Sunday, May 31, 2009

╠ Twitter is Broken ╣

Whilst most marketers would believe Twitter has had it's time on top, ranking with the likes of facebook and myspace. I beg to differ

My first thought for Twitter was that it's really gimicky. First twitter in unique location here, unique individual twittering there. That's most of the news around it.

I think Twitter in it's current state has run out of steam, however it's not actually the gimickyness that has caused it in my opinion. Thanks to programs like Twollow the entire follower/following dynamic is blown, accounts can auto-follow you that will never actually read what you post. To prove my point I've made an account to follow anyone who talks about Gruen :P

Because of this I think Twitter needs to change its dynamic before it gets more flooded with Twollows than Twits.

PS: Interesting note, as I was writing this Twitter was actually not working, fail whale and all.

Friday, May 29, 2009

╠ The world IS mine ╣

For a career management plan, one of the requirements was to draw a picture of how you would like to see your career future.

Pictured on the left is my entry. I must admit I was surprised that at least 50% of the class simply stole pictures from google images. Those left simply drew a metaphor, doors, gardens growing/sprouting etc.

In a class with the majority doing marketing/management as a major and the students could not even attempt to be innovative.

It is days like these that I am so glad I discovered blogging. Without it I could easily had been as scared of open ended activities like this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

╠ Ditch the Suit ╣

During the weekend just passed I met up with my family and since it's now my final year, conversation moved to my career. Also being close to my birthday the prospect of buying me a really good suit arose. I declined, however this was because when it comes to a suit I would want to pick it myself, because I don't want just a generic suit.

Now they used this as me trying to put forward an excuse for me just wanting to be cheap because I would never spend a lot on a suit myself. Now they were rather certain about this so I had to take a new viewpoint and sort of make the challenge to get a good job without resorting to buying a fancy suit. Which is actually a little bit of a shame because I am quite fond of one day looking spiffy in a suit.

Those of you who read Marketing mag may remember Zac Martin's post about ditching the resume. The resume is simply a way of trying to make yourself look fancier than you are, and suits are the same. In fact they work just like branded goods, you buy them for the social value. Basically you spend $500 on a suit to say that you spent $500 on a suit. Yet somehow this makes you better for a job than someone else.

Zac manages to use the fact that he ditched his resume and replaced it with a blog to spark conversation. However suit's are not so easily replaced, there's not exactly an alternative attire that isn't considered directly inferior to a suit in an interview situation.

That being said I'm going to give it a go. See if I can be a little different and see how far I can get without a suit. Odds are I'm fighting a helpless cause however it will be an interesting challenge to trial none the less.

Amusingly the actual final part of the challenge was to write a book about it if succesful and use the proceeds to buy a suit. But who needs to write a book when you have a blog. So I'll be keeping you up to speed here. As for the proceeds buying a suit...well I may just be waiting a while for that :P

Friday, May 22, 2009

╠ Is waiting for when I'll apparently love coles ╣

Now I must start this post with saying I am actually a woolies boy, I've worked there, got the discount card and also got the credit card. So therefore my view of Coles may be a bit skewed.

However one thing that has been popping up on Facebook is 'Which you'll love coles item are you?'. What makes it more curious is that people are doing it and liking it. When prompted as to why the answer I got was you have to shop there to understand it. Seems shopping at Coles makes you part of some special club...

Whilst I am confused at the succesfulness of this quiz I must admit it is quite good for Coles. Once you get an item you identify with that item and I would think that in most cases you would pick up and have a look at yourself as a product. When you're raking in 4000 of these quizzes a month that's a pretty good investment for something that probably cost them nothing.

It's also an eye opener because it shows that for some people at least the value that they must get back for interracting with a brand isn't high at all.

FYI I'm you'll love coles milk apparently...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

╠ I don't talk to people ╣

Recently I have been thinking about communication. The way I've looked at it I perceive it to be be broken down as talking to people and talking at people and this is decided by the socially expected requirement of instant response.

In a normal real life conversation you talk and then the socially respected return is to respond. The same exists for phone conversations.

However email and SMS are different. Whilst a response usually may be expected, the uncertainty of when the message is received by the user leads to the social acceptance that an instant reply back is not required usually. While it may be required the social norm is that an email response isn't as socially expected as a response in conversation. This is what I consider to be talking at people.

There are some mediums that can seem unclear. MSN for example is a good step closer to talking to someone however again that reply is not instantly expected, MSN is most cases an activity done while engaging in something else, be it surfing or whatever, the point is you can usually give a minute or two to wait for a reply without getting too irate depending on the situation. It is this that makes it a talking at medium.

The benefit of talking at someone is that you get the chance to structure a response, however this is usually at the cost of emotion. Emotion is a powerful tool in communication and is a large factor when it comes to building relationships.

Brands can only talk at people.

