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Free cold beer with every haircut

Lovely example of how to take a commodity service and make it talkable/likeable

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I slate the iSlate

Rumours abound about the name for the (apparently) forthcoming Apple tablet. iSlate? iReview?

The romantic in me still thinks reclaiming Newton would be the daring move.

low cost marketing surprise talkability

Shockingly good or shockingly bad?

Opinion appears divided on this campaign for an anti-landmine organisation. Rip the sachet and red spills out of the leg.

I’m not usually a fan of shock tactics for charities and causes, but I think this is such an unexpected medium, and the experience so tangible, that it compels people to take notice and discuss it.


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It’s marketing Jim, but not as we know it

Spotted in Soho, promoting the new Star Trek DVD – get yourself a Spock haircut

likeability surprise talkability viral

Connecting with your face

Punchy example of the power of facebook connect. Check it out

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Game on

Launching Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 in Leicester Square was a terrific PR move. Games are the new movies and this was great example of thinking big


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Capturing attention

Googling for information on the (apparently fabulous) Bold Tendencies III exhibition in Peckham, I stumbled on the Londonist’s website.

All routine stuff, but note the polite, likeable way they sniffed that I’d arrived from search and tailored a friendly message inviting me to subscribe to or bookmark their site.

Nicely done with exactly the right balance of call-to-action v pushiness.

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Timely marketing

The 2012 motif will be much used in London over the next few years. This is a nice, noticeable flip on the idea

authenticity likeability surprise


How to make a virtue out of a potential negative

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Dangerous PR opportunity

Boing Boing reports that, due to legal issues with his label, Danger Mouse is to release:

a blank CD-R in a jewel case with art and liner notes. Fans can just download the music off a P2P site and burn it to the CD-R.

I’m sure this is a genuine case of label/artist differences, but if it were a PR stunt cooked up to raise awareness of the album, it’d be genius.

Imagine: once the hype around Danger Mouse’s audacious blank CD release has peaked, both parties could suddenly come to an agreement to release the album for real and cash in on the publicity.

advertising surprise viral

Lost in space

The promoters of the new Star Trek movie hijacked the Lost opening credits to show the Enterprise warping through the logo.

A brilliantly inventive and talkable use of media – playing perfectly to Lost fans’ love of the unexpected.


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Simply dashing

Gotta love Google’s home page today, themed for Samuel Morse‘s birthday. This playfulness is part of the reason why, despite their size, Google remain likeable.


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What do you do when you’ve got great brand heritage but the times are changing?

Re-imagine, re-introduce or remix your product.

Trainer companies have long found new ways to benefit from nostalgia – see Reebok Classics or Converse all-stars – and long-defunct video games are making a comeback on new platforms.

I wonder how long it will be before mobile phone manufacturers do something with classic handsets?

Up to now phones have been getting smaller, techier and more serious. Maybe there’s opportunity in doing something different – I can imagine Shoreditch fashionistas slipping their SIM card into a second, old-skool phone before a night out.

As a brand opportunity, heritage in mobiles is one thing Nokia and Motorola have over Apple.

low cost marketing productivity surprise

Eat my feeds

If you’re a regular reader of RSS feeds, you’ll know they’re the easiest way to enjoy a sumptuous spread of blogs. And though I rarely visit my favourite websites, I never miss an article.

I use Google Reader and it’s the first (and often only) page I check on the web. There are good offline readers (eg, Vienna for the mac) but Reader is web-based and thus syncs across all your home/work computers. There are also a growing number of iPhone apps (Byline being the best to date) which let you continue reading on the move or when offline (eg, on the tube).

It takes a while to find the right feeds for you, but I’ve put together a selection of my favourites in the tech/marketing/thinky space. Right-click here and save this file. You can then easily import this ‘opml’ file into Reader (settings>import>).

Do let me know your suggestions for great sites/feeds I’m missing. Thanks.

low cost marketing surprise viral

Going the extra mile

I’ve mentioned before how Nine Inch Nails are heading the pack for bands (and brands) in turning forces usually seen as disruptive to their advantage.

Well, they’re at it again. As reported by the splendid (and often outlandish) B3ta newsletter:

we have to salute former Nine Inch Nails drummer Josh Freese. You can download his album for $7, but the more money you pay the more additional goodies he’ll throw in. For $50 he’ll call you up and thank you personally. For $1000 the extras include him coming round your house and doing your laundry.

The full list is here. Whether this is a genuine offer or just some guff to get people talking, it works and it’s marvellous.


Bullet time

I was doodling around this morning looking at slo-mo camera geekery when I stumbled upon this extraordinary bit of film, shot at 5,000+ frames per second:

Having seen this on a tech site, I didn’t know I was watching an ad. So when the boy appeared I instinctively had a “What?!? No……” reaction.

Had I seen it in a regular ad break, I think it would have been less surprising/impactful. Does marketing work better or worse when people aren’t expecting it?

And is that a good thing?