Monday, December 6, 2010

Why did iiNET sponsor the NBL?

One of the most exciting things I heard this year was that iiNET would be sponsoring the National Basketball League! It was the meeting of two up and coming success stories in one agreement and I could see the massive potential for both sides.

For the NBL iiNET is fun-loving company that has grown from a WA start up in a garage and understands the challenges of being in a changing market, just like the NBL. They are more daring than traditional sponsors which means that the NBL is more likely to have more leeway with innovation and experimentation which will be good for the game.

For iiNET There is no doubt in most people's minds that basketball is a grassroots sport which has a very strong passionate group of followers. There are probably much more kids playing basketball than there are playing AFL. For iiNET to get in early in joining the NBL, they can get a good deal for sponsorship and also generate some goodwill for the company amongst the many basketball fans in Australia. Also, as a result of the NBL wanting to expand its brand, iiNET will naturally benefit from this expansion and receive valuable mindshare in the Australian public as basketball grows.

I was very interested to read on the iiNET blog today about why iiNET sponsored the NBL and many of their thoughts I completely agree with. Much can be gained from this partnership and I only wish I could have a part in it :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chinese Twitter Weibo Sells 1,000 N8s in one event

In China, Twitter is banned but to say therefore that microblogging does not exist would be incorrect. Nokia recently held an online "press conference" on Weibo with over 400,000 participants. News sources say, through that event, Nokia was able to sell 1,000 N8 phones showing the immense potential that engaging in social media strategically could  be achieved. 

 "Micro-bloggers could wear a 3D eyepiece to watch Nokia's online 3D promotion video and interact with the company through its micro blog on Sina Weibo, China's largest micro-blogging website."

has been leading the multinationals in Social Media strategy employing 1000 Heads in London  to keep their social reputation in check and following the launch of the N8, a plethora of fans have started blogs and openly endorsed the N8 in spite of mainstream media's critical look at the flagship phone. 

On the flipside, managing a crisis on social media has also been proven lately, with Qantas officially joining the Twitterverse with their
@qantas_airways Twitter account to counter the negative press and talk on social media regarding their mechanical problems.  

But joining twitter does not mean you have the street cred to start your own # hashtag for example. Social media is a very quick way to grow but it can also be a very quick way to die.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not good strategy - WA Businesses Socially Inept

I came across this article in the WA Business News which suggested that WA businesses have not embraced the power of social media. Coming from WA, I see this as a little disappointing as my perception had always been that WA businesses are more technologically adventurous, seeing as Perth is the most isolated city in the world geographically. Social media is definitely a frontier to be crossed if businesses in WA want to get ahead of the game and Twitter is one of the first places to start.

WA businesses online but not tweeting
28-September-10 by Kym Fuhrmann

Western Australian businesses are the most likely in the country to have a website but many WA small businesses are choosing not to use social media, according to two new surveys.

The latest MYOB Business Monitor found 40 per cent of WA businesses were likely to have a website, higher than the national average of 35 per cent.

The survey found 25 per cent of Western Australian businesses are also likely to use their website for e-commerce.

But a separate poll by the Small Business Development Corporation found only a third of the state's small businesses are using social media.

SBDC Acting Managing Director, Jacky Finlayson said the Ready Response social media poll found 65 per cent of small business operators did not use the medium to promote their business.

"When used correctly, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media tools can be of enormous assistance to small business operators with limited capital to spend on advertising and promotion," Ms Finlayson said.

The MYBO survey found only 18 per cent of businesses used social media.

Tim Reed, MYOB CEO, said, "Social media has received a lot of hype in Australia over the last 12 months so it's quite interesting to see such a low adoption of these online platforms by Australian businesses."

"Rather than being well established, the results indicate that online marketing is only just emerging in Australia."

"Despite the current low adoption rates of social media and websites, it's inevitable that the use of online platforms will increase rapidly in Australia as business owners see global competitors using these forums to lure local sales offshore," Mr Reed said.

According to the SBDC of those WA businesses using social media, 89 per cent were using Facebook, 68 per cent were using LinkedIn and 52 per cent were using Twitter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Johnnie Walker as Proud of Product Placement as Gecko of Greed

Last night, we went to see the movie Wall Street - Money Never Sleeps and we were greeted by an advertisement that ran nearly 7 minutes long, entitled "The man who walked around the world". It was the Johnnie Walker advertisement, where Scottish actor from Trainspotting, Robert Carlyle, narrates a story about how the Johnnie Walker brand came to be. It may be because I have not been going to the movies all that often but I was surprised at how long the ad was, much longer than the usual 30 second or 1 minute ads.

