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Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Research Article: The price of your soul: How the brain decides whether to ‘sell out’

Summary: A neuroscience study on how the brain processes strong human values and beliefs, and how it behaves once money comes into play. It’s interesting to see the decisions that the brain makes once those “core and sacred” values are affected with financial rewards. In a nutshell – this is a neuromarketer’s “wet dream”.

Link to the study: Medicalxpress.com – The price of your soul: How the brain decides whether to ‘sell out’

Ads from where there shouldn’t be ads: Al-Qaeda “Inspire Magazine”

It seems that even the world’s largest terrorist organisation, Al-Qaeda, believes in the power of advertising. This ad comes from the first issue of “Inspire Magazine”, an e-zine designed to promote Al-Qaeda’s twisted message in the Western markets.

Please note: That magazine was one of the most vile and disgusting pieces of words I’ve ever read – hatred like this can’t be real. At the same time, the ad itself does promote a message we all could live by. I suppose “Inspire” is a perfect example of man taking religion to absurdity…

 

Sonic the Hedgehog; The Documentary

I want to share this short documentary I found about a character that I never knew I still love so much. At one stage, this guy was the number one “Most Recognisable” character in America, beating Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and his arch nemesis, Mario. He was the hero that every kid followed, and even me here in Australia, I couldn’t help not to be swept into his cult. I’m talking about Sonic the Hedgehog.

I recently came across Sonic the game while browsing around in the Android market. For a cent shy of a dollar (99 cents for those that don’t like to subtract), I was able to re-live all my childhood memories right on my new Motorola RAZR mobile phone. Now this part, this part right here, this is the kicker – it actually worked. Playing that game on my phone did really bring back a lot of the memories that I had, and you know what, they were really, really good and happy memories. As a kid, I loved Sonic and Sega, and being an only child, I smashed that game as much as I could. It was my release, my adventure, and I was so happy to have experienced it. Was I “marketingally” brain-washed? Maybe. To be honest, I don’t really care – the game was awesome.

After spending some time with the game, I ended-up doing a bit of research and reading on Sonic. While hunting for info, I came across this short documentary by Game Tap. The doco talks about how the character got created, why it was created, and what was the character supposed to represent. As a kid, I never knew this, but Sonic (the game and the character) were part of Sega’s marketing ploy to get one over its rival Nintendo; it wasn’t just a game, it was a marketing strategy as well. The marketing team had a lot to say on how Sonic should look, feel, and act, but at the same time, they treated him with lots of love, care, and respect. The head of marketing/design over in the US even went as far as calling herself Sonic’s “mum”, which I can understand and totally relate with.

So sit down, relax, and find-out how and why millions of kids around the world fell in love with this game character. Who knows, there might be another one coming from just around the corner, and the pattern of its success could be just like that of Sonic the Hedgehog. Enjoy!

A message from Anonymous to #OWS: a glimpse into the values of the future consumer

If you’re a net digger like myself, then you probably would’ve heard the of the “Occupy Wall Street” event that is currently unfolding in the US. What started as a small march and campsite against Wall Street/financial inequalities, has now escalated into a large-scale movement that could be (already is) a major cultural event. With the protesters dominating the online social frequencies, and the traditional media unable (unwilling?) to describe and relate to what the protest stands for, the situation has become a bit of a “us vs. them”.

With videos and reports of questionable Police action surfacing on the net, the hacktivist group Anonymous declared its support and allegiance to the OWC movement.

Whatever your personal viewpoint on the situation is, you can’t help but to feel that it is more than just a rally. Listening to the message in the video one can’t help but to think that the young generation has taken the future into their own hands, and are ready to shape it in a way that fits into their “internet generated” beliefs; equality, self-moderation, we’re all the same no matter where we are, we all have a voice, and out with the old, in with the new are all present in the video. It really is a great example of how this “generation zero (0)” thinks of itself. If there is any cue/event to which brands should be keeping their ears/eyes peeled to, it’s this.

Free e-book: How Advertising Will Heal the World and Your Business

 Title: How Advertising Will Heal the World and Your Business

 Author: Mark Woerde

 Published by: Letsheal.org

Click here to download

“The goal of this book is to inspire you and give you the tools to un- leash the huge potential of Prosocial Brands. Forget about those typical ad-industry awards… focus on something bigger (like, say, the Nobel Prize) and you’ll be amazed how inspired your work will be.”

