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Posts Tagged ‘business strategy’

Interesting Doco: Behind the Reply Girl Phenomenon

If you like Internet personalities and/or Internet culture, then this little (under 10min) doco will be right up your alley.
It tells the story of ReplyGirl – a rather saucy-looking (you have to say “saucy” like a crooner for it to work) entrepreneur that used her god-given gifts to make some money on/of YouTube. She also created a bit of a “hoo-ha” (you have to say “hoo-ha” like Al Pacino for it to work) on the Internet, splitting the opinions of people on it in two.

So sit back, and enjoy the show (you can say that anyway you want for it to work).

Credit to VICE for making this doco.

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!

An Interesting Proposition – a record label for free music

Once in a while you come across a catch that you just don’t want to let go off. You’ve seen it before, and you know what it is, but because what your seeing is so different to the rest of what’s out there that you can’t bring yourself to not liking it. Cut Records has one of those catches, and the catch is this – it’s a free music record label.

Right now, there is so much free music available online – more than you can poke your proverbial stick at. So doing something different definitely helps you to stand out.  What Cut is doing is pretty smart – get a quality product (music) catalogue together, make sure that the sound of each individual release matches the overall label’s feel (brand), wrap-it-up in a nice stylistic package, and then make it available for the consumer to digest. But with expectations of the product being free, can one still gain a reward? I believe you can. Radiohead did. Now I know that they had a bit of a head-start because of their name, but what In Rainbows did show us was that people were (and still are) willing to pay for music, even when it’s out there for free. And as years went by, I realised that the idea of having music on a physical medium is not dead – it actually seems to be gaining feet. I’ve noticed that the latest trend in the indie/underground music industry is to release both digital and vinyl versions of each release, with some labels going as far as giving the mp3 away for free with every vinyl purchase. This strategy is catching on, as more and more consumers are willing to fork-out the extra dosh for the vinyl simply because of what the vinyl does. Someone said that people buy cars not so much for the ride, but for the perception that the car will create in peoples minds about the driver – a classic product personality association. The same is happening with vinyl – it’s the medium of choice for anyone that wants to be perceived as a music lover. Digital music is worthless; it’s just data that is sitting on a hard-drive. It can disappear as quickly as it came. A physical release on the other hand is something that is a bit more tangible – you can show it off to people, you can create a physical (turning into emotional) bond with it, and achieve pride in owning it. The fact that most of today’s vinyl comes in limited pressing ads to the aura of the product being “special”.

With this hunger for the physical growing, Cut could very well move into the physical/vinyl product sphere. Their product is great, generating very positive press. The free pricing model is certainly affordable (the “Pay with a Tweet” option is fantastic – let the consumer spread the word about the label/product to their friends), and the overall presentation/packaging of the product/brand is well executed. As more fans jump on the label’s bandwagon, offering limited edition paid vinyl/CD or other physical medium versions of the free digital music could be a profitable proposition. In the meantime though, let the music keep on coming.

Cut is definitely onto something here.

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.”

“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.

“Izquierda de la Copia”: Reflective Web Media Creation – Web Media 507

The following video is a trailer for a movie that doesn’t exist. The movie tells a story of a man who came-up with an incredible scheme on how to revolutionise the way people consume and engage with videos and music. He believes that by easing up on intellectual property rights and copyright law enforcement, and by allowing people to share information and media products among themselves, the media and music industries present themselves with a far better chance of prosperity and long-term success.

Although his friends agree with his beliefs and views, they don’t believe that the established media organisations will listen to, and adapt his approach. Even more, they think that his scheme is in fact crazy – crazy enough that it just might work…

 

Link – www.youtube.com/user/mnapora

This video is part of my Web 507 unit at Curtin University.

The video was inspired by the works of Lawrence Lessig (his podcast series, episodes “Freeing Culture” and Tedx Talk) , Henry Jenkins, Gerd Leonhard, and the hundreds of youtubers, pirates, and bloggers who reckon that it’s time for organisations to accept that the Internet has changed the way we behave and interact with media content, how we consume it, and how we interact with each other. It’s time to embrace the revolution…

 

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.

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.

Deloitte Football Money League 2011

If you love football, stats, marketing, and all things sports-business related, then this is just the thing for you.

Each year, Deloitte releases a report on the financial health of the top football (soccer) clubs around the world; and as you might’ve guessed, they’re all European. It has a lot of great info, such as the revenue figures for the top 20 earning clubs, the breakdown of where this revenue comes from, TV rights and sponsorship profit numbers, and other information which will no doubt help anyone out there that’s writing about the football business. It’s even a great read for those that just like to read about football.

There’s a few other reports prepared by them on their site that deal with other sports as well that are well worth checking out too.

Link – Deloitte Football Money League 2011

Slashgear.com – Nintendo 3DS to get AT&T WiFi Hotspots, Netflix streaming

An article (plus press release) that talks about the upcoming release of Nintendo 3DS, and its partnership with AT&T and Netflix. It seems that Nintendo created not just a game console (which promises amazing things), but it’s also a portable 3D home theater. This device has the potential to change how people not only perceive game design and aesthetics, but also the way they consume and obtain media. This thing could be huge…

Nintendo 3DS to get AT&T WiFi Hotspots, Netflix streaming

Also, check-out the Nintendo 3DS: Promo Trailer – E3 2010.

Businesshead: “The King of Limbs” and its early promotional success

It’s been less then a week since the release of the latest Radiohead album, The King of Limbs. As a Radiohead fan, the first 24 hours have been very analytical, and no matter how excited I was about hearing the new material, I just couldn’t help myself to reflect back, and think about “In Rainbows” and what the album meant to me and millions of other fans worldwide. “In Rainbows” wasn’t just the music; it was a social experiment that flipped the script on how people buy, interact with, and consume music. It achieved both critical and commercial success, at a time when artists and labels were accusing the internet of hurting music sales, with profits from physical mediums dropping due to rampant piracy. What “In Rainbows” showed was that people are still willing to pay money for good music, and the internet is a very good tool for reaching those consumers. The key was to let go of the traditional music sales model, and embrace a new concept. Radiohead were able find that magic formula, and with it, the cult of “In Rainbows” was born. (more…)

My Learning Journal – Strategic Business Planning 615

Here is my Learning Journal assignment for one of the hardest, yet at the same time, most interesting units I ever took part in – Strategic Business Planning 615. The idea of the assignment was to write some thoughts on some of the issues that we’ve touched upon in this unit; cases, personal observations and/or experiences that stood-out for us during the semester (almost like a journal one might say :)).

I’ve covered a few topics in here; my views on business strategy/strategies, my personal brand development, External Factor Analysis Summary (EFAS) of my cigarette habit, the protagonist from the movie ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop‘ and how he links with business strategies, depression and environmentalism. There’s a lot in there, but it all makes one solid cohesive unit.

I ended-up receiving a High Distinction for this, and I must say, if it wasn’t for my lecturer Ron Reagan and his open-mindedness, this could have been marked a lot lower – thank you Ron for allowing my imagination run wild. He is a brilliant lecturer, very understanding and easy to get along with – even though he portrays himself otherwise…