Posts from date: March 2008
Another day, another feeding of the recycling bin with yet more direct mail, unsolicited magazines and other assorted marketing bumf. Waste. Waste. Waste.
I can live with relevant direct mail because I do occasionally receive something that is of genuine interest. I can rationalise unsolicited magazines etc, because it's probably the best way of experiencing new titles/features I may 'need to know' - the rest get put into the boxes we send to good causes or whatever.
But I get really angry when sent promotional items packaged out of all proportion to the content. Today, like most of the media industry I reckon, I received an Easter Egg, in a box, in another box, in a padded envelope. Thanks, but I don't need an Easter Egg that badly. And that reminds me of last year's effort from an industry body that wanted to promote smart thinking by way of a tiny trinket or something of minimal volume distributed by way of a disproportionately large box. smart thinking, I think not!
For goodness sake, nowadays only a foolish enterprise would engage consumers with such needless waste. So why does a community who should know better sometimes behave that way amongst itself?
If any relevant marketing bods are reading this, please, please, please think twice before actioning an overly packaged promo - if not for the sake of the planet, then for the sake of your brand. I'm pretty certain I'm not alone in reacting negatively to such wastage.
And this is what I'm going to do about it: I'm going to start a separate blog on which I (and hopefully others) will post examples/images of questionably packaged items for people to shame (or not) by way of a vote. Give me a couple of weeks to work on it, and watch this space for more details.
I’m well aware that now Gareth has left that I’m the sole remaining rugga bugga in the office, but as Apples has so passionately written about his kickball team I thought I should rant about the current state of English rugby union.
I’m off to Twickenham tomorrow in the vain hope that England can salvage something against the Irish or at the very least, demonstrate a degree of passion and pride in their rugby which they have so far failed to maintain. Harsh I know, but it’s only right that following a WC final place that the country should expect better, irrespective of squad retirements and new personnel.
Also, consider the central reason why the England team reached the finals in the first place? Well it had nothing to do Brian Ashton, that’s for sure. It is well documented that following the group stage whitewash at the hands of South Africa, the squad collectively agreed to ignore Ashton’s approach to each game and concentrate on playing for each other. Subsequently, the England team stopped trying to play a brand of rugby that was alien to them and slowly ground wins out in the forwards – ugly but effective!!
The current squad have maintained their professionalism thus far and have remained tight lipped when questioned about Ashton’s management but the lack of player respect is clear to see. And to think that if the RFU selectors had showed a little more backbone and disposed of him after the WC, the England team might now be governed by Shaun Edwards who has revived Welsh rugby this year, or even Jake White who led South Africa to WC glory and also shown an interest in the role. *
Prior to this season’s 6 Nations, Ian Balshaw was regarded as the 5/6th rated full back in top flight rugby and despite some truly shocking performances has kept the 15 shirt. I’ve not doubt that the Irish team have spent their last training week practising their Garry Owens to target his incapacity under the high ball. It appears that Ashton will do anything to keep his “special friend” in the team, leading to the latest off pitch saga – “Ciprianigate”. True, it was a lack of judgement on his part but should have never resulted in his exclusion.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I must admit that a loss against Ireland tomorrow might just be what England need and it would undoubtedly result in Ashton’s long awaited retirement from the game and allow for us to start building for the next World Cup.
Right….rant over – that feels better!!
For those of you saving up to buy a swanky new Plasma of LCD screen you might want to hold off for a while……
Have been looking into OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology recently and save for a few development issues, its potential application is very impressive. So much so that Sony have already stuck $203MM into its progression.
This video gives a good intro into what it’s all about;
Now for the techie bit - it works by sandwiching self-luminating diodes made from natural chemicals in-between flexible plastic – very cool!!! Your current TV is a little on the fat side because it needs a backlight but stuff only needs a fraction of power to work (2-6 volts – Greenpeace will be onboard) and can be as size zero as just a few millimetres – think wallpapering your house with this stuff!
Like any display it can be interactive (Minority Report was spot on) and play audio-visual media. There have been a few prototypes mobiles where you actually rollout the touch screen display; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDuP8PtDJbE.
