Back to the future


Not because it’s cheap. Not because it’s convenient. Just because it’s cool.

Check out these old phone handsets. You must.

Oooh Squidoo!

Squidoo makes it easy for you to create, share and discover meaning online. It’s a co-op of everyday experts, called lensmasters, who build lenses on topics they care about. What’s your topic?

Last night I received my invitation to take part in the Beta testing of Seth Godin’s new Squidoo site. I know that there’s plenty of great new Web 2.0 stuff (if I may use that term) happening at the moment. But I’m particularly excited aout this one. Partly because I think it’s Squidoo is a great idea. But also because it’s guaranteed to a success before it is launched. Squidoo will work.

Why? Because a lot of people are already talking (or at least blogging) about Squidoo. And a lot of high profile bloggers have already taken part. Seth has been able to create enough hype about the idea based on his own contacts, “Celebrity-blogger” status, and solid reputation – without the help of a huge advertising budget. Seth Godin and Squidoo are definitely at favourable end of the Long Tail. There is plenty of Buzz to ensure that this will be another successful venture for Mr. Godin.

That’s what I love about the whole Web 2.0 thing. You don’t have to be the first, the biggest or spend the most money to succeed. Traditional marketing has been turned on its head. Hoorah!

Check out the Squidoo blog if you too would like to come along for the ride.

BP and Carbon Footprints : credits where they’re due

By now some of you would have read or heard about BP’s recent marketing campaign about a Carbon Footprint calculator. I’m sure I’m not the only person who was initially dubious about this – an oil company educating the public on the environment and responsible energy use? Surely this is a band-aid coporate social responsibility strategy?

Well surely. But at least the campaign raising awareness of this important evironmental monitor, and providing suggestions to the public about how they can reduce their personal impact on the environment.

White Stripes : Band or Brand?

On the weekend I saw the White Stripes perform at the Apollo in Hammersmith. A tremendous gig it was too.

The red, white and black props, the red, white and black outfits, the rock and roll theatrics, the rock and roll – it was all there. Indeed, Jack and Meg were in good form.

But the thing that impressed me most about the gig actually took place after the gig.

As we walked outside, numerous red cape-cladded staff handed out CDs to everyone. On each CD contained a link to a website. From this link you could download the gig from that evening’s performance – as an MP3 file.

What a great little viral marketing campaign that is. Fans can download the gig they’ve juat seen for free (well almost free, £1.50 to be precise – you had to access a code via text message to be able to download the file first). And the same fands can spead the word – by sending the MP3 file – to anyone they like. As a result, more people hear their music, the word spreads, and so on and so forth. A great example of word-of-mouth marketing in action.

I don’t get out these days as much as I used to. And maybe this is happening at a lot of gigs these days. But it was the first time I’d seen it before and I was really impressed. At £1.50 a pop, I can’t imagine they’d be making much money out of it. So, I concluded that the evening’s perfromance was from a great band, but also a great brand. After all, not all brands are sell-outs. I walked away from that gig with a sense of satisfaction that the White Stripes were in it for their fans, and true to the the music rather than the money.

You can imagine then that this satisfaction was somewhat quashed the next day when I heard that Jack White has agreed to write a song for a new coke ad … but that’s another story.

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Hello world!

Well … here it is. The first blog post on benrowesblog.

A brief introduction from me and this blog. I’m a recent devotee to the world of blogging. As I write this, Technorati boasts 20.7 million blogs. I attended a recent event on blogging in London, and in the past month I’ve become hooked.

Currently I’m reading the Cluetrain Manifesto – an incredible book about the new way business will be done, and a completely optimistic view about the world. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

In this blog I’ll be giving my views, ideas, and perhaps occoasional the rant about anthing including marketing, trendspotting, blogging, business, the web, and any other thoughts or opinions that will no doubt pop up. Your comments and views are of course welcome.

Hello world! Speak soon, Ben.