Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Time count in hamburgers

I like the media usage and the relevance of the message:

Child in me

Finally something in my everyday route that made a difference. Peugeot launched a new model and placed a shopping line dividers equipped with a fully functioning model car in my regular grocery store. Childish curiosity took over me and the cashier had to remind me it was time to check out. At the end of the launching campaign all the model cars are used in a charitable cause. They do not know yet what it is, but it’s the thought that counts.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Custom made Kinect game for Swedbank bonus program

So proud of my team. Our client got a custom made X Box Kinect game to promote its bonus program campaign in shopping centres. Simple hand movement triggered the ball-game that reflected the easiness of collecting bonus points while just paying with any Swedbank debit or credit card.

If you understand Estonian or use Google translate, look also here, to learn more about how it came to life.

A video to illustrate the game:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

And the stupidest media-usage award goes to…

CitySpa. Congrats. Really, what were you thinking by buying a spread in local women's magazine and placing two ads in the row. Two logos, two slogans. Two different USP s. Please decide what you want to say and say it out clearly with confidence. Do not try to say it all out in a way that screams we have money, but we re stupid and can’t decide what to do. So we just buy media.

The OD caught my attention even before that print disaster on the magazine and I was tempted to photograph it, as it was so senseless, absurd and absolutely unintelligent, considering the fact that they position themselves as an elite gym and spa. The crème de la crème. Good luck in the future. At least it is entertaining to follow their attempts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Something inspiring from National Library of Estonia. They published a collection from the covers of vinyl records. Rarities for music junkies and nostalgic pieces for every Estonian. Beautifully composed collection is published in a book and an e-book. Designed by Maile Tali. I’m especially excited about the design for the e-book memory stick. Cute and smart.

E-book differs from the paper-back mostly by the function that finding an desire item you want to get acquainted more deeply, it brings you the the library environment to see if the piece is available for rental and where you can find it.

One step further would be if the audio tracks would be available for a listening as well, but that is another era I hope they will reach soon.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Don't drink'n'swim

Finally something totally brilliant from my home country. The Estonian Rescue Board made a campaign to prevent people going to swim while drinking. So they found that the best way is to alert their friends to look after them. The viral-campaign’s main message is that any method for stopping your drunk friend from going to water, is a good method. I think they have nailed the target group pretty good as well.

Method no 68 – Give wrong directions

Method no 18 – Lure them to the bushes

Method no 2 – Glue them


The new generation of young people are considered to be, among other great things, pretty convenient and lazy. Their look of life is that all the fame and fortune should come in an instant and pay check to be relevantly high on their first job. And what do they do on their spare time when they want to be creative, besides video games? Check out planking. Ridiculous, but has it’s own charm and as you can see, is addictive to older generations as well:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Relevance through-the-line

Audi’s representative in Estonia, Reval Auto’s marketing manager has pointed out that they are identifying themselves as sporty, innovative and prestigious. What kind of previously mentioned values do tea bags carry on?

Here is a gift found from our car after the service. Thank you indeed. Considering the target group they are aiming for and what they are charging, tea bags do not pull the trigger. Perhaps washing the car or even just the windscreen would lift the mood. But this did not happen!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Donate a word

As a keen admirer of unconventional ideas, media usage and boldness, this is the idea I had to love.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Purple is the new black

Some pics made from my drive home. Apparently all the marketers who have read Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” decided to act now. Only forgetting the “cow” part and concentrating on the "purple".

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Universal wrappers

In the web there are cleaver things. Something for the crosswords lovers. A word for every occasion… well almost. See yourself:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Innovation through innovation

I should call my blog “Cool phone apps blog” as this post again is about one cool app made for smart phones. Volkswagen shows innovation through innovation. Smart.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let the game begin

Here is one very nice use of smart-phone capabilities. If I would be younger and had more free time I would totally love games like this. It’s an upgrade to the oh so popular GPS games used around here. And it’s branded. Total brand involvement.

Even better would be if it would be done in the style on The Game movie, launched more than decade ago, but still carries an idea how to excite and suprise.

And what a nice business idea to do personalized adventures in a smart-phone platform. For workshops, team-building events, personal suprises and message delivering etc. Dream, dream, dream.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Making taking my money easier.

I have good memories of my Hong Kong years. Vibrant, busy, innovative city with very short people and my wallet being lighter and easier to carry. Not like now, just having accepted Euro with all those numerous coins. It was thanks to one simple card.

