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.



Their people are smarter than ours

Not because they said Apple was right but simply because I would never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever (okay you get the point) expect our own advertising regulatory body to say something like this:
"We considered that people would understand [the ad] to mean viruses that infected Windows based PCs would not infect Macs and that Macs were less likely to be infected by viruses than those PCs; not that Macs would never be infected by viruses and did not require virus protection. ... We concluded therefore that the ad was not irresponsible or likely to mislead." Not after I personally have heard such abnormities (invented word, I know) like "the ad tells people to buy this products and this is against the law", "the ad targets kids because it has kids in it", "the ad speaks about the product in a warm way" ...

full story here


For a while now, I have been toying with a different way of browsing the Internet. I don't read my feeds, I don't google, instead I flickr...I simply search different words on flickr and see what comes up and from there I move on to actual bits of information. I find that people place on flickr not only visual aids for written text but also actual replacements for text, collages of information, screen crops of interesting trivia.
For instance, searching for "facebook" gives you a lot of profiles, but also a lot of information about app overload, anti-facebook philosophies, facebook weirdness, etc etc. Try it. You may find it more inspiring than regular browsing.

Three memories

I am trying to not put in the context of what is happening today, or everyday for that matter. That is why I only took pics of one and will maybe post it here later. but so far, from this holiday I take away with me:
- walking home from a dinner and looking at my block of flats with its over 200 windows and seeing just ONE window lit up with xmas lights (last year it was blinding, filled with the gaudiest of garlands and decorations)
- an oversized Bugs Bunny doll ( probably as tall as I am, and I'm 6'1) sitting in a seat on the Underground. I saw it going to and later that evening saw it coming back from a friend's place, always in the same seat, like it was waiting for someone
- a chimney sweep, with a huge black hat and red shoes hitchhiking from Deva to somewhere.


The age of free - today LITERATURE

I just came across this interesting new website called It's basically a site that serves you installments of the books you choose by e-mail or rss. I have subscribed to get stuff via e-mail and I am currently reading Lawrence Lessing's Free Culture. I have browsed their library which is not extensive but for those who have been unable to go through the classics of world lit and some of the best known modernists, it's not too bad. Some of the books are free, some are subject to a fee but overall seems like a brilliant idea.

will keep you posted


Enterprise IT and its demise

This is Lee Bryant talking about the best way to use IT within corporations. Interesting take on how IT within corporations (as opposed to what people use when they are at home) is limiting staff's creativity and performance. Unfortunately the code for the player is broken so i cannot embed it here but you can watch it on the reboot site here. Start watching about minute 12, bit too theoretical till then (basically about different ways of encoding progress)
Also some more talks by the guy on the same topic here (including one with a case study)


Update to previous

While checking out the reboot copenhagen website here, I can accross a wiki style "free" forum where someone tellingly filled in FREE (FROM) THOUGHT - free FROM thought... LOL

what freaks me out about Facebook

is not the intesity with which it has caught on, nor the intensity with which people use it for a variety of reasons, from "uploading" pics to saying yes and sending off the weirdest of apps. Mind you, these are people I would never have pegged for "the type" - I mean, like me, addictive and unable to defocus from wanting to know if someone commented on my status or what new stuff my "friends" have up there. These are people who have a life outside Internet, who travel, have not developped "Internet humps" [ in case you are not familiar with the term, this is a slight curvature of the upper body caused by overusing your laptop while sitting upright in bed or on the sofa]. So, as I said, the fact that even "normal" people have begun to "share" more with Facebook is really no problem for me - it seems normal. What freaks me out though is the sheer corectness with which Facebook chronicles people's intimate lives via their status updates.
"x xulescu is no longer listed as single" "m mulescu has changed her status to in a relationship" "d dinulescu is now listed as in a relationship and it's complicated". While twitter, as I was writing a while back, requires some introspection to unravel the signs of intimacy, Facebook is, as its name becons, a face value book of private lives. A quick run through my homepage today and I realized that a couple of my friends have gotten back together, a couple broken up, some of them had actually been dating each other.
I love Internet, I think it is a great tool for keeping in touch, linking, finding out useful stuff or simply whiling away time, but sometimes the load of data about other people's lives, combinated with a natural inquisitive nature, is simply overwhelming. and sometimes irrelevant. and sometimes tiresome.
pic via

A culture of "eye to eye"

I have been spending these past couple of days trying to catch up with the books that have been piling up around my flat and lay there unread.

