communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.


Financial crisis is boring Romanians

This is the natural conclusion I have reached reading this and yesterday's print media. The reason being that a lot of newspapers prefer to give print space to a "very important" issue: is Liiceanu using too much cold cream? (for non-ROs, Liiceanu is a philosopher/writer/ public figure). The story is this: he has a new volume out where he writes about his morning routine and confesses he likes to use shower gel, creams and after shave.
THE HORROR!!! I mean, what? A MAN, A PHILOSOPHER uses cream? Unheard of.
So this is what Ro print media wants to write about, calls people up to ask them about and gives FULL pages to. And naturally I am not so much appalled by the news as I am confused by the very poignant dilemma of "should men use creams or not".
So I am making it my week's question, please reply in the sidebar


Never be offline

I went offline for two days and this is what happened:
- Victor Kapra becomes a consultant and leaves Publimedia
- Bobby sells Monden and Orlando buys it
- Noro leaves Neogen
- Mircea Badea starts a blog

serves me right for trying to get some sleep


Marketing Arena UPDATE

So I think I may have a neat presentation if not the breakthrough I was hoping for. I was going to ask Ana to come and present with me but I have just checked and it seems that a similar idea was presented by Serban from Headz last year. So, Ana, you're up there with the best since you and Serban got to the same conclusion :-) but I don's think it's such a great idea to do a repeat (irrespective of how much I agree with the idea)
Also, Johnny, they have made bacon flavored chocolate (read it in the newspaper today) so I am guessing bacon icecream is just round the corner.
I will post the presentation tomorrow and I hope people will find it at least sensible
Wish me luck!

LATER: so I did not win (bohooo) but I had some fun and was not too upset the hole in the flag idea won :-)
here is my presentation and will come back with update later

Marketing Arena
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.


I am an Internet addict

What are the sure signs? Me having an account on every possible thingie that is online? Countless passwords? An uncanny relationship to my Mac which has outlived most of my boyfriends?
Try this: I left my flat, on Monday night, at 11 pm, wearing my Uggs with no socks, an old tshirt I would normally not let anyone see me in, and ran 10 minutes through the freezing night to get to the basement of a neighboring block of flats to hang with a guy who's probably 15, wears a ponytail and a System of a Down t-shirt, has one of those see through plastic, wrappable keyboards and about three laptops, and is willingly teaching me how to reconfigure my wireless router in case I "accidentally" misplace my password AGAIN.
yup, I really really need to develop some hobbies...
but anyway, thanks guy with pony tail for giving me my wireless back

Must see presentations

Interesting people make and say interesting things. So, no wonder you find gems of public speaking at a design conference. Watch Gladwell speak about Fleetwood Mac and several other people mix design concepts with communication and sociological projections at the AIGA Design Conference here.
great stuff

Evolution of Apples products


Elections in Romania

Romania is having its first ever uninominal elections this year - which largely means that you elect people and not parties. As such you'd think it would make the advertising agencies' job easier, because surely it must be easier to promote a person, with ideas, a face and ability to speak than a whole party, with a bunch of nutters who all disagree and which has no ideology whatsoever. Also, it stands to reason that because you have certain candidates in certain areas and not in all, you'd use more direct forms of campaigning and communication.

But , noooo. The ad world in Romania - or whoever does the campaigning these days - thought it would be a brilliant idea to use OOH as main communicator. The first 3-5 problems I see with this
1) I don't know when my area ends and another begins so practically I have no clue who runs where
2) Names are small and faces are big and there are no faces on the ballot sheets.
3) OOH are in color and ballot sheets are black and white
4) OOH have slogans and ballot sheets have names (again)
5) I have never heard of these guys so how am I supposed to vote for them when all they're giving me is big pictures of themselves with slogans.

