Oreo Super Bowl Power Outage Twitter Ad campaign – Chat & Analysis

Tuesday, 5 February, 2013

Oreo Superbowl Twitter Ad

“This is an opportunity. The entire world is watching and there is nothing on. So  quickly, everyone pull together a design, a caption, the folks from Oreo were in the room, and we got something out in just a few minutes [kempton’s note: 360i was ready in only 5 mins after the power outage but waited for 5 more mins to confirm that people were safe before they tweeted]. – Sarah Hofstetter, president of 360i (WSJ Video interview, Feb 4th, 2013)

I LOVE smart Ad campaign . I especially love one of them during the Sunday surprised/not-so-surprised Super Bowl Power #fail. Great job @Oreo with its Super Bowl Power Outage Twitter Ad campaign! As I was telling a prospective client recently, the best ads are often the ones, once you paid to initially get it made, you pay very little or nothing to get it spread because people are sharing it as content!

It was my pleasure the Monday morning after Superbowl to host an event to have an insightful chat with Kim Beasley and Trev Warth to specifically talk about the very successful Oreo’s “Power Out? No problem.” tweet campaign. Here is a video of our chat. See my reference notes below for more detailed research.

Oreo Super Bowl Power Outage Twitter Ad campaign – Chat & Analysis

References:

Official blog post post account by 360i: “How Oreo Won the Social Media Bowl with a Single Piece of Content

– WSJ Video interview, Feb 4th, 2013: ” How Oreo Stole the Super Bowl Spotlight – A quick response from Oreo’s social media turned a timely tweet about the power outage into the brand’s most successful social media message yet. Sarah Hofstetter, president of 360i, joins digits.

– Oreo’s “Power Out? No problem.” tweet

– 360i Company site

– 360i leadership

– Cool tweet by Adam Kerj, Chief Creative Officer of 360i


McDonald’s Big Mac Commercial 1984 – Cantonese trumped English campaign

Thursday, 28 June, 2012

1984 McDonald's Big Mac Commercial - Cantonese Hong Kong

The following are videos of 1984 McDonald’s Big Mac commercials in US (I believe) and Hong Kong respectively. To me, the Cantonese campaign actually trumped the English one! The HK commercial actually came as a part of a really smart campaign. And in hindsight, it can also be said that it was part of a campaign to “brainwash” HK kids with the virtues of Big Mac! How so? Well, HK kids were asked to memorize and recite a promo about the virtues of Big Mac in less than six seconds (see following Cantonese ad), in exchange for a FREE Big Mac!

I and many HK kids recited the promo in less than six seconds with flying colours! I didn’t know then, but in hindsight if this campaign didn’t fall under “brainwashing” I don’t know what would. Yes, in case you ask, after all these years, I still can recite the Cantonese Hong Kong Big Mac promo in less than five seconds (not six)! In Canada (I am less sure about US), we now have advertising/marketing guidelines as to what we can do to advertise to young children, and I am happy to say there are forms of advertising we don’t allow any company to do to influence the mind of young ones.

P.S. Setting aside ethics and morality for a moment, the Hong Kong advertising/marketing team did one heck of a job in improving upon the original US ad concept. Translating the language and culture of an ad is almost impossible but improving upon was really pushing everything one level up! Great job even I had to set aside ethics and morality to praise the original 1984 HK McDonald’s Big Mac team.

English “1984 McDonald’s Big Mac Commercial”

Cantonese “香港電視廣告 – 麥當勞: 巨無霸急口令 (1984年)”

In Chinese/Cantonese: 隻層牛肉巨無霸, 醬汁洋蔥夾青瓜, 芝士生菜加芝麻, 人人食過笑哈哈

1984 McDonald's Big Mac Commercial - English


McDonald’s “Our Food. Your Questions.” campaign finally gets some love

Wednesday, 27 June, 2012

McDonald's - Our Food. Your Questions. campaign - Q1

After a #fail Twitter #McDstories hashtag campaign earlier this year (see “#McFail! McDonalds’ Twitter promotion backfires as users hijack #McDstories hashtag to share fast food horror stories“), McDonald’s is finally getting some positive buzz for its Our Food. Your Questions.” campaign in Canada. One factor to judge this campaign is the over 5 million YouTube views in less than 10 days. I will actually go further than “buzz” and say McDonald’s is finally getting some “love”.

