30 December 2009

The Wool Is Worth It

I shop at Woolworths. And I will always shop at Woolworths. It's not that I have a logical reason to although I'd guess it's because my Dad did his weekly shop at Woolworths while I was growing up.

And I never plan to step foot into a Coles store, not even for specials. Assuming I always live in an area where there's a Woolworths close by, I'm a life long customer of the Fresh Food People.

So Coles, I'm giving you the heads up right now that any marketing dollars you spend on me over the next 50 years are wasted. But with your junk mail drops and interruptive traditional media spend, you continue flush money down the drain. Shame.

27 December 2009

Spider Man Reveals Foe's Identity

I'm sure you're all familiar with the story of the guy who tried to pay his phone bill with a picture of a spider. It quickly went viral and if you suss out the rest of David Thorne's page, you'll find much more hilarious content. He was also the same guy behind this McDonald's hoax letter.

Personally I find his work pretty damn hilarious. The emails back and forth are no more harmful than the prank calls we hear every day on radio, although I'm not sure where the line is when it comes to pretending to be a brand. I'm certain the Brand Manager had a blast the day that letter went viral.

I bring this up because of David's latest email exchange; hilarity ensues. The interesting thing about this however, is that Simon's Twitter account was quickly discovered. Needless to say, Simon received a fair amount of abuse, most of which was anonymous. Simon then took it upon himself to respond to blog posts, comments and even write a post of his own. And while it probably wasn't David's intention to have Simon's personal account identified, suddenly this "harmless" prank became somewhat more serious. Simon's online persona and his offline world very quickly collided, and much more became at stake.

I think we're going to see this happen more often, definitely something to be cautious about.

Also, how good is the title of this post?

20 December 2009

Liking The Blue Bird

Question; do you favourite tweets?

If so, why? Personally I tend to favourite a tweet that I want to save for later use. It might have a link or something of interest that I don't have time to look at, or it's on my iPhone and want to check it out when I get home.

I don't believe it is used as a recognition tool or similar to the way you mike 'Like' someone's status on Facebook, but rather a book marking tool. I'm told there are websites where you check out who has favourited which of your tweets, but being unofficial I can't really see that being its purpose.

What do you favourite and why do you do it?

16 December 2009

I've Sneakily Turned This Into An Ad

I've always found it interesting the degree to which marketing bloggers and people on Twitter promote the campaigns they're working on.

I guess I've kind of come to expect it simply given the industry they work in. And I'm certain this is not a new concept, only replacing a group email to family and friends to give a campaign a bit of a kick start.

But it does raise some questions about honesty and transparency. Especially when it goes beyond blogs and Twitter and into much more personal networks like Facebook. As a marketer or an advertiser, should I be pumping my work through something like a status update, even more so when it doesn't look like "work"?

I've been thinking about it because over the next few months I'll be using a lot of my social networks to get people to Vote for Zac and Cookies 'n' Cream as the next SupaShake flavour. As you can see I've put a banner to your right and I'll be promoting it quite heavily through Twitter and Facebook until February.

I think it's a bit different because this is somewhat of a competition not just a campaign I'm running, but still raises some questions. One of them may be, how many of you will get tired of me talking about it over the next few months?

14 December 2009

The Man Behind The Blog

When you're sitting behind a computer screen, you can be anyone you want; yourself, a character, an unintentional character or no one. It's why there's so many problems with the Anonymous. I tend to find the person behind a blog just as interesting at times as the content. That's why when it comes to writing this blog I try to ensure the online me is as close as possible to the offline me.

I was speaking to a friend recently who said she had finally gotten around to meeting a blogger she been reading for a long time. Unfortunately, the person she met was not the person she'd come to know online over the past few years. The personalities were very different.

I'd like to think I'm fairly true to myself here, although I don't think I'm as arrogant in real life. I'm much more "average" when I'm kicking it offline.

But it's an interesting area. Does it matter that the person behind a blog, Twitter account or even a YouTube channel is hiding behind a character? Or is it preferable that they be who they want? Or is acting as someone else not an issue at all?

I think it will increasingly raise issues as more and more of the online world converges with the offline at events and social outings like New Media Beers (Friday 29th Jan, 7.00pm, The Cabinet, 11 Rainbow Alley #NMBMelb).

10 December 2009

Just Ask

I can't believe I'm going to do this but I'd like to give out some advice; just ask.

If you want something or need something, I've come to realise there's no harm in just asking occasionally. I've blogged about how I use Twitter for that exact reason and it even worked for my internship (more deets on this soon).

Next year I'll be stepping in as President of the La Trobe University Hockey Club. Part of our long term strategy is to build new grounds on the Bundoora campus. A sub committee has spent 18 months putting together a business case and is now looking to make it happen.

To get support from local members of parliament, we just asked.

To get media coverage from local newsapaper editors, we just asked.

And to fund the $3.7 million, we'll just be asking.

I think you'll be surprised at how often people are willing to help. And if there's anything I can do for you, just ask.

08 December 2009


Two questions for you...

In a time where iPhones and Blackberries run amok, do phone numbers in commercials like 1800 INTERNET or 13 PIZZA become irrelevant?

And on a completely different topic, if I can write a blog post in 140 characters or less, such as the one above, should I just post it on Twitter instead?

05 December 2009


I find it incredibly hard to get the tone of what I'm writing right.

And it became even harder the other day when someone told me they weren't a fan of the font this blog was written in. I think they compared it to writing a love letter in crayon. The content might be there, but it loses its power because of the font it's written in.

I suppose it makes sense, everything on this blog from the layout, my picture, the header and even to the font its written in all adds to its personality. But does it change the way you read it?

Have you considered what font you write in, and perhaps less importantly, should I change mine?

28 November 2009

How I Ended Up Running A $100,000 Campaign

In August this year I stumbled upon a contest called Bob's Got No Idea. The brand behind the campaign was yet to be revealed and entrants were asked to submit an essay or video demonstrating some sort of creativity about advertising.

I initially dismissed it but at the last minute (reflecting back, somewhat gladly) decided to enter with this submission...

This put me through to the next round where a group session would take place in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The morning consisted of some creative activities with a panel interview that afternoon. Here it was revealed to us that the brand was SupaShake, a milk drink you shake to make thicker. Three people were to be selected from around the country to become Flavour Crusaders, who would each be assigned a new flavour. Each Crusader would have to develop the strategy, creative and execution for a campaign to drive consumers to a website to vote on their favourite flavour and their favourite Crusader.

The flavour with the most votes would be put into production and the Crusader with the most votes would receive an additional $10,000 worth of prizes.

A few weeks later I got the call. I was one of three Flavour Crusaders selected. I pocketed $6,300 prize money, a new video camera and an amazing opportunity to head up a campaign for SupaShake.

Over the midsemester break I was put up in a hotel in Melbourne for what at that stage I only knew was a workshop. Tegan from Queensland and Andrew from Western Australia were also flown down where we were introduced to the Morph Marketing crew, the guys that would be helping us along the way.

The weeks consisted of an introduction to the industry, meeting some peeps from Clemenger BBDO and OMD, the development of a strategy, creativity and execution. On the Friday morning, we pitched to the client and the other heads at Fonterra.

Since then, I've been working with the client's feedback, changing the campaign around, developing new ideas and finally, as of only a few weeks ago, settled on a campaign. The launch of the campaign is today. And the campaign is...

Zac won't stop until Cookies 'n' Cream is on top.

As for what I've got planned, well I'm sure I'll keep you updated over the next few months. Luckily for me, the launch is in Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast for schoolies, so I'm heading up there for a week to kick things off.

And it goes without saying, I'd love for you to vote for me.

23 November 2009

Australian Marketing Trade Press Awards

Welcome to the 2009 Australian Marketing Trade Press Awards.

As you've no doubt noticed, with the new year approaching trade press publications go crazy with their annual awards. Which isn't surprising really given this is an industry that places such importance on self recognition. Is it just me or does the whole concept of nominating yourself for an award seem odd? Or more so that you have to pay for it? But before I turn this into a rant about weirdly shaped trophies and unnecessary flight carbon emissions, I ask you; who will award the awarders? Said publications will recognise the best in the industry throughout 2009 in a multitude of categories, but none of which are Best in Trade Press.

