Are we too critical of brands?

My sister is an animal rights activist, the other night we went to KFC after a big night out. She didn’t eat anything she just kept me company there. Some photos of the night were put up on Facebook and some of her friends saw that she had been to KFC and got really pissed off with her about it.

Did they have a right to be pissed off with her? Were they too hard on her?

Now take the example of the backlash that Dove received over their advertisement Dove Onslaught, about the pressures on young girls from the advertising industry. Also through association they were discredited for making this ad. Their parent brand Unilever also owns Axe/Lynx, which are adding to this problem of the media putting to much pressure on young girls.

My real question is.

Are we too hard on brands?

The Gruen Transfer has got people thinking.

The story is not true, my sister is not an animal rights activist, but boy would the conversation be more lively around the dinner table if she was!

Waging my reputation: Tiananmen Square Protest vs. 2AM lockout

In my latest post over at Marketing Magazine, ‘Dear Connex, We hate you.’ I got a response from fellow blogger, Stan Lee (Brand DNA)

He suggested that my Open Letter to Connex was too much and to stop with the whining about the collective power of online.

One remark that he said got me thinking.

“Do you think we would remember Tiananmen Square if that lone student had decided to start a Facebook group rather than stand in front of a tank?”

When I thought about it more, it made sense to me that a Facebook group would have been the communication tool used to call students to action if the protest took form today.

In terms of Tianemen Square massacre it was not just the actions of the one lone student that was protesting but it was the 100,000 students who marched on May 4th for free media reform. These students found out about the protest through student newspapers, university posters and friends.

Today Facebook has taken the role of dispersing information through masses of students. This is evident through the recent response to the 2AM lockout proposed by the Victorian Government. In response to the new ban, two students set up a Facebook group protesting the new ban. They then created a Facebook event that suggested that at 5pm on Friday May 31st, 7,836 people will attend a protest at the steps of Parliament.

Therefore I am willing to put my reputation on it that this will occur!

Therefore if there are not at least 7,836 people at the riot, the title of my next blog for Marketing Magazine will be ‘GUILTY of whining about the collective power of online’

However, I do believe in the collective power of online and I don’t think I am whining about the subject for the simple fact that A) People don’t know about social media and what better way to educate them give them real life example of the power of the medium (Connex) or B) they underestimate the power of this channel.

I cannot think of the last time 7,000+ Gen Yers stood for anything collectively against the Government. Therefore if this actually occurs it will prove to me that Facebook is the tool that is being used to motivate Gen Yers to action and we still do care!

Vive Cool City! New Media Rockstars

Who is answering the needs of Gen Yers for online content?

Vive Cool City

VIVE COOL CITY is an on-line TV site that streams 2-3min original episodes 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Based out of Australia, we cover stories we wanna see but can't find anywhere else, from music-fashion-party to getting smashed off Listerine, kidnapping in Mexico or incest in Tasmania.

I am really interested in their business model, I don’t understand how they are making money to fund this great content?

RSS feed would have been nice too!

Audience Equity: Kyle and Jackie O + Big Brother 2008

Audience Equity: Is to take an entities audience from one channel of communication and transfer it to another.

On the Marketing Today podcast Ep. 60 I coined the term Audience Equity when referring to the idea that Kyle and Jackie O were a great choice of hosts for Big Brother 08, they have a loyal audience following on their radio show. With the choice to make them hosts of Big Brother, BB08 were able to take their audience from their radio show and move it to a Television Show.

This occured through the two radio stars most likely speaking about the show on their morning radio show, their audience will be made to have to watch the television show or not understand the conversations that would be going on between the hosts.

For more examples of Audience Equity read Graeme Watson post at Training Wheels on the subject.

Catches of the week

The business of Web 2.0, great presentation
via Servant of Chaos

Scratching on tape decks video!
Are you a struggling DJ trying to stand out amongst the multitude of other DJ's? I just found your competitive advantage

ANZ withdraws ads from The Footy Show , great post
via Ihateads

Garfield minus Garfield
Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

The 1st Gay – Great TVC

Chocolate brand wrapped in entertaining content: Dove Chocumentaries

5 reasons Cummins Nitro nailed Doves latest campaign.

1. They wrapped the branded content within an entertaining story.
2. Used Australian Humour yet still got away with not devaluing (boganising) the brands exclusive feel.
3. Created a sticky word- Chocumentary
4. Disrupts normal television scheduling with commercial running for one minute
5. Well shot, great art direction and continuity between two stories.

