Thursday, February 26, 2009

Take a Break

Kit Kat have extended their "Have a break" campaign in the digital space - they give net surfers just that - A total break.
A break from the digital information of all sort - tweets, Facebook updates, emails etc.
Love the bit at the bottom - ‘If you detect something happening on this website, it’s probably a bug and we’ll try to fix it’.
Thanks to Innovation Feeder for the heads up on this.

Funny idea, but the only thing I wonder is how they have let their consumers know about this. My quick Google search shows almost all of the listings referencing the site are marketing related blogs and wesbites?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I dare you

In the charity category where consumers are increasingly fatigued and females are generally more responsive, two male health causes stand out to me.
Firstly in Movember which does great job at raising funds and awareness for male health issues, and making a the Mo cool again by getting guys involved.
The latest is daredallion week which is challenging men to do a dare, to raise awareness and funds for the cancer council and their fight against men's cancers.
Cancer remains one of the biggest killers of Australian men, costing more than 20,000 lives each year. Prostate cancer alone is responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths each year – equal to the number of women who die from breast cancer. It just doesn't get the same level of media coverage, awareness and fund raising support.
This campaign is build on the insight that men are competitive.
The Daredallion site allows you to challenge a friend to a dare - such as BE Michael Jackson for a day - clothes, voice, dancing, moon walking..... Intresting it is mainly people daring others - I love the viral element of that.
It has a dare generator for those without the imagination to think one up. Those excepting the dare, have their details posted to keep them honest. Also tapping into the need to share you antics you can up a video of you completing your dare.
As this campaign has really grabbed my attention I have registered myself .
Thanks to the dare generator my dare is Wear 80's exercise gear to work and three times in the day play "lets get physical" and jazzercise your way to a healthier life.
But only if I reach the $200 target.
You can help support me and get me to complete my dare by making a secure online donation using your credit card. Click on the link below: Not only will you be helping to change the future face of men's health, you'll also get to see me make a fool of myself in the process! Feeling inspired by my bravery? Visit and take on the challenge yourself. Any other guys you would like to form a team, please let me know - come on OMDers!
I appolgise in advance to those attending the meetings with me on Friday 6th March, who will be subjected to this craziness.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Digital Tipping Point: The Future of Branding and Social Media

I attended a conference last week on social media.
There were range of speakers from the social media space;

Brett Brewer (President of Adknowledge & Co-founder of Myspace) - President of the conference sponsor with an argument that for brand it is not a case of should you be active in social media but how.

Brian Garret (Crosscut Ventures - California) - Interesting perspectives from someone who looks to invest in start ups and therefore looks for financial and viability from social media. Brian had some great example from the US of social networks and their approaches to generate revenue over and above display advertising.

Alistair Henderson (Director OMD Fuse). Alistair shared his Case Study: V-Raw for V Energy Drink, which should be familiar to most, let us know if would like details.

Fi Bendall (Director Bendalls Group), who gave an interesting perceptive in using Social media as a WOM tool. The amazing thing here was how a tweet (via twitter) from someone in the audience about the earlier presentations had influenced her;

"So I decided to share my displeasure with my friends and followers on Twitter.Minutes later I received a tweet from one of the conference speakers asking me where I was!When she got up to speak she acknowledged me by name and stated that she wouldn't be talking about advertising.Had I inadvertantly invented virtual heckling? Probably not, but I did prove my theory that social media has to feature voices of dissent as well as support." Stan Lee

Laurel Papworth (Social Networking Strategist) “The Business of Being Social: Monetisation Models in Social Media.” Check out her presentations via slideshare. Laurel's deep knowledge of this space was clear, most interestingly was her comment that she had edited her presentation based on twitter feedback from the Sydney event a couple of days earlier.

For me the biggest learning was the influence of social feedback on last two speakers, and the speed of the speakers reaction to their audiences feelings.
This is the real power of social media for brands & advertisers, but it is also the scariest. As Susan Taylor, Vice President International Communications at Elizabeth Arden puts it, "We use blogs where appropriate. However, with bloggers the message is out of your control"

The other things I took away were
  1. The more time you spend in the digital space the more likely you are to see the impending death of newspapers.
  2. New websites & books for me to check out - Tom Himpe,,,
  3. Even the experts agree it is a complex environment.
  4. And in a conversations during the break....There are opportunities to tap into the anti-movement to social networking where people have 'feed' fatigue and twitter posts/users - tweets or twits?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Competing against...Yourself

Nike Plus has tapped into a key consumer insight that happens to affect me personally; People are more obsessed with competing against themselves than they are against other people.

Introducing Nike Plus A little Nike device that calibrates your iPod to your Nike + running shoe, so you can accurately track calories, distance and pace. This small but sophisticated device is not only addictive, but also motivating and inspiring – to the point where you become your own worst enemy… "I must run harder and faster than I did last time” and when you do, Tiger Woods congratulates you through your iPod, now that’s inspiring!

It all starts when you stumble into Nike store. A personal consultancy with a sales rep drives intrigue for the little device. First they convince you that the shoe you’re currently using is for amateurs. In this instance, the sales rep took the shoe brand I had been loyal to for the past ten years (Asics), and sliced it in half. This brutal demonstration drove my belief that the Nike + shoe, coupled with the iPod tracking device, was in fact the perfect training partner. Apparently I could now run faster and further than Forrest Gump ever could!

