Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Has Charlie Sheen Lost The Plot

Here's our man on an ABC interview last night, probably one of the craziest interviews I've ever seen. I don't know if he's lost the plot, taking us all for a ride or actually, as he claims, a terestial being

Check out the link, alas embedding has been disabled... but well worth opening the extra page!

How the heck did he pass the drug test? He must be on some serious designer shit that no one has even heard of yet.

*Update: You can now following the ranting maverick on Twitter @Charliesheen

Monday, February 28, 2011

Interactive Oscars

Sunday night, well in the early hours of Monday morning, the 83rd Academy Awards took place, which are being broadcast on M-Net tonight. In case you missed them, or couldn't be bothered sitting through 3 hours of 'highly regarded and respected' thespians in the Hollywood circle talking about themselves and each other, here are the winners:

Best Film: The King's Speech
Best Actor: Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
Best Actress: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Director: Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)

Even pregnant, Portman is beyond an angel

With viewers increasingly 'multi-teching', marketers aimed to use the internet as interactive platform to promote and communicate with the award show's viewers. This from The Wall Street Journal:

"With many viewers expected to watch the Academy Awards this Sunday with computers in their laps and                 mobile phones in their hands, marketers are finding new ways to infiltrate real-time Oscar buzz via Twitter, Facebook and other Web hot spots.

Sprint Nextel Corp. is supplementing its Oscar television campaign by sponsoring live red-carpet coverage at People.com, including 360-degree cameras, live blogs and trivia games. J.C. Penney Co. plans to post to Facebook fashions from collections featured in its commercials that will air during the show."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Heineken Leading The Way

As an avid beer drinker, Heineken isn't neccesarily my go-to beer. It's by no means a bad beer, lets just say it's more like my 2nd beer of choice. Say for example if there was an ice cold Castle and an ice cold Heineken bobbing up and down next to each other in one of those chilly zinc tubs, my right hand's going to dip in and reach for the former. It's slightly sweeter than SABs counterpart, but I'm a man who likes a bit more flavour and body. 

But if the Heineken was squaring off against, say a Hansa Pilsner,  I'm lunging for the one with the red star. So to summarize, I'm not going to order a Heiney at a bar, but if I'm round at a mate's place and he offers me one I'm certainly not turning it down. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that Heineken draft ain't available in the Republe of Afriquie du Sud??

Beer commercials, to me, are some of the best out there. From Castle's overly patriotic renditions sporting fan beer-drinkers swilling beer in foreign locations to the tune of Johnny Clegg, to Stella's more artistic black and white French nouveau ads. However, in this  cut throat world of cool and clever brewski ads, Heineken reign supreme. Their ads are consistently fresh and sophisticated while appealing to males on a universal and accessible level. 

Heineken - The Entrance from Desmond en Demian on Vimeo.

In this case, its the all important 'entrance' that a dude makes to any social event. Everyone knows your entrance can make or break your evening's success. I must say I'm a big fan of this...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finger Licking Goodness Gets Abandoned For General Goodness

After over 50 years of using the universal catch-phrase; "Finger-Lickin Good", KFC are replacing it with the toned down and down right boring "So Good". This is all in part of a general shift towards a new healthier menu and more 'wholesome' brand image.

Hmmm.... so if their food becomes more healthy does it automatically lose it's finger-licking deliciousness?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Super Bowl 45 2011

The greatest American annual sporting event has come and gone, with the Packers retaining a comfortable lead over the Steelers throughout the duration of the game (much to my dismay). This year's Super Bowl saw 111 million Americans tuning in, making it the most viewed broadcast ever in the history of American television ever, ever.... ever (check out this graphical chart of Super Bowl consumption in The State. Quite something. As such ESPN and the like are able to charge in excess of 2.6 million dollars per 30 second ad segment. Yikes. But I mean, come on, its all worth it right? Especially seeing as these ad slots typically rank very well in the Nielsen ratingsThe ridiculously high price tag of these commercials all but promises that they will be spectacular and innovative in most cases. The ads are usually highly anticipated, generating much buzz even before the game is played due to their reputation of innovation or sense of humor.

However, this year the ads didn't fare quite as well with audiences, with many commenting on how dissapointed they were with the quality, ingenuity and humour of the ads. The general lack of hype and audience involvement has been attributed to companies not utilizing social media enough to engage with their target market. Once again pointing to the fact that today's brands need to combine their traditional marketing with relevant online strategies.

However, one commercial did achieve acclaim in the blogosphere. Here's VW's - The Force

Cute and clever. Everyone loves Star Wars (well... epsiodes 3 to 5 anyways), you can't go wrong with Jedi mind tricks. Luke and Darth have become so ingrained in our pop culture that even those have never seen the Empire Strikes Back knwo about using the Force!

New Nike Ad Filmed in Cape Town

This awesome new ad for Nike was filmed (mostly- the bike and rugby scene) in Cape Town, showcasing their new Free concept- using there minimalist running shoe as more than a range of footwear but as a complete lifestyle choice. It also stars my good mate and UCT Ikeys hooker, Dayne "Danger" Jans, as the rugby player, the guy who spits his tooth out at the biker.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Old Spice Guy Is Back

Thats right folks, Isiah Mustafa aka the male caramel latte is back, to tell you he's coming back, with more installments of the insanely viral Old Spice ads. And if you ask me it's about time.

god he's too good... and so wise.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How To Develop An Online Presence For Your Business in 4 Easy Steps

All of the steps outlined in this post, except for the first one, can be completed for FREE. If you've constantly been hearing about Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare 'and social media', and don't know what the heck any of it means, or worse, how to use it, fear not, you've come to the right place.