Behind the scenes at a McDonald’s photo shoot

Fast food, especially McDonald’s fast food, has received some decidedly bad press (some say rightfully) when the world has become more health aware. It is a breath of fresh air when Hope Bagozzi, director of marketing at McDonald’s Canada, not only put herself in the center of a marketing campaign that can blow up quickly, but have a team of dedicated people & experts in answering some serious questions from people. Here are some questions and screen captures from tonight.

Charles S. from Concord, ON asked “There is a concern that animals are breed to reach a maximum weight in the shortest time. At what age is your livestock put to slaughter?

Madison L. from North Battleford, SK asked: “Is the chicken real meat?

Laura B. from Toronto, ON asked: “How is it that a McDonalds burger does not rot?

Nikki L. from Blackfalds, AB asked: “Does Canada use “pink slime”?

Sarah H. from Brampton, ON asked: “Why should I eat anything that has ingredients like “dimethylpolysiloxane” embedded into it?

As you can see, the above sample questions are not “softball” questions at all. Not being a food expert or medical professional, it may be hard for us to decide if the answers provided are “justifiable” or “acceptable” but at least McDonald’s is posting these questions and giving an attempt in answering them.

McDonald's - Our Food. Your Questions. campaign - Q2

McDonald's - Our Food. Your Questions. campaign - Q3

McDonald's - Our Food. Your Questions. campaign - Q4

McDonald's - Our Food. Your Questions. campaign - Q5

McDonald's - Our Food. Your Questions. campaign - Hope Bagozzi, Director of Marketing, McDonald's Canada


Duncan Fulton, SVP Canadian Tire, talks about cutting edge advertising/e-commerce technologies at #banff2012

Wednesday, 20 June, 2012

Duncan Fulton, SVP Communications & Corporate Affairs, Canadian Tire at #Banff2012

It was extremely insightful and illuminating for me to listen to and interview Duncan Fulton, Senior Vice President of Communications and Corporate AffairsCanadian Tire, at 2012 Banff World Media Festival. Before Duncan‘s presentation, I frankly would never had associated Canadian Tire with “cutting-edge” e-commerce (or as Duncan puts it in the presentation, simply “commerce”).

Duncan explains and share his experiences with using Sport Chek (a Canadian Tire owned and operated brand via FGL Sports) to experiment with new/cool social media, Google/YouTube and Facebook advertising/marketing campaigns. I agree with Duncan that the best way (when everything is so new) is simply by “trail and error” to figure what actually works and what doesn’t. Find out what contributes to the bottom-lines and makes money and what actually destroys shareholders’ equity. Once what works are found (via Sport Chek), then applying the lessons learned to Canadian Tire as a whole. Very interesting real world examples.

My interview with Duncan Fulton, SVP Canadian Tire, at #banff2012

Ducan’s talk at 2012 Banff World Media Festival

Here is Duncan’s official 2012 Banff World Media Festival bio,

Duncan Fulton
Senior Vice President of Communications and Corporate Affairs
Canadian Tire Corporation

Duncan Fulton is Senior Vice President of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Canadian Tire Corporation & Chief Marketing Officer of the Forzani Group, including mega sport retailers like Sport Chek and Sports Experts. Duncan is a member of the Canadian Tire and Forzani Group executive teams and works across all the company’s business areas, including Canadian Tire Retail, Automotive, Part Source, Petroleum, Mark’s, Financial Services and the company’s charity, Jumpstart.

Duncan currently represents the company as a board member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and is also on the Board of One X One,a non-profit foundation committed to supporting, preserving and improving the lives of children at home in Canada, Haiti and Africa.

Before joining Canadian Tire, Duncan was the General Manager and Senior Partner of the Toronto flagship office of international public relations company, Fleishman-Hillard Communications. During his seven years with Fleishman-Hillard, Duncan led and worked on the company’s largest accounts across multiple practice areas. As a key strategist within the Omnicom network, Duncan played an important role in multi-agency campaigns, bringing together experts in advertising, social, experiential, direct to consumer, and paid and earned media.

Prior to Fleishman-Hillard, Duncan was a communication advisor and press secretary for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Duncan was also Communications Director for the Minister responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Press Secretary for the Hon. Dalton McGuinty – now Ontario’s Premier – and communication assistant for Premier Frank McKenna.”


Paul Chard – The most interesting person at #banff2012 to me

Friday, 15 June, 2012

My good friend Gingi Baki asked me: who is the most interesting person you met at Banff 2012? Tough question! You see, I have met television creatives & luminaries like Chuck LorreGlen Mazzara,  Jeanne BekerMike FleissTerence Winter and I can easily put any one of them on my “most interesting person” list. But if I do that, I will be doing a diservice to you. What would you gain if I name any one of them? Nothing! Because you know them already. Instead I will share with you a name that, unless you are in the “business“, you may not heard of.

