Any idea?

October 2, 2009

I tweeted something the other day and I thought that it would be worth expanding (it was also time I dusted off my blog and started writing again).

I have heard this a lot lately and wanted to know if there is really no such thing as a new idea. I have heard people say that most ideas now days are old ideas just done again or in a slightly different way. I do agree with this; especially in the advertising world you can see when one advert has been inspired by another.

The question that I want to ask is this: Is there no such thing as a new idea?

I do not think so. I just think that it is just far easier for us to poach someone else’s idea rather than to think of something ourselves. I am sure that a lot of people will probably say “why reinvent the wheel?” but what if the wheel could be reinvented and made better? Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Why should we accept what we have without challenging the way things are done first?

Here is my “formula” for new ideas:

1 part madness + 1 part guts = innovation (new idea)

If you think about it, every great invention we have today was probably first met with “thats crazy” or “it will never work” until that person found the guts to do it anyway and proved everyone wrong. With every problem you face, think until you come up with that statement “wouldn’t it be great if…” or “imagine how cool it would be if…” these are your mad ideas. Find a way to make that “impossible” thing possible. Stop making excuses for why it will not work and find reasons it will.

Maybe you wont have an Einstein moment that time, but at least you tried.

So go a little mad today, you never know what you might come up with…

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iRate

May 12, 2009

Something new that I will occasionally be adding to my blog is the iRate section. This section will contain reviews about new products, companies, adverts, basically anything that I see and I think you should know about. Every product etc that will be reviewed will receive a honest and fair rating  – if its good I will tell you, if it is bad then trust me, you will know about it.

 

The first up for review is Fino Soothe Man, a locally made after – shave balm. Let me first tell you what they say before I tell you my opinion – Fino Soothe Man contains a special blend of vitamin A and Fruit Extract that gently exfoliates, purifies, revitalises and helps improve skin elasticity. It can be used anywhere on the body after any form of hair removal.

Fino Soothe MAN Aftershave Balm 50ml

I used it on my face after regular shaving…just to clear that up. I must admit that I like this stuff. They are telling the truth that it soothes the skin after shaving, you are not left with that harsh burning feeling (even after dry shaving) and by the time you have left the bathroom, it has already absorbed.

I also like the fact that it is not excessively runny (like my previous after-shave was) and applies very easily. Only a tiny bit is needed to cover the whole shaving area so it will probably last you forever.

Even though it claims to exfoliate the skin and contain fruit extract, it feels really gentle and has only a faint scent which I like because I do not want my face smelling fruity all day. It must also be said that after shaving in the morning, my skin still felt moisturised and smooth after night fell. 

 

So to recap – It feels good, smells good, applies well and last long. Over all rating – iRate I like this! 

 

Remember that fathers day is coming up soon (21st June) and this is really a damn nice gift. Click the banner below to see this as well as other great stuff for guys from Mantality.co.za – a one-stop-shop for South Africa’s urban man.

 

Do you follow?

May 10, 2009

One thing I have noticed about new people on Twitter is usually, their first post is something like: “I am on twitter! Now how do I use it?”.

So, to help out here are a few basic things you might want to know about Twitter:

1) Fill out your bio properly! Your bio is one of the first things people will look at before deciding to follow you or not. Tell them who you are, what you do and what you are interested in – this will give them a reason to follow you. Also, there are programs that look at your bio and suggest other people similar to you to follow – No bio, no new followers. 

2) Twitter talk – Something you might notice is that people on Twitter have their own language. Here are a few words to add to your vocab when using twitter:

Tweet – A single message posted by a Twitter user.

Tweeple/Tweeps/Twitter-folk etc. – People on twitter.

Tweet-ups  – Where people arrange a real life meeting with their followers on Twitter

3) The re-tweet (RT) – If you see a tweet that you find interesting and think that your followers will be interested in it too then re-tweet it. This basically re-posts the message and gives the original sender the credit. Example – “RT Jeremy_Clarkson: I drove the new Golf GTI today. Great car!”

