Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who in the world would you most want to blog?

Image courtesy of Dave & Bry

If you could read, and respond to, the daily thoughts of any one person today or in the history of time, who would it be?

Your favourite writer perhaps? Movie actor or director? A musician you love? Sporting hero? Business leader or marketing guru? A politician or world leader you admire? Journalist? An academic you want to learn from?

Too difficult to choose just one. I can immediately think of several that do not, or didn't, blog (as far as I'm aware) - John, Ed, Paul, Jon, Peter and Jorge.

Of course, having them blog is not just about reading their thoughts. If it were just this, you could simply read their books. It is more. It's the commenting and hoping to god you don't sound like a fool. It's the interaction and this intimate connection with your heroes that it so exciting.

Who would you pick?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Brave advertising

Brave advertising. I know they've done stuff along this idea before. Don't know if it works but admire that they tackle the issue head on.

Via Brando

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not original ad. But I like it.

I like Saatchi's flash mob ad for T-mobile. Presume most of you have seen it by now. If you haven't, it is worth a watch. It is genuinely interesting to watch and there are some great moments.

It is not original I know.

I immediately thought of the video above. A flash mob kissing video filmed in Dublin's ILAC centre which Darragh posted last Oct. This too captured some great little moments.The tone even reminded me a bit of the Love Actually scene I mentioned a little while ago - celebrating life, relationships, living etc.

And many others have pointed to the Improve Anywhere crowd as the original source of this creativity.

Does it really matter that the ad is not original?

I'm told the beautifully filmed Sony Bravia Balls ad was not an original idea. Came from here. It's very possible that flash mobs is still niche, and hasn't been exposed to mass audiences. If so, Saatchi are moving quickly to try and 'own' this trend for their client. Fair play to them.

Forget ads for a moment - how many movies are truly original? If an ad engages us, and perhaps make us smile, surely this can't be a bad start?

I can think of a lot worse.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Marketing Role. B2B. South Dublin. 50k.

Beth asked me to mention a marketing role she is recruiting for.

If you've 5+ years in marketing communications, with some B2B experience - this might be worth a look. Technology company. 80 employees. South Dublin. N11. You'd be reporting into the Sales and Marketing Director. I'm told the package is up to €50k. Watch the 'up to', you might need to fight for it.

You'd need a good understanding of direct marketing, PR, online and would be expected to proof read copy, deal with printers, designers etc.

All looks pretty manageable. Loads of resources and people available online if you need to upskill yourself on online, digital, direct marketing, copy writing, PR, etc.

I don't know the company, but Beth seems nice. You can call her on 01 2557377

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lovely example of real advertising strategy

Image courtesy of pablo.diaz

We generally assume the objective of advertising is to drive sales. But if we can be more specific on what we want consumers to actually do, it can lead to better advertising.

Phil Dusenberry shared an insightful campaign on Campbell's Soup during the 1980's, which illustrates this well.

Sales of Campbell's Soup were flat and they couldn't figure out why. Campbell's was the market leader by a fairly massive margin and there was no evidence that other brands were stealing share. So why were they not selling quickly enough?

They commissioned some tracking research on how people were using the product and discovered that kitchens across America were full of Campbell's Soup. Consumers buy soup but don't necessarily eat it. They store it. They discovered that soup was seen as the default form of sustenance - "something you ate only when there was nothing else in the cupboard".

So the advertising brief was not to persuade consumers to go into stores to buy more, but to get them to eat the soup they had on their kitchen shelves. Get that right, and sales will follow.

This translated into the simple, yet successful ad campaign - "Reach for the Campbell's. It's right on your shelf".

Nike Wake Up Call

Found this on W+K. The ad's not bad. But I liked the reason for it. W+K say the following on their blog:

"Complacency has set in in Latin American football. Arrogance in their ability overtook the neccessity to train. It is time to remind the future stars of tomorrow, that skill alone is not enough. It is time to remind them of the grit and dedication that’s needed to make it to the top. This is their final wake up"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Looking for a marketing job? I'm happy to help if I can.

Not a day goes by when I don't get into a conversation about the economy meltdown.

On one hand, we can be guilty of talking ourselves into a panic. At the same time, it is very understandable that people are nervous. Folks are losing jobs. Good folks too. And it can happen to any one of us.

With this in mind, I just want to say that I'm very happy to post a mention for (1) anybody looking for a marketing job or (2) anybody that has a marketing job opportunity.

If you want me to post something, just drop me a mail.

Clearly I don't want CVs so try and sell yourself with a few interesting points that you are comfortable seeing here in a blog post. And if possible, add a link to where an employer can get more info. Be creative.

