Monday, December 22, 2008

Smell My Burger

Finding it hard to pull a chick who works your local drive through? Perhaps you have had your eye on meat loving gal and just haven't been able to crack a date.... well consider your woes over.

Burger King in the US has launched a fragrance called Flame which they claim is the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat. It's cracking news though and what a bargain at US $3.99!

The website is absolutely top notch... no description can do it justice so you will have to pay it a visit. Make sure you click to have a 'virtual' spray of the scent as the images and music is well.... Barry White meets Hallmark. Keep 'spraying' till you get to the image of the Burger King himself... what a guy!

I know you can actually buy this stuff as there is a site in the US that is selling it but surely this is a brilliantly executed stunt? I searched around for a reveal on it being a brilliant PR story but found nothing... what do you think?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I was chatting to someone this morning, and they were talking about how they won a major head to head strategy pitch based on one thing: proof. Specifically the client liked the fact that their strategies were well grounded and their ideas were achievable. They were up against another agency, a boutique strategy agency, and the client apparently asked agency 2 to actually go and cost their idea. They came back with tail between their legs saying they couldn't actually achieve half of it on budget. Pitch over.

This reminded me of a project I know of where the comms strategy agency came up with the idea of having helicopters drop people into the CBD. This was approved as a strategy by the client and then given to the implementation agency to organise. Except that you can't get helicopters to fly over George St. Full Stop.

So, I think there is a lot to be said for checking that ideas are well grounded, measurable and achievable. Next time someone says to me they are going to get their clients logo on the Harbour Bridge (and this actually happened this year and was presented to the client), I will be pushing back on them to take the essence of the idea and try and achieve it another more realistic way.

It's definitely not to say we should push ourselves and try and overcome barriers and try stuff that's never been tried before, but if an idea is strategically sound there should be different ways of achieving it that don't rely 100% on projecting a logo onto the moon.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Are you experienced?

Summer has finally arrived after months of the usual anticipation… Spring Racing Carnival , the arrival of daylight saving and watching your gym start to burst at the seams with that mad dash for the bikini body.
Tis indeed the season for being out and about and its one that opens up a raft of opportunities for brands to be ‘at one’ with their consumer. Have a look at Ticketmaster, Citysearch and the myriad of other event listing destinations and overwhelm yourself with things to get out of the house for, not to mention opportunities for your brand to bring out it’s best for.

A few quick ticket stats:
  • In 2007, Australians bought more than 20 million tickets on live concerts musicals and plays
  • More than 1 million aussies have been to a either a live concert or live sports event in the last 3 months… that’s rich pickings!
  • 40% of revenue generated from event sales comes from rock and pop concerts

These stats would suggest we are keener to pay for the live experience more than we have been before…
“Spending by Australians on live performance has grown YOY compared to declines in spending on recorded music”
Live Performance Australia Chief Executive; Evelyn Richardson


Media, as we all know is all about piggy backing on the right times and places for a brand to get amongst…
When it comes to the live experience or event, there are some truly inspiring examples of where brands have gone down the piggyback rider (sponsorship) path as well as where brands have clearly decided to create something where they get to play a starring role.

Red bull has made a rather impressive name for themselves with their bespoke and ‘energetic ‘events like the Red Bull Flugtag, where participants jump from a ramp in a do-it-yourself flying machine into a lake. The brand is bringing itself to life and communicating experientially that "Red Bull vitalizes the body and mind."

Moomba, held annually in Melbourne, is Australia’s largest free community festival and is a Yarra River waterfest to boot. The Birdman rally has an esteemed tradition a little like a local Red Bull Flugtag where crazy people who build a load of manmade flying set ups and then jump off a platform into water to see how far they make it before landing in the drink.
To launch itself as a new low cost car insurance operator in 2008, sponsored the Birdman Rally.

It’s quite simply a lovely fit to showcase themselves as a having a real Aussie sense of humour and appreciation for the ‘bingle’.

We’ve talked about these guys before but it’s worth a reminder - Innocent drinks in the UK.
They have a wonderful history for events that bring to life their values around all things to do with being natural
and importantly doing good.

