Monday, February 28, 2011

TAC - commercials that moves (to make us move slower)

This was showcased at Circus - festival for commercial thinking. Everybody cried...

We don´t want to just listen - we wish to take part. And sing with Iggy Pop!!

This campaign, letting people interact with mega star Iggy Pop and record a song with him, to demonstrate the speed of a broadband, was a big winner at Awards Award last week:

Consumer democracy - or consumer labour? New trend in marketing: make people work to give you their money

The latest and most intriguing trend in marketing is that brands win the heart of their consumers by asking people to do the job for them. During the days I´ve posted great campaigns on this blog, and what they seem to have in common is that they seriously interact with us. They make us work for the honour to buy the products. Easy access is no longer the way to attract new target groups - no, be like a fortress and customers come running!

The future is about creating grass root movements, letting people people make stories, contribute to the message. Don´t tell, let them tell you. Don´t present, just be a stage for them.

There are several examples, presenting an interesting pattern:

1. The ibutterfly campaign where people had to play a game to get coupons.
2. The Atlantic Project forcing people to think for themselves through shiny OOH.
3. Hippo´s twitter campaign encouraging people to fix a broken supply chain.
4. The Mini campaign, engaging Swedes to run around chasing cars in a location based game
5. The LG billboards where people tweeted messages immediately visable on the board

Question people to get their love - The Atlantic Project

This morning I once again passed by the asian man who sits outside the Supré shop on George street in Sydney, and who every morning has a new written message to people rushing off of work. Today it was a simple 'patience', but still so powerful. Just what I needed...

Thought provocing questions has been used before to grab people´s attention, but I believe it should be used more often. Sure, we wish o laugh at funny ads, but in a me-focused world consumer involvement is the way into people´s heart.

This campaign from is one example:

Another powerful Amnesty ad - your signature is more powerful than you think

Entrant Company: TBWA\PARIS
Country: FRANCE
Advertising Agency: TBWA\PARIS
Country: FRANCE
Executive Creative Director: Erik Vervroegen
Creative Director: Erik Vervroegen
Copywriter: Stephane Gaubert/Stephanie Thomasson
Art Director: Stephanie Thomasson/Stephane Gaubert
Account Supervisor: Guillaume Allilaire
Production Company, City: MAGIC LAB, Montreuil
Country: FRANCE
Director: Philippe Grammaticopoulos
Producer: Maxime Boiron

Sunday, February 27, 2011

TEDx in Bondi Beach

Sydney siders, don´t forget to come to Bondi for early brekkie on Thursday morning and watch TED!!

Harry´s bread is verrrrry soft - winning ad campaign

Erik Vervroegen told us at Circus this week how this lovely ad was born. The agency got a challenge: "show a bunch of breakfast stuff and a little girl. The ad shall point out that this bread is very soft". And this was what came out of this brief. Cute, hey? :)

The ad was developed at TBWA, Paris, by executive creative director Erik Vervroegen, copywriter Jean-François Bouchet art director Jessica Gerard-Huet, and photographer Achim Lippoth. Art buyer was Barbara Chevalier.
The advertisment won awards at Eurobest 2006 (gold), EPICA (silver), Cannes (bronze), and Clio (gold).

Creative Amnesty ad - love!

Such a clever ad for Amnesty International:

ibutterfly - coupon hunt that makes me happy

Collecting coupons does no longer have to be boring, or give you a feeling of being a tightass, saving little pieces of paper to save a dollar or two. Of course, we all know about Groupon etc, which has revolutioned the market, but this example of mixing augmented reality with a game to gather coupons is even better - and sooooo cute:

Best way to engage your market - play games!

Social gaming is serious business nowadays, for people of all ages. We love to play games, enter contests and get the feeling of beating the system. That people like this is nothing new, we have been competing in sports, betting on horses and played monopoly for ages, but the games are now moving into the digital world, and are suddenly becoming a brilliant way to engage with consumers. This is one example, a location based game letting people hunt for a mini car in Stockholm.

Nissan - car used like a skateboard, lovely TVC

Your good news straight up on the billboard - LG campaign by North Kingdom

Behind the Scenes: LG Good News Billboard Times Square from North Kingdom on Vimeo.

North Kingdom - the digital agency to use right now!

After spending time with the ad industry this week it has become clear that there is a tiny digital agency in Sweden that is THE coolest agency at the moment. North Kingdom makes me proud to be Swedish :) Check out their work at: The picture is of woodbots, their latest creation.

North Kingdom´s motto:
Through years of innovation and exploration in the digital medium, we’ve held on to what we feel is important – creative freedom, quality of work and curiosity – always with our feet on the ground and in high spirits. We like to see ourselves as a small, flexible, fast-moving team with big ideas. We have friends and partners all over the world to help us make those ideas come alive.



