Wednesday, April 29, 2009

╠ Apple isn't a fruit ╣

I had a thought the other day and wondered, 'When was the last time I said Apple and meant the fruit?'

The potential of an individual brand seems almost limitless. Fruit is such a big thing and is something that is encouraged to be eaten on a daily basis with apples at the forefront of that.

Yet one brand can come in and overpower that. This makes me wonder whether unbranded names for products and possibly even their category may be fading until only those without positive connotations remain unbranded. It's not something that everyone does but there are a few examples of brands taking over their category. You grab a kleenex when you have a runny nose, you use glad wrap to cover food. it all makes me wonder if we're actually headed towards a purely branded world.

Friday, April 24, 2009

╠ The Talk of Techxperts Reprise ╣

This post has actually been a long time waiting. Some of you may remember a long while back I made an AniBlog that criticized what I perceived at the time to be critical flaws with Dick Smith Electronics.

Not too soon after the release it was picked up by Dick Smith and since it was harmful to the Dick Smith brand. It was established that one of the higher ups wished to talk to me at some point. Since the matter was unresolved the aniblog remained online. Unfortunately the discussion never took place and so the video remained. I'm assuming this is because of the effort that has been put into the rebranding.

By the time I realized this discussion was probably not going to happen a new training was announced for Dick Smith employees. The training was titles 'moments of truth' and consisted of training around just that, the moments that define an interaction between a customer and the salesman. I decided to hold off posting any further views until seeing this training.

I feel good knowing that I took the time to focus my thoughts. My only regret is that today after work I actually had another talk to my boss making this less out of the blue than I had originally planned.

Since the aniblog things have certainly changed. At the time I was very dissatisfied with Dick Smith and was annoyed with my previous manager for his poor handling of the store and then ditching. I must now admit that the company has changed a lot with the rebranding and in particular my store is in a much better state than it was before.

I found the training to actually be quite good. It covered a lot of things, from the marketing reasoning behind the rebranding to the finer elements of how to deal with customers. It was all really good because it was finally some training to make me feel as if I could do my job better than a random of the street, which while it may have been a confidence issue with me, the good thing is that it was actually addressed.

The aniblog was created whilst I was frustrated and perceived what I was giving to the company was not worth what I was giving them and therefore took the rest out of their brand equity. Since things hae changed I have no need for such thing, it's contrary to my interests as I've grown quite fond the new DSE. The aniblog has now been removed from Youtube.

Through discussions with my manager I also realized that another post of mine that compared career progression in Apple vs Dick Smith isn't as black and white as it had been. Due to this this post has also been removed.

With my blog growing and receiving more views than before I need to be more careful with my content and if a company is willing to help me out and support me then I should do the same to it.

Overall what I believe the important message here is that peoples opinions can shift. In this case it didn't even take targeting, all I've received has been what was offered to any other employee. So Connex, Melbourne Uni...What're you waiting for?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

╠ AniBlog - Gruen brought Sexy Back╣

This aniblog recognizes the performance of the Greun Transfer TV show in being able to spark further interest in marketing as a career, however also comments on the possible downsides when you consider the economic climate they will all be entering into.

As usual comments are always appreciated on these things as they do take a while so I like to get them right. Anyway here's what may be a slightly inaccurate script

Media has had a history of turning specific careers into what we call sexy careers. CSI did it for forensics, Scrubs for doctors and Dragonball Z for bleaching your hair, flying around and trying to blow up planets with your energy balls!

The Gruen Transfer seems to be the next installment for this as it has made Marketing into a much more appealing job. Unfortunately when I say The Gruen Transfer though I mean the ABC television show as oposed to this blog


Unfortunately the only relation the blog share to the show is the name which is simply the moment where when you go shopping all of the stimuli such as advertisements makes you buy items you weren't planning on usually followed not soon after by the statement 'Why did I buy all this crap?'

Universities have seen as much as a 30% increase in students wishing to do marketing since the show started. However as a current marketing student I can't help but imagine that this may be bad news for me. As soon as these kids come out I'll be losing on the experience front to those who have been sacked and on the youth side to these new kiddies.

So this is my call out to the Gruen Transfer. Please stop being so damn sexy! At the moment out of ten you're bottled Jelly from a particularly spirited jelly wrestle fight. If you could tone it down to perhaps a pair of ladies underpants bought from a japanese vending machine, not my thing but I'm sure there's some sex appeal to it. But if you could do that it would be much appreciated.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

╠ Back in my day we had to type in the full url ╣

Stan Lee over at Brand Dna made a post about a new website recently. What this site does is takes any website and creates a smaller url for it.