This comes to life quite ‘fruitfully’ via The Innocent Village fete that they held this year in August in Regents Park. You could experience all the classics there: the coconut shy, ferret racing, morris dancing, pin the tail on the badger, a flea circus and of course the fruit smoothie tasting tent…
Importantly profits went to three charities bringing to life their commitment to doing good. Check out their website, their blog, their flickr page or Youtube to get a flavour of how big brands can think small.

The Rooftop Cinema in Melbourne ran a strange and memorable experience for one of their sponsors Mini last summer to encourage test drives of the new Clubman. The campaign idea centred around the thought that ‘normal’ has become like a virus infecting the nation but the ‘anything but normal’ Clubman can help solve this problem.

The Rooftop Cinema ran a couple of Zombie (i.e. virus like) film nights and handed out breathing masks to all the customers. As customers left they were provided with specially bottled remedies which had the details of the Safe Zone / test drive time and place and a promise that MINI had developed a cure for ‘Normal’ that could be administered to all who turned up… A weird and wonderfully playful campaign idea that saw both Mini and The Rooftop Cinema work their brands in together to build an intimate yet highly measurable campaign experience.

No doubt about it, the music festival can be a great opportunity for the more youth targeted brands to do their thang so here’s a couple of interesting examples:

Wrangler jeans piggy backed the Lowlands festival in the Netherlands to not only add a much wanted service to the scene but to get as many people wearing Wrangler as possible.

If you have ever been to a weekend festival and camped there you will be more than familiar with the handicap of your gear being sweat soaked and stinking with a day of festivities still to go! Wrangler set up a massive Laundromat where people could drop off their dirty laundry and when it was clean, they would receive a txt message to come and collect it. To add a dash of genius to this already smarty pants idea… they handed out black Wrangler overalls to anyone who used the Laundromat to wear whilst their duds were getting a good wash. Check out how it rolled:

Telco brands and festivals are a cosy couple…
When Virgin Mobile wanted to create an experience at the Big Day Out they started with a great insight: There is nowhere to have a conversation on your mobile cause it’s so damned noisy.
They created ‘quiet booths’ for making phone calls that were not only visibly Virgin and pretty kooky but they were clearly being useful to the festival goers


Firstly it depends on what you want to your brand presence at events to actually do? Chances are if you are expecting to see a huge spike in sales straight after the event, you may be tad disappointed but it’s just like any other communication, know why you are there and have a benchmark for your expected success.

Having the client and agency teams working on the brand, being clear on what success should be about and have a strategy on how to measure the impact of the festival activity is a great start. Traditional tracking methods alone will not do the business so ensure you include a portion of the budget for measurement. And here’s a shameless plug for our OMD Insights team who have a whole raft of measurement approaches including mobile phones or PDAs and getting participants to keep diaries for longer running events such as sports sponsorship.

There’s no doubt that events offer a rich opportunity to get close to your consumer whether you create a bespoke experience or whether you piggy back on another event out there. For those brands that get this right, there are fantastic rewards so here’s a few thoughts to leave you with:

1. Make sure your brand has purpose and relevance at the event you’re choosing. Without purpose it can be a waste of time and money, not just for the advertiser but you could end up wasting consumers’ time, potentially leaving a bad brand taste in their mouth!

2. Remember to set a benchmark for success and to do this, you’ll likely need to think outside of traditional measurement

3. Ensure all stakeholders are involved in the planning process as events are at their most effective when they are built into an overall communication strategy. So don’t just see them as an ambient tack on, make them work hard for your brand by giving everyone a vested interest in the design of your brands next experience.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'll try that one thanks

I know there has been some ideas a little like this already but sampling is clearly going gangbusters in Shanghai with the opening of an ENTIRE shoppping centre dedicated to the cause. it's called.... wait for it: Sampleplaza !

You pay a one off fee and then a membership on top which is all about AUS $25 and then you go sampling... we're talking a little more than a sachet of soap here too...

Sure there are the FMCG products there's a whole lot more including cosmetics, techy items and even roses. They also talk about new things on their blog so you can see when to get down for the latest new stuff. All Sampleplaza members are able to take home 5 products every time you go there, so,what's the catch you ask?
You need to feedback on the products you take home which gets fed back into the manufacturers... What a great way to get people excited about new stuff and get them talking about it although if consumers don't like something, wonder what they do with all the unwanted stuff?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Think Fresh video

We've had a great little video made as a summary of our Think Fresh festival back in August.Thought we'd include it on our blog seeing we did quite a lot of chatting about it back when it happened and we're sure this will help bring it to life a bit more.

