Saturday, January 15, 2011

10 Boomer Busters

from Mediapost:

10 Behavioral Distinctions Of Older Customers
Marketers continually look for ways to group targeted customers to connect efficiently with them. The following offers insights into understanding better early stage boomers (born 1946 to 1954) and older customers.

1. Increased individualism

Older customers are less subject to peer influence than younger customers are. Keeping up with the Joneses is not as important as it once was; thus advertising that invokes social status benefits does not play as well in older markets as in younger ones. Largely freed from worrying about reactions of others, older customers tend toward greater practicality in buying decisions than younger customers.

2. Increased demand for facts

Adult customers tend to be less responsive to sweeping claims in marketing messages as they age. Hyperbole turns them off. If older customers are interested in considering a purchase, they want unadorned facts, and more of them, than they usually wanted earlier in life. Years of buying equip older people with knowledge of what to look for in intelligent purchases.

3. Increased response to emotional stimuli

Older customers tend to be quicker than younger customers to emotionally reflect lack of interest in or negative reaction to an offered product. On the other hand, a positive first impression can become embedded especially deep in the emotions of the older person -- so much so that the older customer is often more disposed to be a faithful customer than the younger customer is.

4. Less self-oriented, more altruistic

Older customers tend to show increased response to marketing appeals reflecting altruistic values. This tracks with common middle-age shift toward stronger spiritual values in which concern for others increases. As altruistic motivations become stronger, narcissistic and materialistic values wane in influence.

5. Increased time spent in making purchase decisions

As most people grow older, they experience changes in their perceptions of time, but also in its meaning and role in their lives. For example, older people often ignore time-urgency strategies in marketing -- such as "Offer good until ---," "Only three left in stock---etc..." Generally, "time is not of the essence" is a common attitude among older people, especially those who have retired.

6. See fewer differences between competing products

Because older people tend to be more highly individuated, and less influenced by external influences, perceptions of products are more internally shaped. They typically conclude that there is little difference between products than marketers claim. This contrasts with the tendency of younger customers to assert robustly the differences between a product they prefer and its competitors -- even when clear differences do not exist.

7. See more differences between competing companies

Older customers tend to be more responsive to "companies with a conscience" than younger customers are. From a self-interest perspective, they are also more attentive to warranty issues and a company's reputation for honoring its warranties than younger customers.

8. With respect to making discretionary-purchase decisions, older customers tend to:

Have a decreased sensitivity to price;
Increased sensitivity to affordability; and
Sharply increased sensitivity to value.

Older customers have more complex ways of determining value than younger customers. Value determination by older customers tends to be an existentialist exercise whereby soul (spiritual) values as well as mind (intellect) and body (tangible) values are combined into the value determination process.

9. Increased price-sensitivity in nondiscretionary spending

As they age, many customers develop higher economic "literacy" and skillfully apply it to get the best price. In purchasing "need" items, older customers tend to be more bargain-minded, whereas in purchasing "desire" items, they tend to be more value-minded in a holistic sense.

10. Often project what seems to be contradictory behavior

Older people are sometimes characterized as selfish and selfless, penurious and profligate, spontaneous and deliberate, and so on. These conflicting attributes lead some to characterize older people as contradictory. For example, an older shopper may be penurious in using cents-off coupons in a grocery store, after which she drives off in a Mercedes. This is not evidence of contradictory behavior, but an example of the rules of thriftiness applied to basics, and the rules of whole value applied to discretionary expenditures.


The differences in customer motivations and decision processes between customers in the first and second half of life sometimes frustrate many marketers who have yet to figure out how to market to older customers. Until recently, this was not a matter of serious concern because the young dominated the marketplace. The young are easier to sell to and analyze. Now, with adults over the age of 40 in the majority, marketers are being compelled to figure out the values and behavior of older customers.

Jim Gilmartin is president of Chicago-based Coming of Age, Inc. (, a marketing/ad agency, PR and training firm specializing in helping clients increase market share and profit in baby boomer and senior customer markets. He has co-authored "Market Smart: The Best in Age & Lifestyle Specific Design." Reach him here.

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More than a Picture

As a Radio guy, I have to create images in peoples minds.

We call it Theater of the Mind.

Friends of mine in the Ad Agency business sometimes are hung up on creating the perfect Logo.

Are they right or am I?

How about both... and them some...

From Drew:

Brand alignment - are all the cogs in synch?

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 06:46 AM PST

106584209Your brand is not your logo….your brand is not your logo. (tired of hearing me say that yet?)

Your brand is the essence of your business. From 20,000 feet -- it is who you are, why you exist, the unique value you offer your customers, how you behave, what you believe in, what you promise and of course, how you keep that promise.

