Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gramps is Online

Next month I'll be an official Grandpa as my youngest daughter and husband welcome their firstborn into the world.

I'm just 51. My Dad was in his 50's when he became a Grandpa too.

But today's 50 year olds are often more likely to be online and tech savy then the previous generation because we are the Boomers!

Are Digital Marketers Ignoring Baby Boomers?

Boomers' lives are going in many different directions, as empty-nesters, step-parents, grandparents and caregivers. For all of these roles, the Internet and digital media are absolutely essential.

eMarketer estimates 78.2% of this cohort is online, nearly 60 million adults. Even as their numbers decline, that penetration rate will remain high through 2015. And they control more than $2 trillion in annual spending.

"The baby boomers grew up being chased by marketers and advertisers that tailored products and brands to appeal to them," said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, "Digital Lives of Boomers: Reaching Them Online." "Now the median age of this cohort is 55, and many boomers feel as if they have dropped off many marketers' radar."

Boomers spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Younger boomers (ages 47 to 55) spent an average of 39.3 hours online per month in 2010, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Older boomers (ages 56 to 65) averaged only slightly less, at 36.5 hours. A lot of that time was spent shopping -- and buying. Forrester Research reported that boomers spent an average of about $650 online over a three-month period in 2010, compared with $581 by Generation X internet users (ages 35 to 46) and $429 by Millennials (ages 18 to 34).

Boomers also stay connected on the go. eMarketer estimates 86.9% will have a mobile phone this year, and 16.9 million boomers will access the internet from a mobile browser or installed app. In 2015, that number will reach 25.4 million, or nearly 40% of boomer mobile users. This is a market that content providers, game publishers and brand marketers should not pass by.

Marketers who widen their messages to include boomers would be wise to make their efforts ageless, rather than targeted at an older set.

"Boomers are immediately turned off by association with old age, infirmity and decline," said Phillips. "Most brands do not want to 'age' their products with blatant appeals to older consumers. The win-win is to create an overarching brand message that gives a nod to boomers, but also includes younger adults and even grandchildren."

This often means turning a negative -- fears about failing health, for example -- into a positive, such as showing the benefits of products that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

(Source: eMarketer, 04/04/11)

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How Homeowners Are Spending their $$

Conservatively, and with a hammer:

Fortunes of Home Improvement Chains Improve as Americans Tackle Repair Projects

After several years of perusing real estate listings and spending Sunday afternoons at open houses, Denise Majeski decided to stay put and fix up her 25-year-old Gurnee, Ill., home.

As the housing market languished even as the economy improved, Majeski determined the financially prudent course would be to fix up the house a little at a time, starting with replacing the windows and renovating the bathrooms.

"Initially we were thinking about moving," said Majeski, 55. "But that would require a mortgage and additional amounts of money. We can do a home improvement at a pace that we can afford."

It is a choice more homeowners are making these days and one that is lifting the fortunes of the long-suffering home improvement industry.

Seasonal hiring at Lowe's Cos., the nation's No. 2 home improvement retailer, is up 15% this spring as homeowners, feeling more secure in their jobs, tackle maintenance projects delayed during the recession.

And Home Depot Inc., the largest home improvement retailer, in February reported its first annual sales increase since 2006, before the housing market crashed. The home improvement business is stabilizing despite the continued weakness of the housing market, Home Depot Chief Executive Frank Blake said at the time.

"People are doing what it takes to be happy where they are," said Jack Horst, retail strategist at Kurt Salmon, a consulting firm. "They are more likely doing maintenance and replacement than big fundamental changes."

A few buckets of paint, brighter lighting and some new door handles are enough to make Rebecca and Bill Klies happy in their new home. The couple, in their 30s, bought their first condo last October in a short sale, in which a lender allows a homeowner to sell a property for less than the amount owed on the mortgage.

Now the Klieses spend weekends at Home Depot and Lowe's getting ideas on how to fix up their West Loop loft in Chicago without spending a fortune. They've swapped out light fixtures, recaulked the shower, put up new towel racks, installed a ceiling fan in the bedroom, bought new light switch plates, painted several rooms and touched up the molding.

"These are simple little fixes that make a big difference overall," Rebecca Klies said.

At the same time, home improvement stores are getting an extra sales boost as homeowners dig out from a winter of lengthy cold spells. The severe weather has left shingles, gutters and downspouts in need of repair and lawns littered with broken shrubs and damaged trees.

"These are the have-to-do projects," said Jim Kane, president of Home Depot's northern division. "We've just come through a tough winter, and the winter has just taken its toll on all those things."

