Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nothing Quite Like A Good Typo!

A banner ad for Alliance & Leicester proudly displayed at The Times website today.

How can anyone possibly miss that typo! Maybe one of those crafty compeittors (sic) meddled with the ad.

Insightful Heptagons

This is one of the most insightful things I've seen in ages. A really simple construct to show the effects of combining deadly sins in pairs. My favourite is Gluttony + Pride = fat men in speedos!

Reminds me a bit of the Nike "brief-o-matic" that you can find within this blog post from Pink Air.

Simple ways to get to interesting ideas must be the way forward!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

TFL & Good Service

Whilst I'm on the subject of TFL there's been something bugging me for ages. When you arrive at a London Underground station, you'll see a sign that looks something like this:

(Thanks to "Envoy" for the picture that I found here on Flickr.)

What gets my goat is that it's written entirely from TFL's perspective and has nothing whatsoever to do with the customer's experience. Quite often when I get on the train to experience my Good Service I see something like this...

(thanks to "Synthclarion" for the picture that I found here of Flickr.)

Now, in my opinion, that is not a good service. Just because the train is running on time and there aren't any signal failures for a change...

What Works Best. - Communications or Department Names?

Whilst out buying a sandwich today, I spied a group of yellow-bibbed Transport For London (TFL) workers and police taking people's details and fines for not paying fares on the bus. This was quite a commotion, presumably intended to be a show of strength that "we'll catch you if you're bad".

On the back of the TFL yellow-bibs were the words "Revenue Protection" which no doubt is the name of the department the employees were from. However, in the light of recent massive transport price increases I think this wording conveys a poor impression of TFL. It doesn't say "we need your fares to reinvest in the system so your journey gets better" it says "we must make profit". I'm sure this is a cue for many people to avoid paying fares (obviously not me as I am such an honest citizen).

How different it would be if the bibs instead displayed a message intended to impact customer behaviour or attitude. Even a less obviously profit oriented department name such as "Fare Dodge Squad" would be an improvement. Fare dodging is naughtiness to be reprimanded, whereas taking money from a corporate hell-bent on making profit at all costs is surely an objective that would encourage many.

Either way, I doubt this activity will change fare-dodgers' behaviour. They're fare dodgers after all and the thrill of getting away with it, as opposed to simply trying to avoid payment, seems to me to be half the point.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wii Create

Sorry for the pun, I couldn't help myself.

The Wii is a global success, despite its curious name. Nintendo realised that they couldn't and shouldn't try to take Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3 on head to head. Instead they have come up with a new way to interact with games - appealing to a softer breed of gamers. The success is commented on by Seth Godin here.

It's also a fine example of a product that has inspired users to create their own content. Not just the usual YouTube videos (this from Three Minds shows Wii being used in a cinema), but also Flickr groups, the really quite odd wiikitty website and the highly entertaining sites which show damage caused by wii-abuse - wiihaveaproblem and wiidamage (plus here's a T-shirt on a similar subject!).

An effect that I think will have come as a bit of a surprise is the beneficial effect on health. Several colleagues came back to work after Christmas complaining of stiff muscles from Wii gaming. This page describes how a guy monitored his loss of weight and body fat entirely due to Wii-ing. (Thanks to Three Minds for the link).

Create a remarkable product...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Presentation Lesson

True to form, Steve Jobs delivers the iPhone (the bottom QuickTime link focusses on the launch) to the public in an examplary way. Whether or not you give a proverbial about the technology, watch this from a presentation style point of view. His visuals always support what he says, never the other way round. He constantly repeats and summarises so the key information comes across clearly. He's well rehearsed. He uses humour appropriately.

If you like this, get to Presentation Zen sharpish.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Latest Trendwatching

Here's the monthly briefing from Trendwatching.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Rendezvous Mash-up

I was chatting with a colleague earlier today about "Mapvertising" (see here for Universal McCann's paper). We got talking about the various mash-ups which incorporate map information with other data such as pictures from Flickr. I got searching...

"Rendezvous" is the legendary film of a Ferrari driving through Paris at stupid speeds early one morning in the 70s. You can see it at Google Video and You Tube. Well worth a look.

Some kind person has taken the time to map the journey the car takes using Google Maps. You can see it here. Take the time to read the instructions in the top left or you could be in for a confusing ride! This is what the internet is made for!