So with the little credibility I have, let the awards begin...

In third place, we have AdNews. A close call between Campaign Brief, which honestly I only read for the anonymous comments, and B&T, who I'm still not sure why exactly I read. I think it might be Inga Van Kyck's half page ramblings in each edition but unfortunately it's not enough to overcome the few issues I have with their magazine. Which of course leaves AdNews, who provide the serious news I probably won't have to worry about for a few years, but still find interesting... sometimes. Although they're the only magazine I haven't seen my name in yet, for 2009 they take out third. Congratulations AdNews!

In second place, we have Marketing Magazine. The growth of its thriving online community provides some unique content, even if sometimes some articles sound a lot like a media releases. For some reason I was invited to write for them this year, which of course wins them some non objective votes. Plus the magazine's not bad either and for 2009 they take out second. Congratulations Marketing Magazine!

In first place, we have Mumbrella. Headed up by a man who lives in tees he buys off the internet, Mumbrella had a big first year. With its news, opinions, video content, job board, podcast and a host with a funny accent; you can't really go wrong. Mumbles has been more than kind to me this year, although did confuse me as someone who lived in Sydney, almost losing him this award. A top read that covers just about everything, including some witty comments from time to time and for 2009 they take out first. Congratulations Mumbrella!

You will all receive your invoices in the mail before Friday.

19 November 2009

One Person

I've been thinking a bit about the agency process recently.

And it surprises me how much impact just one person in that process can have. In some cases millions of dollars are put on the line, and it can all come down to a single few people.

A client might turn down a great idea. An account manager might not be convincing enough. Or the creativity didn't hit at the right time. But on any other day, with any other person, the outcome could be different.

And for some reason, it's been doing my head in lately. Crazy.

15 November 2009

The Daily YouTube Fix

Just an observation I thought I'd share with you all.

Over the last 10 months, I've watched 6,148 videos on YouTube. On average, that's 20.5 videos a day. And if the average video is 2.7 minutes long (sorry academics, no peer reviewed source provided), that's 55.35 minutes a day.

This means I'm spending more time consuming a single website than television, radio, newspapers and magazines combined. Thankfully, there's no way to track how much time I spend on Facebook.

I know I'm not an accurate portrait of this generation, but I'm not even sure the above stat includes videos embedded on third party websites.

13 November 2009

My Agency

I was in a meeting today (I won't drop any names, but they were certainly worthy of dropping) and I was asked, "If you started an agency today, what would it look like?"

I threw out some generic ideas and buzz words, and of course it wasn't until I was on my way home that an idea hit me.

There is a fundamental problem with the agency/client relationship. Agencies are constantly forced to compromise on pieces of communication for client approval. It makes economic sense because without happy clients there's no one to pay for the expensive furniture in the office. But, it does mean the communication is not at its most effective. It seems to me, the two parties in this relationship have almost opposing objectives. These differences are usually overcome by settling somewhere in the middle. An area of compromise.

So if I started an agency today, perhaps its motto would be "No Compromise". At all. If the client wasn't 100% happy with the work, then we wouldn't work with them. It's either take it, or leave it.

Financially, it's never going to happen. But it does ensure only the best work is ever done.

Unfortunately, it doesn't overcome the fact this is an industry where success is determined and therefore influenced by awards. But maybe it's the start of a conversation worth having.

10 November 2009

Zac Wants A Kick Ass Internship

In what can only be described as excellent timing, there's been much discussion recently about starting your career in marketing, including my own article.

With just one exam pending, I will have completed the third year of my double degree, with one year remaining. Unfortunately I failed a law subject last year (perhaps this is the wrong time to be bringing this up) which means I have to make up the unit over Summer. And what I'd like to do, is an internship.

So instead of approaching agencies, which is what I'll do if this little experiment fails, I thought I'd advertise it on my blog first.

Here's what's in it for you...
+ A passionate young student who is far less arrogant in real life than on this blog.
+ Three weeks of a free full time work over Jan/Feb (dates flexible).
+ An honest Gen Y perspective from someone who will bring value to your agency.
What I would like to get out of it is...
+ Experience at an advertising agency (big or small).
+ To work on something meaningful, ideally more than just social media to get the full experience (whether it be various tasks or one three week project).
+ Little travel to work, ideally somewhere close to the CBD in Melbourne (unless you can help me cover the costs to get interstate, or even internationally, but let's not get carried away).
+ To be able to brag to my mates about my kick ass internship.
I'm not expecting anyone to bring me on just from this post. But if you want to grab a coffee or beer, it's my shout. At least for the first round. After all I am volunteering.

I don't really know what to expect, but I thought I'd run this as an experiment. How many students have advertised their availability to intern before? If you are interested, hit me up on email, buzz me on 0400 949 184 or drop me a comment below.

05 November 2009

Ambient Mobs

The way I see it, flash mob stunts are like ambient marketing. High impact with low reach. Except of course, with the internets, the reach is heavily extended.

Take a look at this recent one by Flip...

Fail. But it's not because it appears nearly everyone on the beach is a paid actor. This episode of the Mumbrella podcast suggests there's no one being engaged with. But as stated above, the people physically there mean almost nothing, it's the people who are sitting in office chairs watching it as we speak that matter.

And the fact that the initial video received 150,000+ hits in less than a week is a testimony to that.

Actually, even the idea behind this video I quite like. Flips are pretty much the most portable video camera on the market, perfect for capture the spontaneous events that happen in your life... like a flash mob.

But the execution let it down. The flash mob thing has been done, and without pushing the idea further it gets lost in existing freeze stunts and something about a mobile starting with the letter T. The initial release of the unedited amateur video also wasn't the smartest move. Here's a tip, when you're trying to promote video cameras make sure the footage is of a high quality. It almost seems they wanted to rush it out to be the first to put it up, unable to give up control of their message.

Perhaps cameras could have been handed out before, something along the lines of you'll never know when you need a Flip. Encouraging people afterwards to submit it online, then using all the angles and some of their own footage making their own version.

Of course the biggest reason it fails is because none of it is branded, not well anyway. David sums it up nicely. The idea was lost in its execution. What do you think?

03 November 2009

Blogs Together

I'll start by saying this post is not intended to be arrogant or self indulgent in any way, but I know my only writing style can't avoid sounding that way, so just a heads up. And for this to make any sense, you'll need to read Stan Lee's article, Blogs Apart from this month's Marketing Magazine.

It's certainly an interesting read, one that I'd suggest is unnecessarily cynical and perhaps just another dig I've come to expect from older generations. And I can't help but think that with less than a handful of Australian marketing student bloggers out there, it might not even be all that relevant. Yet I feel one of us should probably respond. So here's my thoughts as to how I perceive the article personally.

To me, this blog is just a conversation starter. In many ways it's my resume. And just like you'd be stupid to employ someone based on their resume alone, the same goes for bloggers. But it's a foot in the door somewhere, where I'm then given the chance to prove myself. I've actually recently come to the decision I don't necessarily want to work just in the social media area, but definitely in an agency. This blog, I hope, will help me indirectly achieve that goal. Even if it's just because someone's happy to grab a coffee or beer with me.

Even the most talented graduate in the country is useless if no one's heard of them, right? Especially when you consider how many positions are never advertised but rather are filled through a network's word of mouth. I'm thinking writing a blog like this one is a great way for someone to begin to "know the right people".

Now I realise I criticise the industry. A lot. Probably too much. But if there's anything I've learnt about this industry is how cut throat, back stabbing and competitive it is. I'm certainly not the only one criticising, I'm just not doing it behind everyone's backs. Perhaps the only reason I publish it with my name attached is because I've got nothing to lose but I think every point I raise is a worthy one, and hopefully something other people agree with or are willing to discuss, even if not publicly.

