>Against Marketer’s Advice

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Many of you know that I spend my weekends as a firefighter and paramedic. Often times we are called to someone’s home that needs help, but refuses to allow us to help them or transport them to the hospital. We try our best to convince them of the dangers of their situation, but often to no avail. If they are of sound mind and an adult, we often have no choice but to present them with a legal release and let them sign out AMA (against medical advice).

So, here’s a new term AMA (against Marketer’s advice). In marketing and advertising, it is easy to get swayed to make constant changes in your plan. As the next great medium or advertising offer is placed in front of you, resist. We encourage you to do your research or at the minimum, listen to the agency you hired for that purpose and try to stick by your plan. Know what you expect to happen and how you will measure the results.

There is no point in planning a 26 week campaign, only to kill it after just two weeks (or 2 ads!). Then, blame the creative, the TV station or worse yet, your sales people for a lack of results.

Plan your work and work your plan. Yes, make adjustments as needed, but trust in your advisors and let the plan play out.

– Rob Felber

>Out of touch

>Diana Kingsbury, my co-advisor, and I were talking last night about our weekends before our weekly meeting.

“I feel so out of touch now. I’m back in the stone age!” she said very impatiently. “I don’t know how I’m going to survive!”

You see, Diana had an unfortunate experience with her cell phone and some dampness. Her cell phone didn’t make it.

This conversation got me thinking more about this wave of technology and how much our daily lives are wrapped around it. When I was in 9th grade I had a pager and that was considered VERY risky (and a bit trendy). Now, cell phone providers are targeting kids of all ages using the array of family plans to sweeten the deal.

And actually, to tell you the truth, they are doing one heck of a good job in advertising to this young generations.

For example, we’ve all seen the T-Mobile commercial with the parents engaged in a conversation on awarding their kids with more minutes based on their behavior – with a clever shot in to the driveway showing these same adorable youngsters fighting while washing the car and the father saying something clever about also taking away minutes too.

This ad will hit home for the parents and the children looking for yet another reason to ask their parents for a cell phone.

I can just picture it…

Father: “You don’t need a cell phone.”
Daughter: “Yes I do! Pleaaaase?”
Father: “No. Why do you think you need a cell phone? You are ten years old!”
Daughter: “Because! Everyone else has one! I promise I’ll be good!”
Father: “How can you promise that?”
Daughter: “If I’m not good then you can take my minutes away and I won’t be able to use my phone but just to call you and Mom!”

And just like that, T-Mobile sells another family plan to this family. Why? The son has a point, everyone else DOES have one. Plus, it is good to have on you for emergencies and it is an excellent way to keep track of your kids.

>Word of the Day

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Word of the Day: Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)

Definition of IMC: A combination of appropriate marketing communication disciplines, media and vehicles in a marketing campaign designed to achieve a set of objectives.

>Now that’s a shame

>PlayStation Portable (PSP) made its debut in the United States in March of 2005. Afterwards, like any smart company, Sony decided to beef up the advertising and chose to include larger than life PSP units mounted on billboards.

Very neat. Oh, but wait… what is that error message in the lower right corner?

That can’t be good! Sadly, it was too late to fix this problem and PSP billboards all over the world crashed.

How could this have been prevented? Well, I have never claimed to be a technowiz, but certainly I am no stranger in the field. But, this is a matter of simple testing. It was a great idea, one that is very unique and very appealing to the eye… that is, when it is actually functioning up to its capabilities.

What can we learn from this failed (and very expensive) advertising lesson?

When marketing something (or yourself), make it appealing – but also ensure you are in it for the long-haul. Nothing is more frustrating than learning too late about a problem that could have been solved before launch – imagine how Sony felt!

Also, make sure you are emphasizing your capabilities and strengths. People will see you for your abilities and respect that you have challenged yourself in your weaknesses before launch. That’s a lesson we can all learn from.

-k

>A Coke, M&M’s… or an iPod?

>On the way out of Summit Mall last night, something a bit different caught my eye. Just inside Macy’s entrance from the mall was an iPod vending machine.

A what??

Macy’s department stores have installed these iPod vending machines inside 400 of their stores across the nation. The 28-square foot machines will allow you to swipe your credit card and then, just as a vending machine would, drop your item into a door where you can take your chosen item.

Surely I don’t go to the mall enough to know the exact day (or three-week span for that matter) this was installed, but it is fairly recent as there were a number of curious onlookers checking it out as well.

Taking the idea from Europe and Asia, ZoomSystems has parnered themselves with: Apple, Sony, Proactiv, Rosetta Stone, Belkin, Samsung and MyVu.

Want to see what ZoomShops are near you? Click here.

Hold on, there’s more. Next on the list is Best Buy according to recent news. Located primarily in airports, these vending machines will offer memory cards, travel adapters, headphones, gaming devices, digital cameras, cell phones, chargers and even various computer accessories. This just eliminated making extra stops on your way home for the holidays.

