Monday 24 May 2010

Miller Countrywide plumb new depths of crass marketing desperation

You have to hand it to these estate agents’ marketing departments for their pathetic attempts to commoditise the property market and stimulate sales. Previous campaigns such as “buy one get one free” (for flats in various places) and Stratton Creber’s “End of year Sale” have now been out performed in totally crassness by Miller Countrywide who seem to think that sellers will be motivated to put their houses up with them so they can get-in on a viewing weekend to stimulate sales before the World Cup starts…

Obviously the same marketing manager, probably from an FMCG background, has been moving between these companies with his “new” ethos… “it’s just like selling fish fingers mate… you just got to tell them what to do… trust me I'm a marketer”…

Anyways nothing is more likely to make me blog than the total stupidity of a marketing campaign, and the national estate agents seem to be winning on goal difference.

Miller Countrywide's latest stupidity

Football dates

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Reduced plant diversity linked to bee numbers

Our insect friends need help!

I’ve been reading in the news about how the population of honey bees has been in decline in Europe and the US. It’s not a new story but there have been some interesting developments lately. Scientists have had trouble pinning down exactly why the bees are dying… until just recently that is. An article on the BBC news website says that the decline of bees may be linked to reduced plant diversity. If what they say is true, then it’s up to us to grow a more diverse range of plants, and surely it should be a priority since we rely on bees to play their part in pollinating certain plants so we can grow crops to eat. In any event, it would be good to see more varieties of plants out in the countryside, rather than just the typical staple crops and other fruits and vegetables grown to sell in the supermarkets. People that grow a range of flora in their gardens are creating an oasis of diversity for our insect friends; a garden with an artificially maintained pristine green lawn (like the ones you see on TV) and a few select shrubs on the other hand, might look good, but it’s pretty lacking in its variety of plant life. So everyone with a garden can do something! The farmers have got to play their part, so I guess we’ll wait and see what happens on that one. I suppose I could stereotype them into a group who get big subsidies (especially in France) and don’t give a monkey’s about the environment. But that would be unfair to the environmentally conscious ones out there. And they get money from the EU for doing environmentally friendly things on their land, so if a few more bob from the EU would help save the bees, then I think it would be worth doing.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Sonic 2D is back!

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is gonna rock! If you’re a bit of a geek, and loved to play your Mega Drive back in the mid 90s, then you will remember Sonic the Hedgehog! I remember spending hours as a kid running through these levels, collecting rings and chaos emeralds, and saving little woodland creatures captured by Dr Robotnik (who had seemed to have flipped his noodle at some point and decided to take over the world). Sonic 1, 2 and 3, had great game play but the later 3D versions were kind of lame. So if you preferred the 2D versions too, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Sega recently announced that a new 2D sonic game ‘Sonic 4’ is going to be released later in 2010 and will be available via the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Wii Ware. This is some real retro gaming folks and even if you’re not a keen gamer it’s definitely worth a look.