Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And becasue of that... iSpyLevis being VERY smart

So a group of us at bh have just had the BEST brand experience thanks to Levis.

The brand has "released hundreds of pairs of Levis on the streets of key cities across Australia & New Zealand. If you think you see someone wearing a pair ask them "Are they Levis?". If you get it right, they'll drop their pants & give them to you on the spot."

This is such a smart strategy. It taps into our voeuyeristic nature and harnesses the power of follow on twitter (literally) in a fun and rewarding way.

I have been following @iSpyLevis for the last few days and have become totally addicted. When their profile started to show some life after lunch today I was determined to find the jeans on the street.

I tweeted with the guy and an hour later he was posting pics of his location right outside our office! Chris ran downstairs to meet him and 5 minutes later is the proud owner of a pair of GUYS 568® SKINNYS IN RESIN SEALED.

This concept would work well for many products and is allowing Levis to have very rich consumer interaction as well as promote their style range.

Here's to me finding the female over the next few days!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is discrimination relative?

We've just had a debate here at work that has really angered me.

It started because somebody sent an email around the agency asking about our opinions on the 'Chk chk boom' news report.

For the record, my opinion is as follows;

There are some commonalities in all media stories that get traction with young girls as the face of the story – the girls are all hot.

Other examples in history -

1995 when
Anna Wood died of taking ecstasy
2006 LonleyGirl15 work for the New York Times
2009 Heidi and
The Man in the Jacket

The only reason this has taken off is that Claire is good looking. Sure she’s made some semi-racist comments, exposed the real exploits of young girls to worried parents across the nation and epitomized the ‘bogan’ but who has she really offended? AND, I also think that in general fat/skinny wogs have probably made enough cat-calls at her (ala “hey baby wanna root”) to justify her colloquial description of them.

I would argue that the people who are kicking up a stink - the middle-upper class white people - have taken offence to the ‘fat wog/skinny wog’ statements because they don’t want the world’s impression of Australia to be Claire.

Moral of the story is we have a winning formula – innocence + pretty girl = immediate publicity.

There was a bit of backlash to my opinion from an English guy. He insinuated that all Australian's are racist and that it is the fault of our media.

So this got me thinking - are Australian's racist or is it simply a question of relativity?

I, being half Maltese, have been called a wog many a time and take no offense to it. In fact, I am quite proud of my heritage. Even public opinion says that wog is not always a racist term. On top of this when you look at some of our pop-culture - Fat Pizza, Wog Boy - you realize that even the 'wogs' themselves embrace this stereotype.

So here I am left feeling insulted that this English guy has called Australian's discriminatory and I think, "We don't have a naked girl on page 3 of our national tabloid...." and if we did, there would be uproar. But in the UK, there is no hesitation to sell The Sun (with naked page 3 girl) to dirty men, kids or women who may all be subjected to an overt act of discrimination.

So my conclusion - discrimination is relative and if you can't adapt or take on the nuances of the place in which you are living then choose somewhere else where you can.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Primped on target

I love this concept from PRIMPED.

The smart girls over at 'the go-to in how-to in beauty' website are turning the tried & tested 'gift with purchase' subscription driver into a very useful tool to;

1. Drive quality user-generated-content
2. Recruit new employees
3. Refresh their site with relevant opinions & perspectives without actually having to pay people to do it

Overall, they are empowering their most engaged users to contribute to their site over & above regular commentary. It is an appealing promotion for their current users but also a great opportunity for brands to road-test their products and get rich consumer feedback.

This concept has been in place for a long time, driven by agencies such as The Soup and T-Garage's Vibe Village. The difference here is that audience are already engaged, they're well defined and they are motivated to share their opinions because they know they'll be heard (as the site is a source of beauty information not just an aggregator of opinions from panel based triallists).

If I represented a beauty client, I'd be on the phone to Ms Foster to strike a deal before my competitor beat me to it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A brand that should know better

I received this eDM yesterday which in itself is not unusual. What I do find interesting is that for a "bank" that has built itself online, their digital communication was somewhat lacking.

The purpose of the eDM was to recruit me to save more money, under the guise of extra rewards. This is all well and good but they didn't make it very easy for me.

I had skimmed over the eDM (who actually reads ALL the words anymore - communication via 160 characters would have been more effective) then proceeded to click, and click, and click (you get it...) until I re-read the eDM and realised I had to copy & paste the URL into my browser.

Seriously, how old school is that? I would suggest that if the eDM allowed the recipient to click-thru, recruitment levels would have been greater and over and above this the consumer experience would have vastly improved.

Why do brands still make these errors? Surely an online brand like this has enough experience to know better? Or perhaps I'm just not privy to the reasons why you wouldn't enable the eDM with click-thru technology.... Please enlighten me if you have an insight into this.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The medium is the message

Play Pictionary for Austism is a nice creative way to draw attention to a problem.

This execution is a great example of how the medium may be used as the message.