5 Gold, 3 Silver, 3 Bronze


2 Grand Award, 3 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze


1 Black Pencil, 1 Yellow Pencil


4 Gold, 4 Silver, 2 Bronze

Clio Awards

2 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze


2 Site of the Year, 2 People´s Choice of the Year, 7 Site of the Month, 28 Site of the Day, FWA Hall of Fame


5 Gold


2 Gold, 1 Silver


1 Gold

Friday, February 25, 2011

76% increased sales through Twitter campaign. Happy Hippo!

Have you heard about the Hippo campaign in India? The brand asked people to report on twitter if they could no find Hippo in stock in a shop. Sales increased with 76%!

On March 17th 2010, the @HelloMeHippo twitter account sent out this message: “Hippo ask you tell to hippo when you not find Hippo in shop. Hippo come there at once and fight hunger.” That’s what they call ‘Hippo English,’ ostensibly straight from the mouth of the mascot itself. (similar to the LOL-cats language)

As people followed the Hippo’s call, the brand acted on it, sending local distribution partners to get snacks onto the newly empty shelves. And people started buying like crazy.

A great example of twitter usage for brands. This is in line with the trend where people want to participate and be a part of making stories - not just being told stories from above. People want to contribute (and apparently even do the companies´ job) and not just be served, as Jeffrey Cole from centre of digital future, USC, said in a keynote speech n Sydney on Wednesday.

For fun: Translator from English to LOL cat language:

Flashmobs - perhaps not a trend anymore but still funny :)

Jess Greenwood from Contagious spoke at the Circus festival of commercial thinking in Sydney on Wednesday, and she talked about the flashmob phenomenon. "There was a time when you couldn´t move in London for all the flashmobs". But even if it´s not a unique or new idea, I still love these:

And the one from my Bondi Beach (I actually was out for a run that day and saw these people suddenly get up and dance. Hilarious!)

Amora Hot Ketchup - funny ads from Erik Vervroegen

The other day I listened to Erik Vervroegen from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, a great old fashioned ad man. He showed us some of his work. This video series is really funny :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The power of colour - Dulux project "Let´s colour"

Paint brand Dulux wanted to own the concept of colour, so they started the campaign "Let´s colour", asking people which parts of the world that needed some colouring, and then they went out to do this:

Thank you The Times of India and Agnello Dias at Taproot

I had the enormous pleasure to listen to Agnello Dias from the Indian ad agency Taproot yesterday, presenting the campaigns he had created for The Times of India. Absolutely MIND BLOWING. These are two of the case studies:


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Neer Korn says beng sad or depressed is out of fashion among teens

Trendspotter Neer Korn´s latest newsletter addresses the subject of teen emotions, and he points out the interesting fact that being low, sad or depressed is no longer acceptable in this group. You are supposed to be happy all the time, and not bring others down.

It seems like we are going back to the good old days when people did not have time or room for negative thinking. Our grandma generation couldn´t take a sickie to be moody about life - you simply had to get on with, get over it and be strong.

Happiness is definitely a choice, a filter you apply on your life, when looking at things. Of course there are heaps of things to be bothered about – but there is also heaps to be happy about. There are problems, but looking for solutions is better for you than to dwell on the dark sides of life.

From Korn:

The Happiness Imperative (and why Facebook is to blame)

