>Officer down, the worst possible phrase that can be spoken across a police band

>Officer down, the worst possible phrase that can be spoken across a police band

As those of us in Twinsburg, Ohio try to heal, we know that we will never make sense of the tragedy that took a young officer, husband and father in the early hours of July 13, 2008. And, as the family and community try to cope, the war of words between the lawyers has begun. It is marketing and public relation through the media. Joshua Miktarian is not even buried and the lines have been drawn. Patrolman Miktarian deserves better. His family and fellow officers deserve better.

Yes, we have to trust the system. But, in the end, the system cannot give baby Thea her dad back. A dad she will never know except for photos, memorials and plaques. We will and must grow and heal as a community. Now, like in September 2001 we need to show our strength.

Plain Dealer editorial cartoonist Jeff Darcy captured the anguish of a community as well as Miktarian’s canine partner in this cartoon http://www.cleveland.com/darcy/index.ssf?/darcy/more/071508.html

Pray for the family and those that serve.

>Loyalty was bought

> If you haven’t already read my previous blog on fan loyalty for sale, please click here to catch up.

Today marks the second full day of Alex Chatfield being a full-blown fan of a team other than the Cleveland Indians. He has written a blog about his experience in placing his loyalty up for sale on his MySpace page.

I have to admit, I was skeptical of just why he did this. But, after reading his blog I do have a better understanding of why he would do this – not saying that I would ever do it, but I empathize.

Alex provides a moving story of going to Cleveland Municipal Stadium back when there were only a few thousand fans in the seats and knowing “the trick” of talking to the players during the 5th inning.

Although the team is not revealed, I have requested him as a friend on MySpace (per his eBay auction notes) to get the low down for you, our loyal readers.

By the way, the part of this that is especially interesting is that Alex doesn’t even live in Ohio! He lives in Davenport, Florida and is originally from Middlefield, Ohio.

Does this make you want to market yourself (or your company) in some crazy, off beat way? Share your thoughts.

-Katy

>Meet Dave Tanks

>
Recently, Katy wrote about her frightening experience with Meet Dave. You can read about it here.

So remember that old saying… advertising just kills a bad product faster? Read about how the movie tanked in its first weekend! All that marketing for nothing.

~Michelle

>Behind the Mask

>

Have you heard about the faceless people popping up at different events? This picture caught my attention one day.



Thanks to Splash for the photo. Here is the original article reporting the aliens. Speculation that these “faceless people” could be famous people trying to fool the paparazzi or perhaps a marketing stunt (and you know I hate that word “stunt!”).


Well in fact the mystery is almost solved. As reported by this article, the faceless people even have their own website. The website www.facelesspeople.com features a small logo directing you to Group Lotus’ main website – check out those hot cars!


So now the countdown begins until the new Lotus Eagle car is revealed. I think this is a brilliant campaign that uses all sorts of tools such as sparking curiosity and speculation through special events and online. To-date, I haven’t seen any banner ads or other vehicles advertising this campaign although I’m probably not the target audience.


So do you love it or think this is just plain creepy? Post your thoughts!

~Michelle

>Selling yourself

>
True, selling yourself on eBay probably isn’t the best idea. But for Alex Chatfield, there was no other way to enjoy the remainder of the baseball season. You see, Chatfield is a Cleveland Indians fan, as am I, and we are somewhat used to not winning lately. Mostly that is thanks to the 10-game losing streak we were on for the first time since 1973. (As a matter of fact, until yesterday’s 13-2 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays we had not won a game since June 27th!)

Chatfield has had enough and decided to list his fan loyalty for sale on eBay. The starting bid is $299.00 for which you will receive the following (as quoted from his ad):

1. I will watch at least one game a week of your favorite team and root as hard as I can for them to win.

2. I will send you at least 3 emails a week telling you how awesome your team is and or discussing what your team needs to do to get better (in my opinion).

3. I will wear (at your expense) any appropriate apparel (meaning Male officially sanctioned MLB merchandise) for your team. You will recieve one digital photo of me wearing this garb for each item you purchase and send to me.

4. I will root for your team for the remaining 2008 season and for the 2008 Post Season, after that, I am no longer requried to root for your team.

5. I will email a friend of yours and tell them why their team sucks, and why your team is awesome. (limit 3 emails – no profanity)

Careful though. If you are a Boston Red Sox fan, that will cost you an extra $3,500. Do you prefer to root for Jim Thome’s team? An extra $1,500. Yankees? Prepare to spend an additional $10,000. What about Roger Clemens? That’ll be $5,000 additional. And Barry Bonds? A whopping $35,000!

This begs the question if Chatfield is a fairweather fan or if simply needs some extra money. In either case, Chatfield is marketing himself to users all over the world – and in a very creative idea. This story has made the local news and the hits on his eBay ad are increasing by the minute.

When in marketing, especially in marketing yourself, ensure you are saying what you want to say and not leaving your loyalty out to dry.

