To be online and offline

Back during the hazy days of Internet 1.0, offline retailers rushed their brands online to get involved in the action. flickercam.jpg

Before too long, we'll start seeing Internet 2.0 brands go offline. Imagine, if you will, flickr branded digital cameras, last.fm branded wifi stereos, Goowy branded PDAs. And as internet ubiquity emerges, the lines will blur.

Sites like Stylehive are taking brand-building to the next step. Stylehive, the social-shopping site, have even tried their hand at promoting their brand in Second Life, the fascinating-but-massively-weird metaverse. As well as having a virtual Headquarters in Second Life, they've cleverly hosted a fasion-show there as well.
High fives to Emily Chang and her team for jumping in head first.

Are the Apples falling off the tree? Or jumping a shark?

It pains me to say it, but does anyone else feel that Apple are on their way to jumping the shark?

There has been plenty of talk about bad customer service from Apple. And talk of "no blogging" policies, arrogance, television advertising. What's going on?

The whole "windows in a mac" strategy is not about looking after your uber-loyal customer base. It's about converting PC-users. It's not a passion or authenticity. It's a growth strategy. A market share strategy. Short term growth. For the Shareholders.

I think Steve Jobs has sold out. He wants to take Apple over the tipping point. Perhaps we should have realized this when they dragged U2 out.

And now Shea Gunther tells us that Apple shareholders have voted "no" to "a proposal by environmental advocates to study how Apple could improve its recycling program".

This is a sad day for geeks everywhere. It doesn't mean that you or I won't continue to buy Apple. God knows how much I want that MacBook Pro.

But Jobs and Apple had better be careful. No one has unlimited Lovemark equity.

Renew US :: How the world beat climate change.

Joel Makower's video about climate change is visionary. It portrays 2006 as the year when we wake up and rise to the challenge of climate change. Great work Joel.

It's cheesy. It's completly US centric, and very "America saves the world". I had flashbacks of Bruce Willis on an asteroid while watching it. But it just might kick some of us in action.

Firefox Flicks

The winners of Firefox flicks have been announced. Firefox flicks was Mozilla's competition to get its passionate users spread the word about Firefox. Mozilla kicked this competition off by issuing a creative brief. Then they stepped back to let Firefox evangelists do the rest. Nearly 300 entries submitted.

Why, you ask, is this campaign is so much better than the infamous Chevy Tahoe campaign?

For starters, Firefox is a great product. There's nothing bad about it. It doesn't make the roads more dangerous and it doesn't average 20 miles per gallon. When you launch a better browser during an era of internet explosion, people will take notice. And so Mozilla were tapped into how people would respond. They knew that their customer base were loyal. You either love Firefox, or you've never heard of it.

On the other hand, opinions about Tahoes (and all SUVs) are far more polarising. When you launch an environmentally disastrous car in an era of environmental meltdown, expect a bit of flack.

Secondly, Firefox flicks handed 100% of the creative control over to their fanbase. Chevy kept a tighter grip on the reins. The results speak for themselves.

Finally, Mozilla have said that they will use the winning entries in their marketing activities. I'm not sure that Chevy will do the same.

(via Media Talks)

Last.fm sounds like innovation

OK, it’s official. I am completely addicted to last.fm. It looks like you are too. From Alexa:

lastfmgraph.jpg

Of the huge influx of web2.0 products and services, this is one of the rare few that stands out.

If you haven’t seen this site yet, get yourself over to http://www.last.fm straight away. Set up an account, and last.fm starts learning what music you are into. It develops a profile of your music tastes, and based on this it reccomends new music that you will like.

This is what they say about it:

You get your own online music profile that you can fill up with the music you like. This information is used to create a personal radio station and to find users who are similar to you. Last.fm can even play you new artists and songs you might like. It’s addictive, it’s growing, it’s free, it’s music.

From a music lover's perspective, it completely eliminates the need to listen to crap music any longer. The music that is recommended to you istop-notch. It gives you the chance to try before you buy a new album. And it will introduce you to new music that you would have never found. Legally.lasttail.jpg

Being un-tech minded, I'm blown away by the technology here. And it's truly healthy for the music industry. It gives punters like me a new-found thirst to find good music. You can even filter by obcrurity with this nifty little long tail slider.

The entrepreneur in me is excited too. Last.fm has totally changed the rules of how we listen to music, much like the iPod did not that long ago. It's also breath of fresh air online. Where many of the new web 2.0 applications are beginning to seem the same, last.fm truly delivers something innovative. I'm hooked. You will be too.

TV Turn Off Week

I think I'd have much more trouble with Internet Turn Off Week than TV Turn Off Week.

John Moore is my hero!

John Moore of Brand Autopsy fame is my new marketing hero. John's YouTube video showcase of his jumboSHRIMP marketing presentation goes to show that whether we're online or off, good marketing is good marketing. And that the future of business is being big by being small. Like jumbo shrimp. Big, yet small.

And jumboSHRIMP. jumbo and SHRIMP. Not jumbo and shrimp. Or JUMBO and SHRIMP. That's cool – cut through not just on the name, but on the CAPS as well!
I do still enjoy good marketing when I see it.