Why I'm in love with IKEA's "Cat herding" campaign

In case the news hasn’t made it to your corner of the office yet, here’s a YouTube video perfect for a Friday.

IKEA’s campaign involved releasing 100 cats into a London IKEA store and letting them roam free. Whoddathunk hanging halogen light fittings made such great cat runs…

Aside from the fact that I’m a total cat lover (an anomaly in my family), the reason I’m head over heels for this campaign is that, for once, Marketing doesn’t take itself seriously. Sure, IKEA isn’t at the awareness-building stage of its business lifespan and can afford to do some pretty creative marketing, as they did with their Facebook campaign in 2009.

It’s refreshing to see a campaign that’s purely done for fun, an idea that doesn’t make any sense and doesn’t try to preach or sell us anything. Have a laugh, spend Friday afternoon spreading the video around and gain that little bit more love for the almighty brand that is IKEA. “Simples!”, as Aleksandr Orlov would say.

I wonder if they just shook the box of Whiskas biscuits to call all the cats back at the end?

Happy Friday!

LiveScribe Pulse pen: Where were you all my life!?

As an early birthday present to myself, I bought a Livescribe Pulse Smartpen earlier this week. It arrived yesterday and I’ve just been blown away by it so far.

The pen improves on regular pens in two key ways:

  1. It registers anything that is written on paper, effectively scanning my handwriting as I go, which means that as soon as I get back to the computer, the pen transfers it to the LiveScribe software for future reference.
  2. It records all audio in the room, which means I can take a few headline notes without writing down every single piece of information.

Back in university, I had some form of RSI in my right wrist, so I made it a habit to record lessons on tape so that I didn’t need to write everything. In reality, I could never find the time or energy to dig through the 3-hour lecture recording to find the 5-minute segment that interested me, so it was pretty much a pointless exercise.

With the LiveScribe, it all becomes much easier: Tap the pen on the headline note relating to the audio clip you need, whether it’s a title or a graph, the recording will automatically go back to that point and start playing.

Normally, I’d shrug and say that this is a gadget for geeks and will never reach into the real world. Past similar gadgets have existed and gone nowhere fast. The biggest difference? This one prices its accessories reasonably.

The pen itself is £120-£150 so it’s a small initial investment, but Moleskine-style notebooks cost about £1 more per unit than their traditional Moleskine counterparts, and the A4-sized school notebooks are £16.99 for a pack of 4. The paper is thicker than with the Moleskine, which makes me happy as I’m a heavy-handed writer. Next time I need to get some notebooks, I think I’ll get a 4-pack of the pink flip notepad which is far cheaper than Moleskine journalist flip notepads. (Plus it’s pink, wayhey!) The ink isn’t overpriced either, and in a pinch, since it writes like a normal pen, it’s possible to use the pen without the fancy paper (unlike stylus-based systems).

The pen does raise some interesting ethical and legal questions: What if I forgot to mention to someone that I’m recording our conversation? Or maliciously chose to record a private conversation? Of course, I have no intention of doing that, but the technology is now becoming available and affordable to people who aren’t MI5 or hired spies (albeit in a pen the size of a large cigar!) so we’ll undoubtedly be seeing these issues show up on the Information Commissioner’s agenda in the future.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a great new addition to my arsenal of tools to support my sieve-like memory and no one needs to worry about me using it stealthily. I’ll be too busy showing off the piano party trick it can do!

Now you can watch my first pencast below…

My cats’ routine
brought to you by Livescribe

[Note: Before you ask, this isn’t a sponsored post and LiveScribe didn’t give me a free pen. I just am that much of a geek that I get excited over pens.]

Summer love: Jack & Rose in the garden

If you’ve come here tonight looking for brilliant marketing insight or the usual stuff, you may be disappointed. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for fluffy-tailed kitty cats frolicking in the garden, then you’ve come to the right place!

This is what summer should be like 🙂

If you’ve not yet met Jack and Rose, here’s what they were like at the age of nine weeks old.

Hooman before coffee in teh morning

A bit of Friday afternoon giggles here, Andrew just sent me what feels like possibly the most accurate lolcat I’ve ever seen.

LOLCAT: Hooman before coffee in teh morning

Post Secret + Lolcats = LolSecretz

If Post Secret is too heavy for you, and i can has cheezburger is too silly, then find the perfect mashup of the two of them in LolSecretz.

soemtimz i screemz when i eez alone

The real hardcore geek's programming language: LOLCAT

You know you’re a proper geek when you can write in LOLCODE, the latest and greatest programming language to grace the Interweb. It’s a simple language written for the cats, by the cats.

File open example

HAI
CAN HAS STDIO?
PLZ OPEN FILE "LOLCATS.TXT"?
    AWSUM THX
        VISIBLE FILE
    O NOES
        INVISIBLE "ERROR!"
KTHXBYE

What can I say? I has 1337 code. LOL!!1

Oh hello there!

I'm Véro - a crafty, knitty, spinny gal who enjoys making (and drinking) a cocktail or three. If you've stumbled here, you might enjoy browsing some of my older posts with the tags over to the right or finding out more about me.

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