Always read the (marketing) label

March 3, 2009

We all know the human brain (particularly those of marketers) work in mysterious ways, but I’m starting to wonder if we have gone just a wee bit too far. We can apparently choose from about 170,000 words according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However we have successfully managed to shorten our vocabulary so it fits on a single sheet of A4 paper using Rockwell font, size 36.

If I had a dollar for every word that we marketers use these days, I’d be piss poor quite frankly. I’m not sure why we have slowly reached this horrifying state of affairs. But we need to start articulating exactly what needs to be done.

Since reading this article and sitting in meetings it’s scary how accurate these observations are;

1 # Labels create a binary wor(l)d view. A case of either / or. After all, you must believe in something – and of course everything is definable.

New media vs traditional media
Brand vs Direct Response
Push vs Pull

2 # Social language has become a very powerful form of propaganda. It is social engineering unveiled very clearly, sitting in broad daylight – yet few actually even notice it.

Social media

3 # Labels appeal to the Ego, because of its desire to stand out and “Be Different”, the Ego needs to believe “It’s the Real Thing”.

Social media consultant

4 # Catch-phrases that allow people to run on auto-pilot 24/7.

E.g The majority of us who work in marketing

The human and semi human marketing mind does indeed move in mysterious ways. My advice, always read the label.

Whopper Virgins

December 9, 2008


Burger King have launched their anticipated new online campaign, Whopper Virgins. Based on the idea that you can’t get an unbiased opinion in the western world because of media saturation, BK take to the world’s most remote communities to find people that have never eaten a hamburger or been exposed to advertising.

People in urban areas of countries such as Thailand, Romania and Greenland were asked to sit a taste test of the Whopper vs the Big Mac. No surprises with the results, but I was happy to see that it wasn’t a complete landslide.

The really interesting part was where they break out the portable Burger King grill and go out to make Whoppers for people that live in really remote places. The reactions are great, particularly the guy that says he still prefers seal meat.

Check it out.

Terrorism: Pursue a certificate in Terrorism 100% online. Enrol today.

November 28, 2008

These may be the most offensive Google Ads ever seen. Spotted in two separate incidents next to stories about the Mumbai attacks on the site IBN Live, they’re a typical example of the tactlessness of automated ad targeting systems.

We’ve seen Google ads go wrong before, of course, but do you recall a worse slip-up in recent memory?

We know it’s not Google’s intent to offend, nor their fault that these mismatches happen…and yet we’ve got to ask: surely something can be done to prevent instances like these?

googleadterror3.png by you.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Five digital technologies that will change the marketing landscape

September 2, 2008

Here’s an article I wrote for AdNews last month – it was edited down for publication so here’s the full thing. Uncensored:

We all keep hearing about the pace of change and how much we need to constantly shift our businesses both as agency or client. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to look with so much going on; an ever expanding web and new devices appearing daily in the consumers lounge and pockets … all places we need to harness for marketing success.

Batteries… soon to have a 30 year gap between recharging?

One thing’s for sure, it’s going to get more complicated, not less so I thought I would share five of the key technologies that are set to change the digital landscape in a significant way within the next ten years… here’s my TOP 5:

Read the rest of this entry »

Customers love Windows “Mojave”

August 5, 2008

Microsoft has released Windows “Mojave” and customers love it!

Mojave Experiment

Mojave Experiment

This is an interesting experiment to demonstrate how consumers react to Windows Vista when they approach it without carrying all the collective negativity Vista has generated since launch.

It will be interesting to see where MS take this marketing project, and whether it can combat the Mac vs PC campaign that has helped compound the negative perception of Vista.

I personally suspect they won’t turn the perception problem around until the slate is genuinely wiped clean with Windows 7.

There is a lesson for us all in Vista – it doesn’t it matter how good a product is; if the word on the street turns against you, you could be in for a hard sell.

Lastly, a quote from one disgruntled interviewee when its revealed that Mojave is actually Vista:

“…but why is it faster [than Vista]?”