Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quiz Question - who owns the URL

Answer - The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Cumbria

Bear Cottage, Marsett

This is totally off-topic, but I wanted to give a quick plug for a cottage that I stayed in on holiday last week.

Bear Cottage in Marsett is the nicest holiday accomodation I've ever stayed in. Normally with holiday cottages you get tatty old furniture - basically the stuff that the owners don't want in their own houses any more. Bear Cottage is full of brand new, tasteful stuff (beds, sofas, tables, TV, kitchen), and beautifully decorated throughout.

It is a converted cow shed, but the conversion gave the owners to flexibility to get everything the way they wanted it, so the downstairs is very much like an upmarket studio, while the 3 bedrooms upstairs are very snug and cosy.

The location is good too - in North Yorkshire, near to Hawes, and within easy striking distance of both the Yorkshire moors and the Lake District. I can't recommend it enough! (But I should warn you that it has no internet connection, and no mobile reception!)

Let me know by emailing me or leaving a comment if you'd like to know how to book.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Marketing by giving it away free

Two recent examples of this, and I'm sure it will become an even bigger trend in the future.

First, in music, with Radiohead's excellent In Rainbows album being given away for free (or more depending on the buyers conscience), but also selling physical 'disc boxes' (the music on vinyl in nice packaging) for £40. Plus it creates a lot of marketing to help Radiohead do an advantageous distribution deal for CDs in shops before Christmas.

Second, in publishing, for the book Cooking With Booze, where you can actually read and print all the recipes (or rezzipees, as my friend Simon calls them) online, while promoting a wonderful looking book of them which I'm sure will find its way under many Christmas trees this year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New UK Artois site

I've just seen the new 'Artois' site for the UK.

I like it - nice visuals and music - and it also lets you see some of the classic old ads (Jean de Florette style), and play an interactive beer pouring game.

My only real criticism would be the lack of deep linking, and the opeing of a new window for every page. If it allowed deep linking, I could post a direct link to the ads, but I can't, so you'll have to find your own way there!

UPDATE - ok - the penny's finally dropped. Artois can't legally deep link into the site as visitors have to go through age verification before they see the content. So no real criticisms then, but what a bummer for usability!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Two New Stop Motion Ads - Human Flipbook and Sony Bravia

You wait ages for a stop motion ad to come along - and then two come along at once:

First is the Human Flipbook for the Erbert & Gerbert sandwich chain in the US which is such a perfect idea. In it a story is told by using t-shirts instead of pages in a flipbook, with 150 shirts being shot one after each other. This is brilliantly executed, and they've also done a making of video, but the actual story in the flip book is a bit of a let down (which is often true of flipbooks). You're really far more interested in the shirts than the story.

Second is the new ad for Sony Bravia in their 'Colour Like No Other' series using play-doh rabbits in New York, and using She's a Rainbow, a relatively unknown Brian Jones era Rolling Stones song, as the soundtrack. While this is visually stunning, it's less innovative and a less brilliant idea than the t-shirts, but it's still completely wonderful.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Led Zeppelin Vs the Ticket Touts

Led Zep are playing a one off gig at the O2 Arena in London on November 26th, in tribute to their friend Ahmet Ertegun.

One night, 25,000 tickets, and then that's it. Tickets were priced at £125 each, and given out by ballot, with people signing up at a special website. Supposedly millions sighed up, and by now the lucky few have been informed, while the rest of us have been disappointed.

Ticket touts are very interested by this event, because of the uniqueness of the gig, and the scarcity of the tickets. So many bands have been inspired by Led Zep, and many of the original fans fromthe 60s and 70s are now pretty wealthy people.

So how are they stopping people touting the tickets? It's all very complicared, and involves passcodes, photo IDs, wrist bands and tickets.

From the confirmation email, posted up on Ebay:

1. You have 72 hours to book and pay for your tickets.
2. Your individual passcode can only be used once and will be invalid after the deadline as mentioned above has passed.
3. NO tickets will be mailed out. All concert goers must pick up their tickets and non-transferable wristbands in advance of the show at the O2 Arena between 10am and 6pm on Sunday 25th November and between 10am and 6pm on Monday 26th November. To avoid long queues on the day of the show you are strongly urged to pick up your tickets and wristbands on Sunday 25th November or arrive as early as possible on Monday 26th November, please be aware that ticket collection will be busy at peak times and you should anticipate having to wait to be served.
4. To collect the tickets each original purchaser and the person accompanying them to the show must be present in order to pick up the tickets and wristbands. NO EXCEPTIONS
5. Each original purchaser must provide the actual credit card used for the purchase along with valid state-issued PHOTO ID in order to receive the tickets and non-transferable wristbands. All wristbands will be fitted immediately.
6. There will be no exceptions to the above, no name changes or letters of authorisation will be accepted under any circumstances.
7. On the night of the show EVERYONE will be required to present BOTH the WRISTBAND and TICKET for entrance to the show. Wristbands must NOT be removed or tampered with prior to entering the show or your access will be refused. Original ticketholders must bring photo ID to the show as they may be required to present it upon entry to the venue.
8. The original conditions of sale will be enforced. These tickets are non-transferable and any resale will void the transaction without refund.
9. If you book the tickets and are unable to attend we will refund the face value of the tickets (£125 per ticket) if you contact us before the 20th October 2007. No refunds will be accepted after this date

It sounds like this is going to be pretty hard to get round, but people are trying, both on Ebay (The passcodes to buy tickets going for typically £250-£300), and on special ticket sites like
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