Monthly Archives: November 2015

Advertising is Just A Shortcut For Product Selection

“Brands are not the rich sources of differentiation marketers like to think of them as, but short cuts through the complexity of decision-making.”
Ian Leslie

I have been fighting against the lofty term engagement for a long time.

There is time and place for marketing activities that are not only aimed at reach. However, they should be approached like investing and with the notion that those activities will most likely fail. In terms of majority of marketing budget, you need to focus on top-of-mind. There are too many alternatives out there to every product imaginable so as a consumer you cannot be bothered. You want to buy your stuff and focus on other more important things in life. Advertising provides a shortcut for product selection. Therefore it is crucial to keep reaching people all the time, be consistent and be different than your competition.

In your next social media seminar there will be an annoying social media guru waxing lyrical about engagement. On that instance, close your ears and keep in mind these essentials:

1.Focus on light buyers.
Like professor Andrew Ehrenberg nicely put it: “your customers are customers of other products, who occasionally buy your products”. If you are doing consumer goods, you are mass product and you need to do mass advertising.

2.Focus on socially inactive audience.
1% of the people actually create content, while 99% are lurkers. Not all your activities should be focused to lurkers, but majority. 1% rule applies to general content in Internet. People who are creating content about your brand are on your payroll or they are crazy. Or both.

3.Focus on being focused.
Marketing directors and advertising agencies have short attention span. They feel the need to fix something that is not broken. They feel the need to tinker a brand that is in good shape. They want to innovate when they should stick to their guns. If you want people to remember you, you have to be consistent.

If you will keep your focus, you will be doing effective advertising.

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Elevator Repair is The Best Corporate Wellness Program

Everyone knows that if worker´s are in good health, it will be beneficial to the company. There are different corporate wellness programs, but because people are motivated differently their results are not always so successful. In our office building there has been one major change, which most likely will have the biggest impact on the well being of workers. This is not any corporate wellness program and not even run by HR, but it has suddenly got people moving:

Best corporate wellness program

Best corporate wellness program in action

If you want to get your workers to exercise, break down your elevator.

Instead of three elevators, we are currently down for only one. It currently takes around 10 minutes to wait for an elevator, so majority of people have switched to walking stairs. We are nine floors high, so some of the people will actually quite good exercise by just walking the stairs. Instead of trying to get people to exercise, you make exercising more desirable option instead of waiting for the elevators. Of course some people are waiting for the elevator, but most likely they would not start exercising in any case.

In Singapore you are automatically opt-in for organ donor program (which should be the case in every country). You have to make effort to opt-out. This naturally has resulted on high organ donor rates. If you want to nudge people towards certain behavior, you should make the alternatives less desirable, more cumbersome or even totally impossible.

Hopefully people continue walking the stairs, when elevators have been fixed. Especially those lazy bastards on first and second floor, you should walk the stairs every day no matter are the elevators broken or not (I am at fifth floor).

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How To Be A Blind Tasting Planner

In blind-tasting we only trust our tastebuds, in normal tasting we will automatically favor the more expensive alternative

In blind tasting we only trust our tastebuds, in normal tasting we will automatically favor the more expensive alternative

I recently read “Blind Tasting Manifesto”from Robin Goldstein, which is a though-provoking text about wine tasting. It also has three important lessons for a planner:

1. Always Manage and Manipulate The Expectations of the consumers

Expectations rule our evaluation of wine. Especially expectations based on price: you are automatically favoring wine if you know (or believe) it is expensive.

People are not rational and sometimes contrary to traditional economic model decreasing price can lead to fewer sales. Price is important anchoring point for quality. If something is too cheap it is not aspiring, believable and it does not get your expectations.

Too often we neglect consumers expectations and current biases around our product. We are too busy on focusing what we want to say and do within current campaign that we fail to realize that quite often our audience has already created their impression of our brand before even seeing any ads or experiencing the product. Consumers get the brand that they believe they get, not what the brand truly is.

2. Don´t trust the experts

Experts, who guide our wine expectations, cannot be trusted. Many studies have proven that many so-called wine experts fail miserably in blind-tasting setting.

Same thing goes with marketing. I stopped going to seminars, because I was constantly underwhelmed with all the “gurus” talking about the same things on their Keynotes. Planners want to be experts and also refer to other so-called “experts” too often. The most important thing is to absorb information and stimulus as possible, but at the end of the day, do your own decisions. If you are able to do unbiased decisions…

3. Try to Keep An Open Mind

Your true preferences are out there awaiting discovery via blind tasting. You might even like the cheaper wine, so keeping an open mind can save your money.

We as planners can easily fall prey to experimenter´s bias. Our expectations regarding study results bias the research outcome. Too often, we find exactly what we are looking for. That is totally counter-effective to what true planning should be, we should find something new.

Advertising is one of the most subjective industries in the world. We planners should try to be the most objective we can be. It is not easy, but if we are not trying, no one else is either.

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Recipe for An Internet Hit: Cross-Section of Highbrow Concept and Lowbrow Vulgarity

Beautiful landscapes combined with pair of men´s balls. That is the latest phenomenon among guys. Being a huge fan of infantile humor myself, I am naturally delighted by this art.


There is nothing surprising with this phenomenon. We know that males are naturally leaning towards below the belt every time there is an opportunity. Generally the best coping mechanism in this world is to try to take the piss out of everything. At the same time it is weirdly empowering and disgusting. Like all the great memes, the “nutscaping” is inclusive and the creator has been helpful enough to give tutorial how to create your own “Nutscape” on his website.


  1. Find yourself somewhere awesome.
  2. Turn your back to the awesome scene.
  3. Drop your pants.
  4. Bend over and shoot Nutscape back through your legs.

Other helpful hints include adjusting width of stance to accommodate hanging state (either high or low) of nuts. When you are nutscaping at height, use free hand the anchor and remember to “mind the tip” (so that it does not turn to dickscape). turned Nutscapes into motivational posters turned Nutscapes into motivational posters

The cross-section of inspiring and repulsive is something that catches like wildfire in the Internet. Instagram has already suspended Nutscapes, because essentially they are hypocritical and lack any sense of humor. What could be a new energy boost for photography is now crippled by censorship.

“I believe Nutscapes has great artistic depth because it touches upon both a low-brow vulgarity and a high-brow concept. Simply, testes are f*cking funny. Always have been; always will be. They add humor to a subject matter, landscape photography, that is typically a little dry.”

Clancy Philbrick (Creator of Nutscapes)

This highlights the dilemma brands have when they want to go viral. Extremes are interesting, but only handful of brands can truly take it to the max (and even should try to it). Quite often sharable content lacks any deeper meaning, purpose and any substance whatsoever. It is just fun because people can sense that there a no hidden agenda. Great brands are all about agenda, not even hidden one. Agenda is seldom something you want to share unless it is your agenda.

What makes a good meme does not make a good brand.

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