Thursday, July 31, 2008

Australia's Home & Away Hits the Net

B&T Australia: Seven launches Home and Away online drama with partner Yahoo!7. It will be Australia’s first interactive TV and online drama, based upon long-running series Home and Away.

Go you good thing.
Despite Home&Away being one of the most boring shows (as in paint drying would be more entertaining), this is a great, great initiative.
"Users will be able to solve the disappearance of Rachel online, with the drama continuing during Home and Away’s two-week broadcast break due to the upcoming Olympic Games.
Summer Bay Online will feature a map of the area, daily video feeds, online radio and character interaction in order to solve the mystery."

You little ripper!

It's lovely to give a bit of interaction to the viewer and extend the show into this realm. It does bring up the thought that this type of thing always seems so much easier for the entertainment category, or is it?
I remember Milk did something called Get The Glass with the Adachi family. That worked a treat. Come on creatives, do your bloody thing!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rock with Rock

This fella, African American Political Pundit aka Rock, is an absolute card!
I had a chat with him on ooVoo before, he is a host for ooVoo Political.
He is hysterical. I cut this little vid of him

That's what I'm talking 'bout!
Go register here -

Friday, July 25, 2008

ooVoo Goes Political

Yes, it's a shameless plug. But a good one!
After the success of the first My ooVoo Day, the kids at ooVoo have decided to take it to the next level (and a heated one) with My ooVoo Day Political.
Very sexy.

It starts on Monday eve, July 28th and goes till August 4th- coincidentally the birthday of one presidential candidate.
We've got about 25 hosts, all talking different topics. We've even have guest hosts in some sessions- like Joe Trippi. Anyone can participate and get involved in the discussion. I would personally like to see things get really heated.
But- sign up quick, there are only 6 seats available in each session.

I've signed up to a session- The Gap between Climate Science and Climate Politics, because this country is so screwed up when it comes to preserving resource and doing anything about any environmental issue.

So get your ooVoo Freaq on- go download the free software so you can participate.
Go sign up
And Go.

Here are all the hosts:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The return of great reality

I think I spend all my TV time in America watching quality reality TV (Top Chef, Runway- that calibre). It's so good. I discovered the Food network the other day. The shizz they pull in cake contests is amazing. The Pillsbury Bakeoff was also pretty good.
In Australia it just doesn't work as well because the contestants don't want to spill their guts on national television. Plus with only 24 million people, we're running out of those willing, fast. Here, they'll say and do anything.

Thankfully this week, we are in full swing of Project Runway. I love the challenges, excitement and crunch time to create a high class wearable garment. Although this week, something very interesting happened.
Bravo asked who was more annoying:
  1. Blayne and his tanning obsession combined with fucking idiotic words (girlicious, darthalicious and any variant of 'licious) trying to make a name for himself a la Christian Siriano's Fierce (except Christian wasn't trying, he just was).
  2. Someone random and their non interesting bad habit
  3. Suede and the tendency to talk about himself in the 3rd person

Well the results came back - 37%, 15% and 48% respectively. Suede appears to be the most irritating. Hey, I was shocked too because I really want to kill this Blayne guy. And what does Bravo do? They announce that Blayne is the most annoying, regardless of the results on the screen.

I'm kind of glad they disregarded the audience vote, because I do hate The Blayne. But now looking at these pictures and trying to work out who is more annoying they seem on par. WTF is that blue rooster thing (official term: comb) on that guy's head?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The four best things about BlogHer

I went to my first BlogHer last week. It was pretty good.
I didn't go to too many panels, I was spending more time running around like a chicken with its nuts cut off.

However I did discover some good things:
  1. I've never been able to handle too many women in one place. They're annoying and speak in unrealistic terms (over analysing and such). Small groups are ok. But when you start getting them altogether they talk about feelings and emotions and how great their room mate is because she made cookies using the hair dryer, an iron and the bible.
    It just gets a little too much and a little too BS for me. Thank god I didn't stay in the Westin, I think I would have jumped out the window.

