Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

I have a special announcement.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, this is the very last posting I will ever make on any blog,
for the rest of the month.

It’s okay though.

Since tomorrow is a new month and everything will be back to normal.

Sorry to alarm you.

by Karl Greenberg
Honda is hoping that people who have hesitated to buy a minivan because of the soccer-person stigma will think again. The company is launching a humorous campaign for the all-new 2011 Honda Odyssey that plays on the idea of minivans as a rolling epitaph for the freewheeling single life. …Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Four out of 10 consumers selected GEICO, followed by Allstate, Progressive and State Farm, with 22%, 17% and 11%, respectively, according to Boulder, Colo.-based Market Force Information. More than three out of four of the respondents said they saw an auto insurance ad in the last 60 days, and most (93%) reported seeing the ad on television. …Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Ninety-five percent get their “daily shot of caffeine” through coffee (versus 2.3% citing tea and 1.5% soda). And in a result apt to generate palpitations at the American Heart Association, 59% reported drinking two to three cups of java per day, and nearly 18% admitted to drinking four or more cups (albeit also recognizing this as “a problem”). About 24% get through the day with a single cup. …Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Marketers should loosen their purse strings now to research their diversity consumers. “They need to be learning, discovering, auditing their consumer base, looking at households, what languages are being spoken within generations, who is playing with cell phones, what are their media habits.” …Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The group also honored some companies for corporate behavior, including American Airlines, which received its Corporate Responsibility Award, “in recognition of the company’s longstanding and public commitment to the LGBT community.” And it also recognized former Ad Age critic Bob Garfield with the Public Visibility Award, for columns critiquing homophobic images in advertising. …Read the whole story >>

New Ad Campaigns

Amy’s weekly roundup with clickable links:

Vibram gives forgers the middle toe. Sea legs vs. land legs. Let’s launch!

Nike launched “Boom,” a campaign that celebrates memorable moments in sports that render witnesses capable of saying one thing: boom. (My personal boom moment took place in 2002 in Oakland, Calif. I attended the Oakland A’s game where the team came from behind to beat the Kansas City Royals and tie the AL major league record of most consecutive wins (19). Boom.) Five in a series of 15-second ads launched, featuring Nike athletes and coaches like Robinson Cano, Ndamukong Suh, Bo Jackson, high school football and volleyball players… and rap artist Rick Ross. A high school football coach writes plays on a whiteboard, with the end result being “boom.” See it here. Ndamukong Suh is fitted for a suit in “Tailor.” Both he and his clothier are preoccupied with a boxing match on TV. Watch it here. Rick Ross heads to a jewelry store and picks up his bling, which screams, “boom.” See it here. Bo Jackson knows boom and heckles Yankees star Robinson Cano throughout batting practice until Cano convinces Bo that he, too, knows boom. Watch it here. A high school drum line brings the noise and the boom in the final ad, seen here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

Australian online marine media company Yacht and Boat launched a quirky TV, print and social media campaign aiming to cure land sickness for boaters who prefer wobbly legs to land legs. The TV ads are not for the weak-stomached. In “Nausea,” office workers performing ordinary tasks begin to sweat and appear ready to vomit. One worker even throws up in his office garbage can. Another races to the bathroom, where he bows down to the porcelain god. “Land sickness. There’s only one cure,” closes the ad, driving viewers to Yacht and Boat’s Web site. Watch it here. Keeping yourself balanced while boating requires swaying with the ocean. It takes your legs some adjusting once you return to land. A woman teeters side-to-side in an elevator and friends drinking beer sway in motion. To a land lover, they look nauseous… and they are. See “Swaying” here. A print ad, seen here, shows what happens when you can’t make it to the bathroom in time. The ads are running in marine publications and metro newspapers throughout Australia. Belgiovane Williams Mackay created the campaign.

Nissan Juke brings light to darkness, with a pent-up energy that creates a party. The small car, described as SUV-tough and sporty, launches this fall throughout Europe. Minute- and two-minute long versions of “Stay Awake” follow Juke down a dark city street. The car gives off electric energy, lighting dark buildings, reviving battery-operated toys, culminating with a billboard’s lights exploding, bringing strangers together to watch the display. A man in drag is ready to call it a night but rethinks his decision once the billboard explodes. The music flows better in the 60-second ad than the 120-second. Fredrika Stahl sings “Twinkle Twinkle” and the line “like a diamond in the sky” is paired with the billboard exploding. Perfect. In the 120-second, the same line is paired with a diamond thief robbing a store. Not the same fit. See both versions of the ad here and here, created by TBWA/G1 and TBWA/Paris.