To me, the most interesting person I met in #banff2012 is Paul Chard, Global Head of Content of MediaCom.

#Banff2012 Day 1 - pix 02

Paul is the brain behind bringing the international format Got Talent into the almost impossible land of China (rebranded to be China’s Got Talent 中国达人秀) which was a 15 months effort and lots of negotiation (as Paul wrote, “co-operation and partnership with IPCN, Shanghai Media Group and format owners Freemantle and SYCO“). China’s Got Talent is one of the first TV formats that got into China. I actually saw widespread popularity first hand at the time as many of the amazing China’s Got Talent videos were shared by my friends on their social networks. (for more details, see Paul’s 2010 blog and ICPN page with video clip)

Paul Chard talked about brokering “Got Talent” format into China #Banff2012

My one-on-one interview with Paul at #banff2012

Paul’s on stage talk & interview at #banff2012

The idea of learning from interesting & insightful people

Kevin Roberts

I half-jokingly asked Paul to not hold it against me that I’ve been a big fan of Kevin Roberts (blog) (CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi). You see, I’ve been reading Kevin‘s ideas/writings since the late 80s. You may not realize but the parent companies of Paul and Kevin are the globally competing WPP Group and Publicis Group respectively. (update: Paul showcased the #awesome T-Mobile Royal Wedding video in his presentation, and I just discovered via MBA (mediaCom beyond advertising) that the campaign is a team effort including mediaCom, Saatchi & Saatchi, and others).

Gary Carter

I stumbled upon a talk by Gary Carter at the 2007 nextMedia/Banff World TV Festival (yes, 5 years ago!) and his insights were amazingly deep. Since then, I’ve attended all of Gary’s talk I can and try to pay close attention to what Gary does and related news, including his recent resignation as FremantleMedia’s Chief Operating Officer. I am sure whatever Gary does next will be worth my attention to know and learn from. (note: Gary came back to Banff in 2009, here is a great list of Gary’s 2009 clips, see The Susan Boyle Phenomenon, and FremantleMedia Experimental)

Paul Chard

Which brings back to Paul. And I am going to share with you a secret trick I use. I use Google Alerts to track and try to learn from interesting & insightful people. I am adding Paul to my Google Alerts list along the likes of Kevin and Gary. In life, I believe an important way to better ourselves is to learn from the best.

Kevin wrote years ago, “Ideas are the currency of the future.” And the likes of Kevin, Gary, and Paul are “rich people” going by the quote. And William Gibson’s quote “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” enlightens me to realize that the best way to look into the future is to look and see what “rich people” like Kevin, Gary, and Paul think and do!

P.S. Who is your “most interesting #banff2012 person“? Please share with your reasons in the comment section.

*******

Here is the official Banff session description.

Paul Chard, Global Head of Content, MediaCom: How Content is Changing the Business
Paul Chard is a true industry veteran, getting his start over three decades ago, in 1980. Today, as the Global Head of Content at MediaCom, Chard is responsible for media sponsorship, sport, branded entertainment and advertiser funding, social media and emerging platforms. In 2010, Chard brokered the successful “Got Talent” format into China and saw it become the biggest foreign reality show ever screened in the country. Having seen this industry from every angle, Chard carries with him a wealth of knowledge and insight. Join Chard as he reflects on his career and looks forward to the future of the entertainment industry in this exclusive opening keynote.”


Do Hello Kitty and SpongeBob create instant Lovemarks for Heinz?

Monday, 5 March, 2012

Heinz Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty and SpongeBob are loved by many and easily qualified as Lovemarks. Now, I am curious of the commercial benefits of licensing the images of Hello Kitty and SpongeBob to put on pasta products. May be all Heinz wants is to put their late coming products stand out a little from a large field of competitors and that benefit alone is worth the price of the licensing fees. What do you think?

Are Hello Kitty and SpongeBob creating instant Lovemarks for Heinz?

Heinz Sponge Bob


Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide Saatchi and Saatchi keynotes nextMEDIA Toronto Dec 6th, 2011

Saturday, 3 December, 2011

Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide Saatchi & Saatchi at nextMEDIA Toronto 2011

You see, I am a big fan of Kevin Roberts‘s ideas (KR Connect). How big a fan? Well, five years ago in 2006, I read and reviewed his two books Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands and The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution. I even spent the time to research and create the initial Wikipedia pages for Kevin and Lovemarks! I was so proud and excited when a friend asked my help on his marketing assignment which involved class lectures in, you guessed it, Lovemarks!