When you not only understand but can articulate all of that to a prospective customer, potential employee and your current staff and clients -- you now possess one of the most potent tools a business owner/leader can imagine.

Once everyone not only intellectually understands the brand but at a very gut level -- can behave (almost instinctually) according to the brand, or at least use the brand's values as a guide to dictate decisions and behavior -- you begin to have alignment.

Why does brand alignment matter?

One of the basic tenants of any relationship is consistency. We trust the people and companies who behave in a way we can count on. Brand alignment is a powerful way to make a promise and then keep that promise -- over and over again. Over time, that earns us the consistency badge which eventually leads to brand loyalty and referrals.

As 2011 kicks off -- it's time to examine your own brand's alignment and decide if any aspect of it needs tuning up. There are many moving parts to a brand -- and they all have to be in synch.

  • Your mission -- why do you exist (from an internal point of view -- why do you fight the fight every day?)
  • Your vision -- how you want to change your corner of the world (from the world's point of view)
  • Your promise -- what is the promise that you will boldly make to your customers and employees -- the sword you will always fall on
  • Your brand personality -- how does your brand behave? If you brand were a person -- how would the world see him/her?
  • Your tagline -- how do you tell the world about your vision and promise? This is the first sentence of your elevator speech and how you get someone excited to work with/for you
  • Your visuals -- if you had to describe your brand without words, how would you use colors, shapes, symbols etc. to do that. Here's where your logo and color palette come in
  • Your touch points -- in every way you come into contact with your employees, prospects and customers -- how do you weave your brand promise and personality into those encounters. How do you add a bit of lagniappe that is uniquely you into each touchpoint?

We'll dig into each of these aspects over the next couple weeks but for now, step back and look at the big picture. Is every cog of your brand working in perfect alignment with the others? If not, it's time to make a change.

At McLellan Marketing Group, we don't just preach this stuff, we live it out with you. In our own brand alignment check, we decided that our tagline needed a tweak. Back in 2003, when I bought out a business partner, we agreed that the company needed to be re-branded once the buy out was complete. In the agreement, we only allowed a couple weeks to get that accomplished.

We knew we believed that strategy was king. It drives marketing creative, decisions and direction. And one of our core beliefs is that passion cannot be ignored -- so for the past 6 years, we've used the tagline "where strategy and passion collide!" Still as true today as it was back then. We believe there's an energy that is created when clients with a passion for their work and customers get connected with the right strategy and with MMG.

But… as we "grew up" as a company we recognized that what we're spectacular at is helping our clients forge lifelong relationships with their customers. That's about brand, it's about creating memorable experiences, it's about being their hero and it's about the notion that you have to keep courting your customers as though it's your first date.

Screen shot 2011-01-03 at 9.38.17 AM Which has led us to talking a lot about creating a love affair with your customer. We realized that when we introduced ourselves -- that's the line we were using to kick off the conversation, not our tagline. So as of a couple weeks ago, we made the switch. (And of course, will be continuing to change out everything over the next few weeks.) Our new tagline "Create a love affair with your customer" takes the strategy and passion's collision and makes it very tangible. It makes the collision matter. It's the why.

Your turn. Start thinking about all of those brand elements listed above. Is each cog in perfect alignment with the others or are they off just a little?

Want a tool to help you check your brand's alignment? Here's a link to the MMG brand criteria chart.

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Sales via LinkedIn

from the Inside View Blog:

LinkedIn is the go to place for sales people doing discovery on their prospects. It is also the place customer 2.0 prospects go to do some discovery on the sales people they do business with. With over 85 million people on LinkedIn, it always surprises me when I talk to a sales team (especially in the high-tech industry) and find even one without a LinkedIn profile.

Every sales person needs a LinkedIn profile. It is your single most important online asset besides your email address. You are doing yourself a huge disservice professionally if you do not have one.

