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Monthly Archives: June 2009

The team at Mustard were shocked at the passing of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.  May he rest in peace.

We were even more surprised by the speed and succintness in which the author of http://www.ismichaeljacksonalive.com was able to provide an answer to the major question being posed on cyberspace at the moment. Within an hour of the news hitting the press!

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Lyndon (aka “Pad”), Mustard’s beloved Creative Director, was looking to celebrate his birthday today… quietly.  So, naturally we took the opportunity to decorate his workspace to ensure the appropriate attention was reflected his way.

Until he unwraps his gift, let’s hope that ball lightning is a myth.

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As Google’s dominance as a search engine is nigh on absolute, the challenge for the marketer’s of Bing is (aptly) to communicate its relevance into a market place happily served by the ubiquitous magical white page of search results.

Inherently, there is nothing wrong with Google search. Most times we find what we want in seconds – usually within a couple of clicks.  In fact, Google’s dominance is both perception and reality. They have made a business out of being a technical think tank and attracting some of the best minds on the planet to work for them.  For Bing to challenge them on “better accuracy” would be somewhat on the kamikaze side.

So the team at Bing have clearly sought to make a weakness out of the search giant’s best known feature benefit – its hundreds and thousands of its returned search results.  The attribute that best communicates this idea is Bing’s use of a 5+ page pagination for search results compared to Google’s 10+.  It’s subtle. As is the idea.

Targetting the category of people who have a vague idea of what they’re looking for definitely can extends the usage occasion for search to include the bored or the brainless – and lets face it, we all feel a little like we need someone else to give us inspiration and directions on tedious search tasks sometimes.

But it is disappointing. The marketing is slick, and the stock archive footage is very pretty.  But the message is logical, not emotional and therefore, wallpaper.

Furthermore, the adage that actions speak louder than words is made abundently clear to anyone who, based on the initial promise of a “difference” are led to try the service.  Beyond the optimistic and vibrant homepage, Bing’s SERPs are styled in the familiar Google-esque blue, green and grey link palette. With the core content looking so similar to its major competitor, surely Bing has committed the ultimate cardinal sin of not living up to its promise of “difference”, and instead, simply joined the masses of Google replicants battling it out for the <20% of search traffic that isn’t Google initiated.

When we learned earlier this year that we’d “all” be getting an early tax payment to help avoid a recession by stimulating the economy, the social networks were all aflutter.

In the past few weeks, nary a day goes by where we haven’t seen someone tweet, post or nettalk about their stimulus package, receiving stimulus, being stimulated.. (oh the joys of double entendres… its so netgen). In fact, the (now) misnamed “Rudd’s $950 Stimulus Package” group on Facebook still has over 41,500 fans!

So it is for this reason that I want to personally shake the hand of the person who crafted the meme “Stimulus Package.” Because by harnessing this irresistable phrase and propagating its usage in the windfall context, we may just have managed to talk ourselves out of a technical recession.

pageboy-hatsAt a recent invitation-only movie screening in Melbourne, I was struck by how much the fashion-forward crowd seemed to blend into a sea of depression-era grey.

Indeed, a walk through Chadstone Shopping Centre also featured mannequins sporting a look that was reminiscent of the 1930’s.  Retailers in (colder) metro cities seem to be offering for winter darker and muted tones and shades, heavily buttoned overcoats and duffles, chunky knits,  baggy vintage style dresses, lace ups, boots, cardigans, large beads, argyle, long scarves, cloche hats and beanies.

And  no other item offers us a more obvious nod to this  era in fashion than the iconic, and suddenly ubiquitous pageboy hat (pictured).  Assuming you’re in a cold metro climate, look out the window and I’ll bet you can spot one in the crowd right now – they’re so hot right now.

So is it my imagination, or are we determined to dress the part through the recession?