By coincidence most of the titles I had with me were by American authors, Levison, Underhill, Hopkins, so after a while, as I was starting to feel somewehat uneasy reading, I realized there is something particularly annoying/exciting about American marketing books: they are always addressed to YOU - YOU, the person reading them, you, the unadulterated holder of the book, the one whose eyes are facing the page right now. And they always, and I mean always, assume you bought the book because you want to make money.

This I find a disturbing/wonderful quality of American marketing: the directness and lack of any self rightous nuance about the goals of it all. Nobody writes to propose theories, everybody writes to make money or to let other people know that exact way to make money themselves. It is very much like telesales or advertorials and, come to think of it, it may be the reason this formerly great economy was doing so well: sheer, poignant drive to make money, by pig-headedly and without any doubts following a goal.

I read Levison's 50 reasons to do advertising and can find at least 10 which are exactly the same thing worded differently and this does not diminish the strength with which this person-to-person, eye-to-eye writing persuades that he knows what he's writing about.
I wish we had not lost this strength of conviction because I know this is what made great managers like the one we read about. Maybe, with the crisis, we'll see less dilly dally with "the perfect" brand propositions and more decisive money making attitudes :-)

picture via


Holiday drive

By general vote this was the heavy rotation tune of the drive to my parents' home for a snowy Xmas :-)


This is a website

it's no joke... it really is; Live here. Pointed out by Victor Kapra as part of a worst websites of 2008 :-)



Last night, in between runs to the office to check on progress, I had a pretty nice round of drinks with some old friends. And I got clarity on something I had been wondering about for a while.
The backstory is this, I have been noticing people being very aggressive lately starting from taxi drivers who are completely rude and hysterical and finishing with bank clerks whose lack of politeness is abhorring. Now, this would not be out of the ordinary for Romania but it is getting clinically obvious.

Last night, these couple of friends told me about the "falling apart" syndrome, visible across the country in crisis-stricken Romanians. The poster boy for this new thingie is a man who, a couple of weeks back, walked into a Maseratti showroom on Romania's fanciest avenue, reached for a chair and smashed a Maseratti's front end without a word, then ran into a Honda dealership next door and smashed a bunch of Honda scooters and then ran into a neighbouring bank and tried to smash the windows before he was tackled by the combined bodyguards of the three locations. The guy looked completely normal and decent. Another case is that of a guy who tackled and beat up a bicycle rider and then broke into hysterical crying and apologized.

"falling apart" or "falling down" syndrome seems to affect the people who have naively taken on lots and lots of loans hoping for an ever increasing economy and now find themselves in straightened circumstances. The symptoms are increased aggressiveness, instant irritation, disdain for everything around, rudeness and paranoia.

still think the crisis is not affecting us? look around...


Romanians are Whopper Virgins

Just read this article, linked by Kit, and still have mixed feelings. So to promote the Whopper, CPB has traveled to lands where locals lips have never tasted the Whopper and made a documentary about Whopper virgins.

This is, for lack of a better description, do-advertising, the kind that sparks controversy and makes you go "wow, those guys are really smart", the kind that you wish you could do because it takes advertising from the realm of couches and "deep thinking" creatives and into the real world.

I loved their previous attempt (up), I thought it was wonderfully powerful but somehow, since we are the "virgins" in this one I feel kindof 'colonialized'... the feeling of being a "weirdo" being shown the ways of the modern world by cool advertising people from the states in their camper shoes and wielding their sharpie pens, makes me wanna...well, not eat a whopper.


