for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant


Wendy Mullin of Built by Wendy whose collections have always been based around her love of the handmade and hand-sewn, has designed a line of home sewing patterns for the Simplicity Pattern Co. Anyone looking for more unique and stylish patterns can choose from a top, pants, shirt or jacket option- a refreshing change from the rather boring and naff pattern options generally available and a good way for a small design label to increase its appeal and spread its message

  • Built by You patterns
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    In the next few weeks, Mini USA will launch a series of ads in a wide range of magazines aimed just at Mini owners, and excluding everyone else.

    The ads will be encrypted, decipherable only by the cognoscenti. Mini is sending owners a “covert” kit – mocked up as a wizened-looking book – that will include special glasses, a decoder, and a “magic window decryptor.” Using those, owners will be able to find Web addresses in the ads that lead them to free prizes and invitations to events. Mini are hoping that non-owners will feel slightly jealous that they’re out of the loop, and rush to their nearest car dealership! An interesting idea, lets see how it affects their sales!

  • Businessweek article
  • Filed under: clever promotion, , ,


    A great bit of promotion by Lipton- they have taken over part of Soho Square this week and created a fully functioning wi-fi enabled office which anyone can use for free. Considering the record-breaking temperatures at the moment and the lack of air-conditioning in so many workplaces, the chance to work outdoors is proving very popular- as you can see-

    “Open from 10am to 6pm on each day the outdoor offices provide everything a London employee needs to ensure they meet their deadline while catching some sunshine including a receptionist and waiting area, three bookable meeting rooms, a workstation area with Wi-Fi hotdesks for fifteen people (provided by T-Mobile) and a free refreshment bar”

    If only all offices could be like this!

  • lipton outdoor office
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    Now there’s a way to utilise social networking sites and catch the kids while they’re young and impressionable: the Miami Herald reports that over 12,000 MySpace users have signed on as friends of the U.S Marine Corps, and other miltary branches are planning to try their luck with web surfers as well. What’s next, using World of Warcraft to train them?!

  • full article
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    I saw this in the paper and was surprised by its effectiveness- it’s very simple but makes a strong point that charity can be at any point in your life- even after.

    Filed under: ads that caught my eye


    I have been wondering what activity could possibly grab the nation next- from boot camp fitness and ‘Muddy Buddy’ races to parkour and bouldering, everyone seems to be going crazy for adrenaline- chasing, ultra-endurance fitness, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself noticing an increase in attention towards something far less strenuous- fishing- especially for women!

    CNN reported on the Fishin’ Chix, ‘an elite club of Pensacola women who took to the seas after Hurricane Ivan tore through their upscale neighborhood almost two years ago’, whose founder has ‘launched her own plan to expose more women to what she calls “Armani-style fishing” ‘, whilst over on this side of the pond Nutri-Grain is advertising it’s oat bars with two twentysomething women out on a fishing trip.

    Clearly they think that their target customer who eats her breakfast on the go escapes to the countryside on the weekends, which although probably not very accurate has a definite element of truth- there is a growing environmental guilt from city living and a desire to get back to nature, so maybe fishing is the answer to fill the void in our consumer-driven lives??!

  • CNN article
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    Renault UK are promoting their new Megane by launching a season of outdoor drive-in movies across the UK. According to Brand Republic, a deal has been struck with Carat who are”promoting the launch of the Renault Megane’s ‘Do it with Mediterranean Style’ communication platform which will feature on-site food stalls and refreshments at each film screening”. Tickets to the screenings are free from the newly developed microsite, hosted by Channel 4.

    Renault have picked up on a really good guerrilla trend which has been filtering back into consumer consciousness, and are using it in a clever way- the British have a very romanticised view of drive-in movies, (mainly because our climate hasn’t allowed for much outdoor entertainment in the past!) and as our summers get hotter and hotter everyone is looking for new external activities, plus creating an evening’s entertainment around their brand dilutes the message whilst still clearly promoting Renault in a way that is inoffensive to the public- Looks to me like everyone’s a winner!

  • more info
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    Rochas a/w 06

    It’s a sad sad day for fashion- according to WWD, Rochas fashion house is to close. Despite having recieved critical acclaim for its collections since the appointment of Olivier Theyskens as designer three years ago, and reporting a 30% growth last year, the ready-to-wear business is still making a loss. Although Theysken’s collections were some of the most refreshingly original and wearable seen, the extortionate price points of Rochas has been its downfall. As we know most fashion houses are struggling financially with very few making a profit from their clothing lines, so maybe now it’s time for them to re-assess their future and look at ways of decreasing their prices! Lets hope Theyskens relaunches his own line (which he put on hold to take the job at Rochas), as I think he is a designer with true creative insight.

  • WWD
  • Filed under: industry news,


    My friends and I took part this weekend on a photographic treasure hunt of London, arranged by Shoot Experience.
    The company started creating these days last year and the events have all sold out so far- it’s a fun and exciting way to spend a day, and the prizes are awarded for creativity and humour so anyone can have a go- although my little camera paled in comparison to the professional -looking equipment most people seemed to have!

    I think the idea could extend to lots of other cities, it’s certainly taking off here! It’s a good way to discover things about your city you never knew, and could be great for non-natives too – anyone for treasure hunt tourism??

  • shoot experience
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    Frank Gehry is designing a branch of the Guggenheim foundation to be the first major art museum to open in the city, which is apparently costing over $200 million and should be built by 2011.

    Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the plan “represents the determination of the Abu Dhabi government to create a world-class cultural destination for its residents and visitors. “

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