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Mouthpiece

10 Feb

Here’s my vote for the best new company name and look in Victoria.

Mouthpiece Victoria PR company

Tartan alum Christine Gleed and Trisha Lees have joined forces to launch their own PR/Media relations/Issues management company, Mouthpiece.

Mouthpiece was rolled out in late 2011 with a corporate ID and website courtesy of the fantastically talented Neil Tran.

Christine Gleed of Mouthpiece

Trisha Lees of Mouthpiece

Christine and Trisha have already bagged a bunch of new clients and you should expect to hear plenty more from this duo as the year picks up steam.

After all, they didn’t name themselves Churchmouse!

Skewering the world’s last dictator

29 Nov

Out of South Africa this week comes a TV commercial for Nando’s grilled chicken restaurants – the same one that’s on the corner of Government and Pandora here in Victoria.

This cheeky, hilarious spot lampoons Zimbabwe’s iron-fisted ruler Robert Mugabe, who sits alone in his dining room at Christmas, glumly remembering the good times with his fellow dictatorial buddies, Muammar Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein, PW Botha and Idi Amin.

When you’re done chuckling, note that this is really just a traditional product and price ad – they’re actually trying to sell something. It survives repeated viewings beautifully and while only a few days old, has already chocked up 440,000+ views on YouTube.

Clearly somebody is executing an exceptional digital and PR strategy around this entertaining spot.

Check out Nando’s whimsical website too. It’s almost as much fun as the TV ad.

Getting down to bare bones with Gap

17 Aug

Did Gap goof again?

According to this Washington Post article, Gap has launched their new “Always Skinny” jeans in the UK with mannequins that might generously be described as famine fashion.

Ultra skinny mannequin for Gap "always skinny" jeans

While Gap claims that skinny jeans elongate the body, this representation of womanhood is downright scary to me. And irresponsible.

It seems there isn’t an adequate Gap between thought and action at this retailer these days.

Any parent of a young girl (like me) would be horrified at the suggestion that such emaciation equals fashion. It gives me no pleasure to take a dig at another advertiser, but where is the public pressure to put an end to the glamorization of this unhealthy stereotype? Gap should be a leader on this issue, not a perp.

(Photo courtesy of boingboing.net)

 

When it comes to Google search, there is finally such a thing as bad press

29 Dec

Here’s a way to get your website to perform better in search: Treat your customers like shit. Be a pig. Yell at them. Swear at them. Threaten them with sexual assault. Sue them.

Then sit back and watch your website climb the almighty rankings.

Believe it or not, this has been the strategy of DecorMyEyes, an online eyewear site, as explained in this article in the New York Times.

The idea by the business’s proprietor, a walking aneurysm of a man named Vitaly Borker, a.k.a. Tony Russo, a.k.a. Stanley Bolds, was to generate complaints and negative reviews so his site would be swamped with interest. Which it was.

As a result of this, Google felt compelled to alter their search algorithm to identify “poor user experience” and adjust downwards accordingly. Here is the Google statement on the matter.

You know, good riddance and I hear Vitaly/Tony/Stan is making friends in prison.

But that’s a lot more power all of sudden in Google’s mitts.

Pseudonym Man’s case is pretty easy to call. But can an algorithm be trusted to judge issues that aren’t always so black and white?

Don’t be a social media tattle-tale

6 Nov

Customer service is a tricky business for companies these days.

Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier for customers to gripe to a huge audience, and never been more important for businesses to respond to those complaints pronto.

The problem is many customers don’t take their complaints to the business first. They launch off on their platform of choice – YouTube, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Twitter etc. – rather than give the business a chance to hear them out and respond.

By the time a company picks up an online grumble and responds, a lot of damage to their reputation can be done. Sometimes they respond magnificently, and likely would also have done so given the chance through a direct, 1-to-1 channel.

But people can’t resist going public.

In fairness to businesses, and as a responsible code of conduct, sounding off in social media spaces should only happen when sincere direct attempts have failed to resolve the problem. In which case, have at ‘em.

Do you think that sounds fair?

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