So it is very cool to see Kevin coming to Canada to share his insights even, sadly, I can’t be in Toronto to attend in person. So if you are in Toronto next week, register for Dec 6th one day pass to hear Kevin (or better, attend both 5th & 6th for the full conference experience)!

The following is from the nextMEDIA Toronto 2011 (Dec 5 – 6) press release.

CEO worldwide for creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi, Kevin Roberts is a marketing pioneer with a heart for nostalgia and has been bringing popular brands to market and straight into consumers’hearts since the early 1970s. Roberts has worked with large-scale international clients such as Carlsberg, TMobile, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Sony Ericsson, JCPenney, Toyota and VISA Europe among others.

Roberts is the author of a number of best-selling books, including Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, in which he describes the emotional connections we create with the brands we’ve grown to love.

So, here’s the real question: How does your brand achieve Lovemark status? Well, fear not, Roberts is heading to nextMEDIA Toronto this year to help you solve that very problem.

Named one of the top ten ideas of the decade in 2010 by advertising and marketing news website AdAge, Lovemarks transcend brands, leaving their iconic symbols emblazoned in the hearts and memories of consumers worldwide.

Join Kevin Roberts at nextMEDIA Toronto 2011 for an informative keynote session about hisLovemarks theory, offering crucial insight into the future of marketing and an analysis of the way we identify with our favourite brands.”


Sadly @googlenexus challenge shows Google Galaxy Nexus has Logic but lacks LOVE in its DNA – Challenge #1 solution explained

Sunday, 13 November, 2011

Androids' message

Because I am looking to buy a new phone, I was initially excited by the @googlenexus challenge: 10 chances in 10 days to win a Galaxy Nexus and even retweeted it. [HT MS] I thought it was a cool way to generate buzz for the new Galaxy Nexus. But then my excitement quickly faded once I saw and then struggled for hours with challenge #1 (see above message). Which lead me to think about the problem with this promotional challenge #1. See later this post for my challenge #1 solution explanation.

Logic or Love?

In the Galaxy Nexus Oct 19th launch video, a presenter wondered out loud and wished that Galaxy Nexus is more LOVED! Unfortunately @googlenexus challenge #1 clearly showed, to me, Google Galaxy Nexus has Logic but lacks LOVE in DNA. How so?

If Galaxy Nexus is to be loved, it can’t just cater to the geeks (or super geeks)! Should a promotional campaign be enjoyable and solvable by your average Grace & Gary? Or should the challenged be fun and solvable only by super geeks? To be honest, who the heck had any idea what the beep this picture mean? I was pissed off enough that I tweeted with the #fail tag and used “stupid” to describe 99.9% of us fans,

Is @googlenexus too smart for its own good? Why make its first #GalaxyNexus Challenge so hard that 99.99% of its fans look stupid? #fail

Hey @googlenexus We are just happy fans trying to have fun & win a $500 #GalaxyNexus phone right? This is not a job app for #google ? #fail

You see, the challenge was hard enough that Google had to post a hint! Given the hint, I looked up the Flag semaphore and soon realized there can be many combinatorial variations and one can’t really solve the problem easily without spending a ton of time or even writing a computer program!

One such non sensible interpretations of the symbols I came up with is,

(1,2) to indicate number, then “689 944” then (1,3) to indicate letters, then “PICO ALIE CHILAM

Challenge #1 solution explained

What I managed to do was only to verify someone’s answer! For beep sake, the challenge shouldn’t be this hard that it frustrated 99.9% of people who tried to give it a shot!

#GalaxyNexus is well-traveled, coming to @googlenexus from What did J Cook call Hawaii

Process to verify solution:

Converting pictures to Symbols (from left to right)

(note: top flag is the position 1, then clockwise count from 2 to 8 to convert all flag positions)

Symbol #1 (1,2,3,5,6,6,7,8); Symbol #2 (1,1,5,5,6,8); Symbol #3 (1,3)

Symbol #4 (1,5,6,7,7,8,8,8); Symbol #5 (2,2,5,5,6,6,6,8); Symbol #6 (2,3,5,5,6,6,6,6,6,7,8,8)

Verification

What did J Cook call Hawaii

WHAT – W (2,3) H (6,7) A (5,6) T (8,1) [Sources of confusions: (5,6) can also stand for the number 1, also (1,2) can also stand for an instruction for “Numerals”]

DID – D (5,1) I (6,8) D (5,1) [Sources of confusions: All these combinations can also stand for numbers.]