4) Direct message (D) – Send a message directly to someone privately. Do this by either going into their profile and clicking “message” (found on the right of their page) or type something similar to this: “D walterpike please send me the times for today’s lecture” – This will appear in Walter’s direct messages and only he can see it.

5) Reply (@) – The reply is similar to the direct message except it can be seen by all of your followers. If I send a message like this “@keilahsmith thanks for all the help”, every one knows that that message is specifically addressed to her. Most conversations on twitter are done in this way. 

6) Hash Tags (#) – Use these to put your tweets into categories, all you do is add a “#” before the category. For example “I just saw a really bad party advert on TV #SAelections” – This lets people know I am talking about a political party in the South African elections and not another kind of party.

7) Write stuff – You will find it very hard to get followers if you do not share. So get tweeting! Tell people what you are thinking, what you are doing, post links of cool/interesting things you have found and add to your on-line community. If people like what you say, they might re-tweet it and this can encourage their followers to follow you.

8) More followers – Grow your followers. Remember – Twitter is not like Facebook in that you do not need to know someone to follow them so don’t get freaked out if strangers start following you, this is a good thing. Twitter is all about networking with new people that are relevant to you. You might find it helpful to follow MrTweet (http://twitter.com/MrTweet). After following this application it will suggest good people you’ve been missing out on, regularly update your stats and recommend you to others

I really hope that this gives you a better start and helps answer some questions. If you have any questions or if you can think of a way to add to this and improve it please let me now. Happy tweeting!

 

Follow Brad on Twitter

Follow Brad on Twitter

Advertising in a recession

April 24, 2009

We all know it, we all see it – the world is in a recession. Companies and individuals alike have had to seriously curb their spending. Unfortunately, many companies try to combat the lack of money coming in by cutting back on advertising spend – not seeing that lowering how much advertising they put out will only lower their sales even further, making the problem worse.

So how can you be expected to spend more on advertising in tough times? Well, you don’t have to. I am not saying SPEND more just DO more and do it SMARTER.

 

6a00d83451aee269e201156f4c225a970c-500wi  “In Joburg…mall roving dogs were trained to run around with empty Eukanuba dog food bags as part of an ambient marketing campaign for the brand.” (Cherryflava)

 

This campaign for dog food would have certainly cost far less than a massive billboard on the N3 and has so much more impact (interesting creative things like this become viral so easily). If anything, having less to spend is an incentive to be more creative.

So, if you really want to combat the global recession, don’t cut costs in the advertising department too much. You are going to need to step out of your comfort zone and stop doing your usual TV, radio and print and try find something that will get you a lot of exposure for a tenth of the price.

Freelance

April 18, 2009

Looking for a blogger to write for your company – perhaps review your product or services? Let me know if there is anything along those lines that I can do for you and I am sure we can work something out. 

I currently studying at the AAA School of Advertising (Grad year) and I will be specialising in either account, media or brand management later in the year. I have a intense interest for advertising and marketing. I love checking out new products especially new gadgets.

Other interests include new-media and social-media, I also collect bonsai and SA old masters (paintings). I like to fish and to scuba dive (I am a dive master) as well as anything to do with the beach/sea/outdoors. 

 

In the mean time please feel free to follow me on twitter here: http://twitter.com/BradSeatonSmith

Check out my Linkedin profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bradleyseatonsmith

Or e-mail me: thebraddles@yahoo.com for any questions.

 

I look froward to hearing from you. 

Brad

A bigger issue than you may think.

April 10, 2009

What kind of power do our perceptions have over the way we view companies? A few days ago I was at Virgin Active again (sorry this is the 2nd time I have mentioned that I go to gym in this blog), and I saw what looked like two managers on a branch visit.

I happen to notice, that these two manager-looking people were rather overweight… now please do not get me wrong, I have no problem with slightly larger people but it got me thinking – if I was not already a member at Virgin Active and one of them were to approach me and offer me a contract, there is no chance that I would take it!

Now again, it is nothing personal against them but you simply can not have overweight people as the managers of a gym! It is harsh I know and I am sorry that I am the one saying it but it is true. What kind of a message does that send potential clients?

