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The future is bright…

Picture 14Last night I had the great opportunity to sit within a judging panel at the University of the Arts London (London College of Communication) where students had been asked to showcase their own visions for an advertising poster to promote the London 2012 Olympics.

Because I was approached by the Olympics’ social media team  few weeks ago for a bloggers’ tour of the Olympic Park (which was awesome) and also because being myself a big follower of the Games and a massive fan of their current actvities, it was rather odd, and of course a rare coincidence, to be judging on such topic!

With me on the panel there were Claire Tritton, Account Manager on Ford Europe at Ogilvy, and Deborah from ERM Recruiting (both ex-graduate at LCC)

We had around 30 entries in total to go over and analyze – which wasn’t too bad at all! While some tried too hard to impress, not exactly meeting the brief, and with some others not really getting a clear message across – the ones which stood out definitely had a very clever approach to the brief with some very good thinking/strategies behind them (some of them quite impressive actually).

Apart from the winner entry (picture above in the title) which had a very straightforward and insightful message above and beyond the simple concept itself (ask away), two very good ones I remember were a Blackberry Sponsorship-Ad trying to reposition the smart phone as an entertainment device (therefore fighting for a piece of the iPhone’s market share) and the ORANGE one, where the heritage of ‘Building a Brighter Future’ embodied perfectly both the brand and the Olympics’ values with an hopeful message in bringing people together in such horrible times (economic downturn)

Overall the evening was great, very good to meet some ex-graduates who are doing exceptionally well in the industry, a very good catch up with some ex-tutors, and definitely an excellent and hopeful glimpse into what such young talents have in hold for the future of our industry

I will be posting all the entries on a designated Flickr group once I have them all in, it would be great to hear your opinions

Any questions, give me a shout! To all the students who were part of it, a very well done to all of you out there and good luck with the rest of your course…

Cheerio and be in touch



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BestBuy CSR Wisdom = Social Media

Picture 4

I am so glad I was made aware of this video today!

What BestBuy has achieved is what majority of brands are struggling to understand and probably not brave enough to embrace. It’s what I call openness:

  • give a chance to everyone in your company to speak up,
  • make everyone within your company a stakeholder,
  • everyone should be involved,
  • let your employees feel they have a high level of impact into your business development

I have posted a link to the video below this paragraph for all of you to go and watch. It’s 30 minutes long, but if you have a bit of time it’s an incredible insight into how brands should adapt their business models to open up to their employees, with the ultimate objective to retain them for as long as possible, make the business a better place for  your customers to come back to, and last but not least, for your own company to constantly develop thanks to the people who make it such a good place…. It’s not rocket science, BUT STILL, I have no idea why only merely few companies have got it right so far!

Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson in conversation with Peter Hirshberg at Google Zeitgeist from peter hirshberg on Vimeo.

I am not anywhere close to being a business consultant, however I humbly reckon it’s part of an overall ‘Corporate Social Responsability’ vision which has a strong potential to let your business stand out from the others.

The only reason why I am giving the spotlight to BestBuy is because what they are doing is exactly what brands should also be doing with their customers!

BestBuy has launched an internal social network for their over 3000 employees across the US by the name of BlueShirtNation, an internal WIKI, a TradeTrending tool and a Product Development Forum. Within these spaces, employees are constantly coming up with new ideas, talking directly to the managers, getting funded by the company to take interesting concepts one step further, connect with each other from different stores etc… allowing a fully personal experience where they can feel meaningful to the company

That is exactly what customers want!

  • They want to feel listened
  • They want to get involved
  • They want to be meaningful to the eyes of your brand

I would be extremely surprised if BestBuy doesnt open such tools to their customers. People could add even more ideas to what BestBuy employees have, it could actually generate even more conversations between employees and consumers to drive better service and more product development.

Also, at the moment they are talking about a mobile device which would allow customers to review their products right there at the moment of consideration/purchase. A custom software would allow reading a product barcode and let you retrieve all the reviews from the BestBuy online community website straight onto your mobile screen.

The ultimate point is : how would your customer feel through such an awesome shopping experience?

I could only say – satisfied? clear about his choice? glad about listening to what other people like him have to say about the product? More willing to buy?

As a brand, if you start engaging with your existing and potential users online, through building and maintaining open and meaningful conversations you might get the same results! Am I right?

Answers on a postcard please!?



The slideshare below explains in more details their strategy


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Chinese Rumbles


Disclosure: Nothing to do with creativity or innovation eh eh

I was honestly not expecting to face such realities in this trip

I was not expecting China to be such an incredible and inspirational place but at the same time a place that could emotionally sign me forever through some of the worst morally challenging situations ever experienced in my life

China’s always been considered by my senses like the place where emerging trends get started, where technology is leading people’s lives day in-day out, where life is taken day by day with a pinch of superiority respect to any other citizen of the world.   The typical ‘We have it all, we are ten years ahead of you’ mentality was still pretty strong in my head when I got to Hong Kong – but I quickly realized that it’s solely a masquerade to hide it all when I got to places like Nenchang

I’ve always been aware of a dark side, where poverty was pretty high – but I honestly thought it would have been much better then I could have ever imagined.

I now know what ‘feeling lucky’ means … seriously!

Overall China is an amazing place; if you are looking for something, they have it around the corner for you and if you really want to see where marketing was born go and have a look at the Haizu Market… It’s an eye-opening experience!

As a friend once told me, in a way or another, China cannot leave you unaffected and you will either love it or hate it.   We’ll see how I feel at the end of this trip…
So far I’ve learnt that…:

  • Chinese cannot drive, FACT – Fasten your seat-belt because if you have never had an heart attack in your life, you’re risking it all down here!
  • The majority of countries are recognised by the initial. For example England is called ‘E Guang Ghou’ or something like that, which means ‘the country starting with an E’ – same with France, Germany etc… with the exception of Itali’ah!  We must be special somehow…!
  • Some kids don’t wear nappies but they simply have holes in their trousers. Odd, I know, but somehow it tells me kids get smart pretty quickly down here as they manage to warn mum when they are about to release on time :o)
  • When you offer someone a lighter, they tap the side of your hand twice to thank you – this is to be thankful immediately while they inhale the smoke
  • TAXI’s are probably the cheapest thing in the world here. What would cost £30 in London here it’s not even £2
  • They must have the best customer service in the world BUT they can become extremely meticulous at times, resulting in a very slow response
  • China knows very well how to hide poverty. The majority of cities, with Guangzhou being the perfect example, have high buildings on each high-street keeping out of the sight the degrade
  • They never stop building! I must have counted at least 15 new building developments on my street. Population and business’ growth is so high here that in a way or another they’ve got to keep up hey ?!
  • If I wanted to get married, it could easily happen tomorrow ;O) Apologies for the modesty but I received three marriage proposals in one day!!! This is not because I am stunning but simply because as soon as girls get to see a western man …they go wild! Eh eh

I will add more soon

Zàijiàn 再见

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Posted by on May 6, 2009 in Uncategorized


Sunny Side Up (24/04 Slides)

Enjoy and drop me a line if you have any questions

I will soon update this and the previous entry with all the relevant links

Some of the images should already click through



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Posted by on April 30, 2009 in Uncategorized


Isn’t it just right?



Posted by on March 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

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