Universal Mccann have recently published a research study on social media, Wave 3. Sadly they ignored all of Africa (boo) but it’s interesting nevertheless. The main message is just how mainstream social media (i.e. blogs, web video, social networks) has become – 48% of internet users read blogs/consumer generated media at least once a week for example.

Download Wave 3 report.


I came across Fred Water whilst looking through the PSFK LA conference videos on itunes. Sadly unavailable as yet in South Africa, the brand was brought to life by some frustrated creative marketing types (I assume from the desire to indulge their wildest brand dreams). In a way it could have been anything and i suspect the choice of something as simple as water was part internal challenge, part desire to prove that even water could be a cool brand (although to be fair Evian has also had a crack at it). The brand has become a much loved cult (particularly amongst frustrated creative marketing types…) over the last few years. It’s also a great example of finding a niche, ignoring the rut of conventional industry thinking and winning people over by being so obviously passionate about the brand (to the point of obsession). Fred Water also has a great blog site in FredSpot. The brand has parallels with the approach Stormhoek takes although was applied from conception and is carried through from product design to marketing.

Mich (who has the painful task of being are drinks/wine specialist amongst other things) sent me this great case study of how PR helped Yuppy Yuppie Chef (not a client of Atmosphere I hasten to add). It’s from the highly recommended Ideate blog. I’m tempted to send this all of our clients. It’s a shame that most PR campaigns aren’t this measurable (PR is pretty much the only marketing route these guys used and they we’re going from just about a standing start).

How PR can make you millions! A real life case study.

I suspected something was up when my mum started downloading podcasts to listen to while she cooks the Sunday roast rather than just turning on Radio 4 (she lives in Wales). Apparently over 16 million podcasts are downloaded from the BBC (by an international audience) every month. Whilst the BBC is a large player undoubtedly, if you consider every one else producing podcasts from media outlets like The Mail & Guardian through to the long tail of individuals (from the wine industry to people that want to talk about shoes) its clear podcasting is fast becoming a mainstream media. By the way if you haven’t figured it out yet you can use itunes to search and download podcasts for free (even though you can’t buy stuff in SA yet).



Sometimes I worry that advertising types have too much time on their hands…


Back in the day there were these things called Video news releases (died somewhere in the late nineties). PR speak for horrid corporate videos that you’d force on broadcast journalists in the hope that they’d stick it on TV. They blinked at you in confusion and the client coughed up lots of money. They were rubbish frankly. PR’s put down the video cameras and went back to doing something more useful.

But seems all of a sudden we’ve picked them back up again. Nicely the rules have changed and they’re starting to make more sense given the rise of online video and cheaper production costs.

We produced a five episode series of video blogs for Triumph International (see below). Its a no brainer really – we’re running a lingerie design competition ending in a catwalk show featuring some of South Africa’s top underwear models. Lingerie and the internet go together like poppadoms and curry so its working really nicely so far. What was great about the video blog is that it expanded the story – you can see all the behind the scenes work the students did and in a way this is the most interesting thing about the project.

It was also really handy to send to journalists so we could explain quickly what the whole thing was about. I’ve done a couple of these things in surprising diverse industries (property, lingerie, fashion, technology) and can think of many more where it would make sense (wine for example).


Triumph Inspiration Award (episodes 1 – 5)

HTC Touch launch video (I did this with Nelson Bostock when I was back in the UK last year for a couple of months)