hidden pizza – marketing radness or a campaign gone wrong?

It is very interesting to read all the critical comments Hidden Pizza has attracted over the last few weeks. People feel it’s missed the mark, that Yellow Pages simply don’t understand the interweb and the nature of social media. Before I made any decisions and critical remarks I decided to experience Hidden Pizza for myself. Firstly as a keen punter and secondly as a professional. I’m at the very beginnings of my marketing career and I’m mesmerised by anything that gets my attention (and yes that includes boring old TV ads and outdoor posters presented to me on my morning tram rides). So Hidden Pizza was screaming out for a visit plus the coolness factor and the chance to be a part of it was a little hard to resist.

So the story goes like this; we (cool husband and myself) first discovered Hidden Pizza via an email from a friend, this email included notes to find Hidden Pizza in the Yellow Pages. You may think this is cheating, but alas our friend played right into the hands of the mighty Yellow with us both going straight to the Yellow Pages website within minutes of receiving said email.

So the first box, and marketing rule 101 has been checked. Change the punters behaviour and make them think about your brand for a moment.

Being the keen marketers we are, we then Googled Hidden Pizza to find out more. The Hidden Pizza blog was first cab off the rank. It is at this point I want to give kudos to the big Yellow, for they must have been building that blog for months to get it up there and ranked first. They have preempted our Gen XY behavior and covered their bases with a top ranking blog in the biggest search engine on the planet (no mean feat).

The website is cool and groovy, hats off to the video – one of my marketing obsessions at the moment. In fact the website was  so cool and groovy that we both remembered to discuss it over dinner that night. We then made a date for free pizza and noted the phone number down in our mobiles. We didn’t give it another thought after that, and nor did we visit the Yellow Pages for any other part of our project.

Now, because the pizza was free I guess they could get away with jerking the punters around a bit. On the proposed date, my husband and I decided to call from work to order our pizzas, but when we called a recorded message said we were too far out of range and would have to call up when we were closer. Huh? closer? out of range? we don’t even know where it is. The website said somewhere in Melbourne, we called from Hawthorn. It’s at this point that I would have given up. But I had the Anthill article by Lachy Wharton up my sleeve (http://anthillonline.com/hidden-pizza-restaurant-reveals-not-so-hidden-flaws-in-yellow-pages-digital-strategy/). So I cheekily kinda knew it was in Fitzroy, and I wasn’t letting sleeping dogs lie – so we jumped in the car and drove toward Fitzroy, I had the hubby ringing the number on both mobiles and by the time we’d hit Hoddle Street we had our tickets.

A friendly text followed with a handy link to a WhereIs map. I tried using WhereIs, it was useless. I was looking for a tiny alley in Fitzroy and this map just didn’t have the detail. Google sorted us out.

Upon entry we were met by a bouncer who asked us to flash or SMS tickets to get in. We waited a bit, but finally got our pizza and dined in style amongst wheelie bins made of recycled wood, walls built of Yellow Pages and tunes kicken out to the likes of  Block Party, the Strokes and some Killers. Rad really. Very Rad.

It was at this point I got to thinking. This is what I have always wanted in my neighborly pizza joint. Coolness. Most are lacking in it, in fact there are many places lacking in it and not just pizza joints. Coolness, good food and rad people is where I want to eat – but how do I find them?  Word of mouth – YAWN. Google – another YAWN. When I’m searching for somewhere to eat Google just brings up the usual garb; YourRestaurants, MenuLog and bunch of other rubbish websites that give me nothing.  I want to find that hidden gem, the one that the locals know about but won’t tell you. The one that can often be run by a food guru who has no idea about SEO and doesn’t really care because the punters are finding him anyway. And rightly so, why should the food guru employ the services of a web guru, who he might not trust, who will give him a big spiel that he won’t understand and who probably won’t track any results for him.

This is where Yellow Pages can add value. They could take this opportunity and become the Facebook and MySpace for small business. Giving these businesses a cheap, comprehensive presence on the internet that is easy to find. So the people will go to Google first, but Yellow Pages can use its brute brand strength to get their customers listings up there in the search engines. Let’s be crazy and add in a bit of analysis to boot.  Then you have a site that has tapped the business market, as Facebook has tapped the individuals. A site that meets the needs of its customers and the needs of its users.

After our Hidden Pizza I walked away with the impression that the pizza was just part of a bigger picture.  All those critics out there can point their fingers at Yellow Pages. But I say watch this space, the precision in which this project has been executed says to me that nothing has been left to chance.  Hidden Pizza might be finishing on April 25, but I have a gut feeling there will be more to come. And even if there is not. Yellow Pages isn’t saying die. They’ll keep having a crack ’til they get it right.

Posted in Food, professional | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

the sustainable kettle

When our third electric kettle in as many years stopped working, I not only felt annoyed, but I felt guilty. What was I to do with this now redundant chunk of plastic? The only place for it was the bin.

Then I got to thinking about the broken kettle and how much it cost, the energy that was used to make it, the energy that was required to make it work and how much space it was about to take up in landfill. And then I realised we would go through all of this again in a couple of years when the next kettle broke. We needed something a little more sustainable, our next kettle needed to be one that would last for 10 years. Or more.

We set about looking for a stove kettle, just like Grandma had – complete with an old school whistle. It didn’t take long until we found this lovely shiny red Essteele kettle. We loved it immediately. It ticked all the boxes and even had a lifetime warranty.

So for some details; our perfect kettle has a nice thick base, along with a lovely thick glossy coat of paint and a rubber thingys on the handle so you don’t burn your hands when you pick it up. There were a few kettles we found that were much cheaper but a bit tinny and certainly not coming with a lifetime warranty. We paid $80 for our kettle, which didn’t seem much given an electric one cost about $60 and this $80 kettle was intended to be a one off purchase.

Pics below:

Posted in Products | 3 Comments

my sunday meets the interweb

1. girltalk

2. roast dinners

3. wine for 2.95

4. supermarkets within walking distance

5. breakfast dates

6. skype

7. the michael jackson revival

8. indoor plants

9. fresh turmeric

10. orecchiette pasta

Posted in top 10 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

does this mean we’re grown up?

We went for breakfast with some friends of ours today. The restaurant was beautiful – it was really, really beautiful – and it was theirs!

When they first told us of this venture (we were out for drinks at the Tote a few weeks ago) – I have to admit I thought it would be just another breakfast place. How wrong could I be! It was fine-dining at the finest end of fine.

Nestled in the prettiest part of Maling Road – Canterbury, the place was picture perfect – they grew their own herbs, smoked their own bacon, baked their own bread – in essence they were down with all things good about food.

As we chatted over our coffees and green teas – all of a sudden I felt an awkward sensation when I realized our friends really did own this place and we might not have to pay, sheesh – I really shouldn’t have ordered those two extra sides.

Breakfast came and it was most delicious – perfectly portioned and perfectly poached we enjoyed some delicious home made beans and the tea smoked salmon was a treat.

Afterwards we were shown around the restaurant – checked out the function area and our friend’s new office… It was at that point I realized something – does this mean we are grown up? – We have friends who own beautiful restaurants and we talk with them about weddings, work and where we should live (things I’m sure I didn’t care about when I was 19). We move on with our day and concern ourselves with dishwashing liquid and if we should send our wedding invites out in envelopes or not, questions I know I didn’t care about at 19. And then I thought… Maybe it’s not about being grown up – maybe you just care about different things when your 31 than when your 19.

check out our friends restaurant Wildflower

Al fresco

Al fresco

Beautiful door of wildflower

Beautiful door of wildflower

Posted in Food, Me, People | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pies v Lions

wow! pies come through with another win (95pts to 55 pts). this is exciting and I really regret staying home for this one – would have been great to be a part of the Presti cheer squad.

Presti in action

Presti in action

pies kicked a crap load of points, and really, for the shots at goal (35 v 15) they should have won by much more. but there was no danger in losing, even with this flaw. pies owned the ball and most of the second half of the game was spent in collingwood’s forward 50.

i feel for trav cloke, he has his good days and his bad, leon provided some awesome entertainment, medhurst tried his best but seems to have lost his confidence, lee brown did ok on jonathan brown (browny still kicked a bag with 5 goals 4) but it was good to see someone as big as browny on browny, pendles once again came through with some more coolheaded play.  my favorite player (and has been for a few weeks now) is beams – he’s just yet another solid team member that the pies can rely on each week, it will be such a bummer if he goes to the goldcoast.

the last quarter saw presti jump back on the ground after a nasty knock to the head in the first quarter. the crowd were on presti’s side after believing  j brown was responsible for knocking him out of the game. presti got amongst it like he was having the game of his life (must have been the move from defence) – he had a few failed shots at goal, was grabbing the ball left right and centre and even had the camera man looking for him to see what he was gonna pull out next.

nick maxwell summed it up nicely last night – good win – collingwood will definitely play finals – but you can’t win the granny from 5, 6, 7 or 8. i like his thinking.

Posted in Footy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

the journal unfolds

After some wise recomends from a boy at work I have decided upon wordpress as the host for my journal. I’m hoping to get savvy and change a lot of stuff up. We’ll see, my grand plans may go unfulfilled for lack of knowledge and skill.

Posted in Me | Leave a comment