LATER EDIT: just watched the whole doc on the website. whopper people, if you're reading this I hope you know the agency is pulling your leg. Never in a million years would Romanians on a normal day wear those outfits. not so clean and starched at least. So, while it may be an interesting piece of advertising, it's a shoddy piece of research :-) which kindof defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it?


Me public speaking

I got recorded at NetCamp and posted here. My first conclusion, EVERYONE is right: I do stand with a scary hunchback. Thanks, Zoso.


My 'public' week

Come by NetCamp and say hello. I am doing a talk with Alex Visa and Adrian Stanescu (Hyperactive and Eyeblaster respectively) sometime in the afternoon.
Since it should be all about efficiency online and Visa and Stanescu are gods of SEM and measuring, I thought I'd rock the boat and speak about the "emotional Internet"
Should be fun :)

Bucharest downtown on Second Life

For about a day, people cared about someone opening a virtual 'Bucharest downtown' in Second Life.
Not much involvement from people mentioning it - even Zoso casually copied and pasted press release I think (BTW to person wondering how pro bono could cost 30k, it means they only had to pay for the land in SL, and did the building pro bono).
Anyway, y'all know I was a bit of a SL fan a while back and, by virtue of that, I have been pondering this Bucharest in SL thingie. Truth be told my first gutt instinct was "what a rubbish, stupid ass idea". But then, I decided to act grown-up and ponder.
So far no conclusion, just some things:
1. Is this a PR stunt? Because it would make sense insofar as they simply wanted to get some exposure. BUT then, it's a bit late since SL is fading fast in Europe mainly because of its sheer lack of "detail+interaction" value which kindof supports no. 2...
2. Is this a branding initiative? In which case, they do not know what branding is and how it's done plus it's rubbish because SL does not allow you to beautify a lot but rather to schematize.
3. Were they trying to present this as a traveller's resource? If so, why SL again. What's wrong with photographs or movies? And if someone decided to visit Bucharest would they do it based on pixellated images of downtown Bucharest? which brings me to
4. Why now? SL has been old news for a while. Most relevant thingies happened about a year ago and since then a lot of people have withdrawn from it.
5. Is this meant to be a gathering place for Romanians in SL? Well, maybe i'm just getting the wrong vibes but not a lot of Romanians are enthralled with SL. Oh, Romanians from other countries, then. But why? It's so much easier to joint a forum and, beleive you me, forums tend not to freeze on you as fast as SL does.

Don't get me wrong, all in all, I think it's a decent idea, only a bit too late, a bit wrongly targeted, a bit with the wrong objectives (the release said something about events...okay, give me more details on that)

My two cents: don't make downtown Bucharest a visiting place (SL will NEVER beat a decent photograph, unless you are really interested in the angles at which streets bend University Circle) make it a place where stuff happens: like Romanian-driven lectures, concerts with Romanian bands, exhibitions, meetings with Romanian VIPs, virtual events, releases, and press stuff. This would maintain traffic and work as a "branding" tool.

Someone please help me reach a conclusion on this one. what do you think?

Things I like

You all know I like chairs and beagles. I also like watches... and this place is an awesome resource for some of the hottest designs and vintage stuff I have ever seen + me = love :-) so if you plan to order something drop me a line so we can bundle the order :-)

LOL Axl Rose causes disruption in Dr. Pepper sales

Remember the wild rumor that Dr. Pepper was going to give out free cans to ALL Americans if Axl released Chinese Democracy? Well, he did and they did. Only you had to go online for a coupon. Here. Smart heh?
And if you cannot think of five reasons this is smart, then you don't understand marketing.
LATER: courtesy of Victor, this article surfaced. Axl is suing Dr. Pepper for only holding the promo for one day LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

More IDs to be put to death

A while back I was complaining about the financial crisis killing off some really cool identities. Now, rumor has it that GM is planning to kill these three also...
no more cool Hummer design, gone the stately SAAB logo and bye bye to the lovely sounding Pontiac

from here