Maintenance and repairs account for about 40% of Home Depot sales, up sharply from recent years when home sales slowed, said Daniel Binder, an analyst at Jefferies & Co., in a report last month.

Spending on home remodeling is expected to rise 9.1% in the first quarter to $125.1 billion from the same period a year ago, according to a widely followed index from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. The last time remodeling activity for a three-month period topped $125 billion was the second quarter of 2008.

The center predicts the industry to gain momentum this spring with sales jumping 12.7%, to $132.9 billion, in the second quarter from a year ago, before tapering off to a 6.5% gain, to $123.5 billion, in the third quarter.

More homeowners are tackling basic house projects on their own instead of using general contractors, bringing in electricians or plumbers only for the toughest jobs, said Rich Cowgill, Chicago-area chapter president of the National Assn. of the Remodeling Industry.

Cowgill said he had noticed an increase in the size of the do-it-yourself classes he teaches as a volunteer at ReStore for Habitat for Humanity as more homeowners try to lay tile, replace windows or put up drywall.

"People are dressing up their homes because they've come to the realization with housing devalues that they're not going to move," said Cowgill, who also owns a home remodeling business.

Kris and Dennis Cortes of Flossmoor, Ill., are typical of the post-recession home remodelers, industry experts said. The parents of five children said they chose to stay in the home they bought 20 years ago and to give the house a face-lift. They are adding a couple of gables to the roof, installing a new garage door and updating the landscaping.

"We could buy the megamansion, but we choose not to," said Kris Cortes, 46. "We're choosing to allocate our resources more toward education, charity and savings. I do think the country at large is headed in that direction."

(Source: Chicago Tribune, 04/13/11)

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The Big Picture

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Great Sellers Take the Longer View

Great sellers are not immune to lousy meetings. They sometimes miss a cue, get distracted, make decisions to abort the effort too soon, or too late. Sometimes they mis-target, short change the research effort or just come across a prospect who's there to win the session, which usually means to lose the opportunity.

So great sellers experience what the rest of us do as well, episodic failure. The difference between the remarkable sellers and the rest of the pack is that the exceptional performer doesn't judge himself by an unfortunate outcome. That is to say, he doesn't become that failed visit. That's just not who he is.

The great seller takes a much longer view. The bad call was an occurrence; an event, rather than an inevitable outcome in the absence of sheer luck. He sees it for what it is; a moment in time...a short moment over a long time period. So, he doesn't get down. His self-image doesn't take a "hit." He either has an immediate take on what fell through or makes an artful analysis. If no answer satisfies in either case, he moves on, comfortable in the knowledge that, "hey, stuff happens." It's not a defining moment. There are lots of folks out there to meet with and help. Tomorrow's another day, as is the day after.

Great sellers don't get down and lose time. They get challenged. They never stop learning and growing and trying to make life/business better for all with whom they come in contact.

They take a longer view.

Source: Sales consultant/manager Bob Sherman

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Remember the Lonely Maytag Repair Man?

He's coming back, slightly as the first story explains in our Friday Night Marketing News Update from Mediapost.

Also, just what I've always wanted, more fiber in my waffles. (Story 6):

by Sarah Mahoney
Maytag is introducing a new brand campaign that it hopes will warm up its old-reliable image, while at the same time building on its never-breaks-down brand equity. The famed Maytag repairman gets a cameo in the TV spots, but the focus is now on contents of the machine, themed "What's Inside Matters." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
As if things weren't tough enough for Japanese automotive brands since the earthquake, it seems vehicles from brands like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan may face resistance from U.S. consumers for fear that parts won't be available, and tight supply will make the vehicles too expensive. But Japanese brands aren't alone. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Kraft Foods recently announced the existence of "Operation Spark" -- an initiative aimed at reconnecting consumers with "entrepreneurial" brands Athenos, Stove Top, Breakstone's and Knudsen. Kraft chose The Martin Agency to handle all three accounts (and Droga5 to handle Athenos), reflecting the Spark strategy of significantly upping the brands' advertising budgets and using agencies of record new to Kraft to gain a fresh perspective. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
As automakers accelerate production of vehicles designed to be sold everywhere on Earth, not just in specific markets, so are they creating marketing campaigns to introduce the vehicles, also designed to run everywhere, without having to be radically tailored to different countries. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Oneworld alliance members American Airlines and British Airways are launching the Miles Millionaire contest, their first major joint promotion in the U.S. for frequent flyers of both airlines. The campaign targets business customers who have little time to travel for leisure. Its theme is "The Wanderlust: An overwhelming urge to travel for fun." ...Read the whole story >>

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Naming Names

from Al Ries &

You might have missed the news: The board of trustees of Northwestern University have approved the expansion of Medill's formal name to the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

"The expanded name," said Medill Dean John Lavine, "fairly recognizes who we are and the kinds of professional careers our graduates enter."