The concept of canvassing is probably best known by Americans but it should have been a key component of the current campaign. You take one candidate in his specific constituency and make flyers which you then send to the people in THAT constituency. Like that you make sure your message is more specific - because you can address problems in their area as opposed to generic "we'll sort things out" type of stuff. Also, you make sure the person knows for a fact that the candidate is an option in that constituency as opposed to someone you may have accidentally seen on a poster. Plus, in the end a flyer lets you say more and potentially win over silly sods like myself who expect to vote fro someone with an agenda, and not a slogan. Finally, you visit the damned constituency and knock on people's doors and repeat what you put on the flyer....

Poorly done first uninominal....


Movies (Rourke like never before)

Thanks Iancu for links to the resurrection of Mikey Rourke. This looks like it's going to be pretty awful to watch but might just be the best ever of Rourke and makes sense with Springsteen vocals in the back ...

But I simply love the drawing of this one

The confusion of gradeur

I don't like big ads. I mean I like "small-big" ads, ads where the idea is big or the emotion is big and the execution is small scale. I find that it takes a lot more talent to look closer at things than to take a step back and look at the whole picture, because, after all, saying big things with big things is just too easy.

In Romania, we love big ads, lots of props, lots of make up, lots of extras, huge locations, bird eye views, it gives the illusion that the brand is bigger, for more people. I am trying to figure out why we like to make big ads and all I can come up with is we are a small country no one pays attention to, we have had small houses, small pieces of chocolate, have never occupied other countries, never been an empire.
I look at GB, a former empire and find that they look deeper into the small things to discover the value within. Russell once told us in a training to look for meaning in the product or the things around it. He said that inspiration for the yogurt is usually found in the spoon.

I think that Bravia balls worked because the emotion was huge but it was presented with small balls and maybe that is why the follow-up with the huge explosions and the huge bunnies was less of a hit. That is why i used to like Orange ads, and that is why I love everything Wieden does. That is why there is no Romanian brand that has made me empathize. In a very small country we have brands that try to act too big.


Discounts for Inspire

The guys at Evensys were kind enough to get me involved in a nice program with discounted fees for Inspire 2009.

So, if you are reading this and want to participate in this year's last important marketing event, you get a discount :-)

Simply write an e-mail to with the subject field "Oferta Bogdana" and you will get in for the all exclusive price of 60eur (it's a bargain people :-)

It works on the basis of "first come, first serve" so don't write to me or comment to ask questions :-))))))))). E-mail them with the subject field mentioned and you're in.



- have a look at what happened in WebClub last night (only Ro sorry) here
- best video of explanation for Cloud Computing made by colleagues in McCann here
- dropped by eOk party and met up with a bunch of lovely people; also found from Emi that they are looking to develop the site for the long run and no foreseeable date for an exit is planned
- found this lovely pic :-)via

Inspire - starter ideas

So here goes, these are some starter ideas:

1. From lovely, peaceful and living Ana: integrated cross-referenced campaigns between more brands in order to create THE experience for the city, for its people, to create the community feeling in both offline & online.
2. From Mish, obviously pragmatic: multitouch screens on workstations and laptops
3. From even more pragmatic Dan: an IDEA that will "allow hugely popular online tools like facebook, youtube, twitter , myspace or digg to actually make serious money out of their millions of users. which they don't right now. and their investors are beginning to lose patience"
4. From now-sensitive Johnny: "a blending of hyper-local eco-friendly simpletech with the geotargeted global social web as people look inwards (or at least in their own backyards)" OR "bacon flavored ice-cream"

which only goes to show that my readers also, like those of a local newspaper, are smarter than me :-)

Thanks and keep'em coming :-)


Inspire - help out

Picking up the subject again because I am left with less than 10 days and I have to come up with a genius idea for next year.
So Inspire is a conference managed by Evensys and they have a Marketing Arena where smart people are expected to predict the smart idea of the future.
I'm thinking:
- kindle meets iPod
- reusable one-song mp3s with bluetooth devices all over the city
- public auctions for URLs
- the death of twitter by Facebook status
- the death of microblogging outside social platforms

any other ideas? However, I feel I may be missing the point - I am supposed to think up innovation in marketing. But since I think marketing should be about creating value as opposed to creating tactics, I am somewhat stuck ...
Okay, how about this, I propose a bargain, whoever comes up with a good suggestion for this Arena gets to come with me and present it :-)

photo via (thanks)


After Marketing 24/7

I had a great time during the first day of Marketing 24/7 especially since it was mainly about direct and permission marketing which is something I have always been intrigued by. I spent some time listening to speakers discuss permission marketing, e=mail marketing, buzz marketing and mobile marketing.

