Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breaking Bad standards.

I finished freelancing at the agency last week and managed to catch up with a lot of friends, wedding photography stuff, home cooked meals and most importantly, Breaking Bad.
If you haven't been following the series, shame on you.
I'm sure you have at least heard about the plot, which is about Walt, a high school teacher with lung cancer trying to help his family financially by making meth.
And such as life, what seemed like a one off thing became bigger, more slippery and more fucked up.
This scene captures everything about Walt. And all the professionals that I know. It is the climatic turning point that cements his decision in life.
Background: Walt's found out his tumour has reduced by 80%. He was trying to quit making drugs and become a normal man again, fixing hot water tanks and rotting floor boards.
But when he was shopping in the hardware store, he saw another man buying the same ingredients to cook meth like he used to. Only that the ingredients were wrong, and at that split second after he told the guy off he snapped and reclaimed his territory.
A normal person would ask why? Why don't you just stop when it's enough? When it endangers your life? Why don't you choose normal?
The problem was that he was simply too good.
And when you're good at something, you take pride in your work.
Even if it's making drugs.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thank you is the future.


I've watched this video possibly five times now. I haven't been sharing it because I didn't think anyone would watch a 60 minute Youtube clip.
Then again I did.
And it was totally worth it.
It is impossible to sum up everything Gary Vaynerchuk said in this presentation but this is what I took out from it:
Everything is going back to the basics, but with the twist of technology aka social media aka the internet.
It still costs less to retain an existing customer than pursuing new ones, but the level of competition and customer indifference is off the roof. (Mainly because the amount of shit ads has also increased a gazillion-fold.)
So we need to do business like how our grandparents did. Remember names, customize orders, hitting customers on an emotional level.
But since big companies have so many customers, how do we reach to all of them?
Gary's tactic here, is to set up a 'Thank you' department, and they follow (stalk)the big customers' tweet / google / facebook, and buy them something special, like, a commemorative signed jersey of the customer's favourite baseball player.
Oh, and also, nobody gives a shit about privacy. That's why the information is out there.
I found a shorter video today that sums up his whole thank you philosophy. But please watch the full hour version. You need to if you intend to survive in marketing in the next 10 years.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Brainstorm.

So I was sitting in this brainstorm session to come up with flavours for frozen pizza.
It was (at least this is what I thought) an agency initiated effort to show the client that during our spare time we sit and think a lot of their products on their behalf.
So my writer and I walked in late (the free pizza was all eaten) to a room of six white people.
As the brainstorming session went on I sat there in horror realizing it wasn't a real brainstorm at all.
It was a group of white people dictating how frozen pizzas should be. For them.
I wish I could share everything I heard, but there were mentions of feta cheese, sweet chilli prawn, capers, asparagus, blue cheese and other food you only find in high brow Melbourne restaurants.
I don't know about you, if I ever buy frozen pizzas, I'd just want more cheese on top of my ham on top of my cheese.
It's a joke if you're a mum, and you think by buying some pretentious frozen pizza for your kid would make you a less shitty cook.
And this is why I don't trust brainstorms and research.
It's the wrong people working hard for the wrong reason.