Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Unboxing May 2017

Second-born wanted to help out with the unboxing this month, making it very hard to get a word in ...

Monday, 22 May 2017

WIN! NOW TV Sky Sports day pass

Want to watch the big game but don't want to pay? Read on!

You may recall that I've recently been playing Snatch. Well, to cut a long story short, as one of the in-game prizes, I won a Sky Sports day pass. I won't be needing it, however, so I figured I might as well see if any of you guys wanted it.
To this end, I'm running a quick blink-and-you-miss-it giveaway with the aid of the Gleam widget to make sure everything stays above board.

The pass comes in the form of a voucher code which must be redeemed by the end of this month. In other words, please don’t enter this draw unless you’re in a position to redeem it right away. (You don’t have to use it right away, just add the code to your Now TV account and activate it when you’re ready).

Don't be put off if you don't have a Now TV box - you can also watch via smart TV or laptop/tablet.

Get your entries in by the close of Friday 26 May ... Good luck!

NOW TV Sky Sports pass giveaway
Terms and conditions
1) The prize is a NOW TV Sky Sports day pass There is no cash alternative.
2) The closing date for entries is 23.59 26 May 2017. No further entries will be accepted after this point. You can still comment if you like, but there has to be a line in the sand.
3) The giveaway is restricted to UK residents only, excluding my family.
4) The winner will be automatically selected via the Gleam app.
5) The winner has two days to claim their prize. If the prize hasn’t been claimed in this period, I will redraw.
6) I will announce the winner on this blog post and on Twitter within seven days of the winner claiming their prize.
7) This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter, Blogger or any other social network; neither is it endorsed by Sky or Now TV.
8) I will not use your information to sell you encyclopaedias, or to get anyone else to sell you encyclopaedias.
9) I reserve the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of my control. Yes, that does include zombie apocalypse. Any further clarification of terms will be clearly added to this blog post.
10) Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
11) I think that’s it, but if I have forgotten anything fundamental that might void this endeavour, please let me know.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Où est la madeleine?

One day last week, as I decanted the final box of Maldon sea salt, an exquisite memory prevailed over me, and at once the monotony of the chore became indifferent to me - the travails of the day innocuous, the grind illusory. This new sensation had on me the effect which fortune has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me, it was myself. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, accidental, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I was conscious that it was connected with the salt, but whence did it come? What did it signify? How could I seize upon and define it?

OK, let’s not over-egg the pudding: I recently decanted some salt. It was the final box from a set of three 250g ‘limited edition’ packets I won back in 2015. Although the prize was one of the most modestly valued items I’ve ever won, its arrival sticks in my mind more than most. Partly that’s because it turned up out of the blue, and partly it’s because I remember remarking how the cost of mailing the best part of a kilo of salt was three times what that salt was actually worth.
salt in a jar adjacent to empty box that contained salt just minutes previously
The salt in question (decanted)
Mostly, however, the prize sticks in mind because salt is such an elemental part of our very existence: our bodies become chemically unbalanced without it, our muscles and nervous system cease to function and, well, I guess we die.

To be honest, I consume less salt than I’d like. That’s not a conscious choice; rather, it’s because, like many parents of small children, we cook without it and then fail to season our food as we’re too absorbed in whatever argument we’re having with the aforementioned beasts. That’s why I seize moments to enjoy it as conspicuously as possible. I’m talking super fresh, crusty bread with unsalted butter, a sprinkle of salt flakes and NO INTERRUPTIONS!

But that’s by the by. The important thing is to notice how and remember that even the smallest of prizes can touch you on an absolutely fundamental level - in my case, the absorption of an essential daily mineral for somewhere in the region of 24 months (and counting).

Or, to look at it another way, two years of literally seasoning my meals with lucky dust.

Small wins are great! Which ones have been your favourite? Did any change your life?!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The BiBs

Apologies for the short post, but I just thought I’d mention that if you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, and you also enjoy nominating things, you’ll be delighted to learn that Gary Wasabi’s Golden Luck Muscle is eligible for consideration in the Fresh Voice category at the annual Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards (the BiBs). Just saying ... 