Octopus card is a rechargeable contactless stored value smart card used to transfer electronic payments in Hong Kong. To say it more simply it’s a card, with what you go close to a certain electronized area and the purchase/identification is made. I used it mainly for public transport, but quickly it became a secure mean for payments in supermarkets, cafes, fast food restaurants, vending machines etc. At that time I took it as a natural part of Asian developed society and enjoyed the benefits of it. Now doing some research: 95 % of Hong Kong citizens aged 16-65 are using it everyday, generating over 11 million transactions worth over 12.8 million USD a day. Wow.

A week ago Strabucks launched a free Starbucks card app for iPhone, iPod Touch and Blackberry owners. This not only enables to pay with their smartphones for the purchase, but also add money to their cards, check balance, locate stores and earn reward stars for free drinks. It works very simply, you just give your phone for a second to the cashier and she/he accesses a bar code on the screen, wipes out a scanner and hands you with your order. Easy. In the era when companies are trying their hardest to outsmart the competitors with new apps, this is actually the one that generates extra value for the Starbucks and is useful at the same time. It’s a win-win for both sides.

So now, being an Estonian and having been introduced to Mobile ID, which allows us to access our bank accounts and digitally sign documents, I believe that there is some more effort to be made. Please combine the idea form octopus card, Starbucks app and Mobile ID and give me a smartphone app, which allows me to pay with my phone, check my balance, locate businesses accepting this app and earn bonus. Estonia is very small, just like Hong Kong, so ideal for a test environment to develop systems like that. I believe that this dream comes true just like this one did as the know how and the demand excists.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Save as .wwf, save a tree.

So simple, yet brilliant. Out of the box thinking. WWF created a new file format that is in collaboration with the essence of their organization. This new file format .wwf does not allow you to print out the material on that particular file, in order to avoid unnecessary printing. This software is free for downloading for everybody. You can do it here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Japan gives me shivers

Good conversations lead to interesting findings. This is not science fiction, this is really happening. This is a virtual anime diva Hatsume Miku, whose voice has been generated with Vocaloid, a computer program developed by Yamaha. She is designed to be a 16-year-old girl and has released many popular singles in Japan. That’s not all folks. Previous stuff did not impress me. The real intrigue comes from the fact that she is giving LIVE concerts to a live audience. And people are just simply going nuts to go and see her. She is being projected as a dynamic hologram that brings her virtually into life. Check it out here:

As crazy as it may sound, here is one more act that leads conservative ATL marketers into a heart attack. The developers have given the brand a possibility to grow with the help of the fan-base and released software that enables the fans to create their own Hatsume Miku songs. Now they have released already additional software that features different tones of Miku’s voice – Soft (gentle, delicate voice), Sweet (young voice), Dark (mature, heartbroken-like voice), Vivid (bright, cheerful voice), Solid (loud, clear voice), and Light (innocent, heavenly voice). Also there is available the MikuMikuDance freeware! program, that helps to produce 3D animations for the character. And the story goes on…

It gives me shivers, what kind of possibilities this creates for the marketers in the near future.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dunlop tyres – Feel the road

All my male reader please pardon this post, but I just need to express my womanly opinion. My ride home from work takes 20 minutes. Although there is some construction work going on, it's pretty regular road, considering Estonian road conditions. Yesterday, after coming home, saw a TVC advertising Dunlop tyres. Their international slogan and the slogan also used  in this ad was “Feel the road”. I imagine that this was meant the way that this gives bigger control for the driver, the driver can read the car and the road better and lets to enjoy the ride every inch with those tyres. Put please dear advertisers, consider the local road conditions. I do not want to feel the road, as there are holes big as lakes in some country. If I would liked to feel the road I would buy a sports car with proper sports suspension. The ones who buy a sports car in Estonia, are forced to sell it after a short while, because it destroys healthy bone structure and loosens some skrews in their heads. We are not living in Italy or US where the roads are smooth and comfortable. You can actually loose a tyre in the Estonian bumpy roads. So in Estonia “Feel the road” does not equal a comfortable and secure drive.

Perhaps I should buy a plane.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vacuum cleaners made from the plastic waste collected from The Baltic Sea

Here is a textbook example of cause marketing. A brilliant example. 

