Tag Archives: Media

Heaven is Virtual Reality. Heaven is a fantasy. This is heaven.

Imagine this:

Sometime in the future, everyone on the planet decides to live in a utopian virtual world [think Second Life 100 years from now], however they don’t access that world via a computer screen and keyboard.

The physical body would be stored away on life-support. Everyone would be tube fed the perfect amount of energy, fat, vitamins and minerals; delivered in a constant stream throughout the day.

We would have electronic messages sent right into our brain so our eyes wouldn’t have to be open. Smells, tastes and touch would all be created in our brain or spinal cord. The mind would be free to escape the physical disabilities of real life; the paralyzed would be able to walk, no one would have AIDS or bird flu. We could all choose to live our lives however we chose, free from the constraints of real-life.

In a utopian virtual world, where resources are unlimited, would we have to buy products and services, would we have to work to earn currency, and how would goods and services be priced?

Some other questions:

  • In the absence of work, what would we do all day?
  • What would we talk to our friends about?
  • Would we be immortal?
  • What value would life have if we were immortal?
  • Would there be a government; someone to make decision about the world?
  • How would that government be chosen?

How would heaven be different to this utopian virtual life?

If every ‘good’ person goes to heaven for eternity, there must be quite a few people up there. Just like in a virtual world, they won’t need physical things like food, water, medicine, money, and they won’t need to go to work to buy things.

  • What would these people do and what would be their purpose?
  • How would they feel fulfilled?
  • What would their dreams and aspirations be?
  • What would they talk about with their friend and family?
  • Maybe they will decide to learn and gain knowledge and wisdom. But, for what purpose?
  • Maybe they will decide to play sport or compete against each other. But how will teams be chosen?
  • Will there be rules and regulations for competitors? Who will make these rules?
  • Would they compete for a prize? What could the prize be?
  • What if I am really passionate about my team and someone says they’re rubbish? Could I dislike them?
  • Would there be arguments? How could arguments be resolved?
  • Would music, art, movies, entertainment or literature exist in heaven?
  • If I was passionate about writing theatre, film, music or poetry, could I continue with that in heaven? Could I share my work with an audience, maybe in a theatre? Who would perform my work? How would they be chosen over the many others who wanted to perform? Who built the theatre?
  • How would someone passionate about food or wine get on?
  • What if my whole family was here except my very lively and entertaining gay sister and her caring partner? Their two adopted children are here though, forever without their parents.

Heaven is a fantasy. This is heaven.

Determined to be Disastrous?

Commonwealth Bank: “Anthem”, Agency: Goodby Silverstein and Partners, Director: Michael Bay

Major Questions: Why would you draw attention to the fact that an American company is doing your advertising? What is the message to consumers? Why should consumers care about this message?

I think the ad pretty much sucks. The “marketing team’s” response basically acknowledges that the advertisement doesn’t hit the mark. Was that the point; to create a really disastrous advertisement and then pay it out? And if so what does that communicate? Not much in my opinion.

Goodby Silverstein and Partners Creative Director and partner, Steve Simpson said “It is true that Americans are a convenient foil for all the excesses of modern marketing. It is really an advertising campaign about the artifices of advertising”.

Do bank consumers care that you are commenting on advertising? He also had to mention “User generated content” to his audience at the launch on Friday, 25th Jan:

“We live in an incredibly media navvy time, you know everyone is now a film maker – as we see on YouTube. User generated content is all the rage, because everyone has had an ad idea.”

However, the advertisement is a nice departure from the usual bank advertisement which continue to tell us that they truly value our business and they have exceptional service. Then you walk in the door and wait in line, or get charged for viewing your transaction history on the internet. I’ve even heard of one bank that charged a customer because they sneezed while withdrawing money from an ATM!

But to tell you the truth, I’m just sick of the banks (and other service providers) telling us they have exceptional service when THEY DON’T. For me, actions really do speak louder than words. In that sense, the Commonwealth Bank ad is a hell of a lot better than a lot of others, especially the latest from NAB which I despise.

The CommBank campaign will include viral components as well as outdoor, print, web and in-store advertising.

What do you think of the ad?

Interest rates rise to 6.75 per cent

The Reserve Bank of Australia has lifted interest rates to an 11-year high of 6.75 per cent.

My question is: if the economy is going so well and both parties are suggesting that they are experts at managing the economy and keeping interest rates low, why are they both making huge election promises?

