December 11, 2008
We’ve made a decision to stop publishing on Marktd. Despite making changes to focus on the creative/marketing ideas sister site of PSFK.com, we are still unhappy with the quantity and quality of the site.
Marktd started life as a subscription site called IF! which offered ideas to marketers about how to promote their products in a fresh, modern way. It was fairly successful and we got a good number of people pay the $25 subscription - but we felt that the subscription stopped it being read by a large group of people. A few months back we decided to stop the subscription and relaunch the site as Marktd. Since then interest in the site hasn’t really picked up. I would suggest that this is because of a number of reasons:
* We just aren’t that interesting in marketing and advertising. Personally it’s been 7 years since I had a full time job in advertising and the longer time goes on, the less interest I have in the field. Combine that apathy with the fact that only one or two of the regular writing team have ever worked in advertising.
* Many of our readers who work in marketing and advertising don’t seem to be that interested in only reading about marketing and advertising.
* When we do find exceptional marketing ideas that we are interested in, they tend to end up on PSFK.com anyway.
* We launched Marktd because IF! just wasn’t good enough. We’re closing Marktd because the site just didn’t meet our standards.
Maybe one day we’ll think about relaunching it - maybe with a sponsoring partner. From today, the Marktd email newsletter and RSS will change to PSFK content. We’re hoping that the existing Marktd readers will get even better creative ideas content as a result.
December 8, 2008
Guy Kawasaki has created a revealing photo essay documenting his tour of Zappos.com’s Las Vegas headquarters. The phenomenally successful online shoe retailer is probably best known for it’s over-the-top cheerful and helpful customer service. It seems that one way it achieves this upbeat customer satisfaction obsession is by keeping it’s employees comfortable and happy - really happy. From the looks of Guy’s pictures, Zappos looks like an office playground the likes of which the world hasn’t seen since the first dot-com bubble.
December 2, 2008
Amidst the budget cuts all around, one brand that is actually increasing their ad spend is Adidas. Most of their spending is going to be digital. For their new Adidas Originals initiative - the ‘Celebrate Originality’ campaign which includes 17 celebrities from music, sports and fashion - the brand wants to make sure that they reach as many consumers as possible. From WWD:
While Simon Atkins, business unit director, adidas Originals, North America, declined to reveal how much the company is spending, he said the timing couldn’t be better to roll out the campaign, because “while others are cutting back, we are going to be aggressive in the marketplace,” adding the campaign will celebrate three-stripe’s 60th anniversary. Adidas will begin by running TV commercials, but digital initiatives such as Web home-page takeovers and Facebook will account for more than 50 percent of the spending.
Their partnerships are pretty interesting as well, such as the one with Diesel which explores ‘10 Original Ways to Successfully Waste Your Time’ (!!!!).
November 20, 2008
Team PSFK are pleased to announce our second book! At this time of year we’re supposed to produce a trends report for 2009. When we all sat down and chatted about it, we thought such a report would be so gloomy and rather depressing. We didn’t want to write about things like ‘trading down’ or ‘discreet consumption’! We wanted to talk about all the inspirational ideas we read and write about every day, we wanted to spread the positivity, we wanted to encourage you to re-ignite the world. Honestly.
So we created Good Ideas In 2009. The 80 page click-to-print book features nine Good Ideas and manifestations of them. We write about design, mobile, collaboration, digital, social media, the long term and much more. Click through to the Blurb site and you can get a sneak peek.
The books are $50 for the softback and $60 for the beautiful hardback. If you’re considering buying reports for your company or just books for your coffee table, we ask you to consider Good Ideas In 2009. We’re rather proud of it. We hope it inspires you yo make things better.
November 18, 2008
PSFK stopped by Times Square earlier today to check out Uniqlo’s Human Vending Machine for their HEATTECH apparel line. The booth was set up on a narrow concrete island. There were tons of people already in line to get to the free stuff. Prior to reaching the booth, there was a ’scanning station’ manned with a Uniqlo associate with a hand held thermal camera. Each person’s heat image showed up on an adjacent screen and identified their core body temperature.
After that, visitors proceeded to either a male or female dispenser who were giving away the HEATTECH gear. The reasonably priced line claims to offer warmth from a very thin material. Shirts cost just over $10.
