Thursday, July 13, 2006

Well, we knew they were trying...

Couldn't resist. An interesting approach to the whole food miles issue. It may also be worth wondering what they are not trying so hard with elsewhere...shire.

Nice work if you can get it

Sometimes, the numbers involved can be mind boggling. I remember 'when I were a lad' the biggest account move in UK ad history was the £10 million Austin Rover business. Now we have Review for £50m Carbon Trust business begins.

Now I would be the first to defend, and even advocate the value of investing in public and business awareness, and the encouragement of good e-practices. Frankly I look forward the being the beneficiary of some of this marketing budget largesse... sooner, hopefully, than later.

However, being in a slightly better than most position to be exposed to announcements of this nature, I am still getting to grips with the sheer number of different organisations who are out there dispensing public funds... whopping great amounts of them.

And, as I have pondered before, I do wonder about the way that this money gets doled out to be in turn doled out. Who decides? Who briefs? Who assesses the results and measures the ROI? If it were a commercial brand and I was their agency I know what would be entailed with a budget of £50 million. Are the same standards applied? It's all well and good hitting a target or moving perception some points, but at such an amount I'd blooming well hope so. What are 'we' getting for 'our' money?

I just have to hope that this is being well managed to achieve the best result(s). All I know is that, as an individual and a business, I have tripped over CT banner ads almost everywhere (good targetting or just mass targetting?) and most did not get me to go much further into the message. Likewise I have had a lot of nifty packs, brochures and flyers which have still not really pushed my buttons. And of course that (in)famous DM piece 'fan' which suggested that if I didn't like it I could mail it back 'to save the environment'.


Works for me! Well, make that 'Doesn't work'.

This from today's Times: TV standby buttons will be outlawed

I'm just glad they didn't decide to tax them or fine them. And perhaps not a good precedent for all those free-marketeers driving their 4x4s, flying on holiday, heating their patios or drinking bottled water.

It all makes a kind of sense, but why am I a tad uneasy about who is in charge?

A copy of a parody of a blue pencil, er, red paperclip

This is already complicated, but stick with me.

For a start, if you're here via the Guardian, Welcome! You are one smart cookie.

If not, this is a bit of a musing on blogs, hype and stuff in general.

I'm a bit of a blog junkie I guess, fairly obviously. I write one regularly and often at length. I also read a lot. And then pitch in. But I think for my health, sanity, wealth and a lot of other important reasons I should cut back. The question is... how?

Analysing why I do it, the reasons are three, two major and one minor. Reading is simple. I find stuff out. However the benefit to effort ratio is not great. This is not a bad description of what one goes through to understand why: Mugged by the blogosphere - or how to find nuggets in a cyberswamp 

Contributing is another matter. I prefer only to do so when there is potential benefit. Maybe some of my bon mots may strike a chord and result in a positive result for me and/or my business. This really is only likely if those reading the blog post know who I am and where to link to to find out more. The Telegraph allows this. The Guardian does not. Though I am trying a small experiment, hence the comment at the top. See here:

(In case my comment doesn't make it, it's in response to a blog about the consequences of the chap who traded his red paperclip up to a house: 

"I'd like to jump on the inevitable PR/hype bandwagon too late (darn, that's been done), by offering in exchange to mention your blog on my blog (double darn it, now that's been done too) in the hope that I can piggy back on a major medium's coverage of 'something' to get a few folk in the direction of my minor, and completely unconnected, business (shoot, that's been done, too. What are the odds?). 

But boy, is it worth the 30 seconds' effort I just expended just in case there are a few out there on a slow news day with some time to kill (try Google. Hint: I work for a company and I'm male).

Anyway, at least today's blog on my site just wrote itself."

The third reason is just to vent, and there's nothing wrong with that. Unless it affects the day job, which it's starting to do.