the grass is greener on the internet


Bubble burst for paper?

Australia’s Marketing Magazine has been touting – somewhat gleefully – that with the global recession and subsequent slashing of advertising budgets, online advertising will take over.

Costs do seem to be the concern du jour, with being green another key topic. Just look at this ad for SnapTax in Canada::

[…and more here.]

The caption, in case you can’t read it, says:: “Paper is Evil. Do your taxes online in minutes.”

[I really hope this ad wasn’t published in a magazine.]

Yes, paper has costs both financially and environmentally. But although there are claims that the media moguls of Australia are finding less of their revenues are coming from the newspapers, isn’t there just something about paper that online doesn’t have?

Newspapers are cheap. You can pick them up, wave them around, flick their pages and find out things you never would have thought to look up. You can cut articles out, file them away or stick them on the fridge. You can carry them around in a bag for reading when you’re bored. You can hide behind them when someone you don’t like walks past. They’re tactile. They have a smell all of their own. And…once upon a time, we used them to wrap up hot chips, or cut words out for collages.

I wouldn’t be heralding the end of traditional media, not yet. While there are still lazy Sundays in with the papers, it will be very much alive.

However, I suspect we will be seeing much more of this::

Okay, not this specifically. But this is a fine integrated outdoor/online example from DDB NZ for Pascall’s.

For the release of the company’s new ‘fruit bursts’ they’ve set up this billboard, which keeps public attention quite well. The strawberry you see is filled with the lollies, and is slowly being filled with air. When it gets large enough it should hit the pin and burst, leaving product samples all across the carpark. (Now to buy myself a ute in NZ…)

But the real attention grabber is the associated website, aptly titled ‘When will the fruit burst’. There’s a $4000 reward for correctly guessing when the fruit will burst (as well as a live feed for bounty hunters).

The campaign feeds into itself beautifully and if Sophie Monk eating KFC can get into the news, then I’m sure an exploding billboard showering a carpark with lollies should too.

Online for the win? Patience might be required. But it’s definitely going to play a big part from now on.

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Country is not a category
October 8, 2008, 10:12 pm
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I’ve been enjoying the commentary on nation branding by brandsinger – it seems to be an emerging area in the industry with countries like New Zealand going as far as to consult branding agencies.

A number of nation branding rankings have been released recently, some dubiously covering the subject, but all completely disagreeing with each other.

This feels…well, stupid. How do you compare countries anyway? The country I want to live in may not be the country I want to visit, the country I want to do business with, the country I think is the most economically stable or the country that the most people migrate to. I really don’t think you can see ‘country’ as a product category.

Comparing countries and trying to rank them is then like trying to say which mobile phone is the best. Some are pitched for design and ease of use. Others try and pack as many features as possible into as small a package as possible. Then there’s the phones which offer the basic features for a highly competitive price. Can you compare all of these? No. Not unless you do a value judgement on behalf of your audience about which qualities matter the most.