I'll just restrict it to marketing roles (including advertising, DM, digital etc) given the nature of my blog.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cadbury eyebrows dance

Cadbury eyebrows dance. By Fallon. I like it. Nice bit of fun. And low production. Always good.

Found via Assistant to the Brand Manager - a blog you must read. I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

Classic Ad placement for Veet hair waxing

Classic ad placement for Veet hair waxing and hair removal. This came into me twice yesterday.

Thanks to both Lorraine and also to Mark in Generator.

2009 - a new year in digital

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: brands marketing)

Another useful find by Helge Tenno.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cybercom recuiting for Head of Search Marketing

Dublin-based digital agency, Cybercom, are looking for a 'Head of Search Marketing'. From the few I know there, they are a great bunch and have a lovely culture. I'd recommend them.

If you like to do the Google dance, no better place.

Clever ambient ads

Via AdsoftheWorld

Surprised this wasn't done before, or at least I hadn't seen it before. To emphasize the quality of HD TV, where you can almost 'feel' the game, they placed actual balls on the ads.

Click if you want to zoom and read the case details.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

AC/DC video in Excel

I completely missed this. Over 1m people have watched it on youtube and loads others downloaded the actual excel file. You can download the excel file from here.

Found via some slides on Helge Tenno's blog ( I intend to steal the entire presentation for here later in week)

I went through 19 CVs this week.

Image courtesy of Fiona Rae

I went through 19 CVs one night this week.

In search of somebody that loves advertising, has some experience in it and is willing to work hard. Could I tell from the CVs? Nope. Not one had a blog or a link to a portfolio or previous campaigns either.

I couldn't help but wonder how individuals with marketing backgrounds, working in the field of communication, do not sell themselves better.

The CVs were mostly full of stuffy language and clich├ęs. "Maximise this. Productivity that. Works well in groups. But also independently". This is from folks pursuing careers in persuasive communication.

How refreshing would it be to get a CV that starts with "I will work into the long dark lonely hours of the night to make sure my advertising campaign is something W+K, Crispin Porter, Alex W. White and David Ogilvy would all be proud of"?

This one sentence tells me a lot...You love advertising. There is a good chance you know the basics. You understand that advertising needs to sell. And you are ready to take on the necessary long hours. That would be enough to get an interview.

If you're good, don't hide.

Pablo on Cocaine

"You know that feeling when you wake up in a basement, with a massive gaping hole in your chest? No. Well, I've had better mornings..."

Thought this was pretty good. Apparently it is effective too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Advertising that is more than messaging

Helge Tenno recently led me to an excellent presentation by Tom Himpe. One slide suggests marketing needs to be more useful than just 'messaging'.

What if this beer mat, advertising The Irish Times, actually had a crossword on it?

This simple change would transform it from an ad simply telling us (messaging) about their newspaper to a much more useful service. It would become something to do while waiting for our mates to arrive. And as it would be more involving, it would get higher recall and in a way, is a nice way to allow people to experience one feature of their product (their newspaper).

When I first glanced at this in a pub, I thought this is what The Irish Times had done. I was so impressed. But at a second look, I realised the crossword was already filled in, and this was, in fact, just messaging. It was just an ad. How disappointing.

However, I did get a chance to talk to their marketing director, who said they were planning to bring real crosswords to the beer mats. In terms of logistics, they could set up a freetext number or website with answers for those of us not so good at crosswords.

We'd need a few pencils too I guess...

3st Jan update and correction - My mistake. Clearly I wasn't as sober as I thought I was. The front of the beermat was actually blank on the front. Sorry Paul F and Irish Times. Lovely work.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Please explain the Lucozade ad to me

I must confess. I don't really get this. I can only imagine they want this to feel like the Bourne movies. And it does look a bit like a movie trailer. But nothing really happens. There is no story. There is no conflict, character development or anything. I know it is just 30 seconds long but it is very possible. What is the idea? I'm left a bit puzzled and not caring.

I don't have a problem with ads taking cues from films, and I love story-led ads, but surely there needs to be something more? Like this, this or this. And what's with the 'To be continued' bit at the end? Is there some interaction on the way, or is this a set up for another ad with the same guy running around?

If I'm missing something here, please explain.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Strong image. Nice copy

Strong image. Nice copy. Shame no urgent call to action here. The copy reads "Sadly, in some parts of Africa, bullets outnumber grains of rice".

Via AdsoftheWorld

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Economist on advertising (in a recession)

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: branding recession)

Ad agencies, you will probably want to share this with your clients. Or if you're client side, might be useful to share with your finance buddies.

Via Fallon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sacrifice 10 facebook friends for a free Whopper

Like your friends, but love the Whopper? If so, delete 10 facebook friends for a free whopper...

This is the latest campaign by agency CP+B for Whopper. I haven't installed it, so don't know if it just applies to the US, but like the idea and suspect people will have a laugh with it. Install from here.

