Monthly Archives: May 2013

A campaign is not a brand. Simples.

I love those little meerkats as much as the next man. It was a brilliant campaign. Such a refreshingly quirky and original voice in the usually rather safe, anodyne world of financial services marketing. And genuinely integrated too – with a fully functioning comparethemeerkat.com. You can still compare meerkats and buy Aleksandr’s autobiography or the full family of soft toys – Bogdan, Yakov, Sergei and the rest. Read more on A campaign is not a brand. Simples….

When size really matters

There’s been a bit of a hoo-ha about Abercrombie & Fitch recently. Someone discovered an interview from 2007 in which the CEO, Mike Jeffries openly talked about their discriminatory approach to marketing: “We go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive, all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”  The brand does not offer clothes for women over a US size 10 or anything over ‘large’. Read more on When size really matters…

Why do clever people keep doing stupid stuff?

Everybody’s heard of the code-crackers of Bletchley Park.  The boffins at this Buckinghamshire mansion were responsible for British Intelligence’s biggest breakthrough of all time and were instrumental in turning World War II in the Allies’ favour.  They deciphered the Germans’ infamous Enigma code, were hailed by Churchill as “the geese that laid the golden eggs but never cackled” and have been immortalised in several blockbuster movies and books.

Read more on Why do clever people keep doing stupid stuff?…

Undervalued

Can I tell you about my local fish and chip shop? It’s excellent. The quality of their product is superb. The staff are friendly, helpful and seemingly loyal to their employer. The shop is always busy – it’s a thriving business. But get this. Amazingly, Mr Fish doesn’t have brand values. And what’s more – they don’t appear to need them. So, my question is this. Brand values – what’s the point? Read more on Undervalued…

Shock value

My three-year old daughter has discovered swearing. Three-year old style swearing. Somehow she has discovered that ‘poo’ is different from other words and so occasionally, when you ask what she’d like for tea or what she wants on her toast, she’ll tell you ‘poo’. And then she waits for a reaction. She knows there should be one.

The desire to shock and the pleasure we derive from it seem to be innate in human beings. Shocking people can be fun. Everyone from Marcel Duchamp to the Sex Pistols has made use of it and advertisers are no different. At its best, the shock factor cuts through, causes a bit of a rumpus, attracts plenty of attention to the brand and the product and is brutally effective. At its worst, it’s just a lazy and unimaginative way of getting attention – like burping loudly in a restaurant. Read more on Shock value…

Under the Influence


Usually I find Klout perks quite lame, especially for those of us not based in the US. My highlight so far had been a ‘digital lottery ticket to play and share with friends’. But I have to admit that I did get quite excited when I read that my social media influence could be exchanged for free beer (well, for access to American Airlines’ business class lounge, including free wi-fi and free beer).  The airline is now offering those people with a Klout score of 55 or above a one-day pass to their fancy Admirals Club in 40 different airports. Perks also include snacks, showers to ‘unwind and relax’ and more importantly, the feel-good factor of climbing up the ladder of influence.

One can argue how accurate Klout is and if it means anything at all. There was an interesting article on Wired a while ago about Calvin Lee, a graphic designer from L.A, who, in order to keep his score up would tweet up to 45 times a day, to the extreme of worrying about his Klout score going down while on holiday. Lee’s current Klout score is 73 and yes, he has already claimed his AA lounge perk – instagraming it on the way. If we look at Lee’s Klout score and compare it with, let’s say, Warren Buffet’s, 61, does that mean Lee is more influential than Mr. Buffet? Read more on Under the Influence…

Entering Fagin’s Den

So we’ve moved into our first office, at 24 Greville Street in Clerkenwell.  Everything’s new – from the fridge (there goes the first month’s budget) to the ‘phone (which I can only assume is broken, as it hasn’t rung yet).

Read more on Entering Fagin’s Den…

Life changing brands

Over the weekend, I was discussing with my husband and some friends whether or not the author William Gibson was a prophet, especially as relates to technologies like Google Glass. Where does the influence lie? Is it that these technologies were already nascent and Gibson heard about them? Or is it that clever and inventive people read books like Gibson’s (and others’) and make things happen? Is it the chicken? Or the egg? Read more on Life changing brands…

Thank you from No Man’s Land

One of the great clichés of starting your own business is that it’s an extraordinarily liberating experience.  As I take the plunge with my partners, I can confirm that this is indeed the case: so far, our little enterprise has already relieved me of all my money, time and holidays…

Read more on Thank you from No Man’s Land…

Why advertising needs more characters

No, this isn’t going to be a tirade against Twitter.  Or a paean to the days when creatives threw TVs out of windows, while snorting coke from the rolled up manuscript of their latest novel.

Read more on Why advertising needs more characters…

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