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Archive for the ‘Brand Experience’ Category

Amazon fail: when global email marketing goes bad!

Posted by Lee on September 2, 2009

I used to love Amazon, no really -I just loved them. The ultimate bookshop, the ‘Bookshop at the end of the Rainbow’, Amazon was my online booklover haven.

I’m also a bit of a gadget freak / geek and would love to own a Kindle, the amazing super sleek ebook reader. Amazon is at one level, very clever as a couple of months ago their system sent me an email all about the Kindle. It had links to more details about what is in many ways, the i-pod for books. There were also links to video clips showing the Kindle and their happy owners getting acquainted.

It worked, I wanted one, and I wanted it then. I was excited because I knew that until I received that email, it was only available in the USA. With trembling fingers, I pressed the ‘buy now’ button and………….. damn it, it was still only available to people in the USA!!!

Slightly annoyed, but still interested enough to try and find out when they might be considering rolling out the Kindle to an international audience, I emailed them to find out more.

I got a very prompt reply – but not an intelligent, ‘in context to my specific enquiry’ – no, it was a stupid auto-response that thanked me for my enquiry and then pointed me to a bunch of FAQ links (by the way, they didn’t answer my two key questions).

Maybe I’m not that bright, but since then, whenever I had a few idle moments to spare, I’d go back to the Amazon site and try to find a “Contact us, we’re real people who are really interested in you, our customer’s specific request” button or link. I’ve yet to succeed in this quest.

So why am I writing this post about something that happened a couple of months ago?

Could it be because today I received another email from Amazon? It was sent to me because:

kindle 1 extract

Yes, they got me again – and when I looked online – no, the Kindle still isn’t available to us down in New Zealand!
Ever the optimist, I emailed them because surely this time, as their email was so specific, there’d be somebody waiting to answer all these excited queries? I even tried to use a little bit of sarcastic humour to generate some friendly banter between myself and a friendly customer service rep:

kindle 2 extract

Well, I got my reply, but was it from a friendly customer service rep?
No way, never, nada – but I did receive another email from the friendly but contextually inept Amazon auto-bot that went something like this:

kindle 4 extract

OK, so now I admit defeat, and from now on, every time I’m tempted to order more ‘real’ books from Amazon, I’ll stop and think of all those friendly, helpful store assistants in my local book shops – real people who, if they don’t have a book in stock will order it for me…… probably from Amazon!

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Posted in Advertising, Brand Experience, Internet, Marketing, Sales promotion, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Trent Reznor 1, Mojo Magazine 0

Posted by Lee on August 17, 2009

Love him or loathe him, Trent Reznor is a genius. Nine Inch Nails has been around for years now, and although too dark and ‘industrial’ for some, his work has always been original and exciting. However, his vision extends well beyond pure music and includes the wider digital realm.
NIN’s Year Zero 2007 concept acted as a beacon of hope for a music industry desperately attempting to keep alive a terminally ill business model.
yearzero_coverYear Zero was a total multi-media experiential project, incorporating an ARG, live events, merchandise and social media – however, the actual CD was a key artifact, a central piece of the expanding phenomenon that was Year Zero.
It was also acknowledged as one of the great marketing campaigns, picking up a Cyber Grand Prix at the 2008 Cannes Advertising Festival – I had the privilege of judging the campaign at that event.
Since then NIN have experimented with different distribution models, allowing fans to download the album The Slip from the NIN Nails website (free of charge), and an EP to coincide with their current tour.

julymojoTrent Reznor’s status as a digital pioneer is already well known and well documented, so why am I writing this post?
Well, I’m a big fan and long-time reader of Mojo, the Music Magazine, as it has well written news, interviews, and reviews – and in the July 09 issue there was brilliant interview with Trent Reznor. The article provided some real insights to an older and wiser Mr Reznor. I was so impressed by the piece that I wanted to ‘tweet’ about it and provide a link to the interview on the Mojo website……..
There was just one small problem – there was no sign of the interview on the Mojo site – there are other interviews on the site, but ironically, of all the musicians Mojo interview, they didn’t choose to upload their interview with one of the music industry’s internet gurus!

To add insult to injury, I emailed Mojo and asked whether they intended uploading the piece to their site so I could link to it. This was their reply:

Out of Office AutoReply: Trent Reznor interview – are you going to put it online?

Hello,
Thank you for your email.
Please note that you have come through to MOJO editorial. The team will only deal with queries specific to the editorial content of the magazine, including competition entries, letters and complaints.
However, if you have an enquiry relating to subscriptions you can call 01858 438 806 and they will do their best to answer your question. Advertising queries should be made to the ads team by calling 020 7295 5000.
Thanks for your support,
MOJO

An auto-response – Gosh, I feel special, thanks Mojo, very ‘social media’ of you!

Posted in Awards, Brand Experience, Entertainment, Experiential Marketing, Internet, Marketing, Sales promotion, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Experiential Marketing – shaping the future of global brands?

Posted by Lee on August 8, 2009

HSTLast year I was delighted to be asked by Henry Stewart Talks* and Max Lenderman to contribute to an online seminar series entitled
“Latest Thinking in Experiential Marketing – shaping the future of global brands”.
I contributed one of the seven talks in the series, alongside six leaders in Experiential Marketing from the USA and Canada. The other contributors were:
Max Lenderman, ECD of GMR Marketing, Canada (Max was also the Series Editor);
David Polinchok, Founder of Brand Experience Lab, USA;
Sean MacPhedran, Director of Creative Strategy, Fuel Industries, USA;
Tony Chapman, Founder Capital C, Canada;
Drew Neisser, CEO, Renegade, USA;
Jonathan Singer, President, JSEM, Canada.
Henry Stewart Talks have recently released the Experiential Marketing series onto their site. This and 25 other terrific Marketing and Management related series are available for download by subscription, however you can preview each talk on the site before committing to buy.