J (1,3)  [Source of confusion: This time, (1,3) also stand to indication coming are Letters!]

COOK (  (5,8) (7,8) (7,8) (1,6) )

CALL ( (5,8) (5,6) (6,2) (6,2) )

HAIWAII ( (6,7) (5,6) (2,3) (5,6) (6,8) (6,8) )

Challenge #2 – Any more love?

Well, challenge #2 has now been posted,

* “Challenge 2: Make something geeky & edible. Include #deliciousness & @googlenexus in your submission

* “Challenge 2 entries evaluated on creativity, originality & use of humor. Rules: http://goo.gl/5dpAK. Can’t wait to see what you concoct!

At least contestants will be judged on their “creativity, originality & use of humor” but the challenge itself stills want entries to be “geeky“!

iPhone vs. Google Nexus

I think it is safe to say iPhone is loved my many people. People don’t LOVE things logically! And I just can’t imagine Apple will be insane enough to try a contest like challenge #1. Sadly, the @googlenexus challenge #1 shows Google Galaxy Nexus seems to be unable or unwilling to broaden its appeal to the general public. If you are not a geek (actually they mean super geek), we are not interested in catering to you or have you interested in our new phone!

It is hard to inject LOVE into Google’s DNA when it is so much built on logic and calculations.


@WalmartLabs

Tuesday, 13 September, 2011

@WalmartLabs

I’m reading up on @WalmartLab (twitter) belatedly. Here is an excerpt from the interesting Sept 12th, AdAge article “Walmart Seeks Boost From Tech With Labs – Developments in Search and E-commerce Could Help Retailer Leapfrog Over Competitors”, (emphasis and links added)

Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, the entrepreneurs behind Kosmix, now head @Walmartlabs, a 70-person R&D operation based in Mountain View, Calif., as senior VPs of e-commerce for Walmart.

Previously, the two did a lot for Amazon, a Kosmix investor before the Walmart buyout. They created Junglee and sold it to Amazon in 1998, where it became the Amazon Marketplace of third-party vendors that today drives 30% of the e-tailer’s sales. They also developed Amazon Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing site where people sign up to do small tasks for small payments.

With @Walmartlabs, they have an arguably bolder vision. Mr. Rajaraman says in a quote used in all the unit’s job listings: “Social media and the mobile phone will have as profound an effect on the trajectory of retail in the early years of the 21st century as did the development of highways in the early part of the 20th century.”

So can @Walmartlabs let Walmart leapfrog over rivals on that road the way the retailer’s past tech mastery did?

“I hope so,” Mr. Harinarayan said in an interview. “That’s a tall ask. But the good news is that the scale is so large that if you can move the needle in a positive direction, the impact is large.”

Meanwhile, @Walmartlabs is mixing in some smaller ideas and projects specific to e-commerce, where the giant trails Amazon by at least six to one. Just closing the gap with Amazon wouldn’t solve all Walmart’s problems, but it would boost sales more than 5%.

I’m a firm believer when you run a lab, if you are doing only very speculative long-term things, you run the risk of not having wins that help you cement your position in the organization,” Mr. Harinarayan said. So in the early going @Walmartlabs is building the next generation of search and “helping with marketing” for Walmart’s online properties globally, he said. “Then we also have some much more speculative, strategic, long-term-payback opportunities that involve social media,” he said, aimed at creating better shopping experiences online and offline.

In one experimental project expected to debut for the holiday season, @Walmartlabs has been recruiting people to test Shopycat, a Facebook and web app that uses people’s social-media profiles and comments to generate gift ideas.

“Most of the recommendation systems you see today in online shopping are based on prior transactions,” said Mr. Harinarayan, who worked for Amazon in the late 1990s when its system was developed. The system works well for books, where people tend to buy in the same genres, he said, but so much not elsewhere.”

Here is the original launch blog entry and April 2011 WalMart announcement. And their promotional video.


Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner?

Thursday, 25 August, 2011

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 01

Thomas has been our really helpful neighbour for the last few years. How helpful? For example, we really appreciate him coming over yesterday to help us installing the above beautiful Moen faucet (why Moen?) and a new pull mechanism for our window blind. (see below, left photo is the heavy duty metal window blind, right is the C$48 pull mechanism that pulls and holds the blind in place)

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 03Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 02

Thomas even taught me what is a blind rivet & showed me how to use a rivet gun to install the new pull mechanism!

