Samsung offers chance to get photo on Sydney Opera House sails

Samsung Sydney Opera House mock up 1024x406 Samsung offers chance to get photo on Sydney Opera House sails

Samsung and the Sydney Opera House are offering Australians the chance to have their photographs projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

To enter you simply need to head over to and upload your photo.

Seeing an idea that was developed over a few beers come into reality and be executed at this scale is incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to see what sort of entries come in and the images being projected onto the sails on 23 April at the Samsung GS4 launch.

Think you’ve got a photo worthy of Australia’s best canvas?

Here is what marketing trade title Mumbrella said about the promotion.

Full disclosure – Samsung is a client of my employer Edelman.


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Social media monitoring and engaging influencers

Social Media Monitoring and Engaging Influencers 300x300 Social media monitoring and engaging influencers

Below is a presentation on social media monitoring and engaging influencers that I presented this week at a General Assembly training day on the basics of social media. The audience was made up of a mix of people from agencies and inhouse B2B and B2C companies.

The presentation was purposely pitched to provide simple tips that people could take away immediately and get started with.

The presentation covers:

  • Tools for listening:
    • Google Alerts
    • Twilert
    • Tweetreach
    • Radian 6
  • What to listen for
    • Brand names
    • Competitor brands
    • Industry trends
  • What to do with the data
  • Tools for identifying influencers
    • Klout
    • TweetLevel
    • BlogLevel
    • Lists
  • Dos and don’ts for engaging influencers

I would love to hear from you if you liked the presentation and found it useful. Likewise if you don’t agree with anything I have included, or have anything to add, drop a note in the comment box below.

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Branding 101 – tips for small business owners

Brand Image 300x200 Branding 101 – tips for small business ownersI have recently been invited to be a regular writer for MYOB’s blog for small business owners. This is my first paid writing gig, so I am quite excited by it. There is a whole series of posts that I will be making roughly every second week.

Below is the an excerpt of the first post that has been published. It is on branding tips and is aimed at small business owners. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave comments either here or over on the MYOB blog.


Are you a Holden family or a Ford family? Do you drink VB or Tooheys? Is it Colgate or Macleans in the bathroom cabinet?

A lot of our buying decisions are not rational, but instead emotional. They are made because that is what your mum did, because you like the colour or look of the packaging, or because you like the football team they are associated with. In short we are influenced by the brand of a product. Whilst sponsoring football teams and large scale advertising campaigns are out of reach for small businesses, giving thought to your brand is still incredibly important.

Below are four tips on branding for small business operators. Continue reading.

To see the tips on branding for small business owners head over to the article on the MYOB Blog - Branding 101 – tips for small business owners 

Image credit - Gerald Patterson

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Go Try It On – a review and overview

Header 1024x513 Go Try It On – a review and overview

The last week or so has involved me trying on clothes in the morning, heading into my little girl’s room (the only room in the house with a full length mirror) taking a photo and then uploading it to Go Try It On, a relatively new online and mobile community that rates outfits uploaded by community members. OK, so I might be one of the few people on the network over the age of 21 and almost certainly the only one uploading pictures with a cot and children’s toys in the background, but I love it. I think the network has huge potential for fashion and clothing brands. Below are some thoughts from me on Go Try It On.

What is it:

A mobile based social network, where users can upload photos of outfits they are planning to wear and then nominate the type of event they are intending to wear it – a work thing, a casual day, for a wedding etc. Once uploaded anyone on the network, assuming the user hasn’t adjusted their privacy settings to show to only friends, can rate the outfit as either, wear it, or change it. Once your picture is up there the scores rattle in very quickly and typically within half an hour you will have 40 or so votes and a definitive community decision on your outfit.

Beyond the ability to simply upload outfits, you can also select stylists to review your look. These stylists may be your friend, or simply someone you have found in the community whose style you like and whose opinion you value. If you are selected as a stylist by a member you are then notified every time they upload an outfit and invited to rate their look.

In addition to fashion, members also ask the community to rate make-up, accessories, shoes and can also upload two different outfits and ask the community to vote for which is their favourite.

The community can be accessed via a web-browser, though the best experience is undoubtedly via the iPhone app, which supports the use of the inbuilt camera.

What about privacy:

Despite the fact you access the app via either via Facebook Connect or Twitter the app only details the first letter of your surname (I come up as Matthew G from Sydney Australia) and doesn’t allow any way for users to get access to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. You can’t even search for users. If a user isn’t already your Facebook Friend there is no way to find users in the community.

