— blending the mix

June, 2006 Monthly archive

Both of my subscribers (!) and other people who stumble here by accident will at least now have some witty and insightful content to read when they see my new gapingvoid widget!

It displays a cartoon a day (I believe) – and you know what they say “A cartoon a day helps you work, rest and play”.

I hope you enjoy it. Hugh, many, many thanks for your great idea.

Which leads me onto another great idea. Why could [tag]gapingvoid[/tag] cartoons not be put onto an iPod? A silent slideshow of Hugh’s cartoons, downloaded daily via RSS to your iPod? Maybe it could be a screensaver on the [tag]iPod[/tag] if such a thing were to exist? Harold Lloyd move over – Hugh McLeod is here!
Or how about video podcasts using the cartoons to break the show, lead into ads, or even provide a visual “full screen presentation” of the topic they are discussing?

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The BBC have come up trumps again with another fascinating story about our involuntary behaviour to eyes which could have interesting consequenences for advertising.

A Newcastle University team reporting in Biology Letters found that people put three times more money into an “honesty box” when buying a drink when there was a pair of eyes on a poster above the box than when there was a poster containing flowers.

Over a 10-week period an A5 poster with drinks prices was rotated between eyes and flower, with the total contributions for drinks each week being totalled-up.

Eyes brought in 2.76 times more money than flowers.

Well, the explanation for the difference (after deeper reading) is apparently down to the brains acute sensitivity to the detection of expressions and emotions. Coupled with our consciousness (in some cases desire!) of being watched, it is likely that the eye poster made people believe they were being watched and responded accordingly – honestly!
So what does this mean for advertisers?

The eyes have it.

What do you want your customers to look at? Telephone number, email address, discount price?

Behaviour-affecting imagery clearly has more of a role to play than we ever previously thought.

In my direct mail days, we once carried out a series of tests using the image of an aeroplane set at different degrees of rotation (i.e. take-off and landing angles).

The aeroplane set to land scored the lowest resonse rate (< 2.5%) whilst (not surprisingly) the airplane taking-off generated the highest response rate (c.2.8%) but more importantly generated the most holiday competition entries. OK, it’s not rocket science but it without doubt demonstrates how important the smallest things can be. You might want to take a little more time examining those stock shots you just bought! Somethings to consider: People:  Male or Female?

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The Guardian has just launched a downloadable version of the newspaper called G24 reports press gazette (courtesy of Lee Wilkins).
Designed as 8-12 page pdf’s The Guardian’s Editor Alan Rusbridger says that it is designed for those people who are increasingly demanding about what they read and when they read it. Content changes throughout the day to ensure that it is as up to date as
In providing RSS-style content creation with conventional reading methods, The Guardian has tapped into a potentiall lucrative market.
As a good friend said to me the other day when discussing Orange Broadband, “yes the tube is dull, but there is only so much you can read on a 2″ screen” – and he’s a tech-savvy Telecomms Analyst!
How big a gap does G24 fill – A MASSIVE ONE!

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The BBC reports that UK mobile phone users sent 3.3 billion texts last month.

My question is this: Has anyone really ever heard of a text campaign receiving the same amount of kudos for its creativity as say, [tag]The Simpsons youtube ad[/tag], yet the medium has been around for years longer?

There is either a lack of understanding in the sector or mobile marketing is just too tricky a market to be creative in.

What do you think?

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Steve Rubel reports on a University of Massachusetts paper which attempted (by interviewing 74 of the most successful bloggers) to explain why some blogs were more successful than others.

The four top tips are:

1. Blogs Take Time and Commitment
2. Blogs Must Be Part of A Plan
3. A Blog is a Conversation
4. Transparency, Authenticity, and Focus are good. Bland is Bad

What is inteersting though is how little time is spent blogging (although some might argue an hour a day is more than enough!), especially given the prolific amount of posts some of the people interviewed put up.

I guess if nothing else, this simply tells us that if you’ve got something relevant to say – KISS.

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My Sony laptop is on the verge of packing in, after years and years of (ab)use it is at death’s door.

