Thursday, October 30, 2008

╠ Comic - Some things aren't foldable╣

Despite having exams as well as other things draining on my time I can't seem to help but be drawn in to do more Gruen stuff. So without further ado here's the comic for the Vodafone breakdown.

Overall I'm sort of at a loss with a few of my comics because I'm not sure if I'm making them in order to be just humourous or wheather I should be aiming to get a bit of marking stuff in there. I'll probably look into it a bit more psot exams but if any of you have input that would be good.

Also since I now am starting to have a few comics I've made a list of all of the ad breakdowns and their respective comics. You can find it in the 1988 post. I'll probably add it as a link on the main page after exams as well.

As usual I hope you all got some enjoyment out of this and comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

╠Insight - Tivo, Do people really just hate ads?╣

As some of you may know I work part time at Dick Smith in order to fund part of my university lifestyle. Today I made it to work and we had a video about Tivo set up. For those of you who don't know what Tivo is, you obviously haven't seen enough american TV shows. It's basically a high powered hard drive recorder. The current Aus model has 2 HD tuners built in and is basically built in order for you to pick a show you like and then Tivo records it for you. Tivo has access to guides so it can actually make sure that it tapes your show even if it is shifted to a different day. Handy yes, worth $700...well that's questionable.

The thing about the American Tivo that made it so successful as far as I've heard is its ability to cut out the ads. Meaning if you select a season pass to a show, by the time the final show airs on TV you basically have a bluray quality series of that show, much higher quality than those DVD series that we can pay large amounts for or if movies are more your thing then boom, it's yours as soon as it airs ad free. So from this you have a shot at two very large markets, television advertising and DVD sales.

The interesting thing about Australian Tivo is that it lacks this ad skipping feature due to our laws regarding advertising. Without this it is still a very smart and powerful box...however this all should lead to an interesting point now because it now will demonstrate just the value people put on simply avoiding the ads on TV. Tivo took over America, every 'average' american TV family has one. Now ten years after its introduction to Australia will we see the same thing, or does this ad skipping feature simply make Tivo fade into obscurity in the Hard Drive recorder market?

After seeing the ad rerun many times at work this morning I was almost dead set on getting one until I realized the ad skipping feature wasn't included, so I have a personal interest in seeing just how big a factor this feature is to Australia as a whole.

Monday, October 27, 2008

╠ Vodafone - Take your World with you ╣

Finally I am back into the swing on breaking down an actual ad. I always have this curious thing with the fact that I work harder on non-uni stuff during my exam study period. In fact I'm actually posting this during a business law lecture. Aren't I just the most responsible guy around.

Anyway into the knitty gritty. I do like this ad so I am proud that it got chosen to be broken down. The first thing I would like to point out is the sheer inventiveness of it. The visual element of folding all of these items down to pocket size is an accurate visual representation of phones. However something I would like to make specific note to is the folding and not simply compressing. Folding by nature is usually something you do when you wish to take extra care with something so it gives the sense of there being a higher form of care taken with the compressing of these phone abilities making you feel you can trust their abilities a bit more.

The interesting thing I find is that the first thing the man does is pick up his wallet and keys, it is from there he proceeds to take large things from his home that I think most people would consider attractive to take with you. I also believe there would have been some care taken to the order in which they were taken. The map being the first is interesting because no doubt that it is referring to the GPS feature...however a map was chosen over an actual GPS unit. This in itself is smart as well GPS' are relatively new and can in some cases be considered troublesome technology and itself is also portable. So this was addressed by instead having a map which as opposed of simply showing a street, shows the world enforcing a larger sense of freedom. Maps themselves also display all the information they have to show at once and therefore is much more simpler to use than a GPS. It also doesn't discredit the phone as the portable option for everything by being a larger than easily able to be carried around option. Finally it is also a good introduction to the folding theme since it is actually something foldable.

The follow up fold with the computer is where the ad starts to lose its real world element, however to make sure you aren't confused as to what just happened the TV gets folded down almost right after the laptop making sure you've now understood what is happening here. Whilst this lowers the emphasis on the laptop as part of this take with you thing it also works because if the laptop was actually one of the more prominent inputs it would be questioned more and I personally believe that the laptop has the weakest connection because the laptop itself is already portable and whilst most phones can handle some things laptops do, the laptop is always superior, whilst some of the more prominent folds have more improvements rather than just a reduced size Eg. GPS over map and Library options of music.