To help protect the privacy further there is a nice blur spot option that allows you to blur out your face on any uploaded photos. You can also use it to blur out anything else you might want to.

Given the community is made up of a lot of young girls I think these measures are sensible and commendable.

Feedback 200x300 Go Try It On – a review and overviewTone of the community:

The creator of Go Try It On, Marissa Evans, and her team have gone out of their way to manage the sentiment of the community so that it is more focussed on positivity and suggested improvements rather than bitchiness and laughing at outfits. When providing feedback on an outfit you have rated as ‘change it’ the most insulting you can be is, ‘it isn’t appropriate for this event’, or ‘this doesn’t do you justice’. The outcome of this is that the feedback on the site is very positive, but you can’t help but think some of the fun is taken out of fashion when you can’t laugh at those who you believe less fashionable.

Opportunities for brands.

There appears to be limited involvement from brands at the moment. Sephora, Grazia.IT and Vente-Privee USA are listed as featured stylists, but beyond that it seems pretty limited. In my opinion this could be the perfect platform for a fashion retailer. You could imagine an account that is managed at an individual shop level where shoppers could upload an outfit they are considering and get the community to rate it.

Currently there is a range of online fashion brands that are integrated into the app including ASOSJC Pennyand These stores can be accessed by community members when reviewing outfits, so that suggestions with links to a location where the product can be purchase can be made.

Suggest Retail 200x300 Go Try It On – a review and overviewHow could Go Try It On be better?

There is not much I don’t like about Go Try It On, this is a very cool application. The app is currently only oniPhone, so it would be great to see it on Android and other platforms, though I guess you could access it via your mobile browser. The team behind Go Try It On have a pretty cool blog, where they provide information on fashion generally, though it is primarily US focussed. It would be nice if this and potentially other fashion blogs were featured in the app under a news section.

What do you think?

What do you think? Do you think this will take off? Do you think fashion and beauty brands should be taking note?

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Gliss Flute and Harp – website build

Homepage Gliss Flute and Harp – website build

The above is an image of a website I have created for my good friend Azumi Lehman, who is one of the country’s best harpists and one half of Gliss Flute and Harp. The other half of Gliss Flute and Harp is Lisa Osmialowski, who has played for some of Australia and the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and even recorded soundtracks for movies Happy Feet and Baz Luhrmann’s Australia.

Menu Gliss Flute and Harp – website build Elizabeth is a long time friend of Azumi’s from university. Both Elizabeth and I were fortunate enough to have Gliss Flute and Harp perform at our wedding.

Their new website can be found at It has been built in WordPress and makes use of the Kin – Minimalist Photography WordPress Template.  This template is designed for photographers, but we chose to use this theme to take advantage of the way it nicely presented portrait orientated photography. This photographic orientation best representing the tall nature of the harp and the often standing Lisa.

The objective of the website was to create a simple online home for the business where potential clients could get a feel for the type of events Gliss Flute and Harp deliver, hear some of their music, understand the elegance of the instruments (especially the harp) and make booking enquiries.

The website has been kept incredibly lean with an always present menu on the left side. This was done purposely having reviewed many other similar business sites that were complicated, didn’t make it easy to get access to contact details and often times failed to present images of the performers as they typically appear at events. Ensuring we covered off all of these, but especially the last point was particularly important as we figured the elegant aesthetic  of the harp could be a draw card in itself.

We chose to host the music on Youtube, rather than directly on the site, to take advantage of the potential of people coming across their performances on Youtube and coming to the site that way. We also figured Youtube would an easy way for people to share and experience their music irrespective of the platform or device they were accessing the site.

For those with a little more technical understanding we used the WordPress SEO Plugin by Mervin Praison, to assist the site’s performance in Google search results. Keywords such as wedding, flute, harp and concert were used amongst others.


Youtube Gliss Flute and Harp – website buildWhat do you think? I am a self taught web producer and lack nearly all the skills of the true professionals. If you have simple suggestions that you think we could make at no cost then I would love to hear them.

Thanks to Azumi and Lisa for the chance to create your web presence. Thank you also needs to go to Elizabeth who helped throughout and developed the majority of the copy found on the site. Credit also needs to go to Ben Walton, who created the photography on the site.

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Compelling brand created content is not an extended TVC

Branded content Compelling brand created content is not an extended TVC

The following post is an essay I wrote as part of Edelman Consumer Marketing’s 12on12, a compilation of essays from some of Edelman’s consumer marketing leaders around the globe. This is the third in a series of essays from the compilation. To read more essays from the 12on12 series, visit the Edelman Scribd Channel.


