Some days should be Groundhog days

28 Oct

Ever get that ominous feeling on your way to work/the gym/rowing practice/a run, that something is not quite right?

Well today was my day that I REALLY wish would have begun again. 

OK, so alarm went off. Tick – fine. Showered to wake myself up – tick, clean.

Bob Geldof was right. Mondays are not my best of days. There is just something about Mondays. Totally psychological. You’re probably nodding in agreement with these comments. And I have no excuse. I don’t work a typical 9-5, so what is my problem?

First, my coffee didn’t taste like coffee. It was just hot, wet liquid.

As I drove to the Shed, the storm clouds above looked ominous that it would be a wet session on the water. I got every red light. Then I heard on the radio that Lou Reed had passed this earth. 71. Really? School and Uni memories came flooding in, and that was quite difficult at 4.45am.

Third or is that sixth? Two dead ringtail possums on the road. I really get sad when I see possum carnage. And they were big guys too. I wonder how old they were in possum years? 71 too?

Rowing session. Well I’m not sure what was going on, but I was hearing words, but not hearing them properly. Seeing things, but were they in slow motion? Calls were rubbish. This is probably where I should stop this blogpost…. But no, I know you want to read my Groundhog moment. Or is there several? 

Our crew get back to the pontoon. Hard session. My 7 had given me our new rudder to mind (to be put on for The Head of the Yarra) just before we went on the water. The race is in 5 weeks time. But did I leave it safely tucked away in the shed? I didn’t really know what to do with it, so I stowed it in my bag that I take with me. Yes take with me on the boat. My bag has important stuff like bandaids, shifting spanner, Nurofen, tape, shoelaces: stuff a coxswain should carry with them. So I put the bag on the pontoon. I hop out of the boat. Stand up. Go to grab my bag. It’s not done up….. you know what’s going to happen next… 


That’s when I wake up from my nightmare and the rudder is safely in my bag. And has NOT, no has not fallen into the Brisbane River. Sigh. I really need to get my coxswain mojo back. Or we can just start the day again. Without all of the bad things this time around. OK?


Brands Maketh The Sport

6 Sep

Having to purchase a new pair of sunglasses for rowing has been a harrowing task for a number of reasons. Firstly, have you seen how unattractive those sports sunnies are? Or maybe it’s just me! And some of the colours – oh dear, flouro is so in right now. No it’s not! Brand choice is overwhelming. Third or is that fifth! I have such a small face, that the sunnies swim on me and I look like a wanna-be celebrity in L.A wearing Posh Spice glasses. It’s just wrong.

It goes without saying that mega-sports brands really do know their target audiences. For example (insert any brand here)… Adidas, Nike and Oakley have sunnies for cycling, snow activities and what I wanted, water fun. And then just general public sunnies.

Often if you ‘belong’ to a sporting group, you need to look the part to fit in, or sadly, be accepted by that group. Take cyclists for example. If you are not dressed in lycra head to toe or have special shoes, you may not be taken seriously. OK, we all start off saying, I’ll never wear those padded bike shorts… but hey, once we start riding long(er) distances, we realise that those PEARL iZUMi padded pants rock! I even wear them now when I ride to work which admittedly is on my mountain bike and only about a 15 minutes ride! Yes, serious bike-heads scoff at me. No wonder I don’t belong to a club! And then there is what brand of bike you should own. You would be kept broke if you kept up with The Jones’ in that sport. And ultimately, your bike helps dictate how fast you go: which is very important. I’m not a biker, but brands including PEARL iZUMi, dhb and GORE know their cyclist audience needs. But Nike and Adidas are up there as well.

The running crowd also has their best choice brands. Clothes that keep you ultra dry, running shoes with the most support. AFL, golf, tennis, cricket… all sports have their favourite brand. Which their supporters see and often follow by wearing those same brands.

After all, brands have been telling us for a long time now that we can ‘Just Do It’ (as if you didn’t know – Nike) and ‘Impossible is Nothing’ from Adidas. They are very motivational tag lines. And whether we are at the top of our sport or a person who likes to keep fit or compete, these words do play at the back of our mind, especially when we want to stop or give up.