Reading the Facebook updates of Teens (and those older for that matter) you’d everyone is constantly happy, busy and surrounded by friends. That life is just one big party. If you don’t have an exhausting social life, and photos to prove so, you must be the odd one out. The pressure is on to be always busy, active and constantly happy – or at least appear to be.
In a recent study of Teens lives an interesting attitude that emerged is that teens have little empathy for their peers’ problems. Despite the fact that by their own admission bullying, bitching, gossip and innuendo is rife, they have little tolerance for those around them experiencing these very problems. And despite acknowledging in the research to their moodiness, self-doubt, personal and family struggles, by-and-large they don’t want to know about others experiences of these. So they don’t share their own.
Bringing ones problems to the social group is a seen as a downer and not welcomed. Many feel the word ‘depression’ is overused and an excuse of the weak in order to seek attention, so they pay little heed to it. They expect others to just snap out of it if they feel down. While they know there are those who suffer from serious depression and anxiety, they have no way of separating the real from the melodramatic. And the teen playground is filed with melodrama.
Those Teens lucky enough to have a very close friend or two to share their issues with are the lucky ones. The rest have no choice but to bottle it in. “Nobody want to hear about you problems” is what they say, “You’ve expected to be up all the time.”
So they put on a happy face. Their seeming outer mask of confidence is convincing and for many disguises an internal turmoil. And, as they put it, it can be exhausting.
For all its benefits, Facebook exasperates the issue many fold. And when we consider Facebook here we should do so from a Teen rather than an adult perspective. Teens are Facebook addicts. Living without it, even for a few days, is an unbearable thought for most. It is their connection to their social circle. After school, in the late evening, the playground is emulated virtually, with multitudes of conversations, comments and taunts taking place. Missing out on an evening of Facebook means being out of the social loop at school the next day and that is something they actively avoid.
While they regard Facebook as an excellent forum to share their lives and keep their ‘Facebook friends’ up to date, the editing process they place on their lives is very slanted. What they showcase on Facebook is what they know others wish to see. It is their life through rose-coloured glasses. They will show how much fun their having, how many parties they have been to and how great life is. Few write things like: ”I did nothing this weekend” or “stayed home Saturday night.”
In this way they egg each other on. Everyone else presents a happy and confident self and so do they. For this is the image they want to depict. Their public persona becomes skewed.
Adults are also guilty of this albeit to a lesser degree. When colleagues at a workplace are asked about upcoming weekend plans or their weekend just past their answers are often exaggerated. No one wants to admit about a boring, activity-less weekend, it reflects badly on them.
Most people have down time, with less activity and excitement. By pretending we don’t and not allowing ourselves such experiences we make us all feel bad.
Perhaps Facebook needs a consumer warning – “The updates you are about to read may not be a true reflection of that person’s life.”

I talk on this topic as a happiness coach:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pretty doodles - Voodoo Queens - creative and fun! love it

I just discovered the blog "If it´s hip it´s here" It´s a blog about art, design, fashion and style, and it´s making me laugh and feel the tickle of surprise. You know, the amazing feeling of seeing something that is clever - often a blend between two ordinary phenomenon like tattoos on a pig or knitted underwear... I don´t know, it doesn´t really mean anything but it made me a little bit happy :)

The latest blog post presented the artist Nina Chakrabati´s voodoo doodling on fashion pics. Beautiful, don´t you agree?

The series is called "Voodoo Queens", created for I Want You Magazine.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Smile vending machine - a campaign that engages people

Lifestyle, Design and Media trends from LSN Global

I went to a fabulous trend briefing with LSN Global yesterday and want to share my notes with you. This is what the future looks like :)
Design and Lifestyle trends:
Mix Mash. Against a backdrop of optimism and experimental attitudes, and a willingness to take risks, we map a vibrant aesthetic direction fuelled by a mix of cultural and semiotic references. Designers mix materials and styles - ehnic blend, a global chaotic "mi mash". It´s a clash culture celebration, driven – I would say – by that the power balance in the world is changing, making room for India, China, and reducing the impact of the Western world as we have seen it. (Nick Cave´s creating pictured as an example)
Utility. In a world of über-choice and information overload, we are witnessing the emergence of a culture of leanness, lightness and smart thinking. We feel we are “stuffocating” from all the things we buy, and consumers are now spending more time elsewhere than in shopping malls. Consumers seek products and services that offer compact, mobile and flexible solutions. Honesty in everything from clothes to furniture and home wares. Back-to-basics philosophy. True functionalism. Simple, well-made, functional products that are meant to stand the test of time and that we have a meaningful relationship with. The humble, the pure and unadorned are celebrated. (pictured: Lim Code hair salon in Tokyo. Spot on TREND)
Wilderness. In the world of iphones, augmented realities and virtual worlds we are seeking the primitive. Luxury is re-adressing craft, with an emphasis on slowing down to promote the understanding that true luxury isn´t swift of nature. Raw and rough luxury is evolving, as sustainability and an ecologically aware sensibility become embedded in the everyday. We are finding our way to long-forgotten skills and craft techniques when feeling the need to work with our hands. New mood for handmade in the luxury industry.  
Colours and materials for these three: brown, dark green, sand, orange, yellow, grey, linen, felt, wood, leather, jute and industrial.
Trend drivers in media: move to mobile and video and multi-screening. Media is becoming more about magic, storytelling and cinema and less about data. People will pay for ‘living the experience’.

