Our consumers have been so good to us. Why don't we service them more by shifting our ad dollars from wasteful TV campaigns, to creating platforms where consumers can receive even more value from us, for NOTHING"

Key takeaway from the article: "What are the keys to effectively leveraging CGM to build brand advocacy? Trust, authenticity, transparency, affirmation, listening and responsiveness"

I forsee calamity and suffering

The new Sex and the City movie is coming out soon.
We all know how successful the show was, even if towards the end there, the outfits became better than the writing.

But I know how this is going to pan out. I know how these decisions were made:

Studio execs: Let's make a Sex and the City movie. We're sure to make a bucketload. Women are just slaves to this show.

More studio execs: Yeah. Yeah. And it's not like we need a plot line or a real script, because people will see these 4 do anything as long as we have the Sex and the City title on it.

First Studio exec: Yeah, let's do it. We CAN'T go wrong!

And they're right. They won't go wrong. The movie will be so far fetched and the studio will make shitloads of money because women who love the Sex and the City ladies, will go in droves to see this thing.

It's actually like the 'Facebook drop'- you can't go out one night, anywhere, without hearing some tosser mention Facebook in a conversation. It used to be blogs. But now, you can't go anywhere without hearing some desperate woman say "Ohhhh, I can't wait to see the Sex and the City movie. It's going to be so fabulous."

Well I have news. It's not going to be fabulous, it's going to be horrendous and there is definitely one person who won't be seeing it till it's easily accessible on my television!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tech execs try to sooth agency leaders

Adweek: Yahoo! President Sue Decker and Brian McAndrews, SVP, Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Solutions, had a similar message for agency leaders gathered at the 4A's Leadership Conference: Agencies should not worry about large Web players muscling in on their turf. Decker said technology firms help traditional ad agencies by automating certain data-driven processes that "free up time and unleash the ability of the industry to go create great creative messages."

Thanks Sue. Thanks Brian. But I think you saving your own asses is the least of agency problems.
Pats on the back for everybody. So nice to see Yahoo and Microsoft band together in their little MicroHoo alliance.
Kind of a shame that it's all fluff, lollypop ladies and a mirage!

And guess what the lady Sue Decker said:

"We need to take the difficulty out of the process of finding the inventory, booking it, reconciling it, all sort of the boring parts of the industry -- we need to automate that. The reason we need to do that is to free up time and unleash the ability of the industry to go create great creative messages."

Hang on there Sue. What will happen to media buyers and planners? You just said you won't be taking anyones' turf.
And great creative messages? What? Where? And anyway, I don't want a 'great creative message'. I want an ad program that helps me as a consumer. Not some stupid 30 seconder, or a print ad I can't do nothing with.

Do I need to poke more holes?
I'm tired.

The whole thing reminds of the Bruno bait and switch; smoke and mirrors exercise.