Where in the past branding has seemed mainly focused on fulfilling hedonistic individual needs, it’s gradually becoming clear: people are waiting for brands to facilitate them to help others. And, in doing so, these so-called ‘Meaningful Prosocial Brands’ help fulfill a basic, strong and growing need: the need to live a meaningful life.

“The recent financial crisis left many reevaluating capitalism and its role in our society. The old capitalist credo, “survival of the fittest” is gradually giving way to a stronger, bolder and, indeed, fitter counter: “survival of the kindest”. Profit maximization alone is no longer a sustainable motive as people are asking for more and better from the companies they choose to buy from.”

Dubstep and the LA beat scene; Music that is defining our culture

If you are a fan of underground music, then this is not new to you at all – dubstep and ‘beatacism’ is taking over the club scene. What started off as young producers and DJ’s making music that they (as opposed to the rest of the crowd) liked and playing it among themselves, quickly escalated into a musical movement that’s sweeping the globe. Embraced by the few that keep their ears to the ground, it is now slowly filtering into the mainstream. And these new genres of music have grown in popularity thanks to the one tool that the music industry has been fighting to curb for years – the internet.

The impact music has on our culture is undeniable – just think of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, et al and the effect their songs had on the peace/anti-war movement of the 60′s/70′s. Music is a contagious symptom of beliefs that can spread quicker than the flu. A musical movement is not just a bunch of catchy chords and melodies sung and danced to by a few people – it’s also a map by which they live their life by. And it’s those that latch-on to what is perceived to be the “new sound” that usually have the social power to influence those around them. And not just musically, but also in what to wear, eat, watch, read, follow, believe, how to act, and how to behave. Smart marketers/creatives/strategists know this very well, and tapping into the trend-setter can be a very lucrative proposition. It can also back-fire tremendously if done in a “distasteful to the cool peeps” way.

Here  are two short documentaries that talk about the evolution of dubstep; how it started, what are its beliefs, and where it is heading. There is a an interesting talk about how the internet has helped the genre and its artists to spread their sound beyond their small city borders, and into the wider world. It also talks about the old adage of “underground vs mainstream” – they listen to this music to differentiate themselves from the crowd, but the further they push their sound, the more people pick it up, which then the mainstream latches on to it, and then the movement dies and evolves into something else; a never-ending musical life-cycle.

So, have a look and see what the ‘cool kids’ are into these days. It’s just a matter of time before every brand and medium picks these genres up, and milk them for their “cool”.

Future Sound – An Underground Electronic Music Documentary

Dubbed Out In Bristol – Dubstep Documentary

Unfortunately I am not aware of any docos about the hip-hop ‘LA’ beat scene, but have a read of the link in the first paragraph (it discusses how this genre started in the parking lot and a boom-box, and moved on to every part of the world within a matter of a few years), and this one here. And while you’re at it, make sure you listen to the music too – it really is something new.

Microsoft Kinect as an interactive marketing tool; VIVID 2011 MCA interactive building projection

Have a look at this video of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art interactive building projection. Created by Spinifex Group, the idea behind this installation is quite simple – thanks to the Kinect, passers by are able to throw and splash virtual paint onto the MCA building, creating their very own contemporary pieces.

I believe that the Kinect has a huge potential to be used as a marketing/advertising tool, and in the next few years we will see some truly amazing applications being developed for it. With Microsoft pretty much making the Kinect an open source utility, it’s just a matter of time before we see this device as a backbone for more interactive branded experiences, and not just when you’re out-and-about. Imagine hoping onto Xbox Live Arcade, opening your favourite online clothing store page, flicking through some virtual clothes racks, picking-out the pants and jumper that you like, trying them on, and move around in them and see how you look, all in the comfort of your own living room.

It could turn the mirror into a thing of the past.

How to advertise something you can’t advertise; Movectro, Ogilvy, and Channel 7 getting into trouble

I’m gonna come out with it – I’m a huge fan of ABC’s Media Watch. It’s a 15 minute show that exposes any wrong-doings and miss-reports in Australian media. If you’re a marketing, communication, humanities, PR, or journalism student, then this show is for you.