Hmmm. Let's say you're a recent graduate of Medill and are trying to get a job at General Electric. After all, they could probably use an expert in journalism, media and integrated marketing communications.

GE would be a perfect place to put your new-found knowledge to work. As everyone knows, General Electric doesn't just make electrical products. It has a big business in medical equipment, jet engines, infrastructure and finance, among other things.

Voila! You have the perfect solution for the company. An expanded name that fairly recognizes who they are and what they do. The company could be called the "General Electric Medical, Jet Engine, Finance and Infrastructure Company." Or GEMJEFIC, for short. (Actually, GE might be receptive to a name change with all the bad publicity the company has been receiving about not paying taxes on its $14.2 billion in profits last year.)

Seriously, though, is that what Medill is teaching its students? That as time goes on, names need to be expanded to include additional activities an organization is getting into. That contradicts decades of marketing thought.

Heaven help Advertising Age if it hires a Medill student to help the publication move into the journalism, media and integrated-marketing-communications era.

Possible new name for the publication: "Advertising, Public Relations, Direct Marketing & Social Media Age."

Medill has a "name" problem. The word "journalism" has become obsolete. No young person wants to be a "journalist." What does that mean? Keeping a journal? Writing a blog?

Young people today want to get into TV. Or into the newspaper or magazine business. Or into the radio business. Or into the internet.

The sum-up word for these activities is "media." Wouldn't a better alternative to the Medill School of Journalism be the "Medill School of Media?"

Furthermore, "media" is alliterative with Medill, always a good idea in a name. (BlackBerry, Dunkin' Donuts, Best Buy, Dirt Devil, Mickey Mouse, PayPal, Range Rover and dozens of other successful brands.)

Then, too, media is a two-way street. It can be understood to include the people who produce it (formerly journalists) and the people who buy or try to place messages in it (advertising and PR specialists).

In addition, Medill has another name problem. It already is a secondary name. It's part of Northwestern. Many people refer to the school as Northwestern's Medill.

If you look at a number of successful educational institutions, they seem to be going in the opposite direction from Medill. Do you remember the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama? Probably not. In 1899, it changed its name to Alabama Polytechnic Institute. You probably don't know that name either since in 1960 it was changed to Auburn University.

Medill is making a classic "branding" mistake. It is trying to put meaning into its brand name when the best brand names are those that are devoid of "inherent" meaning.

What does the name "Auburn" mean?

What does the name "Princeton" mean?

You probably know that these are the cities in which the universities of the same name are located. But that's not their "brand" meaning. Auburn University and Princeton University are well-known and respected institutions of higher learning.

Almost all recent brand successes use names that are mostly devoid of inherent meaning. Google, Facebook, Zappos, Starbucks, Craigslist, Wikipedia, eBay and many others. Their "brand" meanings have been developed by years of marketing activities.

When you start with a blank canvas, name wise, you can often build a dominant brand much easier than starting with a name that has a verbal anchor.

Suppose Auburn and Princeton were called "Auburn City University" and "Princeton City University." Do you suppose they would have become the educational institutions they are today? (Actually, Princeton was once called the College of New Jersey.)

New York City, for example, is one of the most important and dynamic cities in the world. But City University of New York is just not in the same class as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford and dozens of other universities that are not nailed down by a verbal anchor.

Furthermore, if Medill wants to become the "mighty Medill of media," it has to get out from under its Northwestern umbrella.

Look at Wharton, the country's best-known graduate school of finance. Few people say The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Wharton has succeeded in moving out from under the University of Pennsylvania, another verbal anchor.

It's human nature to want to identify with a larger institution than your own. But that's not the way to build a brand. The way to build a brand is to create a unique, individual identity that stands on its own.

That's why line extensions are weak. The extension always plays the role of caboose to the master brand's engine.

As far as names are concerned, why wouldn't Medill want to take credit for "integrated marketing communications," an idea the institution created and nurtured?

They would and should, except for one problem. "Integrated marketing communications" is a brilliant idea hobbled with a descriptive name when it should have had a memorable brand name.

