Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Do you know...Zola 7?

Do you know Zola and his show Zola 7. If not, I would suggest you check your passport. Are you in fact South African? Where have you been?

Zola is one of my biggest heros, I have spent many hours crying over his show [in a feel good kinda way… and yes I am a chick and I do cry]. In fact he falls just behind Madiba in a healthy 2nd place on the herometer. He ain’t new, BUT I have noticed that when I have mentioned his name in conversation to a few people, they give me an odd side-on blank stare. It is interesting to note that most of the ‘confused’ happen to be white. I am simply fascinated by how siloed our society still is.

Here is a guy that is [mega cool] and is seen by the poorer households as a modern day Robin Hood and lets face it, we have A LOT of poor people in this country. It has been said that in the popularity/awareness stakes [amongst LSM 1-5] he is 2nd only to Madiba. Almost EVERYONE in the country seems to know who he is, he has built one of the strongest personal brands in SA!

So this post is a wake up call to ANYONE that has not heard of Zola and his show Zola 7. A simple search on Google for Zola 7 will yield a staggering 1.8+million results! Not bad for a guy from the Ghetto. We need more hero examples like him in SA! Real rags to riches!

So turn on your tele and check out the work he does. Zola 7 on SABC 1 at 20h30 – Thursday evening.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Cheese with that Whine?

I have to say I am concerned… AND if I were a wine farmer in the Cape attempting to leave a legacy, I would be even more concerned. It seems that global warming is a little more than a little problem for the SA wine industry . And this is a HUGE problem for me [LOVE wine]…. Sadly this ain’t the first time I have heard the rumblings of ‘mad scientists’ predicting a future of dry barren grounds down south.

This is one confused planet... and we made that happen [more so our friends up North, but we are 'helping']! Fortunately, the right questions are finally being asked, BUT how serious do people really think this problem is. How seeeereearse do you think it is? The seriousness becomes crystal clear [no pun intended] when I tell you that in a bizzare twist the poms….yes I said POMS…..are beginning to win wine
awards! What the hell is going on??

So lets cast our minds to the future...Where have all the SA ‘whiners’ gone [sure we could lose some.. but not these]!? Eish!! We ALL have to move quick and Save the World! now! OR face the consequences and import wine from the UK!!
(Pic: Groote Post Winery- my favourite sav blanc wine)

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Toilet Marketing..mmm

For those of you that are tired of advertising in your face 24/7 check this picture out! It was one of those ‘really helpful’ ads at the back of a toilet door [the ones I normally totally ignore] at an Ultra City on the JHB-DBN route. I giggled when I saw it [don’t agree with graffiti] BUT I kinda get the sentiment of the ‘artist’.

In the real world… thinking like a practical person… who would want to think of buying Fruit Juice whilst precariously hanging over the Jazz getting rid of the last lot?! I dunno, I would love to see stats for the loo ads to see if they are all what they are flushed up to be!

Monday, 21 May 2007

A Re'cup'...

Just to give you all an overview of the comments on the mini coffee shop ‘test’. It seems that Vida e Caffe, Seattle, Woolies came out strong amongst those of you kind enough to comment. What is sad, and something that I had pretty much predicted, is that there seems to be a serious lack of little boutique coffee shops worth noting? Is this a gap in the market for a quality niche product...? There was only one post from Durban that had a few names that weren't national...

Sure there are many coffee shops out there, but very few could challenge the strong brands mentioned by all of you as far as experience goes. Lets hope that changes soon……. niches are important!
Keep me posted if you find anything worth noting as an experience. Cool!…. [Hot..whatever!]

Friday, 18 May 2007

Authentic Age

I simply couldn’t resist this one especially as I consider myself a consumer activist! We all know that there are now HUGE trust issues between companies and consumers and that the Ad/PR Agencies have become the spokespeople for companies who have essentially forgotten how to conduct healthy dialogue with their staff and customers! This has resulted in a large canyon of mistrust and cynicism with only a few authentic brands breaking through.

Being authentic and caring has never been more important! This video clip for me has really captured the essence of the problem, it boils down to the cold business transaction vs the neglected needy child! You be the judge!

Murky water...!

