May 2008

First episode of The Gruen Transfer aired just now. Peter Wagstaff, Julian Cole and myself sat on Twitter during the show as a little experiment, adding an extra element to see their reactions. I only signed up on Twitter today but I'm already starting to see its potential. Wasn't quite what I expected but interesting. This week's challenge was to sell a whale meat campaign. DDB used the quote in the title playing against the consumption of beef. While Jack Watts Currie played on the idea of an angry prawn on a BBQ and at the end of the spot there was a flash of a website. The website actually exists, I find that very cool. Worth looking at, particularly if you're not studying marketing. I assume the ABC will podcast it....

Redbull are the new sponsors of some Citroen release. Today they attempted to run a bit of a joint event on campus. Free Redbull, Citroens on display, music and an Xbox to play with. Redbull is a perfect brand to promote to university students. The Generation Y targeted product works particularly well with the Redbull Girls. Citroen is not. Why would you attempt to sell cars to university students? I don't even buy they idea they were trying to "plant the seed". I actually groaned when I saw the sales man wearing a suit....

I recently contacted one of my University's newspapers to see if they would be interested in running a story on the increase and potential of student blogging. They basically turned me down stating that the views of our blogs did not necessarily reflect those of Monash University. And it's probably posts like this one they don't appreciate. What is the fundamental purpose of University? I mean if you ignore the partying and drinking its core role is to educate, right? Well not really. You attend to be graded and ranked. Much like the rest of the flawed education system, it is based on providing the highest achievers with the best results and differentiating these students from everyone else. Likewise on the opposite where the lowest achieves recieve the poorest grades. Sounds fair enough doesn't it? Hmm. Many of my lecturers will not put up lecture slides on the Interweb. Some refuse to record these lecture with audio or video for later access. Why? Because they want people to attend lectures. And the point of that? To differentiate those who receive HD's, D's, C's, P's and of course F's. In one case a lecturer refused to answer a question of mine because it would give me an advantage over others. As she said this I asked myself, what purpose does that serve? You are hindering my education not encouraging it like you should. It's not her fault that she is forced to make the students compete but the system's. I'm not saying I have any solutions and I'm not saying the current system doesn't work. But it is flawed and just imagine how effective it could be if it's sole purpose was to educate....

I have taken the next step in establishing my personal brand and appeared on my first podcast. I encourage you all to check out Peter Wagstaff's Marketing Today, Episode #61. Peter Wagstaff, Julian Cole, Simon Oboler, Rick Clarke and myself discuss the potential of student blogging. I guess, much like blogging, your podcasting ability gets better with practice....

I don't know who Andrew Ranger is but any brand looking to launch themselves on social media could learn a lot from him. He is the person behind Formal Protest Fair Evasion Day (1,394 Members) and I Will Party On Parliament House Steps In Protest Against The 2am Curfew (9,090 Members), two of the biggest buzz generators on Facebook of late. Once again social media proves just how powerful an individual can be and how their influence can significantly impact a brand....

I love Hamish and Andy. And so do many others according to their ratings and podcast ranking. In fact I can't remember them falling outside the Top 3 Most Downloaded over the past year. Over the last two weeks they've been in search of The People's Chip. It started as a simple phone topic about Light 'n' Tangy Chips (Which came first: The flavour or the name?) and one caller said she used to work as a chip flavour scientist. This raised the question, could Hamish and Andy develop their own flavoured chip? Smith's jumped right on board. And for two weeks they've had a solid endorsement from a reliable and popular source. Even better, the idea originated from the consumer and even the selected flavour was the idea of a consumer. And so we have the invention of the Gravy Chip. An excellent move by Smith's with a campaign that wouldn't have appeared in their marketing strategy a month ago....