Other media trends:
  • The rise of branded content: As the cost of making and delivering content falls, brands will be more able to bypass media owners and create their own magazines. This will grow. Tab mags will also be more common.
  • Social gaming! Hundreds of millions spend time on sites like Farmville.
  • Content is king. the value is the value not volume, music not noise, content not circulation. Information will be for free, while we pay for insights.
  • We go from:          
    • broadcast to narrowcast
    • mass to micro media
    • multichannel to unichannel
    • solitary to social media
    • non-active to interactive
    • 2D to 3D

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today I am a consumer - what and why will I buy...? Shopping journey analysis

My boss told me to take the day off, since I am working more hours than I should according to our contract. Hmm. Sure, I do and I have a business on the side to run, but I am a hyper active mega productive person and I don´t need time off. Time off freaks me off. Work is my element. (ok, I am a little annoyed and experiencing FOMO - fear of missing out)

Anyway, I will be a consumer today (as in spend the day shopping), and I was reflecting on what drives me to purchase some things and not others. Here is what I will probably spend money on and how I found the products/services:

- Soy Latte: I go to the same coffee shop every morning because it brings me peace and I meet the same people. Convenient around the corner.
- Natio cleanser: I became aware of the product because of a "buy 2 products, get a bad of freebies". Love those :)
- Clinique eyebrow pencil: Same reason...
- Nail in-fills Word of mouth from friends about a good nail salon.
- Short reading: My psychic is also my career coach, who I found via a note outside her shop that I saw when passing by.
- Lunch: Will go wherever my girlfriend can fit in with the pram (baby)
- Ferry ticket to get to wedding on an island in Sweden in July: Monopoly, only one ferry provider to choose from and you got to buy a ticket 5 months in advance to not miss out...
- Lipgloss from Bodyshop: I usually dislike shopping there because the staff is so clingy, chasing me around the shop 'to help' but I like the color. I was a teenager in the 80´s when Bodyshop was really cool so I think that might affect my relationship with the brand as well.
- Photo ID: Need a handier id than my passport so I can bring with me out to bars (didn´t get in to The Golden Sheaf the other week because I didn´t have ID with me - and I am 37 years old!!)
- BRW and other mags: I´m a nerd; I love learning, love reading, might also go to Borders to have a crappy Gloria Jeans coffee in a dodgy paper cup - image what you do to be able to read mags for free.
- I will either go to a business seminar or to my fortune telling class tonight, depends on my mood :) Both these I´ve found through word of mouth.

Ah well, I will probably also buy a new pair of shoes and some stuff from the supermarket that I forgot to get yesterday. Some of these products will have been promoted through ads on TV or in the magazines I expose myself to. But it´s odd that my new products or services will be sold to me because I´ve had them recommended, or I´ve fallen for an offer. Is my work as a marketer less meaningful than I think...?

What does your shopping journey look like today? :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cadbury - chocolate that connects people - insightful campaign

Mumbrella reported yesterday about a new campaign from Cadbury that I have fallen in love with. The communication strategy and consumer insights of this is spot on, pointing out the need in people (especially women) to get close to their close ones. In a world where we are constantly distracted by iphones and tv screens, we live ide by side with people who we never really MEET. But the human need to connect is still there, and when we don´t there is a void inside. This campaign takes people seriously, takes humanity seriously and captures love on a much deeper level than brands like McDonalds or Honda does. Have a look:

Kirstin Stapleberg, marketing manager of Cadbury Dairy Milk, said (to Mumbrella): “We believe this is such a powerful campaign because it speaks to a very real human truth – that despite the hectic nature of family life these days Australians do want to spend more quality time together.”

Read the full article here:

This is btw from the chocolate brand that used to show those horrible campaigns when a gorilla was drumming! What a development!!! Positive...

Oops, update: I just read that the campaign is really similar to another campaign created in the Uk. I guess it only proves the concept is fab :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine! Be happy and attract more love

Today I am simply sharing one of my videos on youTube. You find all of them at : Also, don´t miss my column Love Matter in NinetoFive magazine handed out on the Sydney trains every Monday morning! And here is my latest column at Ninemsn

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The cry for love is stronger than the cry for freedom, Mr Obama

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has ended his three-decade long rule. Just as there has been recently in other Arab countries as well, there was a ray of light in Egypt! Democracy, freedom for the people, a chance to breathe...

"There's something in the soul that cries out for freedom," commented Obama. I agree, but want to bring a layer of complexity to this thought. Yes, we are crying out for freedom - but not to be alienated entities flying around solo; what we wish to have is freedom to be committed, tied up and constrained.

The cry for love is deeper than the cry for freedom, which is why we so easily get manipulated by strong politicians. We wish to fit in, so we go with the crowd. We wish to be accepted, so we adapt to majorities. We wish to be loved, so we sacrifice freedom.

As humans we are not supposed to be free from other humans, but to be able to choose the frames and cages we put ourselves in. Marriage, friendship, work, having a pet - everything that leads to joy and happiness also comes with dependency and rules. Love comes with a package. It´s not a 'cost' in a negative sense, but a mutual agreement. Freedom gives us the possibility to pick our own mix of mutual agreements.