There’s no mincing words or toes in a print ad for Vibram Five Fingers running shoes. I will be scouring my copies of Runner’s World for it. Unlike typical running shoes, Vibrams fit like gloves, with a compartment for each toe. The ad attacks counterfeiters mimicking its shoes and soles. Running in Footwear Insight, Footwear News, Footwear Plus, Outdoor Insight and Running Insight, Vibram gives the middle toe to forgers. See the ad here, created by Nail.

Pacific Paint (Boysen) in the Philippines launched a beautiful print campaign that promotes the brand as “an accredited responsible care company for environmental safety” by creating animals from paint splashes. “Snail” and “Jellyfish,” seen here and here, are my favorites. I had to look at “Mantis” a few times before creative resembled the insect. See it here. TBWA/Santiago Mangada Puno created the campaign.

Old-school male country-club members driving Mercedes, BMWs, Jaguars and Bentleys get a jolt to the system when golfer Michelle Wie arrives in her red Kia Soul. The lone female takes to the course and stuns onlookers with her golf swing, causing drinks to be dropped and a golf cart fender-bender. Kia Soul hopes to cause the same effect in the automotive realm. Watch the ad here, created by David&Goliath.

ESPN launched a trio of TV ads promoting its “Monday Night Football” coverage, part of the network’s “Is It Monday Yet” campaign. “Two Stops” follows a torn-up middle manager riding a crowded bus home. His day can’t get any worse: he accidentally sent an email mocking his boss’ cankles to “all”; hit himself in the eye with a laser pointer; and set off the fire alarm trying to leave work early. Luckily, it’s Monday and he has football to watch… with his working eye. See it here. “Stone’s Throw” is hysterical. An office worker is seen leaving the office in a shredded shirt. Not only did a naked-lady picture make its way into his important presentation, he was caught picking his nose in public — and his tie got caught in the elevator, causing him to lose his shirt and his fellow riders to lose their lunch. Watch it here. “Exit Away” follows the bad day of an electronics salesman. He congratulates a woman on being pregnant when she’s not, shreds his tie in a blender, and mocks Stephen Baldwin’s choice of jeans, resulting in a bloody nose. See it here. Wieden+Kennedy New York created the ads.

In honor of the DVD release of “Iron Man 2,” let’s look at a TV spot that ran earlier this year to coincide with the movie’s theatrical release. Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance in a Dr Pepper ad as a Stark Industries custodian dusting Iron Man suits in Tony Stark’s home lab. Lee’s co-worker is mopping the floor when JARVIS, an AI computer program, is prompted. The co-worker asks to be suited up, expecting the Iron Man outfit; instead, he gets a hi-tech Dr Pepper vending machine. He’s not complaining. Watch the ad here, created by Deutsch Los Angeles.

Random iPhone App of the week: The National Peanut Board launched a “Peanuts: Energy for the Good Life” app that offers recipes, snack suggestions and short meditation exercises with Stephan Bodian, author of “Meditation for Dummies.” The app features more than 30 dietitian-selected recipes and emphasizes peanut snacks aside from the tried-and-true peanut butter. The app is free and available in the App Store.

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

There are no Little People

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Don’t Overlook Anyone

Rookie and veteran salespeople alike are often guilty of focusing in on the “buyer” while neglecting individuals who have the ability to kill a deal in the blink of an eye.

In fact, there are times when those individuals kill the deal simply because the salesperson ignored them, not just because they didn’t address their needs or concerns about the deal.

Rule of thumb: If you don’t know who all can influence a decision, assume everyone can until you know better. That includes the receptionist (yes, you’d be surprised).

Source: Kelly Riggs, founder and president of Vmax Performance Group

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and Read more:

by Karl Greenberg
The fourth-quarter campaign allows Pandora visitors to use the platform’s social share feature to share a “mixtape” from playlists compiled by either artist. When a song is shared, Ford and Pandora will make a donation to the artist’s charity of choice. Ford signed Pandora to its Sync platform earlier this year. …Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While 73% of online retailers say they already send products abroad from their home country’s distribution center, 17% already have a foreign warehouse in place, hoping to tap into the world’s 1.6 billion online consumers. And those that ship abroad say they get an average of about 5% of revenues from foreign sales. …Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
As of Sept. 24, Jack Daniel’s had gathered nearly 13,000 Facebook- and text-generated signatories for a petition to have the birthday of the spirit’s creator/namesake declared a national holiday — with in-person signatures generated during the month-long campaign’s 10-city bus tour yet to be tallied, reports a brand spokesperson. …Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Created by 180 Amsterdam, the campaign includes TV, print and online ads, and below-the-line promotion. Themed “No One Knows,” the ads target small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as key industry companies, and focuses on DHL’s unique knowledge of markets worldwide, regional and on local country levels. DHL serves customers in more than 220 countries and territories. …Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
“There’s a lot of clutter out there from a lot of different brands, with a lot of celebrity-endorsed products, but there’s not a lot of technological propositions to the consumer,” Michelle Fernandez, senior marketing manager for Canon, tells Marketing Daily. “We’re really putting it in terms of what really matters to [people], which is getting a great photograph.” …Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
“In-vehicle technology is a two-pronged business for us. First, we are marketers looking at mobile as way to communicate the BMW brand. The second prong is a car’s relationship to mobile with the car acting as a portal to mobile devices,” said Patrick McKenna, who was interviewed by Matt Freeman, CEO of Mediabrands Ventures. …Read the whole story >>


Monday I read this piece from Chris Brogan about You.