Do we need to see David Beckham with Adidas stripes all over him. Maybe not, but he certainly has been a great ambassador for the brand. Snoop Dog on the other hand could be questionable!

Psychology plays a large role in these sporting brands. Reebok’s ‘I am what I am’ line actually makes sense to the every day sports hero, as in their mind, they don’t have to be as good as The Fed Express or the top athletes that Nike sponsor. A bit of trivia for you, Reebok sponsored Greg Norman back in the 90s and also made history by signing the first ever non sportsperson Jay-Z back in 2003. Speaking of Reebok, one of my favourite clips that cracks me up every time I watch it from Wayne’s World with Garth wearing Reebok talking about Product Placement.

The good thing about being old(er) is that you really don’t have to buy all of the brands to belong to a group. However, as the old saying goes, “It’s all marketing dahlingk” and you may get caught up in the hype of acceptance and wanting to fit in, or the excitement of not only the sport but belonging to a group of like-minded individuals. And if you look the part it really doesn’t matter if you can’t swing the golf club, win the cycle race, jump the farthest or run the fastest.

Oh so what did I buy? It came down to size. I know you really want to know what sunnies I bought… Oakley Flak Jackets (how cool is that name)? I wanted blue to match my club colours (yeah I am a girl after all)!

Christmas in September

3 Sep

We’re all aware of Christmas in July. Gastronomic feasts, great friends. Ideally recreating those nostalgic Xmas card scenes with Santa hurtling through the snow with his reindeer. Yes, the snow! Far from our real Aussie 40 degree Christmas day heat, eating prawns and drinking copious quantities of refreshments to keep us cool. Or actually lazing in the pool or by the beach.

…. but Christmas in September?
DJs Xmas trees

Today I saw a huge display of Christmas decorations in a David Jones store. I am sure Myer has the same. I know hot cross buns are on the shelves days after Christmas (and secretly I love that – as I LOVE hot x buns). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Xmas too…. but gosh, do we really need the reminder that Xmas is only, um, 1, 2, gosh 4 months away. Four months! Seriously retailers…. why do you put your shoppers through this pain? Are you insulting us? Or is it just me?

Need some new business cards?

30 Jul

Tired of the ho-hum of business cards? Not sure if you’ll be fitting too many of these in your wallet, but a more personalised business ‘card’ is here.

Who wouldn’t want to work at LEGO?

lego business cards
I want one!






Read more: Lostateminor 

Colours – Part I

17 Jul

Much of our world is related to us in colours. Some never change. For example when we support the Aussie cricketers, rugby union, soccer and rugby league lads: we all wear our green and gold with pride. Airlines – red for Qantas: always will be. Virgin, well they used to be red, but now purple. Tiger, well they’re tiger coloured! 


However, like chameleons, some fashion colours change every season. With the upcoming Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, many designers will enthral and delight us with their new range of colours for the coming year. 

Today for many and tonight for more, only two colours are important in Australia. The battle between Blue and Maroon. Which one are you? 


17 Jun

Life really is about stories and the older you become, hopefully the more you have! I just went to a school reunion last weekend and it’s amazing how people’s lives have worked out, the direction they took and the stories they have to share. I went to school before the days of the internet (and no I’m not that old)! So if we wanted to keep in contact with someone it was via snail mail or a home phone line. With many people moving, living overseas, many of their parents having a sea change, keeping in contact became quite difficult. Sharing content has always been innate to us, and at Christmas we would snail mail photos to let our friends & family know what was going on in our life, sharing our experiences with them.


Communication today is far easier through technological advances and platforms. It wasn’t that long ago we had to send off our films to get our photos developed and printed. Kodak sure didn’t see the digital age looming (even though one of their engineers Steve Sasson invented the first digital camera in 1975). Kodak’s management stated to filmless photography, ‘that’s cute – but don’t tell anyone about it.’