This voice fresh enough for you?

Friday, 12 May 2017

That’s the way to do it!

Competitions with great big prizes are fantastic - obviously - but how often do they stick in your mind? Sure, if you’re a winner, you’re going to get a warm fuzzy feeling every time you hear the promoter’s name, but what about those comps you entered but didn’t win? Let’s say you’re desperate to win a PS4, and in the last six months entered every last competition to win one - how many of those promoters can you still name, and how many have been lost in the general haze of comping noise swirling round your head?

Are comps with lots of smaller prizes any better? Certainly, the physical footprint of the promotion is larger as more people will be touched personally by the brand, and their affection for said brand will flourish accordingly. But again, what about the folks who go without? What impact has the promoter’s marketing (for that is what the competition is, after all) had on them?

For some promoters, that’s simply the price of harvesting contact details for a future mailshot. They’ve done the maths, and they’re happy with that. Promoters looking for something more touchy-feely, however, such as raising brand awareness or improving customer relationships, may well be disappointed. I know I am - if only because I hate to see effort go to waste.

For this reason, when I see a promoter execute something technically brilliant, I think it’s only right to single them out for praise. To this end, consider the recent flash competition from PayPal.

Let's start by bearing in mind that a key aim of advertising is to strengthen brand associations through well-timed repetition. In this instance, the comp pounced on a topical event (the demise of the paper fiver) to leverage its ongoing ‘New Money’ marketing campaign.
The precision timing of the competition was textbook: the old five pound note ceased to be legal tender on Friday, 6th May and the competition ran on the following Monday, with the catchline, ‘New money doesn’t expire’ - a great example of using a competition to reinforce the campaign message.

Second, advertising with an emotional message, rather than a rational one, has a greater impact on customer attention, memory and behaviour. Here, the competition targeted frustrated members of the public who had just missed the window of opportunity for spending their paper money and gave them the chance to add a silver lining to their cloud. In other words, PayPal offered to make a virtue out of their fail. That kind of touchy-feely stuff is manna for positive brand sentiment.

Third, 100 people won a tenner’s worth of PayPal credit - that’s a great prize pot by any measure!

Fourth, to redeem the prize, the winners had to log in to their PayPal account, which is to say, they had to experience the brand, the positive emotion associated with their win combining with the familiar visual elements of the brand to create the best possible impression on their long-term memory.

Winners without a PayPal account of course needed to set up one tout suite - another win for PayPal, as all marketers like to grow market share.

Finally, I was one of the winners, so naturally I feel GREAT about the whole thing!

What comps do you think have been well executed this year? Let me know in the comments below…

Friday, 5 May 2017


What a hashtag scramble that was! On Twitter alone, this was probably the most flash comps I’ve seen in one day this year. They just kept coming, even into the afternoon, as the Johnny Come Latelys realised they too wanted a piece of the pie. Perhaps most amazing of all - and I can’t believe I’m saying this - it looks like #StarWarsDay has become even bigger than #EdBallsDay - who’d have thought?!

Quite how things transpired on Facebook I couldn’t say - I only saw a couple, but they were gooduns, by which I mean they shew more wit than your common or garden like-shares. So, hats off to Music Magpie for their Star Wars treasure hunt that kept me trawling their website way past my bedtime, and to Hollywood Bowl for encouraging the public to upload their best wookie roar in the hope of winning a Chewbacca mask.

For the record, my Chewbacca impression was dreadful so I’m not going to share it. However, I *will* show you one of these masks in action.
There may yet be a few web comps still running, so if that’s your bag, you best get on Google tout suite. Good hunting!

Did you drop everything for Star Wars Day? Did you find any good comps? What hashtag day are you looking forward to next?

Monday, 1 May 2017

Unboxing April 2017

It’s fair to say April was better than March. Here’s the proof.