Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's a mumbrella?

If you find the daily email from B&T as tedious as I do you may be interested in a new marketing news service. Mumbrella aims to cover ‘Everything under Australia’s media and marketing umbrella’. Run by former B&T editor Tim Burrows, I find it be informative, interesting and very current. Well worth subscribing in my opinion. Check it out.

My dinner with Juliette

I had dinner with French actress Juliette Binoche last night. She made some very interesting remarks on creativity.

(OK … I was the guest of a TV exec. friend, at a fund-raising dinner where Ms Binoche spoke and dined. We never actually conversed.)

Best known as an Academy Award-winning actor, Juliette Binoche, has taught herself to dance and is travelling the world with dancer Akram Khan doing a very physical and emotional performance.

In an after show interview Binoche talked about risk. She said that all creativity requires risk, otherwise you just stood still.
As an actor she could easily have made a complete fool of herself attempting to dance. But she didn’t. The performance was extraordinary. The risk paid off.

This reminded me that in marketing communications we too need to take risks in order to reap greater rewards. A risk in our industry could be as simple as not copying what the competition are doing – I’ve mentioned before how most automotive ads look the same.

Another risk might be to commission original music rather than buying an existing track. Maybe next time you are judging a piece of creative work, it would be worth asking, where is the risk? Could it work better with a little more risk taking? Will a small risk give me the jump on my competition?

Here’s an example of a risk that I believe pays off big time. And it’s for an automotive brand!

The agency and marketing department of Skoda Cars could have taken the no-risk approach and just said ‘quality for less’ like all their competitors. They would have been on brief. And most consumers would have forgotten them instantly.

Instead they took a risk and cast a clown! I repeat ‘a clown’. Personally, I’ll never forget this ad … ever. How many of us can say that our last ad will stay with consumers for life?

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Private Label Winning Battle of Brands.

I stumbled over this interesting article from the states: Private Label Winning Battle of Brands.
Quote: "We're pumping out the morphine of deal, deal, deal. And we need to be talking value."
Good reading for FMCG folk.

Let's talk

Thanks for the emails. I had a lively discussion with reader Bob Bridger about media placement (I never let my lack of expertise get in the way of a good opinion). By all means, email me, but if you want the rest of the world to see your comments, feel free to go through this blog thingy.

I still get notified immediately and reply ASAP, but everyone else can join in too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How to turn bad viral press into good viral press.

OK. Naked has demonstrated how NOT to handle 'a viral campaign/PR stunt/journalists in general'. The final bullet in the foot was when they released an ad 'exposing' the journalists they had fooled! This is not a joke. I wish it was.

But for an example of how to get it so right I attach another link. It shows how the world's greatest PR men, Sir Richard Branson, handles bad viral press. Using humour he turns it into good press.

I was going to write that Branson is a genius. He's not really. He just presents himself and his brand as being normal, considerate, and having a sense of humour and proportion. We can all learn a lot from him.