The music itself is a big one and the moment where he went to walk towards the door and noticed it is an important one, because while the previous gap in fold was good to be short, this one worked with having that little extension because it gives the viewers a chance to acknowledge the TV aspects of a phone before they are bombarded with more. The sheer size of the music collection is in itself an interesting option. In the past phones haven't been able to hold that much so my interpretation of this is that the reason the music collection is so large is to enforce the ability of phones to now hold more, and to in fact in some circumstances hold entire song collections.

The final fold is where things get a little more interesting. If done poorly this could really hurt brand image because it could be treated as complete mistreatment of the woman. The clever thing that I find is the small little kiss that was added before hand. This instantly establishes that it is a love based relationship and sort of makes it ok for him to fold her up. An odd concept but when I think about it, I believe that without it this fold would be looked at with a much more negative light. The addition of her kiss back at the end is also important, not only is this the point where the point that it all comes down to a phone is introduced, but it also while not directly saying, implies that the girl is not angry at being folded up into just a part of a phone. Again perhaps not the most believable intuition but I believe that is what it boils down to.

Another interesting part of this ad is the music. The song is 1922 Blues by Charlie Parr, the lyrics that appear in the ad are the following:

Well I worked all summer couldn't save a cent
I gave all my money to the government
I don't know quite how it got spent
but the banks are coming for my deed though
Man at the mill can't see though
Let me get my feed for free though
Ain't that the way it is

I cut out down a braver road
I traded my stock for a V84
Danced for town down on the floor boards
And the title owed down to me though
That gasoline ain't free through
Just guzzling out my knee bone?
Ain't that the way it is

Whilst these lyrics aren't exactly the most audible, they do however enforce a sort of blue collar, everyday worker sort of image. While most people aren't so poor off, I believe a line such as 'I gave all my money to the government' is one that speaks to a huge audience of possible consumers and endears the ad to them.

The overall way this ad works is first off a 'Wow look at all the stuff they have in phones now', thus making certain consumers consider even if only marginally, the option of getting a new phone. The ad then up until this point has used a few elements to endear the ad to the customer. Therefore once the vodafone logo comes up the overall message they are trying to get across of 'You need a new phone. A vodafone phone.' the consumer is endeared to the ad and may follow that logical connection of view since they could have already been lead to wanting a new phone.

It's been a while since I've done one of these so I hope that this one was okay and not too lengthy ^^; I hope you enjoyed this and as usual any comments are all too welcome.

On the news sides of things I just realized that the email in my profile had a stray letter which was accidentally capitalized and much to my surprise actually having a capital instead of lowercase makes it not work. So if anyone has used that email sorry but your email wouldn't have worked.

Also I was going to add another poll to decide what to do next but I instead have become so enticed by the sensible campaign that my next one will simply be that.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

╠ Reprise - Avoiding Advertising ╣

A few days ago I commented on the Workplace Safety advertisements and my unwillingness to ever fully view one again. All this week workplace safety ads have been playing at prime time and I have been deliberately avoiding them. However this isn't as easy as I had thought. The first time I did it I sort of panicked and stopped the recording I was doing just so I could change the channel...after this I realized the smarter thing was to simple turn off the volume and pay attention to my computer instead. However being so active during ads is an inconvenience and makes it an active thing to watch ads.

The question I am posing at the moment is how effective is an ad that you avoid. The original thought may be that if you're avoiding the message it cannot sink in. However I believe this is not the case. By actively avoiding this ad the process you follow is see the start of the ad, then remember the ad, then make the choice to avoid it.

This method of having the ad run directly through your mind rather than simply watch it on TV is a more direct form of advertising that you've made the obvious choice to be unable to ignore it. Every time the ad comes on it is a direct hit that you can't really ignore. Therefore on an effectiveness per ad shown basis it is much more effective.

