Thursday, 28 June 2012

Pinterest driving sales and holding its own with Facebook

Pinterest has been around for a while now, but has it moved from interesting-and-growing-niche-platform to mainstream? According to our pals at Tamba, the answer is a resounding yes...

 Take a look at their Pinterest infographic and white paper.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The BBC talks the diversity talk, but does it let a simple thing like admin get in the way?

Hackney Weekender: the UK's biggest free music festival and official start to the London 2012 Festival.  Auntie delivered enviable hype around the event, taking over several of its media platforms, making the most of  a  roster of big name DJs to talk things up. In the last few weeks  its message has been  an exciting one: "East London you're hosting the Olympics so we're giving you something back... and for free! You're a traditionally deprived area, we're going to put you on the map and under a spotlight, isn't it good!".

So many darlings of the UK music scene, Leona Lewis, Plan B, Maverick Sabre, Dizzee Rascal, are from E8 or East London, it all made perfect sense.

For me, an ex-resident of Hackney, I was hyped about the prospect of seeing the place in action away from the gentrification and middle class hipster takeover of so many parts of it. But while the BBC messaging was directly to the underclasses of the area, the people partying their rocks off were distinctly not.  

Generic Kate Moss-wannabe festival clones (read denim hot pants and Hunter wellies)? Check. Complete oblivion to the level of street sense required by the area, hence an indignation at the hold up caused by airport style metal detectors? Check. (Overheard: "What! Do they think they're Heathrow?". Reality: there were five stabbings in Hackney in just 24 hours last month.)

But it was all planned so well. So what went wrong? My answer? Admin...that definite preserve of the middle class.

To get a ticket you had to go through a Glastonbury style application process, pre-register with a photo then phone/apply online for tickets weeks later. To be honest, it was a bit of a palava and if I didn't have an overly organised mate driving the process, I really wouldn't have bothered.

The Beeb's intent was admirable but the reality is ...who likes admin anyway?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Mobile App or Mobile Website?

Clients are increasingly talking to us about content and how to bring it into conversations with audiences. This year we’re having evermore chats about mobile as a way into those conversations, so we were interested to come across this infographic from MDG Advertising recently…

Click here for the full infographic.

via (PSFK)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

OSTRICH Micro Environment - how to take a power nap in style

Summer has been pretty full on at Cirkle so far...we're thinking of investing in a bunch of these...

"OSTRICH offers a micro environment in which to take a warm and comfortable power nap at ease. Its soothing cave-like interior shelters and isolates our head and hands (mind, senses and body) for a few minutes, without needing to leave our desk."

via Kawamura Ganjavian

Monday, 11 June 2012

Dotty enough for PR?

Nick Woods
At every agency I’ve worked at there has been a demand for ‘creative training’. Friends in other agencies say it’s the same in their places.

But is it worth paying for? Can an agency make its staff ‘more creative’ or should professional PR people, for whom creative thinking is a core skill, be accepting more onus personally to develop their abilities?

Steve Jobs geeks among you might recognise this quote:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem.”

It’s not a big leap to see that this is as true of the PR industry as it was for Jobs and the design world. This is why I suggest to anyone working in an agency - don’t rely on creative facilitation or any other kind of creative ‘training’ to make you more creative – only you can achieve this by the way you live your life.

If you choose to experience new things, new people, new places, new experiences, new media, new holidays, new books, new sites and if you embrace variety, the likelihood is you will become a more creative person.

If you choose to contemplate links between things, you will become better at making those links.

You’ll create more dots and be better at joining them.

If you like what you know and know what you like and don’t ever look beyond, the likelihood is you’ll never have new ideas.

Creative training may have a role. But show me an exec who is constantly telling tales of new and interesting things and an exec who asks for creativity training and I know which I’d choose…

Friday, 8 June 2012

We hop on the British band wagon to review the Jubi-loosers and winners…

After months of endless countdowns to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the celebrations have finally come to an end.

From a PR perspective, it has undoubtedly been a hectic time, with a multitude of food and drink brands all vying for a cut of the £823m which the nation reportedly spent. From traditional stunts and campaigns to innovative packaging, the industry went a bit crazy for a bite of the Jubilee cherry.
With the majority of brands having opted for a change in packaging, who deserves to be crowned for their Jubilant efforts..?

My favourites were Kingsmill (Queensmill), Marmite (Ma’amite) and Kit Kat (Brit Kat) who used their iconic British heritage in a tongue in cheek fashion to create talkability. I also loved the nostalgic route chosen by Heinz and Kellogg’s who partnered with the Museum of Brands Exhibition to display their iconic 1950s packaging and take consumers on a trip down memory lane.

And the ones which fell by the way side..?

For me, Starburst, Pimms, Haribo and Cadburys simply rebranded their packaging with a British flag in an attempt to jump on the Jubilee band wagon. Nothing newsworthy. Nothing attention grabbing. Nothing interesting.

Here at Cirkle HQ, we handled two slightly more premium responses; Firstly, Jubilee strawberries remained true to their authentic name, coinciding the official start to their season with the nationwide festivities. Secondly iconic British brand Bendicks refrained from altering their packaging, choosing instead to draw upon their much sought after Royal Warrant. But ultimately the question stands…

…Who successfully capitalised on the Royal occasion, generating cut through and incremental sales growth?

I can’t be sure of exact sales figures at this stage, but think that the brands which genuinely excelled during this period are those which were intrinsically linked to the Englishness of the celebrations and could draw upon their traditional, authentic heritage.

My sources here in the office reportedly struggled to locate clotted cream, traditional scones and strawberries in a number of major supermarkets – which surely indicates that the quintessentially British brands were the ones who not only truly deserve the crown, but who successfully cashed in on the Jubilee!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Making catalogues work harder

The humble IKEA catalogue. If you’re anything like me it sits unloved and unused in a pile of magazines and catalogues and then gets binned months later.

But in Oz they have a slightly different problem – people don’t keep them long enough.

So IKEA Australia has come up with an ingenious solution. Based on the logic that IKEA products use space cleverly, they decided their catalogues should do the same.

The result is that IKEA Australia is offering to pay rent to Australian consumers for the space the catalogue takes in their home. Yes, they PAY people to keep the brochure.

Would-be catalogue renters simply sign up for the scheme online and are sent monthly rent cheques which are redeemable in-store… see what they did there? The online, off-line, in-store loop… genius.

The results? saw an uplift of 79% in visits, first week sales increased by 59% and in the first 3 weeks 68,000 households signed up to the initiative.
Oh, and, so far, IKEA has rented 5km2 space in Australian homes.