It's a brilliant idea and a great idea for what is becoming a more and more upcoming need for consumers. Especially with the growth of twitter the need to limit character number is something that is more and more useful.

Whilst this site may generate a url longer than some sites like, however if you were instead trying to link to this exact blog post the character count is huge. If I wanted to post about it on twitter what I can say is incredibly limited, however using this site opens huge opportunities.

A site like this is really satisficing a market need before it flourishes into an actually well recognized issue. Personally I think the thought behind it is so brilliant and I hope whatever car that is is paying them advertising because I really like this idea and them making nothing from it would just be a shame.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

╠ Gorilla forgot how to play the drums ╣

This is a variation of an ad that I broke down in the past. What happened is that for the Australian market apparently Phil Collins isn't Aussie enough and therefore the entire thing had to be redubbed. Personally it really saddens me to see this beause it's just been so wrong. Gen Y Podcast actually beat me to the first punch at this ad.

Their argument was that Cadbury Australia is known or being conservative and therefore this was born. There are so many things that I want to say against this ad but they're all wanting to come out at once ending up in an incoherent yelp of angst.

What I find weird is that the original ad already aired here. It had its original one and a half minute burst and then a few bursts of the shorter version. So this ad is actually a rebirth making it all the more obvious for what it is.

There's only so much I can say about this without getting angry. If you want a list perhaps just read my original post and then take away all the things I praised it for. The worst point though is the timing. Most of the time the gorilla hits in the middle of the drum beats. Online there are so many edits of this ad with different music that is so much better done. If some random online can better you odds are you should have another look at your ad.

The true shame here though is that it harms the old ad so much. Looking at the old ad now I notice that it is also out of time a little bit on certain hits. That being said the value of this ad had probably been expired and was not planned to be used again so the rebirth is of some value to them. I spose that is what a true marketer will do, if there is value left in something they will not let it die with dignity. However I personally think this smudge to the original award winner is something completely not worth while

Monday, April 13, 2009

╠ One person can change the world ╣

A lot of importance in advertising is placed on viewer totals or hits. I think there is a fault in this though. One individual could easily be worth more or less value than another. Especially with your average internet hoax style campaign everything is rated in 'If they paid for it it would be worth...'.

This seems to be a huge mistake because it ignores the value of an individual. The individual value of a viewer or 'hit' is made up of two components. Their personal value attributed to the effectiveness of the ad on them as well as who they pass their thoughts onto.

The first point is how well a consumer fits into your target market however I want to talk more on the second. This is probably where most value is found. One person can affect others. Especially with the resilience that Gen Y faces to general advertisements peers and family members can be a huge influence. Certain people would obviously influence more people. An example of this would be someone like myself, as a marketing student people seem to believe what I say more as I have what is perceived as an expert in the market. However there are people who influence me, lectures, tutors and the louder of the student body.

An example of this is that we were discussing car brands in a lecture and someone yelled out that Toyota were unreliable. Personally I believe the opposite however as someone who doesn't have my own insight I can't help but take this thought on board even if just subconsciously.

So a hit could be say a lecturer who will pass this information on to many of the target market or it could be a random outside the target who will pass it onto noone. Hits are too random to attribute real value to. When trying online activities we all still need to remember, messages are useless if they are not hitting the right targets. People are individuals and hit numbers do not completely represent this.

Friday, April 10, 2009

╠ You have to use care, when down there ╣

What I have noticed recently especially is the advertisement of things that are a bit out there that people predominantly don't want to think about. I think it's quite brilliant just how creative some people are. The above video is one I do like because it gets the point across and in a market where advertising is rather limited...or at least in my case is in areas where I as possibly a target market do not use, such as magazines. When it comes down to it if you're the only one whose advertising hits you will have the brand preference. Obviously there may be a few interferences here such as preferred brands from other aspects of your life having a product in the market. But if you do something like this and do it right a lot of the new users of this product will at least look at your product and consider it.

Here is another ad that was recommended to me on a forum I was on.

Not the greatest ad but I still must give commend to the creativity. I think in the future these products may be the ones I love but also hate to work on.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

╠ When giving less is more ╣

One thing that has always half amused me, half annoyed me is the immense popularity of gift cards. The reason this is, is because I perceive it to be of less value. Money can be used everywhere, however gift cards are often locked to a single store. The other downside is when used you don't get change, the only way to utilize them fully is to get something to the exact value or higher.

