Patak’s ad takeover fail

Yesterday I switched onto Sunday Brunch for a fix of some mediocre mid-morning TV viewing. Sorry that’s a little unfair, I do actually like the show, however, Jake Yapp hits the nail on the head with his 99 second send-up of it.

During an ad slot, Patak’s ran a three minute commercial-cum-faux-TV-section where Simon Rimmer, Sunday Brunch’s co-presenter cook, showcases what you can do with a jar of their madras spice paste.

In this bought media bit, Simon briefly shows us how to make a madras-inspired belly pork recipe. It actually looks good, really good. So far so, er, good, you might think. The problem lies at the end of the ad when after Simon and his new buddy eat his creation and embrace in an exchange of “oohs” and “hmms” Simon tells us:

“There you go, a deliciously different curry in no time at all. Now for that and lots of other recipes to help you create delicious curries go to our Facebook page ‘curry inspiration’  go create that curry with Patak’s paste!”

Wanting to see how well Patak’s curried on (sorry) the customer journey from this stimulus, I visited the advertised Facebook page (facebook/curryinspiration).

On there you’d expect an instructional video of the recipe you just watched on telly, or at least a text version of it. Is there? No. Well, you get a heavily edited 20 second clip of the ad you’ve just seen, essentially the part where Simon tells you to visit the Facebook page for the recipes.

Simon Rimmer

Where’s the belly pork recipe, Simon?

“But i’m already on the Facebook page Si,” I cry. “You’ve got me all inspired and visiting the place you told me to go to, but now i’m there you’re telling me to visit the page i’m already on.” It’s like being trapped in some sort of meta nightmare.

Unsurprisingly, others are in the same predicament. In the recent posts section, someone ponders: “Why have a page dedicated to your recipes? Simon Rimmer us [sic] promoting your belly pork recipe, and no one can find it!” (You can see in the link that someone at Patak’s got back to the query with a recipe, a few hours later.)

After seeing the ad around 12noon, I started to write this blog, and someone eventually uploaded the full-length version of the ad to Patak’s Facebook page at about 2pm (click ‘post’ to see it):

Post by Patak’s Curry Inspiration.

Patak’s also tweeted a link to a text version of the recipe at 5.02pm on the day:

The problem is these social media responses are far from real time (the one and only tweet relating to the recipe was posted five hours after the ad was broadcast). I can’t help but feel a belly pork shaped boat has been missed by not having the recipe in a prominent place on their social media sites as soon as, or before, this ad was shown.

It makes you wonder: why pay for that slot (the whole ad break) with that presenter and a nicely-shot advert, then fail to deliver on what was promised at that time  the curry recipe.

I probed further and found they have a YouTube channel with ad-takeovers featuring Simon, but not the belly pork one (at the time of writing this).

YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, people who haven’t seen the ad could potentially find the vid through their love of curry: exactly the people you want to find it. Patak’s could go one step further and go into more detail in a longer how-to style video for their channel and feature this on their Facebook page too (currently there’s no integration, you wouldn’t know they had a channel from visiting their Facebook page alone).

According to The Drum they paid a six figure sum for the ad-break take over and the ‘Curry Inspiration’ campaign  created by Maxus Partnerships and spread across TV, digital, print, social media and mobile  and Patak’s said it plans to make “strong use” of content marketing.

This isn’t strong use.

Patak’s: if you want an integrated offline and online campaign don’t do it half-arsed. Make it work, in real time. After the ad’s shown live, tweet responsive links to YouTube vids showing viewers how to make the recipes, or at least the recipes themselves. Be part of the conversation you created. Don’t send them them on a curry inspired journey just to be met with an empty plate of would-be belly pork.

Squared Online: End of module 2

This week sees the end of module 2 of the Squared Online course, and the pace has stepped up a gear.  The second module, “Think Commercial”, focused on the world of digital business.

We were introduced to the Business Model Canvas, the Value Proposition Canvas, contemporary collaboration techniques, and had guest talks from industry professionals on the growing use of mobile devices, which is influencing modern business activities (more on that at the end of this post). The aim of this module was for us to develop an understanding of how to apply these insights in a commercial environment.