It wasn't until part way through the movie, everyone laughed when we saw Jake Moore hand the Chinese contingent a bottle of... you guessed it.. Johnnie Walker Blue Label. It seemed to be redefining the meaning of product placement. It seemed just placing the product in the movie was not bold enough, that now you also should consider having a 7 minute advertisement preceding the movie as well. I thought it was good strategy anyway because I walked away with a clear memory of that moment in the movie where entertainment was hijacked by advertising. Borders book stores also featured as product placements in Wall Street.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Nokia World Expo - Free Trips and Social Media

Well I've probably scored the best ever perk of being a blogger - a free trip from humble old Perth to London as a guest of Nokia to attend the Nokia World Expo. It all started with a blog about the Nokia E65, then the blog about Nokia E63 started when the E65 was replaced. The premise was something quite simple, record all the tips and tricks that I learn whilst using the phone. The E65 and E63 blogs became the most comprehensive blogs on the internet about the E65 and E63 and both continue to rank on the first page of Google searches for their respective users.

Nokia caught on to the internet traffic moving through Perth and started offering me the opportunity to trial new phones that they were launching. I thought that was a pretty neat gig to land, receiving a new phone to trial every few months. A few weeks ago, I received an email from 1000 heads, Nokia's brand marketing gurus who had been liaising with me over the last few years.

Would I like to go to London to attend the Nokia World Expo? Of course I would!

CEO of Nokia and other speakers at Nokia World 2010

This weekend I will board an Emirates plane to blog all the way to London and back about the upcoming Nokia offerings for 2010/11. Amongst the phones to hit the market will be the Nokia E7 and the Nokia N8 which brings in HD video, 12MP camera and WebTV. 25 bloggers from around the world, and one from Australia, will be covering the launches, posting photos, tweeting updates and Facebooking the event to whoever cares.. and those who don't. Great strategy? I think so.

For the next week, expect to see Nokia trending up in the social media indicators.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Volkwagon's Guerilla Advertising

My favourite form of advertising is when advertising challenges the daily grind and presents a more viable, innovative alternative. Of course each advertiser wants to answer the question "Why?" for the consumer and one of the best ways is to get into everyone's daily schedule to engage them where they are. That's why I love guerilla marketing and this example here put out by Volkswagon which confronts everyday people going about their daily lives with an alternative way through life.

What similar ads have you seen around? leave a comment and a link :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Transitioning Loyalty to Another Media - Hamish and Andy

I knew this was going to smash it big when I was listening to the radio on the way home from work last night. Usually TV shows get a 10 second promo before the news or a one page advertisement in the paper next to the TV guide but Hamish and Andy's radio show shamelessly plugged the "Caravan of Courage" TV show. Their massively successful radio program has a very loyal following and it was no surprise when H&A made it known the Caravan was on Ten, everyone locked in their heads to tune in. They also got some help from Ten's 7PM project, a news program aimed at Generation Y which everyone said would fail but continues to rate very well.

Hamish and Andy are definitely setting themselves for a switch to television soon and if the ratings from last night are any guide, Ten may have a fight on their hands to keep Hamish and Andy.

Thursday’s ratings:
1. Masterchef Ten 1.829m
2. Hamish and Andy’s Caravan of Courage Ten 1.749m
3. Seven News Seven 1.382m
4. Today Tonight Seven 1.308m
5. Nine News Nine 1.231m
6. A Current Affair Nine 1.154m
7. ABC News ABC 1.123m
8. Sea Patrol Nine 1.101m
9. Two and a Half Men Nine 1.056m
10. Law and Order: SVU Ten 1.053m
11. Home and Away Seven 1.009m
12. The 7PM Project Ten 0.933m
13. Getaway Nine 0.891m
14. Ten News Ten 0.884m
15. The Footy Show Nine 0.729m

This is how you launch a new product - iiNET

I'm not from Scottsdale but after reading the letter that Scottsdale people got from iiNET, a part of me wishes I was there. One of the things people are usually most proud of is the suburb in which they live. So when you get a letter from the country's third biggest internet provider like the one below, what is your likely response?

I've always thought that local shops do not take advantage of their geographical advantage enough. The people who walk and drive past your shop are the ones most likely to be your loyal customers. I know iiNET sends out similar letters to suburbs in which they recently enabled for their ADSL2+ internet. It is this sort of targeted marketing which is most effective. Just sticking the name of the suburb in doesn't work. I'm speaking to you, real estate agents. Anyway, what do you think?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rebranding the Big Bad Bank - NAB

Recently, one bank which has caught my eye has been the National Australia Bank. In advertising, usually people try to avoid using negative words or connotations but its surely a reflection of public opinion when a bank's main slogan is More Give, Less Take. I personally found this slogan quite catchy, although it somewhat implies the bank's past reputation. The advertisements have been quite effective, with ads such as the one below invoking a warm feeling on the viewer.