If you want to chat to any of us about any of the elements of Think Fresh, we'd love to hear from you!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bike Hero

Am sure there will be a load of viewers thinking this was a top notch home jobby but clearly it took a while to nail the shoot and I am guessing the production wasn't super cheap either. The video was done by Droga5 to promote Guitar Hero World Tour and if you've ever played the game before... you'll get a good chuckle from this.

It was posted on Youtube 2 days ago and has already clocked up over 784,000 views. Another example of Youtube doing a rather fine media job and faster than you can say:

Book me a shit load of spots during Video Hits NOW!...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mankind is no island

This year's NY Tropfest winner - Jason van Genderen. It was shot entirely on a cell phone video camera. It's 3 1/2 minutes long and packs a truthful punch. Nuff said.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Etihad Stadium…Etihad Stadium…doesn’t really roll of the tongue does it? Not like Telstra Dome…especially when you do your deepest movie voice-over-man impersonation.

Regardless of how it sounds, us Melbournians are going to have to get our mouth around the change of Telstra Dome to Etihad Stadium when the United Arab Emirates Airline launches their service in March 2009.

And what a way to launch a new brand; take over the name of the second most mentioned sporting arena in Australia’s home of sport. I’m sure by the end of the 5 year deal most of us will have included the Arabic word, meaning united into our vocabulary, but I wonder how long it will take to catch on…or to change. Surely its only be a matter of time before we see Etihad Stadium referred to with something a bit easier for the average Aussie to pronounce. I’m not saying we’re all gibbons when it comes to pronunciation, its just that it’s such an Aussie thing to do to shorten the name of a destination or something we love. Take for example The G, The Gabba and The Wacca...or the mate that everyone's got, Gibbo.
This makes me think that the naming rights deal is an even smarter move for Etihad. There aren't many brands that can say that they are so well known by the Australian public that they’re given a nickname and if Etihad can achieve nickname status with us, it should go a long way to getting consumers to feel good about booking flights with them. See yous at Eti next year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


From this....

To this!

Consumer discontent... it's nothing new...There's a whole lotta lovers out there and the yang of this means there's a going to be as many haters who have been defacing and bitching about brands since jesus was a boy. Still, there's no doubt consumers have found a louder voice than ever and are not afraid to use it in as many creative and interesting ways as advertisers can and do.

Trendwatching call this Transparency Tyranny:

Old economy fog is clearing: no longer can incompetence, below-par performance, ignored global standards, anti-social & anti-eco behavior, or opaque pricing be obscured. In its place has come a transparent, fully informed marketplace, where producers have no excuse left to underperform. TRANSPARENCY TYRANNY for some, TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH for others

First there was Adbusters who have been challenging the old model of 'brand as dictator' since 1989.... today this style of anti-advertising or SUBERVERTISING can be seen through the likes of Banksy not to mention the millions of blogs and forums and ratings systems such as Amazon,,, etc etc

So naturally these are great places for like minded anti-brand/ Naomi klein lovers to congregate and share their views but... getting these subversive messages out to the broader community is happening through interesting and frankly very humorous means.

Let me introduce you to the Billboard Liberation Front (BLF) who are 'marketing for the people' and believe in 'establishing a new paradigm in street marketing'. They actually have more than a 30 year history but undoubtedly the WWW is giving them a bigger, stronger and more global voice. It's worth a visit to their site if not for their comical and undoubtedly genuine list of employees to read their manifesto which states that:

Each time you change the Advertising message in your own mind, whether you climb up onto the board and physically change the original copy and graphics or not, each time you improve the message, you enter in to the High Priesthood of Advertisers

A subvert according to Adbusters "mimics the look and feel of the targeted ad, promoting the classic double take as viewers suddenly realize they have been duped. Subverts create cognitive dissonance. It cuts through the hype and glitz of our mediated reality and, momentarily, reveals a deeper truth within...'