Some interesting stuff I was left with
- all "something" marketing specialists seem to think that theirs is the ultimate answer to marketing; there were some extreme POVs expressed (Mr Matica's for instance) like "permission marketing is the only form of marketing truly effective these days" "Mobile marketing is the only true answer to direct to consumer";

- most forms of specialized marketing require in depth knowledge of either technology or regulations and it seems that clients are neither willing nor interested in hearing about them; we heard a very interesting presentation from Quo Vabiz on e-mail marketing, which underlines the complexity of a certified e-mail marketing system; however I feel that most clients would be annoyed to have to understand all of that or comply to all that regulation

- so far, no marketing plan has been able to incorporate all these marketing tools. I wonder however if all of them are to be incorporated in the same marketing plan or if they are best suited for different categories of products

The last session of the day was me, Bobby Voicu of Yahoo, Dorin Boerescu of Hyperactive and Sorin Tudor of Project 356 Communication. Myself and Bobby we spoke about communities and how to use them and then we largely diverted into tealking about what we like best, which is blogging. Dorin introduced his new project,, and the video he made to support it (featured in a previous post here).
I thought Sorin did a wonderful job of stopping us from talking too much and about the wrong stuff.

Some live twitter from me on my account here and I should have the presentation up soon although I doubt it makes sense without my notes

All in all a great first day

Photoshop in real life

Cool huh?
Details here

Next year's great marketing ideas

will be presented at this year's Inspire. Inspire is an Evensys event, second edition and it features this neat mini event called Marketing Arena, where people in the world of marcomms come together with some futuristic ideas about what marketing trends might be in the coming year.

To my own distress :-) I will have to come up with a good idea this year and battle a bunch of famous people in advertising and planning. Last year's winner and her idea are presented here so you get a wiff of what MA is all about.

I might try to make this interactive and post some stuff here before actually coming up with the big secretive project so stay tuned :-)

Romanian bloggers on voting


Sibiu Marketing 24/7

I'll be there speaking about communities and how to use them in marketing your products.
Come by or drop a twitt if you want to meet


Obama has appointed a Chief Technology Officer, the first such position in the White House.
How long before major brands realize they too need to have someone managing technologies?

LATER EDIT: to clarify, Obama's man is not a person overseeing servers but rather someone like venturebeat mentions below:

"The CTO’s mandate would be quite different from the Cybersecurity czar appointed under the Bush Administration. Bush’s czar helped defend against cyberattacks. Obama’s CTO, by contrast, would ensure government officials hold open meetings, broadcast live webcasts of those meetings, and use blogging software, wikis and open comments to communicate policies with Americans, according to the plan.
The plan extends Obama’s previous advocacy for more open decision making in government. It’s likely to play well here in Silicon Valley, because much of it relies on technology."

so I think my question stands. :-)


Global online campaigns

Are finally hitting the online of Romania as well. Today I saw posters for this amazing website/campaign by WK for Nokia in the local Mall.
Neat :-)
And if you become a fan and miss a week, there's a youtube channel with recaps :-) here

My Mac is beeping - follow up

Just in case you guys go through the same situation: I was worrying a while back about some repeated beeping from my Mac. This is what happened so that you all know what to expect.