Not just You, but me too.

And your brand. My Brand.

We used to call it our identity, our image, our persona.

Now, it’s much more than that.

Now, each of us is a Brand.

As a matter of fact, my oldest daughter has a link on her website that is labeled ScLoHo Brand which goes to my home page.

Straight from Chris:

Personal branding isn’t really my focus. It’s something that I do because it’s part of marketing and building out the new way that social business flows. It’s something we wrote about in Trust Agents in the “Make Your Own Game” part. But I’m asked about it often. Here are my thoughts for how to move the needle with your personal brand in 2011 (and yes, you should start planning now). Oh, and Batman is going to help me illustrate along the way.

Personal Branding Basics for 2011

Decide On Your Promise

A brand is a promise. Christopher S. Penn quotes Ze Frank often, saying that it’s an “emotional aftertaste.” Think about it. You buy Apple because you know it’s well-designed. You buy Coke because you prefer the taste. You take your kids to McDonalds because you know they’ll eat it without a fuss. Whatever the promise, good or bad, that’s why you align with the brands you choose.

Brands as part of identity is even bigger. If you’re into bicycling, you’re a cyclist. You think that way. You eat accordingly. You spend your extra time accordingly.

Batman is defined by the goal to seek never-ending vengeance on criminals. That’s his promise. You’re a bad guy? It’s going to hurt. Batman is vengeance. And if someone else started being Batman, they’d pretty much have to own up to that promise, as well, or the brand would dilute.

Decide what you’re going to promise and start there.

Decide How to Best Represent that Promise

First, for everyone who calls themselves something like “The Leadership Doctor” after their name, or in lieu of their name, I challenge you to find me a very big, very successful personal brand who did the same. Richard Branson is Richard Branson. Oprah is Oprah. Madonna. Lance Armstrong. Mother Theresa.

None of them were “the something someone.”

So, now that you’re a name, how do you represent the promise of that brand? I’m turning Human Business Works into a brand that promises to help grow sustainable, relationship-minded business through helpful education and community. That’s the brand promise of HBW. By extension, my promise is that I can deliver that and that becomes part of my brand.

Batman represents his promise by executing on it, all the time. Instead of talking, he does. He executes.

Brands DO Have Symbolism, However

Don’t doubt for a moment that brands use powerful symbolism. That yellow Livestrong band shows up at quite a distance, plus echoes the Maillot Jaune (the yellow jersey) that signifies the leader and winner of the Tour De France. All good brands have symbolism. I changed the logo here at [] to a “B” not only to represent my last name but to represent business, which is at the heart of all my projects. That “B” will show up in a lot of places coming up.

Batman’s symbol, the bat, started as a way to add to people’s fear, and then grew from there.

Promises and Symbols Require Repetition

One way that brands build and grow is by being there, and being there repeatably. When people ask me about my success and how I got to where I am now, I always answer that I was everywhere and I was helpful. Not only did I pay every dollar I could afford to show up to places, but I paid more dollars that I couldn’t afford. What was the result? (Besides ruining my credit) I was everywhere, and people started to know that I’d be there, and they knew that I’d be helpful when I was there, and that my speeches would be useful, and I built relationships that mattered. I built connections to thousands of the who’s who in my field (look at some snaps of them all here), and by that, I really mean most of the up and comers who are stars-in-the-making.

Batman showed up every time the signal was lit. He seemed to be everywhere to stop crime and to build momentum on the fact that crime wasn’t a good idea in Gotham City.

How do you repeat your promises? Live them. Be there. Be useful. Put out good media. Be at every event that you need to be at to grow your industry. Help as many up-and-comers as you can. Group and gather and cluster to build a team of helpful people. (Batman had Robin, Batgirl, and a whole cast of people you wouldn’t know the names of, unless you were as geeky as me).

Grow And Adapt

Madonna stayed on top of the heap of female musical performers for quite some time by adjusting and adapting and growing with the times. She’d morph her style but keep her Madonna-ness as she moved into new phases in her career. In every case, she’d bridge. She wouldn’t swing wildly from one style to another, but instead, she’d let her capabilities overlap into new areas, and we’d be left with the sense that she’d acquired a new style to her collection, instead of seeing her as some kind of wishy washy switcher.