Answer: it wins votes.

But surely the Labor party could gain some ground on the question of their ability to run the economy, by ‘spending’ less on tax cuts and suggesting that the Liberal party’s sweeteners are economically irresponsible. Dah!

Meanwhile, I saw the interview John Howard did on 9am with David and Kim last week. This discussion was more influential than any other thing I have seen in the past year – even more so than a couple of Lateline interviews I’ve seen and the debate. If you like Howard, I would be spreading this one around!

A non-post

I haven’t blogged for over four weeks!

I just don’t feel like I have anything to say at the moment.

It is interesting how for the first six-months of this year I was really interested and willing to give some of my time to write on this blog, and then I just stopped. It is like something happens and you don’t have the same motivation to write about current issues and events. I mean I still think about the things I blogged about like religion, advertising, politics and media but I just don’t have the same drive to spend time writing my thoughts and opinions down.

Interesting phenomenon. It probably has a name like ‘blogging fatigue’, or something and has been studied down the minute detail.

Maybe I think my opinions don’t matter. If my blog is for me, and not for a wider audience, why should I publish my ideas rather than just think about them? Or, if my blog is for a wider audience, why write down my thoughts if I don’t know who is reading them and what they think about them? I have had only a few comments on my blog this year, is it really worth the effort for one comment. Where is the conversation, the dialogue?

Who really cares; I stopped blogging. One day I will start again.

Brand Community: an examination of loyalty, and the Cult of Mac.

It is a shared realisation among marketers that customer loyalty stems from purchase satisfaction, however in the current climate of ‘me-too’ products, sceptical consumers and media fragmentation, loyalty has become something more complicated to achieve. In this new century, the satisfaction-loyalty model may no longer be as relevant to explain the behaviour of consumers (McAlexander, Kim & Roberts, 2003). While there may be many ways to build customer loyalty, this essay will examine the notion of brand community to build long-term loyalty. A range of literature will be examined and an example will be used to further illustrate the theory of brand community. I will begin by defining the terms used and by looking at the traditional satisfaction-loyalty model.

> continue reading

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Hicks decision – Everyone’s a winner baby, that’s the truth…

[audio:everyonesawinner.mp3]

The Hicks case has finally been resolved and everyone is a winner!

“It was a good result for Hicks because he finally has a date for release and a chance to be close to his family, although he will not earn a cent from selling his story to the media.

“The plea deal bans him from “any profits or proceeds”. He has agreed to give any money received for the rights to his story to the Australian government.

“The US military and government can proclaim themselves winners because they have their first scalp of a Guantanamo Bay detainee under the controversial Military Commission Act. They also have a signed confession.

“Guantanamo Bay, which has been compared to a concentration camp, comes out clean, as Hicks – who has complained about his treatment – said in his plea deal he was “never illegally treated” while in US custody.

“Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his government, suffering in the polls months out from an election, can boast they brought Hicks home.

“Mr Howard is also protected from embarrassing comments from Hicks because under the plea agreement Hicks is banned from speaking to the media until March 31, 2008, a convenient date because it falls past the election.

“Under the plea deal, Hicks must co-operate fully with US and Australian law enforcement and intelligence authorities to reveal secrets about al-Qaeda or testify against the terror group’s operatives at other court proceedings.” (SBS World News Australia)

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Hicks guilty of fighting for two hours and never firing his gun…

What he did…

“… Hicks acknowledged that he trained with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and fought with its forces against US allies in Afghanistan in late 2001 for two hours and then sold his gun to raise cab fare and tried to flee to Pakistan.” (ABC article)

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“Hicks admitted he had trained with al-Qaeda, fought with the Taliban and that a friend of his believed he had approved of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. ” (BT Article)

How he gets punished…

Five years of Hell on Earth

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Seven years in jail (in Australia)

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“Hicks’s plea agreement bars him from speaking to the media for one year and says if he ever sells the rights to his story, the Australian Government will get the money.” He was also banned from taking legal action against the United States. Hicks had previously said he was abused by the US military but said in his plea agreement he had “never been illegally treated while in US custody”.” (ABC article)

Sounds fair to me…

And who can we thank for ending this madness – JOHN HOWARD who is pissing his pants about the next FEDERAL ELECTION. Rudd has already achieved so much…

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World Swimming Championships – Uh oh

SMH: Tribal Mind reports:

They were breaking records and faces at the World Swimming Championships last night, but most Australian viewers didn’t want to know. Channel Nine’s devotion to the water was able to earn it only 23.3 per cent of the prime time audience, putting Nine in an unprecedented third place behind Ten on 23.5 per cent and Seven on 36.3 (ABC 12.0, SBS 4.9). Thorpie is sadly missed.

