Tuesday, 25 May 2010

is the web communication, entertainment or information?

Another great post from our friend The Ad Contrarian

Always one to challenge the effectiveness of advertising mediums, TAC makes the point that the web will struggle to give real success for advertisers (high profile isolated cases apart) until the web's primary function is established  - be it communication, entertainment or information.

The fact it is currently a hybrid medium means it lacks any real stability for advertisers.

Read the full article here.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Seth talks about the last 10%

Couldn't have said it better ourselves Seth...

'In most fields, there's an awful lot of work put into the last ten percent of quality. Getting your golf score from 77 to 70 is far more difficult than getting it from 120 to 113 or even from 84 to 77.

Answering the phone on the first ring costs twice as much as letting it go into the queue.
Making pastries the way they do at a fancy restaurant is a lot more work than making brownies at home.

Laying out the design of a page or a flyer so it looks like a pro did it takes about ten times as much work as merely using the template Microsoft builds in for free, and the message is almost the same...

Except it's not. Of course not. The message is not the same.

The last ten percent is the signal we look for, the way we communicate care and expertise and professionalism. If all you're doing is the standard amount, all you're going to get is the standard compensation. The hard part is the last ten percent, sure, or even the last one percent, but it's the hard part because everyone is busy doing the easy part already.

The secret is to seek out the work that most people believe isn't worth the effort. That's what you get paid for.'

Check out more from Seth Godin's excellent blog here.

Virgin use the undead to convince you to take the train

Virgin Trains is portraying car and plane travellers as zombies in its latest £6.3m campaign.

The campaign is designed to demonstrate the superior service available on Virgin Trains and is a put down of other forms of transport. The cartoon imagery is meant to capture the potential hellishness of travelling by car and plane that turns regular people into frustrated zombies.

Airlines have been badly disrupted by the Icelandic volcano in past weeks while a planned strike by British Airways staff is now set to go ahead.

Friday, 14 May 2010

mind blowing research about the bus

The Scottish government have just published research in to 'understanding why some people do not use buses'. Among the shocking discoveries, the report highlights that people - 
  • see the bus as for vulnerable groups who cannot afford the car
  • are intimated by the close proximity to others when traveling
  • feel unsafe when waiting for a bus
  • see the bus as having something of an image problem
And this report in to the blindingly obvious cost the tax payer how much exactly? Read the full story here.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Northern Rail, TPE and ScotRail back a winner

British champion apprentice jockey Freddie Tylicki from Malton, North Yorkshire, has given his support to our racing promotion that has pulled in over 50,000 racegoers in the past five years.

Now in its 24th year, our Back a Winner by Train promotion which includes station posters and and leaflets, enables racegoers using the train to get up to £4 off admission at participating racecourses in the North of England and Scotland.

The scheme, in association with Northern, First TransPennine Express and First ScotRail, now features a record 200 days of racing at 12 courses with newcomers Pontefract and Hexham joining Beverley, Carlisle, Cartmel, Doncaster, Hamilton Park, Musselburgh, Newcastle, Redcar, Thirsk and York.

graphic designer dodges train fares by making his own tickets

Designer Calvin Lever travelled for eight months between Colchester and London on tickets he had made himself.

A season ticket to cover the period would have cost more than £2,500.

Fiona Hardman, prosecuting, said Lever was caught after a ticket inspector became suspicious when checking his ticket.

She said: “It was found to be false and the inspector called police, who arrested Lever at Colchester station.

“Two further fake tickets were found on him.

“When his house was searched, a large number of fake and genuine tickets were found.”

Friday, 7 May 2010

Nick Clegg and The Lib Dems' faliure proves our point...

All the research and polls pointed towards Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems performing far better in this election, but as we have said in a previous Moving People newsletter - you shouldn't always believe the research.

Why is this? It's down to human psychology - the reluctance of people to try something new and different.

People always overestimate the attractiveness of new ideas and always underestimate the reluctance to try something new and different.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Wrexham and Shropshire do it again

One of the leading lights with regards to doing things differently has struck again.

Wrexham and Shropshire have become the first train company to offer its customers a flexible first class return fare - effectively abolishing the traditional peak/off peak business model. 

From yesterday they are offering a flexible first class return from Wrexham direct to London Marylebone for just £120 - a whole £225 cheaper than Virgin's 'anytime first class return' ticket. That's some saving.

Throw in wi-fi and a complimentary meal prepared fresh on board from a locally sourced menu and it gets even more attractive. It's no wonder the company scored a whopping 98% in the recent National Passenger Survey. 

Wrexham and Shropshire continue to do things differently and reap the rewards. Maybe some of the other TOCs should start to take notice and follow suit.

Get more price comparisons with Virgin and the full story here.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Virgin Trains to battle for 'most iconic digital poster' prize

A trio of leading digital out-of-home users will aim for the accolade to be called '2010's most iconic digital poster' in an X-Factor style competition at the Media Week DOOH Media Summit on 6 May.

Digital posters by Nokia, McDonald's and Virgin Trains (which we highlighted early last year) will be showcased in front a judging panel that includes senior marketers from Procter & Gamble and Virgin Media.

The contestants will have to prove their poster's creative, technological and logistical excellence, and then await the judges' vote, combined with that of the audience, to know the winner.

I haven't seen the other two, but the Virgin entry was superb and gets my vote.

bus company see passenger numbers soar

Newport Bus have recently announced a near 200,000 increase in passenger numbers over the last three years.

Chris Blyth, the company's Managing Director, put the rise down to concentrating efforts on the basics of product and service. New investments have been made in staff and new vehicles despite the current financial climate whilst the company have not increased fares during the period.

"By improving our buses and services despite the difficult financial climate our customers have shown their satisfaction with the positive increase in bus user numbers," he said.

The company have also recently launched a 'Look who you might see' marketing campaign backed by local celebrities to encourage drivers to leave their cars at home and try the bus. The celebs can be seen here.

Whilst I admire any bus company trying to sell their product slightly differently, call me a cynic but I can't help feeling the only reason Wales rugby star Colin Charvis was chosen as an 'ambassador' was because he is currently serving a two year ban for drink driving and doesn't have any choice but to use the bus!