Friday, July 22, 2011

Dear Samsung in the Middle East...

Please don't think I don't like you... It is not true and I even have a new Samsung TV that I bought last year to prove it.
But you and I, we have a problem.

See... I like to watch Comedy Central.
You know, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with John Stwewart?! And it seems you like it too, since you decided to sponsor those TV shows on OSN Network in Dubai.

Now, this simple fact might look like just an innocent marketing strategy, but do you really need to repeat that same Smart TV ad every single break in between the shows?! Every night of the week?! 

I know your intention is that I feel like buying a new TV.. but I dont!
I actually feel like trashing my own TV with a bat so that I stop listening to the annoying soundtrack of the commercial*.

But wait a minute... Maybe that is your trick! You want me to trash my TV and buy a new one?!
Wow! That is a completely new level of marketing!!

Humm... Why didnt I think about it before?!

Smart TV Samsung Ad

* I actually used to like the ad and the song.. but imagine listening to it/seeing it at least 8 times every night (assuming one ad before and after each show and 2 breaks in between each show - although I think there are actually more breaks than that)!!
That is 40 times in a working week!! No wonder I feel violent!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guess who is back?!

Me!! But it seems Im not the only one.

I randomly found out that Janis Joplin has a Facebook page!! Which shouldnt surprise me really since everyone is on Facebook nowadays, but considering that she died in 1970, I just find it a bit awkward.

Maybe Im getting older or something, or more conservative, whatever, but just wondering if I am the only one that finds it a bit morbid?

Apparently the page is run by her label or something similar as they also have a merchandising page but nowhere do they mention they are the ones running the page which I find even more annoying.

Anyway, Im sure I will be able to find Bob Dylan and Cobain on Facebook as well, so I will just let it go and focus on the fact that it feels good to be back in Dubai, even if it is 48C outside.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Portugal.. I'm on my way!!

I'm hungry and stressed (as I have five hundred thousand things to finish before my holidays) but thought that a pause would be appropriated just to come here and tell the world that I can't wait for these holidays!!
Two weeks in Portugal, living the good life... watching sunset in places just like this one are all I need after such a crazy half of the year.

Sunset @ Cabo Espichel, Portugal

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lost in Translation

I was meeting some friends for drinks last night, so I decided to take a cab (since we all know that Dubai has zero tolerance. Zero alcohol at all times)... I know I know, you couldnt care less if I took a bus or walked to the place, but please indulge me just this once.

Anyway, as I was saying... I called a cab, which ended up getting to my place a little bit earlier than expected - as in I was totally not ready!!

I opened the door, asked the taxi driver to wait a little bit for me, and ran back to the house: clothes out, clothes on, new earings on, some foundation, blush here and there, mascara and voila. Oh, and my new sandals on of course!

Walked out, got into the car and the guy tells me the taxi is taken!
- Excuse me?! 
- Sorry mam, Im waiting for someone else.
No... you are waiting for me!
- No mam, Im waiting for someone in that house (pointing at my place)
- Well... that is me!! 
- Really? That is you? The lady that asked me to wait a bit?
- Yes, totally me!
- Are you sure?!
- Yes!!!!
- Wow!! How did you manage to get pretty in only 5 minutes?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My take on Social Media 2.0 or just a conversation about soap operas.

I love it how everyone nowadays seems to have on their business cards or marketing CV's the title of "social media 2.0 guru".
And I have to admit that I laugh silently when I hear that the solution to all problems is a twitter account or a Facebook page... Oh, not to mention how incredible my sales would become if only we had a blog or run a viral campaign.

Maybe one day I will be completely proven wrong (it has happened before..  but seldom, of course!). And I will finally have to admit that social media is the cure for all evils. But right now I just don't buy it.

It is for sure a great channel to attract/talk to specific audiences (which can be just the type of customers we are looking for) but I dont think it is at a stage yet in which you can generalise it or see it as the great marketing strategy we have all missing out on.

Another interesting point about it is that it seems that everyone looks at it as if it is "easy peasy". You create a blogger account, start a Facebook page and wow... sales triple, your staff gets super motivated and all it took you was 5 minutes.

It is kind of easy to forget that "viral" can go wrong very easily and if you dont manage things correctly and super carefully (not to forget honestly) it can actually destroy your brand much faster than you can spell tumblr.