Brands use stories and pictures for communication. As we can learn vicariously through these stories, learning by watching, reading or listening to others, brand engagement via story telling can be very powerful. People can relate to your brand story if a brand shows authenticity and transparency. And these brands will differ from person to person, and the perceptions that we have about that brand.


However, some brands just don’t get it and while they try to use co-creational strategies of crowd-sourcing, their story has flaws and inconsistencies, and shows no relevance to our life. Crafting a story that will relate to everyone won’t usually work, as a brand’s target audiences are so diverse. 


Stories are a wonderful instrument for a brand to have. They can engage, create emotional connections, and create long-term involvement and loyalty. But brands need to ask, what are the objectives of this story? What is the core message? Am I wasting this opportunity? Consumers are fickle, they don’t need to be entertained all of the time, so find out what stories emotionally connect with them and how they want to receive them. All communication is not via words, but pictures, video and who knows what technology has in store for us with Google Glass or the next big innovation. But remember that these stories or pictures are usually fleeting, and consumers have moved on to the next story. So keep it consistent, and people won’t get confused. I’m sure there are loads more examples out there, but think Coke using simplicity and longevity in their ‘Happiness’ or ‘Summer’ campaigns. I’m not sure about you, but very strong and personal images throughout my life come to mind.

I wonder what stories will be shared in another ten years time at my next reunion? 

Legends #1

5 May

There was movement at The Shed

for the word had passed around

on email that previous day,

that the Masters VIII had a 30 second age penalty.


The crew are too young.

The Stroke is a mere pup.

Officials agreed – their heart rates would have to go up!


The Stroke said WTF.

Stefan maintained BMI.

But Michael said that he was sure – That the CRC men would fly.


Banter in the shed was topical:

From ‘roids to tides. Anything to distract our minds.

Waiting for our final three to arrive.


Lach had it that the race was in the opposite direction.

(And unbeknowns to his crew – smuggled a secret weapon onboard).

Was it really to confuse the opposition?


James’ leg looked like he’d tried to shave it with an axe.

He had bark missing from his face.

The crew had no idea of what lay beneath

his rowing shirt. He was ready to race.


The idea of bull sharks had merit Lach!

However trying to poison your own crew on the way up with

something so strong?

Not one brave man was willing to stay in

the same air for too long!


We practiced our starts – not a more excited nine on the water there was.

The mood was far from tense.

Nerves were hidden in the mist

(Or behind Bill’s cool sunnies).

Adrenalin pulsed our bodies. The first of six.


Our 30 second penalty forgotten. We raced past our competition.

‘Led by the man who made that boat fly’ we heard the trees whisper,

as we sped by.

Little did we know

James had been dealt a wicked blow.

Under his CRC colours subdued.

Was his body, black and blue bruised.


‘Not a More Brave Stroke’ was on the water that day –

The tabloids read.

Technique was spot on, the crew in form.

The 6kms sped.


Men, not boys that day – enjoyed the win in many ways.

Stories & whispers still swirl around The Shed.

But those 9 on the water that day –

know the truth to the Legend.

About the man who made the boat fly.



14 Apr

In our personal life, breaking up with a loved one or a dear friend can be very difficult. And the same goes for brand breakups – or is it?

There are many brands that we have forged long relationships with. Some by osmosis – think Vegemite, Colgate toothpaste and other brands that we have used since childhood. Others have come from our parents/grandparents using that brand or it fits into our lifestyle. Two prime examples are what car you drive could be because you grew up with Ford or Holden (this may not be so prevalent to younger generations), and what bank you bank with. Both of these examples could be long-term loyalty that you hold towards these brands, without actually knowing why you bank with that bank. Let alone if you even like this brand.

Let’s take the example of your bank. You’ve been with them since you were at primary school and (insert bank name here) they gave you a money-box and you thought that they were pretty cool! Your first pay cheque went into that account. You’d watch the balance go up and down in the book (yes remember the book)! You bought your first car, got your first loan, you got some traveller’s cheques and travelled overseas (if you’re older and remember what traveller’s cheques were)! You may have bought your first home – all using that same bank.