As I said, the bank with the unfortunate shortened name of nab, has been on my horizon for a while. However, its their most recent foray into social media that has got me quite interested. I saw this first through an advertisement on SMSPup, which seems to be the first place companies turn to launch a social media promotion.

The promotion is called "Doing the Right Thing" and the website implies there is some exposure via the Austereo network such as 2dayFM. People submit stories about people who have done the right thing even if it is as small as giving way to them on the roads or returning a stolen wallet. For every story submitted, NAB will pay $5 to a charity. I think the idea is brilliant because quit often these acts of kindness goes unrecognised and unnoticed. People are also very interested to see how people have been "blessed" by people around them. It also encourages readers to also (be a man and) do the right thing.

It is a good way to link your company subconsciously to a feelgood statement such as "doing the right thing" and I am sure many people don't even realise their impression of the bank changing from participating or hearing about this promotion.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

MLC demonstrates a sign of the times

Effective advertisements reflect the sign of the times and one ad that does this well is the MLC ad about income protection. It starts off with a young couple talking at home with the guy on a laptop. The girl asks him about considering income protection insurance and he changes the subject by talking about the video he found on the internet about some elephant who dances or something. She gets distracted and eventually gives in to his beckoning to check out his discovery on the internet. The advertisement says "Isn't it funny how we make the time to talk about some things but not things that are important?" I am quite sure many of us didn't even realise that this ad made us consider the possibility of income protection insurance.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Foxtel ad we just hate! but works

Yeah we are nearing the EOFYS but nothing annoys me as much as the Foxtel ad. Unfortunately in advertising, its not about whether you love it or hate it, its whether you remember it or not that really matters. Running in probably the third year straight, the end of financial year sale advertisement obviously seems to have achieved previous expectations as it haunts us once again. Although the ad annoys me to no end, I feel it's necessary to include it below for the sake of completeness. Can't wait till the end of the financial year.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

World Cup Advertising Pass and Fails

This is more of an idea than a post. I would like to see what you have noticed about the world cup advertising this year. As the biggest show on earth unwraps itself in the coming weeks, which companies have you noticed have made the most of their sponsorship dollars? and which ones shouldn't have bothered?

Just to get things started, here is a three minute ad from Nike.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ubank - Check your bank balance on Facebook

Ubank has been a favourite bank of ours for a while because of its innovative approach towards traditional banking. Almost exactly one year ago, we wrote about Ubank for its informal and casual approach in marketing, and it seems to have worked.

The subsidiary of the National Australia Bank has been leading the online savings accounts market with market beating rates. Recently, they have even offer 6.21% for their customers if they automatically deposit $200 a month into their Usaver account.

We like Ubank because they

  • Offer 24 hour support for customers
  • Allow customers to contact them via skype
  • Tweet regularly not just to broadcast updates but also personally replying to queries 
  • Sends SMS and email to customers immediately when a transaction takes place on their account. 
  • Signs off on all their correspondences with "Speak soon", implying customer loyalty
Now, in a very bold move, they are about to offer the feature to allow customers to use FACEBOOK and other social media to check their online balance! According to ZDNet, UBank says that over 80% of their customers who log onto the Ubank site only do so to check their balance. The feature will be through a Ubank application which requires authentication through the customer's mobile phone via SMS. That is great strategy and my feeling is that most of Generation Y agrees. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kambo's VIP sales cost plus $1

I came across an invite to a Kambo's VIP sale where all electricals were priced at Cost + $1 for invite only vips who were allowed to bring a friend. It was one of their first such sales and apparently companies such as Lycopodium got invited. I can't remember where I saw the invite but it was online, not via email.Anyway, I went to have a look to see what it is like.

The parking situation was crazy when I arrived 20 minutes after the sale began (6pm). Cars were everywhere streaming in and out of the car park, searching in vain for a car park before resigning to parking on the grass or any other makeshift parking spot.

There was a free sausage sizzle which didn't last any longer than half an hour. Drinks were still available an hour later, with people helping themselves to can drinks in the fridges. It was PACKED. If you wanted to buy something, you needed to see a sales person who would enter your name and phone number into the system and then specify the price of your product.  It seemed quite possible you could specify whatever price you wanted (maybe they need to check that).