The CD drive does not allow me to burn back-up discs anymore and it is pot luck as to whether or not it will work from one day to the next.

So, I am offering a unique opportunity to sponsor ME.

Apple, Microsoft, Dell, or indeed any company willing to provide me with a half-decent laptop will have their name mentioned as part of my email signature.

In ALL communications in which I participate and which requires me to use the laptop (pretty much all the time!), I will apply the following signature text for a full 12 months (and I WILL provide weekly evidence of this):

Paul Fabretti


Written on an Apple Macbook Pro by Company X.


"Written using the latest Dell Precision M90"

or whatever suits the company providing it! You get the picture!

I may even think about something that sounds good too!

I am a minimum 3-times a day, 3-blog blogger with a (growing) average 800 unique visitors per month (ok, not a lot but growing all the time!). I am an active member of linked-in, openbc, ecademy as well as the pinkomarketing wiki and google group.

I am also an eBay (UK) Gold Power seller. A link to the company providing my laptop will also be included in ALL my eBay auctions.

Some will no doubt snigger at the visitor numbers (and advertisers may balk at the numbers!) but I am an extremely active member of the communities in which I mix, and present you with an opportunity to touch business professionals deeper than any banner ad would.

If this is of interest to you and you would be able to provide me with a laptop, I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Weather reports, flights, take-away food, and price checks.

All things that we were all soooo excited about using in WAP (but didn’t) are now being touted as the major reasons for using mobile internet with t-mobile.

How about mobile blogging, video blogging, internet search, maps, google earth, podcasting…now surely THESE are all things which are going to make mobile internet more attractive.

Nobody used WAP for a reason – the services were largely irrelevant.Why would we pay more to use the same service only do it quicker?

T-mobile -  use your bloody imaginations. Find out what people use their PC’s for and tell them they can do it on a phone too.

Is it so difficult?

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An article in the FT.com reports that [tag]Google[/tag] is launching a new ad network to run alongside [tag]Adsense[/tag] and [tag]Adwords[/tag] which is, to all intents and purposes, an affiliate network tro rival that of the new [tag]eBay[/tag] program.

Instead of paying per click as we are all used to, advertisers should be able to specify the action that leads to the payment trigger (click, sign-up, order, information request), although I can’t help thinking that with Google there will be a twist!

Maybe some sort of ad-sense style bidding for the most popular/generous/desperate publishers (dieting, vitamins, credit cards etc.) looking to attract the most users.

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Steve Rubel reports on the blurring of boundaries and concludes that:

the Cluetrain Manifesto is now coming true. Markets are now conversations and marketing is evolving into a two-way discipline. This means that advertising must go beyond its borders too. However, many of the most talented individuals who have such conversational skills work inside PR shops. That’s because the public relations industry has long traded in dialogue.

Get your ideas at the ready Pinko’s…we WILL be needed.

And this is ONE talented individual who does not work in a PR shop, so get in touch with me!

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First its Scoble, then it’s Tara, now it’s Bill.

Who’s next?

What’s interesting is that [tag]Robert Scoble[/tag] and [tag]Tara Hunt[/tag] (despite having been part of innovative face-recognition start-up [tag]Riya[/tag]) are pursuing interests in new areas on the internet rather than simply moving on to do the same thing at another company.

Robert has joined an exciting new company called [tag]podtech.net[/tag] (a Silicon Valley-based tech. news podcasting channel) and Tara is expanding her [tag]Pinko Marketing[/tag] concept (which just rocks!), as well as her own [tag]Citizen Agency[/tag]!

What is interesting that these two long-established blogosphere personalities are both moving (despite coming from different directions!) towards companies and projects engaging in new (to most people!) methods of internet use.

[tag]CGC[/tag] – [tag]Podcasting[/tag], [tag]vlogging[/tag], [tag]wiki’s[/tag], [tag]blogs[/tag], forums are all now essential tools to succeed on the internet and the fact that 2 such well-known personalities have left safe jobs to get more directly involved is a sign for all of us.

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