Instore versus Online

Young boy shop keeper

Bricks & Mortar (& plastic is seems) are under massive pressure from Online Shopping

Confronting isn’t it.

The face of change.

Luckily at 3 years of age my son is likely to be able to evolve but for many a high-street trader & large department store alike times are bleak. In fairness too son had only popped in to that cubbyhouse in Toys R Us for a nappy ‘act of nature’ but nonetheless I feel this picture encapsulates the plight of traditional retailing versus the growing behemoth that is Online. (Actually did I spell ‘popped’ correctly?)



3G or NOT 3G. That is the question

Emails on your smartphone getting ya down? I’ve got just the town


Launching Urban Serenity city breaks.

Time-poor Executive?

Want a mini escape, be able to power down a little & relax knowing your tsunami of smartphone emails can’t bother you yet don’t want to leave the downtown hubbub, cafe scene & trendy bars behind? Well we here at Urban Serenity have the destination for you.

Melbourne CBD.


Oh yes peace from pesky smartphone data is assured in this telephonic Bermuda Triangle – oops where did that signal go? Infact monks on a vow of silence have more chance of communication then you do in central Melbourne.

Yes, yes of course you could always call someone and speak to them, just kidding how Nokia 6210 is that. Talk to someone!! Haha, totes hilar. No the erstwhile executive of 2013 wants #bigdata not a big chat!

With what shall I fix it?

For the real go getter sans data in the Melbourne CBD there may be the nascent thought of trying to actually fix their data issue. Oh bless. Whilst their endeavour is to be applauded one thing will quickly become apparent as they begin their quest for data-loss answers in central Melbourne…

There’s more chance of saddling a poodle than getting on Google!

Urban Serenity TOP TIP. Fancy a chuckle. Love irony? Stand at the base of the towering Telstra skyscraper in the CBD and try and get some data. For greatest amusement actually try and receive a 4G signal (hahahah) but 3G should F&*k up just as successfully. Repeat…

WWWhat an opportunity!

The Australian ‘Open’

No not the tennis, the current visit to Australia by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. #tbldownunder

 Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Inventor of the WWW.

TBL is an evangelist for openness and the free sharing of information on the web and why wouldn’t we listen – um, he invented it!!

Hands up…

If you write code?! More than half of the audience seated in Wilson Hall, University of Melbourne stretched their hands skyward. I felt left out. I really wanted to fit in but the last thing I programmed was my TIVO. Moreover TBL believes that there is more than just cachet being a coder and that by possessing coding prowess you can literally have the chance to change the world right at your finger tips. #showoffs

Fav Quote.

“Many people think that Google IS the web”

Time flies

It was an amazing chance for a career marketer like myself, and more broadly as an early-adopter (hard to keep up these days) & fan of technology in general, to hear from a visionary who has fundamentally altered the course of history and reshaped our thinking and behaviours.

Ford, Berners-Lee, Brin & Page, Hasslehof – it’s never been the same.

Was it just that I was more than a little in awe or was it actually that TBL did fly through his speech? I think the latter, but he did take around 20 minutes of questioning. Below I captured him readying himself to answer one of those questions and in what I believe he, himself, might term a “hack” have added a caption.


My first Meme.

Larry Page Sergei Brin Google+

Sadly there’s no more fuss about Google +

Hello, Hellllooooooo, HELLOOOOOOOO. Anyone?

No sorry not being rude I’m just on Google+ on another tab.

Veni, Vedi, Google +

I came, I saw, I waited, I tried, I came back, I left

This is an oft told tale from those I know with a G+ profile. Now I know that it’s likely that someone, maybe many will be upset by my opinion. However may one be further irreverent and predict that it’s likely they are from one of the professions I list below:

  • IT
  • eCommerce/ Web
  • Marketing

By the way I love the concepts behind G+. In particular the circles. Many’s the time that I have thought ‘nope my mum will see this’ before posting (or not!) on Facebook.

Anyway they say you remember your first. It’s true, this has been truly memerable.

Look out – Cyclone Texter is on the way


I won’t need my thumbs in my 30s. Besides phones will be soooo oldskool by then!!

I’ve noticed teenagers text message with a frenetic energy that I have only hitherto seen captured in YouTube clips of tsunamis.

If only we could harness that power, we may have found the future of energy post fossil fuels! NB – I haven’t really considered any possible issues associated with physically connecting a teenager to a power turbine. There may be possible OH&S implications? Plus my ‘all the cool kids are doing it’ enlistment strategy may need some refinement. Anyway…

When a Gen Z’er texts there is so much frenzied movement of digits & thumbs that a veritable texting hurricane sweeps concentrically outwards from their keypad. My texting, on the other hand, produces a wind force similar in scale & brutality to that of a receding glacier or by being passed by a particularly infirm sloth. I guess I’m just more wind jeer than windsheer?!


Hold on folks. I’m texting

However there is good & bad news in relation to my glacial texting pace. Bad – I’m far from being very ‘street’. Good – it took almost my entire tram journey home to write this!

Hmm…now this QR code is really taking the piss

A QR in the dunny, that's a waste of money!

Hmmm…we as marketers are constantly trying to innovate. Finding new ways – and locations – to engage our audience.

However is this going too far? The Melbourne airport urinals. Long have the ‘Gents’ & ‘Ladies’ bathrooms been an advertising bastion based on the perception of a captured audience.

However a QR at the gents trough, I believe, is an epic marketing fail on two fronts.

  1. Splash oops there goes the iphone. Without any gauche detail it won’t have been held with two hands
  2. Worse. No boys I’m just scanning this code, honestly. Um no, I’m not filming!!!

As you may know from this blog I’m a massive fan of the QR code. That said the Quick Response you might get at busy urinals from your neighbour when de pocketing your phone replete with camera may not be quite as expected!

NB No I didn’t have company when taking the pic for this post. Ha ha

Um OK a little awkward

There's cold calling & then VERY cold calling!!

OK so I’ve done a post already on Alternate Takes about my penchant for Quick Response (QR) codes. I’m using them frequently in the advertising I organise in my day job. So much so it would seem that it is being noticed by techy types & their associated businesses.

I’m getting a few approaches by proactive types championing how their business will advance what I’m doing and/or how we could work together for mutual benefit…yada yada. That’s fine.

However today I received a quite delightful QR cold call (try saying that five times fast) via one of our retail stores. It was a simple trawl for business & we were just one of the corporate fish netted in their broadbrush spruiking. However I must admit that as I forced myself to look thru the prop (as you do) I did pause at the above slide.

QR codes are becoming more common and even appear in newspapers

Well strike me down with the sports section. Really?!! Sweet baby Jesus & the orphans who would have thought that. Well OK perhaps that’s not completely accurate. You see both unfortunately – and reasonably awkwardly – the newspaper advertising & QR code they use to evidence this ground-breaking information is actually my ad. Ha ha

Oh dear! What are the chances, small world hey