My write-up about a subculture of individuals I found on Facebook. It’s about people that predominantly use FB to win competitions and prizes, and how they impact the online community that they’re within.
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…
I came across this video for Samsung’s take on a mobile phone user guide. We’ve all seen tech manuals showing us step-by-step instructions on how to properly work the thing, but this one takes it a bit further. Created by the people at Vitamins Design, this user guide puts the phone inside of the manual, with each page of the book a clear, one-sentence instruction.
Here’s how it works:
Is this user guide a stroke of genius, or an over-blown hu-hah? To me, it’s a bit of both. Although I really like the idea behind it, I do feel that the tech savvy people might feel a bit stupid using this (just give me the damn phone and sim already). Also, the urban-hippie inside of me just can’t stand looking at all that paper being wasted… Clearly though, this phone isn’t for me (urban-hippie techie), but for some though, this manual could be a godsend.
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!
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
We wanted to create a plan that could spread the word about the conference, and get the right people to come and check-out some of the wonderful topics that we the students have discussed and written about. The trick is, the budget to do that stands at zero dollars ($0). We based our plan around social media; it is the driving force behind our promotional strategy.
This is the highest grated project that I have ever been involved in, with the final mark being 96%. Really proud of the diagram and the S.M. strategy we implemented – the lecturer loved it.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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…)
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…
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.
This is a copy of an assignment I did for my Competitive Marketing Strategies unit that’s part of my coursework. The assignment asked to choose a current marketing strategy and how it fits in within Sheth’s Resource Advantage theory. There’s quiet a few references in there, ranging from hip-hop sales figures, the R-A theory, co-branding references and Brainfeeder and Stones Throw articles/interviews. Could be a good starting point for any assignment that deals with hip-hop and/or the label (love their music btw).
Ah yes, final mark for the assignment was a High Distinction, so yeah, very happy with it.
And it goes without saying – say no to plagiarism! I’ve put it up here mainly because of the reference list. Don’t use it as a free pass from doing work.