This creates a great debate about the importance of brand truthfulness and transparency and acknowledging that you can't ignore your brand's dark side. Every brand has one... have you had a conversation about yours lately?

Also just stumbled across this one too.. but if you are a little sensitive to the above image, don't click through...!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Recession Marketing - Seen on the Streets of London & on the TV screens of USA

We are all aware of the 'global credit cruch' so it is no surprise that across the US and the UK families have seen their income reduce in value.

In fact in the UK people were £14 a week poorer this September thanks to high inflation and limited wage increases.

So with governments in Britain & America talking about the coming of the dreaded R word, advertisiers are responding with value messages.

This ad from KFC captures the moment perfectly

In the US, Target is running TVC's under a new day - new ways to save tag line.

Coles is the Australian advertisier that comes to my mind when thinking of those that have jumped on the penny pinching banwagon here, with meal ideas under a price point. E.g. Feed 6 for under $35.

It is likely only a mater of time before we see more of this type of messaging....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Consumers - the lowest they have been in nearly 17 years

Latest report unsurprisingly showing lowest confidence rating since 1991.

Always useful fodder for responding to client requests wanting the latest (depressing) data. You can get a historical read and a bit of commentary from the Roy morgan site

Applying Photography Darkroom Principles to Strategy

V Raw's Grand Prix win at last Thursday's MFA awards was an example of how a good idea can get marketeers excited about what is fun about our industry. Media and Creative agencies will always support good ideas, as this is what the history of the communications industry is based on.
What is interesting about this process, is that when an idea is first ignited, it is important to surrround the idea with people who care about it. Only by having a tribe of advocates who believe in the idea, are commited to it and are able to think of a 100 ways to sell to the people who can make it happen, does it really have the chance to grow and prosper.

Like photography darkroom principles, it's imperative to keep the image (idea) away from daylight until the image has evolved, been fixed and washed from impurities.

From a recent blog...

'A really good idea is simple, unexpected and relevant. And it unites extremes: it should risk a lot but nevertheless be easy to implement.”

By it's very nature, a high-reward strategy will be inherently risky, because it hasn't been done before and may have the possibility to fail. If the success of the idea or strategy is hard to measure, then influence and passion plays a big part to sell it into the client. Any resource possible which can be used to actualise the vision to the decision maker is absolutely crucial. So for example, if it's a brand experience, get an art director who can visualise the campaign, if it lives online, mock up a simulated site which you can navigate the client through.

My last word; many big ideas often fall down in the execution phase of the process. I genuinely believe that the production values applied to deliver on an initial thought are as important as the thought itself. So before you rush to create a mood board asssembled from Google images to try to give a sense of idea you want to sell, really think about the messsage you are giving the client - is this really the last thought you want to leave them with before they decide to invest their money on a risky strategy?

Monday, October 20, 2008

A night at the Media Federation Awards

By now many of you will know that OMD had a great night on Thursday 16th Oct at the Media Federation Awards taking out the Grand Prix, 4 category awards, the Pro Bono award and the NGen award (for a strategy piece written by someone with less than 5 years industry experience).

As a reference, no-one has ever won more awards at a single MFA, and we are now up to 3rd on the all time list.

So, a massive night for OMD. Big agencies like ourselves rarely, if ever, combine size with brains and I think this is proof that we have had a brilliant run the last 4 years as we do have the brains and the brawn. That puts us in a unique place in the Aussie market I believe. Much of it is driven by our specialist structure where we are truly ahead of our competitors in content, trading, strategy, digital, research and so on. All of those disciplines were involved in the award winners.

One of the other elements that pleased me most was the recognition of our young stars Kerry and Naomi (NGen finalist and winner respectively) - they and a number of others who enter the various competitions for young people in our industry really represent the culture and the future of OMD. We have people who aspire to great strategy and who are passionate enough to take on extra work to do it.

Congratulations to us, to all our people, to all the other award winners (notably Bellamy and Starcom and Campaign Palace who picked up 2 each). Trying to top this next year is going to be tough!

Friday, October 17, 2008

So many definitions of bravery.....

To kick off this week we held a Think Fresh client session where we had 3 senior clients come and talk to us about what freshness and bravery means to them. We also wanted to know more about how we could better address their needs around this topic.

