Category Archives: Television

From Gangsta to Business

The other week I had MTV on in the background when fixing dinner, and the program running at that time was 50 Cent: The Money and the Power. Despise my preconception of the program I got hooked. And that week I ended up viewing the whole season on the MTV website (praise web-TV). At first I didn’t really understand why I found the series so interesting, then it hit me. Is actually 50 Cent, and how he is caring and evolving his trademark, himself.

He try to build a new image of himself, former gansta, now successful business man. The idea of the show is to let a couple of driven young people learn from 50 Cent and prove why he should invest $100 000 in the person who wins. Basically The Apprentice, Gangsta style! I find this really interesting to monitor and analysing the transformation. The usual story of  Hip-Hop artist begins in the slum, surrounded by drugs, weapons and gangwars. One of the things that created lot of talk and PR for 50 Cent was being shot 9 times (even though that have been questioned recently). Never the less, he became successful with In da Club, working with Eminem and Dr Dre and from that we have build his empire.

No question that he have made very much money! But I question how he portrait it in the show. For example, he have been working with some great people. Sure he have become a businessman today. For some of his fans this change of is trademark is inspiring, and for some probably feel he have abandoned the gangsta style, and with it his credibility. But its a smart move to evolve your own trademark to something that truly represent success.

It seems to be a trend now with shows about transforming people to businessmen/women. Another popular MTV show, From G to Gents, is a testament to this. Were Gangster will be trained to become gentlemen. Shaping up their life. I think his is great, to inspire young people how uncool it is to be a real Gangster.

You are your own Brand, and its up to you what you want to represent and be perceived.

50 Cent the Money and the Power

50 Cent the Money and the Power

Video: evolution of advertising

Found this video yesterday. In just three and a half minutes it illustrate the changes the society have gone through when it come to advertising and how we react to it.

In the past, advertising must have been much easier. A limited amount of brands, not to much competition. Today its another ballgame. The channels have expanded and so have the means of using them, as well as the competition. An evolution that have contributed to marketers re-thinking and becoming even more aggressive in how they push their message into our brains. One example is using “smart” (un-ethical?) methods to print brands in our brains at a very early age. Nowadays, even before we are borne, our parents get bombarded with messages and they try to get into our mind from the day we are borned. Those “Persuaders” won’t stop for nothing to reach us and lock us in.

Even with all the new theories and study s that show how marketers must be smarter and rethink how they reach people and build loyal customers, they still doesn’t seem to want to let go of they old ways of marketing. Banners for example is still a big part of the internet and its economy, but everytime I’ve through work tried it, its been a big disappointment. Instead I try to focus on building a top notch service with great content that people love and by them self want to recommend to friends. Building tools that enable loyal customers to easy tell their friends, instead of spamming and scaring potential customers away.

Also take the time and energy to go out and talk to your customer, on blogs and forums. Not just advertise, but truly talk to them about everything. And not only your products and brand, but everything. Be authentic and engage. The tools to communicate with, not just to your customer,  is better, cheaper and easier then ever before. Use them, but don’t abuse them.

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Gordon Ramsey, not only a master chef

My latest idol is Gordon Ramsey, which I’ve been following in his many TV series Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmare (both US and UK). Both me, my sister and mother are totally hooked on him. Unfortunately I don’t get the same response from people around me when I discuss him. They don’t understand why we like him.

I find him fascinating cause of his success. He have build a luxurious restaurant empire from nothing. Not only is he a perfectionist, energetic and a great chef, but a great entrepreneur and business man, through experience. He is used to work with the best, and expects the best out of everyone we meet.

He is famous from TV for being a real loud-mouth, repeated swearing,  straight to the point and (in some peoples eyes) the devil impersonated. Sure, its showbiz and it makes the program more interesting. Many people are offended by his behaviour, but I believe he have the status to expect the best of the best. And all the swearing, demeaning comments and disrespected way he talk down to people get a much stronger impact. But at the end of the day he is a businessman. But lets not forget, this way of his is part of the Gordon Ramsey Brand! And that’s a very powerful force. Its part of his authenticity and verification, why he often is right. Instead of tapping every one on the head and pet them, he kick them in the ass, for their own good. He tries to get the best out of people, but some simply can’t take it. No one can deny the result he gets. He have the experience of both failure and success, that have brought him to were he is today.

