29 May 2008

+ If Only

28 May 2008

+ Whale Meat: Beef Of The Sea

First episode of The Gruen Transfer aired just now. Peter Wagstaff, Julian Cole and myself sat on Twitter during the show as a little experiment, adding an extra element to see their reactions. I only signed up on Twitter today but I'm already starting to see its potential.

Wasn't quite what I expected but interesting. This week's challenge was to sell a whale meat campaign. DDB used the quote in the title playing against the consumption of beef. While Jack Watts Currie played on the idea of an angry prawn on a BBQ and at the end of the spot there was a flash of a website. The website actually exists, I find that very cool.

Worth looking at, particularly if you're not studying marketing. I assume the ABC will podcast it.

+ Citroen Doesn't Give Me Wings

Redbull are the new sponsors of some Citroen release. Today they attempted to run a bit of a joint event on campus. Free Redbull, Citroens on display, music and an Xbox to play with.

Redbull is a perfect brand to promote to university students. The Generation Y targeted product works particularly well with the Redbull Girls.

Citroen is not. Why would you attempt to sell cars to university students? I don't even buy they idea they were trying to "plant the seed". I actually groaned when I saw the sales man wearing a suit.

27 May 2008

+ Free Ideas

Seth Godin's book Free Prize Inside lead me to a great little website Idea A Day.

Each day a free idea is posted that anyone can use while anyone can submit ideas of their own. Check out Idea #2824 for one submitted by yours truly.

24 May 2008

+ Pork And Beans

Weezer debuted their music video for Pork and Beans on Youtube yesterday. Half a million hits already and here's why...

A viral of virals, I love it. The song's not half bad either.

23 May 2008

+ I Am Not Still Learning

I recently contacted one of my University's newspapers to see if they would be interested in running a story on the increase and potential of student blogging. They basically turned me down stating that the views of our blogs did not necessarily reflect those of Monash University. And it's probably posts like this one they don't appreciate.

What is the fundamental purpose of University? I mean if you ignore the partying and drinking its core role is to educate, right?

Well not really. You attend to be graded and ranked. Much like the rest of the flawed education system, it is based on providing the highest achievers with the best results and differentiating these students from everyone else. Likewise on the opposite where the lowest achieves recieve the poorest grades. Sounds fair enough doesn't it? Hmm.

Many of my lecturers will not put up lecture slides on the Interweb. Some refuse to record these lecture with audio or video for later access. Why? Because they want people to attend lectures. And the point of that? To differentiate those who receive HD's, D's, C's, P's and of course F's.

In one case a lecturer refused to answer a question of mine because it would give me an advantage over others. As she said this I asked myself, what purpose does that serve? You are hindering my education not encouraging it like you should. It's not her fault that she is forced to make the students compete but the system's.

I'm not saying I have any solutions and I'm not saying the current system doesn't work. But it is flawed and just imagine how effective it could be if it's sole purpose was to educate.

21 May 2008

+ Peter's Podcast

I have taken the next step in establishing my personal brand and appeared on my first podcast. I encourage you all to check out Peter Wagstaff's Marketing Today, Episode #61.

Peter Wagstaff, Julian Cole, Simon Oboler, Rick Clarke and myself discuss the potential of student blogging.

I guess, much like blogging, your podcasting ability gets better with practice.

20 May 2008

+ A Magazine That Should Know Better

This would probably work best as an open letter but I can't use that tool too often, which by the way proved itself successful.

Marketing Magazine...

You went away for a while and now you've returned better than ever. It was love at first sight. You had new features and attractions I had not seen in you before. I gave you my email and permission to use it. I trusted you.

But you sent me six emails already this month, despite the fact you provide RSS feeds that I could choose to subscribe to if I wanted.

Send me one more before June and I will terminate this relationship.

19 May 2008

+ Who Is Andrew Ranger?

I don't know who Andrew Ranger is but any brand looking to launch themselves on social media could learn a lot from him.

He is the person behind Formal Protest Fair Evasion Day (1,394 Members) and I Will Party On Parliament House Steps In Protest Against The 2am Curfew (9,090 Members), two of the biggest buzz generators on Facebook of late.

Once again social media proves just how powerful an individual can be and how their influence can significantly impact a brand.

+ The People's Chip

I love Hamish and Andy. And so do many others according to their ratings and podcast ranking. In fact I can't remember them falling outside the Top 3 Most Downloaded over the past year.

Over the last two weeks they've been in search of The People's Chip. It started as a simple phone topic about Light 'n' Tangy Chips (Which came first: The flavour or the name?) and one caller said she used to work as a chip flavour scientist. This raised the question, could Hamish and Andy develop their own flavoured chip?

Smith's jumped right on board. And for two weeks they've had a solid endorsement from a reliable and popular source. Even better, the idea originated from the consumer and even the selected flavour was the idea of a consumer. And so we have the invention of the Gravy Chip.

An excellent move by Smith's with a campaign that wouldn't have appeared in their marketing strategy a month ago.

16 May 2008

+ Free Porn

Whilst Julian Cole, Simon Oboler and myself sat around discussing the recent increase in student bloggers, the conversation moved to website statistics. We jumped on each others Google Analytics and discovered something interesting.

