So its been more than two months since Cadbury Schweppes revealed their ManCans shampaign.

As a consumer who would fall right into their target market, I am yet to see an actual mancan, or rather a 440ml can of Solo.

The build up and the word of mouth was so successful. In fact, the campaign was so influential it added a word to my vernacular, which I still regularly use. I’ve received my free stubbie holder and was a member of the webpage… but I still have not purchased. Not because I don’t want to but rather because I have not had the opportunity.

I’d love to see some figures on Solo can sales.

What is the point of a campaign if you can’t sell in the end?

Yesterday marked the mid of Movember.

For those not familiar with this, over the past few years a growing trend has been to sprout a moustache during the month of November. Up until today, I had thought it was somewhat of a parody, much like International Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19th) and had not realised it was actually linked to the charitable cause of men’s health.

This connection is rather disappointing. Other charity days such as Red Nose Day (June 29th) or Pink Ribbon Day (October 22nd) have been able to claim just one day, not an entire month. There is so much potential here yet it is lacking due to a poor link between the event and the cause.

Don’t get me wrong, last year alone they raised over $7,500,000 but I can’t think how much bigger it could be, even through simple traditional means of advertising.

It is like running a shampaign and not revealing the brand behind it.

Yet another piece of brilliance with a viral campaign, this time from Guinness.

Have a look at this commerical

 

 

Here’s a small list of some of the most memorable viral campaigns we’ve had in the past…

+ Victoria Bitter’s Stubby Symphony Orchestra
+ Pure Blonde’s Pure Gold
+ Carlton Draught’s Big Ad
+ Heineken’s Unchanged Since 1873
+ Victoria Bitter’s The Tash
+ Carlton Draught’s Flashbeer
+ Tooheys’ Bottle Opener
+ Hahn’s Love The Taste

And let’s not forget the mountain of great campaigns for Bud Light and other international beers.

Why is it that the beer market is leading in viral marketing? Perhaps sampling your product during the brainstorming stage is the key to success.

Surprisingly, the writers’ strike in Hollywood has not made the media here in Australia. However its easy enough to follow over at United Hollywood, basically members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have currently stopped production of big shows such as The Office, Lost, >Desperate Housewives, Scrubs, Heroes and Grey’s Anatomy.

The easiest way to explain it is by watching this four minute piece of footage



Seems like a pretty good cause to me.

But the purpose of this post relates to a post over at the United Hollywood, A Modest Proposal: Hello, Google!

“If Google wanted, they could scoop up THE ENTIRE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.”

It is an interesting read that really brings to light the future possibilities of the Internet. It seems far fetched, but is there some method in this madness?

Will we look back in five years time and laugh at the thought of a television not connected to Google and the Internet?

I always wondered if someone ever specifically sat down just to develop new words for the English vernacular. For example the marketing word prosumer, can it be tracked back to the person who first used it?

Well here I give you the first ever use of the word…

shampaign

n. sham·paign
a campaign where the brand or product remains unknown until later revealed through subsequent marketing

The word shampaign is a portmanteau of the words sham and campaign. An online dictionary defines the word sham as “something false or empty that is purported to be genuine” and “one who assumes a false character” which I believe is somewhat appropriate and allows for a good play on words.

Shampaigns have become increasingly popular and will continue to do so. As viral marketing becomes mainsteam, we will see more and more shampaigns as this is a technique that creates talk and can successfully carries consumers from one media to another, for example a television commercial to a website.

Just recently we’ve had Cadbury Schweppes’ ManCans campaign…



As well as Ebay’s Santa Kidnapped campaign…



There we have it, remember where you read it first in a few years time when the word becomes mainstream.

Today is the 7th of November, or rather 7/11. 7-Eleven has capitalised on this with National 7-Eleven Day. Simply go into your local store and say “Happy 7-Eleven Day” to receive your free slurpee.

I think this is a really creative campaign that should work well for them, particularly if they run something like this every year. Its targeted well to their market and I believe there should be a good turn out.

There’s also good use of their Facebook Event which seems to have gained a lot of popularity with over 40,000 people expressing interest. Unfortunately, it seems they’ve almost hidden away their promotional videos on the official website, with none of these posted on YouTube.

