Friday, April 09, 2010

Which water person are you online? Transferring somatic identities to the online environment

Recently CNN defined 12 of the most annoying types of Facebook users. They were described as:
• The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore
• The Self-Promoter
• The Friend-Padder
• The Town Crier
• The TMIer
• The Bad Grammarian
• The Sympathy-Baiter
• The Lurker
• The Crank
• The Paparazzo
• The Obscurist
• The Chronic Inviter

Consumer research by Chadwick Martin Bailey shows over 50% of Facebook fans and Twitter followers of a brand are more likely to not only recommend, but more likely to purchase from those brands than before they were fans or followers.

In addition, recent findings by Retrevo inform us that 48% of social media consumers will check their Twitter or Facebook accounts if they wake in the middle of the night or when they wake first thing in the morning (and is even stronger among under 25 year olds) – giving more opportunities for brands to connect with youth in the online space.

We thought it was time that we linked these profiles to our own somatic identities. For those new to somatics, marketing somatics is a unique approach to marketing that assists marketers to connect with the consumer at the deepest level by working at the level of the brain's own body maps. It is about developing somatic ads, somatic packs and somatic communications that connect in the right way for your brand and target consumer.

Marketing somatics works by connecting consumers with their emotions because latest findings in neuroscience show that emotions are embodied - ie experienced in our bodies as metaphorically.

Rolling Waves - Onwards and upwards

These are your Self Promoter, Town Crier, TMIer, Paparazzo and the Obscurist types.

The feeling of the Rolling Wave state is one of momentum - a powerful force that is always on the move. There is no way of stopping it or tying it down.

Rolling Waves are expressive and expansive - their consciousness is directed outwards. Like the ocean, there is no force that can stop them.

Bubbling Brooks – Bubbling up!

They are the Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore, Friend-Padder, Sympathy Baiter and the Chronic Inviter types The Bubbling Brook state is characterised by energy and excitement. The water looks light and frothy on the surface, almost transparent and when the sun hits it the water positively sparkles!

They are attracted by fantasy and romance and don’t let responsibilities get them down. Success is important, but they do not strive to overachieve.

Flowing stream – Controlled energy beneath the surface

The feeling of flowing streams is one of controlled energy. The stream follows along a well worn path – a path not influenced by outside factors, but influenced by solid foundations.

They are often a source of strength to others due to their steady, quietly confident approach to life. They tend to be disciplined and mature, approaching life in a structured fashion.

They are the sensible people using Facebook – the ones who are not annoying at all

Still Waters – Run Deep

They are Cranks and Lurkers. The feeling of still waters is a deep dark pool…you can’t see the bottom. The water is cool and still but very deep.

They can come across as unfriendly or difficult but do shine when they are within their comfort zone.

If you are keeping tally, you would have noticed that Bad Grammarian is not included – this is because unlike the others Facebook types, Bad Grammarian is not influenced by emotions.

The states can come to characterise individuals and how they predominantly experience their sense of self. While many individuals experience a predominant somatic experience – most individuals experience two or more of these states on a regular basis. Some states also have more relevance to some brands and product categories.

About Marketing Somatics

Water People is one example of how Marketing Somatics can be applied to more deeply understand feeling states and in this instance, somatic identity. The Water People typology was developed using the qualitative METAPHOR STORY© Insights Technique based on one on one intensive workshops across Australia, Singapore and Malaysia and then quantified - validating the four emotional identity states.

For an extended version of this blog, please feel free to get in touch with Liane Ringham ( or Michelle Yamine (

Friday, November 27, 2009

Schoolies and connecting via social media

Schoolies week, the rite of passage among the majority of Australian year 12 students. 

Over the years schoolies has remained unchanged in part as well as having evolved. The Gold Coast is still as popular a destination as ever with large dedicated beach parties and other ’quieter’ locations such as Byron Bay are becoming increasingly popular.  

So what does schoolies offer? What is its appeal? A chance to express one’s self, meeting new people, hanging out with friends, dancing the nights away, chillaxing by the pool or beach, drinking alcohol or possibly even experimenting with drugs? 

Adding to the experience of schoolies are social media pages. Facebook has a number of dedicated pages and groups.

One page is by with over 5 000 fans. Not only are students sharing their excitement for their impending break, but they are already organising events among other students who will be going to the same destination by creating groups – which means it is likely they will have already made friends with likeminded people before they arrive.

Another schoolies page, with fewer fans, is by the official National Schoolies Week website. This page has in excess of 1 300 fans and is aimed at keeping its followers up to date by providing them with links to the official website and the national forum. It also keeps its followers abreast of news and current affairs surrounding schoolies, such as articles by ‘A fake ID racket run by teenagers has been busted’.


Facebook has been much more successful than Twitter in creating an online community for schoolies. There are six dedicated schoolies pages on Twitter with the largest follower base for one only being 200 – further reinforcing the fact that Twitter is not being heavily utilised by this demographic.

Planning for the future is important – there are pages and groups on Facebook leading up to schoolies 2014 (for kids who only started school in 2002, which means they are currently in year 7 (12 or 13 year olds). Although the group is labelled to be ‘just for fun’ it does make you wonder, what kind of event will schoolies be by 2014? They have 5 whole years to plan!

For many year 12 students, schoolies gives them the chance to be an individual, and for some, to express themselves without the presence of parents for the first time. There are no more rules, no deadlines with school assignments, no set times that you have to be at school, there are no more high school exams.  For some it is the chance to distinguish oneself even further by cutting or dying hair, getting a piecing or even a tattoo.


What this all means is that students are seeking freedom and escapism. For some, while at school, they believe schoolies is the only way this can be achieved. It is something they strive for and dream about.

Connecting with the youth of today through somatic identities, by tapping into what they are feeling and their belief system will enable your brand, website, packaging or even advertising  to connect with youth on an emotional level – which can only lead to positive associations and growth.  

On the Facebook fan page, a casting agent is searching for 18 year olds to film a reality show on the Gold Coast during schoolies week 2009. Those interested may be described as a ‘Rolling Wave (somatic identities described at

Somatic identities are highly relevant to all aspects of design – websites, pack, point of sale, creative advertising as well as brand identity. Furthermore, it has potential relevance in direct selling on and off line.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Social media fan pages latest avenue for brands

Social media is now a key driver of event participation. This year, Big Day Out is utilising social media sites even more with dedicated MySpace, Facebook and Twitter pages. For summer 2010 there will be seven Big Day Out (BDO) festivals across Australia and New Zealand – two of which will be held in Sydney - this is only the second time in its 18 year history a second show has been staged in any city.

Using social media, people can see what groups and pages their friends are supporting and this is the new ‘word of mouth’. By having a constant presence and reminder of a product, in this case, the BDO festival, it ensures messages are portrayed and are cutting through effectively.

The challenge is to embed your brand and message in a way that seems natural rather than manipulative. Fan pages on Facebook and Twitter represent an interesting approach. We’ve noticed a couple of interesting examples.

Cadbury is utilising both Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook there are two Cadbury pages– Cadbury (with over 272,000 fans) and Cadbury Wispa (over 801,000 fans). Of particular interest is the Cadbury Wispa page – brought back in 2009 for a limited time (particularly in the UK), Cadbury Wispa has been using its Facebook page to raise awareness of the product and to offer fans Cadbury Wispa’s advertising space – billboards all over the UK and Ireland. Fans were invited to submit thankyou messages to friends, loved ones or anyone worthy of a special thank you, which enables fans to pass on messages of gratitude while sharing their story en masse. 

While not specifically targeting Youth, another good example of the use of storytelling is Jack Daniel’s.  Jack Daniel’s is possibly one of the world’s greatest story tellers (INSIDE STORY has recently written about JD as a story teller on our Inside Brand Reputation blog). Jack shares his story online using mediums such as Facebook fan pages and now has over 354,000 fans. Fans are encouraged to learn more about Jack’s story on Facebook:
“While “labeling” people is never a good thing, “labeling” a bottle is a great idea! And when it comes to Jack Daniel’s, there are a lot of stories to go with that label. For a guided “tour” of our famous label just visit this link!”