We heard the different perspectives of a paint manufacturer, an energy provider and a directory service. All 3 had very interesting things to say about the world they live and breath in.

We also had conversations about how fresh ideas could be brought across the line. The need for passion and belief in an idea in order to sell it was discussed and the importance of measurement & ROI were hot topics.

Overall the session was a great opportunity to learn from a few of our key senior clients and their thoughts around not only thinking fresh and being brave but continuing to deliver above and beyond their expectations.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Culture Shock

You can always trust in 'your ABC' to bring some interesting programming that reflects what is happening Australia currently. And in this case, also helps us (as consumer champions) to understand the culture more deeply.
There will be an 'arts' program Artscape: Not Quite Art - Culture Shock on the ABC at 10pm that explores the 'fragmented cultural landscape', with a particular focus on the role of new media as a way of communicating ideas to a global audience.

If you get a chance to catch it, I would be interested in your feedback on it so please leave a comment.

Net 10s No Evil Campaign

In an span of 18 months, US mobile carrier, Net10 US went from the 15th largest mobile network company to the 7th, by launching a campaign which addressed all the negatives barriers consumers have about their mobile network – long contract periods, penalties to leave, fixed rental fees, and high roaming charges..

Key benefits of Net 10– No Bills, No Contracts, No rental fees – just 10C a call to anywhere in the US.

Specifically, by pointing the finger at carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, new creative agency Droga 5 (New York) launched their No Evil campaign with an online viral, which gave consumers a platform to talk about their frustrations and experiences of the ‘evil’ mobile carriers. To add further fuel to the fire the viral story focuses on America’s underdog – nurses, teachers, charity workers, volunteers, senior people, illustrating the point, that all other carriers are evil.

So far, so good, the danger here however, as the network increases will they be able to sustain their competitive offers or will the carriers they have slandered come bite them in the tail?
Check out Net10 Case Study on Droga 5 website.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Knees up Google Stylee

Happy Birthday to....Google...
It's their 1oth birthday as it turns out.
As part of their celebrations for turning 10, they have turned back time on themselves to 2001. You can make searches in the directory for what was searchable nearly 8 years ago. Apparently they have gone with 2001 as it was the earliest version they could generate from their directory.

Anyway, what I love about this as it is the perfect demonstration of their evolution. Steps you back in time and simply shows you how far they have come to get to Number 10 (coincidence?) on the latest best global brands report by Interbrand. On this years' report, Google is a mere 'toddler' surrounded by big established greats like Coca Cola, Toyota, Microsoft and Mcdonalds and yet the perfect information brand in the information era.

No need for a fancy PR fuelled party, no need for a gazillion dollar ad campaign shouting about success; just an invitation to see with your own eyes then and now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Office Envy

I always like getting my cool hunter newsletter delivered to my inbox, and last week one particular article caught my attention. It was about ANZ’s Learning and Breakout Centre in Melbourne.
The centre is designed, as the name suggests, for breakout for sessions that will enhance creativity and innovation away from ANZs’ staff normal office environment. The centre is not an isolated idea to breed creativity and innovation at ANZ. Since new management took over the bank in 2000, they’ve been implementing a Cultural Transformation Program, called Breakout. The program has seen 26,000 of their staff undertake self development workshop since its inception.
The Breakout program has been about staying competitive by being a very different bank that focuses on people, its culture and environment…which has now lead to this very cool breakout centre. Apart from the entry way, there is no ANZ branding on the inside, and every day they’ve estimated 220 will use the space for meetings, workshops, events and training. I love the idea that people that you expect to be working in stale office environments, like a bank, get to enjoy the spoils of great innovation in design that will help them with creativity. Who would of thought a bank would be doing this!

Cool Hunter regularly update great office spaces that they’ve found from around the globe if you want to see more:
And Trudi recommended this site to take a peak at the brainstorming rooms at Naked in Sydney:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Economic Downturn’s effect on Media.