  2. They love the old support system. If someone has a bad experience and wants to share, all those present must share in the applauding of the way said individual handled the situation at hand. I was surprised that at all of these instances, Oprah didn't make a guest appearance and give out Pontiacs.

  3. No matter what conference you're at, people try shove the same crap down your throat. The biggest panel was how to monetise your blog. Some good people, like my new friend Kristen, we're talking about how to give back to their readers. But other people we're talking about shitty SocialSpark (because their SocialSpark client was sitting right there) and other shitty forms of banner ad stuff. I was not impressed and of course made myself heard. These women should realise they have the power, as empowered bloggers, to tell advertisers they need different types of conversational marketing. Banner ads, endorsements and product placements do not cut it.

  4. Transvestites and transgenders attend BlogHer, which is great. My fellow Aussie compatriot, Paull Young, was telling me he couldn't present because of his obvious gender. We know what Paull is planning for next year!

But thanks ladies. Thanks for enduring my humour, thanks for letting me push some buttons and thanks for all that schwag!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Delta includes ads on boarding passes

International Herald Tribune/Bloomberg: United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, seeking new revenue sources amid record fuel costs, are starting to place advertisements, coupons and weather forecasts on boarding passes when travelers check in online.
The ads, provided by Sojern Inc., are expected to promote destination services and entertainment.

For the very first time, I embrace advertising
A win-win-win situation. Not often you hear that.
  • Consumers get coupons and don't get lumped with additional fees or further removal of accustomed in- flight goodies.
  • Advertisers feel happy that their ads are somewhere.
  • Airlines make additional revenue against their increasing costs (but hey, whose costs aren't increasing these days?!)
Everyone wins.

There really isn't that much more to say on the matter.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Madonna Still the Best Brand Marketer

AdAge Bonnie Fuller: The A-Rod Affair is a Platform for Another Material Girl Metamorphosis: Marriage Wrecker. Man Eater. A-Rod's Other Woman and Soul Mate. Whatever you want to call Madonna now, you can be guaranteed that the Material Girl loves every one of her new Page One monikers. And it's not just because she's the nation's No. 1 narcissist. No, it's because Madonna has just proven once again that she is the No. 1 marketer in the nation."

Hey Bonnie, put a 4 'n 20 in and shut your pie hole!
Geeze Bonnie. Where do you come up with these gems?
This is the same Bonnie of marketers knowing how to market in SATC.
I know people have a sick and twisted image of celebrity. Quite honestly, I don't care about the dramas going on in celebrity lives. It is a sick world we live in, where people know more about the concocted drama of a songstress instead of the latest developments in centrifugal force.

Not only that, but Bonnie says this story will help Madonna sell tickets, concert sales are currently slow, delayed and lagged at the station. Methinks it would have been better to write the article once the evidence was conclusive?
Madonna is a bit dried up, those muscles are revolting and every good Jew knows that Kabbalah is bogus. The final knife- SHE SHOULD LOWER HER PRICE POINT.

It's the boy who cried wolf. It's nothing original and the fact that Madonna keeps 'changing her image' is tired! If she stuck to something, now there would be a surprise!

A 4 'n 20. Good tucker. Probably 1% meat and 88% offal. Please Bonnie, use the pie like you're supposed to.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Companies Tapping Musicians To Extend Brand Awareness

The New York Times: As record labels struggle to adjust to a harsh new digital reality, other companies are stepping up their involvement in music, going far beyond standard endorsement contracts and the use of songs in commercials. Procter & Gamble, for example, is joining Island Def Jam in a joint venture called Tag Records, a label that will sign and release albums by new hip-hop acts. It is named after the body spray that P&G acquired when it bought Gillette.

Bacardi announced it is helping the English electronic music duo Groove Armada pay for and promote its next release. Caress, the body-care line owned by Unilever, commissioned the Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger to record a version of Duran Duran's "Rio" that it gave away on its Web site to promote its "Brazilian body wash" product. And Red Bull is starting a label that is expected to release music before the end of the year.