I was a freedom fighter for 20 years, debating and writing from a libertarian perspective (for Swedish think-tank and others), but found the political view of freedom a bit limited and constrained in itself. All we - and the great philosophers through time - ever spoke about was freedom FROM the state, freedom FROM taxes and regulations, freedom FROM dictators like Mubarak. Only John Stuart Mill touched the subject of freedom from other people, and especially freedom TO grow, develop and become who you are supposed to be.

To me, that is my goal. I wish for all people to have the chance to choose their own personal contracts, and to develop as humans, because that will make us happy. Happiness comes from making your own decisions, going through life´s trials and tribulations and coming out as stronger souls. Life will never be perfect, but when we live in freedom and flow we get the 'natural' imperfections.

There is also the factor that not only politicians limit our choices, but culture, traditions and your mates are also mini-dictators For example, I fought for freedom from gender roles, talking about how we as humans limit other humans by judging them when 'misbehaving'. When a girl is acting like a boy her world will tell her off, and by doing that driving her into the norm. Why are all my fellow libertarians so quiet when it comes to these kind of limitations.

I think we as political commentators, thinkers and writers were stuck in our own way of thinking politics. 'Politics is supposed to be about politics' we thought. The fight against Mubarak fits like a glove for the liberal political movements. 'Bring the bastard down, and it´s all good' sort of. But we all know that he has created a mentality in Egypt that lives longer than himself.

Because human nature is more complex than what Obama tells us, the Egyptians have gotten used to being dictated. The soul actually cries out for committment more than freedom. We want to fit in, be like the others to be loved. So people accept lack of freedom and they will encourage it. We have seen it several times through history. Those who are trapped will after a while accept and play along.

By fighting against non-freedom we will not see freedom. People are still not free, just because they can vote. Now, the lack of freedom will be spread through those who have been in chains.

And in a way we will never be free. Which is all good, since that is not the ultimate goal, not the purpose of life. The soul is crying out for happiness through love and communities, and that will always come with committments. Freedom is simply a condition, it´s just soil for the people to grow in, to be able to blossom and feel joy.

I will celebrate today, but removing a dictator is not a quick fix, it´s just one first step.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Eco-shopping: Levi´s Waterless jeans for people who care about the planet

Many brands are adopting to a growing consumer need to care for the planet without having to do too much yourself... Eco-shopping is not just about farmers markets and buying clothes in shops that smells nag champa, but also about the brands we usually associate with hard core American capitalism. The only 'green' you´d traditionally associate with Levi´s is the green dollar bill, right...? Not anymore. Times are changing.

Levi´s has launched "waterless jeans", in order to be susainable - and sort of save the world. This is not, as I first thought, a pair of jeans that never has to be washed, but about introducing a production process that uses less valuable water. Normally, the average pair of jeans uses 42 litres of water in the finishing process, but The WaterLess collection reduces the water consumption by an average of 28% and up to 96% for some new products in the line.

The first collection includes over a dozen classic Levi’s® jeans, and The Levi’s® brand will continue to introduce these finishing techniques to even more supplier factories around the world with the goal of increasing the numbers significantly in 2011.

"As a company, Levi Strauss & Co. is making strides in these key areas – from supporting more sustainable ways to grow cotton to monitoring how suppliers use water in the manufacturing process. The company also launched the “Care Tag for Our Planet” campaign, changing the product care tags in Levi’s® jeans to include instructions about ways consumers can reduce the environmental impact of their clothes by washing less, washing in cold water, line drying and donating to Goodwill™ when no longer needed."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You don´t need to be a hippie to be happy - the science of happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar

Emotions used to be looked at as "fluffy" and feminine (in a negative way). People could not understand them, nervously holding on to logic. Left brain thinking was considered the only Truth and of higher status than right brain hippiness... Marketing has therefore for long tried to sell to the rational brain, by talking, talking, talking about the practical, physical benefits of stuff. "98% fat-free" and "The ultimate device" are still headlines out there...

This is changing. Emotions have slowly taken a seat in the board rooms, and "we have to create an emotional connection with our consumers" have been expressed by men in suits several times. Even if this most times have meant that the brand gets decorated with hearts and the word "love", we are on the way to lifting the product into people´s lives and hearts, and not just as an add-on they 'need' because it´s 'good for them'.

The greatest insight in my concept Love Branding is that we don´t buy a new car to get a new car - but because we want to feel good. We don´t need a new pair of shoes, so simply telling us these shoes "should be purchased because they are good" won´t make us hand over the credit card. People buy, not to get more things, but to fill a void. What kind of void, is for us as marketers to figure out. THAT is true consumer insights.