This partnership has now gone beyond any other I have ever formed. Now I can’t run without Nike +, in fact Nike + has become the reason I run. I must beat myself - Nike has created a monster out of me.

Check out their ad – “I am addicted...Measuring myself in not only meters, but kilometers and character…” Thank goodness, i’m not the only one.

Not only can you beat yourself, you can also beat others. Simply upload your run from your iPod onto the website where you can compare distance, time, tracks (not tunes), and most importantly – progression. The ultimate winning quality! Everybody loves an underdog.

It got me thinking. How can the brands we work on form an integral part of a self driven emotional obsession? As well as giving people a first class ticket into an elite club?

Let’s take Nicorette. When you quit smoking you are your own worst enemy. The satisfaction you feel when you not only beat the Nicotine, but yourself, is like no other. Could we create a device that tracks Nicotine in your bloodstream? You could upload your progression online (at of course) each day you do better than the last, Allen Carr congratulates you. Once you’ve quit you get an invite to an exclusive “yes, you can breathe now” club. The open lungs club, that comes complete with a white badge. When you walk past other white badge wearers in the street you give them “the nod”. Or even better, Nicorette could send quitters a pair of Nike+ running shoes! One addiction lost is another gained.

What will be next from Nike I wonder…? Nike+ surfing devices, complete with waterproof iPods? “This is Kelly Slater, congratulations you’ve just caught your fastest/longest wave… “Or probably more appropriate for Bondi surfers “Hey dude, that was an awesome wave, watch out for that shark…”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A pair of crackers

Two brilliant ideas came across my desk this afternoon, hope you love them as much as me. With thanks to Leigh Terry and James McClelland for passing them on.

1. Last year, Manchester band The Get Out Clause couldn’t afford to make a video for their debut single, so they looked for an alternatives means.

They positioned themselves in front of different CCTV cameras around the city, and performed their single.

After writing to the council and asking for copies of the footage (under UK privacy protection law – if you request a CCTV camera footage and pay a nominal fee they are legally obliged to supply it), they pieced the content together to create their video. To you and I, CCTV cameras were installed to keep our streets safe, but without seeing those barriers that we tend to put up, the younger generation are being more creative with the tools available to them.

2. The rotating tower, Dubai. Each of the 80 floors rotates at a different speed creating infinite possibilities. Selling off the plan now, so go for it, as long as you don't get dizzy and accidentally buy one of the faster rotating floors!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I love it when these stories come out of the woodwork.. some kooky but kind of entrepreneurial individual comes up with an idea that has a short sharp shelf life to make a few extra bucks for themself and a bucketload of PR on the way.

In the spirit of The Million Dollar Homepage and the one red paper clip guy, let me introduce you to

His name is Jason and his idea is to wear a different companies t shirt every day across 2009. For this privilege he is charging each brand, the equivalent cost of that day's number in the year. So Jan 1 was $1 and Dec 31 will be $365. This means he is going to receive a total income from this venture of $66,600. Not bad eh for very little work.

Seems he has received a fair chunk of PR from some fairly reputable news sites.. NY Times, The Guardian, yes, people are chatting about.

Can't argue he is thinking fresh. If you do want to check out his site, worth a visit to the Terms and Conditions page, kinda funny.

By the way, if you wanted to buy a spot... he is sold out till September 2009!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Selling backwards

I had lunch with heads of two of our Special Business Units today and we talked about the best way to present our ideas to clients. A really good point emerged which is about the power of insights in selling the idea, and keeping the idea alive.

Examples were discussed where the idea itself was so strongly rooted in a powerful insight that you'd have to be mad not to go with it. And, importantly, when you are planning a complex and time-consuming implementation you can hit quite a lot of turbulence and flak along the way. But with powerful insights driving the idea, it is much easier to fend off these issues and stay true to the idea.

What this means of course is that selling of the idea is not so much on the day, but in the research (desk and commissioned) that you do at the start of the process.

Success in a bottle

Last week we had to review 30 successful case studies on youth marketing. We then did a lot of thinking about how to pull out the themes and I thought I'd share with you.

First off, there seemed to be five messaging themes which emerged:
1. make me look good (tribes and respect)
2. self-expression (creativity and music)
3. freedom (indpendence and control)
4. adding value to my life (e.g. interesting/humorous content),
5. rebellion (anti-cool, anti-corporate)

Secondly, the media approaches showed TV still works, very little use of other mainstream media, but insight driven use of digital, mobile, social media, branded content and word of mouth. Interactivity featured throughout.

On the way through this project we also took a peek at a number of other sources. One which caught my attention briefly was which had one interesting quote: "looking in another person's backyard is usually a replacement to thinking yourself, and unless you can execute better than your neighbour is a surefire way to second-best". I think the c word (cool) is one of those horribly vague words like engagement which is next to useless unless you define what you mean. In fact I was very pleased to get through an entire 1 hour presentation on youth without mentioning the c word once!

The four case studies we highlighted as interesting approaches to youth marketing (by which I am broadly referring to 16-24s in this instance) were Nescafe's Big Break, HP's The Computer is Personal Again (this was broader than 16-24 but had a lot of relevance to the particular client, O2's Unlimited Orgy of Fun ( and Cadbury Gorilla which actually has an interesting case study behind it, not just a one off viral ad.

For those OMD-ers reading this, let me konw if you want a copy of the final presentation.

A final word: as above the tendency to analyze youth by producing endless lists is easy to fall into. So, we ended up presenting one territory which we think sits in the middle - but I can't give that away here!