Unlike Starbucks, which got into the music business to sell CDs at its stores, these companies want to use music to promote products they already sell. "It's not about money," says Sarah Tinsley, a global marketing manager at Bacardi. "It's a branding exercise."

Mmm, the force seems strong in this initiative
Goodbye to the record companies and hello to brand powerhouses that have arms of record labels. This article just discusses a germ that could blossom into a great solution for the music industry. Of course the record companies lose, but they always lose- it's called Karma.
We're talking a solution that solves so many problems in terms of royalties, licensing, sampling etc, if a band/artist is already licensed to the brand.

Better yet- a lot of the songs that get aired on the ads are free for downloads. A great way for listeners to sample new product.
A shame no one gives a shit about the ads, but a topic for another day.

And damn you American dates........I transposed you and had you scheduled to post in August!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Microsoft Rolls Out 'Secret Search' Program In Australia

by Tameka Kee: Ninemsn, Microsoft's joint venture with PBL Media in Australia, has rolled out "Secret Search," a promotion in which Internet users can win prizes in exchange for using Live Search. Prizes include Compaq Presario computers, Canon Powershot digital cameras, iPods, gift certificates, and even cash.

Well- here's a shout out for you Ninemsn, my fellow Aussie compadre
Basically- the search function on Ninemsn is shit. That's why no one uses it.
I guess this is also why they only give self comparative stats "Last year, data from Compete showed a 67% spike in Live Search queries from May to June 2007, and a 48% jump year-over-year." As they say, what's zero from zero?

Networks look to revolutionise the commercial break

The New York Times: The fall TV season will be notable for new forms of TV ads, including mini-shows, sponsored clips and in-show promos. Programmers and marketers are experimenting with new forms in the hopes of maintaining viewer attention during commercial breaks. Linda Yaccarino, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Turner Entertainment, said, "Pod-busting is big, but it has to be based on a creative idea to mean anything."

Here's a revolution for you: Bin it!
I was watching some poopi show last night- I think it was that top model for old farts, and there was so much crap at the bottom of the screen. The writing on the wall is even clearer than it was before: people will begin binning watching tv shows for more reasons than time shifting. DVD purchases will increase. Reality might scrape past (who wants to buy a reality show on DVD), but TV series will definitely have some pull back as a result of this ad bombardment.

And the same goes for this shitty pod rubbish that these execs have on the cards.
I want to know how Kris Magel, senior vice president and director for national broadcast at Initiative, a media agency owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies plans to measure this:
“If I could get half those people to turn their heads toward the screen, I’ve significantly increased the value of my client’s commercial”
Mmmhmm. Turning heads. Interesting. In Australia we use OzTam to measure TV ratings, so does the equivalent of OzTam in the US have a turning heads meter?

Another genius David Sklaver, president at KSL Media in New York feels that long ad breaks "...invit[e] viewers to leave instead of giving them reasons to stay.” Dude- where have you been for the last 10 years? Have you just come out of a coma?? I've been taking bathroom breaks, washing up breaks and various other types of breaks for years during ads. You may find it is fairly common.

In the end, the article is a pile of pods. Who cares about ads? Get rid of them. Execs, please stop saying they aren't intrusive- they are, and they are completely annoying.
And Ms. Yaccarino who claims that her viewers are very vocal, and she listens to them every day - hear this and do something about it!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

McDonalds sued over Happy Meal toy Post-punk pioneers Devo say they are suing McDonald's in the US over a Happy Meal doll that sports the band's signature red flower pot hat.

Ooh, I love love love. Death to McDonald's.
I've never eaten at McDonald's. Well- only a kosher one. At least you know the beef is real, there's chicken in the nuggets and there is none of that nuclear powered cheese involved. I'm glad I've never eaten at a real McDonald's. They're money sucking bastards who have created nations of fat people who can only afford to live cheaply on shit food.
It makes me sad. It also makes me sad that a friend ordered some eggs for breakfast this morning and it came with fries. Totally unnecessary and we sent them back. I believe McDonald's is the precursor to this type of restaurant behaviour.

