Musings

2014 28/Dec

A recent University of Queensland study has illustrated just how prevalent alcohol brands are on social media, and how their marketing strategies are reaching consumers in an environment far less regulated than traditional advertising. Using follower insights, brands are able to push messages at times most relevant to viewers inviting them to interact directly with the brand. But are these practices breaking regulations or are they a simple evolution of the advertising landscape?
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2014 28/Dec

The new Sydney lockouts have been widely reported across the media as a way to curb alcohol and drug related violence. The idea is not new — Melbourne attempted to implement it in 2008, and it was reversed after only three months. The first wave of reports is showing signs that behaviour patterns are not changing, just the timing of incidences. So there is a deeper issue to address; one that can be better communicated as a means of education than simply shutting doors. Just like the 2010 road safety campaign, Kings Cross club owner John Ibrahim has enlisted the help of friends to tell the youth of today: don’t be a dickhead.
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2014 28/Dec

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been doing the Internet rounds, as they try to raise money for the East Congo Initiative and Water.org. In a collaborative effort, the two celebrities offer the chance to hang out with them on a ‘best friend double date’, and tickets started at only 10 dollars each (in essence a donate-to-charity raffle). Similar to crowd-sourcing, the more tickets you buy (the more you spend), the greater reward you get — aside from the opportunity to win the major prize. But what sets this apart is their fantastic campaign video, which does wonders for both the charities and their personal brands.
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2014 28/Dec

Last week, the second largest American drugstore chain, CVS, announced that it was dropping tobacco products from its 7600 nationwide stores. It’s the first move by any of the big drugstore chains to stop selling tobacco products, and the effects will likely be far greater than the immediately quantifiable $2Bn initial decrease in annual sales.
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2014 28/Dec

Today in America, it’s Superbowl Sunday — probably the biggest sporting event in the country and one of the top few in the world. Last year the Superbowl was watched by over 108 million viewers in America alone. It’s also the single biggest event on the Advertising calendar. It’s expensive (4 million dollars for a 30 second spot) and it’s competitive. But a win in the Advertising Superbowl is a big win for brands. At the time of writing, the game hasn’t even started, and already Doritos has won the Superbowl.
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2014 28/Dec

With the Sochi Winter Olympic Games fast approaching, we’re starting to see lead up advertising. As a life long skier and winter follower, the Olympics are the highlight of my sport watching calendar (especially since the X-Games doesn’t make its way to Australia). Most of the advertising in the lead up is around the network coverage or the event itself. But Procter & Gamble have used it as a platform to deliver an emotionally charged brand message.
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2014 28/Dec

In 2009, MasterChef took the Australian television landscape by storm. It dived head first into an empty field and reaped every possible reward. From something completely unknown to a viewership of 4 million (or roughly 18% of the population), MasterChef created a household brand name and a workplace talking point. But at the end of its fifth season, MasterChef was a shell of its former self and was losing the reality TV cooking wars.
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2014 26/Dec

Effective communication in advertising will often result, at best, in a small change in consumer behaviour. While this change often has a product driven focus — buy this, try this, consider us — the predominant message generally doesn’t require the audience to drastically change their routine. The task for any anti- communications, however, is much more difficult.
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2014 26/Dec

Seth Godin is a very highly regarded author in the business and marketing world. His well-known book, All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works — and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All often receives rave reviews. Even the title poses an interesting question in my mind: is it acceptable to ‘deceive’ an audience to prove a point, especially one that leads to a better, socially focused outcome?
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2014 26/Dec

I was lucky enough to attend a focus group session for a client a few days ago. It was my first opportunity to get direct insights into how their audience feels about the brand we represent and the landscape as a whole. I went in without many expectations, not really knowing how these sessions go, and I came out an avid supporter of market research.
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2014 26/Dec

A recent example of inspiring, situational marketing has come from a very unexpected source: a Spanish bank. Celebrating their 130th anniversary, Banco Sabadell surprised and delighted passers-by in Plaça de Sant Roc, Sabadell by playing Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ with performers from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Cor Lieder Camera, Amics de l’Opera de Sabadell, and Coral Belles Arts. And it started with a little girl giving a ‘busker’ a coin. It has spread like wildfire, shared as “The Best Coin Ever Spent”.
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2014 26/Dec

In late 2011, with a couple of friends, I started an online magazine. We had already worked together on different publications during our time at University, picking up a number of awards along the way. There was a mutual respect for our work — design, illustration and writing/editing — and we worked well as a team. I had just taken twelve months off, entirely disconnecting myself from the design world after nearing a breakdown trying to complete my Masters degree. But I came back with a desire to create something meaningful, and importantly, something that we could have complete creative and editorial control over. We wanted to make a magazine. We wanted to contribute something to our industry that would be memorable. Things happened very quickly and we developed the first issue in three months (befitting of our decision to produce it quarterly). We called in a lot of favours to get it done, but looking back, the quality of writing and photography is still remarkably high and set a very good benchmark.
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2014 26/Dec

Earlier this year, Skype launched the Stay Together Campaign: an online call to action for real people to share their stories about how Skype lets them stay in contact. As is always the case with ‘real’ stories, the emotions runs high, even in the over produced world of made-for-Internet video. Campaigns of this nature frequently run the fine line between emotional resonance and too heavy handed, but Skype’s fourth installment packs a punch.
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2014 26/Dec

There is no doubting the influence of Google in everyday society. It is one of the few tech-based words to become a verb and is all pervasive in our daily lives. What Google has in spades and why it is such a powerhouse, is data. Every search term we use, every click we make, what we do and when is tracked by Google to constantly refine our online experience. So while this information is predominantly used to personalise our experience, when one looks at the data en masse, some interesting, hilarious or unfortunately, seriously saddening insights become apparent.
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2014 26/Dec

Over the last few days, the Internet has been abuzz about the stunt-based advertising for Carrie, a Stephen King novel and remake of the 1976 horror movie. The prank is fairly simple in concept: a girl loses it over a spilled coffee and then applies telekinesis to throw a man against a wall and scatter tables and chairs around the coffee shop. The actions are true to the movie — the main character uses telekinesis to terrorise her small town and the prank is elaborately planned and executed. It is a fantastic illustration of intelligent, strategically-driven stunt based advertising.
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