As for the expert claim, I don't think there's a single student blogger who claims this. I think some might suggest they could provide insights, even without practical experience, but none of them are claiming a guru status. And you know what, I think insights without experience can still be valuable if taken for what they are.

The one thing I'd probably agree with Stan on is the issue about telling employers how things should be done. This is something I'm quite passionate about, and again, I'm only going to offer my insight, but Gen Y are not going to "bow down to employers". That's not how you're going to attract and retain talent. I see it more as something people can take on board or not... more or less like Stan's article.

As for the suggestion that blogs are only important if people Stan considers important read them... well I don't even know where to start there.

This blog has been responsible for (and here comes the arrogant part) landing myself an internship, started a business, doing some incredible networking most graduates would kill for, writing for Marketing Magazine and The Punch and a whole lot more. Perhaps one of the most important, is that it's helped me realise a passion, one I could spend every day for the rest of my life doing. Criticise that.

And please, if you ever see a spelling mistake on this blog it will be corrected immediately. Likewise for a sentence that doesn't make sense.

So to any students or graduates out there thinking about starting a blog, my advice is ignore Stan's article. Do it. And if you do, remember that starting conversations, no matter if you do it through controversy, criticising the industry or bad grammar, is better than writing a blog about ads and quotes you find interesting. ;]

01 November 2009

Chill Bro

I've been thinking about "cool" lately. Ignoring the fact it's probably not cool to use the word "cool", start by taking a look at Adam Ferrier's thoughts on the five indicators of someone's coolness.

I suppose thinking about the cool people I know, my definition would be that the coolest person in the room has the personal brand worth the most social currency. Here their personal brand encompasses everything from their personality to what they're wearing to what they do for a living. Included in this is the ability to share said social currency through remarkable story telling.

Just had this stuff on my mind a bit lately. What do you think? What makes someone cool?

28 October 2009

The U2bes

As I'm sure you've no doubt heard, U2 did something or other a few days back in front of 90,000 fans that was broadcast live across the world on YouTube. Here's the performance...

Unfortunately I can't find any statistics on how many people tuned in to watch it. I can't be certain but I'm going to put it in the ball park of 50 million or more.

That's 50 million people who were not interrupted or advertised to, but rather sought out and watched this remarkable content. And I would hazard a guess that a fair portion of them hung around for the full two and a half hours. This is incredible.

I know we're not meant to use the word revolution (isn't that right Jules?) but does this completely change the game for entertainment? Would love to see what this did for charity donations and album sales. Did they pull off a Radiohead?

More importantly, could another band pull it off? It is a first mover advantage, or just the fact U2 is one of the biggest bands on the planet. Take it a step further, could a brand pull it off? Even on a much smaller scale where only say 10,000 people tuned in to watch, I'd love to see it tried. What do you think?

26 October 2009

Encouragement Award

Another quick ramble, this time about viral marketing. Specifically, the usual definition I read which is about "encouraging consumers to spread content among their social networks".

Please tell me how one would "encourage consumers" to do so? Having a button that says "Send to a friend" is not encouragement (does anyone even click those things anyway?). I suppose disabling embedding might be an example of discouragement but I'm failing to see how marketers can actually encourage consumers to spread content. Incentives might be one way but can't think of a decent example that actually worked without the person looking like a complete sell out.

The only thing that encourages consumers to spread content is social currency, and that comes from remarkable content. I think I'll categorise this post with the rest of my rants about wanky marketing terms.

24 October 2009

A Tweet Is Not A Comment

Just a quick ramble about something that has been annoying me lately.

A track back, especially a tweet, is not a comment. It's beyond frustrating when you click on a blogpost that has 20+ comments, yet really it only has two, the rest are retweets of the author on Twitter.

Don't do it, it's annoying and deceptive. If you're a blogger with that setting currently turned on, please turn it off. Thank you.

19 October 2009

Helping Tweeple

Perhaps my single most favourite use of Twitter is asking for help, as selfish as that sounds. Last night, just hours before an assignment was due I needed a quote from an old edition of AdNews. I put out a call to my tweeps and Trevor Young saved my ass.

The fact that I can ask for a information, feedback or even an idea and receive multiple replies within minutes still amazes me. And this goes both ways, breaking down nearly all barriers between people. To me, this defines a community.

Imagine if a brand helped you, and likewise could ask for help and receive it.

17 October 2009

Happy Second Birthday

Today my blog celebrates its second birthday. Over the past 365 days I have...
+ Posted 147 times.
+ Had 22,182 visits.
+ Had 41,556 pageviews.
+ Received 638 comments.
+ Peaked at 474 RSS Subscriptions.
+ And 27 email ones.
+ Been mentioned in Marketing Magazine.
+ And in B&T.
+ Wrote an article for Marketing Magazine and sporadically for the website.
+ Started writing sporadically for The Punch.
+ Completed an internship at Naked Communications.
+ Started my own consulting and speaking business. Proudly, my first client was Nova.
+ Appeared as a guest on Marketing Today and Gen Y Marketing Podcast.
+ Hit a rank of 21st for the Top Australian Marketing Bloggers.
+ Won a national advertising competition I can't say much about just yet.
+ Placed third in the national finals of L'Oreal Brandstorm.
+ Completed my second year at university.
+ Celebrated my twentieth birthday.
And just in case you're interested, here are my statistics from last year's birthday.

Thanks for reading. Even to the guys who think I do nothing but spout rubbish.

15 October 2009

Push This Hard

"Semi permanent" Julian Cole's blog is about to turn three. And to celebrate, he's just posted about how his blog has changed over time to become more relevant to real world.

Unfortunately, not all of us have real world experience. In fact, this blog is based entirely off my own observations and insights. And with my own blog about to turn two on Saturday, I've been thinking a bit about my approach to blogging; that is to start fires and play the joker.

I came to a conclusion that is perhaps better explained with a diagram...

Let's suggest the little man represents the current frame of mind for a reader. In order to get them thinking differently, sometimes you have to push harder than your actual point. Sometimes, you have to exaggerate.

To get someone to B, you may have to argue C just to get them to think differently. The somewhat extremist view or point I usually argue is perhaps not always the ideal, but to get a reader to shift to B it's sometimes necessary.

It's not always to best way to go about it, and yes it probably tarnishes my credibility (what credibility?) for some. But it's the only way I know how and it works. Arguing logic doesn't always work with the stubborn.

Sometimes, I see just getting someone to A is a positive step forward.

So Jules, this might be another rubbish revolutionary wanky post about social media, but congrats on three years anyway. No mean feat.

13 October 2009

Roflcopter Over Lol Juice

First we had iSnack 2.0. And thanks to a tip off from Marek, now we have LOL Juice.

Please, marketers with grey hair and sagging man boobs, stop trying to talk to younger generations using their language. Tools like this one should be used to translate one way, not communicate. There's only a few brands in product categories that could actually pull it off. Spreads and fruit juices are not one of them.

The marketers using 1337 speak today are probably the same ones who used words like "rad", "sick" and "hip" nine years ago. It didn't work then and I won't work now. Please stop trying. That is all.

Editor's Note: I use the word rad and I'm bringing it back.

11 October 2009

Woah, A Blogger Mentioned You

I'm often told I push the whole new media thing too hard and too much. In a realistic world blah blah blah. So instead today I'd like to offer something you might expect to hear from someone older.

Just because you were mentioned on a blog doesn't mean anything. Even if it's in a positive light. I bring this up because I've read many articles and case studies lately that include lines like "the blogosphere went crazy" or "tonnes of bloggers picked up on the campaign".

Realistically, unless you get picked up by one of only a few key players, it doesn't mean shit. And just because your Google Alerts lead you to a blog with five readers doesn't mean you can claim it as a big PR win.

Even if someone like myself mentions you, it's probably not a big deal. With around 500 subscribers, maybe 200 will read this post. Include a few hundred randoms and you're still not having a massive impact.

I'm sure there's a whole 'nother post here as to whether or not someone like myself is worth responding to (hint: the answer is it depends). But what ever you do, don't go making bullshit claims about causing a stir in the blogosphere because some 20 year old mentioned you on his crappy blog. ;]

06 October 2009

Bad Apples Aren't Fresh

Even good friend of the show Natalie Tran thinks it's a complete fucking joke.

