Old Spice Guy viral marketing in Australia

Once upon time Old Spice used to be the product that, well, old men wore. I remember it being cool when I was 10.

However the Old Spice guy viral marketing campaign changed all of that with one of the funniest viral marketing campaigns to date. A quick search on Youtube will yield the results of many many clips shot following comments from followers including the names of the commenters. The interactive nature drew large attention.

Now the Old Spice guy is heading to Australia to help sell a (we think) Windows product. Interesting cross marketing that reinforces both brands. For your enjoyment, I’ve also included below Grover from Sesame St doing a send up – terrific stuff from one of my favourite muppets.

Online Business Strategy Case Study

This presentation provides an overview of what you need to think about in putting together an online business strategy. Enjoy!


How the Apple Macintosh was named…

I could be wrong here but it seems like an amazing co-incidence to me. I am happy to stand corrected but have not been able to find anything that indicates how the name was created.

In November 1965 an episode of Get Smart called “The Two Chiefs featured a Kaos agent who was a master of disguises dresses up and looks identical to the Chief and impersonates his way into Max’s apartment.

The dialogue goes like this:

Max “Chief, what is the countersign?”

Chief “The new countersign or the old countersign?”

Max “I didn’t know there was a new countersign! What is the new countersign?”

Chief “I say Apples, you say MacIntosh. Ready?”

Max “Apples”

Chief “MacIntosh”

So, there you have it – another case successfully wrapped up. The old “name the product from a password in the spy sitcom trick”.

The Mac was launched in January 1984, 19 years later. And, no coincidence I’m sure, in the magazine that launched the Mac a Tandy TRS80 Computer with 80186 chip was on the back cover….

The back cover contains an ad for the Tandy TRS-80 Model 2000, perhaps the only PC ever designed around the 80186 processor. Tandy claimed the 8 MHz true 16-bit CPU was a big improvement over the 4.77 MHz 8088 (with an 8-bit bus) that IBM used. And for just $1,500 extra, you could buy the Model 2000 with a 10 MB hard drive (See http://lowendmac.com/history/1984dk.shtml or Wikipedia for more Mac history)

My father bought a TRS 80 – so when it comes to the earliest Mac, you could say we “missed it by that much!”

Digital reputation management – the rise and rise of PR 2.0

Check out What we can learn from the WA gas crisis

From that post:

On June 3 a massive gas explosion happened sparking a gas crisis in the state at Varanus – a small island off the North West coast of Western Australia.

About 30% of WA’s energy supply was dependent on the pipeline from Varanus for their energy needs.

Perth is now on energy rations, with large business told each evening how much energy they have for the following day. Casuals are being placed on standby and large mineral processing plants have been shut down – which are the powerhouse for the national economy.

Alan Carpenter, WA’s Premier went on television this week in an unprecedented call for people to reduce their energy consumption – heating, appliances and shorter showers to keep the state’s economy going. The WA Chamber of Commerce has said that as many as 10% of Perth businesses could go out of business as a result of this.

The author, Todd Davies, goes on to discuss in detail the importance of building resilience into organisations so that they can resist shocks more easily.

Whether you call it resilient thinking or plain old fashioned disaster recovery planning, there is a whole area in which online reputation management comes into play. Resilience in reputation is dependent upon the appropriate role that companies play within the communities they work within. Companies that give back generally have stronger brands, attract more staff, are much more highly respected – and tend to be more profitable, and no doubt resilient. One of the things I will be talking on soon is PR 2.0 (See my speaking page for when).

A recent email that has been doing the rounds indicates very strongly that a reckless lack of maintenance by Apache created the disaster, and with a number of photos from the site, would make some – maybe many – people think it is credible. I do not have the facts to form a view – but from a reputation management viewpoint, neither do the general public. Coupled with some recent press from The West Australian indicated that this disaster was predicted 4 years ago, the view is that a bunch of people must have let their eyes come off the ball in a way that is simply unacceptable given the knock on effect.

Back to the point of the post – PR 2.0 effectively is the approach to managing issues online. How do social media come into play? How resilient will your reputation be should an event happen? How do you react particularly when reaction to an event gets near tipping point?

Like all disaster recovery planning, you need the scenarios and responses determined and practised well ahead of time. Communication planning is the same deal. We have seen remarkable little from the company in terms of hands on response. Again without facts, can an audience be blamed for assuming the company may not care?

