Monday, June 25, 2007

interruption marketing can still work...

Walking down Commercial Road about half an hour ago I came across one of the last outposts of full on interruption marketing. An old dosser approached me, I expected the usual 'have you got 10p for a cup of tea' routine. But no.
This fella has obviously had a think about it. With interruption strategies your message has to really cut through the clutter to get my attention and be highly targeted. Bear in mind that round E1 way there are plenty city boys with there 100k bonuses burning holes in their pocket (i'm not one of them unfortunately). His pitch was as follows. 'Excuse me mate, have you got a spare couple of hundred quid for some hard drugs and kinky sex?' I gave him 50p.
Of course, if he collared me tomorrow with the same story I might not be so inclined.
But as a one off interuption which made me pay attention and gave me a wee laugh it worked.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

chinwag live - dark side of social media

Popped down to check this out last night. Details of the panel are here.
Interestingly enough there were no representatives from any of the big social network 'providers' (is that the right word) ie Myspace, facebook. Apparently they were invited to contribute but declined on the basis of a reluctance to be thrown into the 'bear pit'. A bit poor in my view as probably around 75% of the audience were advocates and active participants in at least one of the popular tools around.
There were the usual topics discussed - stalking, myspace riots etc but not really any great insights to be fair. I enjoyed the comments of James Cherkoff and will be checking out his modern marketing blog, and had some sympathy for identitologist, Luke Razzell who got a bit of stage fright at the beginning and then just got into his stride as the session came to a close.
The funniest thing, though, was a generally angry Tim Ireland from bloggereads who landed some new terms on me, 'sockpuppets' and 'astroturfing'. I'll not bother explaining them here, look them up if your interested.
Tim's pearls of wisdom/tales from the darkside included the revelation that politicians and their lackeys are using social media outlets to try and galvanise support for dubious policies and generally manipulate the conversation on blogs by the use of multiple identities and faking grass roots support (there, Ive given away the astroturfing reference'). as he gazed upon the audience with a face that begged 'can you believe this?' I found myself contemplating...politicians manipulating media to further there own dubious ends, and hoodwinking the populace?
surely not. The words no shit and sherlock came to mind.
Notably no mentions of Twitter/Jaiku (although a good few of the audience could be seen feverishly twittering updates on their phones) and ning (this is a relatively new one to me, but after an hour or so fiddling with it yesterday it seems potentially a bit of a bad apple...dunno).
The main take-out was, of course, be careful what you post out there because its up there forever and might come back to bite you. And there was a general agreement that, yes -there is a dark side to social media but likewise there is a dark side to any interaction between humans virtual or otherwise.
I'll definitely be checking out, and no doubt commenting on, these chinwag events in the future. Next time I'll aslo try and do a bit more real life networking, I was on my jack last night so didn't mingle that much. Big thanks to Thayer for the invitation and baptism into the chinwag network.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

south west trains

dear south west trains,
I hope you've got your google alerts on cos I'd like you to read this.
This morning I tried to renew my weekly ticket (in the same manner Ive done for the past 2 and a half years that ive been commuting with them) only to be told by the guard on the train that they will no longer renew tickets on the train and I am liable for a penalty fare plus a non-refundable single journey ticket to get to Waterloo, where I then had to q for 20mins to get my weekly ticket at the desk.
After a great debate I had togive in, and endeavoured to get a refund upon arrival.
I pulled up one of the managers at Waterloo to try and get him to see sense - and heres the funny bit - he pointed me to the swt website where I could make an appeal but told me there was no point as no-one reads them. ha!
Anyway, this is where all the pr, marketing and advertising fluff you like falls over.
At the point where the consumer (ie me) actually, physically interfaces with the brand the experience is shocking. This got me thinking as I listened to the station announcements 'anyone verbally or physically assaulting our staff will be prosecuted' 'dont talke your eye off your bags or we'll take them away and blow them up' etc etc - negative, negative.
Now SWT have a monopoly situation. I have NO CHOICE but to use their service. But, and its a big one (we like big butts) they are fostering some serious ill-will towards their brand by doing everything in their power to make things more difficult and annoying for their consumer. I have NO CHOICE at the moment but if in the future I get any opportunity to stick one on them I will be taking it. And theres 1000's others who will no doubt feel the same. B'STARDS.
This is Thatcher's legacy - public services SOLD OFF to the private sector. For what? To improve service by creating competition? where is the competition?
Ive come up with a new line for their marketing.
'South West Trains - Fuck you and give us your money'
They should use it - at least it's transparent.
Great start to the day.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Stop poncing around with more cultural bullshit.

jeez, i thought my ramblings were pretty random till i came across the website of former Clash manager and original punk strategist Bernard Rhodes.

Heres a sample quote:
'These are the early days of a street peoples movement, formed to counter the vast amount of cultural and political bullshit which is constantly invading our lives.Worse, this corrupt and boring corperate paradise for squares, is being promoted by a media we detest but are forced to endure.
If you're hip you'll understand'

current fave

Seen this online art collaborative thing which i'm liking.

the vinyl countdown...a sagely tale

disaster struck the other day.
We'd been out shopping a while back a bought a bunch of 12inch frames designed for LP covers. The idea was to frame up some of our ols album covers with arty artwork ie the Velvets 1st, Sticky Fingers (Warhols) Sgt Pepper, maybe some old Blue Notes and suchlike to hang on the stairs. Anyway in a space saving excercise last summer i'd boxed up all my old records (i used to be a club dj back in the early 90s so its a fair old pile 1000's of 12inch singles plus 100s of vinyl lp's from jazz to punk and whatever else) wrapped the boxes in bin bags and stored them in the old ww2 bomb shelter we have in the garden. So i went out the other day to have a dig about and it turned out that over the winter the rain had come in through the airbrick and basically all the bottom level of boxes had been sitting in a few inches of water for about 5 months. I've salvaged most of the actual vinyl but the covers are pretty wrecked.
The moral? Look after what you care about, dont neglect it cos when you need it it might not be there any more.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

berrysplat tv

Berrysplat tv is a project I've been involved with that I'd like to share.
Ribena is a popular drink in the UK - they claim that 97% of blackberries grown in the uk make it into Ribena. The story of this project is - what happens to the other 3%?
Budding filmmakers (we gave cameras to some film students and alereted Ribena's opted-in database to kick-off participation) are invited to submit their movies with fun, interesting , innovative ways of 'splatting' berries. The clips are voted a la YouTube etc and the overall winner trousers a thousand quid. As a little extra bonus some of the best videos will be featured behind the red button on the interactive tv ads during the four week run of the tv campaign, so its multi platform. It just gone live and theres a few bugs being ironed out on the fly but I'd welcome any comments/views.
Its a decent little piece of brand participation with a cross-platform twist and a couple of incentives. Also its not overly sell-y.
Ribena fact: while I was chatting with my hairdresser the other day she told me that when she and here boyfriend lived in New Jersey they used to make a weekly pilgrimage to a specialist deli in Brooklyn, who imported stuff from the uk, to specifically buy Ribena - for 10 dollars a bottle! - they rationed themselves to one glass a day as a taste of home.
have a look here