In every company I have studied, I have yet to find a "CIMCO," chief integrated marketing communications officer. What I have found, however, are thousands of CMOs.

On second thought, how about the Medill School of Marketing?

Well, what about Northwestern's Kellogg, the graduate school best known for "marketing?" As far as Medill is concerned, Kellogg is the enemy -- sibling rivalry, if you will. Kellogg has a reputation for marketing, but the school itself is called the School of Management.

Medill needs to get out from under the Northwestern umbrella and start building an independent brand with a short, memorable name.

Al Ries is chairman of Ries & Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing strategy firm he runs with his daughter and partner Laura.

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Social Media for Small Business

A study was released recently that compares Social Media satisfaction and awareness for marketing and advertising.

This is from Mediapost:

Small Business Owners Liking Facebook

According to the MerchantCircle Merchant Confidence Index (MCI) survey, the total Q1 2011 MCI score is 5.1% higher than a year earlier. The largest contributor to its growth is respondents' expectations for sales revenue growth during the next three months.

Merchant Confidence Index


Average Response on 1-5 Scale

% Change vs. Feb 2010

Rate today's economy compared to past 12 months



Change in sales revenue over next three months


+ 4.8

Change in marketing/advertising expenditures over next three months



Change in headcount over next three months



Source: MerchantCircle, (Merchant Confidence Index Survey), March 2011

More than four in 10 small and local business owners expect sales revenues to improve somewhat in the next three months. 13% expect significant improvement, a combined 57% of respondents anticipating some sort of rise in short-term sales revenues.

Expectations for the future (How do you expect your sales revenues to change over the next three months?)


% of Respondents

Improve significantly


Improve somewhat


Remain relatively the same


Decline somewhat


Decline significantly


Source: MerchantCircle, (Merchant Confidence Index Survey), March 2011

The factor with the highest year-over-year growth rate is respondents' rating of today's economy compared to 12 months ago, which improved 11.8% to 15%.

State of the U.S. Economy (How would you rate today's economy compared to the past twelve months?)


% of Respondents

Significantly improved


Somewhat improved


About the same


Somewhat weaker


Much weaker


Source: MerchantCircle, (Merchant Confidence Index Survey), March 2011

About six in 10 small and local businesses anticipate their marketing expenditures to remain relatively the same during the next three months. Only 2% expect them to increase significantly, while less than 5% expect them to decline significantly.

Marketing expenditures (How do you expect your marketing/advertising expenditures to change over the next three months?)


% of Respondents

Increase significantly


Increase somewhat


Remain the same


Decline somewhat


Decline significantly


Source: MerchantCircle, (Merchant Confidence Index Survey), March 2011

When asked about their usage of a variety of online marketing tools and channels, 70% of respondents said they are currently using Facebook. This makes Facebook the most used of any marketing tool covered by the survey, closely followed by Google. LinkedIn comes in third. Generally speaking, the lower the current usage rate of a tool, the higher its planned usage rate, suggesting small and local businesses are open to a wide variety of online marketing channels.

Adoption of specific online marketing services (Are you promoting your business with the following websites/services? % of Respondents)



Not Promoting

Not Yet, But Plan To

Not Familiar





















Yahoo! Local












































Source: MerchantCircle, (Merchant Confidence Index Survey), March 2011

And, with regard to expectations of marketing activity in the next three months, only 15% see a decline.

Marketing expenditures (How do you expect your marketing/advertising expenditures to change over the next three months?)


% of Respondents

Increase significantly


Increase somewhat


Remain the same


Decline somewhat


Decline significantly


Source: MerchantCircle, (Merchant Confidence Index Survey), March 2011

The online survey was to a random sample of 1.6 million local business owners, and There were 8,456 total responses from local business owners across the United States. Overall, about three fourths of the respondents' budgets for marketing are below $5,000.

Annual Ad/Marketing Budget

Budget (x000)

% of Respondents











>10.0 <25.0


>25.0 <50.0




Source: MerchantCircle, (Merchant Confidence Index Survey), March 2011

The Top Three Most Effective Marketing Or Advertising Methods The Responding Business Uses Or Has Used

Most Effective Channel

% of Respondents

Search engine marketing


Profile on social network


Email marketing


Other online methods


Coupons or direct mail


Print newspaper


Online yellow pages




Banner/display ad


Local radio


Source: MerchantCircle, (Merchant Confidence Index Survey), March 2011

For additional information, please visit Merchant Circle here.

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Googling is a 2 way Street

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Your Image

When your meeting pops up on your prospect's calendar, they might be tempted to remind themselves of who they are meeting with.

