[Cath, Stormhoek’s PR Ninja in front of the “Big Love” display at the Gatwick store.]
Nine days down, five more to go. Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
1. So far the best moment for me was meeting one of the Tesco store managers, who told me the “Big Love” bottles were selling like hotcakes. If the product ain’t moving, it doesn’t matter how “cool” this film project is etc. Of course, this was only anecdotal evidence, but it’s better than a slap in the face. And the bottles have only been on the shelves less than a week.
2. I very much doubt that this film project will end on the 14th of February. What we’ve learned these last few weeks from making these films, and how it affects our marketing [and for how much, let’s not forget that] has been been fantastic. Personally, it’s nice for me to see The Hughtrain working in action, with real products in real stores, as opposed to just online & theoretical. Colin, the films’ director has done an amazing job. Though the poor guy is getting pretty sleep deprived. Editing in the morning, filming in the afternoons and evenings… it takes its toll.
3. New Marketing Paradox: Vulnerability Equals Strength. JP explains it better than I can.
4. I accept the fact that yes, these wee films shall not be seen by tens of millions of people, like your average Brad Pitt blockbuster. It’s OK. I reckon that if we make them interesting enough, they shall be seen eventually by tons of people, especially [ESPECIALLY!] our competitors. Believe it or not, I’m actually a big fan of our competitors. Why? Because experience has taught me, if you can get your competitors talking about you, they suddenly transform themselves into your most powerful and efficient advertising medium. Thanks, Guys! [Look, I told you I was evil, OK?]
5. It’s been hard hooking up with bloggers on the road. Our schedule keeps changing, due to the realities of editing a film from a hotel room and dealing with all the PR opportunities that suddenly land on our plate without warning. I’ve met quite a few so far, who I shall hopefully get the chance to write about later [There’s JUST NOT ENOUGH HOURS in the day. Ouch.]. Though I will say, I was especially touched by Robert Bruce turning up yesterday in Newbury. Robert’s a South African expat, and I was very touched by his telling me that the Stormhoek marketing we’re doing is a very good thing for South Africa in general. S.A. was so isolated for so many years [I lived there as a boy, btw. My very first memories are from there.], and for it to prosper in the future it has to keep reaching out, harder, better, cheaper and faster than the next guy. Apparently he sees Stormhoek as a good metaphor for all this.
6. Nice thought from Tim Clague, a blogging filmmaker who I met on the Bournemouth leg of the trip:
What does this all mean? How did wine get linked to cartoons and then linked to the film industry? OR is it just the case that we must move out of our boxes and realise our passion and our skills are transferrable. Perhaps in the future we will divide people not by industry or job role but by approach.
7. Making a documentary and marketing have one thing in common: What you begin with bears very little resemblance to what you end up with. Expecting the unexpected seems to be 90% of the game.
I love your insight — New Marketing Paradox: Vulnerability Equals Strength! Thanks for posting the notes.
Hugh, Colin and Cath,
Very much enjoyed meeting you three at Newbury Tesco. Not the best of venues for a first time meet n chat but I guess we could have done worse than the discounted CD/DVD gondola!
I especially enjoyed initially bumping into this trio as Hugh was pushing a trolley through the store with Cath sat in it (and a very tasty ex Durbanite she is too), while Hugh monologued to camera. It was a sight to behold.
For me as an expat Namibian/SAFFER, it is essential that S Africa continues to reach out and reclaim its rightful place within the global community.
The struggle to escape the siege mentality derived of the cultural and economic isolation years during apartheid must continue still. Everyone in South Africa was affected and still are suffering. Innovation was repressed as a result. Secret deals with America and UK were made however we still had to ask relatives in UK to send us videos of Match of the Day!!
But now S Africa has a new breed to lead the way forward. Innovators like Mark Shuttleworth, musicians like David Kramer and Johnny Clegg with businesses like Nando’s and Stormhoek together with ordinary people at Jo’burg like Champers who is completely engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS, will see S Africa re-emerge from the years of economic, social and cultural repression. Their determination and dedication will succeed and pull the country and immediate regions to success.
Thanks to people like this business card cartoonist called Hugh Mcleod, more and more South African products will get to be stocked in stores worldwide and will, (not perhaps or maybe) take up more prominent positions on the supermarket gondolas.
SA export revenues will help fund research into AIDS, pay for AIDS prevention programmes, build water wells for the drought stricken areas, build schools to educate the children and create better funded social programmes for all communinities in S Africa.
I tip my hat to you Hugh. May I call you the next time Newbury fete has a supermarket trolley race?!
Approach is absolutely the basis of “segmentation” – we are allied not by age or any other simplistic (industry-friendly) delineator, but by our passionate response to others. The corollary is that brand messages cannot be imposed, they can only be offered up for acceptance and confirmation, so it is crucial that they come from the heart.
You know, that last comment by Robert actually made me even more interested in Stormhoek.com. Or at least the Stormhoek story.
Revenues help fund AIDS research? Hmm, interesting…
Eh. Oh wait. You meant South African Export Revenues help fund AIDS research. Sorry, my bad. But still food for thought, tho…
Personally as a citizen of the world I can’t wait for Mark Shuttleworth‘s Ubuntu Gang to fix bug No.1, so that we here in Indonesia can comfortably use guilt-free software (aka. Free in both Price and Freedom) in day-to-day business productivity without being looked upon by the general business communities as idealist wackos so like, go SA 🙂
I think its pretty ironic that you say you’ve been touched by a South African expat’s support for Stormhoek as in my experience Stormhoek does not seem very interested in South Africans. Certainly not as a market to sell wine to! We can’t get it here.
Neither you nor Jason from Stormhoek have replied when I asked about your supplying the wine at the Digital Freedom Expo ( http://digitalfreedom.uwc.ac.za ) at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town South Africa.
I mean its the geek dinner to end all geek dinners with Lessig, Wales, Bhelendorf and others plus a good percentage of South African geeks there. Is it just that you are not considering South Africa as a market at all?
1. As far as I know, Stormhoek is available in SA.
2. You sent me that e-mail when I was on the road, living on 3 hours of sleep a night and UNDER tremendous pressure. So sorry if I was a bit slow replying to e-mails.
3. Jason has been on the road for the last two weeks as well, with excruciatingly long days in America, Australia and South Africa. So ditto for him.
4. We’re planning another road trip in South Africa as we speak.
5. You have the nerve to pimp your own conference on my blog while trying to give me a dressing down. Nice one.
Heh! Mea culpa, It was pretty cheeky. You’re a difficult man to contact though I’ve been failing for years – perhaps email was just not the right medium…
I’ve not seen Stormhoek out here – it would be great if info on where we can get it was put on the Stormhoek blog.
Are you coming out for the SA road trip (You should its REALLY beautiful here)? If so I promise to buy you a beer & fill you in on the state of SA advertising, PR, cluetrain, web 2.0 & the SA blogosphere when you’re in Cape Town.
More evidence of this ‘moving out of a box’ idea at the Berlin film festival. No one was ‘fitting’. Even into a nationality. Its all fallen apart – great!
Hey okie, roer jou gat and drive out to Wellington. Make it a field trip for studies and the 27 Dinner in April. Go see the vineyard and ASK nicely for a tasting. You might get lucky and walk out with a bottle or more!
Make the inquiries and go. It’s a nice drive. If you don’t have transport let me know and I’ll see what I can organise for you from here.
Take the iniative and help stimulate the domestic market. Make it happen.