So Apple are going to bring legal action against Woolworths over the similarities in their logos.

I know this blog has turned into a bit of a personal rant lately about the complete damn stupidity in the marketing world but I just couldn't pass on this. It's almost as bad as the case study I read today about an ad where a woman cuffed a guy on the back of the head for staring at another girl. It received complaints about violence against men.

I don't even know what the main point of this post is. Perhaps it's that both marketers and consumers can be complete tossers (and please don't let me turn into one of them). Or maybe it's that I expected better from a brand like Apple. Most likely it's just that I wanted to share the picture above.

05 October 2009

I Know, Enough About Vegemite

I'm sure you're all over Vegemite talk by now. Buzz has spread itself across all media (see what I did there?) and you've probably never had more conversations about the black paste in your life.

But I suppose that's the thing. Whether you think it was a good idea or a bad one, or a deliberate one or accidental, never in my life have I spoken about Vegemite so often. And never in my life have I been as passionate about original Vegemite.

I have no plans try the new one, I won't even consider buying it and I'm totes over the whole "name our product" marketing campaign everyone seems jumping on the bandwagon with.

But fuck it made me realise how much I love original Vegemite.

02 October 2009

It's Been A While

I almost feel as though I have neglected this bad boy a bit over the past few weeks.

The good news is it's because I've been working flat out with an agency on a pitch. My very first pitch, which I gave to the client this morning. An important part of any young marketer's career I'm told.

Anyway, unfortunately I can't give any deets for a while. However I can say my week involved circus training, free breakfasts, lunches and dinners, a hotel spa, a photo shoot and a rocking crew of people to work with. Probably a lifestyle I could get used to...

26 September 2009

Vegemite iSnack 2.0

kraft new vegemite isnack 2.0It was just announced during the AFL broadcast that Kraft's New Vegemite has officially been named iSnack 2.0.

I hope this is a fucking joke.

But the real purpose of this post is an experiment. Can SEO get this blog to the top of a Google search for "iSnack 2.0"?

23 September 2009

Prezi Is Where It's At

This is Prezi. It, or something like it, will hopefully make PowerPoint presentations obsolete.

After playing around with it a little, I'd say it takes a bit to get proficient with the way it works and for your basic presentations I'd probably stick with what you know. But for those of you who love telling stories and laying out your presentations visually, this tool is totally rad to the power of sick.

21 September 2009

Bugged By Banner Ads?

Here's an animated banner ad I've been seeing a lot on Facebook lately...

Marketing how to avoid one interruptive medium by advertising on another? Perhaps we could establish a Do Not Subject To Banner Ads register and advertise it with cold calls from telemarketers?

17 September 2009


13 September 2009

10 Things I Hate About Marketing

There's a lot I hate about the marketing industry. I hate...
+ How cut throat the industry is.
+ The negative stigma attached to marketers in general.
+ That we can "add value" with "creativity" and make a product more expensive.
+ That we interrupt everyone, all the time.
+ That everyone thinks they're a marketer.
+ That every marketer thinks they're a social media expert.
+ That there are so many wankers in the industry.
+ That there's such a rivalry between the traditional media people and new media people.
+ That marketers think they can segment consumers based on the year of their birth.
+ That we sell products that kill people.
+ How everything seems to be about winning awards. Or how many awards you've won. Or how agencies make ads specifically for awards.
But fuck I can't wait to be a part of it.

11 September 2009

Ignore The Basics

Zac and Russel, I'll probably photoshop Todd in later.

I was at an event on Wednesday night where Russel Howcroft from GPYR, although perhaps more commonly known from The Gruen Transfer, spoke.

Talking to a bunch of students about to graduate and looking for jobs, he made one particular point that I thought was quite interesting. Now I'm paraphrasing here but a small part of his speech went something like this...
"Sometimes you need to forget the basics. Ignore what ever it was you were taught in first year marketing at university, specifically the definition about what marketing actually is. This definition completely ignores the concept of "Build it and they will come" and overlooks the idea of making art for the sake of it".
I'm still thinking about this one. I realise it isn't always applicable and I wonder how ROI fits in with all of this but worth thinking about, no?

09 September 2009

A Teen No More

Today I celebrate my twentieth birthday.

What a personal branding crisis! This means I can no longer play up the whole "young naive teenage blogger who doesn't know what he's talking about" card. I suppose "young naive twenty something blogger who doesn't know what he's talking about" works too. Although it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

04 September 2009

New Media Beers Melbourne

Last night myself, Lucio and Simon were sharing a beer or two (actually Simon was drinking wine but let's not complicate things). We decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to do it maybe a couple times a year, and with more people. So here are the deets...
New Media Beers Melbourne
Friday 25th September / 7.00pm
The Cabinet (we've reserved the balcony facing Swanson Street)
11 Rainbow Alley (left off Little Collins Street heading to Russel Street)
Should be a good night. And if it was anything like last night it may end with a late night Maccas run and Lucio ordering "anything with bacon please". If you think you might make it drop me a comment.

30 August 2009

A New Religion

Here's two things I've recently heard myself saying in regards to Twitter...
+ After a few months you have a light bulb moment and Twitter just makes sense.
+ The correct terminology is "you tweeted" not "you twittered".
And after saying these things on the Gen Y Marketing Podcast last week, the boys characterised them into two categories...
+ A moment where outsiders are "spoken to", from a "higher being", where they then become insiders.
+ Language loading, where commonplace words such as "tweet" are given new meanings unique to that culture.
They followed this by saying these two features are some of the common characteristics of a cult.

27 August 2009

G&T And BadNews

My last post about the marketing trade press caused quite the stir. I suppose you could call this the sequal.
Dear Tim Addington and Matt Porter,

I am subscribed to both your magazines, B&T and AdNews respectively. And I have a problem, I sincerely hope you can help.

But before we get started; Timbo, I must admit I was disappointed you failed to reply to my last letter. Matt, I hope you see this as an opportunity to one up yourself on your rival by dropping a comment below. And just so you don't feel left out Kylie Flavell, I have no complains about Marketing Magazine today.

Anyway bros, included in my subscription to your magazines, I receive a daily email updating me on what's what in the industry. This is how the daily routine usually goes...
4.41pm B&T Daily Update arrives in my Inbox.
4.42pm AdNews Daily Update arrives in my Inbox.
4.43pm I delete both without reading either of them.
If I'm really interested in something from that day I will normally choose AdNews over B&T for reasons already discussed on this blog but the problem is you both practically send out the exact same thing. Let's take a look at the two editions side by side from yesterday...

Not only is nearly every article on the same topic but some of them have almost the exact same headlines. There are more similarities in the "bonus material" too. How exactly is it that you guys differentiate from one another?

Because if you don't find a way before my subscription runs out, I'm probably going to ditch one or both of you. Just giving you the heads up.

Zac Martin

25 August 2009

Poke Zach Martin

A month ago I changed my name officially on Facebook from Zac Martin to Zach Martin. I tried to change it to Sir Zac Martin but they wouldn't let me. Interestingly, just one day after I changed it I found this article about a girl who had changed it and Facebook wouldn't let her revert it. So yeah... should have some fun changing it back.

Anyway, the response was mixed. People who I would consider better friends in real life were, for the most part, the ones who picked up on it most. Others, who I'd only met after joining Facebook and those who I didn't know extremely well, didn't recognise the change. On more than a few occasions, these people even commented using my name as Zach.

And perhaps the best story, someone attempted to email me at zachmartin@pigsdontfly.com. Classic.

Just another example of how heavily we rely on Facebook.

23 August 2009

Rarely Seen Service

When I first started this blog almost two years ago, I decided to not enable subscription by email, only RSS. I'm not sure why, but I think that's what all the kids were using at the time so I should too.

But it turns out some ridiculously small figure like only 5% of people actually know what RSS is, let alone actually use a Reader. So three months ago, I turned on email subscriptions. And in that time I've had 15 people subscribe using that service. May not seem like many, but that's 15 people who I wouldn't have had otherwise. Not bad for less than five minutes work setting it up.