They are also able to share experiences and viewpoints with like-minded fans by being able to connect over activities such as the recent 21st Annual Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue.

Twitter and Facebook are growing every day - figures from Hitwise tell us Facebook's Australian market share has climbed 101% since October last year and Twitter grew 1516%, further fuelled by bands such as Powderfinger who performed guerrilla gigs across Australia - only notifying their Twitter followers of the event. Hours spent on social media sites are also on the rise – according to Nielsen figures at June 2009, Australians spent 1.6 million hours on social media sites, up from 800,000 hours a year earlier. If the growth in social media continues, we can only expect to see more innovative and exciting examples in the months to come.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Adventure and Experience - Take a Gap Year

Travelling and exploring is essential to adventurous, global Gen Y’s – and the best way to make the most of life and accumulate stories to retell. Taking working holidays, volunteering and living overseas are all part of the fun!

Very few Gen Y friends of mine have held back from taking a gap year once the idea and excitement sets in. The voice inside shouts: “Financial difficulties are never insurmountable! I’ll figure it out along the way. Career is something that can be paused and returned to! LET’S GO!

This trend is not surprising considering Gen Y widely reported common traits: experience seekers, experimental, don’t plan for the long term and are desperate for things to happen immediately. Taking a gap year has become a major stage in life for youth who spend and live for today!

Many career websites as well as the Australian Government are recognising the appeal to youth of travelling, earning money, gaining skills and life experiences. The gap year is an opportunity to build career credentials, demonstrate personal strengths (eg initiative and determination), and a time to experiment with working in different industries and to get a feel of what the real working world is like. Career path is something that can be paused. However despite the career building rationale, the groundswell appeal of the gap year is fuelled mostly by the thrill of living a life of adventure!

Taking a gap year is becoming a norm, a natural and unquestionable part of life. Traditionally the ‘gap year’ is considered the first year after leaving high school, however this has evolved to encompass more broadly any time after leaving school, during tertiary studies and training, and through to the early stages of their career. A study by STA Travel found that “over 25% have taken a gap year between university and work and over 40% hope to take a gap year during their career.”

Friday, March 21, 2008

Youth engage with slapstick humour

Bristol UK hosts Comedy Festival ( 17th-20th January 2008) which is a festival of silent films that champion the slapstick tradition. This festival was be attended widely and mostly attended by 18 to 24s who are ‘rediscovering’ this old silent footage including Charlie Chaplin’s GOLD RUSH, Laurel and Hardy classic LEAVE EM LAUGHING and Buster Keaton’s comedy shorts.

I want to see him get hurt but I don’t..” says a university male 23 in a depth interview conducted by INSIDE STORY talking about the attraction of Jackass. Jackass has defined what many males under 23 continue to like in entertainment. On its website it warns: MTV's hit show Jackass features silly pranks, absurd antics and idiotic stunts performed by total jackasses. Leading the sick and twisted pack of sadomasochists was Johnny Knoxville.

Silent film slackstick has similar if more ‘gentle’ appeal and is emerging as something for

Generation Y to make their own.

Slapstick is defined (wikipedia) as a comedy that involves exaggerated physical violence. The slapstick tradition can be identified in Ren and Stimpy and may be considered to be part of the appeal of the SIMPSONs (in a toned down way). Silent film hasn’t had a significant profile for adult Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

Three Stooger Mo’s ear pulling and eye poking behavior towards Curlie and other silent film pranks may seem inappropriate in today’s climate where stamping out school and workplaces bullies is a priority – yet bullies seem likely to continue to thrive today as ever.

At the Bristol festival T Shirts (see earlier T-shirt blog) are for sale and make a perfect way to continue to share in the fun – a fun that is more like being ‘naughty’ than really mean or ‘bad’.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

T shirts have always had their own power - enabling its wearer to express themselves in a particular way.

Over recent years, t shirts have allowed people to portray their thoughts and beliefs (or lack of) without use of verbal communication. Allowing for some, an automatic connection with others - purely based on whether or not they like your t shirt.