Will they Google you? Check your LinkedIn profile? Or maybe even your Facebook page? What will they find? What picture of you will they have before you even enter their door?

Source: Nigel Edelshain, CEO of Sales 2.0, LLC

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Time for Something Sweet & Sticky for Supper?

The Thursday night Mediapost Nightly Marketing News includes a story about Log Cabin and Social Media. (Story #5).

Please wash the syrup off your fingers before updating your Facebook status.

by Karl Greenberg
Toyota's brand integration on Electronic Arts' free Facebook game, "Monopoly Millionaires," might seem an odd idea at first blush. After all, most automotive brand integrations in digital games feature sports cars, factory-modified performance cars, and vehicles players can personalize, or any vehicle an automaker aims at people who just wanna have some fun. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While the recession took a big bite out of home-d├ęcor spending, it looks like consumers are spending more to live it up at home. A new study from NPD Group says that 12% of Americans entertained at home more this year than in years past, while 37% say they're entertaining at least as often as prior years. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Virgin America is taking social media to new heights with the launch of a Terminal 2 Takeover promotion in conjunction with today's opening of the airline's new home terminal at San Francisco International Airport. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
In conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Association, companies such as Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Best Buy and others (as well as recyclers and governmental and non-governmental agencies) have created the eCycling Leadership Initiative, which will seek to recycles one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The campaign, like other recent Log Cabin efforts, focuses heavily on promoting that the syrup products contain no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), as well as reinforcing the brand as a "family tradition." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Online automotive site TrueCar has signed a deal with direct marketing company Guthy-Renker that has the latter taking a major stake in TrueCar and also gives the agency the imprimatur to create a national campaign that starts in less than a month. ...Read the whole story >>

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Coffee, Candy, and Cellphones

from Amy at Mediapost:

Schadenfreude is cause for "Celebrations." Skittles puts your finger to work. Let's launch!

1Sprint launched a TV spot, "Anthem," on Monday, debuting a new tag line: "All. Together. Now." Say goodbye to the "Now Network." The new tag line aims to demonstrate the sheer amount of time people spend interacting with friends on their mobile devices. "Anthem" begins with social media overload: people are checking in to locations, emailing, friending people on Facebook, browsing through pictures and watching YouTube videos. As memorable YouTube video clips are shown (Charlie bit my finger, for example), a voiceover says, "Unlimited is good. And thanks to Sprint you can talk, text, and post as much as you want, for no extra cost. So go ahead world, unlimit yourself." Watch the ad here, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. The Simply Everything Plan costs $99.99 per month, plus a $10 data charge for smartphones. Remember this price as we look at another wireless carrier out to save consumers money.

2Boost Mobile launched "Be Heard," a TV and print campaign that takes tweets and Facebook rants about the rising costs of wireless plans and brings them to life. The company, naturally, has a solution: its $50 Monthly Unlimited with Shrinkage plan. "Working Man," the first of three TV spots, launched Monday. The title character has no social life, for he spends his days going from one job to another. He's a taxi driver, construction worker, deliveryman, window washer and toilet scrubber. While he's cleaning a toilet, a tweet appears onscreen: "How many jobs do I need to pay a cell phone bill?" "We hear you, " responds the voiceover. Watch the ad here, created by 180LA.

3BBDO Toronto created five online videos for Skittles where your finger plays an interactive role. Users are prompted to touch their computer screen and watch unlikely scenarios play out. There's WarFingers, where a machine-gun-toting middle finger is mortally wounded. He asks "Dex" (for index) to take care of pinky. Watch it here. Use your thumb in the next video to hitch a hide on the back of an elderly man on roller skates, carrying a bucket of Skittles. See it here. A young girl experiences heartache in the next video, seen here. She has a face full of Skittles and fears she's being used because of its uniqueness. In another video, a strong finger and a cage cop apprehend a thief. Turns out, the thief and cop know one another. Watch it here. I saved the strangest and creepiest video for last. An adorable cat licks your finger at the start of the video, only to be replaced by a man cat. Yes, a man acting like a feline. Remove your finger! See it here. Woods & Low directed the videos, produced by FamilyStyle and edited by Posterboy Edit.


