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048 LAUNCH PAD

LAUNCHIIAD Karl Treacher

is the CEO of brand intelligence group Brand Behaviour. He can be contacted at: kai.treacher@brandbehaviour.com.

Lollipops, Microsoft and the deuice that tracks your

cheating spouse. ith personal credit card

year across Australia,

debt peaking at $40 bilIion, it makes good sense

costing the health system $2.8 billion each year. The solution lies with better food choices and dental hygiene practices. . . and herbal

that we keep our eye out for anything new that could help us all reach the 50 billion mark. This month such things include: herbal lollipops that fight tooth decay, a GPS system that tells you where your partner's car is when they are 'working late', home rock-star software, laptop bags made from old billboards, and a Bluetooth pillow that allows you to scream abuse in the wee hours of the morning when you find that your partner's car is not reaily at work; however, they do appear to be'on the job'.

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA WHERE? Collectively Australians owe over $40 billion in credit card debt. Twenty-eight billion of that has been accrued since 2002. This and many other fascinating observations are held between the front and back cover of Hugh Mackay's latest read Advance AustraliaWhere? Thebook is just out and jam-packed full of amazing facts about our society and the communities in n'hich we live. Mackay is the proven master in social research and commentary, and his latest book is a must for any marketer who is serious about understanding Australia today. His launch has unfortunately been very soft. You would expect from his insights into the online boom in Australia, he would at least have a decent website. If you are reading this

Hugh, ring me and I will tell you why your brand needs to talk to people online.

CAV ITY.FIGHTI NG H ERBAL

LOLLIPOP \\trile most people would

suggest that cancer or heart disease are Australia's most common ailments, the latest research indicates that tooth decay is Australia's most prevalent health problem. Eleven million teeth will decay next

MARKETING T/AY 2OO8

with oral

diseases

directly

lollipops. US anti-microbial tech company C3 Jian has just launched a specific herbal formula that disables the major organisms that cause

tooth decay. They have added

a

pleasant

orange taste to make the plaque massacre process pleasant tasting. An Australian distributor is currently being sought.

,ZOOMBAK' HOME BEFORE SHE NOTICES YOU ARE GONE... Working late a few nights a week? Got a new secretary? Found an old friend on Facebook and thought you would celebrate by shagging them? Well you may just have a new problem to deal with. Enter Zoombak, a location-based service that is about the size of aZippo lightea and integrates a GPS receiver and cellular radio that reports back on its location when queried. The Zoombak tells that special someone (or stalker) where your car is, so ifyou insist on hooking up with your old schoolmates in the early hours of the morning to re-enact the school musical naked, make sure you catch a cab... and be sure to check that your Zippo is actually a Zippo. (Zoombak is available through Amazon.com and is yet to launch its marketing campaign.)

NO HAHN DONE? Big beer brands have decided that they need to tap into the music scene. The launch of the VB orchestral jingle has been very well-received as being a great execution of 'on-brand'communication. While Hahn's latest TVC emphasising the idea that classic rock ballads may unbalance a perfect beer has had a mixed reaction with some (including me) suggesting that the ad agency may have had a few cases themselves before developing the concept.

MICROSOFT'S NEW MUSIC SOFTWARE ENDS IN TEARS has just released'MySong', piece of software that automatically chooses chords to accompany a vocal tune. This software is very cool and allows a user with no

Microsoft Research a

musical training to create accompanied music. From all reports this is a fun and good quality addition to Microsoft's lifestyle-based software range; however, Microsoft Research's YouTube clip is devastatingly tragic. Stop read-

ing this and run to your nearest computer, go to YouTirbe and type in'MySong by Microsoft Research'. Then grab some tissues as your face contorts and water escapes your eyes as the cringe-riddled clip begins. Among the cheese lives some fun software.

OLD BILLBOARD LAPTOP BAGS Ever wondered what happened to your old

Bros and Michael lackson billboards? Well, if they are not still up on your bedroom walls you may find them melted down and re-engineered as laptop bags. This is probably the best outcome for these billboards. You can buy them at www.todae.com.au or from the Todae store in Glebe.

THE WRAP In the introduction to this article, I promised to tell you about the new'purCushion' a wireless Bluetooth cushion that lets you make phone calls from your pilloq but I hate the idea so much that I have decided not to. If you

work in the'adult'entertainment industry or have a fetish for phone sex, then this is the

product for you. The rest of us have better things to do, like: reading Hugh's new book, recording a rock ballad using'MySong'to accompany a beer commercial, or tear the car apart looking for something that looks just like a Zippo lightea but actually means the end of our marriage. M


Lollipop,Microsoft,