  • Find past coworkers: You may be new in your career as a sales professional or maybe a veteran, either way, LinkedIn will help you keep the connections and friends you make at work only a mouse click away. Sure you have their contact information already but you can lose your computer or delete the record on accident. LinkedIn lets you keep people in a digital address book that makes sure you dont lose contact. Your address book wont keep you up to date on the latest happenings with your coworkers either.
  • Build your online identity: Your professional sales 2.0 career is more dependent on your online identity than ever before. If you are serious about becoming a sales leader or expert, without your personal brand being stamped in cement you will be facing an uphill battle. There are many things you should do to make sure your personal brand is front and center but having an well crafted and interactive LinkedIn profile is the best place to start.
  • Get new opportunities: People use LinkedIn to find recommendations on products/services. From the LinkedIn Groups to the Answers page, thousands of people a day are looking for help making decisions. As a sales person you should be in these groups or at least setting up email alerts so you can scan the groups to see if you can offer some help and create a new opportunity.
  • Learn something new: As a professional you should spend a portion of your day getting better educated on your industry or the latest sales trends. LinkedIn is a focal point for these types of discussions and you have the ability to tap into a network of experts that can help guide you through some of the obstacles you face in your sales efforts.
  • Get some credibility: This goes along with #2 but in more detail. As you get more experience, you should be helping other professionals by answering questions. As you help people even if its only a couple times a week you will see your profile being looked at by more and more people. Your prospects are looking at your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you update your LinkedIn profile and give your prospects an excellent representation of who you are.
  • Become an expert: The quickest way to get and grow your credibility is to become a social selling expert. The ability to be seen by millions of LinkedIn users trying to make decisions will help build your credibility to the point you are the go to person when it comes to getting help. This could be one of the most influential moves you could make to build your career into exactly what you want it to be.
  • Grow your pipeline: Speaking from experience, LinkedIn is a great way for you to take your sales career to another level. As you build your network, become an expert in your space and build your personal brand, you will find more people coming to you for help related to your product or service. This will create a snow ball effect and eventually people from all over LinkedIn will be singing your praises and driving more leads to you.
  • Help out a friend: Let’s face it, these are some tough times when it comes to finding a job. Being on LinkedIn will let you connect people you know with others in your network that may be looking for some new talent. You can be the connector that brings someone out of unemployment or maybe you will need to tap into your network when you are looking for a job. Either way, LinkedIn helps facilitate this process easily.
  • Find a new job: The job board on LinkedIn is more likely to land you a new position than Because your job inquiry will be directly linked to your LinkedIn profile, employers and hiring managers will be able to quickly decide if you are the right person to talk to. The search features in LinkedIn jobs is one of the best I’ve seen and should be used if you are looking for a new place to work.
  • Get found by a new job: Recruiters make up for a decent chunk of people on LinkedIn along with hiring managers. Even if you are not actively looking for a new gig, here may be companies out there looking for someone with your exact talents. They run searches based on expertise, interests, past company and other identifiers that all lead them to your LinkedIn profile. This is more of a reason to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you are seen is the most positive light possible.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Night #Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
These consumers will make up fully 40% of Americans 21 and older within 10 years, making it increasingly critical for alcoholic beverage marketers to understand their tastes and buying preferences, point out Danny Brager and Jim Greco, respectively VP/group client director and VP, region manager for Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen, in a summary of study highlights. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
John Jacobs, CMO and EVP of the Global Index Group at NASDAQ, said the company went social to get people to offer up ideas on how to make real-time sexy. To launch the product, developed with StockTwits, NASDAQ found a core group of subscribers and queried them about how they defined themselves. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin has a proven record of attracting qualified prospects who are in the early stages of the home buying process, says Jason Doyle, vice president of "With this partnership, we are also enhancing the consumer experience by streamlining the hand-off to industry-leading Re/Max agents at the local level," he says. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Timberland's riches to rags to (maybe) riches story is about how the benighted outdoors brand let itself become defined by popular culture as a hip-hop shoe, then suffered when hip hop moved elsewhere. And the tale follows the brand out of the woods back to its original idea by engaging with people in new ways with traditional and social media. ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Aaron Baar
The ad, developed by the bank's in-house advertising agency 601, and produced in association with Shooters, Inc. (and its DIVE visual effects division), depicts a wall made entirely of puzzle pieces. Throughout the commercial, actors push, pull, raise and change the size of missing puzzle pieces, illustrating how the company can help customize personal banking needs. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Salt Lake City is the big gainer in Walmart's latest giveaway, winning $1 million in hunger grants in the retailer's Facebook "Fighting Hunger Together" contest. More than 5 million people voted for Salt Lake City, with Fresno, Calif., Columbia, S.C., Ogden, Utah, Charleston, S.C., and Bakersfield, Calif. earning $100,000 as runner ups. ...Read the whole story >>

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Creatures of Habit

from Drew:

Marketing tip # 32: People are like sheep

Posted: 08 Jan 2011 10:48 AM PST

Shutterstock_10162630My agency, McLellan Marketing Group's, bank has a branch near our house, so I am usually the official "deposit the checks" guy at our company.

Like most bank drive throughs, they have a commercial lane on the far left and then several "everybody and anybody" lanes to the right of that. The branch I go to is no exception. Except that their drive through isn't straight -- it's curved to the right.

So already my car needs to be at an angle to reach the commercial window. Add to that, they've installed a big pole so drivers don't get too close to the building and damage their cars or the building.

