Monday, February 19, 2007



From Coolhunting:

"In time for St. Patrick's Day, Guinness yeast extract will be used to make a special spread, limited to 300,000 jars. It's available today 19 February 2007 for around 2.49 from supermarkets in the UK."

Cheryl Calverley, of Marmite, said: "This is the most unusual innovation in our history. We will be watching carefully to see if customers want this as a permanent option."

Here's their post on Flickr:

"Some say it’s madness, others say it’s genius, but this year’s must-have for St Patrick’s Day is new limited edition Guinness™ Marmite Yeast Extract Spread.

Hot on the heels of our recent launch of Guinness Red which you seem to love loads we are launching the iconic Marmite glass jar filled with darker ‘Guinness Marmite’ spread. The glass now appears black when full and together with the white lid replicates a pint of Guinness.

This is a special edition launch with only 300,000 jars being created which means this will be the must have edition to any St Patrick's party.

This unique product has been created using a special recipe with 30% Guinness yeast (a specific strain of yeast used only to make Guinness), giving it a subtle Guinness flavour, without the alcohol.

The limited edition 250g jars of Guinness Marmite (RRSP £2.49) will be on-shelf from 18th February, in time for St. Patrick’s day on the 17th March, for around six weeks. Stockists include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, and Co-op."

If you look at the Marmite Forum you'll see a post and link to Wikipedia's page on Guinness Yeast Extract and suggesting a tie in. Who needs focus groups! All our brands should have this model built into them. A brand that has a forum and a string of wikipedia entries by definition is a brand people are talking about. These aren't consumers they are enthusiasts.

Good example of 2 brands embarking on a tie in that's mutually beneficial for both of their brand molecules. Great timing, great idea and great innovation. They have also got all of their 2.0 bases covered: Flickr, wikipedia backstory, forum seeding etc. Have they used any paid for media?

Friday, February 16, 2007


I was in bookstore the other night and I came across a photographer called Merlin Bronques. He publishes his photography from the NYC club scene in a book called ‘Last Nights Party’.

Apparently it is actually quite a popular book. It is a little darker and hardcore than our target but it would be interesting to have either people submit images from their parties or we could commission a photographer such as Merlin (possibly a combination of submitted & commissioned) to do something similar but in the world of our man. We could then look at publishing a high-quality book (subtly branded) and sell them. Recipes in the back of-course.

http://www.lastnightsparty.com/

Book Description
WELCOME TO NYC’S HOTTEST UNDERGROUND PARTIES

If you missed last night’s party, here’s your VIP pass to New York City’s deliciously sexy club scene.It’s a voyeuristic spin with today’s downtown demimonde, where hipsters, rockers, celebrities, and drag queens meet and misbehave with unabashed enthusiasm. Bared flesh, intertwined tongues, and de rigueur attitudes are all captured by Bronques’s lens in photographs that are fresh, fun, and hot. If this is your scene you may find yourself here; if not, welcome to the best party in town.

About the Author
Merlin Bronques is the controversial nightlife personality behind the web site lastnightsparty.com who believes that photography is more rock and roll than rock and roll is. He lives in New York City.

Thursday, February 15, 2007



"Hello all Champagne lovers. Send this message to 10 people, with a copy to markp@spier.co.za


Veuve Clicquot France will contact you in order to deliver to you a
case of champagne in three weeks. They are doing this to enlarge their
database.

It does work and you receive 6 bottles in 15 days.

Mark L. Parsons, Director
Education and Hospitality Services
for Wine, Food & the Arts
Spier (Pty) Ltd
P.O. Box 1078
Stellenbosch, 7599
South Africa
021 809 1985 office
082 788 4911 mobile
markp@spier.co.za"

Will it work? Unlikely. Is it legal to contact people who might be underage? Is it right to reap email addresses without prior approval?