Happiness is one of the six core emotions in humans, and now it is thoroughly researched, for all those logical people who still refuse to see the value of emotions in branding, advertising and marketing, to be convinced. Tal Ben-Shahar, author of the lovely book Happier teach happiness at Harvard, and I found this video on a special website on "romance and brain", created for Valentines: Enjoy :)

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trend: Mindful consumption

Marian Salzman and Ann O'Reilly from Euro RSCG Worldwide has spotted ten trends in mindful consumption that I wish to share with you. Even if the report is published in October 2010, the trends are collected through a quantitative study made closer to GFC and I think some of the trends might have been become bleaker after people coming back on track with their finances, but we have spoken about these trends for a while, and the insights are interesting. This is a summary.
“Conspicuous consumption. Shop till you drop. All-you-can-eat buffets and supersized meals. The post-World War II era has been marked by a voracious hunger for more. In affluent countries, people bought too much, ate too much, used up too much and owed too much. Yet, for many, it still wasn't enough.There was something missing -lots of things, really. Among them, a sense of control and self-sufficiency, personal responsibility and feelings of community and authenticity. Replacing the constant accumulation of stuff with these more substantive intangibles lies at the heart of the current shift toward mindfulness – a movement in which heedless excess is exchanged for a more conscious and considered approach to living.”
1.    After years of wasteful excess – oversized homes and cars, over-the-top weddings, disposable everything – consumers have had enough. They want to feel good about themselves and their consumption choices, so they are making do with ‘just enough'. Rightsizing encompasses simplifying and decluttering, and recycling and rejecting.
2.    In the waning era of hyperconsumerism, one of our most constant sources of pleasure was the instant gratification that accompanied most of our purchases. Now, people are taking the time to reassess what really makes them happy, taking more care in deciding what – and whether – to buy.
3.    Our old ways of consuming have failed to satisfy, leaving people unhappy and alienated. They hunger for community. They want to get involved with causes larger than themselves
4.     Now, many people are seeking to accept responsibility and build individual competencies. We see this shift not just in more mindful spending, but also in increased interest in such subjects as financial literacy, automotive maintenance and home repair.
5.    Consumers take a responsibility to censure unethical companies by avoiding their products.
6.    Mindful consumers are keen to reduce the negative impact of their purchases.
7.    In a world that is increasingly artificial, people crave things and experiences that are deeply ‘real'. We live surrounded by faux everything (from synthetic home furnishings to Botoxed brows) and largely communicate through bits and bytes – which helps explain why six in 10 respondents to the Euro RSCG New Consumer global study worry that we have become too disconnected from the natural world.
8.    Living in a time of rapid change and rampant uncertainty has made consumers worldwide anxious and afraid. It isn't possible for individuals or families to control the world economy, but most can at least feel some measure of personal control by making smarter financial choices.
9.    Two-thirds of our global survey sample think most people would be better off if they lived more simply. When we asked respondents to indicate which of 25 product descriptors most appealed to them, their top choices were durable, useful, practical, trustworthy and simple. Least appealing? Elite, prestigious, sophisticated and luxurious.
10.  Mindful consumers don't just give more consideration to what they are buying; they also care about the people and practices behind each product. Half say it is more important to them these days to feel good about the companies with which they do business, and 57% prefer to buy from companies that share their personal values.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gen Y like to get mail (says Australia Post)

Gen Y spend on average 21 hours per week on the Internet, which is as much time as they spend on all other media channels combined. according to a study by Australia post conducted by Sweeney (not sure when exactly, the report doesn´t tell and press releases online are not dated but I´ve asked through email on: I´l be back on this...)
The study is ordered by Australia mail, and the results need to be seen in the light of this, but one of the big conclusions of the report is that Gen Y like DM. Addressed mail is considered the most acceptable channel of the “personalised” media. More results:
- 87% positively welcome marketing through email.
- Telephone-based communication is seen as irritating, and less than a quarter welcome sms from businesses they are not dealing with at the moment. They especially hate when companies call their mobiles.
- TV/radio/magazines are considered expected and easy-to-ignore.  
Of course it is interesting to study this kind of data on channels, and working for a media agency I surely know that channel strategies are cruicial to reach success, but having said that, it´s more about HOW you do it than WHERE. A cluttered brochure put in a mailbox will go straight to the bin - whether it´s directed to a teenager or a baby boomer - and a happy, smiling person calling can be a lovely experience.
If you treat the consumer as a person - ask, listen and spice up their life rather than shouting your own name as loud as you can - you can use any channel. The message and the packaging thereof can break any "rule" based on statistical findings. Be creative, be friendly, be a mate. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The spirit of sharing - Absolut ely Fabulous brand

Last night I was out with some girlfriends and we found an excellent offer from Absolut Vodka. We got a jug drink for 20 dollar (not that strong but tasted great) and the tagline was "The Spirit of Sharing". Brilliant!!

