The venting store for women

On October 25, 2010, in Great experiential marketing, by John Ellis

Two stories caught my attention in the last week and the connection between them compelled this post. The first is the story of a venting room. This is too good to be true. But it is true. If you’ve ever wanted to smash your laptop against the wall, check this out. The venting store lets women destroy appliances and electronics in order to vent their frustration. Sign me up.

The second story is a great personal tale of electronic melt-down. The great Canadian author, Robert Hough, submitted a short essay to Facts & Arguments detailing this frustration with buying, installing and setting up his new PVR. Robert is the author of four novel of literary fiction and a member in good status of The Wheatsheaf Literary Society.

The venting room is a great idea because it satisfies a very basic need. It’s a brave and honest response to a legitimate emotion. I suspect Robert would be the first to join me if I could find a venting store full of IKEA bed frames and dressers.

The venting store. For a small fee, this women-only boutique lets frustrated shoppers take it out on dead appliances and electronics.

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Canon makes the connection between colour and the ability of its high-speed equipment to create a stunning effect.  Call it art or product demonstration. It doesn’t matter. This is a tight, intelligent idea.

What’s really inspirational is that the outcome was destined to be random. They had the tools and the talent to try something without knowing how it would end. This kind of courage is rare in the world of strict guidelines and tight budgets. But it should encourage us all to look for creative ways to bring stories to life. To entertain.  To reward people for spending a few minutes with our brands.

Canon Pixma Sound Sculptures from Dentsu London on Vime0

Canon Pixma: Bringing colour to life from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

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Recommended reading: One Great Insight

On May 26, 2010, in Book recos, by John Ellis

What’s the difference between an insight and an idea?

You need an answer to this question. It has to be loaded, rehearsed and ready because you can’t google Wikipedia when you’re standing in front of a crowd.

By the time you finish reading  “One Great Insight is Worth a Thousand Good Ideas” you should have a simple, tip-of-the-tongue answer of your own. But, it’s not just about saving face on stage. It’s about knowing the difference and using that knowledge to evaluate and contribute to ideas.

“An insight is something that profoundly changes the way you look at something forever. It’s the a-ha, the eureka moment when you see something in a new reality.”  That’s mine. It’s more or less a complete rip off.

Recommended reading

Finding, and then taking advantage of, a meaningful insight can be extremely difficult. There’s no guarantee that any amount of planned activity will uncover something usable. Insights depend on you, the observer, seeing something that no one has seen before. It’s about discovering new connections between things. Understanding the difference between an insight and an idea is important when you’re directing people and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Agency life. Why we love fightin’ words

On May 13, 2010, in Agency life, by John Ellis

As Jack Trout loves to point out, we inherited our rich vocabulary (and technically, the Internet) from the military. All these words were in use by the military before gung-ho marketing types adopted them.

  • Brief 
  • Guerrilla
  • Headquarters
  • Tactics
  • Campaign
  • Mission
  • Task force
  • Target
  • Bullet points
  • Objectives
  • Operations
  • Making a killing
  • Front-line troops
  • Reports/Recruits
  • Tactics
  • Communication lines
  • Company
  • Command and Control
  • Deployment
  • Competition
  • I’m sure there are more.

    In one of his latest, and arguably most succinct, books “Trout on Strategy“, he reminds us of the simplicity inherent in the word strategy.

    Strategy: The science of planning and directing large-scale military operations. Of maneuvering forces into the most advantageous position prior to actual engagement with the enemy.

    Trout admits that it was this definition and the words “advantageous position” that helped him create the concept of positioning. It never hurts to revisit that text and view the original idea.

    It’s the “before” part that separates strategy from tactics. This is a great book for anyone who wants to learn a little more about strategy from a master-class thinker.

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