Monthly Archives: October 2015

Millennial Dilemma

Although I actually quite like Hotline Bling and the memes involved, I also have recognized that I have become quite old.

Technically I am earliest installation of Millennials. What that means is that, we can use digital devices but had to learn how to use them. It is not something that has always been part of my life. Majority of my friends are from Generation X and my frame of reference has always been more from that side. So to put it to movies context, I am more “Straight Outta Compton” than “We Are Your Friends”.

Age is nothing but a number, but generally I found that there is more to learn from younger people than old geezers. Old age brings experience. Experience brings predictability. Predictability brings cynicism. Which means that every year brings you closer to become a truly whiny and bitter bastard. No need to beat around bush, that is where we all are eventually heading.

The behavior of real millennials (not from older end, like me) is shaping the future. If I think about my own parents they have eventually turned out to all things early adopters first pioneered, whether it is Netflix, smartphones or Finnish hip-hop. You cannot learn about stickers by reading about them, you have to observe people who are actually using them. There are lots of things to learn from younger generation, but how to meet them? I have three methods to try to pick brains of millennials:

  1. Be available mentor

Whether it is a company initiative or someone is approaching you for help, try to be available and meet different people. Bad experiences are valuable experience as well and when you mentor someone you most likely learn even more from you mentee. Millennials might think that you have something valuable to contribute, so be helpful. One coffee can make a big difference.

  1. Try to talk to the students

Today I was talking to marketing students in SMU. They were super active and smart bunch. Questions were sharp and made me also think from different angle. When you are at beginning of your marketing career it feels that you are actually thinking more straight and clearly. All the marketing jargon has not yet totally polluted your brain. Well, there is time for everything.


Selfie with SMU students taken by our HR Director, Kevin

  1. Go where the young people are

I don’t actually know where young people nowadays are and I would not dare to go there even if I know. And I don´t really want to know. Clubs are too noisy. I just want to hang out at home, listen to vinyl records (from when I was teenager) and enjoy a good glass of wine. So two out of three is ok as well.

If you don´t know what millennial is and you don´t know if you are one, check this Vanity Fair guide. Funnily (or sadly) in the latest Vanity Fair, there was a letter to the editor by (younger) millennial. She referred to VF as a magazine, she envisioned to be reading when she would be over 30. Damn, I have read VF from when I was 20.

I must be the most failed Millennial in the world.

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Sushi Train: The Best Ideation Exercise For Workshops

I have probably spent quarter of this year (or even more) in workshops. And I love it.

The collaborative boiler room environment is something I truly like. You generally come to the solutions faster. All the important stakeholders are present, so participants are more involved and invested in actual results.

Because of the sheer volume of workshops I either attend or moderate, I rotate quite a bunch of different idea exercises. Some exercises work better than others with different groups, and one size does not fit all. One of my current favorites which seems to be generating golden ideas every time is the following:

Sushi Train (group exercise 5 to 10 people)

sushi train

Ideas just keep on piling and piling up…

What you need?
– blank paper (A4) for every group member
– pen
– timer
– fresh ideas
– hopefully readable handwriting (my biggest challenge)

How long does it take?
Depending on the group size, i.e. 5 member team takes 5 minutes to write ideas and about the same to share. Good to have about 30 minutes for this exercise.

How does it work?
1 Min Write your idea on a blank paper. After minute is done, rotate your paper within the group to the next person to you.
1 Min Build upon idea you received from your group member. Rotate the paper. If you cannot build the previous idea, just write a new one.

Continue this until you will receive your first paper back.
Share the ideas within wider group.

It is generally way more effective to force people to write their ideas quietly at first, before you are going to discussion. Brainwriting is better than brainstorming, because latter favors the loudest and those highest in the company food chain. When you have to write, you have to think. And more people think, better and more effective ideas you will generate. Sushi train also encourages collaboration and is a quick acid test for ideas. If other people cannot continue with your idea, it was not probably that good to begin with.

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Forget the Unicorns, Focus on Cockroaches

There has been lots of talk about the current tech bubble or lack thereof. Valuations have gone over the roof and money. When we are hunting for flashy unicorns, there might be many hidden ugly ducklings with lots of potential.