*Henry Stewart Talks publish commissioned audio-visual presentations by world leading experts – Subject areas include biomedicine, life sciences, advertising, management, marketing, finance and transnational crime. Subscribers include a wide range of universities, medical schools, colleges, manufacturers, government agencies and service companies throughout the world.

Posted in Brand Experience, Education, Experiential Marketing, Marketing, Web tools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A ‘sign’ of the times? Enterprising brothel advertising

Posted by Lee on July 29, 2009

My good mate Hemi, the owner of Wakefield Hotel, a cool clothing and footwear shop in Cuba Street, Wellington NZ takes his camera everywhere with him for business and culture inspiration.

brothel_ads_for our timesLast week he spotted this just around the corner from his own store.

Yes, it’s for real – and a sign of the times maybe?

You just have to admire the operators of this ‘Gentleman’s Club’, don’t you? We’re all living in a retail hard sell “Sale, Sale, Sale” economy now – at least they weren’t advertising an “All you can eat” offer!

For those of you who may be interested in investigating this ‘Sale’ a little further, check out Il Bordello

For the rest of you who want to check out the best range of sneakers and urban threads in Wellington, go and see Hemi at Wakefield Hotel on Cuba!

Posted in Advertising, Brand Experience, Consumer Trends, Economy, Entertainment, Marketing, Sales promotion | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The power of tribes Vs the mass market

Posted by Lee on June 25, 2009

A few months old now, but Seth Godin‘s terrific video presentation from Ted Talks explains how the power of tribes and the Internet change everything we know about advertising, media and “one to many” communications.

The Genie is out of the bottle and it’s too late to try and put it back again.

Embrace change, form or join a movement, or die!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted in Advertising, Brand Experience, Consumer Trends, Economy, Education, Internet, Marketing, Social media, Society, Technology, Web tools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Customer Service – Go Doosh!

Posted by Lee on June 5, 2009

It’s getting colder now, so the other morning, while waiting at the airport for yet another delayed flight I went online to look for a warm, mid-weight jacket / coat.

About 3 years ago I’d brought a couple of long sleeve Tees from a cool NZ clothing brand called Doosh (Yes I know, their name is a bit suspect, but their clothes are cool), and I remembered that their jackets were pretty good as well. So I checked out their website and saw a jacket I liked the look of, ViewImage.aspxthe Arctic Coat (no, this not me modeling it!).

Although Doosh has an e-commerce store, and  I am happy to risk buying tee shirts etc online, I’m not going to buy a coat that way as I want to be able to try it on and check out the quality.

Unfortunately, their site didn’t say which retailers stocked their lines and so I clicked through to  ‘Contact Us’  and at 8.43 am, sent an email to Jacob Dodds (Doosh’s Account Manager), to ask whether was anywhere in Wellington that  I could check out the Arctic Coat.

At 9.08 am, just 25 minutes later, I got a friendly email reply from Dana Foster, their Warehouse Manager, giving me the details of Doosh’s Wellington stockist – Marvel Menswear – excellent! I went round  to Marvel Menswear later that day, tried on the Arctic coat, and brought it on the spot.

It may be a sad reflection of our times, but nowadays an incredibly prompt and friendly reply to a web site inquiry stands out as amazing customer service to me.  Simply by responding to me as they did, I was already predisposed to buying their product, and the only thing that could have ruined it was if there had been a product quality issue (there wasn’t), or poor service in-store (the service in the store was excellent).

Nice one Doosh, and not forgetting Marvel Menswear!

Posted in Brand Experience, Cogitating, Consumer Trends, Internet, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Love Distance – ‘Cyber Best in Show’ at Adfest 2009

Posted by Lee on March 23, 2009

I’ve managed to get access to the video case study. It’s a great piece of work by GT Inc, Tokyo for their client Sagami.

Check it out.

Posted in Advertising, Agency life, Awards, Brand Experience, Internet | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to get a group of cynical ad industry people to have fun!

Posted by Lee on October 23, 2008

This video was taken at the 2008 Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and yes, all those enthusiastic participants are international advertising industry people – a tough audience to crack!

AudienceGames is the brainchild of David Polinchok and the team at Brand Experience Lab in New York.

In 2007 they designed and produced this for msnbc.com, in partnership with SS+K for a Volvo campaign. Launched in a number of cinemas in the UK and USA, the campaign generated 33 million media impressions from the one day event!

The campaign has been internationally acclaimed by the industry, picking up 2 Gold Pencils at the 2008 One Show Interactive Awards, a Bronze Lion at Cannes, and named as one of the ‘best Marketing Ideas in the World’ by BrandWeek magazine.

To find out more and see an explanation video,

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Brand Experience, Experiential Marketing, Social media, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

2nd Annual Asia-Pacific Experiential Marketing Summit

Posted by Lee on September 27, 2008

I was flattered to be asked to be a plenary speaker at this years’ event in Sydney, particularly as I’d been a panel speaker at last years’ Summit!
The aim of the summit  was to ‘provide marketers with the ideas, insights and strategies to create authentic, value-added brand experiences that turn customers into brand evangelists’.
With 35 speakers focusing on live events, sponsorship and retail activation, branded content, word-of-mouth and digital – this was an action packed 2-day session. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Brand Experience, Conferences, Experiential Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »