Tag Archives: politics

This is NOT a Royal Baby blog: Waiter, is that an iPhone in my soup?

23 Jul

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I use my iPhone all the time. It’s the first thing I check when I wake up and the last thing I look at, at night. I tweet, blog, Facebook and Snap Chat – and I’ll do whatever the next big thing is.

I don’t get offended by people checking their phone when they’re with me – it’s about staying connected and being involved in a conversation at that very moment. I’m always telling my friends that the great thing about social media is that it happens in ‘real time’. I can enjoy a conversation with someone on the other side of the world and not have to wait around for a reply, but feel assured that they are online and I know chatting will be as easy as if they were next door.

So, I’m not surprised that new research commissioned by Mars, part of NestlĂ©, has found that a fifth of young people check their phone at the dinner table. But I’m shocked that it’s not more than this, what with ‘tweet what you eat‘ trends taking off on social networks, encouraging people to share their dishes with the world.

The art of conversation isn’t dying, it’s just changing. Gone are the days of crafting a careful text to get great value from your 10p SMS that communicates everything you want to say in 160 characters. More often than not they’re now free so we can say as much as we want without spending a dime. Even Whatsapp, Twitter and BBM encourage people to make conversation little and often with as many friends as they can think of.

What would be interesting to find out is if the research applies to families eating at home or dining out. Yes, more people are eating in restaurants, pubs and hotels as cheap treats during the continued effects of the recession. But cheap as the occasions may be, to me it’s still a treat and I’d be less inclined to search the web or take a call if I was there.

The article on The Drum doesn’t go into detail of many other findings from the research. It makes me question if Mars got the results they expected – because I can’t see many other pieces of coverage online.

It’s also a strange time for this research to be revealed. It comes weeks after Jo Clarke made the news when she was refused service in Sainsbury’s until she ended her phone call – which led Nick Clegg to call for gadgets to be banned from the diner table. I can’t imagine Mars wanting to put the issue into perspective for political reasons. I’m also not sure how it links back to their brand – and if this was a theme among any of the questions asked.

Overall, at first glance, this activity has little PR benefit for the business and just reiterates what we already know. Agreed?

How often are you on your phone? Is it rude to scroll through messages when eating out?

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Obama wins election with careful spending

7 Nov

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He’s done it again – Obama is back in the White House to complete a further, and final, four years. But, how exactly do you become President of the Unite States? Spend up to <a href="http://$2bn – largely on advertising in swing states like Ohio and Virginia to grab voters’ attention. That’s how.

It wasn’t just Obama that ran up a large bill. Republican Romney spent even more. According to the Washington Post he spent $76m more than Obama at $472m – virtually all of which was used to create negative adverts that slammed his opponent.

But where was the bulk of this cash channelled? Florida – 2012’s modern day battleground for US political candidates.

Obama may have had a tighter financial budget to contend with. But, with approximately 314m people in the US, he still drummed up enough support for every US citizen to pledge $1.25 to his cause. A great result.

How does this campaign cash compare with Presidential election fundraisers before him?

Former Presidents’ fundraising efforts

1992 Bill Clinton -$331.1m (approx. 98c per American)

1996 Bill Clinton – $425.7m (approx. $1.35 per American)

2000 George Bush – $528.9 (approx. $1.68 per American)

2004 George Bush – $880.5 (approx $2.79 per American)

Calculation based on population count from US Census Bureau on 7 November and does not account for fluctuation of inflation

This shows that more or less there’s been a decline in giving over recent elections. Yet, with the country suffering from $16 trillion worth if debts (via BBC Newsnight) it’s no surprise people are keeping their wallets closed.

Debt or no debt. The world woke up today to find the right candidate winning the election – and that’s priceless.

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