This is a great example of how careful you've got to be with viral booze marketing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007







How much is a Bud Buck worth? Well, as it's a virtual currency, its value can change randomly and become anything ranging from $5 to $100... The Bud Bucks are the main gimmick used in the new Budweiser online campaign which debuts today in the UK. Bud drinkers are encouraged to collect the unique codes they find on beer's bottles and cans and text them or submit them through the site in order to get Bud Bucks in exchange.

The accumulated Bud Bucks can then be exchanged for a series of prizes and/or to buy Budweiser merchandising in the dedicated virtual store.



le cool has come to London and I am very excited about it. Here's their open gambit:

"Maybe it’s because I’m not a Londoner…

But then who is? I’ve been here twenty years and still only met a handful of people born within the city limits – and they were all cabbies. We came here because we love it – not as an accident of birth. So, welcome to this first issue of le cool London – yet another new arrival in a city made up of newcomers.

London’s a city for the omnivores – it’s us and the rats who thrive. We like it mixed up and messy – food in our clubs; DJs in our shops, cinema in our city parks. We'll make le cool as funny and joyful and diverse and fascinating as London itself.

Looking forward to meeting you, say René, Mat, Andrew & Kati."

If their guidebook to Barcelona is anything to go by we are in for a treat.



From Coolhunting:


"A hundred-strong guerilla army is descending on London this Thursday night, to peacefully spread their love of light. After successfully turning Manchester many different colours in November 2006 (see images), Martin Lupton and his team from the Building Design Partnership are going to do the same in the English capital as part of Switched On London—a lighting festival that's been centered on a part of the River Thames all week. Cued by an air-horn, designers, architects, and manufacturers armed with high-powered torches, projectors and hundreds of gels and filters will blitz the area called the Pool Of London, between London Bridge and Tower bridge, with a transient light installation. It won't be on for long, and after it's photographed for posterity, it will be switched off forever.

Guerilla Lighting London happens on the evening of Thursday 15 February 2007, at around 7pm."

This would be a great way of driving people to our Grolsch Green Light District style brand drinking area. Disccover where this is and you'll look really cool.



Hyper-personalisation meets, hyper localisation meets creativity.

See article from Marketing Week 1/2/07 below:

"Mini is launching a Minority Report-style campaign in the US which will have billboards flashing personalised messages to drivers as they pass by in their cars.

The boards, which usually carry traditional advertising messages, are programmed to identify approaching Mini drivers through a coded signal from a radio chip embedded in their key fob. The futuristic technology is similar to that featured in the 2002 film starring Tom Cruise.

The messages from the Mini billboards are personal and based on questionnaires that owners fill out. For example, the boards may say to a lawyer: 'Moving at the speed of justice' or 'The special of the day is speed' for a chef.

Mini is test-marketing the billboards in New York, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco. A spokeswoman for Mini UK says the company has ³no immediate plans² to run the campaign in the UK.

The US poster campaign is likely to face criticism from campaigners concerned at the growing number of digital billboards on roadsides throughout the country. But Mini¹s head of North American operations, James McDowell, says: "People buy Minis because they really want to have more fun in their days. We want everything about our marketing to fit that." It is thought the idea was first suggested to Mini by San Francisco advertising agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, which wanted to build on the already 'tribal' feeling among Mini owners.

The billboards will revert to showing standard Mini advertising after playing the personalised messages."

Awesome. It's about how not what.

Thanks to Claudia Simms for finding this!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007



Woodford Reserve sent me this email the other day to support their updated Woordford Reserve Stables site:



And here is the blog straight from the erm... horse's mouth.



Great way to build the brand's fan base and not too expensive either.



From Flickr.



Again from Taxi Driver Wisdom.

A great example of this working brilliantly is Nike + Nano.



From Pink Air via Russell Davies:

"Howard Gossage famously (but not yet famously enough) said:

"The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it's an ad."

This obvious, brilliant observation reminds us that advertising has to compete in the cultural big leagues whether we acknowledge it or not, right up there with Flaubert and Shakira.

He also identifies exactly what it takes to succeed at that level: you have to be interesting.