Here’s a few more photos from our visit:
Herman Miller’s heir apparent to the Aeron Chair, the Embody series, is a design that promises to promote clear-minded thinking by lowering the stress placed upon the body while sitting. With that in mind, they’ve created a microsite called Thought Pile that invites users to participate in an ideas forum by answering weekly questions that are meant to provoke conversation and innovation. The results are displayed visually in a mind map on the screen, the circles displaying individual concepts growing in real time as the audience votes. Interaction can be as simple as clicking agree or disagree based on an opinion to the responses or by writing comments that further the discussion within the community. At the end of the week, the person whose solution or thought has received the most positive reactions will be awarded an Embody Chair.
November 7, 2008
Companies are taking a lesson from the old adage that sometimes it’s better to give than to receive. Giveaways, often linked to national events that are themselves already in the public conscious, have begun to generate serious buzz within the online sphere. In fact, the mere mention of one of these limited time offers creates noticeable spikes in the amount of times a participating business’ name is searched and that’s before any free transaction even takes place. Add in the increased foot traffic as potential customers flock to stores in the hopes of getting a sample of the featured product or service and the incentive to buy additional items rises as well. An equation that makes a great deal of sense for these companies considering the amount of “free” marketing they’re receiving for such a small initial outlay.
A sample from Tuesday’s election day tie-ins:
On Google Trends, 10 of Google’s top 100 hot search terms are looking for free election swag. Who’s getting all that traffic?
- “Starbucks free coffee” is the 23rd fastest-rising search term of the day and “starbucks election” is 79.
- “Chick Fil A” is number 6 and “chickfila” is number 58 (they’re giving away free chicken sandwiches)
- “Ben and Jerrys” is number 16 (free ice cream)
- “Krispy Kreme locations” is number 25 (free donuts)
- “Shanes Rib Shack” is number 29 (free meal, but only to first 300 customers at “participating stores”)
- And generally, “free stuff for voting” is 17, “free stuff on election day” is 51, and “freebies for voting” is 66
[via Silicon Alley Insider]
November 5, 2008
It has a broad reaching name and this year Advertising Age and Creativity brought together an equally wide range of speakers for a day of dialog about creativity and innovation. This year’s conference was held in New York City at Terminal 5, usually a concert and nightclub venue on October 30th. Once inside, attendees could congregate in the Inspiration Pavilion which was made up of booths and displays representing most of the days speakers. Notable was GM who had the Volt on display and Yahoo! who featured one of their Purple Pedals bikes. The following are some highlights of the day:
Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms Shoes spoke about his company’s efforts to make giving a core attribute of their business. For every pair of shoes purchased, Toms gives a pair to a child in need, for free. Blake announced within the next twelve months that the company will have given 300,000 pairs away. Blake gave some advice for businesses looking to integrate giving into their business practices. First is to make the commitment as authentic and transparent as possible. The goal is always to help people first, not the bottom line. Second, he noted that giving fosters a sense of empowerment from Toms employees. He said that there is a passion that radiates from the office. Giving creates a stronger bond between what employees are doing, and the people their business is connected to.
Blake offered a preview of the new Toms website launching soon. The site will offer new features that allow Toms customers to connect to each other and become more engaged in the company’s field activities. Toms issues an open call for volunteers every two months to assist with shoe drops in Argentina.
Grant Achatz, the owner and chef of Alinea in Chicago told his amazing story. The award winning chef was diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth, a difficult cancer to cure. The diagnosis and treatment potentially spelled the end of his career as a chef. Amazingly, Grant beat the cancer applying some of the same lessons he learned when developing his restaurant Alinea. He spoke about three steps he consistently used to attach and solve problems:
1. Understand your medium: Gain as much information and understanding about the challenges and opportunities that are available.
2. ‘Breaking it down’: Look for even the smallest opportunities to innovate. All of these small opportunities will add up to something much bigger.
3. Rebuilding in a meaningful way: Keep the overall goal in mind. Make sure it is compelling, unique, and personal.
November 3, 2008
Japanese design company Muji wants to be clear with the latest message on their website: they are “not a brand.” They simply develop “products with a view towards global consumption of the future.” Curious.
On one hand, their vision is to be commended for offering an intelligent response to unchecked consumerism, where fads and cheaply manufactured goods are too often easily discarded when they go out of style or break. To combat this trend, “MUJI aims to raise the standard of ‘enough’ to the greatest extent possible.” They plan on accomplishing this by creating universal products made with dependable materials and smart designs - a means of fulfilling their customers’ needs without forcing them to compromise on taste.
However, hiding beneath all the rhetorical trappings of enlightenment and collectivism, lies the notion that “if you buy our values then why not buy everything we’re selling in our stores while you’re at it.” An ingenious piece of subliminal marketing that puts lifestyle choices front and center while positioning the desire of owning these ideals as the natural next step.
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