The net result of this is... their commercial window is a pain. I can never get quite close enough to the drawer (even when it's fully extended) to comfortably put something in it or take out my receipt. More than once on a windy day, the receipt has fluttered off and I have had to chase it through their parking lot.

We have banked at this particular institution for several years and I have probably been in that drive through a few hundred times. Every time, I grumble to myself about how much I hate the drive through experience. But, I endure it.

I take pride in the fact that I'm a bit rebellious. That I don't always follow the path well taken. That my 7th grade teacher told me I was incorrigible, even though looking back I am pretty sure she didn't mean it as a compliment. My point being -- I don't think of myself as someone who is afraid to question or disregard rules on occasion.

Which is why this story is embarrassing to tell.

The other day, as I yet again approached the drive through, FOR THE FIRST TIME, it occurred to me that I didn't need to use the commercial lane. I could use any of the drive through lanes...and the rest of them are straight and utilize the tube/chute thing rather than a drawer with a paperweight in it.

I pulled into one of the "everybody and anybody" lanes and had a lovely drive through experience. Duh!

For years, years mind you, I have been gritting my teeth and enduring the frustrating lane. All because it had a sign over it that said "commercial" and we're a commercial customer.

My point in telling you this story?

Human beings, even incorrigible ones, typically do as they're told. We are all, even me, rule followers by nature. We want to get it right.

From a marketing perspective -- this is wonderful news. Couldn't you use this truth in selling and improving the customer experience? For example:

~ On your website, use this truth to control how people navigate through. Use prescriptive commands on buttons to guide them exactly where you want them to go so they don't have to click around looking for something.

~In your bricks and mortar establishment -- use signage and other prompts (Disney uses different colored walkways and other tricks) to drive traffic in the right direction and to show a customer when they've strayed off path.

~ In a B2B environment, using checklists and other guides to prompt clients to advance through a project faster and more accurately (good for you and for them).

Bottom line -- while it may not be the most flattering of human truths, the fact that people are a bit sheep-like can actually help you create a better (and maybe even WOM buzz worthy) experience for your customers.

But, as in the case of our bank -- you can also inadvertently create a bad experience too. mindful of the prompts you've already created. Do some of them need tweaking?

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12 for 11

I thought by now, I'd be done posting predictions for 2011, but last night I was reviewing some of the emails that were in my inbox and found this from local advertising agency B.I.G.

The 12 truths of 2011

No crystal ball. No tea leaves. No cootie catcher (if you don’t know, ask your kids). Using the power of Big thinking, we are ready to glimpse into the future with our branding predictions for 2011.

1. Italic fonts are making a strong comeback.
Ten years ago, italic fonts were considered a design faux pas and were relegated to captions and other minimal uses. More and more, italic fonts are finding new life as corporate logo fonts.

2. Microsites will continue to multiply.
More businesses are developing small-scale Web sites to promote a single product rather than one large site to handle the entire product line. Microsites allow businesses to communicate a single, powerful message to prospective customers without distracting or overwhelming them.

3. Muted shades of last year’s colors are going to be popular.
Soft citrus yellow, carnation pink and powder blue are all being combined with light, cool grays for a more reserved, clean look. It’s interesting that most of the popular colors from 2010 are returning in 2011 in softer shades. This may be a reflection of the economy. With branding dollars, or dollars in general, harder to come by, businesses are playing it safe and going with colors that already worked last year.

4. Heavy use of stock photography will continue.
Commercial photographers are finding it harder and harder to compete with the speed and affordability of stock photography. Increased quality and selection make stock photography even more attractive. While stock photography continues to enjoy popularity, the dangers of accidentally "sharing" an image with a competitor still exist.

5. Typography-based designs help slim budgets.
With decreased branding budgets, advertisers are getting more “bang for their buck” by foregoing photography or illustrations, and using typography-based designs. Color, clever writing and type direction will be seen in more ads, brochures, TV, Web sites and banner ads in 2011.

6. Content marketing (aka brand journalism or thought leadership) continues to be strong.
Content marketing attracts customers and prospects—and positions you as an expert. It’s all about creating valuable, educational (and sales-free) content that’ll improve customers’ lives. Examples include e-books, podcasts, videos, newsletters, blogs, workshops and more. To learn more, download our free e-book on thought leadership.

7. Be prepared to react in real-time.
Now more than ever, your brand has to be prepared to act and react as events occur and conversations emerge. This includes not only looking for opportunities, but also making sure you have a savvy team monitoring your reputation on an ongoing basis. Learn more with Real-Time Marketing & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers & Create Products That Grow Your Business Now by David Meerman Scott. Or check out his free e-book sample.

