Do I consume the coffee or does the coffee consume me?

This is the question posed by the man with the very interesting ‘nue mode’ hairstyle (so eighties!). Watch out, the Existentialists are making a come back!

Aldi seem to have hit the spot with their new quirky campaign “Expressi Yourself for Aldi”.  What an unique and differentiated campaign for premium coffee capsules and with a great name to boot

Check it out here.

By using a range of stereotypical characters (i.e. easy ‘to get’ and ‘relate to’, albeit reinforcing some negative stereotypes - but hey, it’s advertising, a medium steeped in the science of heuristics), the agency has created a campaign with great cut-through and engagement. They have cleverly exploited a consumer perception that ‘you are what you drink’, especially when it comes to coffee. We suspect it leaves the audience wondering, which one am I and how can I get some of that?

It’s been a while since we have seen a campaign that uses adult humour without denigrating; we get that it is laughing with, not at, and what better way to create a collective sense of light-hearted caffeine ennui? Just laugh at the category – it’s not that serious after all.

Or is it?

Will Printed Newspapers Become The Vinyl Of The Future?

Will Printed Newspapers Become The Vinyl Of The Future?

The migration of lots of advertising onto the internet has meant that printed newspapers just got a whole lot better!!!

The costs associated with production has meant that the formats of newspapers just had to shrink, tradition and consumer preferences just went out the window and we all ended up with the smaller format, more manageable tabloid sized newspapers. Just the job for a quick cafe read.

Newspapers, have also realised that good editorial and reporting can be presented across a wide range on co owned media and the costs of that editorial amortised accordingly and so, as a cost of rationalisation some newspaper writing seems to have got better.

The demise of advertising has made the physical bulk of newspapers smaller and there is much less distracting dross on the pages - it's a much better experience reading altogether as a consequence. 

Not only that, the growth of sperate and designated paper sections means that unwanted sections can be instantly binned - and most of us never read the sport section.

Then there is the tactility of turning a leafy page and browsing the printed columns versus the immediacy of a screen dump of information and the fact that reading a printed newspaper somehow feels like legitimate time out rather than sneakily reading the news during work time at your desk or pebble dashing your mouse and keyboard with a lunch time news reading sandwich.

Then there a whole bunch of negatives associated with the sister news productions on the net - printed newspapers don't have pop up blocker ads, noisy video ads and auto play videos features (at least not yet anyway).

And even better, newspapers can be purchased on an ad hoc, pay as you go basis without the financial pain of locking into long term subscription costs.

At Stancombe Research + Planning we're beginning to pick up the (smaller format) printed page again.

Geek Chic

The spiel for Neil Feineman’s book Geek Chic goes something like this: “The Ultimate Guide to Geek Culture There's never been a better time to be a geek. After decades, if not centuries of persecution, ridicule and never, ever getting the girl, geeks are hot. They are scientists, programmers, artists, musicians, actors, videogamers, skateboarders and architects. They have risen above unimaginative educational systems, hostile social environments, and conventional employers to develop the most liberating, global, inventive and democratic culture on the planet. They are geeks and their time has come”.

Feineman’s book poses the idea that geeks are the gatekeepers of the new economy. They are smart, inventive, left of centre, not afraid to walk a different path and are passionate (and maybe a tad obsessive). They are linear and specialist with a specific interest and focus that rarely deviates.

They are cool (as seen on TV). Flicking through the range of TV channels over the past few weeks… Couldn’t help but notice that Geeks are IT!  Albeit some weird programming was obviously in action but it seems geeks are the kings of the screen.

The emotionally undeveloped and sexually stunted men from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ made an appearance. Couldn’t help noticing that the most academically gifted and socially powerful member of the group (refer to image of man in beige, plaid slacks) has the lowest social and emotional intelligence and is by far, the geekiest.

A ‘Beauty and The Geek’ re-run was also to be found. Who would ever guess that such plain, uncommunicative and geeky chaps could be hugely successful in their professional lives and have acquired secret millions from their geekiness to boot?  They obviously wear their talent and success on the inside.

And, to top it all off, there was Glee – as mentioned, weird programming or maybe viewers just really love this stuff?  We know they do. They love it so much that Geek fashion has made its way into the mainstream – Nerd glasses are a high style item, bow ties and braces are on the way back, the bookish nerd look is de rigueur for men, not to mention fake dental braces being adopted by Asian teens (but we digress, that particular trend is driven by a need for status not nerdish-ness – Clearly this will be a subject for another blog down the track).

Intelligence and education are respected and both are highly aspirational and the biggest geeks of all - Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg and Australia’s own Dick Smith (who could forget?) are all highly successful in adult life.

A Salon interview with author Alexandra Robbins (The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth) reveals that being popular and attractive (i.e. non-geekish) in high school does not indicate you’ll be successful as an adult. Importantly, Robbins found that the qualities that make someone an outsider or geek-ish will help him or her succeed in adult life.  Guess this goes some way to explaining the appeal of geeks. The meek shall inherit the earth!

So how geeky are you? 

Take this test to find out!


The plethora of marketing tools available to the trade is truly staggering

It's an advergame from Barclays and is basically a more in-depth, interactive solo version of Monopoly. After getting past the two levels I can see there are very clear benefits for younger players. It teaches such life lessons such eating well, getting the right job, keeping up appearances and avoiding scams required to achieve life goals.

With more and more time being spent on iPhones and other smart phones, I can see how advergames may become a key way to engage the youth market (and maybe older?) in the not too distant future