Never underestimate the power of coffee. Cumberland Farms launched its first TV campaign in more than 15 years to tout its Farmhouse Blend coffee that tastes too good to cost 99 cents. A man pumping gas and drinking his Farmhouse Blend coffee thinks he's dreaming when he sees a princess standing beside a white horse. His fantasy is short-lived once a petite man in medieval wear shouts to the princess: "Get in the truck. The kid's party starts in 10 minutes." Watch "Princess" here. "Heaven" is funny. A woman sitting in traffic and drinking her coffee believes she is having a religious experience when an angelic figure appears before her in a white cloud. In actuality, it's a construction worker carrying two sets of orange cones and informing the woman: "Nothing to worry about ma'am, just a busted steam pipe!" See the ad here. Full Contact Advertising created the campaign.

5Celebrations candy launched a print campaign that allows me to use the word "schadenfreude." Some people celebrate birthdays or a job promotion, while people in the Celebrations campaign take pleasure in someone else's misfortune. A gymnast falls off the uneven bars and lays motionless on the mat. Her competition breaks out the candy. See it here. Kids rejoice when their bus driver has an accident. Wouldn't they just send a replacement bus? See it here. Parents wave bon voyage to their child, leaving the nest. The kid looks sad, but the parents are far from it. See it here. CLM BBDO created the campaign.

6A period piece with two knights jousting in the rain takes a modernized turn... on Segways, no less, in an ad for the Washington Lottery. "Play Together, Win Together" ask viewers: "What have you and your friends always wanted to do?" If you win big, why not buy Segways and full armor and joust in bad weather? Dreams can come true, even the wacky ones. Watch the ad here, created by Cole & Weber United.

7Torture doesn't disappear and neither does this iPad ad for Amnesty International Deutschland, running in the tablet edition of the German daily newspaper, Die Welt. As a user is scrolling through newspaper sections, a man appears. He's standing in a corner with his hands tied and a sack over his head. Left or right swipes do nothing to rid users of the image. A pop-up box appears after several attempts, stating: "Torture disappears only when one is doing something about it." Users can then click on a link that brings them to Amnesty International's Web site for additional information. See the ad here, created by TBWA/Berlin.

8Do you like zombies, video games and stories told backwards? Then you must watch this video game trailer for "Dead Island." There are zombies, young and old, fighting a family of three on vacation. Bad destination choice. The violence between humans and zombies is set to calming, soothing music, with an occasional fighting grunt added. Nicely done. See it here, directed by AXIS and produced by Little Minx.

9I can use an adult beverage after that "Dead Island" trailer. Thankfully, there's "Tipsy," a suave wine bottle who sings about food, wine, love and the Sonoma International Film Festival. "Tipsy" ran throughout the film festival, April 6-10. He starts off strong... and sober, but once his cork pops, he's knocking over food until he falls on his side, spilling vino on the table. Watch it here. ICA created the trailer, produced by Psyop.

10Random iPad App of the week: Backpacker magazine launched "The Backpacker Survival School" iPad app, helping users survive a sticky situation in the middle of nowhere. Need to remove a tick? Treat a snake bite? Set a broken bone or cross a raging river? There are pictures, stories and videos to help. Users can also take a survival quiz for a chance to win free gear. The app costs $2.99 in the App Store.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

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Refocus with these 8 Questions

January is a month of resolutions. February and March are the months, most of them get tossed aside.

Now that April is here, let's review...

from my email

Daily Sales Tip: New Year's Resolutions

This weekend is a good time to prepare yourself for the rest of the year. Here are 8 questions to consider from Bob Pike, The Pike Group.

1. What do you want to accomplish in the next year?
2. What will it take to do that?
3. What are the barriers to achieving those goals?
4. What are the resources that you'll need to achieve those goals?
5. Is everyone connected with the organization in agreement that those objectives are the most important ones?
6. What value are you delivering right now?
7. What are the strengths you bring to the table?
8. How do you know that your customers would agree?

Your time spent preparing resolutions from these reflections will give you direction that will increase your billing and reduce your stress.

Source: John Potter, VP/Training, Radio Advertising Bureau

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ford Micro-Targets Car Owners

Face it, the people most likely to buy a new car, already have a car.

And the hot topic right now is rising gas prices.

