Worthwhile Links – Building value, How Google Works, Global Digital Strategy Rollout…

The volume of conversation around the role of technology and brand is most certainly picking up within the places I find my inspiration / information. Broadly speaking, we’re seeing more innovative brands starting to find ways to build value within their product / service offering by using technologies available today.

Where a lot of product is at parity with its competitor set, stories aimed at creating demand are getting less effective as the web creates a layer of radical transparency through reviews and social media conversation. The route then is to augment existing products with a digital layer that adds genuine value and creates a point of difference from which better, more effective stories can be told. (It’s harder to tell great stories about average products!)


A great foundation to this line of thought comes from Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt on How Google Works.

Neil Perkin has a great blog post about the takeouts from the presentation.

And don’t let formal business plans hamper the freedom of smart creatives: ‘Don’t base your future on a plan…instead base it on a strategic foundation…the plan is fluid, the foundation is stable’. Such a foundation has three main pillars:

1. Create superior products based on unique technical insights

2. Optimise for growth, not revenue

3. Know the competition, don’t follow it


For the brand marketers, a really valuable piece from McKinsey and J&J’s VP of digital strategy

Developing a global digital strategy

How does a global company take advantage of digital technology? Johnson & Johnson’s vice president of digital strategy, Gail Horwood, explains.


Quartz has a great write up on a feature quietly launched by Apple last week for their iPads with SIM cards:

This new “Apple SIM” could legitimately disrupt the wireless industry

“Perhaps the most interesting news about Apple’s new iPad Air 2 tablet is buried at the bottom of one of its marketing pages: It will come pre-installed with a new “Apple SIM” card instead of one from a specific mobile operator.

Apple explains:

The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you—with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.

So far, Apple lists three of the top four US operators—AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile—as partners. In the UK, there’s EE, a joint venture between T-Mobile and Orange. Apple says participating carriers may change.”


Submarine Cable Map

The Submarine Cable Map is a free resource from TeleGeography. Data contained in this map is drawn from the Global Bandwidth Research Service and is updated on a regular basis.


Coca-Cola tests Wi-Fi vending machines for deeper smartphone engagements.

Coca-Cola is availing itself of the growing trend toward Wi-Fi use by smartphone owners with a new strategy to enable wireless connectivity through its branded vending machines.

The Wi-Fi-enabled vending machines are being tested by Coca-Cola and British Telecom in two communities in South Africa. The strategy is the latest example of how Coca-Cola continues to lead the way in mobile marketing by coming up with clever ways to tie its brand to consumers’ love of their smartphones.


The Wi-Fi vending machines are located in Umtata and Nelspruit.


Colonising Mars – inside the mind of Elon Musk..


Elon Musk argues that we must put a million people on Mars if we are to ensure that humanity has a future


Love these ads: Google Analytics in Real Life


Started as a Grad, now I’m here!

I began my career as a bright eyed QuirkStudling in April 2013; ready and eager to take on the challenge that was the Quirk Grad Programme. Having just graduated from the Red & Yellow School where I thrived from the practical, industry relevant training; I craved the same challenging and stimulating environment to begin my career. The opportunity to experience and learn from different departments and disciplines within Quirk seemed like the perfect fit.

To say Quirk Grads are thrown in the deep-end is accurate, but mostly an understatement. Having to juggle multiple tasks from answering phones at reception and making coffee for clients; to working on actual billable projects in the agency, all whilst studying Red & Yellow courses is a typical day in a Quirk Grad’s life. Whether we like it or not, we quickly become pro’s at multitasking, time management, working with a team, thinking quickly on our feet and keeping calm under pressure. Most importantly; we master the art of making cappuccino’s for clients and planning agency celebrations so that; should our careers in Advertising not pan out we have our Barista and Event’s planning skills to fall back on.

Quirk’s Halloween shindig 2013- I’m the luminescent minion

Throughout my time as an intern, I worked on multiple projects learning from experts and peers in various disciplines such as SEO, UX, Mobile, Account Management and Strategy. I managed to get 4 Red & Yellow short courses under my belt which further solidified my knowledge and practical experience in the advertising industry. Participating in a project start up that challenged me to construct a business plan for an entrepreneurial start-up to present my idea to some of Quirks major shareholders also granted me an amazing opportunity to be mentored by some of Quirk’s most talented and experienced experts. I was furthermore given the opportunity to assist with organising and attending the prestigious digital advertising award show- The Bookmarks which gave me great experience and insight into the South African digital advertising landscape.

Quirk Team at Bookmarks 2013

From the intern pen, I was inducted into the operations team into another challenging, yet stimulating role as a Project Manager -which essentially means I get paid to boss people around for a living. Fast forward a year later; I’m still happily fulfilling my role as a Project Manager and have also taken on further responsibility as a Mobile Operations Assistant. I have also been fortunate enough to have been selected for Quirk’s Future Giants leadership training course to further mould my leadership and project management skills within Quirk.

The potential for growth for an eager grad is limitless in a programme such as Quirk’s Graduate Programme. I’ve been placed out of my comfort zone and challenged beyond my capabilities and am stronger for it. I look back on my journey through the Grad Programme and where it’s lead me to today. I am proud to have solid agency experience and an ample understanding of digital advertising, and not to mention, had an absolute blast doing it all. I look forward with excitement of endless possibilities. So little time, so much to learn and so many challenges still to tackle. #ChallengeAccepted.

Does the Quirk Grad Programme sound like the challenging and stimulating environment for you? Visit our website to find out more about the programme and how to apply. #GetInvolved


As Heard In the Pen

An entire three weeks into the Quirk Digital Marketing graduate programme, and it took the power of music to finally cement the relationships between my new colleagues. As it has done so many times before music in the intern pen built a community out of people who would otherwise be strangers. Regardless of the position, chair, and preference of the intern a shared space of music has over my six months here at Quirk been the perfect beginning to many; conversation starters, sing offs (I always win), banter sessions, and even a few strained relationships. Every song that has been played within the realm of the pen holds a special place within the hearts of the pen dwellers, and will continue to do so, for many years to come.

While all music is equal, some songs are more equal than others. Some songs have managed to ingrain themselves in the minds of the entire Quirk agency. One might even go as far as to call these songs a tad overplayed (this term is not one that should be used loosely however as certain Quirkstars take serious offence to being reprimanded over music murder).

These are the songs that were there for the best of times, and there for the worst of times. No graduate intern from the period of June 2014 will ever forget the power (or irritation) of any Sam Smith song that has ever existed, and I am proud to say that it is all my fault. Three months into the graduate program and us studlings were introduced to Sia, a young girl whose only wish was to swing form the chandeliers, and the Catalyst for our very first (very informal) intern choir session. And of course who can forget the loving memory of the intern Jo Mills (who is not dead just not in the pen) whose love of gangster rap taught us otherwise innocent individuals to swear like sailors.

These songs (some good and some just down right corny) could be seen as a good point of reference for any “fresh out the box” rookie looking to start a conversation with his/her penmates. Here are a list of the top 8 songs one will probably hear if one happens to wander to close to the Quirk Intern lair:

1) Sam Smith – Stay with Me
2) Megan Trainor -All about that base
3) Taylor Swift – shake it off
4) Sia- Chandalier
5) AKA -Congratulate
6) Calvin Harris – Summer
7) The Fray – How to Save a life
8) Lil Jon - Turn down for what




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