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书评 | oprah time | 서평

The DeVinci Code – storm in a tea cup

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The DeVinci Code is a bit of a storm in a teacup and yet says something about our time. Basically its your Dad’s Robert Ludlum (rather than Tom Clancy – not enough tech or family values) book with a theological bombshell rather than a nuclear one and still gets the girl at the end. It has become the world’s best selling hardback novel. Dan Brown, doesn’t write well, but does know how to pull the casual reader in and keep his yarn running along.

Much has been said elsewhere about the way that it draws on the Gnostic gospels, so I wont go into that here – I am not qualified to comment with any kind of authority on the accuracy or theological merit of the book.

What I found most interesting is the sub text which mirrors the war on terror, the white middle class end-boomer hero battles unknown religious forces ‘determined’ to keep its own believers enslaved in a deluded faith. I was struck how much of George Bush like view this is of Islam and the current war on terror. This might explain some of the books popularityJust in the same way that 1950s sci-fi films were a mirror held up to the audience of their own Cold War induced paranoia.

I am sure that Gnostic-based self help books will pepper the holiday reading charts this summer.

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市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 铭记 | branding | 브랜드 마케팅

Dasani’s UK problems

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Coca-Cola’s Dasani have had a rough couple of weeks with their entry into the UK bottled water market.

Dasani is a respected brands in the US, China and across the developing world. Its manufactured approach to mineral water is at odds with the bottled at source manufacturers that dominate in Europe.

A few weeks ago the UK tabloid press ‘exposed’ Dasani as tap water from Sidcup. To be fair Dasani does use some interesting NASA developed purification technology and then re-adds minerals in a carefully controlled amount to provide consistent taste. Then the water mains burst in Sidcup, and now Dasani have bromate contamination. This contamination forced parent company Coca-Cola to initiate a complete product recall, pulling Dasani off supermarket shelves around Britain.

Of course this did not stop me pouring petrol on the fire by bending over backwards to help a CNBC Europe researcher who phoned up looking for expert comment on how this may affect the Coca-Cola and Dasani brands, I managed to place Mark North, creative director of Henrion Ludlow Schmidt’s London office on the European Closing Bell programme as an expert commentator. The product recall means that it will be very hard for Coca-Cola to relaunch the brand in the UK – at least in the near term. Their main concern will be protecting the reputation of Dasani in markets were it is currently established and successful.  Coca-Cola’s misfortune wouldn’t stop me drinking Dasani whilst travelling as it provides safer drinking water in places like China.

What really astonished me was that in less two hours after the story broke in the late editions of London’s Evening Standard it had appeared on 89 different news sites listed by Google News including the San Jose Mercury and Straits Times. There is no longer such a thing as a local brand. News truly is 24 hours and global in nature….

More on Coca-Cola here.

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初 | hygiene | 기본 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술

Rrroooollllllllllllllll the beats online & EDS making a mess of things is not a news story

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Drum and bass pioneers Good Looking Records, owned by LTJ Bukem have a new website up and running. Apart from it being hard to get round it is interesting that they are providing their own music downloads for sale (1GBP a go). My personal recommendation is to get the vinyl re-press of Music by LTJ Bukem – an oldie by goodie and their fantastic new deep house sub-label Deep Rooted. You can find the site here.

Ok, hopefully by now you are getting use to my cack handed page formatting on this blog. On of my favourite columnists PBS.orgs Bob Cringely has written a very readable article about how EDS has messed up yet another government contract (US Navy and Marine Corp, not the kind of people I would like to mess with) which can be read here.