Sitting on the AMI 'Brands Using Web 2.0' Panel

On Thursday 5th June, I will be speaking at a Australian Marketing Institute Seminar on ‘Creating Strategic Online Marketing Campaigns Using Web2.0 and Online Social Networks to Build Your Brand’. My presentation will be on lessons learnt from Sprite Truth Hunters Social Media Campaign. More details here.

Monash Marketing Department what are you doing for us?

According to Philip Kotler, Marketing is ‘Satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process.’ In terms of the Monash Marketing Department this involves educating students so that when they graduate they can perform the tasks needed by the organization they will work for. An important part of the exchange is the communicating the value of the product or service being offered. Something that I think the Monash Marketing Department is ignoring.

However, It appears that some students are taking control of this situation and communicating their value for the Department. I have become a part of an unofficial Monash Marketing Blogging Clique (Rick Clarke, Simon Oboler and Zac Martin). We are all communicating our potential value to future employers by posting our insightful analysis on recent marketing events. These blogs are not just being read by students either, one look at the comments section and you see a number of people in the marketing industry responding to these posts.

So my question is, with this great new channel for communicating the value of their product, what is the Monash Marketing department going to do to make the most of this situation? And to Marketing Student Bloggers how can they help us?

One way that these student bloggers have leveraged from the Marketing Department was by appearing on the latest podcast for Marketing Today where we had a ‘Student Bloggers Roundtable discussion’ with Monash Marketing Lecturer Peter Wagstaff. Have a listen here.

Kira Plastinina, Working at Burger King and Evolutionary Brands is it possible?

Last week, 15 year old Russian fashion designer Kira Plastinna opened her first store in the US in SOHO, New York. This little Paris Hilton loving princess is now a multi millionaire with over 40 stores in Russia. Daddy bank rolled her for a million dollars, which kind of reminds me of when my dad bank rolled me $45 for my Burger King uniform. However that does not takeaway from the fact this girl is a success.

However if you look at her designs, they are what every 15 year old girl loves pink, pink and more pink. This got me thinking about the speed of female fashion. What a girl wears when she is 15 is quite different from what she wears when she is 25. So what effect does this have on a brand that’s main driver is the chief designer.

As Kira grows older will her faithful consumers move with her? Can a brand be evolutionary with a demographic? I cannot think of one brand that has stayed with a generation through their life? So what will happen to the Kira Plastinna brand in 10 years? Will it stay in the 15 year old girls fashion market or move to 25 years old fashion market?

I don’t know. All I know is that Burger King still owes me $32.50 for that overtime I worked back in 2001.

Jessica Alba - The Tipping Point.

I was listening to the Gen Y Marketing Podcast the other day and they were talking about the tipping point of Twitter. Suggesting it will be when a famous person starts twittering.

It appears another online site just got their tipping point thanks to a celebrity. The site I Beat You just got there tipping point in the form of Jessica Alba recording a video stare challenge. With over 3 million hits on the video in 5 days. The site has kicked a major goal in getting traffic to the site even if it is 14 year old Jessica Alba loving boys.

It actually had some other interesting content on the site too. With the Best Motivational Poster competition, I love these posters!

Catches of the week

via Flickr artist Notsogoodphotography

Things younger than John McCain. A funny blog on the world is a pretty complicated place right now and I’m thinking that it’s not such a great time to elect our oldest President ever. So sue me.

How web 3.0 will work
via Howstuffworks

Gen Y Guide to Web2.0 at Work
via Brand DNA

Humantarian Lion

Binge Tanning a sticky idea

AktifMag Editor Kane Ludic serial Binge Tanner

I love this new term, ‘Binge Tanning’. The idea came from the Cancer Research UK (news story here), from the looks of it they have just rehashed old research and attached a new name that is quite memorable.

The Cancer Research UK have been smart to take the negative connotations that already exist around the word binge (dieting, drinking, drug) and linked it with tanning which has neutral to positive overtones. What a great Idea!

Creating Sticky Ideas is the key to success these days.

Here is a great Acronym/Check List for making Ideas Stick (SUCCES)! Via the book Made to Stick
• Simple — find the core of any idea
• Unexpected — grab people's attention by surprising them
• Concrete — make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later
• Credibility — give an idea believability
• Emotion — help people see the importance of an idea
• Stories — empower people to use an idea through narrative

Practice what I preach challenge

I have just written a post over at Marketing Magazine Blog. It is about the fact that Advertising Agencies cannot be trusted with Social Media Campaigns. Putting such a strong case forward I have also backed my argument by laying the challenge of proving that I can teach any company how to have a social media presence.