8. Brands serve more than sell.
With increased parity in every industry, it’s harder than ever to differentiate your brand. So what’s a brand to do? In addition to crafting a compelling brand story, consider this. Define a purpose for your brand and how it uniquely touches and improves lives. For more on this idea, skim this article from one of Procter & Gamble’s marketing execs.

9. Show me the ROI.
Analytics and measurement continue to rise in popularity. Tools like Google Analytics provide a wealth of information that’ll impress your boss, drive real-time marketing decisions and help assess ROI.

10. The shift to blog-style Web sites will escalate.
Today’s Web-savvy market demands real-time information. Rather than wait to accumulate, organize and write formal “white papers” or case studies, businesses in every industry are turning to blog-style Web sites. Short bursts of content covering everything from recent success stories and testimonials to new product or service announcements enable businesses to keep their online content fresh and relevant.

11. Facebook will be full of fan pages.
Why try to convince prospective customers to visit you when you can go to where they are? More and more businesses are creating fan pages on Facebook. Fan pages are loaded with rapid-fire, newsworthy content and updates. Businesses build relationships with customers through interaction. No matter what the industry, businesses are looking to boost their Facebook presence.

12. Facebook pages will be full of tabs.
Facebook tabs are a fast, convenient way to bring traditional online content to where potential customers are. These tabs make it possible to open a microsite within the Facebook page. These microsites can include current news, calendars, FAQs – even opportunities for customers to share their opinions and recommendations with other Facebook users.

Want to see more? Check out our Big Talk archive

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4 Ways to Be Better (Part 4)

Saturday I was catching up on some emails and found one from Jim Meisenheimer that I decided to share with you over 4 days.

Let's wrap it up:

It's time to start, stop, or even change some of your sales techniques.

Never be boring!

Here are 4 different ways you can outsell your competitors.

4. Get the commitment.

Before you ask your sales prospect for his commitment to buy your product or service, you have to make sure you've done your homework.

Did you ask the right questions?

Did you ask enough questions?

Did you uncover the pain your sales prospect is experiencing?

Did you dollarize his pain?

Did you deliver a personalized and tailored presentation based on what the sales prospect told you?

Did you emphasize the benefits of your products?

Did you add value, dollarized value, throughout your sales presentation?

Did you effectively deal with the price objection, if your sales prospect brought it up?

This is a partial list of priorities you must deal with before you can ask for your sales prospects commitment.

It's easy to outsell your competition if you work hard at it.

As soon as you change how you sell, your sales prospects and customers will change how they buy from you - guaranteed!

And remember - never be boring!

Connect with Jim here:

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday Night #Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read:

by Karl Greenberg
Ford won in several categories: Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer; Overall Loyalty to Make; Ethnic Market Make -- African-American; and Mid/Full-Size Pickup for its F-Series truck lineup. This year is the first since 1999 that Ford has won the Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer category. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
Tom Woodside is the new VP/marketing and e-commerce. He says that while the company may draw its inspiration from John Evelyn, a botanist and conservationist who wrote in the 1600s, its new marketing plan is purely 21st century. Marketing Daily asked him to explain what's ahead for the brand, and its 80-plus U.S. stores ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The takeaway for marketers is to "think twice," says Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. "The key question marketers need to ask themselves is what value does the celebrity bring to delivering my creative message," Daboll tells Marketing Daily. "The creative message needs to be first, not an afterthought once the celebrity is signed." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Subway led the list of restaurant brands with the highest 2010 scores -- at 41.7, followed fairly closely by Olive Garden, at 36. (Olive Garden also came in #9 among all consumer brands.) Other Top 10 performers included Outback Steakhouse (28.6), Applebee's (26.9), Dairy Queen (26.8), Wendy's (26.7), Dunkin' Donuts (26.2), Red Lobster (25.3), Pizza Hut (24.9) and Papa John's (24.3). ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Karl Greenberg
The Boston-based firm has just signed on as the first-ever presenting sponsor of The deal also makes Sun Life an official team sponsor and it gives the brand a presence across a Celtics properties. ...Read the whole story >>

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Short Term Gains = Long Term Loses?

From Marketing

How Coupons Discount Your Brand

"The recession has caused lots of companies to panic," writes Laura Ries at Ries' Pieces. "And when companies panic, they print coupons and throw up sale signs. Look in your mailbox, your email inbox or your newspaper and you will see what I mean. Everybody is having a sale."

There's only one problem, she argues: Though deep discounting works in the short term, it causes long-term damage to your brand. This is why:

  • Customers are thrilled when they first receive coupons and offers for your products and services. Who doesn't want 10, 20 or even 50 percent off?
  • But discounts train customers to think your regular prices are too high, and to wait for the next coupon before they shop again. They might eventually refuse to make any purchase without a coupon.

