When I heard of Oink I was like – cool! Finally a cool app for rating different meals, food, drinks and stuff. Oink is advertising with the slogan “Discover great things around you!” and “You don´t rate places – you rate the things inside”. So I imagined opening the app and seeing the recommendations around me, like the 10 greatest Latte Macchiatos or best cheese fondues (hey I am in Switzerland).
So I downloaded it. First look was nice. Really cute and stylish User Interface, similar to Foursquare. The location data is actually powered by foursquare. In your stream you can see which items have been rated by the people you follow. For me, since no friends or mine are using Oink so far, I only see the postings of the Oink Team, who are located in the states.
Each item you rate is tied to a location and to a tag, like “beer” or “coffee” or “burger” or such. Like that the things in the same category can be rated with each other in the end.
Oink is a creation of Kevin Rose (Founder of the Digg) and his team at Milk inc. My opinion about Oink is: Nice, but I’d prefer it when the whole app would be included as a feature in the foursquare app. Like that everything would be at one place and more people would use it, because why do you want to use two apps at a restaurant? Check in with Foursquare and then rate the dish with Oink. That would be so annoying for your date, your parents or who else you are there with!!!
Since there are not a lot of people in Zurich, who use Oink yet, there also aren’t a lot of ratings. Like that I can also not build my “cred” in breakfasts (yes i love to go out for brunch and breakfasts).
Just stumbled on the viral marketing campaign of Rivella, a Swiss limonade brand. It’s really funny and genius – just like viral marketing campaigns need to be. Something people laugh or want to talk about and therefore share.
The idea is, that Michael Mittermeier, who is a famous German comedian with a Bavarian accent, drinks Rivella and suddenly speaks Swiss German (effect of Rivella?). Well his Swiss German is not really understandable, but I guess that also makes it even more funny. There are a few videos that where done with an iPhone or any other smartphone, which is typical for a viral marketing campaign since in the beginning it should come off as “real” – done by bystanders. One video for example shows Michael at a German Bratwurst Stand trying to order somethings in “Swiss German” – nobody understands him. Naturally. It´s really hilarious.
Now there also real Rivella Spots were released, which are in high Quality.
Policemen: Well Mr. Mittermeier, were you in a hurry?
Mittermeier: >>Swiss German<<
Policemen: Mr. Mittermeier – Did you drink something?
Mittermeier: >>Swiss German<< A little.
In 2011 I worked at Credit Suisse and I loved my team and my job. One could think that doing marketing in a bank is not very creative, but I can prove otherwise. I organized great marketing events all over the world with speakers like Parag Khanna and Jimmy Wales, I was a community manager and I build a social networking site. It was great fun. Moreover was I able to travel to Israel and get to know the Swiss culture a little better.
2011 was also the year of a big decision. I was asked to come work for a Swiss Internet company and help setting up their digital marketing department. A huge challenge. I was torn between a great team at an international bank, but with rather modest career choices and the big opportunity at a rather small company with great expansion plans. In the end there was not really a choice, challenges are what keeps me running. So from now on I work at netvision_ag, which is part of Centralway. I will be involved in the marketing of both companies.
So 2012 will be my year of pushing the envelope. I know I put a lot of things on my table, but I will do my best. I will also try to give you more regular updates here, but from now on the Germans amongst you will also be able to read some posts by me on blog.ch
Christmas time is the time for the non-profit organizations to reach out to the public for support. People are in the mood for giving back and more open to social issues, so amongst the many flyer from several charity organizations this one actually got my attention:
The translation of the text is:
(in handwriting) “Store this cardboard carefully. It is the only bed. For you and your little sister”
(subtext) “No bed, no home, no protection from violence and exploitation – that’s the sad reality for millions of victims of child trafficking. We can bring those children to safety. Together with you.”
Logo of Terre des hommes and their slogan “The children need us”
First, when you remove this cardboard from the postbox it already feels different in your hand than all the other flyer and post you have in your hand. That triggers the initial interest. When you read the text on it afterwards you actually can put yourself in the situation described.
The back of the cardboard has a paper glued to it with more information and a payment slip.
The orange headline reads: “Together we stop the relentless exploitation of children.”
The white text in the orange box says: “With 50 CHF you help us bring exploited children to safety.”
It may only be my opinion, but I think this campaign might just be more successful than the others.
Since I am now a little over one year in Switzerland it’s time for some reminiscing.
When I got to know that Credit Suisse wanted me as their employee I was very excited. An international marketing department, global marketing projects and a diverse team, made out of Swiss, Indian, Russian, Italien and other culturally interesting people awaited me and I was in heaven. Zurich being a cosmopolitan and beautiful city located close to ski slopes and Italy at a lake was just the cherry on my cake.