A true icon of the eighties was the Frankie say relax t shirt and another t shirt which has stood the test of time is the Che Guevara t shirt – which is often seen at music festivals, your local shopping centre, or out in the newest bars and trendiest clubs in town.

Recently, the impact of t shirts with youth today has grown even more powerful.
Today, youths can quite easily create their own t shirts (professional looking or not) plus have access to a wider variety through the internet.

T shirts are either created by hand – literally by writing the desired slogan on the t shirt with paint or by popping down to your local Supre or Dotti – where you can always pick up a shirt with the latest slogan printed on it - such as free hugs (the result of a you tube video)

There are also designated websites on the internet such as and

Threadless enables their users to create their own design, get their t shirts printed and then made available to all those accessing the site – essentially making users clothes designers.

On Lucky Threadz, users can pick up t shirts which carry clever phrases or their favourite lines from movies – one which is currently available is Mandy Patinkin’s infamous line from the Princess Bride –

“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die”.

Now some may consider this movie and line a classic – and the people who choose to wear this t shirt will automatically have an “in” joke and share the same appreciation with other lovers of the movie.

So whether the t shirt you wear says I’m a princess or More cowbell –

it says something about you.

Friday, May 04, 2007

MySpace - what it offers

“MySpace is like a tree –
you branch out and look at other spaces.
You don’t know how you got there… you just do.”

MySpace the latest trend in pop culture – a way to stay in the know and keep in touch with all things social. It is an evolution from the telephone, email as well as MSN. It is also considered by a few to be the Google of blog sites.

“EVERYONE” uses MySpace
but predominantly, it is younger people as well as musicians and their promoters.

By young people, it refers to teenagers, school students and university students. Although MySpace does have minimum age requirement of 14, some tweens do fudge the system and lie about their age to set up their own space.

For some, they believe the people who do use MySpace, have only done so to conform to the latest fad –

“like mobile phones, all kids have them.”

Musicians and promoters using the site do so to promote bands and recording artists. By doing this, musicians can try and make a name for themselves. It allows unknowns to have their music readily accessible – their music can be heard on a mass level. They can target their audience without the support of a record company.

On the other hand, established bands and artists can keep close relationships with their fans by keeping them up to date through their own space

The majority feel MySpace is all about TALKING TO PEOPLE – communication through the use of the comment feature.

Users are able to:
  • Make new friends and keep in contact with old friends
  • Inform people about important events such as parties, holidays and festivals. “It’s just convenient to write something about yourself and all your friends are updated.”

  • Reach anyone in the world
  • See what others are up to

  • Cement friendships – by taking it to another level. Through MySpace users can show and see different sides of personalities

  • Approach friendships in an easier manner – a pre bonding session which makes meeting each other the next time round that little bit easier
  • Organise outings or events

A slight entertainment element too is involved:

  • Keeping up to date with new music and gigs

  • Looking at other people’s spaces and seeing what they are up to. Public spaces are very open, allowing anyone to have a look

“the fact that they don’t know I’m looking at their site makes it even better!”

Though it is overkill for some? Yes it is a site that enables users to express themselves, but how they do it can be an issue for some.

For those, MySpace is:

“used by young, egotistical, narcissistic, self indulgent people who have way too much time on their hands and an inflated level of self importance.”

Perhaps it is because “you can choose the best photos, what you write, who you write to – and then you can select the people you want to see it by making it private.”

A lot feel that MySpace is about the user making themselves a star. “Users can become celebrities in their own minds…they are part of something much bigger than themselves. Anyone, anywhere in the world can discover what Joe Bloggs had for lunch last Tuesday…if it’s in his blog…”

It is also perceived by a few that for some, MySpace is a medium to make users feel popular – by having a large number of friends (contacts) on their space

MySpace is considered by a few to have taken off quite quickly – resulting in a pop activity. Some lead adopters have now moved on to other blog sites – which aren’t so “teeny” yet still enables the networking aspect, such as Facebook. The teeny aspect for some means MySpace is becoming a bit lame.

MySpace is the latest fad – so “if you want to be socially accepted, you get a MySpace.”