Tag Archives: marketing

The study that changed my life: a profbro’s story

I am a professor bro. Have studied lots. I have a doctorate, but it never really ‘opened the doors’ I’d always hoped it would. Had dreams of winning a Nobel Prize. Didn’t happen. So bummed. Drank myself in2 a stupour over it the other day at some bar. Met some chick with a short skirt. Said she worked in PR. Said she could ‘make it happen 4 me’. Didn’t rly believe her. She was ‘too pretty 2 be smart’, & the kind of woman ‘I’d never get’. Just wanted 2 die.

Then she called me back the next day. Said she had this ‘gr8 idea 4 a study’. She said ‘Let’s do something big, something with high talkability & buzz factor. Let’s do a study bout how “Cape Town is racist“. That’ll get ‘em  all frothy & will give you industry credibility & media exposure.’ Crazy bint.

Didn’t rly take her srsly coz she’s not an alumni. Don’t take non-academics srsly. Bet she can’t even spell ‘schisms’. Drank some more and passed out in my own puke. Woke up with my face squashed on a Lever Arch File and her card in my hand. Smoked a cigarette. Called her. Gave the ‘study’ a go-ahead, even though she said she’d just get some friends over for drinks and ‘get some sound bytes’ and leave out anything that didn’t sound racist. Drank more until I passed out in my puke again. Hate my life. Just wanted ppl 2 respect me. Thinking of studying further.

Next day woke up with one of my young female coloured students, all naked and passed out next to me in my own puke. Felt a bit better, like ‘my suffering had purpose’ and ‘I was bridging the prejudice divide’ (via fucking & a blackout). Finally felt like I’d made up 4 ‘being born in cape town’. Thought of writing a book about it & calling it ‘Disgrace’ but realised it had already being done (hate u JM).

The phone rang. It was the PR chick. She said the ‘study’ made front page news. Said it was ‘creating a lot of buzz’ and ‘perpendicular trajectory word-of-mouth spinoff’ and that my ‘exposure was high’ and that I would now be a ‘respected profbro’. So relieved. She said my name comes up first if u google ‘cape town racist’. She said ‘the twitter is buzzing with hatespeech about capetonians’. She said ‘now you’re famous!’ Sooooo awesome y’all. Gonna do another ‘controversial study’ soon. Is rly helping my application 4 a study grant that will pay for more booze (ran out last night, pretty bummed). Gonna aim for a Nobel in 2010. Wish me luck.


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ATL vs BTL

I am ATL. I ONLY do TV, Radio, Print & Billboards. But I won’t do any of those if there is a ‘promotional’ aspect involved. I am above ‘promotional aspects’ and all that ‘selling’ stuff. I am an artiste.

I am BTL. I do a lot of promotional work, but I’ll do anything really. My main concern is reaching consumers in a way that makes a real impact, whatever that way may be. But I’m not fussy.

I am ATL. The other day I was asked to contribute to a ‘strategic workshop’. I didn’t know WTF I was supposed to do. I mean, WTF. I make billboards? I was like, why am I here? Such a waste of my, like, time. Like, what am I supposed to do?

I am BTL. Very often, our job starts long before the work becomes a brochure, or a piece of direct marketing / design / digital. We spend a lot of time refining strategic insights so that our work is focused. It’s interesting because we are able to holistically tackle real business challenges and make work that makes a difference.

I am ATL. The other day I got a print ad brief with only 2 weeks to work on it. 2 weeks? How am I supposed to come up with genius in only 2 weeks? What are they thinking? So I had a temper tantrum until they gave me an extra week.

I am BTL. We generally have to work very fast, but that’s okay. We’re used to it. Usually I work on about 15 jobs at once, all in different stages of production. Our average deadline is about 2 days. This means we work late a lot but hey, that which doesn’t kill me will only make me smarter, right?

I am ATL. This basically means I’m at the top of the advertising food chain. I know, I know, you’d never think so since I’m so humble, right?

I am BTL. A lot of people think BTL is all the stuff ATL doesn’t want to do. Sometimes ATL bullies traffic into giving us the jobs they think is ‘beneath them’, but that’s cool, whatever. We’re used to working hard so its no sweat really. Besides we kind of feel sorry for ATL since we all know no one watches TV / reads print ads anymore? So we just try to make everyone feel okay about things.


27 Dinners

27 Dinners was supremely legendary. First up was our pimp-assed limo trip around the peninsula, which was a little like being on the Starship Enterprise.

Warp speed ON!

Warp speed ON!

There was champagne everywhere.

A little champagne before the show.

Mirrors and LCDs everywhere.

Mirrors and LCDs everywhere.

The boys from From The Couch, and Matt Buckland and his lady on the left

The boys from From The Couch, and Matt Buckland on the left

The view from the window as the sun went down

The view from the window as the sun went down

Arrival at Bombay Bicycle Club (the 7-Eleven makes this pic so special)

Arrival at Bombay Bicycle Club (the 7-Eleven makes this pic so special)

Red carpet paparazzi razzle dazzle

Red carpet paparazzi razzle dazzle

One of my fav LBDs - Woolworths Studio W, ladies.

One of my fav LBDs - Woolworths Studio W, ladies.

Presenting Steri Stumpie work.

Presenting Steri Stumpie work.

Getting a T-shirt thanks to RSA web.

Getting a T-shirt thanks to RSA web (click for more)

Some chill time.

Some chill time.