I wanted to share the following story that was aired on the 27th of June 2011. Media Watch uncovered how a Channel 7 news report was actually a well orchestrated PR campaign by the smart folks at Ogilvy. It was a promotional piece for a new ‘wonder’ drug called Movectro. Under current Australian law, drug companies are not allowed to promote prescription medicine to the general public, meaning that traditional advertising methods just wont do. What Ogilvy did instead is they presented a favourable media release which was plugged by Channel 7 news, calling for its viewers to make this drug available to potential customers (or “patients” if you like) under the current health benefit scheme (get the government to subsidise the drug, so it is available to more people, yet the company still makes the same profit because the government pays the bill for the product). The final result of this campaign was that Movectro manufacturer got hit with a $20,000 fine, and the drug is no longer available here in Australia (I wonder if Ogilvy got fined as well – not sure about that…).

It’s a very interesting look into ‘alternative’ advertising, and the whole idea of “what you see on the news isn’t always news” comes to mind. Anyway, enjoy the show.

Media Watch is available as a free download on iTunes and through its website. You can also catch it on ABC TV and iView. Definitely worth a look.

“And the winner is Facebook!”, ie. the tagging of brands in photos

I couldn’t help to notice that there’s been a bit of a discussion on the new Facebook feature where users can tag pages in their personal photos. A lot of people are voicing their concern, worried about the possible spam and privacy issues that this feature could bring. There is talk of an automatic tagging system being put into place, with brands tagging themselves as soon as they detect their presence in your photo.

Although I do agree that spam might be an issue, I don’t think that Facebook is that silly to allow for auto-tagging to take place – this could really hurt their reputation as a business and as a brand (really bad and negative connotations would arise in peoples’ minds). What I believe they are doing is to wait for the feature to popularise itself, and push for brands to sell their products directly to the consumer through their Facebook page – all via Facebook credits of course.

Imagine the day when you can see your friend’s friend that you don’t really know being tagged with a new pair of Levi Jeans that you haven’t seen before. You click on the Levi tag, hop-over to the Levi page, and you see that very same pair on sale in the page’s online store, available to buy using Facebook coins. And with multiple brands selling their products using this source, “Facebook shopping” could become a common practice in our future consumption (the way I see it, if you can add your CC details to an online store, you can do it to your Facebook profile as well).

I think that Facebook is going for something a bit bigger than just allowing companies to pay for an auto-tagging feature. I think what they are trying to do is to create and popularise a currency of their own. Facebook already has an early version of a monetary system, the Facebook Credit, and although it is growing in popularity, it is restricted to social games and apps – not to actual consumer products and services.  Although introducing a new currency might be a bit tricky, imagine if one day apart from the price of the Pound, Yen, and Euro, Facebook Credits will also be reported on the day’s financial news.

The moment when Facebook becomes not just a social network, but a financial institution as well, it will mark the spot when the company moved to the next level. With the largest consumer network now being able to trade freely within itself, Facebook could be racking in the cash for every transaction that takes place. And if you stop and think about the amount of trades that could happen in a single moment (just think, over 700 million users now – what will it be in the future?), you can see why the company would want to move in the ‘online shopping’ direction.

At the moment, it’s all speculation, but it will be interesting to see how this all pans out. Either way, the Zuckerberg gang is planning on doing something – let’s just observe and see where this one goes.

How to create a QR Code

A little ‘How to’ guide on making your own QR codes.

Click here for the guide (straight from Mashable.com – one of my most-often visited sites).

Words Used to Advertise Boys’ Toys

Courtesy of Crystal Smith.

The Achilles Effect

A media futurist on the future of Social Media

I stumbled across this talk by Gerd Leonhard while looking for inspiration on how our future will change thanks to the role that social media play’s in our current daily lives. He has some very interesting views and opinions on how we, as a society, will change the way we communicate, receive information, interact with each other, and trade in the near future. He covers a wide range of topics, from the music industry, television, communication, social behavior, public relation, marketing, and more. It’s worth a look.

The 2011 International Online Communities and Social Networks Student Conference – Promo Video

The following is a promotional video I made with a fellow OUA student Katrina Comyns. It’s a video we prepared to help spread the word about the conference that we are part of.

Since you’re here, check out the conference itself – some really amazing and inspirational ideas coming through (click on the image on your left).

Modern Public Relations: A Piece in an Organisational Puzzle – Public Relations 500

I’ve always been a bit skeptical about PR; just never really seemed to place it on the same level as some of the other marketing activities. In truth, I’ve always been a bit afraid of it. It always seems that we are afraid of the things that we know nothing about, and once I started reading up about some of the people that shaped Public Relations as we know, I couldn’t help to admire their ideas (Sefton Delmer is now a hero of mine).

This essay looks at PR from an IMC perspective, and uses Apple as an example of how PR is an essential cog in the overall marketing machine.