‘As new paths emerge, new opportunities emerge with them.
Long and Winding Road, OMD, Yahoo Research

In 2004, consumers found themselves face-to-face with billboards and magazine ads featuring normal women in just their underwear. The ad’s promoting a skin firming cream for Unilever’s Dove, was the beginning of a campaign which challenged beauty norms and convention (campaign for real beauty). This was followed by the ubiquitous virals entitled ‘evolution’ and ‘onslaught’ which received over 7 million hits combined on Youtube. Despite the disproportionate amount of PR this campaign received Unilever has made a 360 degree turnaround which may revolutionise the beauty’s industry strategies of selling dreams and playing to womens’ hearts. The approach; focusing on the fundamental rational benefits of selling soap bars. This shift from the emotional to the functional may have more to do with the economic downturn than just a creative refresh from creative agency Ogilvy & Mather.

As the global credit crunch entrenches itself ever deeper into the globes consciousness, consumers are much more careful with their money, looking for the best offers and finding shortcuts to ensure they get value.

Consequently, a new path to purchase is emerging, with a particular emphasis on how people are using online to shop. Information gathering and price comparisons are all part of how online influences the awareness and consideration process. For considered purchases, such as auto and white goods online provides consumers a peace of mind, before parting with their money. We are even seeing a a trend towards online impacting retail goods (which normally skews towards shorter paths), where consumers are checking rrp before finally going into the store to close the purchase.

Hard times create opportunity
In Europe the recession, combined with the growth of digital media is encouraging advertisers and agencies to take a new approach, and be more creative in their executions. Christof Schmid, chief executive of Mediaplus, concurs: “Since media owners failed to sell sufficient classical ad space across all media, they have had to become more open to special ads and content integration.’ Although this requires more effort and support from specialists in the field, it is raising the bar by encouraging media innovation and strengthening the reputation of media in the industry.

Whereas investment in brand advertising may suffer during recession (harder to measure ROI, Conversion rates etc) investment in Direct marketing is the least risk averse channel to invest in, more accountable, closer to the money, less risk of reach wastage. There is also an argument here that Econometrics becomes more important than ever for clients, as long as it can provide the comprehensive measurement structure between media investment and business outcomes.

When the lines go blurry

It was bound to happen at some point... Aunty (the ABC) has started airing a new series on ABC2 called Iconoclasts that is produced by Grey Goose Entertainment and is part of the the branded content division of Grey Goose Vodka.

Admittedly there is no product placement during the programme but you'd have to be a teetotaller not to realise the association to the brand.

Actually the series looks amazing - each episode features two 'creative visionaries' and takes a peek inside their lives and the way they have transformed popular culture. Some of the pairings include: Paul Newman and Robert Redford / Mikhael Baryshnikov and Alice Waters/ Richard Branson and Desmond Tutu / Howard Schultz and Norman Lear.
Has the ABC accidentally embraced advertising in the era of branded content?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Occasional Loyalty

Here's an interesting example of how a media owner has been able to turn the idea of the occasional consumer to their advantage.

So yes, we've built a world of fickleness for ourselves, there's more choice for pretty much everything than the average person can ever navigate through in a lifetime. Still, most of us find brands and products we really like out there and loyalty today often means having a couple of favourites that we jostle between.

Same goes for mags and if you are a mag fan like me, there's probably a bunch of them out there that if money was no object you'd buy them all but instead you swap between a bunch of favourites each month (and no doubt the articles and covers have a bit part to play in all of that.)

Maghound is a US offering which has tapped into this idea. You buy a subscription with them for 3, 5, 7 or more mags each month and then you can switch between their 247 titles whenever you want... No being locked into any particular mag for a year, you can indulge your love for variety and have it all delivered to your door. like it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A pictures worth how many words?

I discovered an interesting application that uses a Google images search create a montage. For those Facebook addicts it is like the friends grid view.
I had a bit of play with it using some search terms with some interesting results. Here is an example of the "Telstra" search.

They only downside to it is that you can only work with the images that Google gives you.
Here is the link - it is free to use.
It could be usefully for presentations or in brainstorming as a technique.
Here is the link if you would like to have a play with this tool

Friday, August 29, 2008


Last Friday the OMD Ignition team in Melbourne held an all staff trivia session to test the BRAVERY and CREATIVITY of our office members. I must say we were very impressed!