For about 10 days the Mac (macbook, 80 GB [LATER EDIT] of something as pointed out by lovely reader) was beeping occasionally, short beeps, only one at a time, some 4-5 minutes apart, sound seemed to be coming from upper left hand side of keyboard. No applications were malfunctioning or slowed down. Ten days after the beeping started the Mac simply froze: at the time I was browsing the Net, using iTunes, downloading stuff using a P2P app, using PowerPoint (all of these working perfectly). Following the freeze, I tried to restart it but it failed to connect to the hard drive and only displayed a "?" on the screen. I took it to the service store and found the hard was completely dead and had to be replaced. Could get no explanation from the people there for the death of hard drive.

So, my advice: the minute it starts beeping and you are sure it's not one of the apps, back everything up and call the store to check if they have hard drives in stock.

Political marketing online

The campaign and politics are the news of the blogosphere lately with more and more politicians looking to the web to gain momentum. We have had one mayor connect on Facebook and HI5, blogs by politicians, a video feed from the home of two candidades, a fake political guru and last but not least twittering by the Prime Minister (and more) well commented here.
[as an aside...why would you, the PM, use twitter to let people know where you are geographically???...i mean, come ooooooon]

I've tried to make sense of what is going on and have com to some conclusions:

1. Advisors tell candidates that connections in social networks equal votes: I cannot explain otherwise the propensity of politicians to connect with complete strangers online without knowing of their political colors.

2. Candidates haven't the slightest clue about Internet but think "doing Internet" is cool which equals votes: this is somehow confirmed by the fact that all candidates have rushed to use ALL popular platforms without giving any thought to whether they serve a purpose. For instance, when you have a blog, you'd better have something useful resmbling a platform to put on it.

3. Internet is used not to build communities but to build awareness which, they assume, equals votes: none of these people have bothered to attach a message to their bid for our attention. Like I was writing here, you are expected to make friends with them because they have created a profile. Or add them because they have started twitting.

4. There is a magnificent divide between offline campaigns and online campaigns, even when offline spills into online: this works pretty much like this: you get an ad agency to produce your posters and TVCs and they get a sister digital agency to produce a website which is the offline concept placed on the Internet. At the same time, some other advisors tell you how to blog and twitt and du buzz marketing about some other concept they've come up with. With one month to go and with these being the first uninominal elections in forever, you'd think that instead of transmedia someone would have thought to practice good old coherence.

5. The temporary gimmick is more valued than the long term building of something meaningful: obvious not only in the fact that none of the old campaign websites have been updated or maintained and new ones show up every second.

So, the truth is that while everyone swoons over Obama's succesful use of internet, I have yet to find one person to clearly explain what that use meant and how it can be replicated in Romania.
As always, we point fingers at sucess stories abroad and fake them at home.


Why Obama winning matters

My favorite sysadmin is a man with a huge mustache and a cynical view of life. So today he was displeased by me getting all emotional about Obama winning. In consideration of his sysadmin qualities I thought I might explain why I feel Obama's victory is a good thing.

I am unaware of Obama's specific policies and also feel that despite his great smile he will be unable to fix the world economy. But to me, the US is a country which shapes world politics, whose attitude towards policy and trends influences the rest of the globe. As such, the US cannot be seen to be led by a quasi troglodyte, with impaired speech and a clear inability to understand common sense. "W" was a man whose sheer inner drives I doubted because of his upbringing, because of the way he chose to lead his life until he was president, because of his dogged rsolve to NOT TRY to be a decent president. I am, therefore, convinced that a man whose life has been driven by the willingness to succeed, who's made an effort to present himself in a dignified manner and whose wife looks at him like he's the most amazing man on earth (someone please have a look at Laura Bush when she's around "W") is more likely to project, if not impose, a different kind of vibe. I will not even mention the fact that he is black and what a huge victory this is against prejudice and silliness.

So, to my sysadmin, I am thrilled Obama won. It may not affect us economically, politically or geopolitically, but it sure affects us spiritually to see that CHANGE is possible when enough people see reason and give it a try.


Best political online stuff :-)

Synchronized campaigning (it's hilarious)

and Palin gets tackled

and more campaign goodies here

and, yes, if I could, I would vote for Obama :-)