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show off your footy skills at euro 08 January 28, 2008

Posted by nicholas gill in euro 2008, football, sport, user generated content, web 2.0.
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 footy skills

Load up your footy skills and you could be part of an ad break at euro 2008. But seeing as the “golden generation” won’t be there, maybe you won’t either? I’ll default to Italy as I always do when England go out/don’t turn up. I’ll be honest too, this promotion is being run by my current agency.


oh dear June 5, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in brand, sport, thoughts, user generated content.
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London 2012 needs to be more “street and appeal to the kidz and be all yoof and things.  This monstrosity doesn’t really say Olympic Games for me. The Olympics is once every four years, a celebration of the peak of human athleticism, something that participants have spent their entire life leading up to. The biggest global sporting event – it even beats the World Cup. The eyes of the world will be on London. And they will be scorched by this electro-pop thing.

Trends are transient, good design is not. 80’s revival is transient, staging the world’s biggest event in 5 years is not. But hey, we need to get down wid da kidz in da hoodies who is not feelin eet. So we throw out all common sense about celebrating national culture (exc. Big Brother), landmarks, history, sporting achievement and effort. And come up with a a few graffiti type things, paint them in bright colours (coz kidz like it bright coz they spend som much time on myspace dat der eyes is fooked) and untidily slap in the word “london” in all lower case (coz dat is book [cool on txt] – ok, i have all l/c in my titles but this is my bloggy thing) and the rings on another part. Disjointed, misguided, garish, back of fag packet, or crap? Not many folk like it it seems. It  would be more at home on an unmemorable band from the 80’s album cover.

Here’s my beef rather than my rant. They want to appeal to a new, younger generation whose connection with the Olympics is limited. Then why not involve them? Let them BE THE CONTENT? Let them shape it, be part of it, be engaged with it and let them have control in the future size and shape?  Open up the design to art students in London (a hot bed of creativity – anyone knows that) and let people choose?

Oh no, then the grand committee wouldn’t get their say.  Lets just do it the old fashioned way and spunk the best part of half a million quid. A glorious opportunity lost. Come on Seb.

A final word on this, surely all great sporting events have to have a mascot? As a child on holiday in Spain in 1981 before the World Cup (where Keegan missed a sitter!!!), this little orange fella was all over the shop. I bought a towel with him on and it stayed with me all my years until it fell apart at university. As crap as he is, how the hell do you create a mascot out that 2012 thing???


a tale of two pieces of direct mail May 9, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in brand, content, cricket, direct mail, sport.
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I don’t get that much direct mail these days so I do genuinely get excited by nice pieces of work. Not that too many have come through my postbox of late. But in the last couple of weeks, two contrasting bits of mail did arrive. Both personalised postcards so they should get to the point quickly and be inexpensive to produce and therefore have a higher return.  Let’s take a look:

Hampshire Cricket Club – Warney needs me!

warney front

warney reverse

A5 size digitally printed postcard with my name being called out by the spinner from the gods. Spin it over (nice!) and good personalisation (I have indeed been to the Rose Bowl before), straight to the point with the invite to join as a member, substantiation of why with new players (and my, Stuart Clark was quick the other day) and the genuine desire of the blonde-haired one to win something. And a clear call to action with not 1 but 3 different ways to respond: web, call or fill in the app form they sent me in November. And a cheeky little cross promotion for those old geezers, The Who. Simple, effective and  I may well have gone for it but most cricket is played in the week so I’ll either have to win the lottery or retire early to make full use of membership.

The Times – offering someone else a week of papers for £2


As simple, clear and effective as the HCC postcard was, this fails at the first ball of the day. They too have “done a Harmy” as our Australian cousins now refer to it by getting my fucking name wrong! I think I’m fairly in touch my feminine side but I haven’t gone as far as becoming Ms Nicola Gill. I suspect they bought this crap data from the same place as the DMA (Direct Marketing Association for those who don’t know/care) of all people who also addressed something to me using my alter ego. Great advert for the direct profession there chaps! Needless to say I won’t be taking the Times up on their offer which sounds simple enough on the front till you get to the back and you’re swamped with numbers like £109 saving for 24 weeks at £48 or £218 saving for 48 weeks at £96 and get £20 national book token (glam) or £20 thresher voucher (slurp) and £8 discount for direct debit. Fuck me I’m all numbered out. Make it simple chaps and get my name right and I might reconsider. And why 48 weeks? Do I get to choose the 4 weeks a year I don’t want it when I’m on hols?

football 2.0 May 3, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in content, football, gaming, social networks, sport, strategy, thoughts, user generated content, web 2.0, website.
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Emmel has beat me to it. Interesting idea to get 50,000 people to stump up £35 and then buy a footy team. AFC Bournemouth tried a similar thing as the first community club but they didn’t have 50,000 trying to work out why we have no decent left-footed players in the country. Would we have live voting for selection and tactics? Half time team talks could become a mass of instant chat. Better than hearing Sven’s silence or watching McDonut’s grinning though I guess.

Image from imosse.net on Google images

never mind, jose – hahahahahah!!!!! May 3, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in football, sport, thoughts.
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2 years on, same outcome. 5 European Cups Vs 0. Hahahhahahaah. Bring on Milan in Athens. Only this time I hope I won’t be in a dull and sweaty focus group room in Lyons getting text updates and only seeing the extra time and pens in a bar.

Image from skysports.com

london marathon viral April 24, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in brand, digital advertising, sport, user generated content, web 2.0, website.
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Nice viral from (I think) my old chums at tmw on the day after the marathon. Good bit of user generated content too to upload your own videos and photos from the event.

in-ger-lund April 23, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in brand, football, sport, thoughts, user generated content, web 2.0, website.
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The Nationwide Building Society are doing some nice things in the banking world at the moment but more importantly, as a main sponsor of the England (and Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland teams too) they’re not just letting their executives take a jolly with their generous match ticket allocations. Instead, they’re offering them to real fans. A great move.

Fans can apply for tickets at their new site, Sponsored By You and also have the opportunity to attend training sessions (and presumably see if McDonut actually speaks or just smiles inanely all day) and also have your name on a billboard! In a nice touch, you can also send in your re-creation of famous England (or the other home nations!) moments on video in a spot reminiscent of phoenix from the flames from Baddiel & Skinner and also vote for your all time favourite XI. Which of course the boy Gazza should always be in.

poor timing but nice smells April 20, 2007

Posted by nicholas gill in brand, content, cricket, digital advertising, sport, thoughts.
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An email from Boss Fragrances arrived in my inbox yesterday to show their sponsorship of the England cricket team, update on the world cup and offer me a free sample and, if I splash out (get it – oh, yes) £30 on Boss fragrances not only will I smell divine but I can also get a free Boss/England cap.

Quite poor timing it’s arrival. For those who don’t know,  not only have we been thrashed out the Cricket World Cup but the day it arrived, happy Duncan Fletcher had just resigned as coach. Not quite sure who sanctioned the release but surely it could have gone out at the start of the World Cup rather than at a time of national mourning?

Still, I clicked to get my sample in  any case (freebie whore, moi?) only to find 3 out of the 7 products out of stock. Cracking.

And don’t the boys look just a little camp rather than mean and moody as they’re supposed to look (one assumes)? Only Hoggy and Pietersen get off though as at least KP hit some runs and Hoggy was running in the Yorkshire Dales ready to batter the Windies come May in the first Test of the summer. Not only do Freddie, Vaughan and Strauss look like Jessies here, they played like them too.

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