Monday, May 31, 2010

Bank of America

I'm kind of late, but I just started watching the History Channel series "America: The Story of Us" about a week ago. It's an incredible documentary and I really recommend it if you like history.

Additionally, I also love the seamlessly integrated advertising of the series sponsor Bank of America. The ads document the company's history of contributions to America's growth.

Here is one example.

Finally, a special thank you to all that sacrificed to make this country what it is.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Heineken

This is a cool, creative way to reinforce its strong position as the beer of European soccer fans. Way better than putting up a sign in the stadium.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blog Changes

I will be making a few subtle changes to the blog and possibly experimenting with some new fun stuff.

For starters, I finally edited/added some great blogs that I read to my blog-roll on the right. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Also, if their is a great one that you read, please share it. I'd love to add it.

Thanks for reading

-Alex-

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thank Your Online Impostor, Or Not.

Have you seen this?

It's a Twitter account with the user name "BPGlobalPR," one that has exploded with activity in the past couple days.

The user's satirical tweets are clearly and attempt to display displeasure with BP after the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the company's lackluster response to slowing the leak down. And they are using the popularity of the feed to sell t-shirts to raise money for the relief effort.

Although lighthearted, brands take social media impostures very serious; just ask Michael Werch.

Twitter has rules against impostor pages which this page seems to violate. At the request of BP, it could be shut down.

Yet they haven't. So far, BP seems to have chosen to take it's lumps on Twitter. Personally, I think that could be a good thing. Shut them down (even with good reason) and they become a bully.

Hearing criticism like this is certainly a tough pill. But reality is that no brand, as bad as they may want to, can own the public thought or conversation.

They have two options.

Take the feedback (even in the form of slurs and jokes), see it as valuable and use it to their advantage when they can.

Or sometimes, don't use it at all. BP knows they're groups (large ones) of people who will always hate them and their business. They perceived them as money-obsessed, earth-destroying jerks and that won't change. Why obsess and pour through forever spent resources to win the impossible win?

Ribs

Just saw a new ad for ribs at Burger King.

I have one word. "Focus."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Standards

I have a question for all my readers.

Are you the person in charge when it comes to deciding what is an acceptable standard?

Perhaps your boss tells you. Maybe you have a co-worker that always tries to do a little more than everyone else, forcing others to work to their level (or just below it). Or a co-worker that always does less; setting the bar real low for everyone else.

In your industry, does your competition set the bar?

Set the standard. Because no one will pay extra for average.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

YouTube

Spend a few minutes on YouTube and the new media/old media dichotomy is beautifully evident. The site is possibly the internet's most visible battlefield for the clash that the two sides are engaged in.

It all started just five years ago as a simple idea; a site for anyone to share a video. The internet picked it up, ran with it and quickly spun the world of "media as we know it" on its head.

Just five years later, the numbers are staggering. Two billion page views everyday and approximately 24 hours of new video is uploaded every minute. YouTube's deep connection to our lives sparked and matured as fast as the videos are shared.

A fundamental trigger of new media is that everyone has a platform to be seen and heard. YouTube is further proof that lots of people have embraced this. A company can run its ad without buying a television spot, a filmmaker doesn't need a Hollywood studio to distribute his film or a comedian doesn't need the comedy club stage on Friday night.

Obviously this development is a big blow to a very small group that once had a ton of power and control. Of course they can fight this (and some do) but in the end the internet simply doesn't care.

Oddly enough, old media giants use the site to promote their own products like television shows, movies and news. Therefore, the tool (or channel) that could jeopardize their future (or at least the healthy bottom line) is frequently utilized by them almost without choice.

Maybe even stranger is that despite being such a transcendent force, YouTube faces some real issues and many question if they can survive to their tenth birthday. The Google owned site isn't exactly financially flourishing and they're banking on old world advertising to get them there- which is a little like trying to walk upright in a world that they helped to turn upside down.

Can they really convince enough marketers to purchase ads on the site when you can upload them for free? The better hope so. With a bandwidth bill of over $1 million a day there is little room for error.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More

Yesterday I had two marketing experiences that really turned me off. In each instance the marketer had the sale (I went to them) but that wasn't good enough. They wanted more.

The first exchange was when I called to make an appointment for regular maintenance on my car. I wanted an oil change, safety inspection and a tire rotation. All three things I would be just delighted to pay for.

But two things happened.

First I was told I couldn't get an appointment for at least two weeks if I waiting there for the work to be done, however it would be sooner if I dropped it off. Suspicious, but I was willing to look past that.

What I couldn't get over was their desire for more. They asked me if I wanted the mechanic to drain all the air out of my tires and fill it with nitrogen instead of regular air for improved performance blah blah blah only $10 instead of the usual $20 (per tire I'm guessing). This is the same place I purchased my car from, financed my car from and have consistently taken for service for over two years.

Yet, for 40 bucks they were willing to gamble with our future together. I was disappointed.

For the record, I'm not a scientist or a mechanic but I do know that "air" is already approx. 78 percent nitrogen. So that's an expensive 22 percent difference.

Hours later I buying a book at Barnes and Noble. A book I could already get much cheaper on Amazon if I was willing to wait and not sample a bit first.

The cashier asked me if I was a member of their loyalty program. Then she said that I could save $5 today by joining. She continued saying the program costs $25 per year and something about buying 50 books.

Is that really the best idea they had to drive customer loyalty? They give us more money today and maybe they we'll save someday.

Putting a hand out and asking for more is a poor marketing tactic. It's no wonder these industries are struggling.

You only get more by giving more; more gratitude, more appreciation and more sincerity.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Loveless in New York?



New York State. It's the State of turmoil.

Maybe that's what they can replace the "I Love New York" tagline with. That's because the dysfunctional state government announced last week that they will no longer be able to fund the campaign due to its financial hell.

I have mixed emotions about this. While it's certainly another sad black eye for the beaten down State, I think at least a cut to the budget is necessary. Across the board cuts are necessary for a state this is overtaxed and yet still is staring at a income statement $9.2 billion (with a B) in the red.

On the other hand, the state needs the new dollars that tourism brings. The question is how to maximize those dollars without overspending in ways they are accustomed to.

Do we really need to dedicate millions to print brochures when there are equally if not more effective ways to share information on the internet and through social media channels?

It's a challenge that requires a new mode of thought. One that believes a worthwhile idea can spread even without breaking the bank. One very powerful way to do this is for residents to show off their home land. Invite your friends to visit.

So as a proud resident of the state of New York, I invite all to come discover New York State. We have beautiful mountains, great lakes, historic villages and vibrant cities.

Finally, I ask my readers to share their thoughts on what the State can do to attract visitors. To the best idea goes a "I Love New York" t shirt.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Kentucky Derby


To some, it's just a two minute race. "Eh, big deal!"

But to some others, it really is a really big deal. The derby is fancy clothes and big hats. It's spring time and blankets carefully assembled of exactly 554 fresh red roses. The derby is burgoo washed down with mint juleps while in millionaire's row. Its hearing the bugler play the call to the post and singing "My Old Kentucky home" with their neighbors. All it's grandeur help to make the derby "the most exciting two minutes in sport" for these folks.

The Kentucky Derby exemplifies branding at its finest. But even then, the best still hear the words "eh, big deal" all the time.