McDonald's has also become the owner of shitty brand behaviour. The brand logo, the colours, the character are all sacred to the brand. They cry blue murder to any other brand who impinges on their sacristy. But the time has come for retribution. Good on you Devo for taking a stand. Don't say you're taking a stand- take a stand. They've stolen from you and actually damaged what you stand for. McDonald's should be taught a lesson in the games they play.
Devo, see if you can bring down the whole freaking thing (even though they own Chipotle and I don't want them to die, I love a good Chipotle Fajita. Maccas really shouldn't own Chipotle- all the organic, carbon footprint philosophy doesn't fit with the brand platform).
McDonald's- you are an awful company, creating a culture of disgusting eating habits and terrible food/living expectations.

And those chips this morning. They stunk. Stunk like bad awful oil. You have destroyed realistic eating habits and made it so hard for people to try and even eat right. Take all your mates- Starbucks who have destroyed cafes and the barista; Dominos who sell plastic as food; Yum who injects hormones into everything, and then go jump in the lake.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Slightly Abusive Relationship With Sprint to Continue

AdAge: I Can Change It; Really, I Can.
Just a follow-up to my 1,000-word hissy fit about the pricing for Sprint's Instinct cellphone for a longtime customer.
i.e. Ken Wheaton bitches about Sprint

I don't think I'll ever get tired bitching about bad service from phone companies, or banks in this country.
I have to agree with Ken Wheaton. The profits that phone companies make are astronomical. If they took a cut and focused on making their customers satisfied with what they are paying for, they would arrive at a destination called Happy Land.
In Happy Land:
  • Customers are happy
  • So happy with no reason to change providers, they would ended up being with that provider for life and more than happy to pay them money for it. The provider would make just as much money as they did before, if not more because of customer retention.
Why is that so hard to believe? And why isn't anyone doing anything about it?
Imagine the traffic of customers jumping ship if just one company implemented changes I'm about to list below:
  • Loyalty programs-
    • Status programs for Premium, mid level and devoted customers. Once customers reach status, they are eligible for various amounts of complimentary differentiated service.
    • Tracking great customers who pay their bills on time. Occasionally offer them free upgrades or small amounts of credit for their valued relationships
    • Create betterment teams who simply track and reward good customers, implement improvements and worry about keeping customers happy.
    • Know your customers - know their preferences, know what makes them happy, so that when you give freebies they actually value and appreciate it.
  • Train and equip customer service representatives with enough common sense and know how to treat customers well. Happy representatives make good representatives and are intrinsic to the process.
  • Stop wasting time by profusely saying Thank you to you customers. If you focused more time on actually making an account work instead of thanking a customer at every juncture you might get something done.
    And why are you thanking customers ALL the time anyway? Is it because you can't believe they are still sticking around after all the shit you've put them through? Sounds about right.
  • When something bad happens go above and beyond. I don't understand why most service companies do not get this. If a problem has occurred and the company is at fault for the mistake- it is not good enough to just 'fix it'. The damage has been done, and if you really want to repair the damage, the customer needs some sort of compensation for the frustration and inconvenience.
    For companies like airlines or online travel bookings where there is no locked in contract or guarantee of return, giving a customer that extra bit of gratitude for their business, will make them return again. To just apologise, fix and move on is almost certainly guaranteed for a one-timer. By turning the negative situation into a positive you gain an advocate who will most certainly be an outspoken one.
  • Be honest with customers- give them suitable solutions for their usage habits, just as Ken mentions in his article. Customers will respect your honesty if you're trying to give them the correct service, not just suck them dry.
  • Remove cancellation fees with good faith that your service is good enough to never have to come to that. Think of it as punishment and retribution if there is a cancellation, found out why teh cancellation occurred and fix it.
  • Throwing in something extra for no apparent reason goes a long way and makes a huge difference. Think of it this way- when a customer is thinking of leaving, this one or few instances of good will sway them to stay.
  • Good, reasonable service speaks for itself. If you offer existing customers a great deal, others will come flocking
What are you still doing here?
Go and fix up your customer service department.