While this is effective I disagree with this method. If it were any other group doing this I would probably be growing incredibly angry with each ad I avoid. So my final conclusion for this ad is that it is horribly effective but would not work for any other group as the simple underhandedness of this advertising cannot work without being for such a cause that many people believe in.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

╠ An ad series I don't want to see again ╣

First I must admit I am a coward when it comes to gore etc. The Saw movies unnerved me like you wouldn't believe...well at least the one I watched and then promised to myself to not see any more. So that being said...I haven't actually watched the ad above, I simply watched the start, made sure the Youtube clip had a warning for graphicness and then pasted it here. In fact I doubt it's probably even Australian ^^;

The ad I saw was the bakery one, the girl uses the bread slicer while the boss is on the phone and then boom fingers go flying off. I must admit it did scare me. Before I saw the finger slicing I did however sort of see it coming and then also doubt myself to have been so stupid. However none of that stopped me from being almost horrified.

They are overall quite effective ads, I assume most would see it and then think twice about not asking. However one thing that i believe is that I doubt that if any company were to use this sort of campaign the campaign would be taken down. So by that extent they're abusing their power as a Government approved endeavor. But despite my issue with bending the rules I also believe that it is what they had to do in order to get the message across. People don't want to hear safety messages, so they need to use a punch in the face style approach. It is an important message so most can understand and forgive them for taking such an approach.

This ad campaign adds to the mean world mind view that the media creates by making you think everyone is evil and everything can kill you. To emphasize that to the entire country can be perceived s a negative thing, however while it's saving lives and limbs it's ok...but does this ad open the gate to others to use this sort of advertising?

I stand by that this ad campaign while I do not want to see anything to do with it again will overall do the community good...however if it has opened the gates to other groups using these sorts of methods then I fear the mean world we are heading to.

It may seem ridiculous but there aren't many groups too far from this. Charity groups in particular. If they start using advertising like this to impose guilt onto people to give to help the starving, diseased families in X country and so on, then the viewers with even weaker stomachs than my own may have to boycott TV, not by choice but for mental health.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

╠ Impact Mozilla ╣

A friend notified me today of the impact mozilla marketing competition that Mozilla has set up in order to tackle user retention.

Unfortunately I don't believe I personally have the knowledge, manpower or time to tackle it myself in any successful sense, however since I have a marketing blog I thought why not actually promote it in hopes that it may inspire my marketing peers.

I use firefox myself and am quite fond of it, and of course I love the idea of such a huge thing as Firefox's marketing being handled by Aussies.

So if any of you choose to take up this challenge let me know because I'd love to hear any ideas you have and if you want any opinions on anything you want to run by someone with some marketing insight give me a yell. The link to the comp can be found below.

Impact Mozilla

To those of you interested in when I'll update with the normal ad break down extent of the blog it may still be a little while. I have Uni as well as the Manifest Organizing Committee both taking up my time to extreme extents so I don't have time to do a full breakdown of anything. However I shall still try and get in a few smaller posts here and there to retain interest. Anyway I hope at least someone has a go at this and if so I look frward to seeing the outcomes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

╠Insight - Vitamin Drinks╣

Most of you would know if not have tried a vitamin drink. These items are truly a great representation of the power marketing can have. They have successfully invaded and planted themselves places inside the drinks cabinets of the majority of vendors I have seen, and when your competition includes all of coke's, Schweppes' and many others plethora of different styles of drink you have yourself something to be proud of.

What I like most about it is that in essence all you have here is cordial with a dib of this vitamin and a dab of that one. I admit I was hooked for a period of time. I'd find whatever opportunity I could to buy one if it was reasonably priced. So much so that my craving for cheap varieties lead me to a store that sold them for $2.50 a bottle of Nutrient water which beats the average price by about a dollar. It was at this point I started to try every flavour and begun noticing the nutrient tables. To my surprise I found that I wasn't actually drinking pure nutrients...I was just drinking something that managed to have a couple of milligrams of a handful of selected vitamins. Being the stingy individual I am I decided to just go out and buy a pack of those Multivitamins, $15 and I get 60 days of much higher percentages of a larger array of vitamins.

So if you look closely these vitamin drinks aren't all they're cracked up to be...yet they still made it so far. The power of marketing prevails again. If you have something that loses worth if you look at it closely, target those who won't look at it closely. In this take target a group who just want to justify not treating their body as well as it perhaps deserves. Nutrients water tagline 'Be bad. Drink good' summarizes this perfectly. That warm fuzzy feeling you get from not inflicting a bottle of soft drink on yourself and instead choosing vitamin water costs the company nothing, doesn't mean they can't charge you for it though.