The idea that ads, and more importantly, brands, should be interesting is perhaps so obvious that it never even reaches our consciousness. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t get the attention and resources devoted to relatively paltry goals like recall and “message comprehension” (We’ve now shown you this ad that says ‘Krispy Kookoos drive me Krazy!’ three times. What would you say is the main message?)"

So our brands/communications should be (From RD:)







Being interesting and useful are pretty straightforward. We are naturally drawn towards interesting people rather than dullards and people who can help us are clearly better for us than those that aren't. But the idea of people constantly changing and making mistakes is less obvious. Perpetual beta is a term borrowed from the likes of Flickr, Ebay and other web 2.0 brands. They are constantly being tested and updated by a hardcore of their brand's community. The tag of beta gives them credibility and freshness and implies that their users can input into the brand.

To steal from Russell Davie's cos he says it so well:

"1. A constant stream of ideas, bundled together by a common brand/business purpose.

(Can you bundle a stream? Probably not, but you know what I mean.) The business environment these brands live in mean they can't simply do a big idea. They have to keep innovating in order to stay relevant and interesting. The old software model of a big upgrade every couple of years is being replaced by a stream of little enhancements and fixes. I suspect the same will soon be true for brands. The old model of a big launch of a big idea followed by cut-downs of said big idea to deliver mind-numbing levels of repetition simply won't survive contact with the contemporary media landscape. And a key characteristic of a brand that's likely to survive the modern world will be creative fecundity, the ability to just keep having new ideas and to keep putting them out in the world.

2. Being prepared for mistakes

One of the other interesting characteristics about always being in beta is accepting that mistakes are going to happen. And preparing for them. And thinking about, maybe, trying to turn them into opportunities. Flickr's attempt to turn a 'we're down' message into fun probably annoyed some people but I liked it are clearly so did lots of other people. When you're moving at the speed that the modern world demands mistakes are inevitable. Being surprised by them shouldn't be. Mistakes are also when the veneer tends to slip, if there is a veneer. The authentic voice of a brand or organisation is exposed when something goes wrong, if it's not the same as the voice you normally speak with people will notice.

3. Building with your community

I guess a key idea behind web2.0 is that it's the community of users that provide the value. And that's increasingly true for brands. I don't think anyone would argue with that."



"When baiting a mousetrap with cheese, always leave room for the mouse." (Saki)

Monday, February 12, 2007



As reported back in September, Ice Jackets are a new way to cool and present your spirits bottle straight from your freezer. Now, 6 months on, Ice Jackets are on their way across the globe following intensive tooling trials (See photos below).
We heard from Ice Jacket afficionado Davis Wolf, who said that first samples would be shipped in the next few weeks and will give us a great chance to look at how cool our bottles can get.




From NOTCOT:

"Next in the ever growing family of Absolut fruit flavors… PEAR. And this time they are selling it with some gorgeous videos of things being blown up… from apples, espressos, watches, donuts and more… (see videos below). Apparently this is the Absolut Temptation."

What's really cute about this is the way they provide bloggers with all the tools required to make this go mega viral.



One of the other cool things is the way the let you create your own temptation video... I'm sure this could get a lot more sordid!



Another great way of showing what a brand's global website can do as well as highlighting that spirits drinkers, shock horror, do use the internet. I think this would have been better had Absolut let go a little bit more. But I guess with booze it's normally safety first.

Visit the Absolut Pear site here.

Friday, February 09, 2007



From Coolhunting:

""The Still" is an edition of 15 hand-blown pyrex receptacles based on a complex mathematical formula that Kinmont derived to condense, reduce and transform a bottle of wine over the course of dinner. By the end of a meal, the wine becomes eau de vie (or with the included Lemon Verbena, it makes a digestif), which Project No. 8 co-founder Brian Janusiak describes as an incredible sensation, evaporating instantly in your mouth. In addition to the plant, the kit also comes with a case of Cabernet Sauvignon that Kinmont himself made and candles that he designed and cast. The first edition (there are only two remaining) is $1,750 and can be purchased from Project No. 8 by calling +1 212 925 5599."