We put everybody's creative juices to the test by not only answering the trivia questions in a serious manner, but also allowing them to come up with a creative answer to score bonus points. In addition to the usual trivia questions we threw in some random dares to unleash the bravery.
The highlights of the night included one French Canadian man and a random dare called 'chubby bunny'. Dom won the challenge by stuffing about 30 marshmallows into his rather large mouth (one by one) and with no hesitation cleared the words chunny bunny. Sounds like an easy task but this clearly was not the case with the other contestants dropping like flies after their 10th marshmallow.

Another highlight was the PowerPoint karaoke session where the contestants had us all in stitches and made it all look too easy.

The event turned out to be a success and certainly was an interesting way to get every member of our OMD Melbourne office involved with a CREATE and BRAVE challenge.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The start of Think Fresh

Over the last few months we as a team invested hundreds of hours to create Think Fresh in Sydney and Melbourne. Our efforts involved organising 10 speakers across 4 industry events in 2 cities, running 4 internal events, 2 workshops and creating the gallery of freshness and bravery in our Sydney and Melbourne offices.

The blog already contains a review of our launch event where we heard from Kate Gunby, Mark Coad, Steve Sinha, Trudi Sampola, Amantha Imber and myself.

The second major event happened on Weds 13th in Melbourne and Thursday 14th in Sydney. OMD Managing partner Leigh Terry spoke gave an array of inspiring examples of digital campaigns. Hugh Evans, Young Australian of the Year 2004, gave a great talk on the path he has taken through life which exhibited masses of bravery and not a little creativity on the way. He has really made some amazing things happen, especially Make Poverty History and the Oaktree Foundation.

In Sydney we had Kate Bezar, editor and founder of Dumbo Feather magazine who spoke about how she overturned all the conventions of magazine publishing and created a successful magazine.

In Melbourne, the creative duo behind the Cannes award winning Schweppes Burst campaign, Jim Ingram and Ben Couzens (no not the drug addled fallen footy star) came and won the crowd over with a couple of great tales of bravery. In particular their salute of bravery went out to the Schweppes client who supported their creative idea against all the research testing results and pushed on through to launch this campaign. A great lesson about going with your gut, putting your balls on the line and the knowing when to look beyond the numbers.

Finally we ended the event with Powerpoint Karaoke where we had OMD'ers and celebrities battling it out to be the best at improvising to weird, wonderful and wacky powerpoint charts.

Three things we learnt from Think Fresh 08

1. The importance of having a vision and fighting for it.

2. The launch of OMD's Innovation Bank - the importance of putting some science (measurement) behind a good idea.

3. Ideas are empowering, and we should create a sense of urgency and importance around them

We would be interested in what everyone else took away from it so add your comments to this blog entry!

We've decided as a group to keep Think Fresh as an ongoing banner for pushing creativity and bravery within OMD, so watch out for upcoming workshops, client panel, a revised version of Checkmate. All part of our plan for follow up to turn words into actions.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Brave Marketeer

Yesterday I had the chance to see Joseph Jaffe speak at the Theaterette at News Limtited. Jaffe is part of a new breed of evenangelical marketeer who has made himself readily available to the communications world at large by extending his contact points across the gamut of what 2.0 technology permits - blog (listed top 20 blogs in the blogosphere) , podcast, twitter, text, email, etcetera, etcetera. South African by birth, ex-OMDer and based in the US, his latest visit to Australia, comes as part of his new book tour, entitled 'Join the Conversation'.

In his first book, 'Life After the 30 second spot', Joseph Jaffe wrote a no holds barred account on the demise of the 30 second spot and it's consequential impact on new media channels, or to be precise - 2.0 channels. His latest book 'Join the Conversation', discusses how the rate of 'change and innovation inside the communication industry is still less than the innovation outside it.' i.e. the relative gap between markeeter (sender) and consumer (receiver)." He pleas with us (marketeers) to listen what the conversation between brands and consumers is before setting the agenda. His book, blog and keynotes challenge us with the question 'Are you in the communication or conversation business?' and then leads us to his blog to fuel the debate.