For some companies, the culture of discounting has spiraled out of control. "Try checking out of one of these stores without using a coupon and even the sales clerk looks at you like [you're] a pathetic loser," she says. "Nobody pays full price here, what's the matter with you! She may even reach down to pull out a coupon of her own to give you."

Resisting the urge to offer coupons isn't easy—especially when everyone seems to be doing it. But protecting your brand now will provide better overall results in the long run.

The Po!nt: As Ries sees it, discounting creates a lose-lose situation by lowering both your customer's opinion of your brand and your profits.

Source: Ries' Pieces.

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

Alex Ovechkin: NHL player or Russian spy? Lego my LEGO. Let's launch!


Seattle's Best Coffee intends to be "Anywhere Great Coffee is Needed." Don't expect additional services from the brand's one-track-minded baristas. Three TV spots place SB baristas in unusual positions. Yoga class takes a strange turn when a SB barista appears underneath a woman's yoga mat as she's embarking on cat pose. He's offering her coffee while she is on all fours, on top of him. As kooky as this sounds, it's my favorite ad. She takes a swig of iced coffee and the barista hides under her mat, but not before saying, "Namaste." See it here. A woman stuck in a tree following a hang-gliding mishap thinks help is on the way, except a wandering barista simply throws her a cup of coffee (hot, to boot) and keeps on walking. "You know what goes good with coffee: ladders," says the stranded woman. Watch it here. In the final ad, a park ranger takes on an angry porcupine with the help of a barista hiding inside a bush. See it here. Print and outdoor ads, seen here and here, are much less quirky, showcasing piles of empty coffee mugs. Creature created the campaign.

2Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo created a TV and digital campaign for Nike Japan that makes participating in a relay race possible for runners of all levels. RUN Fwd: is inspired by "Hakone Ekiden," a marathon relay in Japan, where 20 universities have 10 elite runners race for two days from Tokyo to Hakone and back. And I thought the idea of running a Ragnar Relay sounded hard... The campaign encourages runners to use Nike+ to run at least 3 km before passing the baton via email to create a virtual Global Ekiden team. The TV spot begins with the isolated sound of a runner's heavy breathing and the sight of beautiful country and city scenery. UK footballer Wayne Rooney's name appears onscreen as the first virtual runner. He passes the baton to actress Misako Yasuda, and so on. Each runner covers as many miles as they can. I love the scene of an unseen runner hauling it uphill -- it's not easy, but the surrounding view is worth it. Watch it here.

3Also keeping in shape is Mr. Peanut, who's participating in a "Tree-athlon," a swimming, biking and running event he wins every year. His secret? Great shoes and eating Planters NUTrition for fuel. "Your shell is your temple," says Mr. Peanut, while he's hoisting his first-place trophy. Watch the ad here, created by Being NY.

4This campaign is provocative but it can save lives. What's more important? Self chec, a nonprofit organization dedicated to early detection of cancer, launched "Felt by Millions" Dec. 20. This great campaign encourages people to save lives by checking themselves for breast or testicular cancers. Four print ads feature males and females performing self-examinations. Women are shown with their shirts opened, checking for lumps. Men are shown with their hands in their pants, checking for masses. Copy reads, "Love yourself first. Save lives. Start with yourself." See the ads here, here, here and here, created by Arnold Worldwide.

5Huggies launched "Soirée," an adorable TV ad promoting its Little Movers diapers. Babies will move, and move quickly. Be prepared for a chase. Time stands still in the ad, once a little one has his diaper changed. Spaghetti spills, a fish tank loses water, cake flies and drinks fall, until Dad, exhausted and covered in frosting, catches his active baby. The kid's happy as a clam. See the ad here, created by JWT, New York, directed by Fredrik Bond, produced by MJZ and visual effects handled by MassMarket, New York.

6LEGO launched "The Brick Thief," a short film that inspires creativity. One brick, two bricks, three bricks, four...What can you do with these few on the floor? Promoting LEGO CL!CK, the film begins with a man short on LEGOs. He dips his hand into a group of doors at his fingertips. Each leads to a set of LEGOs to "borrow" from. One door leads to a backyard, where a small dog growls at the invasive hand; another door leads to a turkey cooking in an oven, resulting in a hot hand and no LEGOs. His creations morph into a boombox, causing the man to dance around and high-five the protruding hands looking for their missing bricks. The spot ends with a LEGO version of the brick thief created by a young boy. "It only takes a few bricks to make something CL!CK" closes the video, seen here, and created by Pereira & O'Dell.