The value to the stores seems to be immense. First off they get money without giving up a product or service. All the while that card sits in your pocket they'd be investing it and earning on it. Then there is the fact that often the card will either be forgotten and go out of date or you'll simply use it once and ditch it because it's not worth carrying around something that only has a few dollars. I'd really like to see the ROI on these cards because I think it'd be surprisingly high.

Yet the reason we do this is to show that we care...slightly. 'I acknowledge you like this store, so here's some money that can only be spent there.' The idea always seemed stupid to me because as a poor uni student I prefer the idea of money that can always be used to say buy me groceries to stop me starving rather than have to be spent on something I may never use.

So the value is added there. Although I think so much more could be done to encourage this. Especially in the current economic position locking in money without providing anything is important. One market untapped with this is the closer relation market. People who are really close to you find it impersonal. I think this is something that could be turned around.

One of the causes for the impersonality is the lack of differentiation of the cards. EB Games is someone who has done a bit differently by having specific games on their cards to help target more specifically but there is still more. I think the chance to actually be able to put messages on the cards could realy lead to a tapping into the market. Hell if it were possible to make the cards out of a metal and you could engrave that I would probably pay a premium for it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

╠Lie To Me╣

I must admit I quite like the idea of April Fools. As a marketing tool if managed well it is quite a good way to raise brand value. If you think about it basically you say say whatever lies you want thus making people think your brand may be innovative or whatever you want and then take it all back.

Obviously there are certain limits to this. You have to be clever about it. You can't just make claims and then say 'Oh April Fools' because it doesn't work as well. Obviously there are also certain brands whose target market wouldn't be too receptive to such joking.

However I am lucky. The Melbourne Anime Festival Organizing Committee, of which I am the branding manager, does have the audience for this. So I thought why not test it out. Name some fake events and then see if people get it. You can read it here (Just scroll to the spoiler post). However I made sure to not leave it too open at the very end you get the hint that makes it an easy unravel.

The overall thing was quite well taken, some people were fooled, some people caught it out without even getting to the end. The most interesting thing thought is that it actually caught the eye of the committee. The original plan was to have one point that is actually genuine and the rest be false. However now after seeing it all and the following some ideas have we're now doing more. So I spose the moral here is if you want your organization to do something pitch it to your market as an april fools joke.

Also I can't end a post like this without also showing off mUmBRELLA's Twitter Tax post which really made my day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

╠ AniBlog - Skittles are my BFF - A reply to Gen Y Podcast ╣

Finally another AniBlog has been prepared. This one is a reply to the Gen Y Marketing Podcast. The particular one I am replying too is Number 44 I think, there's a bit of confusion with the numbering. Also I've included Skittles in all my examples as they are actually a brand that does seem to be more active with the trying to be a friend, or at least that's how I perceive what I've seen of them on facebook. Anyway for those of you who struggle to understand my horrible voice here's the script. (May not be 100% accurate.)

Apologies for the going awol but over the holiday period I got this thing called a life that everyone else seems so fond of and as you with lives would know when you have one you do more stuff, however this means you do less things. Unfortunately animated blogs falls into the things collumn like the unloved children that they are.

In my absence I discovered the Gen Y podcast. Unforunately I don't know to just who I'm replaying because I've yet to grasp just who and how many people there are at Gen Y. There could be ten or just one guy who's good at putting on voices. In fact that sounds like a bit of fun I may try that.

I concur

What one of them brought up was that he did not want to interract or communicate with a brand,

which is something brands have actually been pushing as of late.

Instead he believes more that he's only their for value, he's only going to interract with a brand if there is something in it for him. Now I'm trying to be careful to not get this wrong but I think it's because he doesn't want brands as friends, he doen't want them to be part of a conversation.

He wants to use them for their value and tell them to piss off.

This really got me thinking because I found it to be a valid point. Brands aren't our friends, they aren't part of friends circles, yet some of us do allow them to technically be part of the conversation. Here's my conclusion

I was thinking of the value added as a tangible element but this is not what brands are offering in these situations. It's their social value. The value added by you being associated with that brand.

Basically it's the value added on things like facebook where you become a fan of a product.

You may not consciously know why you're so eager to be a fan, but it's because you're aligning yourself with a brand that you like. You can learn a lot about a person by what they like so therefore there is value added by sometimes communicating with a brand in the mix.