AdZookie: Paint My House!

I was intrigued by AdZookie‘s marketing idea, promoting themselves with unique spectacular billboards … and reaching out to their small business target at the same time. Says AdZookie: “We’re looking for houses to paint. In fact, paint is an understatement. We’re looking for homes to turn into billboards.”

It definitely speaks to the times that the incentive is mortgage repayment …

Here’s their blurb:Adzookie is a FREE mobile advertising network. If you have a website and want to increase your visibilty we can help. We place free advertisements for your business where ads get noticed the most … on smartphones.”

Their website is here.

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Howard Schultz: “Onward”

So Howard’s people sent me a review copy of his book today. One assumes that reaching out to marketing bloggers was part of the launch strategy (I’m all in favor of that!) I was also interested to see copies of his book floating around Starbucks outlets (hey, if you have a massive retail footprint, why not use it?)

I confess I have not yet read the book but please check back for some deathless prose on the subject!

Here’s the blurb:

ONWARD
How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
March 29, 2011, Rodale

In 2008, Howard Schultz made the unprecedented decision to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became chairman. Concerned that the Starbucks experience had been compromised by its quest for growth, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore its financial health. In ONWARD, he shares the remarkable story of his return and the company’s ongoing transformation under his leadership, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustain­ability.

Schultz not only had to act fast and aggressively on a global scale, but had to look in the mirror, confront the company’s blemishes and search for answers to such hard questions as:

·    How can you evolve your brand—especially an iconic one—to be relevant to a new age while being true to its roots?
·    How can you grow a company without losing an intimate relationship with each customer
·    How can you revive your employees’ passion for your company’s founding principles?

There was no easy roadmap and plenty of risks. From a leaked memo that exposed Starbucks’ troubles to the world, to the costly decision to close all Starbucks stores for a day of retraining, to introducing an aggressive pipeline of new innovations to land the next blockbuster offering, ONWARD takes readers through the tough decisions and painful steps of a turnaround that should inspire anyone to reinvent themselves and triumph against the odds.

Well alright then! Sounds like a page-turner. In general I am an admirer of Starbucks marketing, so I think I will make a valiant attempt to read it.

To show what a stand-up guy I am, and as a thanks to Howie for the book, here’s a link to buy it on Amazon.

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Eleven Trends for 2011

Eleven key consumer trends to watch in 2011 include acts of kindness from brands, the developed world launching products for emerging economies, and online status symbols, according to consumer insights firm trendwatching.com.

Following is a brief overview of each of the 11 consumer trends which trendwatching.com predicts will have a global impact on marketers in 2011.

1.Random acts of kindness: Consumers’ cravings for realness, for the human touch, ensure that everything from brands randomly picking up the tab to sending a surprise gift will be one of the most effective ways to connect with (potential) customers in 2011, especially beleaguered consumers in North America, Europe and Japan.

trendwatching.com advises that the rapid spread of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook among consumers gives brands previously unavailable insight into their moods, wants and locations, and also provides a new direct channel to deliver acts of kindness.

2.Urbanization: Urbanization remains one of the absolute mega trends for the coming decade, with about the global population currently living in urban areas. Urban consumers tend to be more daring, more liberal, more tolerant, more experienced, more prone to trying out new products and services. In emerging markets, these effects tend to be even more pronounced, with new arrivals finding themselves distanced from traditional social and familial structures, while constantly exposed to a wider range of alternatives.

3.Pricing Pandemonium: Mobile devices and social networks allow consumers to constantly receive targeted offers and discounts, even at the point of sale from a rival brand, as well as join interest groups. Brands should target consumers with offers and features such as instant mobile coupons and discounts, online group discounts, flash sales, and dynamic pricing based on real-time supply and demand.

4.Made for China/Emerging Economies: In 2011, expect an increasing number of ‘Western’ brands to launch new products or even new brands dedicated to consumers in emerging markets. Growth in consumer spending in emerging markets far outpaces consumer spending in developed markets, and Western brands are favored more than local brands in emerging markets. Western brands including Levi-Strauss, Apple and BMW have already capitalized on this trend.

5.Online Status Symbols: In 2011, trendwatching.com recommends that brands supply customers with any kind of symbol, virtual or ‘real world,’ that helps them display to peers their online contributions, interestingness, creations or popularity. This includes personalized social networking memorabilia as well as location-based games and contests which award virtual or real-world prizes.

6.’Wellthy:’ Growing numbers of consumers will expect health products and services in 2011 to prevent misery if not improve their quality of life, rather than merely treating illnesses and ailments. Products such as mobile health monitoring devices, as well as online health apps and health-dedicated social networks, will serve the multichannel wellness needs of consumers.

