Start Up Blog

Inspiring change – Superhumans

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 4, 2012

Changing someones opinion is one of the hardest things to do in business. Our world views are very often entrenched and shaped over many years. A consistent improvement in products or service over many years can often get the job done. But this is a long game. Every now and again someone manages to do it a couple of minutes. I have recently had one such moment personally with an advertisement. Watch this below and then I’ll bare my soul to you…

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit this, but before I saw this advertisement I had zero interest in the Paralympics. I honestly felt as though I was compelled to respect them. As though it was evil not to like the event or even care about it. But I didn’t care at all.

Fast forward 1 minute 30 seconds and I not only want to watch them this year, but have a new found level of respect and interest. It’s another great example of how we no longer buy what people do, but why they do it.


Johnny Walker brand story

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 19, 2010

The high ground for any brand is the story. It’s what we should be aiming for. A brand where part of what people buy is the is the history, or to be part of a tribe. Johnny Walker has put together a great new campaign where they tell their story. It’s a 6 minute time investment worth taking.

Some things worth thinking about with the Johnny walker story:

  • It’s a long copy format. 6 minutes plus. Something which can’t be done on TV.
  • It circumvents the negative connotations with success and globalisation. The personal effort and history makes financial success more palatable.
  • It gives detail about the product, range and brand that just wouldn’t be possible in shorter media formats
  • It’s sharable. Easy to send to friends, worth talking about.
  • It’s eyeball worthy. Well shot and executed.
  • It’s the idea. Ideas are king again, not media. Any brand with a story, and a small level of film / web expertise could have done it.
  • This is clearly Radvertising

What does this mean for startups? It means that a large part of what we talk about should not only be how we got here, but why we are taking this journey. A story they can live vicariously through.


Great bootstrapping

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 19, 2010

This Nutrigrain commercial isn’t really about cereal. It’s a message for Entrepreneurs. Take a look.

Notice how he didn’t let his environment (non coastal) hold him back?

Notice the tools he built to train himself and replicate his desired future?

Notice, the time invested in his dream, the years of dedication?

He wasn’t concerned about the resources he didn’t have, rather those he could use to bootstrap his training. It’s an attitude that all entrepreneurs should have.

Best we take a second look. – Trolley Radvertising

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 22, 2009

Seek has pulled off another piece of radvertising with Trolly.

This is spot on for seek. Classic single minded proposition showing breadth of jobs.

Well done Seek marketing crew.

VB Regulars – new TVC is Radvertising

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 9, 2009

VB have just launched another advertising campaign titled ‘the Regulars’ – which is a shift from the 20 year old ‘Hard earned thirst’ campaign we all know the tune of….

Take a look – then I’ll give you my thoughts below:

I think it is excellent. If this doesn’t turn around the brand, then nothing will (FYI – the brand has had periods decline for many years now).

Why is it excellent?

Well, beer used to be a reward for effort type product in the mainstream beer category. Historically VB fit the mould for labourers, tradesman et al. As we move from a manufacturing to an information society,  hard earned thirst doesn’t seem to make sense, everyday people does. The current social climate has changed and the Regulars reflects this. The execution of the idea is an absolute benchmark and manages to integrate a bit of ‘celebrity’ without alienating the Regulars, in fact – it promotes the everyday man to the celebrity.

This is clearly Radvertising.


Radvertising by Nike

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 25, 2009

Often I have strong opinions on somewhat popular advertising which I lambast for being bad. In recent memory is the Cadbury Gorilla. But here is some radvertising by Nike. It’s a bit old but I only recently happened upon it. And it’s rad for the following reasons:

  1. The idea is integrated to the category & product
  2. It leverages sponsored personnel
  3. It puts the consumer in the situation
  4. Although it does category job – they are category leaders
  5. It’s entertaining – which is an acceptable bonus – and should never be the only feature of the advertisement like it is with the Cadbury Gorilla



Radvertising for rentoid

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 13, 2009

Here’s some radvertising I just made for my start up (well business now, more than startup) rentoid.

It’s zero budget and within 30 minutes of posting it already had around 1000 eyeballs across it – not bad.

Do you like it?


Guinness does James Boag

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 7, 2009

They’ve started already with this clever spoof from Guinness of the James Boag’s Tasmania magic water advertisement – as blogged about here.

Radvertising or badvertising – What do you think?


Radvertising – James Boag

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 24, 2009

Here’s some more radvertising from local Tasmanian beer brand James Boag. Watch it, then I’ll tell you why it is radvertising:

Sure, it’s very entertaining, even funny. But as I’ve said many times before this isn’t why is ‘radvertising’, it’s because the creative idea is inextricably linked to the product…

  • Brand Heritage evident in the visuals and story
  • The core idea of ‘special water’ relates strongly to the brand and it’s Point of Difference
  • It’s conversation worthy, which means it’ll spread digitally, like it is right here on startup blog
  • And yes, it’s a joy to watch

The only negative, if there is one, is the potential for it to do a ‘category job’ for all beers Tasmanian, but that is inherent in their proposition and difficult to avoid.

The lessons for startups trying to create ‘radvertising’ is simple, make sure your ‘creative idea’ is linked the actual product.


Dubai series: Hijack Advertising

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on January 31, 2009

The photo below is on the car of the guy I am staying with in Dubai. Have a look at the wheel cover on his 4 wheel drive, of which there are more than sedans on the road in said location.


You’ll notice that it has a cover on it for ‘Danube’ which happens to be a building materials company. Funny this is ‘Michael – the car owner’ doesn’t work there. He told me one day he returned to his vehicle to find it placed on his spare wheel.  I asked him if it annoyed him, and he proceeded to tell me, it doesn’t worry him as it protects his wheel, and it is a bit of a hassle to remove. Yep, he hasn’t got around to removing it yet…

Subsequently I noticed these on many cars in Dubai. Seems the other owners of the hijacked cars haven’t bothered to remove theirs either.

It’s an interesting piece of advertising and media invention.
It is giving an item of value to the hijacked, that is the wheel cover, but on the same token it’s very interruptive. If the cover get’s thrown away, it becomes a costly exercise for the advertiser. I’m not sure it would be tolerated in a western market, but it’s innovative non the less.



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