7NHL star Alex Ovechkin is the IT man for campaigns promoting the NHL and Reebok skates. This time around, Ovechkin is doing some nighttime filing at ESPN headquarters in "Spy." Or is he? In the latest ad for ESPN's long running "This is SportsCenter" campaign, Steve Levy finds Ovechkin filing papers in the dark. Levy says, "What are you, a Russian spy or something?" Ovechkin awkwardly laughs as teammate Semyon Varlamov opens the ceiling and whisks him off, ala "Mission Impossible." Close call. Watch the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York.

8Not surprisingly, Ovechkin has a cameo in a TV ad promoting VERSUS' coverage of the NHL all-star weekend, including the NHL draft and all-star game. In "Heroes," Ovechkin skates past a tractor-trailer on an icy road, Sidney Crosby is outfitted with high-tech hockey gear and Jonathan Toews skates down a skyscraper, putting a new definition on extreme sports. See the ad here, created in-house.

9Random iPad App pf the week: Dofl Ball is a game for iPad that's similar to air hockey, with players flinging a ball back and forth, trying to get it past their opponent. But what if your friends aren't around, but Rocky the dog is nearby? You're in luck; Dofl Ball has pet mode. Play on, player. Firstborn created the app, available for free in the App Store.
Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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4 Ways to Be Better (Part 3)

Saturday I was catching up on some emails and found one from Jim Meisenheimer that I decided to share with you over the next 4 days.

Let's continue:

It's time to start, stop, or even change some of your sales techniques.

Never be boring!

Here are 4 different ways you can outsell your competitors.

3. Do whatever it takes to make your sales proposals sizzle.

Whenever I do corporate sales training programs I always ask the group if they do quotations.

It's been my experience that most people say "Yes."

I usually follow up and ask the group "Why are you doing quotes?"

The answers to this question generates a lively discussion.

Here's what I think. Don't do quotes, because when you send a quote you're usually just sending a price.

Try doing sales proposals. The bigger the better. You want your sales proposal to scream, "We care about you." You want your sales proposals to scream "We want your business."

There are so many things you can include in a sales proposal.

Here are just a few:

=> Create an organization chart with pictures.

=> Include customer testimonial quotes.

=> Include a list of your happy customers.

=> Include a benefits page which describes all the benefits of doing business with you and your company.

Lesson #16, in The Sales Trailblazer Program offers the
specifics on how to create effective sales proposals.

Connect with Jim here:

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Night #Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
"The level of media proliferation has taken everyone by storm," president/CEO Bob Liodice says. "TV and print once accounted for 98% of media planning and activities; now, marketers' heads are spinning as they attempt to effectively integrate a plethora of online, social media and other options, such as sponsorships. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The two companies, which tussled last year in a dispute over Verizon's "There's a map for that" -- mocking AT&T's publicized network problems caused by heavy iPhone data usage -- will face off again in the coming weeks. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The General will give its Chevrolet and Cadillac divisions the spotlight in the program from July 27 to Aug. 12 next year. The brands will also be central to NBC Olympic-related programming leading up to the Games and online at ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
One of the two major efforts will be an AT&T-sponsored program to get tourists to Harlem during February, which happens to be Black History Month. The idea, according to NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, is to get them into local restaurants, museums and entertainment venues, not just onto tour buses. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Millward Brown's Futures Group has identified a slew of digital trends for 2011. According to the report, brands will be forced to straddle their presence between the public open web and semi-walled gardens, as surfing the web is increasingly replaced by running apps or viewing pages on Facebook. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The opposition comments argue that the FDA is proposing "vivid and shocking anti-smoking graphics to accompany new textual warnings on cigarette ads and packages without any consideration of whether they pass constitutional muster." ...Read the whole story >>

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What Killed The Newspaper?

Some people believe that it was a lack of interest in reading a newspaper that is killing the newspaper industry.

While that is partially true, nearly every time I visit a coffee shop with my laptop, there is someone reading the newspaper.

But they are usually someone older than me. Mediapost has info on where we want to go to get our news. Click here for their report.

But it's not the lack of readers that is killing print, it's their source of income and business model.

From my email:

The Decade That Killed (Newspaper) Classifieds

The much-publicized woes of the newspaper industry are due, in large part, to the collapse of classified advertising revenues, and 2010 may well have been the year that buried them for good.

Wherever you looked -- real estate, the job market, the auto industry -- the news was bad, not to say disastrous. Combine that with the secular shift to online classifieds, and you have a perfect storm of adverse business conditions.

