Category Archives: Advertising

Malcolm Holt, Self Promotion & The Simple Things

Malcolm Holt, Gold Coast Senior Executive Jobless After 426 Attempts
Picture, Michael Ross

During my drive to work this morning, at about 8:45AM an advertisement aired on Hot Tomato which was different to the standard stuff. It was a personal advert, promoting a guy by the name of Malcolm Holt here on the Gold Coast that wants to secure a job before Christmas. By the sounds of personal ad, Malcolm is a smart bloke and has held senior executive positions in a lot of different companies & in a number of different sectors and has quite a diverse skill set.

Like all good consumers, I listened to the ad and tried to remember what the call to action was to find out more about Malcolm but by the time I got to work, I had forgotten after being distracted by Carlos Santana & Rob Thomas’ new song “Sunshine Of Your Love”. Wanting to find out a little more, I visited the Hot Tomato website but couldn’t find anything, searched Google and ultimately tweeted @1029 and asked for the information about Malcolm which they were happy to provide.

That whole ugly process got me thinking about the simple things that weren’t done, which would have made that whole process far easier for a potential employer to find his information:

  1. It’d be great if Hot Tomato kept a list of advertisers on their site. In a similar fashion to what they do with their ‘recently played’ list of songs – keeping a list of advertisers would have made finding Malcolm really easy.
  2. The call to action on the advertisement was a mobile phone number & an email address. I’m happy to be proven wrong but I suspect that very few people remember phone numbers provided on the radio unless they are 13, 1300, 1800 and also a good sequence/pattern. Given that Malcolm is an executive, he should have taken the time to put his profile within LinkedIn. For those unaware, LinkedIn is the professional social network, as opposed to Facebook being more of a personal social network. If Malcolm had a LinkedIn profile, he could have had a call to action of ‘Find me on LinkedIn’ or ‘Google Malcolm Holt’ – both easier than remembering a random mobile phone number or an email address.
  3. Buy & use it as an online curriculum vitae. Now the call to action could have been ‘Visit’ or ‘Google Malcolm Holt’. Just like LinkedIn, considerably easier than remembering the mobile and email address.
  4. Facebook & Twitter are both prolific and have tremendous exposure within the search engines as well. If Malcolm had of registered (available) and also (unavailable, but something very similar would have been), they’d have shown up in search with or without LinkedIn or his own personal site. Both of those options would have provided an easy way for him to get his phone number & email address out to all and sundry.

If you’re an interested potential employer:

Malcolm Holt
M: 0418382103

What else could have Malcolm done to make it easier for people to get in touch with him?

Offline “Home Business Opportunity” Spam

For the last six months, as I travel around the Gold Coast I keep seeing various bits of advertising at intersections and traffic lights. The advertising is normally stuck or pinned against the light post in the middle of the road, such that the driver can easily see it when stopped at the lights.

When I first came across the advertising, I thought it was very creative. Instead of bothering with professionally printed signs, they were hand written using a wide tipped Nikko – black writing on a plain white plastic cardboard. The sign said something to the effect of ‘executive income from home, phone x or visit y’.

It wasn’t long before I started seeing more and more of these little advertising boards, stuck up at intersections all over the Gold Coast – so one day I thought I might as well check out what they are going on about. Shortly after visiting the site in question, I realise they aren’t selling anything specifically – but are offering business coaching. Sounds like a good idea to me, a little further reading and the business coaching they are offering is based on the magic of the stupidly cult popular “The Secret”. At that point, I began to become disinterested in anything they had to offer; sorry to say it but willing your home business to grow and earn you six and seven figure sums of money isn’t going to happen – no matter how far you put the good vibes out into the world.

Recently, more and more of these types of banners have shown up over the Gold Coast – except now they are varying in style – some printed professionally, some hand written and so on. The web site addresses being promoted are different, however there is a common theme – all pushing the home business opportunity and executive six figure plus income from home.

Further investigation shows that the web sites are strangely similar – the same cookie cutter style sites, but with different people telling you how their home business opportunity will change your world forever. Lots of personal photographs of the person in question around the world, all inferring that it was a derivative of the power of awesome service. That lead me to find out where the cookie cutter sites are coming from, the same business in each case. Throwing their web site address into Google returned huge volumes of results and looking through the URL’s of the sites, you could easily spot a common theme.

Looking into their business further and it would appear there are a lot of unhappy people getting around the internet about them. They are embroiled in a huge scam, how it works I’m not quite sure but I’m guessing it involves duping a client into believing that willing their business to grow through positive thinking and good vibrations will work, all of which can be your for a tidy sum of money.

