Link your brand to the campaign

7 Oct

Have you seen the panasonic facebook campaign, the persecution of Rommy Gulla? Basically, for 28 days, they are pulling some pretty nast practical jokes on “Rommy” (obviously an actor) for 28 days.

I don’t get it. It is pretty nasty and in my opinion, it is in effect bullying. If it happened to someone in real life, they would be a complete mess by the end of week one and I don’t see how it advertises products the brand wants it to, other than being lowest common denominator marketing by trying to appeal to jackass fans. Sure, there are competitions and it requires you to come back for 28 days in a row (or just twice, once at the begining and once at the end of the process). Plus, what is the link between the competition and the brand?


P.S. Good to see you again.

Links of the Day – all about Bin Laden

2 May

These are links to the most interesting reports about Bin Laden’s death.

Greenpeace ad

20 Apr

Greenpeace does some really powerful ads, the best example I can think of from the top of my head being the Kit Kat palm oil ad.

Here is one that I’ve just seen that is pretty stunning and would have taken a lot of work and, unless it was done pro-bono, would have been pretty costly.

How not to run a campaign – because its un-Australian

14 Apr

The un-Australian campaign has been fairly well pummelled in the press. So much so that I don’t think I’ve heard the Government give it a serious response or the Coalition giving it any credence either. That being said, below are a few learnings from the campaign.

  1. Don’t skimp on sub-editing or copy-writing. There are at least two typos in the $20 million ad. Address has two Ds. Choose how you want to spell licence.
  2. Just because you use Facebook and Twitter, doesn’t mean people will automatically like or follow you.
  3. The public are a lot cleverer than they used to be – they know when they are being used.
  4. “Australia is a nation of gamblers” is a dumb thing to say. People don’t want to be gamblers, they enjoy a good punt, they like a flutter or two.
  5. People don’t consider playing the pokies gambling. Two-up – yes, blackjack – yes, horse racing – yes. There is something about those pastimes that have more symbolism than the pokies.
  6. People know people with a gambling problem in Australia.
  7. Don’t use website tools such as online polls and then publish the live results unless you are sure the results will show support your campaign.
  8. If point 4 backfires, don’t leave the tool on your website for 48 hours until you come up with something to put in its place
  9. Don’t be too brazen with your spin. No one has ever seriously proposed a licence for gamblers except you.
  10. As an addition to point 7 – Don’t treat people like idiots
  11. Why is it un-Australian to stop problem gamblers gambling?
  12. Pay for polling and focus groups before you launch a campaign like this. The ad buy is around $20 million – you can afford it.
  13. Don’t ever, ever just assume because you are running a campaign, it will get support. This campaign stinks of industry types coming together saying we need to fight back against the government, therefore if we use strategy a from campaign a and strategy b from campaign b and then utilise the tactics from campaign c, we are onto a winner. More often than not, these tactics haven’t been thought about properly. Will they fit my campaign? Will they educate people they way I want to educate them?
  14. Don’t leave yourself open to very clever attacks like the one to the right. Is this therefore Australian?

So, Mitt Romney just bored his way to a loss

12 Apr

So, campaigning for the 2012 US Presidential Election has finally begun. I love this time of the election cycle, where we can review ads, dissect them and work out who is going to do well and place bets on who will be the first to sack their campaign staff.

Mitt Romney has just formally announced his candidacy by affirmed his reputation as captain boring as  he introduces himself in a two minute chat about what he did last week. What is strange about this kind of introductory film is that it’s not as though people don’t know who Mitt Romney is. He was a serious candidate to be the 2008 Republican Nominee; he was Governor of Minnesota Massachusetss; he has been listed as a potential 2012 candidate since Obama’s win. So why does he need to introduce himself this way? He should remind people of his points of view and convictions, especially when he has been tarnished in the eyes of the Right by his version of Obama Care and people are suspicious of his religion. He has to show his morals are the same as the next good right wing American’s and I don’t think he does here.

On the flip side of the coin, Tim Pawlenty (or T-Paw according to his website) clearly has employed Jonathan Demme to direct his campaign ads. I’d watch this movie, but I wouldn’t vote for the guy. It’s an interesting concept to use an attack ad to launch a Presidential candidacy, especially when Pawlenty is an unknown compared to Romney.  He should mix this, with Romney’s and he would have a much better ad.

I’ll review Obama’s ad in the next few days

Rally for Climate Action

3 Apr

Yesterday, a number of my friends and I went to the Rally for Climate Action at Belmore Park. It was a great event with some good speakers, in-particular Simon Sheikh from Get-Up.