Classifieds used to be a mainstay of the newspaper business, reflecting their once-dominant position in local media markets. In 2000, classifieds contributed $19.6 billion or 40% of total newspaper ad revenues of $48.7 billion, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

But beginning in 2006, the market began softening noticeably, due to competition from free online classifieds offered by sites like Craigslist, compounded by the bursting of the real-estate bubble. From 2005-2007, total classified revenues slipped 18% from $17.3 billion to $14.2 billion, with real estate leading the way with a 22.6% drop in 2007.

And this was just the beginning.

The worldwide credit crisis and ensuing recession kicked the decline into high gear in 2008, when the real-estate category was joined in its pit of despair by employment and automotive -- a triple whammy that has delivered newspaper classifieds' coup-de-grace.

From 2007-2009, total classified revenues tumbled a remarkable 56% to just $6.2 billion -- less than one-third of their 2000 level. And they're still falling: In the first three quarters of 2010, total classified revenues came to just over $4 billion, down 10% from the same period last year.

The figures are even more incredible when you look at specific categories.

From $2.14 billion in the third quarter of 2000, employment classified revenue has fallen a breathtaking 91% to just $185 million in the third quarter of 2010. From a peak of $1.35 billion in the third quarter of 2006, real estate fell 78% to just $302 million in the same period this year. Meantime, automotive plunged from a peak of $1.22 billion in the third quarter of 2003 to $307 million this year -- a 75% decline.

What's more, the most recent economic data suggests there is no hope on the horizon for any of these beleaguered categories. The U.S. unemployment rate edged up 0.2% to 9.8% in November, after 112 out of 372 labor markets reported their highest unemployment rate in a decade in October. Residential real estate appears headed for a long-term stagnation or decline, reflected in a 1% decline in housing prices from September to October, and a 0.8% year-over-year decline as measured by the Case Shiller Composite-20 Index, leading many economists to predict a double dip in the housing market.

U.S. auto sales are the one relative bright spot, with Standard & Poor's forecasting a 12.9% increase in new car sales in 2011, to about 13 million vehicles -- but new auto sales don't necessarily benefit newspaper classifieds.

While new car buyers traditionally have used cars to sell, this potential source of demand for classifieds was almost certainly diminished by the "Cash for Clunkers" program, which encouraged potential used car sellers to simply take their old vehicles out of circulation for good, rather than try to resell them.

(Source: Media Daily News, 01/03/11)

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4 Ways to Be Better (Part 2)

Saturday I was catching up on some emails and found one from Jim Meisenheimer that I decided to share with you over the next 4 days.

Let's continue:

It's time to start, stop, or even change some of your sales techniques.

Never be boring!

Here are 4 different ways you can outsell your competitors.

2. Be as different as you can be.

Someone once said, "You can always tell a minister's sins by the sermons he preaches." I spent a good chunk of my corporate life trying to blend in. Sure I worked hard and focused on achieving results.

When I think about this, it makes me itch.

I didn't consider the relative importance of differentiation and personal branding until I became an entrepreneur.

Don't go through your sales management and sales career being satisfied with blending in with everybody else in your company.

Standout! Take risks! Have the courage to try things and do things you've never done before.

Sidebar: I cover this in considerable detail in my Sales
Trailblazer Sales Training Program
- Lesson #7 - The Brand Called You.

Connect with Jim here:

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Night #Marketing News from Mediapost

When I lived in Detroit, the Lions and Tigers were losing, but the Pistons were winning.

Yeah, it was a long time ago.

Something I always looked forward to visiting was the Detroit Auto Show...

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
During the first day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit's Cobo Hall, automakers showed vehicles matchbox-sized and bigger, although the focus was on the more diminutive end of the car and crossover world. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Expanding on its "family fun" programs, Kraft Singles has partnered with Disney On Ice for a special offer: Now through May 31, any package wrapper for a Singles product can be redeemed for a pair of 50%-discounted tickets to any of five Disney ice shows playing across the country. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"It's a fun and interactive way for people to engage with us and go into that digital clay environment [of's advertising]," company representative Taylor Cole tells Marketing Daily. "The outline for our new commercial includes a new character, and we thought this would be a great time to get consumers involved and take part in the shoot." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Ford will soon extend the online component of the Explorer campaign with a road-trip themed promotion, "Go. Do. Adventures." The online campaign will give people a chance to take the vehicle on a dream road trip. The idea is that people go to the Explorer social media platforms like Facebook and explain how they would use the vehicle to take their dream road trip. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The program, called M life, is geared toward visitors of the company's 15 resorts in Las Vegas, Mississippi and Detroit locations. M life is launching as a casino rewards club and later this year will expand into a full loyalty program recognizing guest spend on hotel stays, shopping and dining. ...Read the whole story >>

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