Monday, February 25, 2013

Transmedia, crimes and publicity: All in one.

January 2013, Hannover. Someone stole the golden cookie which the German company "Bahlen" used as the emblem of their brand "Leibniz Keks".
A couple days after the robber sent this picture to a local newsletter:

The robber, dressed as (a seedy version of) the cookie monster, holds the golden cookie. The ransom note says that he wants the company to give cookies to the children in a near hospital, as well as 1000 € to a local animal shelter.
It was hilarious that the note specified the cookies needed for the ransom to be the good ones, "those of milk-chocolate, not the black-chococate or the plain ones".
It was also part of the joke that a former CEO of the company during the 70s went then into a political career, and the press used to call him "the cookie monster".

Of course Sesame street hurried to keep clear that they had nothing to do with all that:
 And the company, also pretty fast, said to the media that they were happily willing to pay a ransom of 52.000 packs of cookies to 52 different NGOs. And reminded of their many current proofs of "social involvement". Just after some more days the cookie was back again.

Since whole story was so funny and beautiful at the same time, it had international effect on the press. Besides, the company managed all this so well that they turned it into a huge opportunity for publicity:

Finally many cookies were given, and the brand gained (or recovered) lots of fans. As they say here in Germany "Ende Gut, Alles gut".

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Strokes doing Research-Marketing?

Ok, maybe is a bit too elaborate, but here is the conjecture:

Did the rock band “The Strokes” just did a really fast and precise market research to know what the fans wanted their next album to be before releasing it entirely?

19 days ago the band released “One Way Trigger” the first song of their new album Comedown MachineThe song was so different, that barely anybody liked it. The enormous amount of comments posted the internet where a really good feedback: People said it was horrible, and they were missing the Original Strokes.

So just yesterday they fullly released "All the time"the Single of that same album. It’s complete different, it has the sound that everyone was asking for.

And the question is, did they released the first like a trial? Did they want to research how fans would react to that risky song? And will the rest of the new album follow the sound that all their "customers" demanded?

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


My brother taught me once that learning by listening was way better than by bungling when talking. Then I started realizing how easy and useful it is to listen actively to people: Most of the time they know more than me about the subject and, anyway, they always bring a different perspective that enriches my own idea about it.
Since then I love to get informed about topics I am interested in by any means of verbal communication (the radio, talks, speeches, classes, conferences, debates…). I’m very fond of nice conversations in cafés.
And then, just last year, I discovered a marvelous invention called TED.

TED (Acronym for “Technology, Entertainment, Design”) is an NGO dedicated to spread great discussions and conferences on a variety of different subjects.  The talks are lead by all kinds of different people that are always full of innovative ideas that can change world.
It was created in the 80’s, but went fully on-line in 2006. And it’s on the net, and under a Creative Commons License, that their mission got real strength, because the Speeches started to be available for free all around the world.

On TED I found brilliant discussions about Marketing, such as a very comical speech by Rory Sutherland about how advertising can change the consumers’ perception of the value of a product and further how real and important this value becomes:

TED consolidated my ideas about the huge power and responsibility that consumers have on discussions such as the one given by John Gerzema. Just one of the many stirring speeches about Consumer Behavior and Market Research that can be found flicking through the Tags’ listing on TED’s App for Android and iPhone:

But also thanks to TED, I’ve discovered how a social stigma (like mental illnesses) can be fought and altered with humor. The comedian Ruby Wax shows how in this very intelligent speech (Or should it be called stand-up comedy?):

TED even provided me with an easy way to answer when friends ask me “but what’s this thing about meditation?”, because I could never explain it better than Andy Puddicombe in his own words:

Business educator Eddie Obeng taught me in his electrifying speech that Problem Solving should be, nowadays, Problem Forecasting. He says that getting something wrong is not always failing because in our world “after midnightthere’s certainly not enough to make safe decisions:

And last but not least, TED has reminded me how crucial positive thinking on life and work is. For instance, in this hilarious speech by Shawn Achor I learned that the Competitive Advantage is not as important as the “Happiness Advantage”:

So, when I decided to create a series of Posts about the things that inspire me, I knew that TED was going to be the first one. Because all my favorite speeches on TED give me hints how to evaluate the present and also how I want things to be in the future. And that is, as I see it, pure inspiration.