Looks like Ford has the right idea in the second story from Mediapost:

by Aaron Baar
"In 2009, when Boost launched 'Unwronged,' we embarked on a mission to right many of the wrongs in wireless," Bob Stohrer, vice president of marketing for Boost Mobile, tells Marketing Daily. "'Be Heard' is an acknowledgement that Boost is continuing to listen to its core consumers -- who often times don't feel as though they are heard or recognized." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Ford is running an ad campaign touting its gas-efficient vehicles. But the effort is running solely -- although appropriately -- on Gas Station TV (GSTV.) The effort will reach some 27 million drivers refueling at some 1,100 stations. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The point is to get the message out about how the size of the packaging doesn't reflect the strength of the product, which is concentrated eightfold. The "how to" video is being sent across Facebook, the Web, and Method's People Against Dirty social-media platform. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Hispanics who speak primarily Spanish are more likely to use restaurants for breakfast and evening snacks, while those who speak primarily English are more likely to dine out for lunch and dinner, according to recent foodservice research by The NPD Group. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
More than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) say it's worth paying more for a green product or service that is from a brand that they trust, according to a new survey conducted by Green Is Universal, NBCUniversal's ongoing program to raise environmental awareness and contribute to positive change. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The recession may be over, but the majority of consumers -- 52% -- say it doesn't feel that way, according to Deloitte's latest consumer survey. And they're worried about rough seas ahead, too, with 71% anticipating that higher gas prices will affect their ability to spend in the coming months. ...Read the whole story >>
by Gavin O'Malley
Representing a clear marketing opportunity, 66% of boomers are on the lookout for brands to better express their "youthful" personalities. Brands like Apple, Sony, Dell and HP were cited as good reflections of boomers' inner selves. ...Read the whole story >>
by Ted Marzilli
In the mid-March home stretch to tax return day, H&R Block pulled out of its slightly negative score level and in a period of two weeks, moved to within just a few points of Turbo Tax. Turbo Tax is still leading on Buzz scores, although both brands have lost some steam more recently. ...Read the whole story >>

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Creating 100% Satisfaction

A couple weeks ago I came across this story from the Wizard Chronicles:

Diamonds Are a Guys Best Friend… if You’re These Guys!

By Sonya Winterbotham, Wizard of Ads Partner

EverettBrookes JewellersToday I’m reading the Alchemist.

It may in fact become the first book I will finish in one day… Not that 167 pages is a big challenge but my reading pace tends to be that of the tortoise and not the hare. For those, who have waited far too long to read the Alchemist it is a story about following your Personal Legend, following your dream and doing what you were born to do. I believe these two men are doing just that…

David Everett and Ian Brookes are jewelers. They are not men who use molds or machinery to make mass produced pieces shipped to chain stores around the country. David Everett and Ian Brookes are true craftsmen, with hands born of skill and eyes formed of precision they meticulously, lovingly, proudly produce the most spectacular pieces of jewellery crafted by hand.

But that is not why I want to share the EverettBrookes story. These men possess something else… In following their Personal Legend, they have built a business model that shows great incite into understanding their customer’s needs, wants and behaviors.

So here is what EverettBrookes understand, and how they do things differently:-

What a woman wants when buying a ring is perfection. For perfection to transcend design paper to finger is no easy task, and David and Ian came to the conclusion that it is not always possible.

Once on her finger she may wish the diamonds were a little bigger, the band a little thicker, the setting a little higher and what most jewelers would say is “tough luck, you picked it, we made it, better choosing next time.”.

David and Ian made a very firm decision that people would only walk out their front door with a smile, and a smile comes from perfection.

So what do they do? Offer to start over again and make the ring exactly how you want it… at no… extra… charge. They’ll start your ring again from scratch… no charge, no obligation, no stiff jewellery store stance, just the promise of perfection.

What would most others do? Look at the bottom line, grumble about cost, and say they can’t afford the risk… EverettBrookes looks at every customer as a brand ambassador and if just one walks out the door feeling disappointed – well that’s the risk they can’t afford.

Their entire business model is created around customer needs – not their needs.

  • They open late so couples can come after work, and if you need that engagement ring for your party on Saturday, they won’t tell you it can’t be finished in time.
  • They’ll just ignore the clock and work late, work early, work around the job so that sparkle is on your finger to show off to your friends on Saturday so they can ask “where did you get it” and you’ll say – “I got it from this amazing jewellery store called EverettBrookes… let me tell you about them”.

Contact Sonya - Let Us Help You Build Your Business

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Those Funky Looking Ink Blots

Do you know what a QR code is? It is a barcode designed to be read by smartphones that take people to a specific place online. Try scanning this one and see where it takes you:

Nick Jerome has more:

QR Codes: Thinking outside the square

(posted on

QR codes are quickly becoming a part of any integrated marketing campaign. We all know they’re great for offering coupons and additional product information, but the possibilities for using them are really endless. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a small non-profit, creative use of QR codes can help people engage with your brand. Here are some examples of “outside the square” thinking:

San Francisco was the site of a pilot program between CitySearch and Antenna Audio. QR codes were posted on the city’s historical landmarks and restaurants. When scanned, they produced information about the site or reviews on the restaurant.

