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Posts Tagged ‘hugh macleod

„Kula-kula-shake-shake”

Alors. If there is something I have learned at the last event I went, it’s that – when you step into the virtual world – you have to go gl-ohh-bal from day one. That’s why I’ll try to write (and fail to do it with grace) my gl-ohh-rious opinions in English, hoping that Hugh MacLeod from the clan MacLeod will google his way towards me. Global, baby!


NetCamp was declared to be the first Internet Strategies and Developments Conference, once again organised by the restless people of Evensys (thank you, thank you for the invitation, even though I *might* have been a leettle mean about my post related to Inspire 2008 :) It was all in good intentions, the irony was aimed at other Marketing individuals). The 5th of December, an incessantly rainy day, at the fancy-fooncy Howard Johnson Hotel.

As I was climbing my way up in the transparent and awfully silent elevator, I started getting the jitterish feeling of imposture. What was I actually doing there? What did I have in common with all those virtually successful people and their work? I slided to the Grand Ballroom hoping that I’ll make myself small and that no-one will notice me and the „I-don’t-buy-into-the-blogging-stuff-you-get-all-fussy-and-egoish-about” red sign on my forehead. Little did I know that at the end of the day I would discover a totally different perspective on the whole phenomenon.

The first panel of speakers revolved aroung the idea of „New Internet challenges and oportunities”, bringing Dragoş Novac (entrepreneur, Metropotam, a somewhat charismatic dude, with a humourish-blinky-blinky persona) in the position of moderator of the discussion.

Hugh MacLeod, Marketing Strategist, Stormhoek

The event started with its main attraction, in a high pitch note. „Kula Kula Kula„, yelled Hugh MacLeod, in effort to wake us – and himself – up. A bit touched by the lack of support from the public (probably thinking: „my God, people, why won’t you stand up, clap your hands and yell hippish incantantions at 9 in the morning?„..), Hugh started talking a bit about himself. I found it terribly amusing and somewhat childish that he didn’t present himself as a „Marketing strategist”, but as a „blogger and cartoonist”. Every little boy’s dream.

He then began talking about the concept of „web 2 point 0” and the marketing possibilities it contains. He took off with a thesis: the web 2.0, understood nowadays as the cheap easy global media, has its roots back in the nineteen-seventeen, in the South Pacific. After placing the microscopic seed of mistery and curiosity, Hugh proceeded into his virtual-marketing journey, sharing with us a couple of stories of „success on the web” that he crafted. Englishcut.com, the site of a London tailor who started (at Hugh’s suggestion) sharing some of his stories on the web, in an honest and kind manner, by doing so financially tripling his business. Or Stormhoek, a South African vineyard who found its glory through a suite of clever steps Hugh put into practice: a campaign giving out free wine for bloggers, cartoons on wine labels, discount vouchers @ Thresher (a drinks retailer in the UK). Soon, Advertising Age placed Stormhoek in the Marketing 50 top. An interesting road, yet with a touch of chance. I don’t believe that the Stormhoek affair represents a strong enough support to attest the fact that MacLeod is a Marketing Strategist. I am not a believer in the fact that he could web-brand *anything*. I am patiently waiting to be corrected, Hugh. :)

After revealing his personal book of experiences, Hugh went into the depths of conceptual talk. Remember Kula? He jumped back in 1917, all the way to Malinowski, an anthropologist who got stuck in Papua New Guinee, thus embracing the way of life of the locals. The mistery of the annoying name was trashed into bits of laughter as he evoked the tradition the locas had, to boat their way to a neighbour island for the sole purpose of bringing to their tribe a string of sea-shells with a historical and emotional meaning for them.

Starting from the Kula-incident (but he could’ve went even further in time, to the dusk of human communities), Hugh defined the future of Marketing as the act of sharing social objects.

  • Flickr? Social network created around pictures as social objects
  • iPod – a social object (it stirrs uh’s and oh’s, it gathers people around it, it triggers passionate discussions)
  • Microsoft: the Blue Monster cartoon turned into stickers, T-shirts, etc.

So, it’s not the product you sell, it’s the story around it. Because people don’t care about objects, *people care about other people*. In the end, Hugh didn’t give me the impression of a „Marketing guy”, but rather of a witty „blogger and cartoonist” whose luck and creativity inserted him into a couple of successful projects.

Oh, did I mention he’s SO Scottish? With a very jeansy-messy look, sustaining a speech with his fly open, screaming his alveoli out, loudly joking. Lovely. :) Oh, and did I mention that I chit-chatted with him (poorly, of course, I’m not crafted for small-talk)? Or that I will someday be famous, giving the fact that I own a Hugh-MacLeod-pimped-business-card? Life is sw33t.

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Bucharest, Romania
August 2017
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