When you think about it, this bank (or brand) has been with you for the majority of your life. You’ve been through a lot together. It knows a lot about you. Personal details like your birthday, and of course, how much you are worth to that bank. Did you ever get a birthday card from your bank? Nope. Just a monthly statement, a black and white relationship. Purely transactional.

And of course, as you’ve been friends for so long, wouldn’t you think that your bank would give you special treatment? A gift for being in such a committed relationship?

No it seems.

But what do you get? Interest hikes, no special attention, no paper statements, please don’t come into visit us in a branch – please do everything online, as we really don’t want to see you?


Not until you have to ask for them to be nice to you. You ask them to give you a better rate, a better deal – as we’ve been together for over 20 years (please). It has come to begging! But of course, your bank has now moved on to their next victim and it appears they have become a pimp.

So the question must be asked. Did your bank break up with you in the first instance?

And you missed the whole thing?

Breaking up with a bank (or any other brand for that matter) can be quite hard as it’s personal. You’ve invested great amounts of time and money in this relationship. Your insurance, investments, share portfolio…. credit cards, the list goes on. To move often incurs fees. But more so, you have feelings for this brand.

I’ve slowly broken up with my bank but it has been coming for a while. Somehow I’ve put it in the too hard basket and I’ll do that when I have time! First it was my home & contents insurance, next it was my car insurance. At first I felt sad that our relationship had to end. Then I got angry as the other person in this relationship (my bank) was not even trying to save our relationship!

Next week it is my home loan. I now have no feelings for my bank. My bank has no feelings for me. It has become the clinical relationship that my bank made it years ago, but I was too (in love or complacent) to see. It wasn’t love, it was laziness on my behalf.

I did ask them to be nice to me, to save our relationship. “I’ve been loyal to you” I told them, but they didn’t want to know, listen or talk.

A brand needs to be so many things to its customers: honesty and relevancy are two that spring to mind. Hence we see The National Bank’s advertising campaign to ‘Break Up With Our Bank’ and one I saw this morning, ‘Would your bank tell you if another bank had better rates?’ Brands need to be wherever customers have needs. Find out what we really want and give it to us. It’s really not that hard!

Relationships make the world go round, whether personal or brands. Breaking up with brands isn’t that difficult, ‘cos if there ain’t no trust, there ain’t no relationship!



VD aka Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Love it or think it’s rubbish, Valentine’s Day is one of the largest, most celebrated, global marketing spins. However it does have a wonderful history. And if you are any woman on the planet (& even in out of space), you would want to receive some small token today to know that you are loved. So where does today come from?

Three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred and recognised by the Catholic Church. The first legend is from the 3rd Century, a Roman priest Valentine, who performed marriages for young lovers in secret. This was due to Emperor Claudius II deciding that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, outlawing marriage for young men.  When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius of course, ordered he be put to death. 

Another legend tells the story of an imprisoned Valentine sending the first “valentine” greeting after he fell in love with a young girl who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. 

There is also rumour that the Christian church may have decided to start a St. Valentine’s Day feast in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.   February 15 was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. This is quite an interesting story to read! 

No matter what today brings (or doesn’t), if you have a partner or loved one, celebrate the love every day! Because as we all know, ‘it’s love makes the world go round’ by W.S Gilbert


For more reading:’s_Day


Insurance FAIL

11 Feb

So last weekend I went to pay my Home & Contents insurance. I thought I needed new glasses as the bill was $1700. This is up from around $1100 from the previous year.

Now let me put this into perspective, I have been insured with Suncorp for 11 years. And I have never claimed. Ever.

So to give Suncorp the benefit of the doubt, I rang and queried this. Yes the price did go down considerably when I upped my excess. However I gave youi a ring just to compare, and with a $300 difference, I knew where I was going to house my insurance. Pardon the pun!

Will I move my car insurance when it’s due? Not sure, but would love your feedback on this one.

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