It is the same as hiring a guy with a mo-hawk and tattoos up his neck to work in a playschool. He may be a lovely person but how many people do you think will be willing to leave their kids with him? Even though perceptions are often unfair and can easily be wrong, are you willing to risk that loss of income to your business?

Now I am not saying fire the two manager people, just get them in shape for flip sakes! It is not like you are lacking the equipment to do so, or the trained staff or anything really…

Why not use the two of them as an example? “Our two managers looked like this before, now they look like this!”

This is blunt, but true I am afraid. It is brand confusion. Am I wrong to say it?

 

Our only salvation

April 6, 2009

flag

I can’t decide whether it amazes or scares me more to hear that so many people are willing to A.) not vote or B.) vote for another party because as much as they would like them to, they cant see their party winning.

I can promise you something – if you never buy a lotto ticket, you will  never win the lotto… 

So tell me, how can we expect to get a government that we want, a government that we deserve when we take that powerful weapon called a vote waste it? Our votes will only count if we make good use of them and we all stand together to get back what this country deserves!

And what I believe South Africa deserves is a government that does not discriminate against black people, white people or any other race. One that knows that no one, no matter how powerful, is above the law. And one that does not think that the reserve bank was set up as a reserve for them!

On the 22nd of April I will be voting – not for the party who I think will win any way, but for the party who I think can make a difference in this country. I hope that you will do the same.

Remember: “In a democracy, people get the government that they deserve” (Helen Zille). I certainly will not give you any sympathy if you do not make the rite choice. Wake up South Africa!

Sometimes you have to be a loser…

April 3, 2009

loser

At gym this evening, a friend said to me – “You know, I used to think that guys that go to gym on Friday evenings were such losers but I guess if you want to achieve your goals, sometimes you have to be a ‘loser’.”

I think that is so true. Sometimes we have to be that ‘loser’ (as some might see it) in order to become winners. So next time someone laughs at you and calls you a loser for getting those distinctions, getting that employee of the month award or even going to gym on a Friday night instead of drinking beer and watching the cricket, don’t say anything, just smile. 

You and I both know that they will look at you very differently when you become that winner. Go get ’em “loser”!

Pessimists

April 1, 2009

I hate pessimists. They are experts at thought demolition. They can take a great idea in your head and bring it crumbling to the ground within seconds. 

A pessimist is blind to the views of capability and will prefer to dwell in their own negativity. They also seem to enjoy spreading this negativity where ever they go. They are poisonous and will make you doubt yourself and make you doubt what others can do as well.

409px-glass-of-water1

Why is it so hard to look on the bright side? Why cant the glass be half full? I wish that I could show them that their negativity only makes a bad situation worse. If you ever try and tell some one that they are a pessimist and you will get the same response thrown in your face: “I am not a pessimist, I’m a realist”.

Yes the world has a lot of bad but that does not mean that you need to let it consume you. So, when you come face to face with a pessimist, be positive, not bitter and prove them wrong.

Meet the Proteas…

March 30, 2009

Gibbs and meLast Wednesday I had the opportunity to meet the Proteas cricket team through a competition through the Standard Bank’s Achiever Banking account that I have. Not being much of a cricket fan I didn’t think I would enjoy it much but I was very wrong:

We met at Wanderers stadium where we got to see the guys practice in the nets. It was quite something to stand about 6 meters away from Mark Boucher as he sky-rockets a few practice balls which came screaming out of the nets, over our heads and on to some unlucky guys car bonnet in the parking lot…

We then were given a shiny new Gunn & Moore Catalyst 202 cricket bat and as the players came off the field, we could get them to sign it for us. Mark Boucher, Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn and nine others (a total of 13) were very happy to sign it.

After that Johan Botha gave us a tour of the the team’s change room, press room, analysis room, gym and we even got to sit in the chairs where the team watches the game. 

Finally we were taken out to lunch at the Meat Company in Melrose Arch courtesy of Standard Bank. 

I had a great time and the whole thing was very well organised and Standard Bank took great care of us. Special thanks to Andrea Eaton and the rest of the team for a fantastic day. I wont forget it soon!

 

Check out the photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31478105@N03/sets/72157616034028851/