Friday, May 15, 2009

╠ Maccas to the Rescue ╣

Two nights ago I was asleep and woke up in the middle of the night just before there was a power outage. I noticed this because not only did the music stop but the low hum as well as a bunch of lights turned out. It was a rare experience for me. No sound, no light. It was so odd that I couldn't get back to sleep until it turned back on. However the experience was so odd that it was burnt in my mind the turn off and back on time.

This demonstrates my dependence on technology. Now the root of all this of course is the internet as I spend my life basically connected. If I don't check my emails every hour or two then something weird is happening. Now the reason I'm saying all this is because in the power outage the router got damaged and is now unable to connect.

Hearing that McDonald's has free internet I thought I'd check it out and here I am quite happy with the experience. You only get 50mb per session so there's no real chance for foul play, but plenty for me to get my fix.

I didn't realize how effective it would be though. Not only do I feel more positive about McDonald's but beyond that I actually feel hungry...hungry for Mcdonalds. Which I would go and fulfill however the line is nearly to the door. I'm sure it would be even stronger were I not next to a bin. At one point someone sat down with their bag full of goodness and I had to take a second and third glance at the line.

Cross this with Nathan Bush's view on wifi as a marketing tool and I think Wi-Fi is really underutilized as a marketing tool.

Now excuse me as I go and sing break up songs about the Internet and I. Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend...

Monday, May 11, 2009

╠ I, I say, I dammit! ╣

Haven't had the chance to discover content recently due to capped internet but just wanted to show off what has to be my favourite outdoor ad this year.

Too often people focus on what is being shown over the finer details of where and how to utilize that to their advantage.

Friday, May 8, 2009

╠ Brand's aren't forever ╣

I was watching through some old recordings recently and when looking at the ads remembered seeing a lot of things I had since forgotten. It really surprised me how much I had forgotten some things that had previously been so prominent in my mind. The best examples of these brands fading out are movies. There were so many that I remembered there being a big buzz over but then haven't heard anything since for months. To show what I'm talking about who here remembers these movies from last year?

-Marley and Me
- Bolt
- Bedtime Stories
- Step Brothers
- You Don't Mess with the Zohan
- Yes Man
- Pineapple Express
- Jumper
- 27 Dresses
- Role Models

The thing is most of these movies weren't even failures, they're all in the top 50 movies of the year raking in a minimum of 67,266,000 total gross. This is just last year as well so a lot of these may still be new release DVDs or in some cases yet to be released.

Just goes to show without maintenance how quick a brand can deteriorate and be forgotten.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

╠ Infotalk? Or just Telstra talk? ╣

I noticed an Infotalk ad on TV a few weeks ago, basically it was another 'Brand Power' style ad however this time for technology. What they basically do is act as a third party and say 'We looked into it and like this company.' The problem with this however is they usually fail to mention 'By the way they paid us to say that.' Of course it is kind of stand out if you're a bit cluey but it does work on some.

On a basic level it is deceiving, it's buying credibility as opposed to actually earning it. To prove how sketchy some of these companies are Gen Y podcast discovered that the company What's New(Not the retail store) ran a product of the year competition where if you got shortlisted you owed them $5,000 and if you won you owed them even more in order to be able to advertise that you won. That's right, they actually ran a competition where if you even placed, you owed them money. Now obviously there is value in saying you won and that's why brands enter and are willing to fork up, but overall it doesn't seem quite as accurate and unbiased product of the year competition when you start to expose it bit by bit.

Now what got me about Infotalk is that it's only done one brand, Telstra. I waited for about a month to see if this changed in any way, see if they mentioned any other brands to give them credibility, however the site still appears as you see it above as just a push for Telstra. I dn't know if it will change in the future but my suspicion is that Telstra may have been responsible for propositioning the brand power group in order to make a brand power that was more suitable for their market.

I personally think some of these ads border on lying to consumers when they make sure to appear to be independant and think something should probably be done about it. What are your thoughts?

Friday, May 1, 2009

╠ Clearly targetting the niche butch lesbian mum market ╣

As most of you with Mother's are probably aware there is a certain day coming up of relevance, and with it comes a wave of ads trying to catch your attention. One I would like to draw to attention is the Bunnings Mother's Day ad. Unfortunately the ad has not reached youtube hence the pic to the left.

Now don't get me wrong, I really am someone who tries to be non sexist. So when I first saw it I was like 'Well I spose Bunnings does sell a lot...'. However the continuation of the ad was advertising the price or power drills, screwdrivers and other various tools.

It may just be me but most of the time the idea that I've seen of Mother's day is that it's 'Mother's day off'. Not 'Mother gets out the power tools and builds herself a spice cabinet day'. I always find it interesting when a brand tries to expand their target market but...this just...confuses me. This is the fault with trying to extend your market, you always risk confusing people about just who is meant to use your product or visit your store.

So this is an example of branching out more than a brand perhaps should therefore meaning that the new market will be confused and not get captured and the current target market will also get confused, feel that they're not the target market and perhaps move elsewhere to where they will be.