Assignment: We’re Going to Make Millions

Our assignment for this module was to come up with an online business idea that would,  as the title suggests, make millions. Sounds good, doesn’t it? We were assigned groups and given instructions on organising ourselves to arrange online meetings  we couldn’t meet in person as our group of 10 are all based in different areas of the UK, with one living in Dubai.

This is the first time i’ve used Google Hangouts and for the uninitiated it is an odd experience. Following some technical difficulties (for almost the whole first session my specially bought mic didn’t work) we managed to organise ourselves effectively. For those who haven’t used a Hangout before, it’s like Skype but more for multiple attendees. You arrange a date and time to hold a session, send an invite, then on the day turn up – that is, have your laptop and webcam on (and a mic helps too, if it works!).

The thing I find odd about Hangouts is the main screen displays the person who is talking (other members of the Hangout appear in smaller screens along the bottom), but it doesn’t just feature them if they speak, it switches to the person if they cough, sneeze, or even scratch their leg. Because the screen quickly switches to the person making the sound, if several people are talking at once (or scratching themselves!), it can be very confusing. However, after a couple of sessions it does start to get easier… just.

For the first part of the module we were tasked to come up with a one page business plan relating to what we had been taught about the Business Model Canvas. We shared our ideas via Google Docs, a useful tool for collaborative projects.

This video neatly explains what the canvas is all about:

My idea was a virtual college where all the lectures were taught live via Adobe Connect, rather than pre-recorded classes that dominate that market at the moment. Although I received a few votes for my idea, the one we agreed to run with was “Dine at Mine”.

The idea in a nutshell: Dine at Mine is an app and website that, through using geolocation services, allows you to invite people in the local area to come into your home and share a meal. Similarly, if you’re not a good cook but want to get know people in your area, you can see if anyone is holding an open dinner invite. It’s essentially a social dining app.

In our team we decided which areas based around the Business Model Canvas we wanted to cover to produce a Keynote presentation, which would be narrated and sent for assessment. The area I chose was the Competitive Environment.

I spent a number of hours scouring the internet to see who was in Dine at Mine’s space and found out there were a couple of direct and indirect competitors in the market.

This is a summary of my research:

Dine at Mine’s direct competitors are sites that connect people who either want to host dinner parties or go to them: Grub Club and EatWith.

Grub Club focuses on speciality foods and is London-centric; EatWith is travel orientated, ie customers are finding places to eat in a person’s home in a foreign country.

Other indirect competitors are socialising apps that match individuals to like-minded people (eg Grouper); a religious based food site (Dine@Mine) and a left-over food app (LeftoverSwap).

Grouper is a service based on meeting people and socialising in bars (no food); Dine@Mine is for Muslim families wanting to share the Ramadan experience with other families (religious based); and LeftOverSwap is a food waste prevention app.

Looking at the social dining apps and sites that are currently in the market, none offer the same local (geolocation), non-speciality, social dining experience that Dine at Mine can.

Dine at Mine

A screenshot of our opening slide

With all our individual elements of the presentation now complete we arranged further Hangouts to feedback our research, check for uniformity, and to see if we were all happy with the content.

The last few stages were the design of the presentation and the narration, all of which was produced to a high standard by members of the team (see screenshot featuring our logo above).

Reflecting on our presentation I can see the positives and negatives of online teamwork. One of the positives being you can work from the comfort of your home and one of the downsides is the technology can sometimes be temperamental.

I feel that meeting in person is still the best option for team work, but this is certainly the next best thing. I can see how in the future a lot of business will be conducted this way, with team members being based in different countries. Of course, as technology develops, virtual environments will become more sophisticated and immersive, something that Eric Schmidt discusses in A New Digital Age (recommended reading if you’re interested in the future of tech).

Aside from the assignment, we had some insightful lectures and talks on the Value Proposition Canvass, working in teams and, as previously discussed, mobile’s influence on business.

One talk I particularly enjoyed was Jo Baker’s “Fall in Love with Mobile”. Jo is head of head of industry at Google and, according to Squared is often “the go-to person for mobile”.

She mentioned so many useful tools for understanding mobile use and leveraging this for marketing. Here are some of the resources she mentioned:

The following video is a case study she brought to our attention, and was a particular eye-opener for me. The video shows you how a trainer shop in Guatemala used geolocation services in its app to “hijack” its customers from competitor’s stores.

That about sums up module 2, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of this impressive online course.