Twitter: Corporate Feeds Don’t Follow Through

A colleague alerted me to the fact that Joseph Jaffe had made a great point about WPP’s lack of following on Twitter: “Sorry but how typical is it that WPP on Twitter follows NOONE. If that doesn’t mirror advertising’s future, nothing will” …
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Amusingly, David Jones  then pointed out that Joseph’s company Crayon is only following 6 people on Twitter: “@jaffejuice uh…pot, this is the kettle calling. I’d like to talk about the six people @crayon‘s twitterfeed is following.” #Iwork4WPP”

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A good old (140 character) slagging match ensued…

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Post scriptum: my always on-point old mate Lezza just tweeted that Will Self is widely followed and follows no one (and this is to be admired!)

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Important Stats: 51% of Americans Don’t Use Twitter, Myspace, Facebook. Four In Five Are “Attached To Old T-Shirt”

Glad to see MarketingCharts is focussing on the important stuff … Evidently nearly 80% of Americans in all demographic groups say they feel a sense of attachment to at least one of their old t-shirts, and that shirt is most likely to be one that was acquired on vacation, according to research from BlueCotton and conducted by Synovate. The nationwide study, which was undertaken to learn the fate of all the t-shirts created for sports leagues, fraternity parties, church camps, fundraising events and innumerable other groups and activities, found that 79% of survey respondents still have an old shirt, and that the average number of shirts per person is 2.5.
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Metrics an Obstacle to Integration, Women Gamers

While 59% of client-side marketers are satisfied with their companies’ progress toward integrating traditional and digital media, most also agree that inadequate metrics continue to be the biggest impediment to honing the media mix, a new survey of 294 Association of National Advertisers and American Association of Advertising Agencies members has confirmed. The study, which focused specifically on integration issues, found agencies’ biggest frustration to be clients’ lack of understanding of how customers use digital media.
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According to Nielsen Games, gamers are looking a lot more feminine then you might expect. True, the most-active console users fit the stereotype—male, ages 12 to 17 with annual household income of $70,000 or more. They mostly played PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. However, gaming has grown increasingly popular among older players, other demographic groups—and women. Women ages 25 and older tended to be more faithful to their consoles than men of the same age, making building customer loyalty among console-makers a good strategy. What games do men and women mostly play on computers? Solitaire, FreeCell, Hearts, Minesweeper and Pinball—all games that generally come prepackaged with many PCs.
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Razorfish names Bob Lord CEO

AdAge: Razorfish Names Bob Lord CEO
Razorfish has named Bob Lord its new CEO, with Clark Kokich moving to chairman. The Microsoft-owned digital shop elevated Lord (pictured) to global chief executive from president of Razorfish’s East region. He served in that role for four years and has held other posts at the agency, including leading its Latin America business.

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Axe/ Lynx Archive

I have been an admirer of Axe/ Lynx marketing over the past few years. In my mind they genuinely succeeded in becoming part of the cultural landscape amongst young men (even if the first TV ads reminded me of the Hai Karate ones from the 1970s!) Here’s an Archive of some of the work from around the world.
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Here’s the Hai Karate ad …
On a related note … I learn that Lynx agency FP7 has punished their Doha office over the Lynx scam scandal. Several creative staff are parting company with FP7 Doha and the office is handing back all of its Dubai Lynx awards, it was announced today in the wake of the scam ads scandal. Parent group Fortune Promoseven has issued a statement following the conclusion of its internal investigation into the affair. The action has been welcomed by the organisers of last month’s Dubai Lynx, who are overhauling their entry regulations in light of the recent issues.
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Recession Redux: JP Morgan says -6%, WPP says -4.4%, Mags drop 26%, Scatter “Moving Again”, Green Bucks Recession

Worldwide ad expenditures in 2009 will be down almost 6%, a decline that will be driven largely by an estimated 9% drop in U.S. ad spending, according to JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani. The U.S. ad market is anticipated to suffer a 20% loss in local sales and a 6% decline in national ads, Quadrani is reporting.
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Who cares if global ad spending is down? Almost everyone should, because ad spending is a barometer of economic confidence. And while many political leaders in the US and worldwide point to “signs of recovery,” three major buyers of advertising around the world are giving the situation thumbs down. Last month, GroupM, a division of WPP, predicted a 4.4% decline in global ad spending for 2009.
Advertising pages for consumer magazines totaled 37,196.43 in the first quarter of 2009, a decline of nearly 26% over the same period last year that was caused primarily by the faltering economy, according to the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB), writes MediaBuyerPlanner. PIB also reported that total magazine rate-card-reported advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2009 closed at $4,183,426,592, posting a 20.2% decline against the same period in 2008.

TV Advertising Scatter Market Moving Again
Ad dollars are creeping back into the TV market, ad buyers say, though they remain uncertain whether the money will replace portions of upfront buys marketers have canceled in recent months. Purchases of so-called scatter, or ad time bought close to a show’s air date, have begun to flow in April, media buyers said. The news should come as a relief to TV networks. In March, the market appeared to be frozen, as advertisers pulled back between 12% and 14% of their “holds,” the second-quarter ad time they earmarked last May during the annual upfront ad-sales session.

