"The need to diet, which we know so well in relation to food, and which runs so contrary to our natral impulse, is something we now have to relearn in relation to knowledge, people and ideas. We require periods of fast in the life of our minds no less than in that of our bodies." Alain de Botton in today’s Observer Magazine.
My advice to wannabe planners (who want to work with FMCG clients)? Get a part time job in a supermarket! We've just had a work experience in (your moment of fame Charlie) who had a great intuitive knowledge of brands, competitor sets and audience profile from stacking shelves in Morrisons. Not to mention which products shifted quicker and a good understanding of the dark arts of supermarkets. Just saying is all.
Slowly catching up with my Google Reader, funny how it gets totally overlooked when you have real work to do. Loved this jewellery box by Gerlinde Gruber. I think more packaging should build suspense and surprise in more invesntive ways, especially in the luxury sector where it's STILL about boxes and tissue paper.
So yesterday I got myself down to the inaugural (I think) Future Human event, which promised much but delivered little. The title was the rather seductive ’Advertising at the Frontiers of Consciousness’, which I guess sounds like a Josh Wink song or the sort of stuff that makes planners happy. What happened was an amble through neuroscience principles and semiotics with some pretty heavyweight people, but nothing you hadn't heard about or read before. I'm increasingly becoming disillusioned with talks, especially one's you pay for or are on subjects that you know even a little about. My basic conclusion was 'the answer lies somewhere between the two', as it generally does for everything. Sadly (for economists) we don't live in a world of absolutes, and neither the science of neuromarketing or the cultural context of semiotics has all the answers. My favourite quote of the night was 'neuromarketing teaches advertising to suck eggs', which is kind of true in that the best work ticks all the science boxes without really thinking about it.
Science-fiction writer Matthew De Abaitua’s far-out vision for the future was ‘automatically generated micro-targeted message customised by our own existence that nudges your behaviour at relevant junctures’. Hmm, that just sounds like the Architect talking about search. To be fair De Abaitua did see evolution of search as the future, but still.
The case study about Bird's Eye in NZ using neuroscience to determine that 'the Frozen moment' part of a bombing ad was what consumers responded to, and then extending that moment and sticking the logo after it was interesting. Again, not a revolutionary use of neuromarketing in advertising, but interesting nonetheless.
The middle section of the event was devoted to watching TV ads and either looking at how they affected the brain or the neuromarketing techniques (memes and the likes) that they used. Mat Riches, who made sure my spare ticket didn't go to waste, noted that their examples seemed to underline the impact that TV can have as a channel in marketing.
Slightly related, it was interesting to see the discussion around Mark's 'To TV or not to TV?' post this afternoon. It's worth reading the post and more worth reading the comments. Personally, I prefer watching stuff on a big lovely screen than on a laptop screen, especially Blu-Ray films. I like having music telly on when I'm doing other stuff. I like not having to find a new stream for live sports events. I like vegging out when my brain's been on full power or full party. I like watching ads in situe to see what pops up.
This is my TV and I love it: Anyway it's the Power vs. The Wizard rematch. I'm off.
The other day as I dialled into a conference call from home, it struck me that freephone numbers may not be as useful as they once were. If you don't have a landline, then unless freephone numbers are included in your minutes (like me!), you have to pay for the call ("calls to this number are chargeable from mobiles"). For mobile-only houses (which I'm sure I read are on the rise), a local number would be better as most minutes include these. I'm also pretty sure that a large percentage of households with landlines have packages that include unlimited local calls (by local I mean any 01 or 02 number) so they wouldn't have to pay either.
Thinking about calls to action (on BTL mostly), which would be better - and o1/o2 or freephone. Worth testing?
I've been quite lucky in my first month at the new place, getting to work with one of the most senior creative teams. Something that one of them said has been swimming around the old goldfish tank for a couple of days now and I've finally got a chance to jot it down. No big news, but the simple fact that they didn't feel the standard of their work fluctuated that much, but how good the end product was depended on how good the client was. Like I said, no new news.
We all love creatively minded clients because they generally buy good work and give good criticism, but we know that the marketing managers of this world aren't all blessed with this talent. I've been wondering how you help the, ahem, creatively short-sighted, to better evaluate and understand what makes good creative, because in the end that would help us all. I don't have the answer, but I'm going to keep pondering.
I have a little rule: because I complain so much when brands are bad, when they do good I have to praise them. A little while ago I moaned about Browns canceling a purchase because their site doesn't update quick enough. A similar thing happened with Cooshti - but they were smart enough to blame it on a stock miscount - but they gave me a 10% discount voucher as apology. It's the little things. I'm no way near as annoyed with the store for being out of stock, and have added incentive to shop there again.
One part truth, two parts mixer is a digital notebook for Priyanka/@pristyles. Yes, you've reached another planner's blog - but it's mainly full of random thoughts and pretty pictures.
If you're reading, hello - it's nice to meet you.