Now, more than ever before, there are opportunities for brands and organizations to create meaningful relationships directly with their target audience through compelling content. However, there are historical lessons to consider in determining what comprises compelling content.

Creating branded content is not a new concept. For a long time, brands and organizations have developed content, but it has been firmly in the province of marketing. The content that brands have traditionally created is short form; be that a television commercial (TVC), a print ad, or radio commercial. In order to engage audiences today, and to create the type of content that will be shared by consumers, simply extending the traditional marketing style content into a longer form will not work.

Today we are seeing brands like Red Bull through their creation of sports properties, KFC restaurants in Indonesia that host live music performances, and McDonald’s in the U.S. and Quiksilver France launching their own TV networks, creating the kind of quality content that, traditionally, we have associated with traditional media players. They have done this by focusing on what the audience wants first, and how they can benefit as a brand second.

To understand the opportunity for brands and organizations with regard to content, it is worth spending some time looking at what content consumers have traditionally engaged with, and looks at the evolution of content up to today.

Where We’ve Been

Traditionally, content was created by a few people. The delivery systems and the means of production were expensive. Only a few very wealthy individuals had access to the type of investment required to run huge print machines, or to buy the licenses and the studios required to deliver content via broadcast. This scenario meant that those who did create content had enormous power. The scarcity of content producers meant the content that was produced was highly valuable to the audience. There wasn’t much of it, so what was created was seen by many. This was the era of mass audiences, grouped together due to the scarcity of quality content.

What Changed in the Late ‘90s

Like the arrival of the printing press in the 1400s that dramatically changed access to printed content, the self-publishing phenomenon that arrived in the late ‘90s revolutionized content once more. No longer was content creation limited to the few with great means or great connections; now anyone could publish materials and gain an audience very cheaply and simply. The outcome of this was a mass fragmentation of the audience. No longer were audiences forced to watch a small amount of mass content, but could indulge in their favorite niches that were no longer controlled by geographical borders or high barriers to entry. There was, however, a yawning gap between the quality of content that was made for niche audiences, and those created for the masses. The mass audience content was still superior in quality and still attracted larger audiences.

Fast Forward to Today

Most of the formerly niche platforms have gone mainstream, and there are now very few discernible differences between the likes of the new-media Huffington Post and traditional media outlets in the U.S.; political opinion blogs like Crikey in Australia and traditional political publications and Rue89 in France share readers and media space. Further, the arrival of Facebook pages, branded YouTube channels, Google+ pages, and Twitter has meant that brands are doing more than merely creating content directly for their audience – they are talking with their audience like peers.

Traditionally brand content (or ads) was seen jammed between the bits of content we are really interested in. We watched them only through sufferance. They were a nuisance that paid for the stuff we were really interested in.

However, in order to gain traction in a world with more content and a fragmented audience, brands need to evolve their content. The content needs to be less about marketing messages and be truly entertaining, informative, or educational. In short, it needs to resemble much more the content that brands used to buy ad space around, and a lot less like the ads they have traditionally created.

Tips for Brands Wanting to Make Content Today:

At Edelman, we believe there are five simple tips that brands should keep in mind when planning and creating content. We call these the “Five Cs of Content.”

The 5Cs of Content

Creativity: Compelling storytelling is still the core component of all successful content. If we don’t care about the characters, aren’t interested in the story being told, or aren’t compelled to watch until the end, then it is unlikely the content will be successful.

Context: To create great content, you need to understand what your audience wants, needs, and desires. But you also need to take into account the platforms you audience uses to consume the content, be it print, video or audio; also, when they want it, and how often they are prepared to engage.

Connectivity: There is great value in creating content that connects members of your target audience together. By doing this, you create a mutually beneficial scenario that creates a virtuous circle of connectivity around your brand.

Continuity: There is a reason that soap operas like Neighbors, Derrick, Columbo, and The Bold and The Beautiful are successful. They have long-established audiences who know there will be a new episode on a regular basis. The same goes for content that brands create. There is great value provided by sustaining efforts over time, ensuring that an audience built around your content. Though remember, no audience will be built overnight.

Collaboration: Gone are the days of one-way communication with an audience. Today your audience is unlikely to want to sit idly by and consume the content you have created for them. They will want to be involved, have an impact on the direction of content, and be recognized for their contributions. What’s more, if they are involved, they are more likely to share their efforts – we all have egos, after all.