Final mark for this essay – Distinction.

Marketing promo of March 2011 – Gazzetta dello Sport ‘alternative warm-up’ stunt

I must admit – I love football. It’s just one of those sports that no matter where you are or where you’re from, you know that there are others out there that share as much time, effort, and emotion to this sport as yourself. When I’m stuck in an awkward silence while in a cab, football is one of my default go-to topics – and 90% of the time it works like a charm. So when I saw the latest Gazzetta dello Sport marketing stunt, I was very excited and confused at the same time; more football content is great – interrupting a football game, not so great. With a bit of digging around, I must say I applaud this little campaign effort as it brought a smile to some dedicated fans, and it did the GdS brand a world of good in the process as well. So, let’s have a look at the latest Guerilla marketing stunt that made the headlines… (more…)

24 Hour Media Diary – Web Media 507

This is a  summary of all the media that I consume on an average day. Ranging from music, internet, advertising, and TV, it recounts when, where, how, and which media messages got into my listening/viewing space. Part of my Web Media 207 unit.

This journal was taken on the 10/03/2011.

First bit of information for the day - freakin' awesome!

6:50am. Woke up from sleep, my iPhone next to me as the alarm. Stretched in bed for a minute, picked up the phone and checked Euro-sport for overnight scores – very happy. Checked e-mails too – nothing important. Left the phone to have a have shower and to get ready for work.

7:30am. Turned on TV to watch ‘Sunrise’ mainly for the weather, the news, and to keep up-to-date with ads; need to know what’s going on. All of this while preparing and having breakfast.

7:45am. Listening to music (podcasts, albums – a lot of stuff being shuffled by me) through my PC while getting ready for work.

8:15am. Left the house with the iPhone on, playing music while walking to the station. 8:27 – arrived at the station, stopped reading the rest of Euro-sport news and flicking through Digg, music is still playing (listening to FaltyDL’s XLR8R podcast). (more…)

FILM – Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane?

Check out this free-to-view documentary entitled Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane? – it’s an interesting look into the current psychiatric drug industry. Now, I find this documentary to be particularly biased; it’s very anti-drug and anti-psychiatry. I believe that everything has its time and place, and although I do agree that psychiatric drugs are a crutch, but sometimes we do need crutches for support.

The doco goes into the history of the industry and the effects of these substances on the human mind, but about half-way through it, it discusses some of the advertising, branding, and public relations techniques that these companies engage in to promote their products. It certainly has a lot of great information in here, but I would be a bit cautious in terms of some of the statistics they present – a double check and more research is definitely recommended by yours truly.

It’s a great tool to get you started, and an interesting watch too. However, the voice-over artist and the background music can get a bit annoying after a while.

Here’s a link to the whole youtube playlist.

Enjoy!

Marketing promo of January 2011 – Flying Lotus ‘Augmented Reality’ app

On January 12, I received an email and noticed a Facebook notification from Warp Records about their new Trigger Webcam app for the Flying Lotus ‘Cosmogramma’ album. To complement the release, Warp decided to give away some of the album’s out-takes and remixes for free. It rewarded those that bought the original album (on vinyl, CD or mp3), as the only way of obtaining the free material is by ‘unlocking’ it through an app using the album’s original artwork.

Since the whole experience is rather fun, you just can’t help to think how awesome FlyLo and Warp is. Not only is this app encouraging fans to purchase physical and legal downloads of music, it also encourages people that already have the album/product/brand to pick it up, hold it in their hands, and spend some time with it. Pure genius if you ask me…

Anyway, I was so impressed with the positive feedback that this app generated, I decided to save the Facebook announcement and it comments as a pdf – it’s three days of users going nuts and sharing info/download tips with themselves (you can download the pdf here).

Check out the app website and the app developer’s blog to see how it all works.

Article Review: Beat Happening – International Marketing 615

This is a copy of my article review assignment for International Marketing 615. The assignment asked to choose a recent newspaper/magazine article that describes a situation that could possibly impact organisations from a marketing perspective.

I chose an article that described the current hip-hop scene in Los Angeles and how the changes and trends that are taking place in that community are slowly spreading and being adapted by the rest of the world-wide hip-hop scene.

Final mark for this piece was a distinction – not too sure what was good/bad, as the lecturer did not provide any feedback (I took this unit on-line – never again. Online feedback by Curtin for this unit was useless, ie non-existent). Anyway, hope it helps you out. And no copying! :)