Onto the minor details, I gave a talk that contextualised the Steri Stumpie work we’ve been doing. I tried to show the geeks just what goes into a good messaging campaign, and how social media can be used to enhance and drive home the message, rather than social media being the idea. Sounds very complex but is basically the exact opposite of ‘The Medium is the Message’ (sorry McLuhan), which was really just some catchy l’il viral mnemonic that spread around when tactical had just exploded onto the scene. Must  say congrats to Dave and Chris for organising a supremely awesome 27 Dinners. It rocked. PS. Red carpet photos courtesy of Brandon Golding.

get your money for nothing and your clicks for free

How agency-client negotiations would sound in real life:

got this little gem from JontyFisher (who’s being quoted all over the world these days..ahem ahem New York Times) . thanks dude. funny stuff. speaking of wanting something for nothing, i got the following email this morning (i kid you not):

Hey Alix.

Found your blog on 2oceans and I can dig it. My name’s Jonah* and I’m studying Marketing at Rhodes. What I really dig about your blog is the real-world insight it gives me into advertising and it has made me set that this is the career for me. I loved your article on trendspotters – classic! I have even come across trendspotters in Rhodes.

The reason I’m writing is I’m doing my thesis on How The Conversation Killed Advertising and was wondering if you could give me some pointers. I’m basically looking for businesses that are been using alternative media for their advertising campaigns rather than TV, radio, billboards etc. Basically businesses using facebook or youtube and such. Could you send me a write-up of your XXXXXXX Campaign? I heard it was a great success from reading some other marketing blogs, and one of my course tutors said he saw you speak at a short course he did. It doesn’t have to be long, point-form is fine, and include any relevant pictures. Thanks I’d appreciate it very much if you could oblige me. The first draft of my thesis is due at the end of June so if you could basically get it to me by the end of next week it would be fine.

Jonah*

*Name has been changed to prevent extreme ridicule.


~~~~~ He actually gave me a deadline. It’s too good. When I received this, I printed it out and rubbed it all over my face, letting the ink seep into my skin in an attempt to become *one* with the email. My reply: ~~~~~

Dear Jonah

Thank you so much for contacting me. I have heard about you – in fact, we as an industry have all heard about you and your talent, and are waiting with sweet anticipation for you to get your degree so that we might snap you up into our ranks where we have no doubt you will use your insight into non-traditional advertising to transform the industry.

I will begin my write-up on the XXXXXX campaign immediately. Basically, I have a host of deadlines going on, including writing rationales for my agency’s Loerie Awards Entries, which I will put on hold so that I can get to writing up the case study of the XXXXXX campaign. I will be sure to place all information in succinct prose where point form does not suffice, and will send an instruction to DTP immediately for them to resize all images from the campaign so that you are satisfied. Would you like me to courier over the disc with the information in it? Or would you prefer that I deliver the disc in person? Basically, I’d be honoured to be of service to you in any way. It’s my grandmother’s birthday this evening but I will happily cancel and drive through to the Eastern Cape to make sure you get all the information you might need.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s anything more I can do for you. I could offer to write your thesis for you, perhaps? I am a copywriter after all. Anything. You just basically let me know.

Yours in anticipation, basically,

Alex

voting special: MyBrandedVoteTM

Nandos work by Black River JHB (thanks @thecopyninja)

Nando's work by Black River JHB (thanks @thecopyninja)

Nando’s goodness (via 10and5), not forgetting this ad ripping of Julius Malema (head of the ANC Youth League, famous for using Hitler as inspiration for his personal brand).


That’s apparently done by a small agency called Stick. URL anyone? We’re still waiting for Julius Malema to ‘take militant action’ against Nando’s.  And then there’s this fantastic collection of election posters also at 10and5 (check it out, it’s hilarious) where you can see this ‘good shepherd’:

I need a hug.

"I need a hug."

and many many more, all here.


this one time (at brand camp)

We made hats and we lived the brand/

We made hats and we 'lived the brand'/

I’m going to go to brand camp
i’m going to room with my account manager
we are going to ‘break boundaries’
between creative and suits
we are going to make it about the work
we are going to live the brand (at brand camp)

we are going to catch each other
and build physical trust
that will translate into superior  advertising (Grand Clio Loerie Lion Prix)
happier volume-driven clients
and a richer boss with a better car (R8)
together
the brand will live through us (at brand camp)

going to go to brand camp
going to ‘overdo it a little’ at dinner
going to confide in my boss about how I went to therapy for cutting myself
and in the heat of the moment believe we have ‘transcended the system’
but just pretend it never happened in the morning
and sit on the opposite sides of the bus (leaving brand camp)

going to go away to brand camp
going to ‘workshop brand messaging’
and ‘redefine strategic parameters’
going to outline an ‘actionable plan’ with which to ‘penetrate the market’
going to draw a lot of diagrams on big white sheets of paper
and tear them off and stick them on the walls (at brand camp)

going to go away to brand camp
going to get flirty with someone inappropriate
and play down his marriage
so I can get a promotion, or just not get retrenched

going to go away to brand camp
going to find myself through the brand
going to live the brand
and let the brand live through me
going to discover myself at brand camp
that one time (at brand camp).

i’m a trendwatcher, you’re a trendwatcher.

Oh gawd not another one.

Oh gawd not another one.

ever feel annoyed when you’re getting out your car and some pesky guy comes over begging for ‘cool interesting stuff’ saying he’s a ‘trendwatcher’? i mean is it just me, or is every 2nd person on the street a trendwatcher these days? i was a trendwatcher once. but back then, nobody had heard of Demetri Martin. thecoolhunter didn’t exist. the internet was held together by Yahoo Tape. nobody but designers knew about ffffound. times have changed y’ulle. if you’ve got Google, you don’t need a trendwatcher to tell you what’s cool. in fact this site + this site = free cool stuff in your RSS feed 4 eva. now grow up and get a real job.

A company of trendwatchers.

A company of trendwatchers.

A freelance trendwatching consultant (be prepared to pay more $$)

A freelance trendwatching consultant (be prepared to pay more $$)