This post will guide you through, from scratch, how do get your business online and how to start growing it's online presence. The internet and social media is a way for potential customers to find you, to connect with you and for you to communicate with them.

1. Get a website.
If you haven’t already got one, your first step to developing an online presence is to get a website for your business. First you will need to register a domain name - make sure it is relevant and easy to remember. There are lots of agencies and independent web designers who will be able to register and develop a site for you. This shouldn’t be too expensive and depending on your site, development shouldn’t take longer than 2 weeks.

Make sure you approach a few designers before you decide on one to use. Take a look at their portfolio of work, and make sure their websites are in line with what you want in your site. Compare their portfolios and quotes, and ensure you can have a good working relationship as you will need to communicate with them on an ongoing basis in order to update your site. Use a site like eLance.com to post your needs and find a designer. I usually follow 3 rules when determining a site design, these are:

• Simple. Keep it simple. Only use relevant, interesting and eye-catching text and pictures. Do not bombard your viewer with an abundance of content. Include information that will be of use to them but will also set you apart in some way (highlight your USPs).
• User-friendly. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and not cluttered. Your products/services and any information relating to them (price, color, size, etc.) should be readily available. IMPORTANT – ensure your contact details are easily found.
• Stylish. I do not mean stylish as in fashionable or cutting edge, but rather that your website conveys quality. It must look professional. Your website is the online face of your business, and the internet is increasingly the first stop for people interested in your business. Therefore it is crucial that your site conveys a great first impression, it needs to communicate that your product/service is of a high standard.

2. Register your business and website on directories.
There are a number of online directories that range from very broad and general (Yellow Pages) to product and location specific (Restaurant Directory in New York). Do a thorough search of all online directories relating to your business. For example if you are a plumber in London, do a thorough search for all London directories and then for all service and plumbing specific directories. Take your time to register your details and website on these directories. This will help your business get found and also improve your website’s search engine rankings.

Some of the bigger global online directories are:

• www.anywho.com/
• www.dmegs.com/
• www.phonenumber.com

3. Get your business on the map.
More and more people are using Google Maps and MapQuest to locate businesses in their area. Firstly, do a quick search of your business on Google Maps. If it is located with the correct address; congratulations. If not, you need to get it on Google Maps also known as Google Places.

First register your business at Google Business Center. Google Places aggregates a number of popular directory's addresses in order to position places on its Map. Again registering your business on relevant directories (Step 2) will help with this and imrpove your rankings on Google Places.

There are large number of reviewer based community sites, such as Yelp and CitySearch, that are used to position business and give them ratings and reviews. Get a friend to write a quick (positive) review about your business on these sites and submit all the correct details (address, opening-closing times, services, etc.). Encourage any friends and family to start logging on and writing reviews of your business. This will help your rankings and your business will come across in a genuinely positive light to anyone who reads the reviews (free marketing).

4. Create a Facebook page
By now I’m sure that you have your own personal Facebook page, if you don’t you will need one in order to register a Facebook page for your business. A ‘page’ for your business is not the same as a personal page. A personal page will more often than not require an ‘accepted friend request’ before someone can view information on your page and post comments, whereas a page is easily found by search engines and can be viewed by anyone with a Facebook account.

Setting up a Facebook page is slightly different than setting up a profile page, but is easier. Go to this page http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and follow the very easy steps. Make sure you enter your business’s address and website correctly.
You can now link your website to your Facebook page, with a simple ‘like’ button. The html code is easily available. Speak to your web designer in order to set this up. It should take less than 10 minutes.

5. Open A Twitter account
Social Media, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Foursquare, blogs, etc. all seem to be the current buzz word. A lot of brands and business are panicking and not sure what to do. Don’t worry, as long as you have a Facebook page and a Twitter account where people can easily find your business you are in good shape.

You can also set up a Twitter account and link this to your Facebook page so when you update your Facebook status your Twitter account is updated simultaneously. This is particularly useful in helping potential customers find your business, and provides a fast and easy 2-way communication channel. Keep in mind that you don't need to constantly update your status. Rather use it promote any specials, deals or interesting news about your business. View your Facebook and Twitter as another line of communication between you and your customers. If they compliment you, thank them. If they express a complaint make sure you deal with it quickly and effectively.

You now have the option of using Facebook ads. These are very effective in targeting your specific market segment and will ensure your page increases the number of ‘Likes’ but will not necessarily lead to more sales. I would recommend initially growing your page organically, get your family, friends and associates to ‘Like’ your page and recomened it to their friends and so on.

Congratulations! You now have a significant online presence for your business. You should set yourself a time limit of 3 weeks to sufficiently complete these 4 steps. It will take about 2 weeks for Google, Yahoo! And Bing to start ranking your sites and pages.

This is a beginners guide and only covers the basic steps to initiating and growing your business's online presence. In a few weeks I will be looking at how you can further your online presence using blogs and Facebook ads.