Being in Durbs today it is interesting to see how Shark Fever has hit! Originally being from Durban, I am trying to get into the swing of things, but I am not really sure that I would go as far as branding myself in the Sharks gear! When I was younger [hard to remember way back then] I am sure it was NOT COOL to wear rugby sports gear [as a girl anyway]….. or if in fact it even existed?! [Didn’t everyone just wear black and white?]
It seems that whilst I've been growing up [in a sports slumber], a massive marketing industry has grown with anything from shoes, bedding, toys and clothing [for all ages/genders] with the shark logo on it …..AND it actually seems to be COOL to buy! How American!

It just made me ponder on the age-old issue of brand loyalty. In the end it could be that I am simply just not a BIG rugby fan… or heavens forbid… a Sharks fan! Eish! [did I actually write that?]! Rest assured however, if I had to support SA in anything [World Cup etc] I would join the gang for sure with some kind of CLEVER SA kit! Oh well, it will be interesting to watch the game [not a normal occurrence] and see how many people have parceled themselves as Sharks (or Bulls) for that matter! I ain’t gonna be one…. the thought makes me feel itchy somehow!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

The Woolies Debacle!

Woolies is a strong SA brand but EISH! so many people lately have been asking the question ‘what the hell is going on with stock, or rather the lack of it!’ Woolies is one of the few brands in SA that I think verges on encouraging a MSP-Me Selling Proposition these are brands that are so trusted they become community owned. In my mind it was the one brand that was least afraid of its consumers, that’s until this communication debacle. Their local site communication has clearly not been good on what appeared to be a ‘stock shortage’ in many areas. I was somewhat relieved to see that the ‘problem’ is a logistical change to a new warehouse, as reported by The Star (Edition 6, Monday 14th May) – Woolworths unveils new, state-of-art storage.

I was tired of hearing the moans from people with comments like ‘typical SA’ and it’s the ‘Engen store roll out’ that’s the problem. It confirmed my belief that consumers simply do not trust companies anymore. I am disappointed that Woolies nearly fell into the cold transaction trap [hey customers won’t notice…wrong!]. Communication is key people! Talk to us! We prefer that! We want to know that Companies are human and make mistakes at times 2!

Monday, 14 May 2007

In the name of Coffee....!

Wouldn't it be great to have Starbucks in SA!?

I love Jozi right….BUT I love coffee even more!

So I thought it may be cool to conduct a little survey amongst all you coffee lovers reading this blog. Please comment on your favourite coffee place/shop whatever! I'm on a quest for the grooviest coffee experience in Jozi…. You are welcome to add your comments from anywhere though… Cape/Durbs wherever!

Once you have commented I will try visit the place and give you all feedback…! I love Vida e Caffe but I would love to see if there is anything out there giving Vida a run for its money! Let me know!

Friday, 11 May 2007

Bring Madeleine home...

Its Mother Day here in SA on Sunday and I can’t stop thinking about the poor mother of missing three-year-old Madeleine McCann. She was abducted a week ago and its her 4th birthday tomorrow - can you even begin to imagine how her family must be feeling? I can't... As time goes on I feel sadder for them.

For any mother the fear of just thinking of this kind of thing is paralyzing. I simply do not understand how anyone could do this.

So for Mothers Day I am dedicating my most positive thoughts and wishes to Madeleines mom and I am sure you all feel the same way… Eish! Not nice at all.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

David 'Blog'ard reports...

Ok, so I have been sitting back silently watching the storm regarding David Bullard comments in last weeks Sunday Times [I know…it took me a while to’s old news now- 5 days!.. BUT I am unveiling my new reflective unemotional side.. YA right!]
I have read so many different sites on the topic and Davie is now famous! I, on the other hand, am astounded by the power of this communication tool! I am pretty sure that David underestimated the blogosphere on this one… or maybe its ‘us’ being played and its all a test!? What’s amazing is that this news has spread across the globe with comments from journalists being tagged thick and fast!

I really have just one question on this. Is freedom really freedom when there are ‘rules’? Is this not the lure of blogging….the fact that it aint elitist? Via free speech!
I do, however think I understand the confused message in his article about being offensive and I actually agree BUT believe it or not some people don’t want to be journalists! Don’t stress Davie, your job is safe from me! I just like freedom… you can have your rules and your papier… the blogosphere is for me!


