Blog 7

Mar 09

Me Hearties

Blog 7 + FT + Proven By SciencePost a comment • 171 views

As you might or might not know, I have another blog which focuses mostly on market research, social media and speculation about how the two fit together.

I’ve been really enjoying writing for it lately, and I think it’s got rather good. I try to do stuff that’s interesting whether or not you’re in the marketing loop. Some posts, I admit, are craven attempts to write in the punchily stupid style favoured by the modern business dude, but some of them I’m pleased with. Here’s a little digest of the best recent Blackbeard stuff:

Humanists and determinists battle for the soul of research.
The Twitterphant in the room
The “Bulworth Effect” and the limits of representativeness.
What we used to believe vs what we now believe about teh internets (this is part of a series called “Digital Colonists”)

Mar 09

Tweets In The Rear View Mirror May Appear More Numerous Than They Are

Blog 7 + FT + Proven By Science8 comments • 421 views

You may or may not be aware that I’ve been spending a fair bit of time on Twitter lately. This began as a work exercise – “what’s the point of this then?” – but has become something more as my enthusiasm has grown. And as my enthusiasm has grown my participation has grown.

This morning I realised I’d sent six posts to Twitter in an hour. Not many by some standards, but if you’re only following 20 people and one of them is me, it must seem like I’m absolutely caning it.

And that – together with this blog post on the fallacy that number of followers is a measurement of ‘influence’ – got me thinking about how we perceive audiences when writing online.


Jan 08

If you’re havin’ tent problems, I feel bad for you son…

Blog 7 + FT/26 comments • 1,309 views

following the actually not great time i had last year (PLEASE, someone take forward the supporters trust idea with my blessing), i have comprehensively and unequivically sworn off going to glastonbury this year (it will be the first one i’ve missed since 1995), but for those of you still interested, it’s the same registration process as last year (pound to a penny that they extend it past the end of february again as well), no doubt with the same passing on of emails to mean fiddler to cross promote events.
Jay-Z, waterproof trousers not pictured
but, hey, good news for all the “teens” out there who have been staying away in droves over the last few years as the site has filled with 30-something middle managers like me, Michael (or MC ME (OBE) to his “homies” in the pilton ‘hood) has got some exciting news:

I’m putting on a black American headliner, who’s absolutely terrific that’s going to appeal to those people.

so if you are “those people” i’m sure you’ll have a lovely time. Speculation is RIFE about who this person might be, from Little Stevie Wonder to Natalie Cole, but we can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that one major star has, in fact, attended Glastonbury previously, although he did encounter a few challenges or, some might say, “problems”, which we list for you below:


Dec 07

Foxy You Came Back

Blog 7 + FT10 comments • 1,920 views

Looking through the old FT backups for lost material I came across the links list I made in 2000 when I ended Blue Lines. I’d thought it would be a good idea to run the links list as a personal history essay, so presented them in more or less chronological order. This post is simply me seeing what’s happened to them. Comments in italics are what I said in 2000. I had a non-google policy for most of this post – I followed the breadcrumb trail of the sites as far as they’d go then stopped.


Oct 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 25 Brands Of All Time Not Just Summer 2006 Which Makes This One All The More Embarrassing No.16: RUSSELL BRAND

Blog 7 + FT///6 comments • 5,784 views

In a move similar to The Freaky Trigger Top 25 Grants, one of our entries is not a Brand like the others. Where the others are marketing heavy representatives of an ethos, structure and mindset behind a product, number 16 is a person. A famous person admittedly, and one whose own recent meteoric rise (and partial fall) was peaking when we created the list. We were also quite drunk.
Ahem. Ballbags


Oct 07

PCGM Watch: This is why you can’t get dark chocolate in Switzerland

Blog 7 + FT2 comments • 1,057 views

Real actual poster for winning party in recent Swiss elections. Where is the political correctness WHEN YOU need it to go mad?


Sep 07

The FreakyTrigger Top 25 Brands: 17: THE OFFICERS CLUB

Blog 7 + FT6 comments • 1,881 views

Fashion brands come and go but for the non-fashion-literate the world of clothing can be a baffling and intimidating one. As a marketing professional I could probably outline the distinctive brand values of Top Man, Gap or Uniqlo – as a prospective purchaser the difference is elusive and strangely frightening. Surely there must be a brand for a consumer like me – not fashionable, low-budget, easily intimidated by even a helpful salesforce.

And lo, there WAS such a brand – The Officers Club! Except I never thought a lot of its clothes were any good, but hey, this is branding we’re talking about.


Aug 07

The Prisoner Officer’s Dilemma

Blog 7 + FT3 comments • 557 views

The crisis in the UK’s prison service has come to a head today, with the staff of UK prisons walking out. In some cases this has left 2,000 inmates being guarded by governors alone, that’s about 5 people to look after 2,000. A watching brief on that. And I have more than some sympathy for the officers who are at the front line in a society which seems to want to pander to the Daily Mail’s idea of justice more and more custodial sentences. Equally there is little impressive about a government welching on a pay deal which was in the first place below inflation, and then hoping to hide behind a contract with a Union drawn up under the Tory’s saying it is illegal for prison officers to strike. Much like the law which says it is illegal for police officers to strike, it has at the heart of it a big, fat paradox.

If it is illegal for a prison officer to strike then one assumes said prison officer will be arrested (or perhaps his Union leaders). OK, this is going back to the dark ages of labour relations, but it is not unheard of someone wanting to risk imprisonment for belief in their cause. But hold on. Imprisonment? Where? In prison. Imagine how well enforced (and indeed how strict) any serving prison officer would be on another prison officer incarcerated for fighting for the rights and pay of serving prison officers. Same with police officers. Who arrests the police officer who strikes on behalf of his fellow officers.

If you’re expecting society to continue on the goodwill of union scabs, and indeed an entire prison run by scabs, then I fear the crumblin’ fabric is already riddled with cracks.

Aug 07

The FreakyTrigger TOP 25 BRANDS: 18: K-TEL

Blog 7 + FT20 comments • 4,491 views

k-tel.jpgThere are a lot of great record labels out there. look, Apple as a brand has already appeared in this list. And for a bunch of music fans knocking together a list of memorable and great brands, it is inevitable that a few record labels would show up. That said I wonder if anyone sitting around that fateful table own many K-Tel records. It is a great brand, a memorable one certainly, but not really for any of the right reasons.

The K is for its founder, Phillip Kives. The Tel was for Television. Hence me showing you the logo where you often saw it.


Aug 07

BRANDWATCH: When Dove Cries

Blog 7 + FT1 comment • 652 views

Every now and then reading the marketing press you see a story and you think, surely the wider media has picked up on this. And apparently it hasn’t. In this case the story that caught my eye was: DOVE TO SHOWCASE EATING DISORDERS IN AD CAMPAIGN. “Dove…is set to cause controversy with its latest campaign to include recovering eating disorder sufferers.”

Dove’s “Real Beauty” ad campaigns since 2003 have helped turn the brand into a huge marketing success story – sales up 700%. The success has been attributed to its radical change of emphasis – advertising moving from trying to make women feel guilty about their physical imperfections towards a more celebratory tone. But is this actually Dove’s game?