Could be a great piece for some brand education work. It would certainly get people talking.

Thursday, February 08, 2007



We are all getting very excited about the concept of Brand/Marketing Enthusiasm as a move on from Brand Engagement. The best person to find out about Marketing Enthusiasm is John Grant on his Brand Tarot blog. He is vigorously expounding the theory in an open source manner with his a presentation on Marketing Enthusiasm available to view on Flickr here.



To read his full post on Marketing Enthusiasm click here and see below for an extract.

"This should be understood as a radical new alternative to marketing aspiration (image). It is about being involved in things you have a passion for vs passively buying something which might make you look good. That’s still a factor in some markets - eg fashion - but even here TopShop have shown that marketing enthusiasm can play a role.

Enthusiasm is if you think about it the key driver of internet 2.0
eBay, YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia… no brand image, but a lot of enthusiasm."

1. find a bigger enthusiasm than your brand
2. Give people a way to get involved
3. Innovate to build life-relevance
4. Co-operate
5. Catch On
6. Partner Up
7. Build a Molecule

Have one strategy; ie one enthusiasm. (Anyone who insists on calling this a proposition, that’s fine - it’s nearly Christmas after all - but I would tend to call it your issue or agenda). For instance Top Shop brings the high fashion experience to the high street. Then you need to add multiple ideas to keep it fresh, attract different segments, develop it organically, avoid being cling film wrapped with ‘consistency. Top Shop and London Fashion Week, Kate Moss, Personal Dressing, the AIDS charity auction, vintage range…"

This is all gold dust and is fleshed out more fully in his book "The Brand Innovation Manifesto" and to get involved in the community that is chatting about this idea get involved in the Brand Tarot blog.

His idea really strikes a chord with all the stuff we have been focusing on recently and fits very snugly with the concept that how and what you do is far more important than what you say.



Hoopla also has some brilliant support for this idea as well. CP+B have been doing this work for years and their book is brilliantly engaging piece of communication in its own right. Work such as Subservient Chicken for Burger King, the Rabbit for VW and Truth against smoking is completely on the money.



What does everyone think? I'm very enthusiastic about it for starters.



Most hits are from the UK and US but it's great to see visitors from Europe, Russia, Asia and Australia too.

Monday, February 05, 2007





These are getting a very mixed reaction. I rather like them but Mitchell and Webb are getting a lot of criticism for selling out:

"Yep; well, I've never seen the U.S. ads these are based on, but they got some stick for relying on "image" stereotypes, and this one is pretty substance-free too. Wouldn't mind if they'd used more appropriate ones, but the "PCs are just office machines and can't do home stuff" is about 10-years out-of-date."

"Obviously never heard of Dave Gorman - a man who can effortlessly capture the craziest of events through pie charts."

"...Impressive? as though that's the fruition of their talent? Love the idea that '2 british sitcom wirters' need validation from some shite advertising campaign. That's their finest hour?! Bollocks. They blew it."

Either way, it's work that's getting talked about.



I like it. It's worth talking about.

Thursday, February 01, 2007



Brief extract from the excellent adliterate blog:

"Stop brushing the 'mother's ruin' heritage under the shag pile but embrace it with the ferocity of a dog on heat. Wallow in the debauched world of 18th century London whose 17,000 gin houses were rapidly sending the capital to the dogs. In particular design your bottle to look like something straight out of Hogarth's Gin Lane. This will give you stand out on the back bar, curiosity value and a way in to a wonderfully rich visual language.

Wrap this counter category approach up in a personality that revels in the unusualness of the product - maybe publishing your own newspaper, holding an annual Chap Olympiad, encouraging bartenders to play croquet or providing rushed commuters with momentary relief."

For the rest of the post click here and explore the links.



It's a great case study of how to launch a brand into a stagnant market and highlights that using the internet in the spirit of the brand is a very powerful tool. What I like most is their use of well thought out merchandise that people actually want in their lives. This brand has Ooze written all over it.

 

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