Sunday, November 30, 2008

╠ Hidden Augmentations ╣

I don't know what it is but I've had a little hard time thinking of what to write on recently due to all my exam and work worries. So apologies for all those who aren't such a fan of video game references but I have discovered yet another interesting marketing factor.

One thing about video games, more specifically Japanese RPG's is that when you get involved in it you discover what are known as 'fangirls'. If you're not scared you should be. What these fangirls usually do is pair the male characters with other male characters and either write fanfictions on them or draw images of it. It can honestly get quite disturbing and untrue to the character.

When I was younger I though they were simply creating something out of nothing and I thought it would be something anyone at the developers would want to quash this. However I have since realized they are a lot smarter. When they make games they make it so that there is enough there for these things to exist, however not there enough in order to make any other fan able to deny it.

I found this to be an interesting development, having something of value in a product that isn't exactly there meaning it cannot be a negative for others. I struggled to find a better example than video games so sorry to bring it back to that again. If anyone has any other examples let me know because I find it to be quite interesting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

╠ Product Placement in Video Games ╣

Being the Guitar Hero nerd I am I've already got the World Tour version. One thing that caught my eye was the product placement and believe me when I say it is full of it. However I can break it down into two sorts, relevant and irrelevant.

An example of relevant advertising would be the Gibson Guitars. This is good because it allows players to play the guitars they would want to play if they really did play. This makes you feel better about the overall game and also advertises the available guitars to the users.

The irrelevant type however I believe is quite a problem with Video Games and movies because it cheapens both brands. An example in Guitar Hero is in the Phi Psi Kappa venue. Whenever you play a gig for the final song the venue somehow changes, something usually explodes or something magical happens. It's usually quite spiffy so for the first time seeing it your eyes are usually intently on the screen. However at this particular bar there is a distinctly noticeable pan across a KFC bucket. You could argue why it was there but it is still clearly something that is predominantly a revenue raiser.

This is a game I feel proud to own and to have as a good group game however every time I get to this point it's so obvious that whoever sees it has to point it out and how dodgy it is. I'm a bit disappointed with KFC's marketing overall from the various TV ads of theirs I have seen recently and this doesn't really make me think any more of it.

Overall this game is a good example of product placement done right but also done wrong.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

╠ My first real marketing gig ╣

Today was the follow up meeting to the Manifest AGM. This was the one in which Manifest chose to give out all of its roles. I managed to gain the role of Branding manager. Now would probably be the time to realize the irony of being brand manager before I do the brand management class however I'm hoping to do the best job I can. Pictured left is currently the manifest logo. It's odd, it's a design that would seem somewhat unsuiting to that of an anime convention...but for the life of me I can't design a better one. It seems somewhat brilliant in its simplicity combined with uniqueness.

None the less I am proud to be breaking into the market and who knows, once all this world conomic crisis stuff clears I may just find myself in a position where I may be able to be paid for this stuff.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

╠ eGames Expo from a marketing perspective ╣

Pictured on the left are my spoils of the weekend at the eGames expo held at the exhibition centre. The speaker and DVD were prizes from contests, the rest were all general type freebies. I also managed to get entry into the event for dressing up as a video game character. Since I was busy this stuff is mostly what simply came in the bag. However everything there is simply for advertising. The prizes were from a Yamaha sponsored Guitar Hero competition and the dvd from the Madman sponsored cosplay(costume) contest.

It is an odd convention because it is mostly advertising. There are a few traders, some competition booths but for the most part it's simply advertising.

The interesting thing is that most people who aren't dressed up pay $18 a day to basically be advertised to. 1000's a day come here to simply be advertized to. This is something that quite a few industries have, and it is an interesting avenue of advertising...advertising to those who are actually willing to pay to see what you have coming up. It's interesting looking at the world with a marketing brain, and who a few years I may be working in the marketing department of one of these's hoping.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

╠ Marketing, Back Alley Style╣

Zac Martin at Pigs Don't Fly commented on his blog about University Education being a bit lacking in this new age of marketing. Universities appear to be a step behind in marketing in particular. Especially with online activity they don't really dwell into the social marketing side of things which is interaction based marketing.

So if Universities aren't teaching how to market relationship style, who are?

This brings me back to a few weeks ago when I was sitting down at Melbourne Central. A stranger came along and asked if he could have a seat. We said it was okay, it seemed an innocent enough request. However upon sitting down he broke into a story about how he's homeless and just looking for some money for the backpackers. He may have just had me if when he hadn't stated the exact amount he needed and then when proving some other nice people out there trusted him pulled out more than what he needed by accident. However still an interest improvement on the normal smokey voiced 'Can I have some bucks for a metcard *Smoke induced coughing fit*'.

So if these homeless people are learning how to build relationships and other advanced marketing activities...why aren't we?

Friday, November 7, 2008

╠ The Value of Slurpee Quests╣

As most of you are probably aware, the 7-11's of Australia are offering free small slurpee's today. In order to claim your free slurpee you must rock up to a 7eleven, today Nov 7th, between 7am and 11PM and say 'Happy 7 11 Day' thus entitling yourself to a free small slurpee.