And to think, this is just in time for the Holiday season! Hmm, do you think that was planned?

-k

>One of the better commercials out there

>After the popularity of its debut at the Super Bowl, Budweiser has brought back its Rocky-themed commercial for this summer’s Olympic games.

Visit Budweiser’s site, click on the commercials tab and be prepared for entertainment.

>Dear Mr. Vernon…

>How many of you have seen this back to school JCPenney commercial?

Quick, name that 80’s flick! If you said The Breakfast Club, you are right on.

This commercial is quite clever and instantly brought a smile to my face remembering the movie… complete with a new, trendy version of “Don’t You Forget About Me” (originally performed by Simple Minds).

Then, I had to ask myself something. Why in the world are they basing their commercial off of a 1985 movie?

Oh my… they are targeting MY generation! As a single girl, with no children, I guess I wasn’t appreciative of anything but the overall entertaining theme.

In looking at it from someone my age (or slightly older) with children going back to school, I would consider taking them to JCPenney to go shopping simply because of their unique advertising.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

>Keno hits Ohio

>Today marks the first day for Keno in the state of Ohio in over 700 locations. Pretty much anywhere that you can buy alcohol, sit on a bar stool and watch the Indians win (or lose) is taking part in this online bingo-like gambling game.

What does Ohio get out of it? An estimated $73 million… IN THE FIRST YEAR ALONE.

Where does the rest of the money go? a little over 6% of sales goes to each individual “Keno vendor,” plus their bonuses. This could result in splitting a whopping $18 million the first year. The rest of the money then goes to the winners and the state coffers.

Forget some magical solution to saving the economy – we’ve got Keno now!

This is Ohio’s way of “legalizing” gambling since we have, as a state, rejected it three times since 1990. (Hey, don’t yell at me, I voted for it!)

Hopefully it will help. Anything will at this point.

But, have you have noticed the advertising of Keno? I sure haven’t. Does this strike anyone else as odd?

-k

>Ah, kids these days

>It is only one hour from the official start of “Rock Like They Do” Bus Tour here in Twinsburg. But, already I can hear the screaming of young girls for Miley Cyrus, start of the hit show, “Hannah Montana.” Oh, but wait! Miley isn’t going to be in attendance of this event, just her tour bus. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Miley Cyrus and her alter-ego Hannah Montana, click here.)

Does this mean hundreds of pre-teen girls won’t be screaming? Don’t count on it.

Since its release in March 2006, Hannah Montana has quickly soared to one of the most popular television shows for girls of tween ages 8-12. The “Best of Both Worlds” concert tour was the 15th highest grossing for last year. The tickets are selling for as much as ten times the face value.

It was even reported that a woman in Florida was selling her tickets to the show for as much as her house costs. How did she know that? Because if you bought her tickets, she would give you her house. (She obviously was having some trouble with selling her home.) It’s official, there is a Miley Cyrus fever all around.

The part of this that leaves me a little unsettled is that there will be hundreds of girls coming to see the bus today and, no doubt, purchasing various Hannah Montana items.

Does anyone else find it interesting that this kind of event will gather so much attention without the main star?

I mean, sure, sports teams do it all of the time – but there are other people to watch. In this case it is just an empty bus…

>Thou shall not endorse unhealthy advertising!

>Marketers across the country are getting a harsh wake up call from the FTC. From an article recently released, there is a great concern for childhood obesity in the United States – and the FTC is blaming markterers.

Although this report is from 2006, advertising “bad” products to kids is nothing new. For years celebrities have been endorsing products harmful to children’s (and everyone else’s) health. For those of you who are thinking it’s because “the times are changing” or because “children nowadays don’t have good influences” – you are mistaken. I challenge you to think back not so long ago when you were my age and some of your favorite actors were endorsing cigarettes. What ever happened to those celebrities anyway?

Funny you should ask. Here is a small sampling of the celebrities who endorsed the Chesterfield brand of cigarettes and what happened to them.

Ann Sheridan died of esophageal and liver cancer in 1963. She was 51.
Betty Grable died of lung cancer in 1973. She was 56.
Bing Crosby died of a heart attack in 1977. He was 74.
Ed Sullivan died of esophageal cancer in 1974. He was 73.
Joe DiMaggio died of lung cancer in 1999. He was 84.
John Wayne died of lung and stomach cancer in 1979. He was 72.

It is interesting to note, Chesterfield claimed their cigarettes left you with a fresh taste in your mouth and helped to keep you vibrant and active.

My, oh my.

Any predictions on how Justin Timberlake will fair eating McDonald’s food he lovingly endorses?

Surely, Donovan McNabb will be fine eating his Campbell’s Soup, right?

And where where will Nelly be in 30 years from drinking his Pimp Juice energy drink?

In your opinion, what products that are around today will be deemed unhealthy in the future?

-K