Batman has been in the media since the 1930s. Back in the old days, he would slap people and use guns and do all kinds of quasi-vampire things. Then we had Adam West in the crazy 60s. Then we had Michael Keaton showing that you didn’t have to be crazy. Most recently, we have Christian Bale in the movies and all kinds of crazy stories in the comics. In all cases, the storylines get a little more modern, and keep us in the right mindset to accept that this man dresses up in personal armor and beats people all night long.

How will you grow and adapt your brand? For instance, if your branding is all around “social media” right now, what are you going to do in 2011 when that phrase starts to fall from grace? How will you vector your branding accordingly to keep it fresh and current? To quote friend Aaron Strout, “I’m in fax marketing.” See how silly that sounds? Well, in the 1990s, someone was saying that.

The Tools Are the Afterthought

Your branding isn’t a logo, the same profile pic everywhere, a catch phrase, a theme song. Your branding isn’t a clever little ploy. It’s a whole package, a whole storyline, a promise and symbols. Who cares which tools you’re using? Use the tools that let you tell that story best. If you’re looking for which tools to use, answer these questions:

  • Which tools let you tell the story the best?
  • Where is your audience?
  • What do you want them to do with your promise?
  • Are the tools you’re choosing serving this or no?
  • How much effort is it to maintain your presence and your promise?

That’s a reasonable way to look at the tools, right?

Finally: Focus On Experimentation, Execution, and Storytelling

You want to crush it in branding? Focus on experimenting to improve your abilities, executing to bring your promise into the real world, and telling stories by making useful media to build relationships with your buyers and supporters. That’s the real formula. That’s where you’ll see your rewards. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

It’s the best advice I can offer you. For now.


from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Be Interested

As a rule, people aren’t coming to you for your product or service because they find you interesting. There is nothing wrong with being interesting, or having a wonderful personality or fascinating life experiences. But customers aren’t primarily concerned with doing business with interesting people. They want to do business with people who are interested in them. They want someone concerned with their needs, desires, fears and expectations.

If you want to remind yourself and others on your team of this important concept, just remember the lesson of young Johnny. Johnny was 10 years old when he came home from school and shared with his mom that he had a new girlfriend. “Wow, a girlfriend,” his mom exclaimed, “What does she like about you?”

“She thinks I’m cute, that I’m funny and I’m a great dancer,” Johnny answered.

“And what do you like about her?” mom continued.

Johnny’s insightful response was, “That she thinks I’m cute, that I’m funny and that I’m a great dancer.”

That’s the essence of being interested. We respond positively to people who are interested in us and want to help. They make us feel good, and that’s what draws us to them.

Start CARING about customers. Superior service begins with a genuine interest in and commitment to customers. It is about caring about them as individuals, and being obsessively concerned with the experience they have when they do business with you. And if you don’t fundamentally care about the people you serve, I assure you that they won’t care about doing business with you.

The best product at the best price isn’t the best deal if you don’t care about customers.

Source: Mark Sanborn, president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc.

Tuesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click and read, as usual:

Financial Services
by Karl Greenberg
“Brand awareness has gone from 11% to 91% in fewer than four years. The commercials worked so well, but people were laughing so much they didn’t know what Aflac was about.” So, the company developed “You don’t know Quack,” a guerrilla campaign with cryptic billboards the company left up for 15 or 20 days. “Ultimately, we put a duck up there and finally the Aflac name.” …Read the whole story >>
Packaged Goods
by Sarah Mahoney
“It is going to be very difficult to get consumers to switch to cold-water washing,” Jacquelyn A. Ottman tells Marketing Daily. “We are obsessed with cleanliness, and P&G is the company that got us to believe we wanted laundry that was whiter than white, and that you need hot water to get things really clean.” …Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Disney Parks guests will star in TV spots as part of the “Let the Memories Begin” campaign. For the first time in its 55-year history, Disney Parks is featuring the home videos and snapshots of real guests in TV spots, print ads, online and in other marketing efforts. The campaign kicks off with a TV commercial created from videos posted online in social media forums. …Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
“There’s a lot of change going on with the ways consumers interact with each other and with products,” Kris Narayanan, vice president of digital marketing at Samsung Electronics America, tells Marketing Daily. “This Web site is a culmination of a rigorous process of identifying what drives consumer interaction and experience.” …Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
“When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Contrary to POM Wonderful’s advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treat or prevent these illnesses.” …Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Instead of using a real steering wheel, the two — who were playing the new Microsoft Kinect-powered game — controlled their vehicles with body movements. The game was a demonstration not only of natural user interface (NUI), which uses movements and touch instead of keys and wants to navigate digital media, but of how the companies are partnering to launch Chevrolet’s Volt electric car, which goes on sale in November. …Read the whole story >>