And the best part is, everything is much more customisable with email subscribers, and you can actually see the list of people subscribed.

So some advice, bloggers of young and old, turn on your email subscription service.

20 August 2009

Your Research Is Wrong

Here's why the research stats you constantly pull out are flawed.

Chatting yesterday, myself and two mates realised that the three of us had all signed up to participate on a number of market research websites. This included online surveys, attending focus groups, taste tests and being sent free products. Remuneration has taken place in the way of money, vouchers and of course free stuff.

It doesn't matter that all three of us are studying marketing which is something you're meant to declare at the start of every survey. It also doesn't matter that I'm now at a point where I know how to manipulate a survey to ensure I fit the criteria and am therefore selected. It also doesn't matter that once passed being selected, I know how to answer the questions to make the survey end as fast as possible and receive payment.

My other two mates were the same, and I imagine we're not the only three people doing it. In fact as we sat there, they were fabricating a story to report back in order to be sent another free bottle of alcohol.

I'm a poor uni student, that's my excuse anyway. Now I haven't written this post for you to lecture me on how I shouldn't be doing blah blah immoral blah blah ethics, but rather so you realise your expensive research is probably not that accurate. Thanks for the free shit though.

18 August 2009

Don't Expect A Blue Tweeting Bird

I received an anonymous series of comments the other day on my post questioning the mainstream media's portrayal of Twitter, part of which included, "I followed you thinking your Twitter account was an offshoot of this blog", which they then stated was not at all the case.

I never really considered Twitter an extension of this blog. Although the main topic of conversation I tweet about is marketing and social media, it's definitely far more personal and at times completely random. Some people say I tweet too much, especially about completely irrelevant stuff. And I say, well, you're welcome to unfollow me.

That's the kind of stuff I love about Twitter. Some of my favourite peeps on Twitter are a bunch of girls who talk about how stoned their house mate is or informing the world about what ever random adventure they're on instead of writing their thesis. Far more interesting and comedic than mine or any other marketing wanker's ramblings.

So to those of you who are expecting insightful and stimulating content from my Twitter account... too bad. But what about you guys, are your blog and Twitter account on the same page? And do you think this is it a problem if they're not?

16 August 2009

PowerPointing The Finger

For those of you unfamiliar with SlideShare, people can upload their slides from PowerPoint they used in a presentation. And I don't get it.

I have a fetish for good presentations. Likewise for good PowerPoint slide design. And I believe you shouldn't have to rely on your slides to communicate a message in a presentation. Ever.

Therefore to put up your slides without any context is pointless. And any meaning people take away from them would be a misinterpretation.

13 August 2009

University Fandom

It's about this time each year that Year 12 students start attending open days across the country to determine which university they'll attend next year. Of course the course they get offered plays a big part in this, but I know that the student life on campus is something many consider. It's the reason I chose Caulfield over Clayton for those of you playing at home.

Year 12's attend open day, but all the universities look good at open day. They ask their older enrolled friends, but probably get mixed results. And the websites are all the same with way too much generic information. So where does today's Year 12 student turn to? I know if I was about to graduate high school one of the things I'd do is check out the university's Fan Page on Facebook.

Here's some of the more popular universities' Fan Pages...
+ University of Sydney - 5,403 fans
+ La Trobe University - 4,345 fans
+ RMIT University - 4,070 fans
+ University of Melbourne - 1,554 fans
+ Griffith University - 1,321 fans
+ Monash University - 1,022 fans
+ Queensland University of Technology - 1,022 fans
+ Swinburne University - 916 fans
+ Deakin University - 112 fans
Not suggesting it's definitive, but maybe it's worth some of these universities pushing their Fan Pages a little more. I realise social media is not all about numbers, but I wonder what objectives each of these universities have set for their Fan Page or if they just jumped on the bandwagon.

12 August 2009

Recycle A Blog Post Day

I love a good Twitter trend, and #rabpday is no exception. Recycle A Blog Post Day is just that and as such I've spent the last few hours going through some of my older posts.

I'm surprised at how ignorant, arrogant and down right stupid I've been (although many would argue I still am) with some of my posts. But I'm also surprised at how insightful, humorous and engaging I was with others. I'm not actually going to recycle a post or pointpoint out anything in particular, but you can find them all on the right hand side of this page. It's certainly interesting to see how much things have changed over the years I've been blogging, gotta love a good session of reflection.

Also, I've finally come to my senses and will no longer be posting pointlessly linking to articles hosted externally. Or at least the regularly appearing ones anyway, especially if I'm not adding value here. ;]

10 August 2009

Jacqui Bunting Is The Moron

For a gay old time check out Jacqui Bunting's article on how Twitter is only for morons. Yet another commentary from the mainstream media bagging this shit out of Twitter. How many times have you read something similar? Or heard similar comments on shows like Good News Week?

Blah blah blah, why don't you mention something about someone updating their status with what they ate for lunch again. We've heard it. Unfortunately you don't seem to realise Twitter actually has far more uses than that. Of course you're far too naive to print otherwise. Maybe because concepts like Twitter will see the end of you lot.

Either way, whatever John Smith had for lunch is lot more interesting than The Age's very own use of Twitter.

And for fuck's sake, the thing you post is called a tweet, not a twitter.

06 August 2009

Wicked Sick Creativity

I love this video...

I think I'm gonna try and repeat this experiment. Kind of reminds me of the 3 Wolves 1 Moon tee story. These kind of examples are by far my favourite aspect of social media. I suppose one would call it good story telling.

01 August 2009

Your Next Intern

Here's a list of undergradute bloggers who write about something marketing related. Some are active, others not so much, but there's definitely some insight in each of them.
Canadian University Marketing - Morgan Coudray
Gruen Transfer - Michael Lanyon
How Good You Want To Be - Katherine Liew
I Hate Ads - Rick Clarke
Liquid Caper - Josh O'Halloran
Pigs Don't Fly - Zac Martin
Simon Says - Simon Oboler
The Forrest Through The Trees - Marek Wolski
Should you or anyone else be on this list? Drop me a comment.

29 July 2009

One Less Degree

Under this theory, perhaps the Six Degrees of Separation theory is no longer relevant. The adoption of social networking has made the world a far smaller place.

And an interesting side note, to get it down to Four Degrees of Separation, the average number of friends would need to be 289.

26 July 2009

Mistaking The Youth

Being young and being a Gen Y (or an iGen for that matter) are not the same thing. The two are correlated, not dependant. Don't confuse a mistake of youth as a Gen Y characteristic.

Every generation makes mistakes when they're young. Don't stereotype on something that applies to everyone. Even you.

22 July 2009

I'll Tell You What I Want

My latest article at Marketing Magazine, discussing a couple of things I need if I and my fellow graduate-to-be mates are going to work for you.

20 July 2009

Honestly, I Probably Won't Follow You

When it comes to Twitter, I suppose I don't really follow the unwritten law of "you should follow anyone who follows you". In fact, I'm really picky about who I follow.

If I check out your page and you've posted too many times that day, I won't follow you. If you haven't posted enough, I won't follow you. If I don't like your display picture, I won't follow you. If you have all tweets with no replies, I won't follow you. If you're following too many people, I won't follow you.

Too bad if you happen to have a bad day or exhibit some once off behaviour. Chances are I won't check you out a second time.

I always judge books by their covers. Does anyone else? And do you ever stop and think about what your profile looks like right now? I know I don't do it enough.

16 July 2009

Fifteen Months

Today I was flown up and back to Sydney to present to Nova's marketing team about social media. When I got home there was a free copy of David Scott's latest book World Wide Rave waiting for me.

Sometimes I surprise myself how far this blog had taken me in just fifteen months.

11 July 2009

Why The Government Is Better At Social Media Than You

Who's behind the social media strategy for the Government? Because they're doing a pretty fucking great job, on both the federal and state level. Probably far better than many brands. And when the Government is doing a better job than you, maybe it's time to lift your game just a little.

