Archive for August, 2011

Warm and fuzzy marketing.

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Marketing 101 states that a brand needs to connect with the consumer.

This can happen on many levels.

In the 50s and 60s the ugly VW Beetle was made acceptable by advertising that was honest and used self-deprecating humour to highlight its benefits.

One of the longest running campaigns of all time, Dulux, employs the lovability of an Old English Sheep Dog.

Not so lovable but just as effective is Sam Kekovich for Aussie Lamb, now into his eighth year.

The one thing they have in common is this ability to find a place in the consumer’s heart.

Apparently the same format is employed by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

A recent SBS documentary, ‘Conservation’s Dirty Secrets’ has revealed the marketing strategy of the WWF is all about promoting an emotional connection with certain animals. These are known as ‘charismatic mega fauna’.

Animals such as lions, tigers, apes, Polar bears and of course the WWF’s trademark, Giant Panda.

Oceans cover 71% of the world’s surface, yet just 1% is protected. Apart from whales and turtles very little is mentioned about the conservation of marine life, yet many ocean species are also in grave danger of extinction. Not to mention the thousands of cold-blooded, land based creatures that are also under threat.

The truth is they are just not cuddly enough.

I wonder what the impact on donations would be if the WWF logo looked like this?

There’s no bad media just bad use of it.

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Social media, whatever you think of it, has had a profound influence on the world.

Now more so than ever, considering the recent events in the Middle East and now in England.

The ability of groups to be instantly mobilised has proved to be a real headache for the British coppers. While they were in one place trying to gain control, the mob was in another looting and pillaging.

This wasn’t a real surprise as we have seen the same scenario, only reversed, played out in Egypt last February.

What was so surprising in the UK was the social media response, to the events.

An @Riotcleanup Twitter page was created by a London musician, Sam Duckworth, and now has over 85,000 followers.

They turned up with brooms in hand the morning after the London riots ready to put things right.

At the same time the London Metropolitan Police has published a set of photos of suspects on Flickr. While a Google group is using facial recognition technology to identify thugs from the photos.

Even eBay has promised to remove from their site any property that appears to have come from the looters.

How they will do that I am not sure.

Twitter has said it won’t shut down its service siting freedom of expression.

The interesting thing is that the same freedom of expression and social media tools will be used against the morons who started the whole thing off in the first place.

Like any media it has its good and bad uses.

It’s ultimately not the fault of the media but the way people use it.

“I’ve got a mate”

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

This is great for the person who has the mate and probably great for the mate but it can be very costly for business.

“I’ve got a mate” is usually associated with a client who has a mate who he believes will be able to save him money by getting a job done more cheaply.

The opposite is usually true.

The mate probably doesn’t want the job, because he knows he will have to do it for cost.

He therefore cuts corners, doesn’t ask questions and just wants to get the job out of the way.

He might be the totally wrong person for the job but does it because he’s a mate.

He could even be charging far more for the job because he isn’t set up to handle it.

But yet he still goes ahead, because he’s a mate.

So many jobs that are handled by mates turn to disaster.

It’s not the mate’s fault but a misguided belief, by his mate, that paying the right money to get a job done professionally isn’t good business.

How do I know all this?

My mate told me.

Legislation or education?

Monday, August 1st, 2011

With the unfortunate death of another Victorian bike rider, concerned groups are asking for tougher legislation.

“People who drive less than a metre from cyclists should face harsh penalties, bike groups have said.” The Age, July 26, 2011.

This approach seems to be the only answer to so many ‘concerned groups’. This has led many to believe that Australia is becoming a Nanny Nation.

We now have calls for stricter controls on advertising to kids. Health warnings on alcohol and so many signs on our streets, telling us what to do and what not to do, that they have become a source of increased visual pollution.

Continuing on a theme of telling us what to do is Metro, the operator of the Melbourne rail system.

As well as subjecting us to a barrage of verbal warnings they have now plastered their escalators with more instructions on how to behave.

I wonder if the millions that it’s costing us, to introduce and enforce this new legislation and behavior, wouldn’t be better spent on educating people to think more for themselves.

Isn’t it better to know what is right rather than be told what is wrong?