Tuesday, 08 May 2007

Second Life anyone?

For the real ‘geeks’ (whoever those are these days – I think the geeks of today are now the jocks) the concept of Second Life is old news. I have to say though, that I have been fascinated since I heard about it a few months ago. What a clever concept, might not be your thing but you cannot deny its clever! To quote the site Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 6,193,781 people from around the globe.”

It’s an online game where you can be who you want to be and unlike normal games you don’t interact with ‘false/manufactured’ characters or figments of a programmers imagination BUT rather with other people who are also into ‘escapism’ and have redesigned themselves. DON’T LAUGH! It is no laughing matter, visit the site and look on the right hand side and how much revenue it has clocked up… AND big brands are clamoring to advertise in this new space, it already boasts over 25 big names like Virgin (of course!), IBM, BMW to name a few. These sites are also creating cross over platforms back into the 'real world'. Example: You walk into Pizza Hut in the ‘game’ and you order a pizza, 35 minutes later your real life doorbell rings whilst you are building you house in Second Life and WOLA! the pizza is delivered – already paid for through your credit card [as you use that to play the game]! HOW COOL! Can you believe it!!! To illustrate this a little more, I found this clip on YOUTUBE that shows this guys entrance into Second Life and how he has rejected his real life…Shame is it loneliness or boredom [I hear you say]….. Check it out!

Monday, 07 May 2007

Totally toothless !

Lets talk teeth…. Yip I said teeth.
I have just had an amazingly frustrating experience and it would be interesting to see if any of you have had a similar one, because if you have we are in trouble! I really get nervous when there is a service issue like this, that feeling of helplessness is not very comfortable.

I have no dentist. Long story… but she went on sabbatical (who blames her looking at peoples mouths all day ...can’t be cool).
Last week I developed an ache in my tooth that got worse and worse. Eventually, by Friday I was desperate, phoning around to find a dentist that would take me in! Found one and she referred me to a specialist (Surprise! Surprise!). I had a ‘REALLY BIG abscess’ in the bone cavity from someone that didn’t do a root canal properly! I cannot put words to the agony! (They would be X rated if I did!)

I was given antibiotics and pain killers and 2 referrals to specialists. When I called these specialists the first date I could get was end May and June!! I started to panic! I eventually went to my family doc on Sunday for a pain injection and he said he would do his best to help me on Monday. Which he did, he managed to ‘get me in’ somewhere this coming Friday….! So now I just have to wade through one week and not a whole month in total agony! I still think that is bad!

I cannot believe the whole experience not to mention how uncaring and rude the people were at the specialist rooms, they really didn’t care. You may be busy but you don’t have to be rude!! I even thought of ‘checking in’ to hospital just to get someone to help!! How ridiculous! Do we have that much of a skills shortage?? In the process (ironically) I met a cool dentist that has her Masters in Dentistry but is going to London to specialise as some health board (presume its government) only took 3 people into their specialist programme? Apparently a political thing…. I know she doesn’t want to leave, she had to go to further her career!! So much for being a country of opportunity! The last thing we need is to lose more skill because of some strange bureaucratic process! So blogging this story hasn’t really helped the pain go away, it is however a BIG WARNING…whatever you do…. Don’t lose your teeth!!!

Thursday, 03 May 2007

The art of parenting...

You know one of the hardest things in life is being a parent. I mean, how do you ever know if you are doing the right thing.
It kinda reminds me of one loooong pottery class. You start off with a lump of clay that you have great intentions of moulding into something grand and placing proudly on your mantle piece. You clearly do not set out with the intention of creating a mangled twisted piece of 'stretched' clay that will only ever see the inside of a dustbin!!! The risk is however there.
Is parenting really that different? Not all of us get the opportunity to practice on lots of lumps of clay in real life!

We all virtually kill ourselves to create the perfect vase (not only on the outside but on the inside as well nogal!) Once it takes its rightful place on the mantle piece, we hope that people will take care of it and make sure it is not too close to the edge, incase it gets knocked off onto the floor and shatters into millions of little pieces. In effect we spend our lives trying to teach our children how to navigate through life relatively unscathed but at the same time how to shine! This kak is certainly NOT for the faint hearted! Eish! Wouldn't change it for all the tea in China!