One can´t help but wonder that many of the new start-ups seem to be just over glorified pizza delivery services that work on your mobile phone. Although drones, virtual reality and wearables are sexy, majority of the start-ups working in the sexy side of things are just flash of the pan.

Money is where boring is.

That is why I would turn my focus to food for the next growing category. Regardless of the latest iterations of iPhone, the last time I checked, all the people still need to eat. Every one of us have to eat to live, but to make some better margins there are quite a few people who are living to eat as well. Today´s food trend is tomorrow´s food mainstream.

The next growing food category is bugs, crickets, grasshoppers and other insects. As you might have heard, the insects might be the solution for the growing demand of food. Eating insects on various forms makes perfect sense:

There is currently couple of interesting insect protein start-ups originated from Kickstarter. Both use cricket flour in their insect protein bars: Jungle Bar and Exo Protein. Bars are one thing, but I recommend eating insects also. Little bit of butter and salt, spider to the pan and you have perfect dish.

Future of food

My first encounter with fried tarantula in Cambodia 2008

If you scorn on eating ants and spiders, it is good to remember that lobsters were once considered as “the cockroaches of the sea”.

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Anatomy of An Insight: Angkasa Pura Last Minute Souvenir

This idea is almost so obvious, that it nearly makes you angry that you did not come up with something similar yourself.

Angkasa Pura (company operating Indonesian airports) in conjunction with Indonesian tourism board launched a series of small paper packages showing the stories and designs behind the humble Indonesian coin:

Angkasa Pura Last Minute Souvenir

Turning forgettable coin to unforgettable souvenir

When you open them up, they work as a display stand where you can fit a leftover coin from your trip to Indonesia. These could be picked up for free in Indonesia´s airport:


Insight: When you are traveling abroad, you will have bunch of foreign coins you cannot really use anywhere. What if you would turn something worthless into something worth remembering?

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The Paradox of Thought Leadership

The more effective you are in your “thought leadership”, the more you get business.

The more you get business, less time you have to maintain that thought leadership.

If you do not have time to read outside your day-to-day work, the negative effects will come eventually. As a planner, you should try to maintain your daily reading time no matter how busy you are.

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Ideas Are Like Farts

Ideas are like farts.

You should let the flow free.

If you force them, they turn out to be shit.
You should not also force them on other people.
Even though your own ones are always the best.

Ideas are like farts.
They can come from anywhere, anytime.
But it can be tricky to capture them.

No matter what people say everyone has them.
But quite often they stink.
Although those that make the biggest noise seldom do.
But silent ones can linger with you for a long while.

Even amateur can release good one once in a while.
But it takes skill to create good ones constantly.
It takes vision to turn them into a profitable business.

There is a thin line between a truly great and a really shitty one.
And you don´t know until you have released them.
You should not be afraid to rip them apart.

It takes courage to share them to public.
But those who have that courage will always be remembered.

Ideas are like farts.

“One must never own up to a fart in public.
That is the unwritten law, the single most stringent protocol of American etiquette. Farts come from no one and nowhere: they are anonymous emanations that belong to the group as whole, and even when every person in the room can point to the culprit, the only sane course of action is denial.”
Paul Auster (Brooklyn Follies)

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Anatomy of An Insight: Sizzl

Moving at the speed of culture has been the catchphrase for many marketers lately.

Oscar Mayer is one of the brands, that has turned that phrase into brand behavior.

Internet has love affair with bacon

Internet loves bacon. Actually there are more bacon-related conversations than there is chatter about Kanye West, Tom Cruise and Lady Gaga combined. They have been the bacon brand that has been capitalizing that eternal love for bacon. Oscar Mayer has done Bacon alarm clock and bacon branded content. Now their newest app will help you to find your true love (for bacon):

Insight: Tinder has become mainstream in the mating game*. When selecting for a potential partner, what could be more important than his or her preference of bacon?

Tinder for bacon-lovers

Tinder for bacon-lovers

Will people really start to use this app?

Probably not, but at least it grabs headlines and increases the brand love among bacon-loving Internet. The brand´s behavior online underlines their belief and dedication to bacon. And that is a noble mission.

*When I started dating my now-wife, we weren´t even on Facebook. We had to rely on real-life Tinder: going to bars. Kids have it easier nowadays.

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