Firstly, the bid for the World Cup is quite remarkable. The official website is, well, kinda cool as well as this totally rad video...
Can you imagine Howard appearing in that video? Anyway, they've also got a pretty strong presence on standard social networks, but particularly their Twitter account looks pretty healthy. Developing somewhat of a community around already passionate people is a great idea. Using that community to achieve your goal is even better.

As not even a soccer fan, I'm impressed.

And the other great example that Will Egan told me about, is John Brumby's YouTube campaign. Check out the video...
Great use of the medium and a great way to personalise things. Not even Obama is doing that, and we all know social media is the only reason he won the election. ;]

What do you guys think of these two campaigns?

07 July 2009

The Pigs Without Wings Foundation

I've said in the past I will never put AdSense on this blog. But I wonder if there is some type of sponsored deal you and I could organise?

It doesn't neccessarily have to be a link or ad on the side, in fact I don't want that. But I wonder if something more can be explored, something more creative and flexible, that adds value to you, me and my audience.

Would you sponsor this blog? Let's talk.

05 July 2009

Both Important And Talkative

Head nod to Jessica Hagy. I have completely stolen her style here.

03 July 2009

A Print Dinosaur

So this John Hartigan bloke, News Ltd CEO, had this to say in regards to the future of journalism...
“Then there are the bloggers. In return for their free content, we pretty much get what we’ve paid for - something of such limited intellectual value as to be barely discernible from massive ignorance.”
In his speech he then proceeded to point out sites like Crikey and Mumbrella as leeching off journalism in Australia.

You take out these two points and his speech might have had some decent ideas behind it. You'll notice he didn't mention anything about The Punch which, funnily enough, is owned by big bad News Ltd. He also failed to mention that a significant amount of their contributors are also bloggers.

This is the dinosaur you've selected to keep newspapers and journalism alive in Australia? Good luck with that.

Also, as I write for The Punch I'd just like to say the people running the site do a smashing job, and thankfully do not take the piss out of us bloggers.

02 July 2009

Balls On The Line

This week, is Man Week. And I've been tagged by Gavin Heaton to write about it. However, like Stan Lee, I tend not to write about much personal stuff here unless I can tie it into marketing or blogging.

Which is convenient, because my post is about this blog.

I'm still a teenager. And as my amazingly dirty attempt at a beard would suggest I'm not even sure if I can use the word "man". In fact on some levels I'm fairly immature and don't even act my age at the most inappropriate of times. But the biggest change in my personally, as far as I can tell, is I'm no longer as quiet as I once was.

My childhood was normal. I don't have an amazing story to tell. My parents separated before I could say the word marriage but I can't complain about how I was raised. I was labelled a geek at school who sat at the top of every class academic wise, but not harshly done and it was even something I called myself. While the rest of the kids were busy talking in class, I was busy working.

And I think that made me quiet. I'd still talk and socialise of course, but no one would ever mistake me for "the loud one" in the class room.

But around Year 10, I decided to start being louder. Not neccessarily talking more, just putting myself out there, taking opportunities that came up and generally expressing myself when I wanted to.

I'm not sure why, but I do remember it being a conscious decision.

And it was fun.

And it taught me my opinions and thoughts are valid.

And to not work too hard.

I think over the past five years it's continued to build, especially when I look at how much I've changed since, even still if you compared to my first week at Uni to now.

And one of the ways I've been able to do this, is with a blog.

I've always said starting this blog was one of the best things I ever did, and not just career wise. This is one of those "not just career wise" things.

It's given me a platform to express myself and express my passion.

It's let me be as loud as I want.

It's gotten me thinking, writing and doing something I love.

And it's been an important aspect in shaping me into the man I am today.

29 June 2009

Rudd Wins The Internets

Here is a disappointing page. It's the top sponsored channels on YouTube sorted by the most amount of subscribers of all time in Australia.

These brands must be paying for this privilege. I've been told they do receive banner ads as part of that package, but that's about it. They're pretty much normal accounts, ones that you or I could register.

But of all the brands who are sinking money into these channels, the most popular channel has just 1,300 subscribers. And it's the Government.

I find it beyond disappointing that's the best we can do, particularly with the budgets they would have been allocated. Where's the ROI on that? Maybe they'd have been better off with a normal, free account.

23 June 2009

You Sir, Are Anonymous

Sorry to beat a dead horse here guys, but let's have a quick chat about posting anonymously.

I honestly don't mind if you do it. I'd prefer if you attached a link to somewhere I could contact you, and if not then even just a name, but I understand some of you just want to post anonymously for the sake of it. I'm sure you've realised by now I actually relish abusive comments. And that's okay, if posting anonymously let's lets you say something you wouldn't normally say otherwise then go nuts.

But please, don't give me personal branding advice if you're going to do it anonymously. That is where I draw the line.

21 June 2009

The Right To Remain Silent

Joseph Jaffe just wrote a post saying every time your brand is mentioned on a blog you need to respond. But he's wrong. And I reckon Adam Ferrier might even be onto something when he said brands should just leave consumers alone.

Just because someone mentions your brand name, it doesn't mean you have to go in and "engage". Just because someone says something about jeans on Twitter, it doesn't mean you have to follow them if you're Levi. And just because someone mentions something remotely related to your product, it doesn't mean you have to comment on my blog.

This is called spam. And if you do it on this blog I have no problem tearing you to shreds.

I'm all for monitoring the social media environment. But when it comes to responding, don't do it all the time. Only do it when you can provide value. If it's relevant, and you can answer a question, point someone in the right direction or even give them something free or discounted, then you may respond.

And if you want to see somebody doing social media response well, the Body Shop is a good place to start. Joseph and Adam, I give you both permission to respond if you please.

19 June 2009

Another Umbrella

A few weeks ago Mumbrella launched their first sister site, Thumbrella. And in what can only be described as extreme procrastination during an exam period, I give you their next launch...

What started as an innocent conversation between myself and Kate Kendall about possible brand extensions, it saw me get home and created this. It quickly turned into a little experiment (and time killer) where I sneakily seeded it on a few blogs under the name of Fake Tim Burrowes. The goal was to determine how long it would take to surface, how much buzz I could create and how long until it appeared on Mumbrella.

Just hours after seeding, a comment appeared on Twitter from one blogger. At this stage just two of the dozen blogs it was seeded on had said something outside of their blog with a couple of others responding with comments. Less than 24 hours after the first seed, Tim posted about it.

It was merely intended as some fun. I don't think it was deceptive or non transparent. Now I must go study (rote learn) for my exam in two hours.

17 June 2009

You Must Be This High To Ride This Blog

The editorial team here at Pigs Don't Fly have been having some serious discussions of late. So serious in fact, one member stated they "could no longer work in such an environment" and as such resigned from the writing team. Another is currently sitting in an emergency ward after one conversation turned physical.

I've been thinking a lot about this blog lately, especially regarding the topic of content, being a joker, sensationalism and starting fires. So I'm sorry peeps if I've been blogging about blogging on this blog a lot lately, but unfortunately there's still a few posts left to write.

I haven't written about my blogging hero in a while, Seth Godin. But in one of his latest posts he suggests doing what you want and what you're passionate about, even if it's at the cost of your audience. I love this concept of "Who?", not "How many?". With that said, I realise some of this controversy does brings in big numbers, but I also realise I'm losing some in the process.

So based on that, let's get something clear; this is my blog. Therefore it goes by my rules. If I want to rant, write a disgustingly rude letter to your brand, be an asshole to you or drop the f bomb; I can. This is my wonderland to express my opinion, and if you don't like it then too bad. This is the internet, I'm sure there's something out there for you to read. Although I must admit I do secretly love when people abusively comment at me. A post on this topic coming soon.

Sometimes I honestly don't want to add value to a conversation. Why can't I just write something for the sake of it? I think I've slowly realised that as I get more passionate about my writing, one of the things I want readers of this blog to get out of it is entertainment. Yes, I would love to be pumping out thought provoking content all the time, but I can't consistently do that. I want my readers to love reading this blog and sometimes that means having fun with what I write and how I write it.

