Not on the money shot II

Interesting development on the Panasonic viral posted a couple of months ago – they’ve taken off the elephant scene and renamed the site http://www.onlyvieramakesitreal.com.

Picturetown

How do you convince your average consumer that your rather intimidating techie-looking camera is just what they need?

Old skool: tell them that it’s a lot easier than it looks, perhaps by depicting the camera being used by a recognisable simpleton – a monkey, small child or old lady would be fine,

New skool: pick a regular small town in middle America and give 200 regular people a camera to play with, then let them tell everyone how great it is.

Nikon’s brilliant D40 Picturetown campaign has simply and effectively created a bunch of passionate advocates to sell the product simply and effectively.

Genius.

picture-2.png

Creativity Awards

Creativity magazine has announced the winners of it’s innaugural Creativity awards. Of course the work is great, but what makes it more interesting is the explanations from some of the people behind the campaigns. Check out the Axe Gamekillers and TBWA’s Combo’s Man Mom campaigns.
picture-1.png

Ooh err

igasm

The UK’s premier purveyor of naughtiness is upsetting that nice Mr. Jobs by ripping off not only Apple’s signature branding but its iconic silhouette campaign.

document.write(”);

According to Ann Summers the iGasm connects to any music player and offers users an erotic vibrating treat in time to the beat. “Go at it hard and fast with a pounding drum ‘n’ bass track or chill with an ambient classic.”

If you want to see more, go here…

How not to do it

There’s a great post over on TechnologyEvangelist about Budweiser’s failing Bud.tv online TV network, including a wise assessment of where they went wrong and some great advice on how to do better.

‘Bud.tv was doomed from the start. It attempted to build buzz around something not very buzzworthy, spent WAY too much money to ever be profitable in the imagined time frame, and generally used content created for pay by people who didn’t drink Bud except at client meetings.’

New Money

20061004234046_mouton_rothschild_1945.jpg

Much has been written recently about the Chinese appetite for luxury brands and Reuters reports that a Chinese artist spent 23,000 euros (S$46,500) in a 15 minute shopping spree in Paris Duty Free on Tuesday. In his basket was a bottle of 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild (13,800 euros – that’s about 200 euros a sip), a 100 year old bottle of Armagnac, and a 200 year old bottle of Cognac (a snip at 5,000 euros). Certainly puts my bottle of Tanqueray and 3 cans of Stella into perspective…

Branded Bars

HeineBar

Heineken has opened up a branded bar in Hong Kong International Airport. I think this is a really smart move – in most cases Heineken is dependent on bar owners/operators to serve its beer alongside a plethora of other drinks; by completely owning the bar, the whole experience becomes a Heineken one, enabling them to deepen consumer relationships with the brand by building an environment around it which is much more holistic than just the drinking experience. And airports are a perfect choice because so often airport bars are pretty grim places, so a cool bar will really stand out – it also ties in very neatly with the current campaign line ‘Meet You There’. To an extent Guinness has been doing this for years with whole ‘Irish Pub’ thing – but there it is always an ‘Oirish’ experience rather than a pure Guinness experience.

Zero

Meanwhile, over on the cold fizzy drinks side of the business, there’s a new online campaign for Coke Zero. It’s about as funny as constipation. How does this stuff get through?

lawyer.jpg

Choices, choices, choices

far coastfar2

Finally got around to visiting the Far Coast coffee shop on Orchard Road. It’s an interesting concept – basically Coca-Cola has moved into the coffee business by developing a range of instant ‘gourmet’ coffee machines which it intends to sell to hotels, restaurants etc. They’re the idiot-proof type – load the appropriate capsule, push the button and the machine whips up your cappuccino/macchiato/latte. To create consumer awareness of the Far Coast brand (did they really pay someone to come up with that name?) they have created the Far Coast ‘concept store’ in the centre of town to enable people to enjoy the Far Coast experience (Singapore is the second store – the first was in Montreal). And what an experience it is. You get to select from 7 different types of coffee (or 8 types of tea or 2 types of chocolate) with natty names like ‘Art Haus’ and ‘Opale Noire,’ each of which has a helpful description: ‘This robust, earthy cup demands your attention then seduces with whispers of chocolate and fruit. Give in.’ (who the hell writes this stuff?). So if you happen to be looking for an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe you’re going to be sorely disappointed. You then get to apply your chosen coffee variety to the usual matrix of production methods and sizes – adding up to about 100 different options for coffee alone.

It seems to me that too many companies are taking the ‘consumer choice’ thing way too far. Do consumers really need 100 different coffee options? I can see that a coffee connoisseur might conceivably want the option to choose between a Jamaica Blue Mountain or a Sumatra Mandheling, but Coke isn’t giving them the option because they’ve given all their coffee types fancy-schmancy names. Increasingly companies are overwhelming consumers with such an embarrassment of choices that they become confused and disoriented. I read somewhere the other day that one of the reasons sales of organic fruit and veg are growing in the UK is because consumers find them easier to buy because there is less choice. ‘Technology’ is, in many ways the worst offender. Electronic devices are loaded with so many features, you need a manual the size of War And Peace to explain them all. There was a magnificent rant by Stuart Jeffries in yesterday’s Guardian on the complexification of the mobile phone. It seems to me that increasingly ‘options’ are added for their own sake, rather than because there is a real need – I’m seeing what those Trendwatching hipsters might call Selectyranny – companies forcing more and more choices on consumers. It used to be that a company would come up with a formula – a recommendation, if you like – and present it to the consumer.”We’ve mixed a bunch of whiskies together to create what we reckon is a pretty bloody good blend. We’re sure you’ll like it.” Increasingly companies seem to be saying: “You lot want choice? OK. Here are your options, now you make up your own mind.” I’m not arguing against choice – I love it. What I am arguing against is companies trying to appeal to all of the ‘Nouveau Niches’ at the same time and confusing the hell out of people.

And the coffee was crap.

Brand Manifestos

The splendid Hugh MacLeod at Gapingvoid posted an interesting brand manifesto from which we can all learn (crib). Whilst it is specifically for his Windhoek Wine brand, many of his tenets are applicable to most businesses or clients – if only I could get many of my clients to understand number 8: ‘It’s just wine (whisky, a phone – whatever) people’ we’d make so much more progress. Read. Learn. Crib.zzzzzz7654256.jpg