Being part of the conversation to influence consumers and their dialogue with brands, seems like common sense to me and may not be that revelational. What i'd like to draw your attention to references one of the key themes of Think Fresh, and that's Jaffe's bravery. His bravery (or chutzpah) to continue his quest to plea to us and help us rethink how we do business.

In summary Joseph Jaffe is an example of someone who is trying to make a difference and sticking his neck out to ignite the conversation. Continuing the topical theme of Think Fresh 08 - being brave and doing something (anything) is better than doing nothing.

'Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly'
John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Come all ye Fete-ful

I love a good fete... especially when it has Morris dancing, welly wanging and alfresco dancing.

Innocent drinks in the UK have just celebrated their London Village Fete on the weekend and what a lovely weekender it must have been.
Innocent paved the way for Nudie in Australia and have a wonderful heritage for consistently doing cosy, community minded communications.
Check out the website to get a flavour of how big brands can think small.

A gallery dedicated to all things fresh and brave

As part of our Think Fresh month, OMD Melbourne have launched a Think Fresh Gallery to inspire and celebrate all things fresh and brave.

'Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties'
Eric Fromm

The Gallery consists of 3 sections:

1. Fresh communication ideas (communication examples from all over the globe which have managed to stand out and impress)
2. Creative inspiration (brilliant examples from other industries where people have gone beyond the norm)
3. A salute to the brave (those who showed a tremendous amount of bravery and left their mark on the world)

Heres a bit of a taste of what is being showcased in the gallery.....

Tricom Peso Campaign (OMD, Dominican Republic)
Fifteen per cent of the population of the Dominican Republic live abroad making the telephone a vital tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. When Tricom reduced the price of international calls to the same price as a local one it needed to make a big splash with a small budget. The solution was to put its message on coins and distribute them via a range of establishments. In total more than 150,000 one peso coins were used with one side of the coin carrying the message “Start calling for less than this to the USA”. The coins and the message made their way into the public consciousness by stealth and ensured that the message couldn’t be missed. The coins were only distributed in the capital city but have found their way right across the country.

Puma Golf Collection Campaign
On March 17 in Antwerp, 2,000 golf ball shaped helium balloons attached to Puma golf items were sent to float down a busy shopping street as well as taxi stands, trains and bus stations. People were free to take the items. Labels were attached to the balloons that described the collection and directed people to the Puma website. The effort aimed to convey the "packable, portable and playable" qualities of the line.

'It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all'
Edward De Bono

World Naked Bike Ride
The 4th Annual World Naked Bike Ride was held on June 9, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Basically, the purpose underlying the event is three-fold: one, to promote a car-free lifestyle, and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels; two, to freak out the 'squares', and to force the public to 'step out of its comfort zone'; and three, most controversially, to get a sexual thrill out of being an exhibitionist.

David Blaine
David Blaine is an American world record holding magician and endurance artist. He made his name as a performer of street and close-up magic, revolutionizing the way magic is depicted around the world.
On September 5, 2003, Blaine began his 44-day endurance stunt sealed inside a transparent case suspended 30 feet in the air next to Potters Fields Park on the south bank of the River Thames, London. The case measured 3 ft by 7 ft by 7 ft and had a webcam installed so that viewers could observe his progress. During the 44 day period, Blaine went without any food or nutrients and survived on just 4.5 litres of water per day.

What's the message for us?
When you have a different approach to solving a business issue, sometimes it takes real persistence to see it actually brought to life.

Phillipe Petit
Tight-rope walker, unicyclist, magician and pantomime artist, Philippe Petit was also one of the earliest modern day street jugglers in Paris in 1968. Philippe Petit is a French high wire artist who gained fame for his illegal walk between the former Twin Towers in New York City on August 7, 1974. He used a 450 pound cable to do so and also a custom made 26 foot long, 55 pound balancing pole.
Other famous structures he has used for tightrope walks include the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Louisiana Superdome and between the Palais de Chaillot and the Eiffel Tower. Petit currently lives in Woodstock, New York. A documentary film named "Man on Wire“ dealing with Petit's performance won both the World Cinema Jury and Audience awards at the Sundance Film festival 2008.

What’s the message for us?
There was never a brilliant business idea that didn’t contain the risk of failure.

'Man cannot discover new oceans until he has courage to lose sight of the shore'
Andre Gide