The Rise and Fall of Bribal Marketing

I really enjoyed my early career in direct marketing. One of the things I found interesting was determining which promotional ideas would work and which wouldn’t. The idea was to spend only what was necessary to effectively acquire a customer, and to make the communication as targetted as possible.

We’d use promotional giveaways as relevent as possible to the product value proposition. An insurance one was a free pen for writing in to advise the date of your next renewal notice (we had a 50/50 chance if we knew when their insurance was due – otherwise they weren’t the slightest bit interested in insurance any other time of year).

Now we see plenty of credit card free insurance period offers, honeymoon home loan rate offers, mobile phone intro only deals and health clubs offering new members better deals than existing members. Everyone likes a good deal, but much of this activity just generates customer churn and reduces loyalty.

So, what has been your best promotion? Let me know….

So, who the hell is Jason Little?

Bill Daring came back to Australia briefly in 2002 and very generously shouted me to a golf game held by the Rugby Business Club of Australia at the Vines Resort.

At the game were various sporting celebrities on various holes with the idea that they would also take a shot, and if it was better than yours, you could take that shot.

Whilst I knew AFl reasonably well, I confess to being pretty uninterested in other codes (other than basketball).

So, a very pleasant chap took a fairly ordinary shot on a long par 4, and whilst I didn’t hit it down the middle, I certainly got some distance on a (fortunately) very wide fairway.

Given this guy was supposed to be our elite sportsperson helping us to lower our score, I asked (for a bit of stir and in a jovial way), “So… what’s so special about you then?”

This guy said, “well, nothing really…”

It was then that one of my playing partners gave me a fairly abrupt nudge. “That is Jason Little – he represented Australia 3 times as one of the Wallabies and is one of Australia’s greatest rugby players….”

“Well, Jason, I’m pleased to meet you, but I’ve never heard of you – I think you need a vanity website!”

He entertained a brief conversation about it and was an absolute gentleman. Of course Bill Daring said, “this reminds me of you not knowing David Beckham

Branding You – Part 2

Having discovered your strengths, it is time to think about what your point of difference. In advertising parlance, this is the unique selling proposition – and the difficulty is trying to refine the many things you offer into a simple phrase of about 4 words.

A good place to start is thinking about your friends and colleagues, and the positive things they bring to your business and personal relationship. Once you start doing that, you can get a good sense of how you would like people to talk about you.

Let’s take an example: we had a really great bunch of project managers in our team at the Consulting Division of Ross Human Directions, but each brings a difference nuance and skill to this particularly difficult role. One absolutely prides himself on delivering projects on time and on budget. He has never delivered a project that wasn’t delivered on time and on budget. He also particularly delights in his ability to be able to project manage, team lead, undertake business analysis and cut code – basically every role in a team. We have another that is particularly good at really, really difficult projects – those with complex requirements, tricky stakeholders that can be a bit vague with their requirements. He is particularly good at nailing these requirements down and ensuring nothing is vague prior to build.

We had another that is great at delivering projects – but also particularly strong at mentoring staff. Another was particularly good at bringing parties together, being flexible and meeting all parties needs.

As you can see, all sorts of different skills sets, and what we work on is matching our clients and project managers for best result.

Have a think about the people around you in the same way and pretty soon – at least in a business context – you will have a great idea how you would like people to think of you.

Branding You – Part 1

I was chatting with Bill Wallace about marketing ideas, particularly given he has recently joined a new consulting business, and I wanted to understand what it was all about. More on that later, but one of the many key points that came out of the conversation was that it is really is necessary to pay attention to yourself as a brand. In other words, how would someone else articulate your value or understand your personal traits in a business and social context.

I read in Harvard Business Review an interesting article, and it suggested asking some colleagues for some frank feedback on things you do well. It suggested not asking about the things you don’t do well – primarily because human nature can easily tend towards the negative and focussing on improving those things you don’t do well. Chances are you will waste your time and you are much better spending the time working on being the best at the things you do well. If you are interested in this, see Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham – a very good read.

It is a good place to start, but expect that:
1. People whom you think would respond to that sort of request often don’t
2. You will be surprised – generally pleasantly so – about strengths you didn’t realise you had.

If you can concentrate on really working hard on those things you do well, you are bound for success.