Monday, 29 September 2008

IBM - Mitsukoshi: Marketing to Japan's Ageing Population

I liked this micro-documentary that I saw on IBM's Documentary Channel. It's interesting to see the benefits of optimising websites for differing generations, including the addition of verbal directions/prompters. With Gen Y being so topical and blinding, especially in relation to technology it's easy to forget the older generation. I'd love to see more examples of strategies tailored towards the 65 plus market.

IBM's channel can be found here:

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Follow My Blog

In what seems a rip-off of Twitter, Blogger now has a follower ap/add-on which I think works quite well on this platform. Good for cross-promotion too ;) so please don't be afraid to become my first follower! -->

Thursday, 25 September 2008

POL Publications placed in administration

I was startled to hear about the reports of the closure of POL Publications earlier this week. They do VIVE magazine (of which I am a subscriber and have half my subscription left!), POL Oxygen, Fashion Capital magazine for Chadstone SC, Luxe and VIVE La France. I hope ACP, News or Pacific think about picking up their mastheads - if they can't continue operations after the proposed finance review. Pacific could do what they did with Text Pacific, the name POL Pacific works! I'm not sure what the details are behind the financial mis-management, but the current climate hardly supports the sustainability of Niche magazine publishers. You'd think as consumers tastes tighten, sales would increase, but the whole magazine publishing industry in Australia has seen a period of decline.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The real difference between a heavy Mac and PC user

Yes that's even the leopard screen saver displayed on the iPods and not to forget, the plasma TV - this must be the biggest fanboi/brand loyal ever...
Whilst my favourite touch here is what looks like an accountant's calculator. It's work and play for this user.

(Thanks to Flickr for pics)

It continues... Microsoft's long awaited comeback to the "I'm a PC" campaign!

First things first, I'll get the movie-length follow up to the Shoe Circus ad done and dusted...

Check it out below if you want to see Gates doing a highly embarrassing robot dance:

I've got really mixed opinions about this one. It is actually much funnier than the first Shoe Circus TVC; I find it always helps when you take the piss out of yourself ;) They are less subtle this time around with divulging the campaign's purpose, it resonates around Seinfeld and Gates trying to connect to the 'real people'. Overall it's an ok follow up that I wouldn't find assaulting if I watched it more than once due to some hidden meaning. The major downside is the tagline which is PC = perpetually connecting - to me this is nothing but meaningless jargon. Yes it's an acronym - congratulations but I would have preferred something that broke through the current clutter and noise - something which was dimensional and in line with the repositioning strategy.

Anyway onto the second video offering, after all this is where is gets interesting!

So after setting up their own YouTube channel back on the 28th of August, Windows/Microsoft have added a new video launching The Real PC campaign. In true Microsoft style they are back to full fledged sporting competition, but this time it's an away game (against team Apple, hosted at Google Stadium). The channel can be found here: and the video in question:

Featuring Sean Siler, the piece talks about the stereotype of PC and the idea of collective uniqueness within PC users. They've also integrated it into the updated website:, which encourages PC users to become the face of PC by submitting a photo/video and PC-use spiel which then can be shown on their website in the PC Gallery, in online advertising and in Times Square. Nifty.

Three reasons why I think The Real PC campaign will work:
1) No Gates (currently too much of a negative brand ambassador?)
2) Branding of choice is Windows throughout and not Microsoft, it makes sense to distance Microsoft as the parent company
3) Acknowledging the past attack from Apple, turning it around and saying touché - what is 'cool' anyway!

For it to work, you need to have an understanding of what their core objective is. To me it revolves around changing consumer perception and launching the Windows portfolio as a serious competitor in today's online climate by using the concept of the PC as a channel.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Microsoft follow up with Seinfeld ad axing

Not surprisingly, that Microsoft ad has been axed just two weeks after its first appearance.

The article below even describes it being referred to one of the worst ads in history. I would have a hard part disagreeing with them there.

Apparently the TVC was meant to be promoting Windows Vista, but I was so baffled by it I though it may have been promoting a new updated system. Don't mind me though, some people just went with the shoes! Furthermore, I don't know why they would be musing on about the future being delicious when promoting Vista, since Vista is hardly new to the market now.

More info can be found here:

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Brand Extensions gone bad

I couldn't find an actual product image but the above is in reference to BIC trying to enter the panyhose market... can anyone justify a logical link from biros to pantyhose for me please... anyone?
Crystal clear Pepsi... and the point was??????
Harley Davison Bakery Crafts - Martha Stewart eat your heart out!

Hooters Air took the promise of in-flight entertainment to a whole new level...

Mark Ritson, one of my favourite marketing spokespeople slash writer, has a good article on stupid brand extensions from a 2007 issue of UK Marketing mag.

The current state of the Australian Liberal Party =

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Marketing Word of the Week

Can someone please remove the word leverage from the English and/or brand management dictionaries? It must be right up there with intangible, in terms of one of the most overused expression I've currently heard my marketing peers use. Anyone got any other pet hate words?

Apple Store to Open in Melbourne... in Chadstone

Melbourne Fanboi's you're in luck. Apple is heading South and opening a flagship store in Melbourne, which of all places, will be in the depressive monolith that is Chadstone Shopping Centre. The store will open this weekend at 10am, and the first 100 visitors will receive a free Apple T-shirt.

Whilst in Sydney last week (I hope you noticed the lack of posting!), I visited the George Street Store featured above (thanks Gizmodo for the pic) and was pleasantly surprised. The store was really buzzing and plenty of friendly eye-candy staff were on hand to help out if needed. If you're backpacking, don't head on down to an internet cafe, save yourself $2.50 and head to an Apple store instead - if you don't mind standing.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Microsoft Shoe Circus TVC feat. Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates

Microsoft launched a new TVC featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, who reportedly received USD$10 million to appear. The whole thing is a bit of a teaser for Microsoft's future, which is tagged as "Delicious" at the end.

Judging by some of the YouTube comments (which should be used as an infallible source of market research!), I don't think the desired result is what was hoped:

Jazkiljok says "Billionaire Bill shops at tacky shoe store at crappy mall where he coincidentally runs into Jerry who being out of work and having nothing to do all day - also hangs out in the same sad ass mall. Jerry makes inane comments cause he's bored, Bill wiggles his ass cause his haemorrhoids are itching."

luvmasterr comments, "The 90's are over, we want our commercials to be about something."

ifoundthemissinglink... "Sorry. The Mac and PC Commercials are still better. At least they make sense. At first I seriously thought this was a shoe commercial."