Image credit - Roadsidepictures

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Carlsberg Bikie Stunt

Check out the clever video below produced by Carlsberg featuring a cinema full of rough and scary looking bikies.

This type of stunt is not necessarily new, Heineken did something fairly similar not that long ago, which you can see at the bottom of this post.

Though just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it isn’t successful or effective. For the fraction of the cost it would have taken to create an advertisement, not to mention the spend required to buy media, this clever stunt has generated in excess of 2.7 million views. It only went up a week ago, so this number will likely grow albeit at a slower pace! This number also doesn’t include the additional buzz traditional media and the blogosphere would have created. Check out a small snapshot of the additional buzz on Google.

Regardless of the fact that in retrospect coming up with an idea like this seems simple, I can guarantee it isn’t. Good work Carlsberg – a good fun and effective stunt.

Henieken’s similar stunt, which must be noted has only 900K views:

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State of the internet infographic and advice for PRs wanting to communicate complex data

STATE OF INTERNET e1317042469681 State of the internet infographic and advice for PRs wanting to communicate complex data

Keeping up with the scale of the internet and its associated stats and facts is a daunting task. In an attempt to simplify some of the data have prepared a pretty stunning infographic.

I love infographics generally, but this one is extra special special because it is interactive. Once loaded it will calculate how many new internet users there are in the world, the number of new websites being created and even how many dollars have been spent on e-commerce since the page was loaded last.

I have been banging on to colleagues and anyone else that will listen for some time now about the opportunity infographics represent for PRs. They are the ideal way to communicate complex information in a compelling and highly consumable way that is perfect for web consumption. In my opinion every survey or research media release should be accompanied by an infographic to bring the stats to life. There are additional thoughts and examples of infographics on the Edelman Digital blog.

Check out the interactive State of the Internet Infographic here, or simply marvel at its non interactive beauty below.

Hat tip to Digital Buzz Blog where I saw this first.

State Of The Internet 2011 State of the internet infographic and advice for PRs wanting to communicate complex data

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Tips for improving new business presentations

New Biz 300x267 Tips for improving new business presentations

New business presentations, whether you agree with them or not, are very much a reality for just about every advertising, PR and media agency.

I reckon over the course of my career I have been involved in maybe 60 or more new business pitches and that numbers increases every single week.

Thankfully I have not won every pitch I have been involved in. I say thankfully because I have learnt something valuable from every single loss. So much so in fact that now I am in the fortunate position that I am winning more pitches than I lose.

In preparation for addressing a group of Newcastle University students this week, I developed a presentation focussing on what makes a good new business pitch. You can check it out below, but in case you don’t have the time to read it all below are my top tips.

The most important point:

  • Realise that the client will most likely buy the best new business performance, not the best agency
Tips for being the agency with the best performance:
  • Know what the audience wants and treat them with respect - spend time with the client before the brief and do you homework from a research point of view. Know their sector, their competitors and do a thorough SWOT.
  • Know the genre well - match your team to their requirements. In other words don’t wear suits to pitch to Nike and don’t bring 20 year olds to solve a major reputation crisis.
  • Feature star performers - not everyone can be in the spotlight, some are better operating the spotlight. Play to team strengths and remember your goal as a team is to win, not to pander to egos.
  • Ensure the performance is error free - rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and rehearse again.
  • Engage your audience - when in the room, make it a two way conversation. Give the client a chance to provide feedback and guidance during your presentation.
  • Build anticipation and climaxes - take your audience on a journey and make it memorable. Your presentation is not likely to be the only one, so make yours the one they remember!
  • Remember it’s not over till the fat lady sings - the new business process is never over. Even a negative response is simply a signifier that the new business process has entered an extended courting period. Never be rude, always continue the engagement

I have learnt this stuff because I have been privileged enough to work with some of the best in the business when it comes to winning new business. These people include:

I also learnt a tonne reading this book - Stop Bitching and Start Pitching by Marty Kellard and  Ian Elliot.

If you have additional suggestions for winning new business, or you disagree with any of my comments I would love to receive your feedback in the comment box.

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One Million Heineken Hugs

Heineken’s Facebook Page has hit the 1 million member mark. In celebration of this milestone, the company sent out a team of Heineken Huggers onto the streets of Amsterdam. According to the YouTube video they hope to get to everybody eventually. I have just hit ‘Like’ on the page. icon smile One Million Heineken Hugs

This is a great example of online driving, real world experiences, which in turn feed back into online buzz.

Nicely done Heineken.

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