Vacuum cleaners are made for cleaning and to make that extra clear, Electrolux took the idea of cleaning into a higher level and decided to collect plastic waste from the world's major oceans and seas, so they could raise public awareness that plastic waste is polluting vulnerable marine habitats and produce a limited number of vacuum cleaners out of the plastic they gathered. 

Here is their vacuum cleaners collection made out of plastic derbies:

From left to right: North Sea Edition, Indian Ocean Edition, Medittareanen Sea Edition, Pacific Ocean Edition, Baltic Sea Edition.

The global reach of this project is remarkable, as even me, who lives in a small place called Estonia, is touched by it, as my home country runs alongside the Baltic Sea. Although the waste gatherings were made in Poland, Latvia and Sweden it still rings my bell more, than to hear that someone gathered plastic waste form the Indian Ocean. 

Read more about the plastic gatherings and recycling from here and watch the video to illustrate their cause:

Although it's one-time action as we are dealing with the limited edition here, it is still a very smart, simple and inspiring idea. And please note that the pretty vacuum cleaner are not for sale. They are made for making a point. You can buy a piece from their Green Range called Ultraone.

While selecting my country from the webpage, as it forced me to read swedish, I was amazed by the countries list. There was no Estonia, there was European Union. This page did not open. And there were Latvia and Lithuania, but no Estonia.  And to my big suprize there was a country called Soviet Union, which to my knowledge stopped from existing 1991. See it yourself from here. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mouth propaganda

The answer to my last blog post is not TV, newspaper ads or direct mail. These seemed like wallpaper. I shut my sensors off and did not notice them. The reach and reliability of these messages is not what a marketer dreams of. Not any more.

I analyzed what were the messages that reached me, during this dark time of no internet and the only ones that really affected me were simple recommendations. From friends and family. This is no new revelation. For centuries there has been recommendation letters for recruitment and then there were bibles like "The Tipping Point" and "Buzzmarketing". Online marketing platforms use them, catalogues use them etc. but it is fascinating that mechanically forced recommendations do not work anymore. If a friend sends me an e-mail recommending me to go to a spa or buy a new and better frying pan - I delete the mail. It is already spam for me. It does not matter it came from a friend.

If my relatives and friends discuss over dinner-table that SEB and Swedbank are no good anymore for pension fond portfolio management, and they are moving over to LHV, although they take bigger fee, then this is what I want for my brand. I did not notice the TV ads LHV was running, but I immediately started to think, if the information came from people close to me.

It seems like a spontaneous talk, that cultivated during dinner chit-chat. But was it really? LHV has lately very vigorously spread into ATL and we can see that taking over pension fonds is their goal of the year. And they have invested in it. I'm anxiously waiting for the results as luckily these are measurable. So is it really possible to create massive WOM without ATL support?

Here is a nice graph by Nielsen to make the trust levels very clear. Basically now people believe the talk of the stranger more than TV ads or brand websites. That's the power of online forums. The power of free speech. 

To make the merger of business and anthropology make wonders, keep in mind the core principle. You have to earn peoples trust to be effective. The closer/ must respected the recommendation source is to you, the better it works. Please also note that if I see a friend recommending me something every day, it is wallpaper. If I see it once a year, I take it as gold, depending how close/ reliable the person is to me.

The key is to create outstanding experiences in the first place. If the product/ service is not outstanding, then there is no reason to buzz about it. If it is outrageously outstanding then the word will spread around organically, if not, then ATL support is needed, to spread to masses. There is no suits-all solution for all brands and every brand should find out the solution best for their brand.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three weeks without Internet.

I consider myself the biggest internet addict I know. I work, consume information, prepare for school, communicate with friends and family, run my everyday errands like banking, shopping, vacation planning and etc. via Internet. And now due to some changes I had to manage without it.

What a shock.

I thought it will be liberating, but was it really? What did I learn? Work – absolutely not possible to manage. Luckily I had a vacation and no harm done, if not to consider some personal projects.

Information came mainly via TV and not in the amount and shape I’m used to. I am used to create my own information flow in the internet, so I consume only the information I’m truly interested in. So not completely satisfied with the local news, as it’s not tailored according to my needs. Although if there would be a hurricane, earth quake or some other major disaster I should know of, I would know and I would not die.

