Cheer Pass CampaignStarbucks has launched a viral marketing campaign to spread good cheer this festive season.

They're handing out half a million Cheer Pass cards along with little gifts like movie tickets and subway passes on condition that the recipent should do a random good deed for someone else, and then pass along the card.

Each Cheer Pass is numbered, so people can track just how far a good deed can go by visiting the Cheer Pass Central website with their numbered card. There they can share their story, or read about how other people are passing on the cheer. The stories range from taxi drivers giving free rides to telling jokes to people in hospital.

Very nice: reinforcing the brand by helping your customers do good.
AuthorDave Duarte
In the Weekend Argus this Saturday, Reg Lascaris (who's become a new-media evangelist) was talking about how digital media and personal, two-way dialogue with the customer is replacing the megaphone tactics of traditional (print and broadcast) media marketing.

One quote from the article that I really enjoyed:
"Digital will be brought to the heart of the agency in 2007. To scale new creative peaks you'll harness the online geeks"

Here are the three main points that are made in the article:
1. Dialogue over Monologue

We've been saying this over and over again, and it seems that the mainstream may be catching the ClueTrain, at last: Telling aint selling! Listening and responding according to what your customer tells you is the way forward.

2. There is no alternative

Digital media is no-longer on the fringe - and advertising budgets must start to reflect this. More than 50% of media spend should be allocated to digital (cellular and online).

3. Media in the Middle

Because media is becoming increasingly fragmented, agencies need to provide an integration and connection service between client and the server (of media). Thus agencies will help clients make sense of the micro-media fragments that are populating our universe.

OK... this might not be anything new for long-time readers of this blog, but I get a warm cushy feeling to have these ideas affirmed by someone like Reg, who is widely known and respected throughout the SA marketing industry. We're at that nexus point, and things are about to tip onto the geekier side of marketing;)
AuthorDave Duarte
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Mango Airlines hasn't done any Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to back up their big-spend tv and print advertising ... And they're losing out big time!

If you type in "Mango Airlines" to Google, you'll see that (their direct competition) have taken up a cosy spot right at the top of the sponsored links there. (Nice move Kulula!)

I laughed when my friend Eric mentioned Mango in his personal blog and got top ranked for the search term "Fly Mango" on Google... He had thousands of visitors landing on his site, some actually thinking his was the official Mango site (have a look at the comments there for a laugh)! He's now put up a Travelstart ad there so he can make some money out of it!

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is probably the most effective direct marketing tool that any corporation can use these days to back up their traditional media adspend. SEM should be a part of every new marketing campaign... Don't be a Mango!
AuthorDave Duarte
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Are you ready to share ownership of your brand?

Customer-driven communication tools like blogs, cellphones and email are making Word of Mouth (WOM) the most significant channel in marketing and branding today.

Brands are now subject to public customer feedback that's far more influential than any big-budget ad campaign. So, pushy messages are generally shot down, whereas authentic communication is rewarded.

Ads that extol your product's virtues will fall on deaf ears - and in-fact, may alienate your market. Rather, be a brand socialist and share the credit for a great brand or product with your customers.The key here is collaboration, humility and involvement.

We need to move towards more involvement and less obscure ideas cooked up without broad-based customer involvement.
Brand socialism is about making the most of many minds.

Reg Lascaris has more...
AuthorDave Duarte
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Tech4Africa 2007

If you'd like to:

  • Hear international speakers and authors presenting in your own back yard.

  • Discuss what the global web and technology opportunities are over the next 5 years

  • Understand what technologies are making the biggest impact

  • Thrash out how the web can positively play a role in the development of (Southern) Africa

  • Create a fun, informative event where you can meet and interact with other people like you

...then go fill out the questionaire at!
AuthorDave Duarte
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Me and Mike Solomon think Samsung SA is having a misguided attempt at promoting their d900 phone with a blog which is cryptically called "Sams World".

It's written by someone who knows faaar too much about the d900 cell phone, and says things like:
My D900 ain’t no land-lubber and neither am I.

Who talks about their cellphone like that?

There's no indication of who the authors are, and there's no disclosure from Samsung. Big mistake.

You also need to be logged in to comment on the blog. Are they scared of their consumers' opinions?

It probably won't backfire on them, but unless it's changed it won't really amount to much either - which is far worse. Such wasted potential.

Here's some easy steps they could take to improve it:

  • Tell us who the writer is

  • Disclose that she works for Samsung

  • Respect our intelligence by telling us the purpose of the blog

  • Allow comments


The blog is linked to from the official D900 homepage. An about section has been added, and we don't need to register to leave a comment anymore.

I hope Sam continues to write the blog for this phone and subsequent releases... It's a ctually a great idea to have a blog to showcase the functional aspects of a cellphone in a day-to-day context.
AuthorDave Duarte
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