Jules' most popular post is Great Insight and Hot Women: JB's Underwear Girls.

My top four most popular posts...
+ Public Flashing
+ "She's A Slut And She Knows It"
+ Surfing Naked
+ Sexy Subliminal Logos
See the running theme yet? It's a little disheartening to think my most popular posts are only so because the title has a sexual connotation.

Maybe, with a title like this, this post will skyrocket with pageviews?

14 May 2008

+ An Open Letter To Joseph Jaffe

Dear Joseph Jaffe,

If you can challenge Barack Obama to reply to a blog post of yours I don't think its unreasonable for me to do the same thing to you.

On recent podcasts, you've been asking what have we, the listeners, have done for you lately. You asked us to recommend your podcast to friends, family and co workers assuming we had done nothing for you already.

Well the fact is we don't owe you anything. Just like a consumer owes nothing to a brand. Even if you provide a weekly podcast for free, you can't expect your customers to do anything for you. In fact, shouldn't you be greatful you have our loyalty?

This is not to say I haven't done anything for you. You appear on my blogroll, I've linked to you before and even recommended your podcast and blog to others. If you were to ignore that, aren't I at least partly responsible for both your Apple iPhone and Dell Notebook which you received through sponsorship?

So Joseph, I challenge you to reply to this blog post and tell me why I owe you anything. In a time where consumers have never been so powerful, we could go one step further and ask, in the words of Eddie Murphy; What have you done for me lately?

Kind regards,

Zac Martin

12 May 2008

+ What Lies Beneath

Last post on the Logies, promise.

It's not often that Youtube lets me down. But this time, I can't find a single example of what I want to talk about so I'll have to describe it the best I can.

Basically, when an award is announced the winner arrives on stage and makes a quick thank you speech. During this, they often hold their trophy and move their arm up and down, almost raising their prize above their head. This year, I noticed the TV Week logo cleverly placed on the bottom of each trophy whereas previously I cannot remember seeing it there.

This sneaky addition placed their logo on screen at least ten times more that night. A clever way to integrate your brand and get some screen time.

Too bad the logo is such an eye sore.

08 May 2008

+ Determined To Be Different

I've been having some issues with my bank lately. Which Bank? The one that's Determined To Be Different; The Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

I discovered yesterday I've been charged fees for the last six months that I should be exempt from. I've been into my local bank numerous times, and while I've since rectified the problem so I don't receive future fees, each time I've been told I cannot be refunded.

Today I called Commonwealth and spoke to a lovely man named Rod. Rod cared. We spoke for about twenty minutes and Rod told me he would happily refund the money. He also helped me change accounts and gave me some really useful advice.

Rod then gave me his direct number and asked me to call him in a week to close my current account, transfer my debit card details and make sure it all goes smoothly.

I will be giving him a call and after that conversation I'm going to ask him about the investment options they offer.

If only all Customer Service Officers could be more like Rod.

07 May 2008

+ The Gruen Effect

Julian Cole told me about The Gruen Transfer, a series about advertising soon to appear on ABC.

Looks really interesting, particularly after they've released some "commercials" for fake products promoting the show like this one...

Particularly on a channel that does not run TVCs, they seem to have gained a few bit of attention. Even more interestingly, during the Logies every time Andrew Denton was shown he was holding a beer. Turns out he is the show's producer and I managed to capture some shots from the event...

Is that... Gruen beer?

For a brand that rarely advertises, the ABC does a fucking good job of marketing.

05 May 2008

+ Wanna Buy A Kidney?

Only $50,000.

I think I've discovered how to pay my University fees.

+ A Useless Trend

I find tools like Google Trends and the recently launched Facebook Lexicon interesting.

They're cool for a about twenty seconds while you run some quick searches but I have to wonder how useful they are? Sure, it tells you how much buzz is being generated around your keyword search but you can't tell if it's good or bad. There's no context what so ever around the results therefore making these tools rather useless.

Unless someone can think of a practical application for them?

04 May 2008

+ "And The Logie Goes To..."

...Not Chris Lilley. Some actress picked it up instead.

In what was an incredibly long event, filled with shameless plugs by Nine Network, the biggest disappointment in Australian television history occurred when Chris Lilley was denied the Gold Logie for Summer Height's High.

Even Hamish and Andy, comedic gold, seemed to swing and miss tonight. Perhaps they need to stick with their powerhouse radio show? The highlight was, lo and behold, Chris Lilley's Mr G performance. At least they recognised him (and good quality television) by awarding him the Most Popular Actor and Most Outstanding Comedy.

Can't wait to see what he does next.

+ Na Na Na Na Na Batman

My most anticipated movie of 2008 is The Dark Knight. I cannot wait to see it. What I've really enjoyed is the marketing strategy that's been used to promote the film, particularly their successful use of viral campaigning. The latest is a reel of footage given to contest winners that has been "vandalised" by the Joker. The Dork Knight immediately found its way onto YouTube here...

These guys sure do know how to generate buzz. However, I would have seen the movie anyway and bought the DVD, even without this. I wonder at what point does a campaign become pointless in terms of ROI for something already this big?
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
Pigs Don't Fly © Copyright Zac Martin