-Katy

>Billboard Advertising Lessons

>

It is what it is. A phrase that just makes sense. Recently, I saw it used in a static billboard (non-digital/vinyl/paper). I usually don’t like to point out faults of other campaigns or least not publicly. Everyone has to be a critic, right?

Well, I was driving on 480-east and saw this billboard with large words: “Certified Pre-Owned.” The words were crossed out with “Used” written below. So I’m thinking another car dealership billboard. No big deal. But what struck me was the difficulty in reading the corner graphics. I failed to make out the words. And no, I wasn’t driving too fast as it was morning rush hour (meaning 45 mph if I’m lucky).

I forgot about the car dealership ad until the next day when I was driving on E. 14 about to get on 77 South and there it was again! It was up-close and personal so when I saw in tiny letters, “It is what it is. NoGrapesNoNuts.com” I was shocked!! A GRAPE-NUTS billboard? I understand its a cereal with no grapes, no nuts, it is what it is. But “certified pre-owned/used?” Are they selling used cereal? Huh?

So naturally I jump on the website later that day to find this young actor introducing the history of Grape-Nuts. Its way too long to watch but for the purpose of this entry, I suffered through it. Great, it got me on a website that eventually pointed back to the cereal’s original website. Good job, sort of.

Without pointing out all the wrong and strange elements of this campaign, let’s focus on how you can avoid this train wreck (or is it appropriate to say car wreck? Haha, sorry, that was lame!)…

  1. Make sure your billboard is readable from long distances
  2. Use one theme with one focus
  3. Include big words and one call-to-action
  4. Simple graphics and fonts are better
  5. Keep the flashy toned down when using digital billboards

Let me know your thoughts on NoGrapesNoNuts.com; is it really as bad as I think? Maybe I’m not the demographic, perhaps the younger generations are the target market. Did you see the billboards around town? Send us your comments!

~ Michelle

>Keeping track of the hits

>When I first started to research blogging I was a little confused on how I would keep track of the HUGE amount of traffic coming to our blog.

I first started using FeedBurner, but was greatly disappointed because of the lack of efficiency in the program. Sure, it was easy to use but after weeks of showing not having any visitors I became a little skeptical. I continued searching for more tracking sites without any luck.

I contacted Kristi Gustafson, or as I call her the “real Carrie Bradshaw,” who runs an extremely popular blog for the Times Union in Albany, New York. She guided me to a site called StatCounter.

StatCounter.com tracks not only the number of visitors to your site, but provides you with the length of the visitor’s stay, the pages they visited and even their location. I decided to give it a try, what could it hurt?

Sorry FeedBurner, we are actually having visitors reading our blog daily. StatCounter is reliable, easy to use and my new best friend. Who would have thought you could see a map of the world with markers representing your visitors? StatCounter makes that happen. You can also see which blog topics your readers most often read and their reading pattern throughout your blog.

Go ahead bloggers, give StatCounter a try.

-Katy

>What does C.C. have to do with marketing?

>
It was October 2007 and our Cleveland Indians were going up against the Boston Red Sox in the Division Series. “In C.C. we trust,” said Rob. I believed him, and so did all of Cleveland.

We put our entire faith in C.C. Sabathia to lead our Cleveland Indians into the World Series to battle the Colorado Rockies. Sadly, the Cleveland Indians fell to the Boston Red Sox in a game seven loss and went on to beat the Rockies in only four games. Although we lost, C.C. ended up winning the Cy Young Award for his 2007 pitching performance, an award honoring the best picther in the Major Leagues. Today, up against the upcoming trade deadline, the Indians traded their second ever Cy Young Award winning pitcher to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for four prospects.

Although baseball and marketing, outside of the obvious, have relatively nothing to do with each other, this trade does. How many of you would trade your best account (on paper) for four prospects?

-Katy

>Toyota’s going solar

>Toyota Motor Company announced they are planning on releasing some of their next Prius Hybrid models to include solar panels on the roof of the car. The third generation of Prius Hybrids is set to hit market next year. Click here to read the full story.

So, what does this mean for everyone else? Clearly, if automotive companies want to stay competitive in this market they need to think of the economy and the environment. The pulse of the consumers who are interested in buying cars is relatively simple: gas efficient, environmentally friendly, reliable and moderately priced. If you miss any of these factors, you can’t compete. Toyota has an upstanding reputation in each of these categories and is well-known in the industry for that leaving their competition in the dust.

-Katy

>Red, white and blue… and green?

>The green trend has entrenched the automotive, business, decorative and pretty much any other market you can think of… including fireworks? It is true. The Washington Times released an article this week entitled, Greener rockets take off, promoting how new green fireworks are in the works as an effort to have a friendlier impact on the environment.

As the article states, these fireworks are “smoke-free as well as free of potassium perchlorate, an oxidant. Perchlorate, mixed with charcoal and sulfur fuel, is responsible for speeding up the fuel-burning process and achieving the fiery effects that awe a crowd.” Click here to read the full article.

Have a safe holiday!

-Katy