The perfect target market for this was university students. As a uni student I can say...we don't eat well, sometimes very poorly...and then we make up for it by drinking ourselves stupid...Not something I've exactly had the time to do recently...but if I did, I probably would have. So for us to have that little healthy drink that tastes not too bad and makes us think we're doing something good for ourselves is golden. However university students are often a tough group to market to because whilst we are all united by university, we are still very diverse, spread out geographically and spread out over many different favoured advertising mediums. So instead of doing normal advertising and waiting for us to acknowledge them, they come to us.

Nutrient water is well known for willingly showing up to any uni activities and handing out free samples. None of this sitting back with normal advertising, this is direct, punch in the face style advertising, and on uni students it works. Obviously this is a costly venture to just hand out your products for free...however in this case you can see it clearly paid off.

However there is one thing that I think could be improved of. However it may not be in their hands. In most take away joints meals are the most common purchases. Therefore it is the best way to clear drinks via this method. However Vitamin water is not available in a lot of these. The only take away places I have found to do this are Nando's and Oporto and they do charge you extra for it. I am an avid Subway eater and I do get quite disappointed everytime I go through that checkout because it always came down to do I want the cookie meal...or just a vitamin water...the vitamin water unfortunately never won.

This of course is all speculating on whether the distributor of these drinks has any power over organizations such as Subway. However personally even though I have discovered the secret of it just being a few cleverly placed vitamins into cordial I would still be willing to pay extra to have this slight positive drink as opposed to a huge thing of raspberry soft drink which really can't be doing me that much good at all.

In all essence the companies should have the power to say you get my drinks on the proviso it goes into a meal as an option even if you have to charge extra. This all goes to show that there is most likely always room for improvement even for as successful product launches as this. Distribution is an important aspect of any launch, it is important to get more than a simple yes or no for whether someone will stock your item or not. Whilst it did not cost Vitamin water...I'm sure in some other cases taking that extra effort could have beena make or break deal.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

╠ Insight - Vegemite Census╣

One thing that has always confused me about certain advertisements is when they use one medium to predominantly advertise not a product, but instead a site, which is used to advertise your product to a greater degree.

The benefit of websites over TV or other sources can't be denied because it makes the transition in advertisement of it being a background thing to something you actively pay attention to. So if you can convert a TV view to a website view you have a plus right there.

However the issue I have is with the transition. While a website view is better, how many people actually look at an ad like this and then look up the site...

The way I watch TV is as a background noise while I work on the when this ad comes on, I am at my computer ready to go...however I have never even been tempted to go to this site. I consider it a waste of my time to actively seek to be advertised to...perhaps if there was some prize to be won, but just to be advertised to no.

So my question is, who does actually do these? What is the market for this sort of advertising. If a vegemite eater who had an internet browser open upon seeing this ad did not consider going to it, then who does? And if the answer is as dismal as I suspect...then how do these sort of campaigns keep popping up?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

╠ Comic - Aussies do it better╣

Many apologies for the long absence. I spent all of my time up to this weekend working on Manifest (Melbourne Anime Festival). I was Vice Convenor, Cosplay Coordinator as well as many other roles and because of this I had no time to spend on anything else. Because of this University also suffered so I may still be a bit slow in posts because I have a lot to catch up on if I want to still do well this semester ^^;

To continue on with where I was up to here's the comic to go with the commonwealth ad.

I hope this comic was good because it may have been a bit rushed unfortunately due to my workload. I spent some more time on the art today because of it but I probably should have worked on the lines a bit more.

The basic jist on this comic is in reference to over augmentation of items. For those of you who don't know what augmentation means it's when you add new features to an item. So this is just a humourous rendering of when an item is augmented so much that the original purpose of the item is lost sight of.

The next breakdown I do will be of Vodafone's ad. I don't have a new list for the poll yet because I haven't had time to investigate what ads are suitable but hopefully I will by the next breakdown.

As usual comments are welcome and I look forward to getting onto the Vodafone ad when I catch up on Uni.