Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We had some fog roll in over the last 24 hours. It was quite surreal. I managed to snap a few photos of it coming over Burnaby Mountain and through the trees at SFU. I also took a couple shots out the kitchen window this morning as well.

Fall is here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back in the saddle

Ok, so I've been away for a bit but I have a good excuse. I've moved. I left the downtown streets Vancouver for the suburban foothills of Port Moody. No, I never thought that I would ever want to move to the suburbs again. I grew up in a small suburb of Toronto and eventually moved to the city. I loved it and vowed never again to move to the burbs. There were so many reasons why I hated the burbs and it doesn't matter where you live because the reasons are universal.

The traffic sucks, it would take me at least an hour or more to get home. By the time I did get home I was so stressed that I couldn't relax.

The people in the burbs are usually focused more on families and not on business. Which I never saw myself ever being a "King of the Hill" person drinking beers in my garage with my neighbour buddies.

So what changed my mind? Well first let me say that I lived in a very nice part of Vancouver. Affluent people and families throughout the neighborhood. But the crime was really pissing me off. Our condo parking got broken into four times in one year. Our car was broken into and our GPS and other stuff got swiped. Our storage unit (which is only accessed by a fob) got broken into three times and our highend mountain bikes got stolen. In addition to all this crazy crap going on the price was huge.

So we found an amazing new place which is larger, a lot cheaper and the neighborhood is much more friendly out here in the burbs.

So that's whay I've been up to. MOVING!!

Anyway, I'm back now and came across this great new device from honda. Check it.

Happy Tuesday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lutz is a Putz

Well the new ad for GM is getting some buzz but I don't think it's the buzz they were looking for. General Motors marketing chief Bob Lutz spoke out in defense of the new ad campaign featuring Ed Whitacre the new Chairman.

In an effort to gain back the public trust with an ad that focuses on the laundry list of reasons why GM measures up to its foreign competitors is in my opinion a grave mistake strategically. Why? By taking this approach you have already admitted you aren't as good. What is worse, the general public already knows this so why harp on it? The problem lies deeper than just a strategic approach.

This ad has been done back in 1984 with Lee Iaccoca for Chrysler but Lutz says their TV AD is nothing like it. You be the judge.

So where does GM begin to rebuild its business? Well here is my take on it. Being someone who has working in the advertising business for some years now and someone who's father worked for GM for 33 years gives me a special insight to this brand.

First mistake they made was hiring Whitacre. I know that the government put him there but GM did have a say in it. Although the approach of putting someone who is "fresh" and not tainted by the auto industry in place is a noble idea, it might prove to be a disaster. Why? The last thing GM needs is another "old" face at the helm.

GM needs to shed its persona of "the old guys" auto brand. They need to put someone youthful and spirited at the helm to give he brand the breath of spirit it needs. The auto sector is changing and its buyers are changing too. For too long GM has ignored what the consumer wants and tried to push them into substandard offerings that they feel the public needs.

Change and improve your product GM! To quote the ad guru Leo Clow "Nothing kills bad product faster than great advertising". So before you focus on your advertising try focusing on your product and make that great first.

Lesson #1 GM = Listen to your consumer. It's exactly what has made Toyota and Honda as successful as they are. They listen to what people want in a vehicle and then they design the hell out of it to surpass their expectations. For too long GM has based their business on an introspective view.

Even though my father worked for GM for 33 years and through is entire life drove GM products I myself swore never to buy one. For years GM cars to me were cheaply made and fell apart after a while. Even when I reached a point in my career when I was successful and I could afford the higher level of GM cars with more "luxury" I never considered it. To me they aren't worth the money and there is no pride in owning a GM anymore, there is no bragging rights on both an aesthetics or environmental point of view. Not to mention the poor service that you receive after you buy one. (I'm sure everyone has a horror story about service from every car manufacturer but I've heard more from GM owners than ever.)

Car buyers of today make much more of an educated purchase then they did just 5 years ago. They walk into a dealership and in most cases know more about a specific car than the 20 something year old salesmen do. So why would someone buy a vehicle knowing that in 3 years the resale value of the car will be in some cases 20-30% less than what they paid for it? New vs Used

GM needs to design cars that are in tune with what people want in today's market. They need to get rid of the old boys club at the helm and bring in some young intelligence. Shed the models of yesterday and design us something that inspires us. The public wants to believe in you but you aren't giving them reason to.

I know GM is boasting about the new Volt but I don't think it will be the big saviour that they are planing on. Sure it claims great mileage and environmental benefits but for the money you can already buy better alternatives.

Sorry to rain on the GM parade but it's frustrating to see a group of people trying to rejuvenate a brand with the people's tax dollars and all they are actually doing is the same old things that damaged the brand in the first place.

That's my take on it. Happy Friday!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

You're only as great as your resources

Here's a great resource for illustrators to get some inspiration. There's lots of cool stuff on here so check it out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Done right

Here's the latest site redesign for Redbull executed by the Barbarian Group. Great job, nice and clean with lots of content aimed directly at the demographic. You guys nailed it. I love it.

Happy Tuesday

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Somethings keep repeating

I was watching some videos this morning about a few of the original heavy weights in the ad industry. I came across this video of David Ogilvy talking about how Direct Response was the new bloodline of the advertising industry. I found it fascinating how there are many parallels to the digital world now. If you watch the video and exchange "Direct Advertising" for Social media you could run this today.
Funny how things change, but not really.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A huge hand slap

Here's a prime example of what can happen when an agency focuses on their own gain and benefit instead of the clients'. Although this ad was spec (even worse) and used to pitch the business which they never were awarded (double slap). This is a prime example of doing something creative for the sake of being creative and forgoing the benefit to the client. Is it waaayyy off brand? YES. I think DDB Brazil has their hands full of feedback and I've heard rumors that the team responsible for creating the ad has been let go. Do you think that's justified??

Happy Wednesday and stay creative. (and on strategy)