Jargon Bingo

Check out this rubbish from Y&R in South Africa which was served up to me by LinkedIn last night:

“As the flagship of Y&R in Africa, the Johannesburg office staff are primed to put ideas beyond advertising. Led by an energetic team of left brain/right brain thinkers, the team collaborates to bring a unique perspective to the marketplace.

Y&R Johannesburg is fully empowered in both ownership and management and our global network of 182 offices employs many of the top industry professionals worldwide.

Our approach is totally results driven; we aim to exceed our clients’ expectations at every turn, in our work and our relationships. Strong strategic thinking has long been the core of our way of working.

The idea of “Best alone. Better Together” lies at the heart of Y&R’s successful business practices with iconic brands, both locally – Pick n Pay, MTN, ABSA, SABC, and internationally – Danone, Colgate and LG, which has allowed us to create a comprehensive 360 degree offering.”

Lets look at this jargon:
Primed to put ideas beyond advertising? (I thought the idea would be central to any advertising?)
Team of Left Brain/Right Brain thinkers (as opposed to what? thinkers with half a brain?)
Fully empowered in both ownership and management (um, if you have to say it…)
Best Alone. Better Together (say what?)
A comprehensive 360 degree offering (ok then)

Do you want to know the best thing? This ad was for copywriters!

“Arms Dealers wanted, with weapons in the form of words”

Nauseatingly Fawning Digital PR

Don’t get me wrong, I like Apple as much as the next guy, and probably as much as this guy:


But is this iPhone article  which was featured on the lead page of the Sydney Morning Herald online a parody of the media love of all things Apple?  It feels like it… just look at the stats:

Branded mentions of iPhone: 7 (5 as iPhone, 1 as JesusPhone)

Photo of iPhone and delighted user: 1

Branded mentions of other Apple services:  MobileMe (2) MacBook, MacBook Pro

Branded mentions of Apple: 3

COME ON Fairfax!  Please at least TRY to make it look like it is real editorial.

Fantastic Marketing – Of A Person!

This weekend’s SMH carried one of the most inspirational ads I have seen for some time.

It was compelling, relevant and eyecatching.  But here’s the twist…. it was NOT for a company, it was someone (Collen Chan) looking for the right place to work.

If I was employing a statistician or analyst I would offer her a job on the spot based on this fantastic effort.

Colleen Chan

(sorry about the resolution – I just got a new phone, upgraded from an N95 to an iPhone, and the only downside with the iPhone is the crap camera (but as someone pointed out to me the other day… it is a telephone after all!  Just got spoilt with the Nokia.  BUT I digress…)

Let’s use the old ABC  to look at why this is suuuuuch a great ad.

Attention:  Well, a job seeker taking out a 1/8 page colour ad in the paper.  That’s gutsy and attention grabbing; it got mine.  Simple visual of the boss wanting people to check with Chan- 8/10

Branding: “Check with Chan” – Make it company policy – such a brilliant idea; and it carries exactly the right message in just 3 words! – 9/10

Communication:  You should put me on your shortlist – you bet.  And contact me on linked in. Perfect.  – 10/10

To anyone considering hiring an analyst/statistician, check her out here:

Ethics in Marketing Religion II

It seems that a post I wrote a while back on the ethics of marketing religion to kids has attracted quite a bit of attention.

Look guys, I just reckon marketing, religion and kids shouldn’t mix.

It comes down to:

1.  Kids minds are not fully formed and their thoughts are easily influenced.

2. Some services and products are best left to adults to decide rather than forced on kids with the knowledge it will have a lasting impact.  (Circumcision, especially female circumcision, is an example – and religious belief is another).

3.Religions should not be forced on anyone (this is a human rights issue) yet we know that kids introduced and encouraged at a young age to participate in a particular sect, will tend to remain there.  “Show me the boy at 7…”

4. Therefore creating marketing programmes which explicitly target kids ) is ethically wrong in my view.  Adult marketing doesn’t bother me nearly as much.

The Damage

It’s an extreme and tragic situation, but as proof that religion can distort parents and kids’ decision making faculties, check out the following tragic case where religious parents have just decided that chemotherapy is against their religious beliefs.  So they are letting their son die instead.  The son (who was brainwashed by religion nice and early) agrees with is parents and will die unless he gets treatment, in which case he will live.  Oh, and they’ve done a runner.

At some point, this kid had his parents’ religion pitched to him, so much so that he’s prepared to die rather than listen to science and logic. That’s dark marketing.

But that’s someone else’s strange religion isn’t it?  For anyone who believes that damage can’t happen when our traditional (Christian) religous sects interact with kids – you can’t be serious ,can you?

At some point, these kids were taught by repetition to accept the authority of the church and its franchise managers. That’s dark branding at work.

And I don’t mean to be rude, but what about God himself?  He used to be pretty happy with a bit of child abuse – how about telling Abraham to whack Isaac???  Not nice.  Luckily He changed His mind – phew, that’s OK then!


Well, here God is expressing his BRAND VALUES.  That’s marketing.  A bit “Harley Davidson” rebel I suppose…

OK back to the main point which is that when you have serious risks to kids physical and emotional wellbeing, great branding and marketing can still create harm in the real world. So can tobacco marketing…

And I think that’s unethical marketing.  What do you think?