the grass is greener on the internet

Product placement with sta’in power
September 10, 2008, 11:58 pm
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When it comes to product placement, a controversial but original idea would have to be stained glass windows.

Notcot speculates that the design of the stained glass windows in the Notre Dame in Reims features the distinctive Veuve Clicquot. Interesting placement to catch the wandering eyes of churchgoers.

I think this is even better, though…

This is a stained glass window in St Martin’s church, Bratislava. Clearly visible in the two middle windows are the name and insignia of a key benefactor. (Sipox is, I believe, a bank. Perhaps it’s as secure as a church? Hmm…)

Something for the growing community churches to think about, maybe? 😛

Apologies for the lame, lame title.

PS – like cars? Like your Veuve? Mmmm luxurious branding


Cities and diamonds
August 4, 2008, 10:23 am
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I was surprised to learn that the most ‘green’ champagne is apparently Veuve Clicquot. Transported by sea and pressurised to weigh less (hmm, are we getting less?) it’s just a little more friendly to the earth than other bubbly. I am told that its box also folds out to form its own ice bucket – I’m not sure if that really reduces waste but it is certainly a cool idea.

This article by Paul Graham really confirms for me why I want to move.

Back on the topic of blogs as an advertising tool, National Australia Bank’s advertisements for a new SMS banking service in the commenting space of several Australian blogs caused a huge fuss in the blogging community.

Banks never have a good time of it; nobody really LIKES you, but they do need you. Still, it seems like every bank wants to be your friend, and sometimes just try too hard. ANZ’s latest tvc which tried to show that they consider everyone’s feedback as well as depicting what a bank would look like if they offered the services of a beautician was entertaining, but didn’t give them much credibility. The Commonwealth Bank also went for entertainment, with a ‘behind the scenes’ look at them turning down an overdone, showy ad proposed by an agency because they want to keep it simple. While – perhaps in the name of tact – the agency was pinned as being American, it brings up the question as to why an Australian bank would employ an American agency in the first place. Apart from the fact that after all of the showbiz, the actual message of the ad is surprisingly hard to catch.

But NAB’s mistake is a bit different, and runs in line with a lot of other companies. Advertisers are learning the hard way that social networking, blogging included, has its own laws. Facebook has unwritten laws unto itself (but more on that another time). The focus of a blog is the writer and what they want to show the world; a violation of that is the online version of going to a birthday party and not speaking to the host. To have a generic, unrelated comment on a serious post is like an invasion of a private conversation, and is usually left to the likes of Viagra-hawking spammers. It reflects poorly on the brand and ruffles feathers. besides, blogs are not the most intuitive place to be promoting a mobile service…

No doubt they’ve learnt that lesson now.

Working on a few interesting projects at the moment. One is a research project looking at solving the confusion surrounding nutrition, the output of which is scaring me a little. Definitely going to look into Michael Pollon’s new book, In Defense of Food. (‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’)

Also just finished a competition submission proposed by a jewellery retailer, asking how, as a generic product, diamonds should be branded. It’s an interesting one because as a promotional exercise for their company it is surely not a good idea to intrinsically link the idea that your products are generic with your brand, particularly in a context where the participants are considering the scenario at length. I’m no diamond expert, but I would still debate that diamonds are generic – apart from the four c’s there’s still design aspects and origin to consider.

And more for my own reference: a video of David Ogilvy here just because he’s cool.

Gruen Transfer is over for the year! Can’t wait to have the next season. Also will be hanging out for a DVD of The Hollowmen. Definitely the best Australian tv I’ve seen in a while.