I was however very disappointed there were no ALP representatives there. This is, after all, their policy that they are trying to sell and they should have representatives ready to speak to a crowd of supporters. It may be because they are scared of being labelled hypocrites by the Coalition if there are extreme leftists holding up anti-Abbott placards. Or it could be because the ALP are the party of Government, and in the eyes of some who would have been in attendance, they have made some questionable decisions regarding asylum seekers, banking, etc. etc. so there is always the prospect of anti-Government feeling, which would then become the story.

But within that audience, there was a good deal of respect for the Government for launching a pragmatic environmental policy that has led to negativity and even attacks from some on the right-wing. Essentially, the left is displaying our martyr worship again.

Anyway, below is an incredibly short video, just to show the size of the crowd.

Online campaigning comes of age?

19 Feb

38 degrees has done it and now Get Up has apparently done it. The online campaigning by 38 Degrees has led to the Tory led Coalition in the UK overturning its decision to sell off hundreds of thousands of acres of public owned forest. Lots has already been written about the campaign and you can see a good overview here at Tom Baker’s blog.

But here in Australia, Get Up has had a similar win, or so it claims. The ALP Government has been lobbying the independents to pass its Flood Levy, however the Government’s other cuts, including cuts to education and green energy programmes have been sticking points. Obviously, these were always designed to be negotiation points, but after reinstating a number of the programmes in response to independent and Green demands, the Levy Bill passed the lower house and will probably get though the Senate. Get Up has taken a lot of credit for this, they got enough donations for a full-page ad in one of our leading papers, as well gaining 31,000 signatures in a week. That is all very impressive granted. However, when I say they are taking a lot of credit, I mean they are taking a lot of credit. No doubt a significant amount is internal PR, but I don’t they can take the credit that the 38 Degrees can take for getting the forestry bill overturned.

Get Up was praised by Greens Senate Leader Bob Brown and the Independents for their tireless work, although, this was at a Get Up press conference.

However, my point isn’t that Get Up isn’t a hard-working, succesful and worthy organisation, I just think 38 Degrees has pulled off something far more significant as a result of their actions. There were marches in the streets and petitions of over 500,000 people. At the same time though, even 38 Degrees’ success isn’t all thanks to them. They also have an increasingly popular opposition on their side. and I think it was an issue the Tories were willing to hand over so they could convince the public that they were reasonable people.

Also, there is still the NHS fight to be fought. That result will truly show the strength of the progressive grassroots campaigners.



Turning off the lights

28 Jan

Apparently Egypt has turned off all internet connectivity within its borders. This has some pretty far-reaching connotations for everyone.

As you can see from this Mashable post, much like in Iran during the Green Revolution (although, to be fair, the information within Iran was so diluted by external messages there are questions surrounding social media’s ultimate effectiveness in that case), the protesters are organising  via digital means. Hence why the Government has apparently shut it down.

But what happens now that internet access has gone down? What happens to the protest organisation?

And could it happen in Western Democracies if there was civil unrest. Right now, UK Union leaders are meeting to discuss the possibility of General strikes in the UK to protest the Tory-led cuts. After seeing how students organised themselves during the protests last year, would the circumstance ever arise that the Government would shut down digital communications? Probably not, simply because the economy relies on the net so much these days, especially the city. But it means the possibility is still there.

I’d have to ask a technician, but would it be possible to shut down certain areas, in-particular wireless or 3g capabilities?

But consider this, Iran was never able to disconnect the net, nor has China completely stopped information seeping through. Like the 4 minute mile, once someone has done it, will everyone learn how?

Do your research!!!

19 Jan

I saw this piece on Huffington Post recently regarding a huge error surrounding a Minnesota anti-drink driving advertisement. Essentially, it is all about having a designated driver to drive you home after a night out. It uses the emotional language surrounding a best friend, which is signified by a guy’s trusty steed. That’s all nice and fuzzy, except this is a case where a marketing team was given a concept, fed back an idea and then someone thought “that’s a nice ” and it went into production, but no one did any research.

Now the drama surrounding the ad is that, apparently, according to Minnesota law, it isn’t illegal to ride a horse while drunk. So now there is an issue of people thinking “well, according to the ad, I can ride home after a big night out.”

Nice one.

I’m currently reading a book by Chris Rose called How to Win Campaigns – 100 steps to success. Rose is a senior former Greenpeace campaigner and is now a leading thinker regarding NGO campaigning. In his book, he gives significant time to the importance of researching a campaign and campaign messaging – something which you would think is pretty much a given, but obviously isn’t put into practice all of the time.

Essentially, a succesful campaign is a long-term, structured and strategised programme and all communications have to be structured and strategised as well. That includes research. I don’t know if this utilised an external agency, but if it did, someone somewhere should have been checking the details behind the concept.

I had lunch here a week and a half ago and now it is underwater #qldflood

12 Jan