I was totally cut out from social communication as I manage it via msn, Facebook and e-mails, as I’m from the new era of communication and instead of meeting my friends, I tend to communicate electronically. I’m not used to pick up the phone and ask “Hey, what’s up, how you’re doing?”, what’s worse, actually get dressed and visit someone instead of calling. I do it from time to time, but not on the regular basis. So now I get sms-s and calls inquiring “are I still alive?”. As for the known quote: if you’re not online, you do not exist.

There is also one institution who thought there is something wrong. My home bank, because my regular payments were not on time. I dragged myself to the bank office and made my payments manually via payment machine, which was a first time experience for me. Pleasant luckily. It was very easy to handle.

As for the vacation planning, it was a total failure. How do you book something if you do not know how it looks and what is said about it in the forums. How do I know if the price-range is reasonable or is there a room for negotiations? I can handle some background checking via phone in Estonia, but if my interests are behind the national border? How do people without internet travel at all? I do not understand. They look at some packaged offer from the newspaper ad and read from the encyclopedia what the main attractions are? What if I’m into fine dining or extreme tourism? I should then totally rely on the travel agency and that robbes away my independence. Or I can just hit the road and see what tomorrow brings… which is a nice option, but not always. Especially if you plan to travel with kids.

Anyways living without internet in the longer run is expensive. Your choice is limited and the effort made, to consume, bigger. Also the phone bill.

There are still many families who run their everyday lives without internet. My dad for example. I still wonder how he manages all his errands so well. Although I have to admit, the life tempo is from another dimension and comparable to geese migration speed. As a marketer it triggers, how to reach those households, without internet. There in an answer. About it in my next post.

Brainwashed by Disney

Being a parent, Disney, as a brand, is part of my everyday life. We have different Disney channels via satellite, most of our DVD selection is Disney produced, the kid’s playroom is, let’s say, accompanied with „a few“ Disney books and toys. Trip to Disneyland is a dream, which will come true eventually, as she is very persuasive. And she is only five. She is brand-washed and she loves it. I do not mind. I like Disney as well, as I find it safe, educating, entertaining and I still continiously refuse to grow up. The whole concept is so well targeted and continuously wholesome that it is inspiring, and I let it happen in front of my very own eyes.

If a kid finishes watching a Disney fairytale cartoon on DVD, there are so called extras. which run automatically. These are fully packed with brand conscious materials, which are truly inspiring. There are people behind the hard work, sparkles in their eyes, telling how they made one frame like… 30 days until it was perfect. There are gardeners from the Disneyworld who are talking about the passionate effort they made to build this dream land just for the joy of making it. They have captured the essence that drives kids. Joy of creating something, just because it is fun and makes you feel good. And they sell it good. What an industry.

Disney channels run neo-Disney programs mixed with some traditional programs. But definitely is Disney not resting in its glory. It’s conquering new horizons. Hanna Montana for example and etc. Please look at those pictures made few years ago by Anne Leibovitz, which is an advertising campaign letting people know that Disney is old and safe combined with new and exciting. Lovely pictures.

Scarlett Johannson as Cinderella

David Beckham as Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty

Jennifer Lopez as Jasmine and Marc Anthony as Alladin

Roger Federer as King Arthur

Jessica Biel as Pocahontas

Rachel Weisz as Snow White

See the whole photo series from here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Man's nightmare

The nightmare of every boy or a man. Underwear as a present. Does not matter how good these ads are. Underwear as a present is a very bad idea. Seriously.

Click on the image to see the fine print.

Small remark: so good it's vice versa, if it comes to women.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Copycats vs Parallel Geniuses

Yesterday evening I received a call from a journalist who had noticed that the ads Taevas has made for a Raadio Uuno's morning program were extremely similar to the ads made by Miami Art School for Red Bull. You can read the article from here. Use Google translate, if not Estonian.

That’s true, they do use the same technique. This is not some rocket science originality, I admit, but these ads have very well served the purpose they were supposed to and lifted the awareness of Raadio Uunos new morning program. Mission completed. Not so good for the agency, as who wants to be called copycats anyway.

But this case is really interesting. These things happen. All over the world. Parallel geniuses. Thinking the same thoughts. Without knowing about the existence of the others.

Please check out this blog, which has dedicated itself for revealing shameless copycats and exposing just unfortunate coincidences. Ill take the privilege to copy some of those revelation into my blog. Please enjoy: