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Archive for April, 2009

No insights here, just something that’s really cool 0

Posted on April 30, 2009 by Liz Rowell

This guy, Kutiman, apparently spent 3 months going through youtube to produce this mash up. As noted on news.com.au it sparks some interesting copyright issues. But it’s just awesome to watch. We really are a creative little species.

Giving the people what they want 0

Posted on April 29, 2009 by Liz Rowell

I went to see Jerry Springer – the Opera at, appropriately enough, the Opera House last week. Or the Opera Centre as Hugh Jackman likes to refer to it on Twitter.

It was unbelievably sharp and funny and it certainly gave the overwhelmingly middle class audience who came to mock (myself included) value for money. It was important, though, as they pointed out in their warning message at the beginning of the second half, to have some knowledge of Judeo-Christian theology. My favourite moment was when Jesus turned to Satan and said “talk to the stigmata”. It brought the house down. The tap dancing Ku Klux Klan was pretty funny too… I do hope there’s no afterlife because if there is, the writers, the cast, the production team and every audience member is going straight to hell.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I had an epiphany at the Opera House – or rather it seems the Opera House has had an epiphany. From the moment that it opened, the food and beverage at the SOH was a byword for pricey and inedible. But then Gay Bilson had a go at Bennelong and then Guillaume Brahini came on board and we got to pricey but edible. And now they’ve put in a little food outlet next to Opera Bar that sells affordable and edible. It’s just been, what, 35 years to make it happen? I don’t know if it’s branded, I can’t remember, but they sell noodles and pies and quiches and other delicious snack-like things. Perfect to chow down on before heading to a show – or for soaking up some of your Opera Bar cocktails. Good work SOH. It goes to show we can all get there in the end. A pretty good product driven by a consumer insight.

Apple does it again 0

Posted on April 28, 2009 by Liz Rowell

I loved this banner ad on the new york times site. The campaign works both to persuade PC users to switch over and to make us smug Mac users even smugger (is that a word?) and more loyal.

Here it is on youtube.

The envelope is starting to be pushed down here in the Antipodes but nothing like the sophistication of this offering. OMG did I just really talk about envelope pushing?

What I learned in Melbourne about Marketing 101 0

Posted on April 27, 2009 by Liz Rowell

I went to Melbourne last week. The weather was absolutely gorgeous so it just goes to show. And only the one season each day too, which is so much less demanding. I also got to window shop along Chapel Street which beats the retail desert that is St Leonards by a country mile…..

I always stay at the Como Hotel when I’m there because it’s right next door to our delightful Disney clients. It’s the only hotel I’ve ever stayed at that differentiates itself brilliantly in a couple of not too difficult ways. The bathrooms feature big deep baths. And little Como rubber duckies. And a bath menu - that’s right, they come and draw you a bath and fill it with rosepetals and unguents and bring you a glass of champagne. Even if you don’t particularly like baths, it’s a service that even the most rushed business traveller will never forget. Nice insight Mirvac Hotels.

rubber ducky you're the one

rubber ducky you're the one

Coming back I was at the Qantas Club getting a well deserved drink. About to toy with a run of the mill SSB I was accosted by a lovely young lady who was sampling wine. She asked me if I’d be interested. Yes! I said, always keen to support the marketing industry and keen to hear all about it. Well she didn’t tell me what the label was or much about the wine. She poured a few drops into my glass and then went to open a new bottle. She couldn’t get the screwtop open so I opened it for her. Then she let me pour myself a whacking great glass and leave, thanking her politely. I still don’t know what I was drinking, except that it was a rather flavourful pinot gris. So if any wine label was paying for a sampling program in the Qantas Club at Tullamarine about 5 pm on Tuesday 21st April…… ring your sampling company now.

Note to colleagues, I work extremely hard when I go to Melbourne and I haven’t had a thing from the bath menu for ages.

Hello World! 0

Posted on April 24, 2009 by Liz Rowell

I am so excited that the Red Ark blog is finally up and running. I have been pestering John, our head of digital, mercilessly for months to make it happen but we’ve been so busy doing so much digital stuff for our clients that it’s, you know, the usual story.

I want to use this blog for good and not evil so I am going to try not to spend too much time boasting about how fabulous we all are at Red Ark (or doing other such lame stuff). I want to share some of the really interesting and cool new developments that we come across almost every day. And some of the not so good too.

Mickey Ears at the Haunted Mansion

Mickey Ears at the Haunted Mansion

First up is is social media and you tube and twitter etc etc. There are good ways and bad ways of course of going about this.

The Witchery man stunt – and I know this is going to be a topic at the new Sydney Social Media Club gathering that’s coming up next week and which was also hotly debated on the Gruen Transfer a few weeks ago – probably seemed like a good idea at the time (awesome this has gone like totally VIRAL) but ultimately failed. It failed because like George Bush, they didn’t have an exit strategy. They didn’t even have a warship. It would have worked out really well for them if they had managed the reveal, so that people didn’t feel used but instead had a good laugh about the whole thing. One way would have been to include some clues that the smarter ones among us could pick up. Disney do this in an interesting way with what they call Hidden Mickeys. Hidden in their movies, their cartoons, their theme park attractions are Mickey Ears. At the Haunted Mansion attraction in Disneyland there is one that’s made up of a plate and two saucers. People who spot the Mickey Ears feel super clever and super special. How much positive reinforcement could Witchery have gained if Naked had just given it all a few more seconds’ thought.?

Want to know more about Hidden Mickeys?

I also believe that getting your consumers to make your TVCs for you constitutes something of a lack of imagination or flair in your ad agency. However there are ways that you can have a conversation with your consumer, get their engagement and explore some really interesting dimensions around your brands. The bathtime experience for example is key to Johnson & Johnson Baby. Mums aren’t just buying a product that will wash their baby – it’s an integral part of the play and bonding experience. For not very much money (or effort for that matter) J&J can look directly into these mums’ lives when they post a video in their Big Bubblin Stars contest. Check it out here http://www.youtube.com/baby

That’s me for the day. Y’all come back now, hear?

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