I’m wondering how many people on the Gold Coast have seen their guerrilla advertising and followed through?

Cheap Credit Cards, They Don’t Exist

Citibank LogoCitibank have an exclusive TV only offer running currently with an amazingly low 2.9% interest on their credit card. The advertisement starts off with the bloke asking rhetorical questions about how much interest you are paying currently – 19%, 20%, 21% or more and you’re meant to gasp in shock. He then proceeds to tell you that Citibank offer a low interest credit card with only 2.9% interest and you’ll also receive a long list of additional benefits when you sign up.

Offering a cheap credit card is fine, in fact I like it as hopefully an average consumer could save a few dollars. However, the nature of the advertising makes it seem so good that it nearly can’t be true and when you read into the details – it is too good to be true in my opinion and is nothing but greasy advertising.

As I mentioned above, it starts off by comparing your current high interest rate credit card to the excellent 2.9% low interest rate credit card from Citibank. Throughout the commercial, the Citibank guy keeps reinforcing the low interest rate for their cheap credit card but conveniently doesn’t emphasize or reinforce the catches and caveats. I suspect that the average consumer would infer that the Citibank credit card offers 2.9% interest – period. Citibank state that the 2.9% is only for new customers, only on the transferred amount and that it is for 18 months. However, the manner in which the conditions are advertised forms such a small component of the selling that it is misleading in my opinion.

The average person doesn’t read the fine print, which is now taken into account by the fair trading authorities throughout Australia. If you did care to read the fine print on the Citibank TV commercial, it states that cash advances and retail purchases on the credit card are charged at 20.74% per annum. Hang on a cotton picking minute, at the start of the TV commercial he was bagging your existing credit card company because they were charging you a high interest rate over 19% – pot meet kettle.

The deal is so good, you could nearly think they are doing you a favour by allowing you to sign up. You’re intrigued by the pitch so you go to their site and read a little more, only to find out that there are terms on the repayments for it as well – you’re 2.9% transferred debt is cleared first. That might seem fairly inoccuous to start with, however if you continue to use your credit card after moving to Citibank – you’re new purcharses are charged at 20.74% with 55 days interest free. That essentially means that you’re not paying off your new purchases until you’ve cleared the 2.9% interest debt, thus maximisng the opportunity for Citibank to make more money from you.

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch and the cheap credit card offer from Citibank just proves it. From what I can see with the deal, a consumer’s best option is to take Citibank up on the deal for their existing credit card debt and not making any or very limited additional transactions. If you took that route, you’d receive the benefits of the 2.9% interest on the transferred amount for the first 18 months and none of the pitfalls.

Continental Three Thirtyitus TV Advertisements

Continental started airing TV advertisements last year for their soup range and the theme of the ads was something they termed three thirtyitus. According to Continental, three thirtyitus kicks in at about 3:30PM when your brain starts to slow down, you start thinking less clearly and silly things happen.

So far I’ve found three of their advertisements on YouTube:

In the latest creation, a customs officer is searching a users baggage and is pulling out all sorts of interesting stuff from the bag like numerous bricks of cocaine. Paying absolutely no attention to the bricks of cocaine, the customs officer finally pulls up the user because he is carrying a multi-purpose utility; he flicks open the knife on it – which of course is tiny, and informs the user that this is unacceptable and he’ll need to confiscate it.

I’ve been unable to find a copy of it on YouTube so far, so if someone happens to find it – let me know and I’ll add it to the list.

Smile Plus, Just Like A Day Spa Only Different

On the way to work in the morning, I listen to Hot Tomato with Luke, Rob & Renae. Like any good radio network, they have advertising blips that they play periodically and one that has come up lately makes me laugh every time I hear it.

The advertisement is for a Gold Coast dentist named Smileplus (Smile+) and this particular dentist offers, among other things, cosmetic dentistry. The thing in this advert that catches my attention each and every time, is the fact that they inform the user that going to their dentistry is like no other. I’m probably reproducing the wording with inaccuracies, but you’ll get the point of it:

Coming to Smile Plus is more like going to a day spa than a dentist, you’ll receive a lavender eye mask, hand massage and music from an iPod.

Without me telling you, I bet you can guess which part of that snippet makes me chuckle. While I’m certainly no veteran of day spas and the like, I’m fairly sure that the last time I visited one I wasn’t listening to music on a personal music device that most 12 year old kids have.

I always think of day spas as being a little fancy pants and exclusive, so hearing this Gold Coast dentist associate themselves with an iPod makes me chuckle.