Green-Marketing Revolution Defies Recession
Green marketing is turning out to be surprisingly recession-proof, despite gleeful talk from naysayers of “eco-fatigue”. Datamonitor shows 458 launches so far in 2009 of package-goods products that claim to be sustainable, environmentally friendly or “eco-friendly.” If that pace holds all year, it will triple the number of green launches last year, which in turn was more than double the number in 2007. Seventh Generation CEO Jeffrey Hollender said his company’s sales were up 50% last year and 20% in March year over year despite Clorox, Church & Dwight and now SC Johnson entering the space. “The good news is that in general these products are faring better than most categories,” he said. “A lot of people would be desperate to have 5% growth.”
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STALKER, 51% of Americans, Brands Most Likely To Disappear, Ford Bloggers, A Magazine Just For You, GEELY GE

Costumed players highly devoted to recreating the drama of popular first person shooter video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. congregated en masse in the southern Russian village of Sengileyevskoe (Kotaku.com 3.25.09). Around 70 super fans joined forces to show off serious costume flair, simulate knife fights and generally engage in good natured post-apocalyptic theater. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. videogame (Scavenger, Trespasser, Adventurer, Loner, Killer, Explorer, Robber) retails for $20, but you can’t put a price tag on the cosplay experience. In tough times, amped escapism is just what the doctor ordered. Truly devoted fans crave ways to live their favorite stories and cosplay gives them the power — provided they’ve got a healthy sense of imagination and taste for the dramatic.
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As the recession deepens, economic forces continue to drive consolidation in the retail industry, debt comes due and increasingly discerning consumers buckle down on discretionary spending, an analysis by 24/7 Wall Street predicts that a number of well-known brands are likely to disappear before the end of 2010. To determine which brands are most likely at risk, 24/7 Wall Street examined 100 large brands it believes are in trouble and, for each, looked at public financial records, sales information, analyses from industry experts, the competitive landscape in each’s industry and the likelihood that a brand could be sold off in the case of parent-company financial trouble.
In an aggressive social-media program that goes far beyond what Ford has done in the past — and reaches beyond just the marketing department — the automaker is counting on 100 bloggers to introduce its new Fiesta, which is set to reach U.S. dealers in early 2010. The idea behind Fiesta Movement is to get the model’s target audience to drive and, hopefully, chatter about the car for months to come.

A Magazine Just for You Arrives With Glitches
A custom publishing experiment from TIME Inc. and Lexus, in which readers pick the content and the automaker-tailored ads are based on the articles chosen, has been a mixed success. Nearly all of the 31,000 free print magazines have been requested, but fewer than 30,000 of the 200,000 online editions have been taken. The project also had a few glitches, including first issues that had articles from magazines not requested by the reader and too much “evergreen” content.
GEELY GE: The Ultimate Chinese-Made Luxury Car / Knock-Off
For the ultimate in China-made luxury cars, GEELY has introducted the GEELY GE, which has a striking resemblance to the Rolls Royce Phantom. One of the most distinctive features of the 17.5 foot long GE is a 2+1 seating arrangement with a single seat throne for the rear passenger. The GE is being unveiled at this week’s Auto Shanghai Exhibition.

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Enfatico folds. I am disappointed.

I was sad to see that Enfatico is to be folded into Y&R. I still believe the Enfatico model can work. Although the WPP custom-built agency for Dell didn’t reach critical mass before the recession struck, it doesn’t necessarily mean a marketing structure built for a single client can’t work. It was also a brave shot at thinking about the totality of a client’s brand communications rather than one silo.

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Vuitton and Murakami QR Codes

I have seen a lot of coverage of the new Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami: Designer QR Codes. Sartorially-challenged savant Piers Fawkes opines: “QR Codes are the bar codes of the future, linking online and physical graphics to websites and multi-media. For the most part, the codes have still maintained an abstract look akin to their predecessors. A recently released designer QR symbol, produced by Tokyo based creative agency SET is looking to change all that with a stylized remake of the standard code. Mixing design with technological innovation, SET teamed up Takashi Murakami with Louis Vuitton to create a distinctive code featuring one of the artist’s characters and the classic LV pattern. The agency hopes this will add much needed style and character to the bland world of machine readable codes.”

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Josh Spear adds: “How many of you know what to do with the image to the left? Hopefully most of you. Aside from identifying it as Murakami work, it’s a QR code for your mobile phone. QR (quick response) codes are like the Japanese version of bar codes, because they started in Japan. The code is scanned into your mobile phone via the camera and outputs a link. Think of it as a way to add hyperlinks in the real world. Normally, these QR codes look like deformed boxy versions of bar codes. But as soon as Murakami touches one we are all gaga. It’s amazing what a little Louis Vuitton pattern and color can do to a QR.”

My humble opinion? I am fascinated and excited by the opportunties offered by QR codes … as a connections strategist I am always thinking of ways to engineer links between the digital and offlien world and help people get to the next phase of their consumer journey…

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