I think this will be a great opportunity to teach Marketers, how to properly use Social Media. I would really like to get my regular readers to help build on ideas of how companies should best act in this space. So if you know any tips or case studies please let me know.

AMP + Walk of Shame = Great Insight + Rubbish Brand Continuity

AMP had cracked a great insight into Generation Y culture. The walk of shame is a globally talked about meme which is usually hated by all who have to do it. Wikipedia deifine it as

‘A phenomenon in which a person must walk past strangers or peers for an embarrassing reason before reaching a place of privacy. Most commonly, it occurs the morning after a night out at a bar, dance club, or party.’

This shared experience that all Gen Yers have gone through has been beautifully picked up and is now owned by AMP.

It is a great video however as like the Nando’s example it seems like the Ad Agency have cracked a great insight and have just try to retrofit it to a brand. AMP websites, product design and their sponsorship of NASCAR all suggest a different type of brand positioning than their other ads lead on.

However with the amount of online publicity this clip has received (50k+ youtube hits in 6 days), there must be a point where brand continuity takes a back seat and awareness of a product takes over?

No, this must be another AMP?

I think this brand has more in common with the Australian AMP than the brand in the video above!

Catches of the Week

Brand Tags, it seems every blogger and his dog is all over this great invention by none other than my Nakedite brother from another continent Noah Brier.

New student Blogger Simon Oboler started with a cracking post on 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' advertising missing the mark.

Old Ad for Goodyear making woman drive better Via adweek

A must see slide preso on Building your Personal brand via blogging
Via Get Shouty

Viral Video Unzipped! The truth behind the 'Guy backflip into jeans' video
via Gawker

MyBower - When 2 hobbies meet

Me at the 2007 Western Antique Bottle Show, Williamstown

One of my hobbies outside of writing this blog is collecting Antique Bottles. I collect suburban Milk Bottles and Eucalyptus bottles. I am currently the President of the Western Antique Bottle Club one of the last four clubs in Melbourne. Blogging and my bottle collection had been fairly removed till the other month when I was looking in the mail and I found some advertising for a online social network site for collectors called, Mybower.

A pretty simple site however I was impressed with the way they engaged the club. They had already set up a page for the club and gave a username and password for the club to use. Therefore removing the barrier of the trouble associated with setting up a page.

The other day, Zac was talking to me about how annoying it was to have to constantly keep setting up accounts for different sites, I guess this is one solution to that problem. I wonder what other creative solutions will be thought of for this problem?

10 things I want to do in Marketing before I die. 2.Win a Gold Cannes Lion

I really love when the results come out for Cannes Lions, it always give me such great material to blog about. Naked Australia have won a few lions so far but I would love to be a part of a Golden team.

Passive-Aggressive Notes - Webby Award Winner

This was an old favourite website of mine passive-aggressive notes

Thanks to ettf for reminding me of the greatness

10 Things I want to do in Marketing before I die. 1.Work for Nike

I will be adding to this list as I go.

1. Work for Nike
I want to be a part of making awesome pieces of art. Like this

And this

And this

Nando’s a marketing headcase!

Does anyone else feel confused with the constant stream of advertising rubbish that comes out from Nando’s? They are clearly a marketing headcase who believe they can change their brand image through readjusting their promotion.

The rest of the marketing elements screams Family-Gen Xers offering, their pricing (highly priced), product (grilled chicken meals), distribution points (store designs that have clearly not been updated since 1992), and employees (the kids who couldn’t get a job at McDonalds).

Yet their advertising message would lead you to believe that they are a young, cheeky, humorous Generation Yers brand.

I ask, What happened to Brand Continuity?????

Here is their latest miss, with the a parody of the Big Brother House
Big Chicken 08

Nando's Fix Gum - WTF?

Skins: Beyond Reason

Skins have backed up their great ad and consumer insight into Sports Celebrities getting paid too much with another advertisement that will surely spark debate.

and here is their other great ad on Sports Celebrities

The Gruen Transfer - A television series looking at Advertising

Here is the promotion for the The Greun Transfer, a 10 part series looking at how Advertising works. Launching May 28th on the ABC. Should be interesting, pity they got Wil Anderson to host this program, he is such a wank.

On reflection there is a great fit for him to host a show looking at the Advertising Industry.

And here is the definition of The Greun Transfer

'The consumer's decision-making consciousness subsides and he or she is more likely to make an impulse purchase because of unconscious influences of lighting, ambient sound and music, spatial choices, visual detail, mirrored and polished surfaces, climate control, and the sequence and order of interior storefronts, etc.

The effect is marked by a slower walking pace and glazed eyes.'