Sunday, October 28, 2012

On Painted Pigeons- Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

One of my favourite types of marketing and art revolves around taking ordinary things and making them extraordinary.
People tend to overlook the mundane things they see every day, things that have become familiar and don't need to be recognized as new stimuli anymore. According to Claudia Hammond, author of Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception,"we use the number of new memories we form to gauge how much time has passed". That means that the more routines and familiarity in our lives, the more likely we are to coast through and the faster time seems to go by. I know that the first time I drove a familiar route and couldn't remember the drive at all ("How the hell did I drive here?!"), it scared the crap out of me. Our minds are lazy; they don't want to register everything in our world. No matter that everything that surrounds us, from potholes to lamp posts, has a design and some type of beauty to it.
SO. I love shocking people out of their familiarity. Reminding us that we're alive and the world is dynamic.

And so, I give you:

Venice's Painted Pigeons!

loststateminor.com
Ok. Pigeons are gross. They're "rats with wings" and they poop on everything. But what if they had beautiful plumage, like the  birds we admire and photograph? We might not love them, but we'd certainly not be able to re-classify them in the "mundane" category.
I'm sure artists Julian Charrière and Julius von Bismarck (I'm seriously jealous of this name) had similar trains of thought when they, in conjunction with Venice's Architecture Biennale Exhibition, airbrushed pigeons in tropical colours and let them loose in Venice. Without delay, there were outcries about the lack of "respect for defenceless animals" and whatnot. But really, the airbrushing was harmless for the birds, and people get away with this garbage all the time.


Latitudenews.com
Ffffound.com

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On Being Generous

Continued.... Geoff's rules for being a great marketer:
  1. Be positive
  2. Be generous
  3. Be social
  4. Be unique
If you can afford it, why not show some generosity towards your customers in your marketing? A few good deeds (and some free stuff) can lead to a whole lot of good word of mouth.
Case in point: The BC Moments Campaign this summer. Tourism BC Created the 100 BC Moments website, where you can find travel moments for any interest. To match it, the Tourism BC folks went and created a fantabulous publicity stunt in San Francisco. They set up a gigantic vending machine where people could fill out some information about themselves and their hobbies, and out would pop something related to the trip they could take.

Like mountain biking? Here's a free bike!
Feel like going golfing? Here's a free set of clubs!!! Yayyy!!



Another case: 7-Eleven's Dip-a-Drip Campaign in 2011
Last year 7-Eleven gave consumers the chance to vote on and dip a "drip" (an annoying, stereotypical person that you wouldn't want to meet before your morning coffee). From September 19-23 Americans were able to vote which obnoxious person of their cast they would like to see dunked in some water. Then, on September 28th, they could log on to 7-Eleven's Facebook page and virtually control the ball launcher (set up live in Washington, D.C.) to dunk the top candidates. 

If you succeeded and dunked them you won a $25 gift card. If you didn't, you could still get the free cup of coffee that 7-Eleven gave out to everyone on September 29th, National Coffee Day (or, as 7-Eleven called it, cofFREE day).

7-Eleven gave something in order to get their word out. They didn't just interrupt with the usual commercials, they gave their customers a chance to play a game and get some frustration out :)

video

Friday, October 5, 2012

On Being Positive

First of all, thank you so much to Geoff Grimble from DDB for taking the time to present your take on marketing for my Marketing Communications class on Wednesday. The presentation was fun, engaging, and informative! Also, thanks for reminding my friend and I to attend the Advertising Club of Edmonton's student event yesterday- it was a good time and I met a lot of professionals with plenty of great industry advice.

Geoff's rules for being a great marketer:
  1. Be positive
  2. Be generous
  3. Be social
  4. Be unique
All of these seem fairly straightforward right? Not so fast! Being positive in public interest marketing is actually really hard. If you're focusing on getting people to wear seat belts, for instance, you'll likely come out with the same sorts of things that people always come up with, like this graphic ad:


OR you could think outside the box and go for something positive, like the Embrace Life Campaign


Both are good ads, but which one of them are you more likely to shut off halfway through, or avoid watching?

How about an ad making people think about how they should use public transit in order to help the environment? Sure, you could tell them about all the damage and pollution that is going on in the world, but big overarching problems tend to make people feel overwhelmed and think "how can I make a difference anyway?".
So then we have the Bussen er Cool ad:



If that didn't make you smile, you don't have a single funny bone in your body.
Isn't it nice to watch a public interest ad that actually makes you smile???

Then there's anti-smoking campaigns. Actually, believe it or not you could make them positive! They don't all have to look like this:




Or, take a look at this campaign by the Hearth and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon:


At Quittersunite.com, people are encouraged to post videos about their "Smoke Free Lifestyle", outlining how they live their lives with $300 extra per month. It's positive, and focuses on the saved money and enhance lifestyle that quitting can offer people.

Try being positive!



On Tilt shift Edmonton

Pixelens Photography. For full size go here.