Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ikea makes me bi-polar

I feel like my attitudes towards Ikea change with each new day. Lets be honest, its a hell-hole to shop at. I for one, go because I need something - like some cheap wine glasses or a roll out bed or something that will make my home look more like a home & less like the council rubbish collection out on the street.

I do know that there exists a cult-like group of people who go because they actually enjoy it..... I hear that most members of this cult enjoy frequenting mazes with hundreds of other cult members in their spare time.

Now despite the lack of enjoyment that I get from the Ikea real-life experience I can't help but love what they do from an engagement perspective.

Some time ago I wrote about this here awesome use of transit media in Japan and now, just a few days after my traumatic real-life experience I have come across another reason to admire Ikea's work.

Its called mykea and is a community of artists that have got together and found a way to personalise Ikea furniture. The standardisation of Ikea products globally makes this project work. It is basically a massive online plasterfunhouse but the community of artists, similar to those on threadless, ensure that you don't fuck up your furniture and end up with a piece looking like a big pile of poo.

Artists can join the community, submit their designs and average joes can come along and customise their Ikea purchases.

The major limitation is coming from the furniture giant themselves. You cannot buy Ikea products online!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A tale of two cities. Observation #1: Melbournians wait at the traffic lights.

Since I am now officially a resident of the southern state I've decided to record my observations about the differences between the cities.

This is NOT a ploy to start a Sydney V Melbourne debate (afterall I am a lover of both). It is more to demonstrate that without immersing oneself in a market, it is difficult to truly understand the nuances and as such make sound media buying decisions.

So onto my first observation.

Melbournians wait at the traffic lights.

I have garnered a number of strange looks on the street since last Tuesday when I started working in Melbourne and I'm pretty sure that its not the result of having my skirt tucked into my undies.

Its because at a set of traffic lights, where the little green and red men reside, I generally just wait for a break in traffic and scoot across the road.

Locals however don't. They stand and wait politely.

Jaywalking it seems, is a no-no.

The implications on media
Aside from this being the 'right' thing to do and also taking me back to Berlin where jaywalking is a fineable offence and thus never done, it also made me realise that outdoor, particularly transit outdoor, has much greater value here in Melbourne than in Sydney.

Dwell times are longer because people actually stop and look around rather than whip their head from side to side like a teenage shoplifter about to be caught.

In addition, the trams, whilst a faster mode of transport than buses due to less congestion, actually seem to run a bit slower or maybe its that they drive in a straight line. Either way, the advertising on them is much clearer and easier to read that that on a moving bus. Yet another point to increase the value of outdoor in this market.

So that's it fro observation #1.... await with baited breath (which actually is a disgusting term and I think would smell quite fishy) for installation #2 of The Tale of Two Cities.