January 31, 2011

Your name affects your shopping decisions! Apparently true.

This has to be one of the wildest pieces of research that I have ever seen.

A recent US study from Journal of Consumer Research consistently showed this amazing fact:

  • Those whose family names were later in the alphabet, were more likely to hit the buy button quicker.
  • When $500 was offered for filling in a questionnaire, free concert tickets or the chance of having free basketball tickets, the results were the same. The quickest to reply had names towards end of alphabet.
  • The wildest of these studies which was based on married women who had changed their family names, did not initially show this same outcome – however, when they then looked at these womens’ maiden (pre married) names, unbelievably, those with names towards end of alphabet were yet again among those that were fastest to respond.

The research team hyphothesized that this stems from our childhoods when traditionally many activities involved children being lined up alphabetically with those ending in R to Z being the last to participate.

Consequently, as adults they appear to want to react to buying before the Mr Aardvarks and Mrs Bakers of this world.


I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg had been born Mark Abbott, and Steve Wozniak had been born Steve Adler, whether they would have been as responsive and proactive as they are ?!!!



Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | No comments yet - be the first

January 29, 2011

Unpopular Auntie on board

We’ve all seen them and I defy anyone to explain to me the exact purpose of them – yes, the ubiquitous baby on board signs that we see in car windows when we’re waiting patiently at traffic lights.

Are these strange, yellow signs aimed at fellow vehicle drivers who may mistakenly believe they are Roman Centurions and are considering indiscriminately running cars off the road, like their Italian predecessors did in violent Chariot races. If so, the Baby on board sign may very well act as an effective deterrent.

Are they concerned about modern day pirates who may pull up alongside the car on the highway demanding cash and jewelery – I agree again that the baby on board sign may potentially deter certain pirates that at least have a little heart

But the more likely messages being sent by this sign to other drivers are :

  • Watch out – I may swerve unexpectedly while driving due to tiredness or reaching in the back seat to comfort my grouchy offspring
  • Please give my car lots of space because I am generally just a crap driver
  • I just like putting up pictures, even in my car

Strange though that they never tell us when they have their Mother in law or unpopular Auntie on board.

I suggest a considerably more dramatic approach if you really want everyone to know (for whatever reason) that you have a baby in your car. Put a dummy of your baby clawing at your side windows. That should do it!!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, Useless but amusing | 1 comment - read it or leave a reply

January 28, 2011

Time to replace the handshake

This short ritual of people grasping someone else’s opposite hand followed by briefly moving it up and down movement, is believed to date back to the ancient Greeks.

It was a way of showing someone that you did not possess any weapons and were therefore not a threat to that person, and has surprisingly continued to this day.

Time for a change in my opinion. Here are some of my proposals to replace the handshake with greetings much more relevant to 2011 :

1.  The Fist bump (or ‘props’) – Similar to a hand shake but involves back of clenched fist touching together. Avoids transmission of modern diseases across the palms such as H1N1, Y2K and C3PO. Very high coolness factor but may result in broken metacarpels if an elderly lady greets an oversized, over-enthusiastic youth.

2. The chest bump – Requires the touching of chests (and believed to originate from pro sportsmen – usually associated with a slight jump.) This could however prove hugely inappropriate between men and women, between those with huge height differences, between those wearing formal clothing and would certainly look just plain odd seeing incompetent ex-presidents greeting male strippers !

3. Bluetooth Ear Check – With mobile phones being the weapon of choice in 2011, possible greetings could involve investigating the ear of the person you are meeting to ensure that they are not ‘packing Bluetooth.’ Very practical, but not cool and with a huge potential for waxy embarrassment!

Other suggestions welcome!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, Useless but amusing | No comments yet - be the first

January 26, 2011

Community Manager: A Jack of all social trades

In 2011, there is clearly a demand for clients and advertisers alike to tap into this seemingly magic, ‘solve-all’ business solution called social media which can be very fruitful if the correct resources are allocated, and the right strategy implemented.

Of course, there isn’t one magic solution to attaining online social ecstasy. However, a key role in helping to achieve this lies with a company’s community manager of social media channels such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc.

The diagram below clearly shows what a multi-faceted individual is required to correctly implement this role.

Isnt it ironic (in the 90s words of Alanis Morissette,) that many businesses continue to allocate limited resources to this position although this is the person who can take the customer and business relationship to another level with the right strategy and abilities.

It clearly requires a Jack or Jill of all social media trades!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Media, Useful | 3 comments - read them or leave a reply

January 19, 2011

International Arrival of Great Marketing

Following on from T-Mobile’s famous ‘flash mob'(which was technically a well choreographed dance routine rather than a flash mob) at Liverpool Street station in London, T-Mobile has come back with a hugely entertaining piece of video content that plays on human emotions.

Filmed at London’s Heathrow Airport Flight arrivals, ‘Welcome back’ involved:

  • 300 choir members
  • 18 hidden video cameras
  • Human musical instruments
  • Lots of unsuspecting people getting off planes in the arrivals terminal

The objective of the exercise for T-Mobile from a marketing perspective was to use the emotional aspect of an Airport arrivals to get people crying from happiness, and simply associating their brand with this happy content.

As a marketing person, I take my hat off to T-Mobile for their fantastic approach. Most people think that this video generated  more than 6 000 000 views simply as a result of those magic online social media channels. Not true. The results were a result of a superbly executed, complex media and marketing strategy.

Surprisingly, T-Mobile’s ad agency did the following to achieve their amazing results:

  • Used PR to tease the public that another cool ‘ad’ would be coming in the next 24 hours on TV
  • Then aired the extended spots on TV between 10-10.30pm on all commercial channels that then drove to web
  • They continued the experience virally for consumers online by engaging them in discussion and providing behind the scenes exclusive content
  • and here’s the cool part, retargeting those that had seen the video online with T-Mobile ads.

This last point was key since the ad agency identified that those exposed to the brand engagement video were 40-50% more likely to click to T-Mobile site, and hopefully convert to a sale.

So this was not a social media campaign but rather a well planned project that took a fantastic, beautifully executed creative idea, and combined traditional media to create initial interest, and then drove continuity via digital & social media channels to further engage consumers.

The winning formula was the following : Great consumer insight + strong creative idea with seamless execution + strategic media planning (using new and traditional) + use of back end new media technology (online retargeting) & social media monitoring tools.

Nice one, T-Mobile.

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: Ads through the ages, All, General, Media, Useful | 2 comments - read them or leave a reply

January 18, 2011

Ninja bread men

Great marketing, splendid action figures and a ridiculously bad play on words.

Or for the more educated, academic children, test them on their asian geography with this cookie cutter in the shape of China. I initially thought it was the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Easy mistake. I never was any good at geography.

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, Useless but amusing | No comments yet - be the first

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