What Australia watched, Tuesday
1. Dancing with the Stars Seven 1.856m
2. All Saints Seven 1.576
3. Seven News Seven 1.448
4. Today Tonight Seven 1.307
5. Nine News Nine 1.276
6. NCIS Ten 1.255
7. A Current Affair Nine 1.204
8. Home and Away Seven 1.167
9. The Biggest Loser Ten 1.162
10. The Simpsons – 7:30pm Ten 1.142
11. The Simpsons – 8:00pm Ten 1.100
12. ABC News ABC 1.007
13. World Swimming Championships Nine 0.976
14. Deal or No Deal Seven 0.883
15. Ten News Ten 0.878
(OzTAM preliminary estimates, mainland capitals)

Will Nine cancel its Swimming Championships coverage or push it back later in the night? Or will they continue to put a program on in prime time that attracts less people than the ABC news. Oh my god – what have they done? I wonder if it is doing this badly in Melbourne. Do they have to keep it on due to media sponsorships?

I am having a wonderful week watching Channel Nine do so badly. What a gift!

Centophobia’s solution to childhood obesity in the western world…

Today the Sydney Morning Herald: Good Weekend magazine reports – Meal or Medicine?

SMH Article - Meal or Medicine?Source: SMH: Good Weekend –
Melissa Sweet, “Meal or Medicine?”, 17 Mar 2007

“Eating fish could prevent heart disease. Then again, it might not. It depends on who you listen to. With the media and marketplace awash with claims and counterclaims about the health benefits of food, it’s never been harder trying to work out what’s best to eat.”

The article suggests that consumers are confused about the health benefits and health risks of food. People have no idea what they should and shouldn’t be eating; what is improving their health and what could be potentially exposing them to disease and obesity. The article warns that this could get worse with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) soon to allow companies to put a greater range of health claims on their products such as “may reduce the risk of bowl cancer” and “helps to prevent osteoporosis”. However other health organisations are worried that adding more health claims to products would further confuse the public and would also reduce the appeal of fresh fruits and vegetables which would be unable to use health claims because they are largely unpackaged

So what is the solution. One might say to increase regulation on health claims; to stop “Brunchtime Bars” from being labeled “high in fibre” or “low GI” or “may help protect against lymphoma”.

SMH - McDonald’s AdvertisementSMH advertisement for McDonald’s new ‘tick approved’ meals
“Tastes good. Better for you. Now you can feel better about enjoying the great taste of McDonald’s when you choose one of our nine Tick Approved Meals.”

I found it interesting that this McDonald’s advertisement was featured in Good Weekend just a few pages after this article. So here is a health claim for you: “Better for you.”. The copy suggests that these ‘tick approved’ meals contain 45% ‘less salt’ and are ‘virtually trans-fat free’. Yay.

Think of the fruit and vegetable section of Woolworths or Coles. The products are generic; you have no idea who grew it, how and where. You can’t choose products from suppliers who don’t use pesticides or from regions that produce superior quality because you have no way of distinguishing between products. What does a consumer know about the products they buy in the fresh fruit and vegetable section of their supermarket? Nothing…

How can mere – trans-fat free, salt free, preservative free, hormone free, vitamin and mineral enriched – fruits and vegetables compete. They don’t have packaging to carry ‘health claims’ nor do they have the marketing budget of McDonald’s to tell people how much “Better for you” they are.

The solution. Brand it all. Put a name on every last apple, orange and kiwifruit and every last pumpkin, onion and leek. Split the produce section of the supermarket up and sell it like shelf space. Consumer would have to choose between producers, and producers would have to advertise and differentiate. We would see advertising on television for this producer and that producer showing images of their farm and their fresher, healthier produce. Truly healthy food would suddenly have a voice in the marketplace. Apples would be marketed to kids as ‘action-packed’ and salad would be advertised to office workers as ‘light, quick and simple’. The sales of fruit and vegetables would rise and people around the country would drop a few kilograms.

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