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 04

(update) re-grout

(update) Thomas also helped us re-grout the bathroom tiles. See following before and after pictures.

re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 01re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 02

re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 03re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 04

The Talented Thomas

Thomas recently finished his studies in international business at Mount Royal University and is looking for a job. Let me know if you know a good company that is hiring someone with international business education.

Now, I’ve seen some of Thomas’ school work and I think he does a wonderful job in them. Case in point, Thomas and his teammates were asked to create a marketing plan for Calgary Tower. One night, Thomas asked me to take a look of his work-in-progress. I didn’t know what to expect and thought I would see a nice students’ assignment (a marketing plan on paper with nice graphics). No no no, what I saw wasn’t the “usual” stuff at all!

Thomas and his teammates did some nice academic work and the creative display which was designed and built by Thomas (putting in a lot of additional time and his own money) was simply stunning!

I don’t use “stunning” easily and I am picky with design. (see *note below) Thomas showed me a paper prototype marketing display which looks beautiful and showcased the Calgary Tower. And from the beautiful looking paper protype, over the next few days, he transformed and refined his original paper prototype into a 3-D steel display. Thomas used a beautiful sheet of metal and machine-cut the side-profile of Calgary Tower onto the sheet metal! The resulted metal display was just beautiful and stunning! Amazingly executed. Totally beyond my expectation!

Future Business Partner?

As I get older, I try to work with talented people that I like. So I seriously hope that one day Thomas and I can find a great product idea that we can turn into a business. I think it can be very nice for us to become business partners and to create something cool together.

I often remind myself that our house has two garages (one of them heated), three parking spots, and we have precisely one car! So, in some sense, the spare parking spot in the heated garage has been waiting patiently for me to build a business/product! Will see what happen. :)

Once Thomas and I come up with a great product idea, I truly think we now have the fundraising & pre-sell tool like Kickstarter and other “tools” to help us make our dreams possible.

*******

*note: I am picky with design stuff. When I first saw Thomas’ stunningly beautiful metal display for Calgary Tower, it immediately reminded me of the beautiful cover of my design book SPOON which uses steel (more precisely, Promica® Pristine steel, a lightweight polymer-coated steel) as a book cover!

I love and try to look out for good design. While I can’t design anything, I hope my years of loving good design will help me in recognizing “great” and separating them from the “OK” and “ordinary”.


Dropping a laptop from about 30,000 feet to prove a point and sell a product – Ad that you want to watch

Thursday, 14 July, 2011

Dropping a laptop from about 30,000 feet

Check out Adweek, “Lenovo Takes Product Demo to New Heights – Laptop Dropped From Plane Must Boot Up in 10 Seconds or Parachute Will Not Deploy“.

Good job to the McKinney team. Here is the ad Lenovo “Boot Or Bust” Air Drop.


Lego at Chinook (and Canadian Mega Brands/Bloks)

Wednesday, 13 July, 2011

Lego at Chinook - pix 08

I wish I had more time to study Lego as a business, but since it is a private business, my incentive to read though Lego’s years of annual reports are somewhat reduced. :) If I were to judge Lego by people’s interest in playing with them in the middle of the Chinook shopping mall last Saturday, it looks like people’s love affair with Lego haven’t finished at all. It was really cool to see this father and his two sons spent a lovely afternoon building this Lego project!

November 2005

I enjoy Lego as a kid, but since Nov 2005, I have been thinking more like a legal minded business consultant. Well, what happened in Nov 2005? As some readers may remember, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Lego’s “monopoly on the bricks is over” in Nov 2005 and Canadian MEGA Brands (maker of the MEGA BLOKS construction toys) can freely make their bricks to work with Lego’s.

What surprised me is a quick look/research (spending 5 minutes) seem to indicate the privately held Lego is still making good profit based on its lastest 2009 annual report.

Whereas the stock prices of Mega Brands, a high of $552 on Dec 30, 2005 down to $9.42 at the close of July 13, 2011, plus a quick glance of Mega Brands’ 2010 annual report, indicates Read the rest of this entry »


IBM’s Corporate Long-term-ism

Sunday, 10 July, 2011

IBM ran a four-full-page ad in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal recently on their 100th birthday. The ad is a remarkable assessment of the virtues of long-term-ism.”

Check out the four-full-page ad, it is a better ad than you may think. Well done. [via KK via PK]


Quote I Love: ideas are the currency of the future

Thursday, 7 July, 2011

ideas are the currency of the future” – Kevin Roberts

I’ve loved this quote for such a long time that I don’t remember exactly how many years (since the 90s?). I even printed it on an earlier version of my business cards (with credit to Kevin, of course)! So I can’t believe I am just adding it to my list of Quotes I Love now!