Don't get me wrong, which I know most of you will. I still want credibility and I still want to start conversations and participate in them. But I think sometimes people need to realise there's entertainment behind this content as well which isn't always conversation starting, but fire starting.

14 June 2009

Ted Can't Stand Alone

Perhaps one of my favourite campaigns so far this year is Tooheys Extra Dry's Six Beers of Separation. You couldn't really call it a social media campaign, but they did the standard, "Let's put it up on YouTube and MySpace".

I really really dug this campaign. I almost applied to myself because I thought it was such a great idea, however what really surprised me was the quality of the execution. There's almost a few hours of content up online, and I loved every second of it.

But the problem is, with the exception of the trailer, the most viewed video on the YouTube channel has just over 1,000 views. It's not much, and I'm sure the client will not be happy with this result. I'm almost annoyed that such quality content hasn't gotten the attention it deserves, even with all the print and outdoor ads I've seen around Melbourne.

Luckily, this once off broadcast will also be playing on pay television in Australia, which will hopefully satisfy the marketers are Tooheys. But is this is just another example of how social media is unable to stand on its feet by itself? I'd suggest that at least at the moment, social media needs to be integrated with the rest of your strategy if you want traditional type results.

12 June 2009

The Warmth Of The Fire

For those of you who have been following this blog for a couple of months or longer would know I'm a Joker who likes starting fires.

Which is the approach I took in a recent posting in an open letter to the editor of B&T Magazine. Many of your criticised said approach and I think the comments that resulted are probably more interesting than the post itself.

But let's take a look at the outcome...
+ The post received 33 comments, the most I've ever received.
+ My blog received the most hits it's ever had in one day yesterday.
+ My RSS Feed hit an all time high.
+ And perhaps most importantly, B&T made a change with more changes to come.
This is a good outcome, no? Would it have been the same had I'd taken a less controversial approach? Maybe. Maybe not.

I bag the shit out of traditional media all the time. But sometimes the results are amazing. So even if you bag the shit out of the approach I took the other day, stop and think about the outcome, which I believe speaks for itself.

10 June 2009

Who Username Is It Anyway?

I recently hit double digits for the number of times I've donated blood. And I'm only 19. I am very passionate about blood donating. In fact, I probably hate you a little bit if you don't donate regularly.

That's why I'm pimping out World Blood Donor Day and this campaign by Naked Comms...

Full disclosure says I've just finished up an Internship there but that's not why I'm promoting this campaign. What I found interesting was how the video was submitted under the username, sammygee33.

For me, it raised the question of who should be submitting content on YouTube? Should it be under the brand's name? The agency's name? Or perhaps a third party?

Or does it all depend on what will get the most views? If the brand doesn't have an existing channel, for example in this case, is it worth developing a username for World Blood Donor Day? What implications does this have long term?

This is more so one of those posts that just raises heaps of questions that I'd like you to answer. Let's see if we can start a conversation without me being a controversial little shit.

08 June 2009

Pretend I Used A Hilarious Acronym For B&T Here

I think every blogger says to themselves at some point, "I will not use my blog for personal rants about brands that piss me off or do me wrong". But, I also think that every blogger breaks this from time to time. That's what I'm doing today. And so...
Dear Tim Addington,

Hey dude, what's happening? Staying out of trouble and what not?

What is the word for the opposite of an evangelist? Because that's what I am when it comes to anything print. But with that said, I don't mind your magazine. I think you could probably make it a tad cheaper for students like myself, which would definitely increase your subscription numbers because students are always trying to convince themselves they're doing something important and serious about their career like subscribing to industry magazines... but let's save that for another blog post.

I have a couple of problems.

My subscription is about to end and you kindly sent me a letter reminding me to update it. I like that. An email would have sufficed but I don't mind, I understand you were born before 1980. As an existing and loving customer a yearly subscription was going to cost me $175 and $349 for two years. Except I went to the website and the prices are $119 and $229 respectively. That's a fairly substantial difference, no?

I also have a problem with the daily email you send me. Ignoring the fact you pretty much cover everything I've already read on my RSS Feed, Mumbrella and Campaign Brief, you send it in a fucking pdf file. On the rare occasion I actually want to click on an article, I have to download the whole thing. Why aren't you doing these as individual blog posts?

And my third point is about what you're doing on social media. Your Twitter account actually makes me want to break my fingers as I slam the screen of my notebook down on top of them. Also, I've raised these issues a number of times on Twitter and started many angry conversations, yet you've never gotten in touch. Why Tim, why?

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt this time and I've just subscribed for another year. Yes, you're welcome. But maybe you need to buzz me or shoot me through an email some time so we can chat about some of this stuff?

Based on your Twitter performance I imagine you're not monitoring blogs either so I'll send this through to you directly Timmy. You're more than welcome to use this as a letter to the editor. ;]

Zac Martin

05 June 2009

You've Got To Be Kitsching

I was enjoying a coffee the other day with a design student mate of mine who introduced me to what I found to be a very fascinating concept; kitsch design.

Kitsch design, he explained, at its most basic is design that is both useless and almost immediately becomes outdated. Perhaps the most common example is those cheap tacky plastic phone holders. They don't do anything except hold your phone, even though the desk is perfectly capable of that. Further, three months later every mobile phone on the market is too small to sit properly in the holder.

This is kitsch design. Temporary with no real use that just ends up as land fill.

I asked my mate why kitsch design even existed, and interestingly his answer was, "Marketing". The ability to make $2 million in two weeks from cheap crappy mobile phone holders means that kitsch design will always exist.

But in a society where we place such importance on long term vision and sustainability, I hope you're not marketing something kitsch. And if you are, then it's probably worse than marketing ecstasy to children.

03 June 2009

The Moon Landing Conspiracy

Another article of mine in the recent edition of Monash Caulfield's student magazine, Esperanto.

If you're interested, the coupon refers to the page of this article.

01 June 2009

A Tee For Juju

I think perhaps one of the reasons I fell head over heals in love with social media is the ability for something small to go big so easily. It happens every day with video content.

This tee is an awesome example.

Somewhere, somehow it went viral. After the first rather ironic review of the tee on Amazon, it was followed by a flood of others. Currently there are 911 of them, most of which are worth checking out.

But what I love most about this story is how often people criticise social media and how it actually leads to sales and profit. This week alone sales of the Three Wolf Moon tee have increased 2,300%. Booya.

31 May 2009

+ Kapow

If this were a comic from the 60's that's what would appear on your screen after The Punch launched itself today.

Rather excitedly, I can announce I've been asked to write a fortnightly piece. I'll be linking my articles here and my first is about the death of the book.

I've been told my massive ego should cushion the hurtful comments. Suppose we'll have to wait and see.

30 May 2009

+ Hairy Chest

After six months of working on the pitch for L'Oreal Brandstorm, we placed third at the national finals. We nailed our presentation and I'm pretty happy.

It means we don't make it to Paris, but the good news is I have my life back again and it means this blog might receive a little more attention.

For those interested here is our presentation...

28 May 2009

+ The Game

The latest piece of mine in the student magazine from Monash Caulfield, Esperanto.

27 May 2009

+ Community Collaboration [Part 2]

In my last past I spoke of how essentially anonymous people were getting together on Facebook and collaborating. In this case, I was referring to the creation of content around a developing meme.

Now we can take things to the next level, where collaboration is helping to solve crime. The case in point is the Missing Kane Dadson Facebook Group.

Now sitting at over 3,000 members, through the power of collaboration people have been able to work faster than the police investigation in gathering clues. Suggestions and comments posted on the wall have lead to spreading word of mouth and opened up new information that can be used by police.

Last year in a similar situation, members of the group Missing Britt Lapthorn uploaded photos related to the case that other people were able to tag which lead to new leads of questioning. The group still has 18,000 members.

Social media is more than just brands trying to engage with consumers. Or a group of people creating their own lolcats. Social media has more potential than I think anyone realises.

23 May 2009

+ Community Collaboration [Part 1]

By now I'm sure you've seen this video...

