Monthly Archives: January 2008

king james 10 year reunion party: the highlights

the agency where i cut my teeth has always known how to throw a party, and this was one of their finer moments. drinks of the evening were tanqueray10 and tonic, which is like juicy herb goodness, and don julio – in shooters, in hair, on the floor.

jamesal
James and Alistair giving out words and swords.
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colleagues and close, close friends.
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alex rikus
alistair deity
hislordship
a lonely passenger on a bus, ross chowles from jupiter drawing room:
rosschowles
on the floor with my ex-boss jenny
jennyalex
joanie and jono, rocking out
joanjono
megan strat planner extraordinaire and nicky rush
megannicky
jen and tracey kirsten from brandhouse
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jody and linton
jodylynton
mark kisses anina’s burgeoning belly
markanina
alistair talking to a dress i really like
cooldress
it’s sue! and that guy from kj joburg…
sue
robyn – my old desk mate / art director / fellow security god – and me
robynalex
devin tells a junior not to get so drunk
dev
the willoughby took of his clothes
willoughby
and haydn managed to fall asleep in a corner of the agency, though this time it looks like he came prepared.
haydn

notes from my googlereader

i’ve only just got into google reader. and if i was completely honest i’d name this post ‘notes from my delicious’ but where googlereader wins is that i actually check it whereas i’m not great at checking my delicious network. we’re busy developing and changes our IT structures at work, and are in the process of building a social networking type system as a brief submission alternative to email for our grasses – very exciting but i won’t say too much just yet as we’re just about to test it. we’re also exploring getting our office onto a google server and synchronising our calendars etc etc so i’ve been playing around with google, and i’m pleasantly surprised.

anyhow googlereader pulls all your RSS feeds from your favourite sites into an email type format, which you can open while you’re logged into your email, so it’s a lot easier than trying to check all those sites again or even remember what they are. here’s what googlereader brought me this week:

oh the irony: a short article about beijing’s fakes market developing its own ‘Silk Street’ brand.

silicon valley insider talks about how perhaps people don’t value music enough to pay for it in any format, on an article on the slowing of digital music sales.

i’ve been talking to a lot of our clients about personal branding lately, and this company that you can hire to get photographers to follow you around as if you are famous is a great example of this trend manifested.

an article about how much of your positioning is in your price tag, especially if you sell wine.

a thought-provoking argument from the guardian about how facebook’s on a mission to take over the world. i mean, how much do we know about the company anyway? (not dissing, just saying)

and then on the topic, this speaks about the popularity of virtual or ‘concept’ products, and how consumers are as much into buying stories as they are things.

the sole reason i go to canal walk shopping centre

is for Spitfire sunglasses, who are always on the mark when it comes to providing us consumers here with up-to-date shades. retailers take note. designer labels too, the selections of which are even worse, since they still think the third world doesn’t know its fashion or read perez and therefore they supply us with 2 year old stock at premium prices. mass market retailers, why am i still seeing those big round nicole richie vibe glasses everywhere? they’re so 2006. get with the program guys. i got a few variations on this wayfarer style but these are my favs for what’s left of summer, shown here with freshly trimmed hair:

spitfiresunnies

where the cool kids are: south africa

a local version of lastnight’sparty, introducing we-are-awesome.com. flipping rad, ek se.

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nuflex2

nufl3

street

store cards: who’s getting it right

every time i open my wallet i get this sick feeling, probably not uncommon to many people since opening your wallet is synonymous with dishing out hard earned cash, but the reason for my mounting nausea is the fact that i have, oh, 6 billion store cards confronting me every time i want to do something simple, like get change for a card guard or pull out that worn fortune cookie with the lotto numbers on it.
the nausea reached fever pitch over the holidays, when i was doing a large amount of opening my wallet, and something inside me snapped. as a kind of consumer extraordinaire (truly, i sign up for everything i lay my eyes on partly because it’s my job and party because i’m curious that these brands may have something meaningful to offer me) i am exposed to vast amounts of brand propaganda, most of which i can say (with good authority) is a load of gunk. and i just kind of had enough.

even though there are benefits to buying with a store / loyalty card over cash, i can’t help but feel i’m being duped every single time, especially since i’m not really into buying when i can’t afford stuff (one of the perks of not being a ‘Black Diamond’, whatever that is anyway), which is precisely what a store card is designed to do. so i emptied my wallet onto the kitchen counter and stared at my plastic fairweather friends for a good long time before i decided to act on Oprah’s advice and ‘cut the bad people out of my life’.

as more and more marketers realise that niching is the way to go in terms of communication, store cards are one area where i just don’t think it works, because you take for granted the fact that the consumer actually wants to remember what benefit you’re delivering. while staring at the cards i’d accumulated, i couldn’t think of a single benefit meaningful enough to stop me cutting up the cards.

discount movies? i don’t watch enough movies at the cinema to care. my movies come to me through the internet, through friends, through registered mail from the UK since i can’t be bothered to wait a whole year to watch what i want to watch.

the ability to return goods for cash? okay this one works. the woolworths card made it out whole.

points that contribute to flights? um, no thanks. i don’t desperately need to fly anywhere. plus you have to use this particular card as your everyday card in order for this to truly pay off. plus there’s a limit to how many points you can earn anyway, so that card got the chop.

being able to buy fast moving consumer goods (ie. crap) at particular stores on credit? i already have a credit card, a bank based one, which is admin enough to manage anyway so you’ll forgive me for seeing superfluous credit the same way i see men who flirt with you while you’re in a relationship, ie. it’s fun but essentially useless and a waste of time. oooh, 6 months interest free? okay, that’s a bonus. but again, if it’s taking me 6 months to pay off any kind of credit i’d say it’s time to think about your life, because unless you’re paying off some kind of emergency, you’re probably living in denial.

my exclusive books fanatics card made it through, because i buy on average 6 books a month and always get some sort of decent return. my vide e loyalty card got scrapped though, since i spend enough money there to have shares in the company and in my entire 2 years of having the card i have quite possibly only ever received one free coffee. and as for my levi’s card…i’ve just got some old post and it seems the card scheme closed in September 07. guess it didn’t really take off.

anyway, after having made a flower sculpture out of all the excess cards, i strolled into kenilworth medi clinic for a routine doctor’s appointment and saw this:

edcongroupcards

paying your medical bills with a shoe store card? talk about an incentive. big up to Edcon, who realise that if there’s one thing their consumers are likely to need on credit it’s medicine, since 2 out of every 3 people in this country is HIV positive.

what you should be looking for in a brand ambassador (alcohol)

love to recruit him to our seeding program.

back to school: cool stuff seen around

Some things to get started on in the new year.

While messing around on perezhilton.com I followed a link on a banner ad that caught my eye  – seriously – which led me to brandhouse’s international site.

register as an American and guess a state code as you can’t see it to full effect from elsewhere. Pretty cool for something as hulking as brandhouse.

Still on alcohol been seeing a lot of ‘the real story behind brands’ type thing, (consumers into the ‘truth’) for example this one on jack daniel’s

and eye-fi is a wireless memory card! Yes! http://www.eye.fi/

seeing lots of QRcode everywhere (those funny little barcode-like pictures) and really it’s a super useful way to transfer information via cellphones, we need to be more aware about what we can suggest for clients looking to grow their mobile consumers. 

and lastly Hello Kitty for men.

And we’re off. Happy New Year everybody.