I know I’ll be heading down for my free slurpee, will you?

Vary Your Vernacular is a small intermittent series designed to increase one’s vocabulary relating to all things Web 2.0.

prosumer

n. pro·sum·er
A portmanteau of the words producer and consumer, playing particular importance with the increase of consumer generated content through new means such as blogging, podcasting and social networking.

Social Network Fatigue Syndrome (SNFS)

n. so·cial net·work fa·tigue syn·drome
Mental exhaustion and stress caused by creating and maintaining an excessive number of accounts on social networking communities.

to jump on the brandwagon

v. to jump on the brand·wag·on
To follow a trend based on another brand’s performance in a specific area.

In case you missed it, the title is a late night attempt at an acronym for the Australian Record Industry Association Awards (or ARIAS as they are known). The question of “Are Retailers Intentionally Advertising Subliminally?” should be raised after the airing of the 2007 Awards on the 28th of October.

Take a look at this footage as seen on Network Ten…

 

 

Notice anything?

Watch the clip again and you might see the logo of Olay splashed across the screen during several of the cuts between songs.

In Network Ten’s defence Olay was the sponsor of that particular award but similar tactics were also used by KFC, Big W, Toyota and possibly others in their own sponsored awards.

Subliminal advertising in Australia is illegal. Section 1.8 of the The Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice prohibits the use of “any technique which attempts to convey information to the viewer by transmitting messages below or near the threshold of normal awareness”.

Clever sponsorship or subliminal advertising?

…then you’re probably going to be subject to similar campaigns. Or at least its likely if you drink Heineken and drive a Holden.

Julian Cole linked me to an interesting little blog Talent Imitates, Genius Steals written by Faris Yakob. After looking through it just last night and then watching an episode of House, I noticed a rather familiar commercial.

The “original” was for Heineken beer, and much like many of the beer commercials it was a pretty kickin’ advert…

 

 

And the “stolen” is for Holden’s new ute, which is also a pretty sweet advert…

 

 

Does anyone else spot the similar theme there?

Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re both great ads, particularly Holden’s use of Aussie rock band Jet (and their single Rip It Up), but it raises the question as to what level can two campaigns be similar? Where is the line between stealing someone else’s creative idea and imitating another?

Take a look at You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice? and see for yourself.

Is it really genius to steal?

Mozilla Firefox have released their latest marketing campaign; Operation: Firefox. The concept (like their strategy) is simple, develop a plan for where you would stick a giant one metre logo on display for the world. The top fifty plans are actually sent out the stickers and required to put them up as stated in their submission. In the end there will be fifty stickers on display somewhere around the world promoting Firefox, “infiltrating society one sticker at a time”.
For those of you, Firefox is a web browser that is quickly gaining popularity over Internet Explorer and other popular browsers. What I love about this concept is that it screams “Firefox” at me. The contest is creative, original and a little bit devious which are things I strongly associate with Mozilla. This should receive a fair bit of attention, not just from the stickers going up but from blogs like this one that I think will really carry it through.

In fact, its the way in which this contest really plays to the brand loyalty of Firefox users, which I think people often overlook, that I love. When I say “brand loyalty” many people might think of big companies like Apple or Google, but Firefox users I believe are among the most passionate consumers of a brand. It is so strong, where as a Firefox user myself, I hate IE and I can’t think of any other brand that has created such a negative relationship with its competitors. Every one I know who uses Firefox doesn’t have a bad thing to say but what’s more interesting is that they themselves promote it to their family and friends, acting as a credible opinion leader and testimonial to the brand. I know I have personally converted a few people.

However the campaign falls down in a few areas. Firstly, the prizes which certainly could be made a little more attractive to potential entrants. Not overly important, but still I’d expect to see more from in a project that will hopefully be quite big. And secondly, the fact that you can only enter this if you’re in countries with a Mozilla office, which is not my own and many others. The pros certainly outweigh the cons, but some things worth noticing.

Another clever promotional strategy from the people over at Mozilla.

Where would you stick your sticker?