So forgive me now if I talk about my recent addiction: following Renault's Turning 30 Social Media Campaign going wrong. Seriously, it's better than a soap opera or the most recent american series. You have all the right keywords: ambition, betrayal, deception, love, friendship and even spanish language (in case you follow latin american soap operas, this one is for you!). You name it, you have it.

It all started nicely, like all soap operas do.
It is Renault's 30th anniversary in the Gulf and they decided to give a car out. All you had to do was to also celebrate your 30th birthday this year, subscribe to the competition and have the biggest amount of Likes through Renault's Page on Facebook (you will have to Like their page in order to see what I'm talking about).

Then, one day... Renault's Facebook page wall got full with "Go Nofil!!", "Te amo Nofil. Ganaras!", "Mr. Nofil will be winner", type of comments. It was just magic! And it is still all there! Every minute that passed you saw more and more messages of support for this Mr or Mrs Nofil. Some in English, some in Spanish, some in "I dont have a clue which language this is", and that is when all the suspense started... Who could this Mr Nofil be? Is it a he? Is it a she? And how does he/she have so many followers and in so many languages? I need to know... I need to know.

But, as any good series I had to wait... Wait for more clues (or the next episode) to unveil the mystery.

Suddenly, there were more messages, but with such a different content that I felt I was watching "Lost"! Now all the new messages or comments on the previous messages were all about "dont comment on this page or Nofil wont win", "stop talking about Nofil", "you are ruining it, Renault will cancel her entry" (Yes, I'm sparing you the spanish translation) and then you have all these fights between commentators, arguing if they could or nor comment on the wall about Nofil. Obviously, accusations started flying back and forward about how the ones who commented were not Nofil true supporters but supporters of the other candidates who wanted Nofil to be disqualified.

And then, suddenly a hint... Pets Society! I clicked on the link that took me to a link that finally unveiled Nofil true identity (or so I thought... cause you never really know the truth until the last episode do you?). So, it seems, Nofil is an administrator of a Facebook's Page called Pet Society Paradise dedicated to Pet Society (a Facebook game similar to Farmsville but about pets) and Nofil has more than 60,000 followers! So.. all of those people commenting were his/her followers and Pets Society buddies. For a while it was also interesting to follow her/his page.. Highly entertaining to see everyone voting for Nofil and then uploading the screenshot of their vote and all the comments for support. It was even funnier to see everyone blatantly mentioning on the wall that they were voting/liking her entry with multiple Facebook accounts and even creating Facebook accounts for Nofil to win. Cause a "Pet Society buddy is just like family, right?! We need to support each other!"

And then boredom started to get a hold of me... It was too obvious that Nofil was going to win!! Afterall she (I'm putting my money on the fact that Mr.Nofil is a she) has more 60,000+ followers not to mention their multiple accounts and her numbers were growing by the minute. It was just like those series in which all episodes start to be exactly the same and you watch it only every now and then. In one word: BORING!!

But, like any good series and even before I managed to focus again on Dexter, BAM!!...There was a new twist!! One of the other contestants, which was on the TOP 10 but didnt have many votes, climbed up to no.2 in a matter of days! You could literally see his likes/votes increasing every minute, and obviously the comments on Renault's Facebook page started: "How is it possible that someone has so many friends? So many contacts?" Everyone was suspicious, especially "our dear Nofil" buddies.

And then the "attack" began. Comments start pouring about the fact that this new guy works for ITP (the biggest publishing house in Dubai); that this new guyaworks for ITP (the biggest publishing house in Dubai). That this new guy is buying votes; that this new guy should be disqualified; that this guy created a cheat engine, someone even pointed out that this was a plot from him an ITP to make money out of selling votes (although I dont really have a clue how this could be). So, the fun was on again!

Needless to say that while all of this was going on, the other contestants were becoming really upset. After all a lot of them were playing the game by the rules, promoting it through friends and their social networks and felt that it was unfair to be going against all this myriad of fake accounts and buying votes. A lot of them started questioning Renault on the page and demanding for answers.

What a great mix: intrigue and revenge seem to be going hand in hand now! Not to mention the suspense created around what Renault is going to do about the winner...

And the cool thing about it all is that it ain't over yet! So much more can still happen... as the competition only finishes end of June.

Can't wait for the next episode!!