Thanks Aisling for sending on to me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Don't neglect Points of Parity

Image courtesy of nebe

Strategy can be confusing.

The word itself is a buzzword and is misused and abused. Many people confuse strategy with objectives or goals. I don't know about you, but I often come across strategy documents where it isn't clear what the end game is. They just have strategies.

John Kay, the economist and columnist, explained that strategy actually means 'expensive'. When you hear that something is a "strategic investment", they mean you "are going to lose a lot of money on this project". Or strategy can mean 'important'. In an essay published in 'Strategy Bites Back', Mr Kay translates the phrase "I'm in strategy". It means "I have a large office, large salary and the ear of the chief executive".

But not everything about strategy is complex, difficult or confusing. Some bits are so clear, obvious and easy to understand, they almost seem too simplistic to be considered strategy. But they are strategy. And worth understanding.

Understanding that you must not neglect 'points of parity' is one of these.

When figuring out how to compete, we tend to think most about how we can differentiate against competitors. Practically, we're talking about creating reasons for customers to choose you, over their other options. You're faster. Or you're cheaper. Or have the widest range of products. Or safest. Or most leg space. Or best built engines. You get the picture.

Because focus is critical and resources are always limited, the temptation then is to talk only about these points of differentiation in your communications.

And this makes sense. If you have the best customer service - and if this matters to customers in your industry - why would you not shout about this? Ries and Trout have written several books about focusing on the narrow point of differentiation.

So shout away. Be focused. But don't neglect your points of parity. These are the attributes that you choose not to differentiate on - but still need to be in the ballpark for. If not, they become barriers in the minds of your potential customers.

Kevin Lane Keller provides an interesting case with Subway sandwiches. In 2000, Subway wanted to compete on health. They planned to position themselves as a healthy fast-food option. They were pretty confident this would be a differentiating strategy, using Jared Fogle, a 22 year old spokesperson who had lost 245 pounds on a Subway diet.

But they also knew that people eat fast food because it tastes good.

They debated internally about whether they should be competing on this attribute of 'tasty food' instead of 'health'. In the end, they choose to position themselves as the healthy option. But at the same time, they ran smaller campaigns that talked about how tasty their Subway sandwiches were.

This allowed them to attack unhealthy fast food options like McDonald's while defending themselves against a possible perception that their sandwiches taste rotten.

Ultimately, as you have limited resources, it becomes a balancing act.

TeenCamp Ireland

Damien Mulley asked if we could spread the word about TeenCamp Ireland.

They are a 'gathering of the techies/bloggers/fanboys age 13+ of Ireland to give talks, meet others, share ideas and have a laugh'. And they are kicking off their first TeenCamp in Dublin, in 7 days.

If you know anyone interested, send them along to their site. If you blog, it costs you nothing but a couple of minutes of your time to post a mention about them. They are looking for sponsorship and other bits of help too.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No headline. No copy. But solid idea.

This is pretty good. No headline, copy and even logo is not too obvious. But the idea is solid and the scene is intriguing enough. If I'm honest, I think I'd have played it safe and added a line of copy somewhere. (Sorry)

Some folks on AdsoftheWorld said this was an old idea. But I hadn't seen it before.

Via AdsoftheWorld

Monday, January 5, 2009

Creative ambient campaign

Clever way to demonstrate how your life can change if you drink and drive. Click on the image if you want to read the case in more detail. I like it.

Via AdsoftheWorld

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Media Consumption in Ireland 2009

Brendan Hughes has pulled together a comprehensive article on media consumption in Ireland in 2009 and beyond. He looks at 3 areas:

  1. He points to continued growth in user-generated content. Did you know there are now 4,000 bloggers in Ireland?
  2. Brendan also comments on convergence of applications, devices (how many of us dip into the internet on our mobiles?) and media. I was not surprised to read that two thirds of us use a computer while watching TV or listening to the radio.
  3. Finally, we're seeing some movement of power from traditional media organisations to individuals. This clearly should concern traditional media companies, but there are opportunities here as well as challenges.
Do pop over to Brendan's blog. It is a good analysis with some useful links to examples and sources.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Striking press ad

I was taught that a good press ad should stop you in your tracks. Make you forget what you were reading.

I like this a lot. The image is striking. There is lots of copy for those readers that want to know more about the agony of cancer breakthrough pain and a possible solution. But the copy doesn't get in the way.

Only thing missing is a website or phone number? But I don't know the brief so there may be a good reason for this.

Found via The Inspiration Room

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The best presentation I saw in 2008

I wondered recently if advertising was enough to build a brand. Adrian's slides above provide the answer. This could possibly be the best presentation I've seen.

Thanks Una for sending on.