Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nokia got it right

This commercial for the Nokia 6110 Navigator is simply brilliant!

I don't want to start a rant about the stereotypical cell phone commercial and its lack of inspiration, but this ad positively surprised me, partly because I did not expect it from Nokia. What impressed me the most was that it managed to be funny, while still staying on track with its message about the product feature.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Commenting Google News

The blogosphere has been buzzing with the message that Google News is allowing comments for a selected number of people, involved in specific stories. To be honest, I don’t see the big deal. Most German magazines have allowed readers to comment on their online stories for a while and I know that BusinessWeek does this, too. Of course I realize that Google News is different in scale and concept, but I still don’t understand what is so groundbreaking about it, to warrant all this attention.

If I am completely missing the point, please, someone enlighten me!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Your Prayers Have Been Answered

Tonight the German football (soccer) league (Bundesliga) finally rings in the new season 07/08. To celebrate this, I decided to do a post about a commercial that has been airing on German TV and has sparked a bit of controversy. The pay-TV channel Premiere is allowed to broadcast all games live again (last year this privilege was reserved for competitor “arena”). The voice-over of the ad announces “your prayers have been answered” and goes on to inform the viewer that Premiere will be showing all the games and all the goals.

Now, some people have proclaimed this ad blasphemous and in poor taste. I think it is simply brilliant. First of all, it communicates the incredible wealth of emotions that people hold for the sport. Also, since it was aired during the summer break, people were craving this feeling and couldn't wait for the return of the Bundesliga.

Of course the obligatory, blatant spokesperson scene at the end just ruins the whole thing for me...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Stanford Branding study

It’s probably safe to assume that by now most of you have read about the Stanford study, which proclaimed the apparent mind-control powers that fast food marketing supposedly holds over young children.
I have only read about the research on several news sites and most of the blogosphere seems to have the same sources as me. From the description of the research methods, a few things sounded a little fishy to me, so I would love to read the actual report.

Does anyone know if this is available anywhere?

Marketing Gobbledygook

With another batch of manifestos came this paper by David Meerman Scott. He investigates the overuse of industry jargon (or gobbledygook, as he calls it), especially in the b2b software industry. David reconstructs the thinking process that leads to such meaningless communication and offers some advice on how to avoid it.

A quick read and definitely worth your while, especially if you work for one of many market-leading, innovative companies, offering grounbreaking, next-generation product solutions ;-)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Brands Matter!

As a marketing major, I constantly have to take a lot of crap from self-righteous, over-zealous finance or accounting students. The problem is that a lot of times the marketing benefits are intangible (especially to accountants). So imagine how happy I was to stumble upon this study, providing me with some live ammo to fire back. Even though it was published in 2002 (and some of you probably already know it), it is still very much relevant.

By comparing the returns of a portfolio made up of companies with a strong emphasis on branding with the returns of a benchmark portfolio made up of the rest of the U.S. market, the researchers arrived at the conclusion that strong brands consistently outperformed the market. While this has been suspected for a long time, even before this study, the use of financial tools such as Present Value calculations makes it all the more valuable for my purposes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Chore Wars

I share an apartment with 5 other guys. We all have our rooms, but have to share kitchen and bathrooms. As you can imagine, the biggest problem here is to figure out a system of cleaning these commonly used spaces and getting people to stick with it. Well, now there is a solution. I just stumbled upon an online game that makes doing chores fun.

Chore Wars is basically a role playing game, with illustrations slightly reminiscent of World of Warcraft, except that instead of a gigantic war hammer, the dwarf carries around a mop. You create your own character and invite your roomies to join your community. But instead of doing mindless tasks to improve your character, experience points are earned by embarking on quests, such as bringing out the trash or vacuuming the stairs. Even though none of us are into fantasy or video games, coupled with some kind of reward system and the competitive drive to outdo each other, i see a sparkling future for my bath and kitchen.