Hilarious. But even better, is the Facebook Group, now consisting of over 15,000 members. Scroll down and take a look at the photos and videos. What I find most interesting, is how similar this group is to that of 4chan.

Starting with a single idea or event, a group of complete random people have gotten together in one area and started producing their own content. Video and photo mashups have turned Clare into a small scaled meme.

I think we're going to see a lot more of this. Will Facebook become the new 4chan?

20 May 2009

+ The Nature Of Audiences

A few months back I drove home to see thick black smoke billowing out of my neighbour's car parked on the street. I quickly jumped out of my car to investigate the burning vehicle. By this stage a small crowd had appeared that was slowly creeping forward to get a better look. After a minute the car actually exploded. No one was hurt but what interested me was the curiosity of the viewers, myself included.

Instead of running away from the fire, people were running towards it. And thus is the nature of audiences.

In a recent conversation between myself and Oscar Nicholson, I realised this is the nature of how I blog.

I cause controversy. I write about not only provocative issues but in a provocative manner too. I stir the pot and I start fires.

But I do this to start conversations. Unfortunately people aren't attracted to a car that isn't on fire. A blog post that isn't controversial gets less readers and far less comments. People rarely comment on something if they simply agree. I do realise the shortfall of this; that once the fire's out, the people leave. I suppose I hope I've got enough good content to keep them around after everything's been extinguished.

But I'm not going to kid myself, I can't consistently and regularly produce good, thought provoking content. So from time to time I'll start a fire. I make no apologies for the burns or damage caused. This is the nature of a Joker.

15 May 2009

+ The Death Of Hollywood

A guest post of mine over at Adspace Pioneers.

14 May 2009

+ Julian Swallows

Julian Cole took it upon himself to break the Slurpee Challange and see how fast he could down a large Slurpee...

33 seconds is pretty much unbeatable. But I gave it an attempt anyway...

Unfortunately I was unable to even finish. Julian is my god. Although this post isn't really about the above. Although I should disclaim Slurpee is a client of Naked's where I'm currently interning. In fact, Julian's birthday was a couple of days ago so this is me saying Happy Birthday Juju with some link love.

11 May 2009

+ SMS "Result" To Student

Today I received an SMS informing me of my grade on a recent piece of assessment. Maybe the University isn't as far behind as I thought. Although I bet the lecturer and the course coordinator don't know anything about it, let alone encouraged this great piece of initiative by the tutor.

Even better, it was a High Distinction. Take that students who actually put in effort and remain sober the night before you hand in your assignments.

08 May 2009

+ The Email Said I Had To

Hello Zac,

I’m with the DVR Research Institute. Tomorrow, on May 1 we will be publishing results from a research project we conducted among 200 leading advertising executives on their strategic response to the increase in DVR viewership. Since Pigs Don’t Fly has been recognized as one of the most influential marketing blogs, we would like to share some EXCLUSIVE CONTENT with you from our study. With the upfront negotiations coming up, I thought that it may be interesting for your readers to take a glimpse at our extensive study.

Below the main body of this email I have included an overview of our methodology, key themes in the study and a few of our findings.

I have also included a summary of one of our findings that we are sharing exclusively with a limited number of very influential bloggers. Please feel free to post it in Pigs Don’t Fly , or contact me if you’d like to get a bit more information on this.
The email said I was free to post it here on this blog so I have.

But seriously, what is this rubbish? Just because this blog occasionally talks about the change of media consumption doesn't mean I give a shit about the spam you send me. Other bloggers might be able to use it, but if I don't want it then it's spam. And just because it's personalised with my name doesn't mean it's not unsolicited and unwanted. If you've got an attention to detail like me you'll see they couldn't even copy and paste correctly with extra spaces around the words "Pigs Don't Fly".

I normally wouldn't give a shit but I'm starting to get one or two of these a week. If you can't offer me genuine value then gtfo.

06 May 2009

+ Segmenting The Blogosphere

This post is a development on a previous one about plotting the Australian Blogosphere on a positioning map. Jye Smith suggested this could be used to segment bloggers and it was made possible by Adam Ferrier, a very smart man (I have to say that, he's currently my boss).

The pranksters of the blogosphere. They enjoy the attention they receive and are not afraid to post something fun or amusing, or even off topic. They're very flexible yet back it up with good content. Jokers tend to be amongst the youngest of the bloggers out there and love being the centre of attention. They're often controversial but at times need to be reminded not to stir the pot for the sake of it.

Julian Cole is a Joker.

The peaceful ones of the blogosphere. They probably started their blog one day for their own amusement and are not too fussed about their pageviews, hits and RSS count. With that said, they appreciate their readers and love that they are able to to express themselves and people will listen. They enjoy sharing their thoughts, insights, stories, videos, pictures and links. Rarely will they call someone out and must remember that their audience doesn't subscribe to them for their constantly thought provoking content.

Stan Lee is a Lover.

The quiet earnest ones of the blogosphere. They attempt to drive change with almost every post on their blog. Each piece of content develops conversations, asks the right questions and gets people thinking. Often, they're developing models and attempting to take their area of expertise to the next level. Posts can be quite detailed and lengthy and they need to remember that this can alienate audiences outside of their core niche of readers.

Gavin Heaton is a Driver.

The top of the food chain of the blogosphere. They probably started life as a Joker or Driver and decided they want to take it to the next level content wise, or get their name and brand out their in the media. Not afraid to speak their mind and take on the big guys, particularly when they know they're backed by a large popularity. Their content is solid and provocative but is often criticised and they need to remember that engaging in a flame war is not always the best approach.

Laural Papworth is a Fighter.
There are both benefits and limitations to each of the above. More importantly, there is no right or wrong and none of the four quadrants is a bad segment to sit in. It is important to remember who your audience are and what they're expectations will be. Remember that next time you question a blogger's motives or actions, perhaps think about what segment they're in and what they're trying to achieve.

Before you depart, I have three questions for you...
1. Which quadrant do you see yourself in?
2. Which quadrant do other people see you in?
3. Which quadrant do you want other people to see you in?

03 May 2009

+ Write Or Flight

I always tout on about how starting a blog was one of the best things I ever did, and not only career wise. But it wasn't until today that I realised yet another reason I'm more than grateful for starting this bad boy.

I love writing. I didn't realise it until recently, but I seem to get a fair bit out of something I would previously despised doing. And apparently, I'm not too bad at it. Although I have no idea why people seem to enjoy my terribly dry, sarcastic tone. And I just realised I seem to use a lot of conjunctives at inappropriate times.

This blog probably isn't a good example of my best work. Lately I've been writing for the student magazine on campus, my other blog, Marketing Magazine and a new project that will be bigger than hang over I woke up with this morning.

Now I just need to work out if it's possible to write for the love of it... and money. Maybe I should write a book.

02 May 2009

+ You're An Idiot

Or at least that's what the ACCC believes. This nonsense about their crack down on the Coca Cola myth busting campaign is rubbish. Consumers realise Coke isn't good for you. If Coke wants to try and change their image, then let them do it.

You don't walk into Maccas and assume their burgers are healthy just because they offer a salad on the menu. And this is not the first time the ACCC has assumed you're a complete moron, they did it last year with a Skins campaign.

Sure you old guys and girls think there's a lot wrong with Generation Y, but one thing going for them (us) is their (our) scepticism. I would suggest, with the help of the Internet, that today's consumer is smarter than ever before.

The ACCC needs to step off and let marketers do their work. No lines were crossed in either of these cases and consumers are smart enough and sceptical enough to know this. And if it changes their buyer behaviour, well done to the work of the marketers.

27 April 2009

+ Graduate Like A Rock Star #5

The last article of my Graduate Like A Rock Star series is now live. Check it out here at let me know your thoughts.

26 April 2009

+ Ich Spreche Kein Deutsch

I was going to wait until I posted something really awesome, but it's been put on hold for a while so I'm just going to link you anyway to I Don't Speak German. It's a new blog about some of the random stuff that happens in my life and the weird trains of thought that rattle through my head.
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
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