Blank Bottle WinesI just recieved an interesting email from the owner of Blank Bottle Wines, Pieter H. Walser, describing some of the marketing/customer-engagement tactics they've used successfully lately.

1. Mystery wine. "I sold a few thousand bottles without telling anyone what’s in the bottle. There were 10 cases up for grabs for the closest answer. Two months later I revealed what was in the bottle. 125 people wrote back with comments, guessed the cultivar, vintage etc".

My comment: Good idea, this gives people who know their wine the opportunity to show off that knowledge by correctly guessing its characteristics. It also gives people something to discuss around the wine, which (at least in my case), would make me more likely to take it along to dinner parties.

2. BLANKbottle™ Premium white released without price: “Instead of setting its price, I decided to let my loyal clients decide. I sent out 20 cases of “Moment of Silence” without payment or price, leaving it up to them to pay me what they thought its worth! Pricing suggestions reached up to R70, and most were prepared to pay around R50/bottle. As BLANKbottle™ was created to over-deliver on quality; I set the final price at R40". i.e. He crowdsourced the price:)

My Comment: Good idea, following the same principle that RadioHead successfully applied with In Rainbows. However, I think the execution was a bit half-hearted by limiting it to only 20 of his loyal customers. Perhaps Pieter should have left the price people chose to pay open to suggestion for a few more weeks, as this would have created more buzz around his product.

As with his previous wines, “Moment of Silence” leaves you in the dark about the cultivar and year of vintage. To uncover the lineage of “Moment of Silence” or any of his other wines, you need to go to his website where you will find the full story behind your BLANKbottle.

Pieter is sending me a bottle to try, I must admit that the small incentive did encourage me to write this blog post. I'm such a sucker for freebies sometimes. Aren't most bloggers?
Amazing Marketing MachineThe clever chaps at Springleap have come up with another killer idea to engage SA bloggers and drive lots of signups to their new site. It's called Blogger Warz, where each month two prominent SA bloggers are pitted against each other to get the most votes for their t-shirt designs.

I'm up against Mike Stopforth (with his design called "Fit-Shan") in the first round. The design I submitted was done my my talented illustrator friend, Ryno Van Niekerk. It's called "The Amazing Marketing Machine".

The story that goes with the design is as follows:

A mashup of potent technological innovations, The Amazing Marketing Machine will help any marketer be more intelligent, more playful, more out-of-this world! But if you didn’t know that you might just think it was a pile of junk. Ironic huh?

If you dig it, please go and vote it up on Springleap HERE (note, you need to register). Some lucky people might even get the opportunity to wear this awesome design if we win.
Posted
AuthorDave Duarte

Patricia De Lille blogPatricia De Lille has denounced the freedom of bloggers, asking government to crack down on bloggers. This follows a bout blog of criticism targeted at ID colleague, Simon Grindrod.


IOL reports that she's even applying to use tax-payer's money for a National Intelligence Service investigation to track the blogger down.

Fortunately, we live in a free and democratic country where this will not get very far. Perhaps, as Angus points out, MP De Lille will find a more sympathic government in communist China or North Korea?

The point of citizen journalism, as opposed to regulated mainstream media is free and natural expression of ideas by ordinary people (i.e. voting constituents). If these issues with Grindrod are being raised online, people are probably talking about them in natural conversation too. She could gain alot more benefit by paying attention to what is being said, and possibly responding in a public forum to the issues that have been raised. This is the meaning of "join the conversation".

This is why your fellow parliamentarians Helen Zille and Ebrahim Rasool from the DA and ANC respectively have social-media profiles... And I congratulate them for that.