Friends and sharing is a mega trend. We have left individualism behind and are nowadays focused on togetherness, something that more brands are using to get into the heart of their customers.

Spirit is also a smart choice of word, meaning both booze and soul, and in times when new age and self help books are making us more open to spiritualism, this is super clever. Absolut Vodka is definitely full of ideas and always following trends. Such a rolemodel brand, love it. The brand was actually created before the spirit, by intelligent marketers from  Sweden, operating from NY. Interesting story. If you get the time, read the book by Carl Hamilton, The Biography of a Bottle.

This is their latest version of the drink:

"For thousands of years, oolong – or “black dragon” tea has inspired kings and cultures all over the world. Now, its dark tones and mysterious richness have been introduced to the wild, delicate character of Nordic elderflower and harmonized with a smooth, mellow vodka base. This unexpected flavor mixes perfectly, and brings excitement to a wide variety of drinks. ABSOLUT WILD TEA will be available in January 2011 at bars, restaurants and retailers in the US."

I made a video yesterday on how to be a good friend to your friends while dating. Check it out:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wild flavours and hay on the menu is a new trend

The latest newsletter from tells us that "From pine cones to hay, chefs are imparting gourmet cuisine with pastoral notes".

A few years ago, Swedish chefs were introducing the wild trend, leaving the admiration of French, Mediterranean and Thai behind for our Swedish traditional berries and flavours. It was a mixture of self-pride and being fed up with all the new, "exotic". Back to basic, to the roots, literally. This matches of course the organic trend, signalling a need of authenticity. A need of simplicity after being bombarded by options in the food stalls for a decade or so (we did not have 50 types of olive oil in the 90´s!) writes: "Cooks who are passionate about the farm-to-table ethos are roasting bulrush  and serving up free-range chicken with a side of common milkwee. With “plant food” culled from forests and barnyards appearing more regularly on gourmet menus, getting a taste of the wild appears to be gaining mass appeal."

"According to the Wall Street Journal, top kitchens are using dried grass to give dishes the ultimate earthy aroma. The most famous hay dish at the moment is found at Chicago’s Alinea, where chef Grant Achatz’s hay brulée is made with cream that has been steeped with hay. At New York’s Manzo, Mario Batali’s paean to beef found within his Eataly emporium, milk-fed veal chops are grilled until caramelized, then baked in a bed of rosemary, thyme and hay. Pastoral fare really can be found anywhere now, even if one rides the subway instead of a horse in order to enjoy it."

I think this is a sign of chefs being a little bored and that the huge organic trend is influencing the fancy restaurants. Will we no longer want 50 types of olive oil? We will. Once used to a large range of options, it is hard to accept only one choice. Homegrown brands are of course speaking against this, presenting a 'one fits all' alternative, selling well to those who are concerned about price, but the overall trend with variety is still very much alive and kicking. The "pastoral fare" is just one of many ways. Exotic in it´s own, pure way.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Meet the citysumer - this is who she is: the whole list!

By 2050, the global urban population is expected to be 6.3 billion, or 70% of the population at that time.´s lates briefing is about the consumers living in cities, the 'citysumers'. It´s a briefing full of examples of campaigns capturing the minds of the urban market.

Most who read this blog are probably already subscribers of briefings, but this might be interesting for you. Through the document I found several insights on how the 'citysumers' are:
  • time-starved
  • choicerich
  • smartphone clutching
  • embracing products, services and experiences that are more daring, more mature, or just more relevant to urban culture
  • wish to temporarily leave the city and enjoy some peace and quiet with nature and clean air
  • savvy
  • wired
  • superspontaneous
  • seriously space-deprived
  • addicted to the here-and-now experiences
  • seek choice and freedom, flexibility and rawness, unrestricted opportunity and the Next Big Thing
  • has an “enjoy life” fun lifestyle
  • up for brands that challenge, thrill, titillate, or even shock. At the very least, brands need to show some personality, loosen up and embrace urban culture
  • identity will often be closely tied to a city's culture, its brand, its heritage, its 'being'
  • everincreasing amounts of time spent online
  • enjoy connecting with other, real-life human beings, and embrace the choice, the excitement, the frenetic pace, the spontaneity, the chaotic vibrancy offered by urban life

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Can magicians teach marketers some tricks? Yes, they can!

