Thursday, 27 October 2011

Facials At The Check Out...Whatever Next?

The new Tesco beauty salons have opened across the country to mixed reviews. The budget beauty treatment menu includes facials, manicures, eyebrow threading and waxing all at extremely purse pleasing prices.

But is the bright shiny clinical design of a supermarket the right environment for beauty? A pampering treat is the last thing on my mind when I'm charging down the frozen food aisle. But the convenience of being able to park on site, whizz around for my weekly shop and pop in for a quick no frills tidy up certainly appeals.

I doubt very much that a facial or relaxing massage will end up on my shopping list next to the tins of beans and bags of carrots, but an express maintenance treatment like a leg wax or eyebrow thread may well become a welcome addition.

After all, for a time poor PR professional in the beauty industry...every little helps!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Trick or Treat?

With the last 3 months of the year filled with opportunities to celebrate, a recent survey has now shown Halloween has become the second most popular family occasion behind Christmas. Parents are now spending more than £100 on parties for their children and one in three houses will be throwing or attending a Halloween party.

Despite people spending less and family budgets under pressure the survey of 2,000 parents revealed that families are still willing to splash out on Halloween parties.

I am first to admit, I love any excuse to celebrate. Be it Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings or Christmas, you will always find me loving any opportunity to spend time with my friends and family, but in my younger years Halloween was never top of my list of celebrations to get excited about, so where through the years I ask myself did the change in attitudes towards the Halloween come about?

Nearly two-thirds of children will take to the streets on October 31 for an evening of 'trick or treating' with a potential 24,900,000 doors being knocked on. This figure alone just shows how many people will be targeted one way or another with celebrating Halloween, even if you are not a fan it is hard to get away from taking part in the days activities. The survey, which was carried out by also found that on average one in five of us will attend four parties this year and will consume 1,231 calories in the form of traditional foods including toffee apples, sweets and pumpkin pies and the average parent will also dance for 57 minutes at each party they attend.

Don’t get me wrong I think it’s nice that a simple day can unite so many different people, but how far can we take it? This year will you be ‘treating’ yourself with celebrating Halloween or staying away from the ‘tricks’?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The X Factor Tracker

Staying in on Saturday and Sunday nights to watch the X Factor has become one of the nation’s favourite past times over the last few years! Although I am a little bit disappointed that Simon Cowell has abandoned the UK Show, I’m still an avid viewer and it is a ‘must watch’ just to be able to join in on the gossip at work about the weekends performances. Plus Gary Barlow is far more pleasing to the eye!

Only last week we planned to set a wager in the office on who would win this years show and be in the running for the Christmas No.1. Last year I could have predicted that Matt Cardle was going to win, having been my favourite throughout the whole show, right from his first audition. However this year, I have to be honest I do not have a clue who to set my wager on.

That was until this very helpful email landed in my inbox today, with a link to the ‘X Factor Tracker’. Using social media a team of social scientists are tracking what everyone says about the X Factor through sites such as Twitter. The Tracker gives contestants a popularity score, which then allows them to predict who is most likely to go out that week and who is doing the best!

An obliging tool when making a wager, just a shame we are now pulling the names out of a hat! I will be keeping track on what they say though and whether their social media experiment proves successful, so far I have to say that I do agree with them.

Check it out! ‘The X Factor Tracker'

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


22 September 2011 saw the hugely anticipated F8 conference (Facebook’s yearly keynote) take place in San Francisco, in which exciting new changes to Facebook were revealed by Mark Zuckerberg.

Aiming to put Google+ back in its box, the new developments have been met with mixed reviews, from enthusiastic praise to bitter reviews.

So what’s new? For starters, a notable change in direction, in a move which focuses less on user growth and more on user engagement. 1). A new platform enables users to share more of the media they consume, such as music, movies and television. 2). A new "ticker" on a user’s homepage updates the user when one friend comments on another’s status. 3). And soon, the hotly awaited Timeline function will create a new profile for users that organizes information about you like an online scrapbook of your life.

In Timeline there will be three main features. Cover photo - this is in addition to your profile photo and is meant to summarise your personality. Open Graph – a new method for connecting your apps (Spotify, 4Od, Huffington Post) to your timeline. And Maps – which, if you use a location features such as Facebook Places, will create a map of everywhere you’ve been. A real life log of your life.

The aim is that in 20 years time you’ll be able to see what you were doing with your life 15 years ago, in just once click. Sort of like a virtual history, featuring the music you were listening to, the movies you watched, the places you went, the friends you saw, the photos you took and what was going on in the news at the time. Cool huh? And for brands, surely an exciting time as it allows us to become more creative with the ways in which we try to leverage Facebook as a channel to reach our audiences.

So when does all this the excitement go live? It’s rumored that the launch of Timeline - despite being delayed for legal reasons - is now just a couple of weeks away.

We at Cirkle can’t wait – although we will. For those of you who can’t, there’s a guide available on Techcrunch for enabling it instantly.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

The founder and creator of Apple tragically lost his battle with cancer yesterday at the age of 56. Jobs who created the iconic brand, and was behind the technology of the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad has left behind an incredible legacy, never has the death of a businessman reverberated with the masses in the way Jobs death has.

The technology Jobs created has revolutionized a generation now and for years to come. Apple has immeasurably changed the population’s interaction with technology, transformed the music industry and moved the world on in giant leaps. Even those who have never touched an Apple product will be moved by his death.

Comedian Stephen Fry says of Job "I don't think there is a human being on the planet who has been as influential in the last 30 years in the way culture developed [and] has proved quite so conclusively that passion and taste and belief are more important than a hard business head."

Reacting to Jobs' demise, a Twitter user named Matt Galligan wrote: "R.I.P. Steve Jobs. You touched an ugly world of technology and made it beautiful."

I think that says it all.