Wild Things

5 05 2009

I just saw the trailer for the new Spike Jonze feature, Where the Wild Things Are.  Not only is it a promising first look at the adaptation of one of the best children’s books of all time, it’s an important reminder.

If you’re in marketing, advertising or sales, pay attention to the message at the end of the trailer.  Three title cards read:  In every one of us, there is HOPE / FEAR / ADVENTURE.  Not an incredibly novel statement, but a fundamentally important one.  If you can identify where your product, service or experience touches the most basic of human emotions, you’re on to something.


Visual Enticement

23 04 2009

Zappos is the latest brand to hop on the data visualization bandwagon.  And I love it.  Here’s a screenshot of their new online map which shows who’s buying what, where.


No, it’s not useful on the surface.  But sure is a fun way to encourage discovery of new products.

The new Green Economy

14 04 2009

Last week, MediaPost ran an article about the double-digit increase in the home gardening sector.  This is a bright spot, but not altogether unexpected given the seismic cultural shifts toward self-sufficiency, consumer basics, and spending more time at home.

What is interesting is how quickly companies are jumping on this bandwagon.  Last night, Home Depot ran a primetime, network ad that featured all of the ways in which Home Depot can help you with your gardening.  Hedgeclippers, lawnmowers, fertilizer and, of course, vegetable plants.  What struck me was how much airtime the $3.49 container of tomato plants got.  It’s obviously not their big ticket item but it does reposition Home Depot to be in the consideration set for home gardeners.


This morning, MediaPost ran an article on Campbell’s Soup.  Campbell’s is running a promotion called “Help Grow Your Own Soup” (HGYOS), with the goal of growing one billion tomatoes.  They’re doing this by making their tomato seeds available to the public through a code-redemption promotion.  They are also raising money for agricultural education and helping create five community gardens.

This is a well-planned reinforcement of Campbell’s persona as a downhome brand, one that’s nourishing and good for families.  It also squarely re-establishes itself as an essential pantry basic so parents will keep stocking their pantries with Campbell’s, even when making those tough grocery budget decisions.  Nice work staying relevant, Campbell’s.

If these initiative work as I am expecting, be on the lookout for more Green marketing initiatives around home gardening.  I’m sure Target, K-Mart and food manufacturers will continue this trend throughout the spring.

Blatant Optimism, post 1

7 04 2009

HBS ran a short article titled “Cheers to the American Consumer.” In it, author John Quelch details 6 qualities of the American consumer that provide hope for an economic recovery:  (relative) wealth, mobility, immigration, independence, recognition and technology.

This is a short article that makes its point in broad strokes.  Not much meat to chew on here, but it does provide a context for hope.

For months now I have been decrying the pessimism of the American media, business leaders and political leaders.  I am not buying into this “sky is falling attitude.”  Our capitalistic and innovative tendencies are too ferocious to allow it (unless, of course, we succumb to our own fear and doubt).  So, from here on out, I will be searching for articles that point out bright spots in the economy, areas of growth and change.  Auto industry: stop whining and build better, more responsible cars.  Airline industry: make flying fun again.  Department stores: offer a unique retail experience based on service and local tastes.  Credit cards: make responsibility part of your customer experience again and having a credit card a privilege, not a right.

With so many old business regimes and models falling by the wayside, we have the unique opportunity now to rebuild a stronger, more valuable, more enjoyable and more sustainable economy.  No excuses.

Fast Company

30 03 2009

A recent article in AdAge pointed out that Fast Company is actually growing in ad revenue and placement while nearly every other magazine is hurting. Kudos, Fast Company. Well-deserved. As the article’s author Larry Dobrow keenly observed: “Indeed, Fast Company is the only business publication, in print or anywhere else, that makes answering the question ‘Why does this matter?’ its defining purpose.”

And that’s why I’m adding Fast Company to my “Brands I Love” list. Because they made it so I actually like reading about business now.

Best PSA I Have Seen in a Long Time

12 02 2009

Watch this and see if you don’t cry.  And if you like it, spread the news.

I’m taking notes on how this was structured as a great example of social marketing.

Yet Another Rehash of the Super Bowl Ads

2 02 2009

Can’t resist.  These are the only ones I remember, which make them the only ones that matter (to me).

DORITOS – brothers Dave & Joe Herbert’s hilarious crystal ball ad blew most of the Madison Avenue competition out of the water.  I laughed so hard, I was snorting.

MONSTER.COM – the backside of the moose.  Who thought of that?  Loved it.  Also got big laughs from our crowd and tapped into the psyche of the Office Space workingman.

CHEETOS – mildly amusing revenge fantasy.  I wanted to see more of The Birds.

COKE – the bugs were cute and all, but I had no idea how it related to Coca-Cola.  Should have been a movie trailer.

BUDWEISER – Horse fetching stick is cute.  But not effective.

and speaking of movie trailers…

G.I. JOE – the ad kicked ass.  Made me wish I’d played with them as a kid.


LAND OF THE LOST – Giant crabs + Will Ferrel = can’t wait (even though the audio was terrible, couldn’t follow the dialogue)