From the lovely Roger Dooley´s blog about neuroscience marketing I found a guide on how magicians can help marketers, based on their understanding on humans. A summary of the post:  
1. People Focus on Only One Thing
Many illusions are based on the magician showing you something with one hand while doing something you don’t notice with his other. Marketers need to be sure they have their target’s attention where they want it. If the customer is distracted by something the key point of the pitch will be missed.
2. Motion Attracts our Attention
Our brains are wired to respond to motion – in prehistoric times, movement might be a threat, or perhaps food. Use motion to grab the attention of your audience and focus it where you want it. This is why magicians use flying doves to do their tricks... (to make us look at the dove and not the magician)
3. Big Motions Beat Little Motions
Magicians prevent you from seeing their small moves by distracting you with a big move – pulling a colorful scarf out using a sweeping gesture with their other hand. They know the audience will tune out the small move in favor of paying attention to the big one. If you are dealing with an audience that may be distracted, use BIG motions to snap them to attention.
4. The Unexpected Attracts Us
Much as our brains focus on motion, they also focus on novelty. Surprising your customer with an unexpected move, a novel sound, or unfamiliar image will get her to look at and analyze what she is seeing. That’s true even with text – “New!” is one of the most attention-getting words in advertising.
5. Mirror Neurons Engage Us
One reason we don’t notice when a magician scratches his nose but slyly palms a coin that was hidden in his mouth at the same time is that we KNOW what it feels like to scratch our nose. When he is performing that action, if we notice at all, our mirror neurons are lighting up as if duplicating that action ourselves. Selling soft drinks? Let people experience opening the bottle, raising it to their lips, and taking a drink.
6. Cut the Chatter
If you’ve ever been to a magic show, either on a stage or close-up, you know that the magician often keeps talking. Their purpose, of course, is not to give you real information about their technique but rather to distract you, which makes it less likely that you will spot what is really happening. While a stream of chatter serves the magician’s purposes, excessive verbiage may distract your customers from your selling points. Have you ever had a salesperson who wouldn’t shut up while you were examining a product?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Health is about happiness - a holistic view on beauty

An increasing amount of people are becoming aware of how powerful our minds are for making us happy. Happiness comes from what we think and feel, rather than what make up we put on. I have written a book called "Shine" since so many - especially young girls - come to me, expressing self doubt, lack of confidence and confusion. I want them to train their happiness muscles to become as happy as they can be. To shine from within!

I´ve also started a Facebook page. Please 'Like' :)!/pages/You-were-born-to-Shine/178981225472996

From one of the readers:

I have read many 'self-help' books over the last year (well, started them anyway) believing whole heartedly when I began them that their words would turn my life around. At points some of their words did touch me or give me some hope, but I felt they never had any long term effect; and then I read yours.

I hadn't even began the main body of text when I read a sentence that made something shift inside, some hurt or negativity I was holding onto... “thanks to those who hurt me or treated me badly.” There was no reason or justification, just thanks. Almost as soon as I had read it I felt my heart loosen , weight lifting off my shoulders and even felt the corners of my mouth curl upwards. That's when knew this book would make a difference.

The idea that we are all meant to shine is a simple one, like you said, we are born to do it. The idea that many don't allow themselves to shine in fear of standing out was one I related to. With each sentence I read, it was as if a whole volume of knowledge had opened up to me. At the end of practically every sentence I had to stop reading, digest each and every word, think about what it was teaching me and relate it back to my life and to me. Each time I finished with the same thought: 'that's so obvious, why didn't I know this before?' I'm sure your words will strike a cord with all of it's readers, each one feeling the words have been written just for them.

I have read books before that explain how like attracts like and happiness leads to more happiness, and I believe it every time I read it. What I have more of a problem with, however, is in practise life is just not that easy. I mean, where do you start? When at a low point in life, whether through bereavement, heartbreak, fear, loneliness or anything else, it's hard to break the cycle of sadness and one day just be happy, even if this is what your head wants, your heart may take more convincing. I generally find words the time I read them. For a few days afterwards I'll remind myself of the basic message and within due course I'll be back to square one. This is where your book is different. It's exactly like you said, if you don't exercise your happiness muscle you lose it. I think many people look to self help books as a miracle cure, that after reading it you'll instantly be worry free and forever smiling, but it takes time and effort to turn your mood around if you are having a hard time. This acknowledgment is refreshing and the reason I loved this book so much.

With this acknowledgment comes positive steps to shine. Having daily exercises is a great way to inspire you and help maintain enthusiasm. If I have a sad day it is easy to forget the principles of books previously read, but with Shine you can you can choose a single exercise, and with hardly any effort you can brighten your day. It becomes an exciting part of your day to see in what way you can shine that day.

Obviously I haven't yet had the time to try all the exercises, but the ones I have tried are brilliant. I love the mix, that some can be done in a matter of minutes, whilst others you can do all day. Some make you think about your life, past and present and can invoke strong feelings, yet others require hardly any thought, such as buyng a plant – beautiful!

I can't wait to try more exercises, and the best thing, you can do them as often as you like, in any order. Really the last thing to say is thank you, for writing such an inspiring book.