May 19



Originally uploaded by RachelC.

Visited Chicago yesterday for a few meetings. Whilst there, it seemed a good idea to walk back to the hotel. Until the hailstorm started and we got caught in the downpour. We tried to shelter but were still getting hit…and they were pretty big.

Although I guess the Helath and Safety card at the office having references to tornado and sever weather shelters should have given me some idea that things may happen from the sky!

May 18

Kitkat Marketing in Japan and UK

Over on Alphamale (a blog normally dedicated to health issues by the look of it) is a story of how Kitkat increased their sales in Japan. A definite longview approach, building up a story of a brand over 4 years, from a small start to something that is regarded as a good luck charm.

Meanwhile, in the UK, where it is already the number one brand, there’s less subtlety in the brand offering Golden Tickets. 100 lucky (or is that unlucky) winners will have the chance to become ‘famous’ by entering the Big Brother House. Of course, as long as they pass “thorough background checks”. Catch 22 always comes to mind though – anyone who wants to go on Big Brother and have their whole life under scrutiny probably shouldn’t be stuck in one place being televised for a month. BTW, Wikipedia has a quite fascinating page showing lots of different Kitkat varieties

May 18

Spoof Ads

I consistently find Three Minds@Organic a great pointer towards cool marketing stuff on the web. This time they have linked to a great spoof of the Sony Bravia “balls bouncing downhill”, but this time with fruit. See if you can guess the brand before the tag line. And make sure you take a look round the site to see the ‘damage’ the filming caused. The ‘send to a friend’ component sends a great message asking you to sign a petition against nasty advertisement makers who traumatise innocent streets and don’t clear up after themselves.

Another good copy/spoof/parody (call it what you will) is by 118, again redoing some of W&K’s Honda ads. This time they took on the Choir Ad . The original can be found here (again on YouTube, as you can’t link direct to the ad on the Honda Civic site but have to go through Flash flashiness first).

May 17

One person at a time

Steak overload

Originally uploaded by RachelC.

I’m slowly introducing my new colleagues to an online world that they have rarely glimpsed before. Last night this started with going through Flickr to find some CC licenced photos to illustrate a presentation we’ve been putting together (including this one, taken at a New York restaurant last week).

We moved onto ego searches on Google and then onto blogging – it was at this point they discovered I have a blog. Now there are positive noises coming out from a few people about starting a blog themselves.

May 17

Flickr Gamma

Flickr has undergone a slight massage – new navigation, new layout. But retaining the spirit of Web 2.0 they have now regressed =to a gamma version!


May 10

Marketing Overload

I’m spending some pretty intensive days talking marketing. My brain is overloading. I soooo need to find a geek to talk to 😉

May 09

Warner Brothers and Downloads

I see that Warner Brothers are going to be providing downloads of movies and TV for about the same price as the DVDs at about the same time. They plan to use BitTorrent as vehicle.

No need to manufacture a disk and packaging, no need to distribute, no need to provide the retailer with a cut, maybe no extras, can only play on one computer so no backup when it goes wrong. And they are charging the SAME PRICE!!!! This is called taking the piss.

May 09

US Grocery

I made my first visit to a US grocery store on Sunday and got the biggest culture shock so far. Everything was different enough that it’s going to take me at least twice as long as usual just to work my way around the products; even with familiar brands the packaging is different enough to make me look twice. Two products that threw me were tomatoes and coffee. In the UK, you go to the veg aisle and the tinned tomatoes are predominately that – tomatoes in tins. There’s s separate sauce section and a few purees. Here, the majority of the tins are sauce or puree – the tomatoes are not so common and way more expensive. Looking for coffee, there was mainly beans and less preground. I found out that the tin packaging needed opening with a tin opener at 7am in the morning – not the best time for me to be surprised.

May 05

New Job

For the next few weeks at least I’m going to be working in Manhattan. I’m working with an advertising agency to develop a digital strategy for one of their clients. Found a good apartment via Craigslist way up in Washington Heights; the commute this morning took just under an hour but was complicated by me trying to find my way round. The most difficult bit to date has been trying to fill in some of the forms!

May 04

WeMedia the conference

I spent some of the morning watching the WeMedia on video stream and via the online chat and IRC, then got to see a couple of sessions at the conference. There is a lot of blogging coverage about the event, some from participants, others from the virtual attendees.

The blurb says “The We Media Global Forum brings together the trailblazers of the connected society – the thinkers, innovators, investors, executives and activists seeking to tap the potential of digital networks connecting people everywhere”. From the bits I saw and the people I talked to, not too sure that really happened. Digital networks change things, move and share power, giving the potential to take control out of the hands of the few and spread it around. This can happen with or without the current set of gatekeepers. I would have thought the conference was about providing a chance for the traditional media centres to take stock and assess how they are going to support the devleoping communities across the world.

Instead I got the impression that what was being said on stage only supported the existing worldviews. There was little challenge, the same old questions were being asked and little movement made. Rebecca McKinnon puts it well: “The question we really ought to be focusing on is: how can citizens and professional journalists work together to create a better and more well-informed public discourse?”. Instead, it was the same debates about them and us, bloggers are scary and don’t we (media) know best?

I’m not sure if today’s was any different – I was travelling all day so missed it.

May 04

Digital assassin

Our digital assassin

Originally uploaded by Blue Blanket.

I spent some of yesterday at the WeMedia conference hosted by the BBC. I was one of about 30 so-called ‘digital assassins’ bought in to tell the ‘suits’ how it really is with media consumption for news and entertainment. Not sure how well it went down overall, but as I ended up on a table that was defintiely not suits, but bloggers and geeks in the main, not much of what I said seemed to be a surpise. But that’s what you get sitting on a table near the powerpoints, with everyone plugged in and online.

The picture was taken by Julie, who was the facilitor for the table.

May 02

May London Geek Dinner with Marc Canter

May London Geek Dinner 4

Originally uploaded by RachelC.

A pleasant May Day ended with a Geek Dinner with Marc Canter. Around 30 people turned up for chat and networking and to hear Marc talk about the People Aggregator, which should start to be available in a couple of months. As usual with Marc, the talk with interactive, with questions being thrown at the audience as well.

Here’s Ian and Marc posing, after a filming session.