Also check out ‘s blog KRConnect for his latest ideas & thinking, including his “Lovemarks“.


Business Strategy: Apple, with its Final Cut Pro X, lets Adobe & Avid refight their Battles of Waterloo #fail

Friday, 1 July, 2011

Apple Adobe Avid refight Battles of Waterloo - pix 1

People don’t usually win by betting against Apple as Apple has shown the world so many great products in recent years. But I am going to join a critical Oscar editor and take my chance and bet my $1 against Apple. I say Apple may have materially damaged its Final Cut Pro brand/lovemark by giving Adobe and Avid some meaningful chances into retake some of the long lost market share. Assuming Adobe and Avid have good products and execute their plans well.

In fact, I am willing to go out on a limb and say Apple is giving “losers” Adobe and Avid new chances to refight their Battles of Waterloo in the field of video editing software. In the battlefield, your opponents are usually not too kind in letting you fight again and learn from your previous mistakes.

I think Apple has very much underestimated the influence of professional editors on prosumers and new beginning editors. For me, I remember years ago one of the reasons I took Final Cut Pro seriously and bought into it was because of FCP was being highly regarded and used by the professionals.

OK, NBA players have been locked out, but imagine if a brand of basketball shoes have been founded to restrict certain shots/moves by NBA players thus making them unable play their best games, will you still buy the shoes?

As my friend like to say, the following is my brand of poison/observations. Readers beware.

1) Adobe SWITCH Campaign

Apple Adobe Avid refight Battles of Waterloo - pix 2

Adobe is smart and quick to launch a Premiere SWITCH campaign (note: press release here50% off Production Premium or Adobe Premiere Pro “if you own Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer with offer code SWITCH. Offer ends September 30, 2011”) making its Production Premium software costing $850 and Adobe Premiere Pro software costing $400 respectively after discount. [HT Apple Insider] Update: See also PC World review of software.

2) Full function Production Premium group of softwares at significant discount

The Production Premium software has quite a number of useful & powerful softwares and can be a good fit for professional/prosumer FCP7 users. Given Apple‘s willingness to give up its professional users, it makes sense for professional to buy and learn it for risk mitigation/management purpose. Of course, at $850, it is a bit out of reach for people who can only afford the FCPX $299 prices.

3) Adobe Premiere Pro on SWITCH discount at $400. Why $400?

Now moving on to Adobe Premiere Pro, if Adobe is smarter, they should just lower its price to $299 to match the FCPX price for new purchase!

We are talking about business strategy to regain long lost market share! A market that has been dominated by Apple Final Cut Pro for a long time. I don’t understand why Adobe Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Latest PR Disaster – Final Cut Pro X is Not a Professional Application

Tuesday, 28 June, 2011

July 2nd update: New article, “Business Strategy: Apple, with its Final Cut Pro X, lets Adobe & Avid refight their Battles of Waterloo #fail

***

It is puzzling and amazing to see Apple seems to have created a massive PR disaster for itself and there is even a group of professional Final Cut Pro users created a petition – “Final Cut Pro X is Not a Professional Application”. And according to AppleInsider report, “Dissatisfied Final Cut Pro X customers receive refunds from Apple“.

More news,

* CNNMoney, “600 filmmakers sign complaint about Final Cut Pro X

* ZDNet, “What does Final Cut Pro X teach enterprise vendors?

* WaPo, “Apple Final Cut Pro X: 600 filmmakers say nothing ‘pro’ about it

* SlashFilm, “Final Cut Pro X: Did Apple Just Walk Away From the Professional Video Editing Market?

*  CNet, Petition seeks to bring back old Final Cut Pro

If shows again even Apple (a Lovemark to many people, not to me anymore since July 2010) isn’t immune to complains from seriously unhappy customers if it doesn’t deliver the goods as expected.


Baby Leaf Knits & more

Saturday, 18 June, 2011

My friend Carmen is starting a small business “Baby Leaf Knits & more” specializing in custom embroidered and embellished knits for babies and toddlers (up to 4T).

Knitted and Embroidered: Sweaters, shirts, dresses, baby door hangers, teddy bears (Ozeeto), towels, bibs, pillows, tissue pack cozies, wipes container cozies, and many more.

Have a look of the Facebook page Baby Leaf Knits & more, please “Like” if you “like it“. For me, I love it!