This event is a prefect example of how effective the intangible elements of a transaction are. Whilst they're giving out free slurpees by the motherload, it is overall quite effective. The value that can be drawn from this transaction are:
  • Bringing people into the store when they otherwise may have not(Attachment opportunity)
  • Building brand loyalty. (Often freebies are smaller servings than anything you can find in store so by giving out something decent sized you are surpassing expectations leading to brand loyalty. Higher than supermarket priced convenience stores usually give you a feeling of compromise for spending more so to actually have positive brand image is a very good competitive advantage.
  • Possible introduction to Slurpees leading to addiction
  • Creating a day dedicated to the brand. (Having a day devoted to a brand works in itself is an incredibly brand building exercise. Looking at the calender and instantly thinking oh 7-11 day is unique advertising that does not have a direct cost to uphold once established)
  • Discussion raised by the event. (As far as I'm aware despite not being advertised by 7-11 themself it is pretty much everywhere. I have been invited on facebook to the event at least twice, had the topic appear on forums I am a regular on, already today I have been asked on MSN twice whether I have gotten a free slurpee and here I am blogging about it)
When you weigh up this value compared to the meager amount of slurpee lost in free small slurpee's then all of a sudden it seems worth it...perhaps less in the case of those that go on the 27 CBD slurpee shlep but for the most part an overall very effective campaign that no longer seems to need an advertising expense...only some free slurpee goo.

So if you're reading this today try and get to a 7-11 before 11PM tonight and enjoy what appears to be easily a mutually beneficial transaction between consumer and vender.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

╠ Comic - Save The Sensibles ╣

Once again i decided to try something a little bit different with this comic. Overall I think the new style sort of works, however as usual I'd love some other opinions on it to see if anyone shares my sentiments.


I hope you enjoyed this comic and as usual comments are welcome.

Monday, November 3, 2008

╠ Aliases and Equity ╣

So I've just gotten back from the Melbourne Beersphere as organized by Julian Cole to gather Marketing bloggers from Melbourne together and what's the first thing I do when I get home...BLOG!

Before heading to the Beersphere amongst all the nerves of meeting people so much further along my field of interest than I am, I also contemplated who exactly I should be, so to speak. Should I introduce myself by Michael, or by my alias Tannie? Being from the country I grew up there using Michael since it was my real name, however after moving to Melbourne and getting involved in manifest via its forums I've come to be known as Tannie in Melbourne.

It was an odd contemplation because since I've lived here the past few years and apart from my old school friends, most of my closest friends call me by Tannie it is probably the name I am most fond of. However in essence it is a lie not being my true name or even having a clear connection to it.

Overall I decided to use Michael since I believed this was something that could aid my future and therefore all of the brand equity that I can gain for being in such a loop should go to the name I shall use for any jobs I apply for via conventional means. However this all brings me to the point of are aliases worth it in such a sitatuation I have arrived at. I'm looking to be convenor of Manifest under the alias Tannie, yet still have to follow the normal worldly process and live the rest of my life under my real name. In essence I am splitting any brand equity that could be linked to myself in half by having two names.

It didn't overly matter in the end as Julian introduced me as Tannie anyway with correct pronunciation which is something some of my closest friends still don't get. This lead to minor confusion but was quickly resolved. However this day really got me to thinking about the worth of aliases when it comes to a situation where you may be building a repoir for yourself.

The question that I pose to all of you is whether there is actually any room for aliases when you are trying to build a professionally equitable image for yourself or whether they will simply get in the way and divide your worth?

PS: Next time I think I will just stick to the beer at the beerspheres ^^

Saturday, November 1, 2008

╠ Spring Valley - Save Your Sensible ╣

This is an ad campaign I find to be particularly interesting. I must admit that at first I sort of didn't like the idea of it overall. I found the sensible's to be incredibly ugly things, especially the one below.

I mean they seem to be going for a cute sort of thing...and yet it has horns...well to each his own I suppose. However despite my early impression it was the following ad that won me over.

I think this initial dislike sort of was their plan. From the get go they knew it would be a huge long lasting campaign so they used the initial campaign to paint the sensibles as not exactly the most loveable thing.

The reason they did this can be found in the first video I posted in order to encourage the lost sensible part of the story they have built up. So it shows them as less than super in order to make you feel like your sensible needs to be worked on.

If you go to the site you can 'find' your sensible which basically involves putting in your name and then getting a sensible of your own to take care of. It's a very simple application but you can add it to facebook, pick it up, throw it around or even slap it.

When you first get it your sensible is quite worse for ware, however there is a spring valley bottle in the corner and if you click on it your sensible takes a drink, changes to a healthier colour and is all of a sudden a lot better seeming.

It's a very basic application and I probably won't open it again however it was amusing at the time but it is a plus because it encourages direct interraction with the brand.

Overall this is a very good campaign in my opinion, it may just be me being biased because this all started off with a Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy style intro that got me interested however I have bought into the idea that I could just have a sensible and I'm sure others have too.

Once you buy into it even a little and see that little drink having such a positive effect on the sensible you buy into the fact that drinking a spring valley drink will help you make better decisions overall.

My only real criticism of this campaign is that while the spring valley drinks are getting a good boost it is sort of unclear on just what exactly they have on offer. I believe the drinks lack enough differentiation. All that is shown in these adds are a relatively generic bottle shape with just a logo on it. I believe it has a lot of power however when it comes down to the what to buy option when you want a juice or whatever it doesn't stand out well enough. For example I have tried Spring Valley's smart water which is their entrant into the vitamin drink market and I didn't actually realize it was linked to this campaign at all.

I hope you enjoyed this breakdown and as usual any comments are appreciated. If you have any ideas for ads to break down give me a buzz because I could use a few more to add to a poll. Go forth and find your sensibles!