Mini – Learn in Your Lunchbreak

mini lunchbreak

I love this a lot.

Mini are putting on a bunch of lunchbreak experiences. Where you can learn something new in a lunchtime.

learn bruce lee

The list of things that are up there at the moment are:

  • Bruce Lee for beginners
  • Beat a lie detector
  • Be a spy
  • Deal with meeting your partner’s parents for the first time
  • Man/Woman school – the things your parents should have taught you
  • Talking your way into a will

And my personal favourite – Learn to Moonwalk! Which I think is on tomorrow, but details are being kept quiet. I read in a magazine that the session is being run by MJ’s choreographer. I’m going to do my damndest to get a place, I’ve always wanted to master the art of the moonwalk. Hell I’ll even buy a Mini if they can guarantee me ultimate skills.

Anyone know who did this? It’s great! I’d like to shake them by the hand.

Investing in Content


Jib Jab – US peddlers of funny animations and stuff (my description not theirs) have just raised another $3m in funding from VCs – in total they’re reported to have raised $6m.

Read/Write Web have more on the story. I found myself nodding at this bit:

While this was supposed to be the beginning of the era of user generated video – the reality shaking out is more complicated than that. Specifically, advertisers are just not comfortable with the brand risk inherent in user generated content. That is changing slowly and it may continue to over time – but there’s likely to be a huge market for shops like JibJab long into the future. Likewise, video tools are now commodities and it’s all about the content you’ve got in your video service. Professional content is good, professional humor is great, say investors.

One thing worth noting about Jib Jab though is that they’re not a video production shop. If you look deeper into what they do there’s quite a lot of interactive innovation in there too. Don’t forget about making things interactive. Just porting a load of short form video-making skills online is only going to take you so far (in my humble opinion). Oh, and they’ve been very savvy in terms of getting commercial sponsorships and stuff as well.

Digital vs Advertising

I did my talk about ‘10 Reasons that Digital is Better than Advertising‘ again the other day. I enjoyed it, and I did feel that bits of it are true. But at the same time it also felt a bit futile,

It was never designed to be an important presentation, more a bit of fun with a couple of personal observations and musings in there.

Thankfully Idris Mootee has made the important points in the debate much more clearly and concisely over at Innovation Playground. If you’re interested in the whole debate about who’s going to rule agencyland in the future it’s well worth a read, there’s some really interesting scenarios and thoughts in there.

Drive Thru Rap

I’m late to these judging by the dates that the videos were posted, but I’m not sure how widely they’ve been seen.

Just another one of those ‘funny’ ‘little’ online things that feels really odd and not particularly outstanding (to me), but then a clip goes and gets nearly 10m views and then spawns an international cult.

The daddy of the clips:

The Taco Bell version:

And of course a ‘healthy option’:

There’s lots and lots of them, and remixes and mashups and all that jazz and they’re breeding… is the hub of the ‘movement’.

I’m so glad I don’t work in a drive thru burger place…

Does Starbucks Community = Actual Community?

starbucks hove

I’ve got a theory. Actually calling it a theory is over playing it. It’s more like a suspicion, or maybe an inkling. Whichever of the two fits best.

I’ve been into a few different branches of Starbucks recently and noticed that they’ve all got these ‘community’ boards. I suspect they’re a global thing. They’re basically free spaces for local people to stick up notices (the photo above is from the Hove branch).

I’m hypothesising that you can tell how active a local community is by the density of notices on the board. However, I’m basing this on a very limited sample of 5 Starbucks branches.

  • 3 in the City in London – very little community
  • 2 in Brighton and Hove – lots of community, typically based around Tai Chi and tofu-weaving ;-)

Anyone have any observations to support or destroy my suspicions?

Why I Love Abel and Cole

Abel and Cole

We’ve been getting organic boxes from Abel and Cole. Apparently it’s the done thing when you’re greenish and in your mid-30s.

But in the couple of months we’ve been using them we’ve not ever really managed to finish a box. So we end up chucking stuff out, which isn’t good for anyone. No one’s fault, we’ve just been busy, or not fancied what was in the box on the right day.

So I wrote them a nice mail. Explaining that it was nothing personal and if our circumstances change we’d certainly consider going back to them. I also explained that we’ve got a good local organic shop which means that we can get hold of nice things quite easily.

This is the email I got back.

Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear you have decided to stop your orders from ourselves, but I do agree that a local organic grocer is even a bit better than ordering from us. Thank you for taking the time to let us know why you are cancelling. If you would like to start ordering from us again in the future we’ll be happy to try and adjust the amounts of produce you receive to suit your needs a bit better. I confirm the cancellation of your account and, we will be more than happy to welcome you back if your situation changes.

I read it and went, aah, that’s nice.

Then I read it again.

And noticed they’d said what! That it’s probably better not to use them in this situation! How bloody good is that!

I thought to myself, what a wonderful bit of copywriting. Then I realised of course this isn’t ‘copywriting’ at all, it was a real person writing to me, and it’s genuine, and it’s not self serving (at least not directly).

Nice one.

If you’ve not seen the Zappos story about the lady whose mother died and how they went above and beyond the call of duty you should check it out. It’s another great example of a company being human and it’s gone round the web leaving positive feelings towards Zappos wherever it goes. (Zappos are a US footwear ecommerce store by the way).

Freaked Out

I was walking back from a meeting when I saw these 3 things in quick succession. I was freaked out. First up…

howards way

Howards Way – I thought. Funny an 80s TV show street, ha ha. (Turns out the TV show is Howards’ Way, which makes a big difference, but at the time I didn’t know).

Then 20m later I saw:

Max Headroom

Max Headroom another show from back in the day. I chuckled to myself.

Then I looked round and:

West Wing

The blinking West Wing.

All of a sudden I felt like I’d been transported into some odd parallel universe where my life is a bizarre Truman Show vs. TV Times mashup. Honestly all 3 within a minute of each other.