Also check out Carmen’s blog for more info.


What happen to a Lovemark when the love was lost?

Thursday, 9 June, 2011

lovemarks-logo.gif

First of all, I’ve been a long time admirer and reader of Kevin Roberts‘ ideas in advertising, branding, and marketing, all in all, safe to say I’m a big fan of Kevin. Recently, I found it very cool that Kevin’s idea of Lovemark has gained acceptance in business schools that even my neighbour’s university marketing class is teaching the concept of Lovemark! It puts a big smile on my face to think that I was responsible in creating the first Wikipedia entry for Lovemark when Kevin’s book first came out in 2006 (yes, time flies and that was 5 years ago)!

Love Lost

Back to the reason for writing this article. I want to bring up the important question of “What happen to a Lovemark when the love was lost?

Part of me understand why Kevin hasn’t talked much about love lost in the two Lovemark books or in his writing. After all, it is more engaging & positive to focus on the good and inspiring. Also, it is probably bad business to talk about “love lost” when trying to sell to clients.

So I guess it is up to independent “practitioners” of Lovemarks, like myself, to try to point out that it can’t be all love all the time! As with any “meaningful love“, there has to be risk of love lost, or cases where love was actually lost. I think it is important for each of us, if not collectively, to keep a list of Lovemarks that are no longer loved.

In my list of admired companies, you will see Apple Computer and Lexus had been removed and are no longer on my list of Lovemarks. I know I will have more Lovemarks in the future, and I also realized that it is unrealistic to ignore love lost.

In memory of the love lost

Here is “Love Lost” by The Temper Trap.

Here is the lyrics of Love Lost. If you read it or listen to the song beyond the title, I think it actually contains a message of hope.

Our love was lost
But now we’ve found it
Our love was lost
And hope was gone Read the rest of this entry »


Ad.ly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh on Bloomberg

Thursday, 3 March, 2011

Ad.ly got on my radar after I learned it played an important role in helping Charlie Sheen regain his Twitter handle and got it “verified” quickly. Here is a video of Arnie Gullov-Singh, CEO of Ad.ly, speaking on Bloomberg.

Ad.ly has a network of over a 1,000 celebrities on Facebook and Twitter. (more info in Arnie’s blog entry “Celebrity Endorsements In 5 Simple Steps“) And this Jan 2011 entry “Disclosure is Simple, Clear and Conspicuous” answered one of my main concerns, (emphasis added)

“You may have seen a number of headlines last week — primarily coming out of the UK — about advertisers going straight to celebrities to do paid endorsements in Twitter *without* clear disclosure.

Just a quick reminder that – as always – 100% of Ad.ly endorsements are fully disclosed in accordance with guidelines from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). [Kempton: I don’t know how up-to-date is this, but here are links to the FTC 5th Oct, 2009 press release and the FTC 2009 endorsement guide (PDF).]

When we launched in 2009, we established 100% disclosure as a best practice using #Ad, (Ad), or #Spon at the end of each endorsement, or a clear contextual statement such as “I am working with brand XYZ to promote product ABC.””

Looks like Arnie and his team are doing some cool stuff here, I am definitely going to keep an eye on them as I think they have an interesting business going here.

Some stats/quotes by Arnie in the Bloomberg interview:

* Last 12 months, did about 24,000 endorsements for about 150 brands.

* “Very effective way to advertise scalably in social media.”

* “Celebrities are really the new brands in social media.” [Kempton: Hmmm, interesting. Interesting way to see celebrities and brands.]

P.S. May be I am too quick to call Ad.ly, a company I read this morning for the first time, a Lovemark? But I think it is fun to take a little bit of risk once in a while because I do see lots of potential for Ad.ly. Only time will tell if I am right.

P.P.S. As I wrote before, in case you are interested, here is a link to US Patent application 20090177532 “SELF SERVE ADVERTISING SYSTEM AND METHOD” filed Jan 7, 2009. I should really take a look if I can find some time.


Interesting Kevin Smith Sundance 2011 speech

Monday, 24 January, 2011

Here is that insightful & interesting speech from Kevin Smith at Sundance 2011. It will be interesting to see if his plan will work for his film and if this method will work for other filmmakers. Successes have certainly been seen elsewhere in a smaller scale in films like Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica and Objectified (Gary’s next film is Urbanized).

Best of luck to Kevin for what he is trying to achieve. Check out Kevin’s full Sundance 2011 speech.

14:14 The auction!

21:15 talking about exhibitor partners

Here is a brief edited clip.

[HT Jay]

 


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