Unfortunately, as TV and media always does, they focus simply on his swearing and down talking way. Many of the people who participate in his program often are real idiots or simply doesn’t have what it takes. If we break down what Hells Kitchen is all about, its not about a dream for a nobody. He is searching for a new business partner! Not only does he look for a great chef, but someone who can run a business successfully. Actually, this show could apply to any business. Hells Kitchen is more straight forward entertainment.

Kitchen Nightmare on the other hand is more interesting to analyse and a testament to his entrepreneur skills and marketing knowledge. He travel all around UK and America to help struggling restaurants come back from the brink of  death. Usually its the same problem on every place he visits. Broken or no communication, very bad food, lacking administration, focus on the wrong thing and plain stubbornness against change or pure stupidity. They make simple mistakes, but fail to see them.

When he travel around to help struggling businesses he analyse everything surrounding the restaurant. Quality of the food and service. The feeling, atmosphere and design of the interior and exterior. How the restaurant market itself and who’s their core audience. If the menu works and fit the profile of the place. He often go around to scan the town his in, to scan the market and if there’s a restaurant type not present, a hole in the market to be filled. He show how important change is for survivor in a very competitive market, and what it means to truly run a business. He really think as a marketer, taking every aspect into account. And at the end of the day, he want to secure the happiness and experience of the customer!

Even if its part of his brand, to me a bit… hard against people who don’t live up to his expectations, he also want to help people success. Sure he have his methods, but they give results. He travels around to help people in need, when he could spend that time to his own restaurants. I don’t think he would waste time on others if he didn’t believed in them or were forced to. His not obligated to do any thing for other businesses, but he still do, and it really test his patience. His not only a master chef, but a true businessman!

Gordon Ramsey

Jillette vs Borg. Lookalike?

It hit me the other week when I saw a “documentary” about our Swedish Finance minister Anders Borg, how he resembles the American Bullshit hunter and Magician Penn Jillette. What do you think? Anders Borg really have stood out amongst the Swedish politicians, especially within the Finance area, with ponytail and ear-piercing. The documentary portrayed him as a person with strong opinions and somewhat of a “free thinker“. This too seems to remind me of Penn, the little I’ve seen of him through his program Bullshit! Penn his a famous successful entertainer, who doesn’t dare to share his views on things. Maybe Borg wanted to ride in the wave after Penn?

Penn Jillette Anders Borg

Penn Jillette - Anders Borg

Daylight Robbery documentary

Last night a British documentary played on Swedish television and I missed it. Praise the internet!

The documentary is original showed on BBC and research were a hell lot of money when that were supposed restore and rebuild Iraq, but ended up in … American private and corporate pockets. A perfect timing. I’m about to finish the Shock Doctrine and this very subject is discussed right now, how greedy American companies stole money instead of rebuilding a whole country. A important subject! To enlighten people about this so more people and governments actively oppose this unethical and immoral behaviour and abuse on the smaller people and country’s. Its never okey to cleanse or destroy a whole society for profit!

I’ve never been specially found of political questions, but its been growing in the last weeks.

You can watch the documentary here.

Peter Stormare sings to the destruction of Mercenaries 2

Peter Stormare

Peter Stormare

Our Swedish international actor Peter Stormare are famous from many big title movies and series like Fargo, Armageddon and Prison Break. He also have his own band, called Blonde From Fargo were he is the lead singer. A man who doesn’t just sit still. Its always nice to read about his successes around the globe.

And the recent news I heard was this, about and ad for the new action game Mercenaries 2 – World in Flames, were he sings in the background. He also voice one of the characters in the game. And the game seems to do quite good in retail too, as it hit Nr. 1 immediately the first week in the UK.

Not just that he voice one of the characters, its great that they use him in the commercial too! One of the pasts years biggest Swedish exports songs was José GonzálezHeartbeats (original by The Knifes). It was a smash hit, mainly thanks to the exposure and use of the song in the Sony Bravia Tv commercial.

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Corny TV Advertising

I just can’t stop laughing at this TV clip from BBC. What better to really muck the corniness of TV advertisements, then a bitter grumpy British dude? The funny thing is I have the same view about traditional advertising as him, in general. Often commercials and ads in magazines and on town have the purpose to create a image and/or message in the head of the consumers/receivers. Famous big luxurious brands often play on the notion that if you buy their products or just something from that brand you will get the feeling portrayed in the ads. They strive to build a feeling around their products and brands. And many times that feeling is just a fake reality. Marketers and advertising people are good at painting a image of their products and brands with no reality connections. Those people and media are truly masters at “deceiving” regular people.

How actors in the ads act isn’t usually resembling how regular people behave. If you view them from the right perspective they really appear corny as hell!

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