I love that they've truly understood the problems associated with Austism then challenged potential donors to experience the problem themselves (albeit it via a fun spin).

Is guilt the strongest of emotions?

The global financial crisis has hit me of late. I look at my bank account and see red. It is not due to superfluous spending or a pay reduction, it just seems that life has become more expensive.

I, unlike many others am not in dire straits BUT I am still being forced to think about how I spend my money.

So this morning I stole my boyfriend's spare change to catch the bus and, I stole his $10 to buy my train ticket. Then when I got off the train I ran into Bill.

Bill is a Big Issue vendor who I have started a relationship with. It has been going on for about a year now and he always brightens my day. This morning however, I was compelled by guilt rather than goodwill to buy a magazine from him even though I couldn't afford it. As a result, I blamed him a little bit. He was still chripy & bright to me but I had lost some of the regular sparkle that I greet him with.

It is sad that I was driven by guilt to buy his magazine and am now wallowing in guilt for not taking the time to converse with him about his weekend.

So how do I tackle this guilt & how do I use it for a positive outcome? Suggestions will be readily accepted.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A sign of the times?

Is this a sign of the times? Westfield pushing food to a subscriber on their fashion database?

Morning warnings & public transport etiquette

So here's the thing.... I woke up & pressed snooze (which I never do). Got up after 10 minutes, dressed.
Stockings have one leg shorter than the other, so much so that I drew blood on my finger from the effort of pulling them up. Got a spot on my white dress.
Boyfriend rang - unhappy because I confused flight dates (damn international dateline).
Bus all good. Ferry all good. Train all good.
Station bad. What is it with people not understanding how to operate around public transport. There are a few basic rules.
1. Let people get off the train before you get on.
2. Stay to the left on the escalators.
3. If you have an enormous bag - go through human operated gate NOT through the ticket gates.
4. If you have an invalid ticket don't hold up everyone else by feeding it through the machine ten times before asking for assistance.
5. If you are smoker - just don't.

Here's to my day getting better.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Practising what you preach

I have an opinion that you practise what you preach and I am in the practice of communications.  
Now I am not claiming to be an expert - I've a mere 5 years experience to my name, BUT it is obvious to me that if media agencies are trying to sell the benefits of digital media to their clients they should be employing those benefits themselves - otherwise, as a client, where is my reason to believe in the agency's ability to execute?
Too many media agencies aren't doing enough of this very simple practice to make their preaching successful.  I'm quite an active twitterer and I can only find a handful of media agencies to follow.  The same goes for facebook.  And then, when I look for interesting blogs to follow not many of them are backed by the industry heavyweights.
It is disappointing that Australian agencies are either too scared to allow their staff's varied opinions to escape the moderated agency walls or they find it too time consuming craft their opinions for public broadcast.  Either way I think they are missing a trick.  It simply takes one influential to comment on their blog and suddenly the door to a healthy revenue stream can open.
If only I ran an agency...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We Cannes Do It!

I don't know if you've heard but I've been selected to attend the International Advertising Festival in Cannes! Check me out on mumbrella, The Australian, newsspace and campaign brief!! (Blatant self promotion... guilty as charged).

This is WAY exciting.  Not only will I have access to a wealth of amazing people and an educational experience one could only dream of at this stage in their career but on top of this.... I am going to Cannes!

Its been a little stressful organizing flights & accommodation as Matt is joining me on this amazing adventure so tonight I've jumped on last year's website & checked out their blogs.

It has got me all excited again.  I can't wait.  Plus this means my blog will be getting more action - perfect timing I think so rejoin me on my travels through life!

Monday, May 11, 2009

We're factor 50

When I first saw this ad last night I thought it was for NRMA. It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling - "We're knee-pads, mouthguards & double-bows".

The ad plays to a nice insight around the inherrent human flaw that makes us question ourselves.

The problem I see here however, is that a bank is the brand being advertised. I think there is a disjoint between the ad concept & the product. Can I really rely on Westpac to be there for me when I forget to turn the iron off - I would suggest no. BUT I could, rely on NRMA to be there, if only to pick up the pieces after the event.

Love the concept. Love the way the ad makes me feel. Hate that it is a bank overpromising once again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Keep it simple stupid

A lovely friend of mine sent me this link earlier today.

It is a brilliant example of why simplicity rules when it comes to strategic planning.

Flybussarna, a Swedish coach company wanted to encourage consumers to catch the bus, rather than drive, to the airport. They appealed to the consumers' environmental conscience and literally demonstrated the environmental cost of driving a car versus catching the bus.

A few simple features of the campaign made it success:
  1. They created a MASSIVE spectacle
  2. The campaign was timely & tapped into a relevant social concern
  3. They fuelled the media with 'new news' minute by minute as their live-video stream & emmissions monitor ticked over

I imagine this campaign was a very literal response to a brief that said "The emissions from 1 coach could save emissions from 50 cars". Perhaps it a lesson for all of us strategic types that we need not search the depths of consumers' brains but start with the obvious and make it even more obvious.