Eventbrite is starting to use QR codes at registration desks. Event attendees register online and receive a QR code on the confirmation. Event coordinators can scan the codes at the registration table and gather attendee information quickly and accurately.

Starbucks made QR codes a successful ecommerce solution. Starbucks Card Mobile Application allows customers load an account with money, and the pull up their account’s QR code at the register for convenient payment.

The Smithsonian used QR codes to increase engagement with their Neanderthal exhibit. When visitors scan the code they are sent to a website where they can take a picture of a friend with their phone, and the program shows what they would have looked like 30,000 to 50,000 years ago as a Neanderthal.

These are just a few examples of the creative ways QR codes can be used. The bottom line is that a QR code should always provide added value for the user. That value can be a discount, information, convenience or just plain fun, but it represents an opportunity to engage with people in a new way.

About the Author

Nick Jerome is a marketing services manager at FASTSIGNS®, a visual communications services provider with more than 550 locations around the world.

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Create Your Category

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Commoditization Your Problem?

Do you sell corn, or sweet Jersey corn? Do you sell potatoes or Idaho potatoes?

Has the commoditization of your product or service got you down or is your inability to differentiate it from the pretenders holding you down? A few days ago, WCBS-AM Newsradio in New York aired a feature by Ray Hoffman of The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Hoffman was reporting the thoughts of the CEO of Priceline about the complaint of commoditization, and its painful effects on profits.

The answer offered -- differentiation.

Look, you sell either a piece of meat or sirloin, a bushel of wheat or a bushel of super fine, no toxins Kansas wheat, cars or Cadillacs.

You hit and run, or you are there every step of the way with your client from order to renewal. You sell "as is" or "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back." You make a difference in his success potential or it's "every man for himself."

If your product or service is above the pack, and especially if you own that reputation and it's verifiable, you can't be commoditized. You're different, unique and uncommon, and so "Please Mr. Jones, may we discuss the value to you that I bring to the table? Because I promise you, it's very different than those you are comparing me to -- like apples and...."

Here's a letter that one of our well-trained, genuine and talented managers received just this week from a client:

From: Dawn M Richardson
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 1:06 PM
To: 'Tim Miller'
Subject: RE: Tim Miller Calling

Tim, I must tell you that I do believe that you are on my side. I don't believe that I've just begun working with you but I have made a friend, too. I appreciate your sincerity and honesty. I look forward to a long working relationship with you...

My guess is that Tim's price will be discussed, but without reference to another guy's price, because the other guy is not Tim. He's different, not a commodity.

Source: Pilot Group Partner/Consultant Bob Sherman

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karl Greenberg
Shawn Lollie, Ford manager of multicultural marketing, tells Marketing Daily that the idea came from consumer reactions to driving the car and from focus groups. "Some of what we heard is that it brought back good childhood memories and sparked a lot of emotions. We wanted to tap into those feelings -- how you felt when you were a kid riding a bike." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
It's also putting some 8,500 items back on store shelves -- an 11% increase -- in an acknowledgment that its "Project Impact," an effort to de-clutter stores and increase efficiency by reducing SKUs, was a snafu almost on the order of "New Coke." It will even offer a mea culpa to shoppers by flagging the restored items with "It's back!" signage. < ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Creative uses an airplane window to frame declarations of Virgin America's mission to reinvent the typical domestic flight experience. The window displays a single moment on a Virgin America flight. Headlines include: "Landing has never been so bittersweet," "Flying has never looked better," "You're far too important to fly bored" and "Life's too short for dull air travel." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
If it involves cars, it may soon begin appearing in a social game near you. Cie Games, the company behind the Facebook game "Car Town," has launched two promotions this week -- one for the muscle car action film "Fast Five" and one for the real world Indianapolis 500 -- and is looking for more. ...Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Karl Greenberg
The effort includes TV ads that feature "little miracles," a Facebook program to get people to "pay it forward" and participate in the "Little Miracle Mission." When consumers pledge on the dedicated Facebook page that they have given an expectant mother a gift, Pampers will give baby showers to expectant mothers nationwide. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Sites specifically devoted to covering environmental issues are the most efficient ways to find green consumers online, right? Wrong. Green consumers -- those who look for products with an environmental benefit -- actually spend less than 1% of their time online reading content on green sites, according to data from Resonate Networks. ...Read the whole story >>

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