The only thing holding OLED screens back from your local Dixons is its 3-4 yr lifetime but I’m sure with a few extra mill that’ll get resolved!
TV prototypes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rMFZ4O_oLs
Another weekend of Premiership football descends upon us and the closer it is getting to the end of the season, the more worried I am becoming about my beloved Newcastle United. To be frank, we are in freefall. The last Premiership match we won was in mid December, we cant score, we can't defend, as soon as we concede a goal our heads drop. Its relegation form. We are a laughing stock. Keegan has come in and after 8 games we still haven't won a match. I have faith but Birmingham away is a massive game on Monday night, lose that and I really will start to panic.
There really isn't another club like Newcastle, there's something romantic about supporting the team, the fact that they constantly let you down will only make winning an actual trophy all the more sweeter (hopefully in my lifetime) and for a club that's in many peoples eyes isn't 'big' we don't half get a lot of attention.
On the plus side if we go down, I might get to see them a bit more. It's only about 15 minutes from my house to Selhurst Park....
I have recently been on honeymoon. 3 weeks in Costa Rica without mobile or even Blackberry reception....I was nervous at the prospect but it turned out to be bliss having no contact with the outside world - apart from the occasional sneaky look at BBC News to check we weren't at war or anything. However on my return and after a 26 hour door to door journey ( I swear Miami airport is run by the devil)Â I was more than ready to catch up with the world, especially the world of trash TV! So what did I record on my TV Plus whilst away. Whilst my husband (still feels weird saying that) had plugged in mostly highbrow music and cultural shows I relished the prospect of watching my hours upon hours of America's Next Top Model, Supersize versus Superskinny and Crazy in Love. Sofa, pizza and Tyra being a bitch - what could be better when jetlagged?
Â We also managed to record some things we could watch together, current favourites include the new series of Skins, Torchwood and the new series Reaper which is good stupid fun about a guy whose parents sold his soul to the devil and must now pay the consequences - one of my favourite directors Kevin Smith, of Mallrats, Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob fame, is also involved.
I didn't manage to catch much TV in Costa Rica but what I saw in the background of bars seemed to consist of dodgily dubbed soap operas that looked like they had been filmed in the 80's. The UK may not have sun soaked beaches, abundant wildlife or baby monkeys to hold but at least we have Kerry Katona to entertain us eh.........
Following on from Mr Places scathing yet all too true comments on the state of todays radio, I thought I would give a brief overview on what the people round my side of the office (the hallowed light side) are listening to on the wireless these days.
I am guilty of being the first person in the morning to turn on the radio. Hands up I cast myself as one of those annoying types that can't seem to work without a muffled distorted noise in the background (and I don't mean the now sadly departed Gareth Rees).Â There is something one finds quite eerie about a completely silent office (apart from it being a hard working one) and I can find small comfort with what the various stations have on offer. That's not to say that what is out there is revolutionary, especially in this new dawn of digital its sadly pretty much the same slightly tired formulas being churned out.
A brief breakdown of what we are listening to at the moment is as follows;
Classic FM - fantastic fodder before 1pm, quite calming and therapeutic. After a hearty lunch I want to go to sleep listening to it.
Magic FM - these guys really do belt out the ballad's. They seem to stick to a core of solid, emotional stompers from Cyndi Lauper - Time after Tme (great bassline according Fabio) to Madonna - Crazy for You. This results in slightly gruff crooning renditions from James Campbell - bit like Brian Blessed meets Frank Sinatra.
Talksport - too distracting. It's fun, chatty, no nonsense, banterous chat has no place in our office.
Radio 1 - bearable, if you can stand Moyles in the morning. I don't mind him - shame others can't stand the chap.
XFM - belts out the latest indie anthems but once you've heard them 8 times a day for a 2 week period its game over.
So that's the core collection of stations we are listening to at present, you probably don't really care do you?! That aside something clearly needs shaking up, will Channel 4 and their proposed digital launch be the ones to do the shaking?