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Friday, October 20, 2006

The Limits of Co-Creation

I'm all for the whole reversioning content and taking ownership vibe.

But then I saw this here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

V-Dubs Rock!

Another great idea from Crispin Porter Bogusky. The premise: buy a Volkswagen and we'll give you a guitar (which, just by the way) you can plug into the cars' stereos.

I love the sheer off-the-wallness of the idea. Its entertaining to watch. And it's not just for guitar freaks, it gives the brand some interesting associations of rock, rebellion, jamming and humour.

Oh and check out the ads on Youtube.

Top banana.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gossip in the town square

It was only a matter of time before we saw the emergence of marketing companies trying to facilitate brands' conversations with people online.

This US business tells a good story, and it feels that new technology has allowed them to widen their offer. But its still all about listening to the latest farming tips in the market square, acting upon it and later gaining customer feedback on your efforts.

Same old same old huh?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gigantic Optimistic Bravery

I attended a great conference today. The APG's Battle of Big Thinking. Good format in that every speaker was given only 15 minutes, which meant the good ones threw out lots of great ideas and the boring ones didn't go on too long.

I took a lot away about the brand-marketing-communications-creative-media-advertising'sdead industrial complex. But mainly I took away some inspiration and some refreshing perspectives. I guess I might revisit some of them in the coming weeks, but for what it's worth, here are a few I thought would be of interest;

1) The marketing industry can be a bit of a dinosaur. And the point is that the old way of engaging with customers at a mass level is under serious threat. So what should you do? There's no put in trying to evolve the best dinosaur you can if a new ice age is just around the corner. Far better to be little agile warm-blooded mammal.

I guess mammal-like things at the moment for me are harnessing the power of the web in a bid for brands to facilitate conversations, and recognising that by giving up control, brands can actually gain influence. (I'm pretty sure there's a judo reference in there somewhere).

2) I loved the idea of future planners as Ronin, hired hands adapting themselves to whatever mission they're undertaking. The idea that planners, like great online businesses, should always put their work out there in a Beta version was cool. The point is you've got to have a go. If you wait for the grand unified theory of marketing, youy'll never get anything done. This I think ties in nicely to the web aesthetic of hand-made, that I'm really interested in at the moment.

3) Actually it's not about 'big ideas', which are impossible to ground in reality, too precious to be messed about with and generally a block to doing good stuff. No, its actually about the little ideas, the little things we can do to make a difference. As Trevor Beattie put it, 'Every Little Helps but Every Big Hinders'.

PS. Russell Davies was really inspiring, Jim Carrol (BBH) was very plannerly and Ivan Pollard was very slick.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Stairs, they are your friends.

I've been pondering the interplay between the medium and the message for a while now.

It is clear that using media or connection opportunities can help shape the message and bring it to life. Showing that you've thought about the interaction between the message and where you see it, broadens the creative idea. It takes it into another dimension.

Think of the British Heart Foundation, exhorting you to take the steps (rather than riding the escalator) in tube stations, for the sake of your heart.

Or think about VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) who placed ads about life changing meaningful experiences on the London tube, where the depth of commuter despond is thoroughly plumbed.

I suppose the trick to coming up with opportunities like these it to start at the strategic end. What are we trying to communicate? Who are we reaching? Is there any way of bringing the thought to life in a physical way for the consumer?

One idea I'm keen to try out is the 'lost' car key.

Here's the deal; for a car client looking to get more test drives, why not drop a series of real looking car keys and fobs in pubs, or restaurants, the backs of cabs or even the supermarket. In short, wherever your target market goes. You spot car keys on the floor, of course you're going to pick them up. And that's when I've got you - with a carefully crafted and charming message on the back that exhorts you to take a test drive or win a car etc. Its interruptive I know, but I'm sure the copy can offset that. Plus its a new way to reach a market that might not view more traditional media. An even better idea would be to embed an RFID tag in the key fob offering you for example free public transport to the nearest dealership. C'mon... any takers?

I was motivated to write a little about this, having seen Cubemate's post here. Cubemate, aka Dan Ng, is one of the brightest stars in the Planning firmament and I urge you to subscribe to his blog.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Immerse yourself

We wanted to share the excitement and transfer some of the closeness that you get to powerful beasts of the sea at Sea World Florida. Both are concepts only, using outdoor to raise awareness.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Why Paris Hilton is Madonna 2.0

Read a great article today that argued that Paris Hilton isn't so much a modern celebrity as a marketing platform like youtube.

The point is that although every song or book she produces totally dies, her omnipresence in popular culture provides her with an inestimable market value. She constantly links to other brands (desingers, restaurants, night clubs, other celebrities) and they constantly link to her.

Guess its true of Posh and Becks too in a way. Though it saddens me to see their level of linkage dropping off, as their popularity wanes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tell me that you love me, that its not a one-night stand.

Its less glamorous than selling cars.
And it's hard to do customer service really well.
But After Sales is critical to the customer's experience of the product and therefore the brand.
This campaign encourages drivers of older Volkswagen cars to re-consider getting their servicing and maintenance done at the local Volkswagen dealership.