Traveling the world I had bumbed into quite my share of Swiss people, if it was at 4.30 am at a hot spring on the tiny Green Island in Taiwan or the fanciest club in Shanghai. They not only knew were the great places are, they also were great company. How they felt about Germans coming to their country I did not quite grasp when a Swiss friend of an old friend said: “You are going to feel just like home in Zurich, there are as many Germans as it Germany”
Not being oblivious to his hostile tone and an interculturally trained person I asked another Swiss friend from university if she could recommend any books on swiss culture and so I started reading “Gebrauchsanweisung für die Schweiz” (Manual for Switzerland) by Thomas Küng (born in Zurich). It sure was fascinating: you should not use the Swiss hello “Gruetzi” until a Swiss person signed off on it and understanding the Swiss German with its many terms which originate in the French language were things to be learned.
After one year here I could add few things to the list of what I had to learn living in Switzerland:
When calling someone and you say your name, wait until the person at the other line could say something like “Hallo Frau Rogge” before explaining your matter
If you don’t have a German dialect at all (Bavarian or such) like me and speak a very clear German, it’s hard for Swiss people to speak in Swiss German to you, they tend to switch to high German
Swiss soccer is just as serious as German soccer
When coming back from Germany I realized that I had missed Swiss German
It’s hard to make Swiss friends, patience is needed
Sure I could list a few more, but let’s stop here. I am convinced that every foreigner in Switzerland has a different list and only a few things may be the same. Truth is, that I never felt as much as a foreigner as in Switzerland. Maybe it’s the differences in the similarities of Germany and Switzerland, maybe it’s the Germans I meet on the street who are of the kind I also would not like to have in my country (I guess every country has countrymen they would rather not know of.) It’s hard to say.
What I can say is: I made friends, even if the percentage of Swiss amongst them is still small, but I am working on it. I also learn a lot at work being responsible for online marketing and Switzerland’s stunning nature is what I enjoy every day. That being said, it’s not so bad when a colleague is trying to make a joke pointing at a political poster with the slogan “Stop mass immigration” and then points at me saying “See.. mind that!”.
Now, at a rather private place, I was approached by the Swiss social party (since I am living in Zurich now). See what I encountered using the restroom at a bar and movie theater for independent films:
As you can see, this is a post-it on which the party printed “Do not forget: Elect on April 3rd” and “Yes” next to their party’s logo (SP). I translated this leaving out some Swiss specifics, because it would take some time to explain the election system here. So sorry for that. Alongside this call for action, they included to website addresses of their party for further information.
I thought this to be a quite clever (not to mention cost saving) tool, which can be chosen for a lot of different marketing strategies. Two things are certain, it is not possible to use it for premium products. An example: I do not think Chanel could convince their clients to buy more bags by putting post-its in certain places. Even if they would stick post-its to a bathroom door at the Hilton Hotel in Monaco (Although printing some notes with “Would you not prefer French chick? Yours truly Chanel” and stick them inside Changing Rooms at Tommy Hilfiger… might be fun to do!).
To sum it up, I thing this post-it idea is pretty genius. In my opinion best suitable for a young target group (18-37 years old), a product that is in a low price segment and the communication message should be short. By choosing specific locations, where the post-its are put up, the target audience can be adjusted. For example in my case they put up the notes in locations where people in their 20ies and early 30ies would hang out. People who are of the middle class and most likely not conservative (the neighborhood was rather alternative). Let’s think of another example: If you wanted to sell your new hair product, let’s say for body shop, you could print pink post-its with “Wanna smell like spring? – get 10% off at Body Shop” and put them up in the female restrooms at big shopping malls, cosmetic studios, ladies-only fitness centers and more.
Are you inspired for your new company’s campaign? Got some ideas here? Perfect. See what others did here:
Today it was all business as usual: work, lunch, starbucks, work etc. – But Starbucks kept on haunting me after lunch.
First thing I noticed when standing in line at Starbucks was the little boy in front of me fascinated with something on display “Cake Pops”, which practically look like 2000 calories on a little stick aka two thirds of your daily calorie requirement. Sure he got one, but I was just awed and continued to the other end of the bar to pick up my coffee (No, I am not telling you which kind.. it would just take too many words..). First thing I see is the new logo prominently placed on the cup as well as the coffee cup sleeve, which is now totally green. I thought to myself “Good Job”.. I was seriously doubting the concept of the new branding.
So that could have been the end of the story, but it turns out, that it was not. That’s what I encountered checking Facebook this evening:
Wow that is just good…Introducing the new logo with such a funny new product like “Cake Pop”. (Sure I can’t say if that was the strategy behind, but at least it seems so for Switzerland.) I am not sure if the Cake Pop will become an essential product, but it is extraordinary and therefore has viral potential.