Then it was on to the massive queue as people lined up to pay. Some interesting observations:

  • Massive success pulling in people to see the store. Many would have been there for the first time that night.
  • At the door, each person had to give in their invite, as well as tell them their postcode.. useful information to find out how far the promotion spread.
  • Cost plus $1 is a great way to move your stock in one night 
  • Not everything was on sale so they could have made quite a lot of money on ancilliary purchases or complementary goods
  • People didn't think twice, buying things that they need and much of what they want as well
  • As people had to line up a long time, one effect was that people would buy more stuff to make the lining up more worth it 
  • For others, the long line was enough to drop your iron and leave the store, opting to pay full price than spend half an hour lining up to save $6.
  • Staff took too long sorting through invoices that had been printed out, trying to find people's names from four different printers. 
  • More staff processing payments would have improved their total revenue for the night.
  • Perhaps giving customers a number on their invoice would have sped up the sorting through paperwork. 
  • Many people would have signed up to be a member of  Kambo's that night or when their friends told them about the sale the next day

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why Social Networking skills are essential in Australia

A Nielson survey has revealed that Australians are the most social network savvy people in the world. Australians on average spent more time using Facebook and Twitter than the US and UK for example. 

CountryUnique Audience (000)Time per Person (hh:mm:ss)
United States142,0526:09:13
United Kingdom29,1296:07:54
Source: The Nielsen Company

Read the blog entry on the Nielson website here.

Trying to catch a falling star

It's almost midnight and I just had to blog about the Lotterywest ad campaign that has been running in the past few weeks. I realised that the last blog entry was about Lotterywest but that is purely coincidental. Have a look at the video below and see what you think. What makes it so good? Catchy song which sticks in your head (that's why I'm here), great storyline and emphasizes Lotterywest's subtle role in helping community. There are not many ads that you don't get bored of watching.. I am not sure if it is already but I think this ad makes for a great ad for cinemas. Great strategy once again to Lotterywest.. kinda explains why they decided not to require naming rights for Perth's Australia Day Skyshow.

Monday, January 18, 2010

You Don't Always Need Naming Rights

Photo taken from the 2010 Perth Skyshow

Credit goes to Lotterywest this week after they announced that they will continue to support the Australia Day fireworks with financial support but do not want the Australia Day fireworks to be called the Lotterywest Fireworks and prefer just "Australia Day Celebrations". They said in an article by WAToday that "Of course we want the public to know (about our support). (But) we didn't think that - with the importance of Australia Day - asking for those naming rights was consistent with our overall approach."

Its a good reminder and a great strategy, that a company be consistent with their company ethos and not just pursue things just for the sake of commercial benefit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Coke v Pepsi this Saturday on Perth Beach

Not sure whether Coca Cola and Pepsi are aware of this but their summer campaigns seem like they are about to go head to head on a Perth beach this Saturday. Coca cola has sent out an invite to all their staff regarding the Coca-cola Bottle Blast which will give people a little experience similar to the summer Coke advertisements that feature a massive coke bottle that blasts people out of the top of the bottle. 

I am quite sure that  you won't get that experience but something fun will be at Scarborough beach looking a little like this - a massive.. bouncy castle? 
Meanwhile, as reported in Mumbrella, Pepsi are doing their summer promotion with a Hit Refresh campaign where the first person to locate a Pepsi button will get a $250 gift card. 

Coca-Cola will be on Scarborough Beach Friday to Sunday from 10am-6pm. 
Pepsi will release their clue on twitter some time between 12pm and 2pm on Saturday. 

Edit: Great Strategy had a look at the Coca Cola promotion on Saturday afternoon. They gave away mini coke and coke zero cans, hats, beach balls and sun glasses. There didn't seem to be as big a crowd as they expected, possibly because of the recent shark scares at Scarborough Beach. 

Pepsi's "Hit Refresh" campaign hardly attracted any participants, with the prize almost forfeited until Asha of Dianella found the button, almost two hours after the start of the promotion. 

Mars Australia was also doing a summer campaign on the beach, giving away free mars bars and an ice sculpture set up not too far away from the Coca-Cola promotion. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nokia E72 Launched via Blog Challenge

The geniuses behind Nokia's world brand marketing, 1000 Heads, has outdone themselves with the recent release of the Nokia E72 around the world during the Christmas period, giving every blogger the extra holidays to spend more time writing up their reviews and exploring the E72 to its fullest extent. Locked perspex boxes, guarded by a magnetic lock, were sent to bloggers such as the MyE63 blog with the slick, new Nokia E72 and a poster with a clue that each blogger had to solve to solve the combination lock. 

The anticipation of playing with the Nokia E72 would have been overwhelming. Usually bloggers receive the cardboard box that you get your mobile phone in it but this time, with a little more (well spent) dollars, 1000heads made bloggers excited and with such a launch, it is hard to imagine 1000heads doing anything much different from this product launch. How much difference a big perspex box and a little extra effort can make has us awarding Nokia with the marketing strategy of the month.

Some bloggers just couldn't wait..