7.‘Twin-sumers’ and ‘Social-lites:’ Both of these types of online consumers identified by trendwatching.com are critical to spreading positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Twin-sumers are consumers with similar consumer patterns, likes and dislikes, and who are hence valuable sources for recommendations on what to buy and experience, while social-lites are consumers who consistently broadcast information to a wide range of associates online.

8.Emerging Generosity: This trend is about brands and wealthy individuals from emerging markets (especially China) who will increasingly be expected to give, donate, care and sympathize, as opposed to just sell and take. And not just in their home countries, but on a global scale. It’s a profound cultural change and a consumer demand that their counterparts in mature markets have had a few years to getting used to.

9.Planned Spontaneity: With lifestyles having become fragmented, with dense urban environments offering consumers any number of instantly available options, and with cell /smartphones having created a generation who have little experience of making (or sticking to) rigid plans, 2011 will see what trendwatching.com calls full-on “planned spontaneity.”

Brands can expect to see consumers in 2011 rushing to sign up to services (the planned part) that allow for endless and almost effortless mass mingling with friends, family, colleagues or strangers (the spontaneity part). A developing segment of this trend is consumers signing up for mobile services that passively and constantly broadcast their location.

10.Eco-Superior: When it comes to ‘green consumption’, brands should expect a rise in “eco-superior” products; products that are not only eco-friendly, but superior to polluting incumbents in every possible way. Trendwatching.com says brands should think of a combination of eco-friendly yet superior functionality, superior design, and/or superior savings.

11:Owner-less: Fractional ownership and lifestyle leasing business models have re-emerged, with services such as car-sharing and public bike programs enjoying success around the globe. For many consumers, access is better than ownership.

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A Load of Crap: Charmin’s Go Nation

A Load of Crap: Charmin’s Go Nation
“Never mind that those ads featuring bears that can’t wipe properly are odd enough. Charmin now is on a mission to start a movement, we’re sure pun is intended, in which the entire nation can enjoy a “better bathroom experience.”

“We’re calling it the Charmin Go Nation,” it says on the website “… it’s made up of people who actually enjoy going to the bathroom because they have Charmin bathroom tissue.”

Sounds like the client wrote it. Utterly Ridiculous.

While we’re at it – shout out to the guys at Kleercut for telling it like it is.

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Burberry: From Runway to Shopping Cart

Online Shoppers Skip Middleman During Fashion Week

Burberry, the British design house, will not only stream its women’s runway show live from London, but also will allow anyone with a computer and a credit card to order the merchandise as models strut in it.

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Social Media: Uniqlo v Twitter, Heinz v Facebook, Tipp-Ex v YouTube

Japanese clothes retailer Uniqlo has found a novel way of encouraging U.K. shoppers give the brand a big presence on Twitter — by reducing the price of clothing pieces every time someone sends a tweet about an item. The “Lucky Counter” promotion has been running ahead of the relaunch of Uniqlo’s U.K. e-commerce site this week, and has seen the brand’s name appear in Twitter’s trending topics list for the country. In a web page dedicated to “Lucky Counter,” users can choose from 10 pieces they would like to see discounted on the website when it relaunches on September 9.
Consumerist points us to an interesting Heinz ketchup bottle that features an unusually prominent call to action, asking users to friend the brand on Facebook.

Tipp-Ex invites viewers to script ending in YouTube spot
An innovative use of YouTube by correction fluid brand Tipp-Ex offers viewers the chance to choose what happens next in a video clip after a reluctant hunter refuses to shoot a grizzly bear.

When tactics aren’t enough: the Tipp-Ex viral (asourceofinspiration.com)
An Interactive YouTube Campaign By Tipp-Ex (mindjumpers.com)
Uniqlo’s U.K. Twitter Campaign Looks to Be a Perfect Fit for Retailer (adage.com)
Adventures in Advertising: Youtube + Tipp-Ex (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
Tipp-Ex Lets You Make A Hunter Hump A Bear In Interactive YouTube Campaign (socialtimes.com)
This Week’s Best YouTube Ad Campaign: Tipp-Ex Impresses With Custom Interactive YouTube Video (reelseo.com)
Interaction Video Key To Viral Success (viralblog.com)
Boring Product, Great Ad: Tipp-Ex Channels Subservient Chicken (clickz.com)
Amazing New Interactive Youtube Campaign By Tipp-Ex – Bear Included (marketingconversation.com)
Interactive YouTube Video Clips The Next Trend For Viral Videos? (elliottlemenager.com)

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