Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Snoop Nutty Nutt
Orlando: Where the Unimaginative Set up Shop
Those trusty Windy City ad bloggers at AdFreak took note of my locale's lame attempts at driving tourism. Let's start with the "magical" city logo. Looks like something from a stage set for a 1970s Tony Orlando and Dawn (TOAD) variety show. Neon. Beveled. With stars! Neat-o! Someone please take the pirated Photoshop off that computer. Or was that the freeware "Disney-Starry" font?
But the real kicker is the city slogan the Orlando Travel and Vistors Bureau just decided on. Get ready....here it is...“Orlando: Built for families. Made for memories.”
Arrrgh. So I sent them a too late note this morning, basically offering them free use of a much better slogan. They replied promptly with this:
Thank you for your interest in the Orlando area. Sorry we are unable to accept any advertising slogans or marketing concepts from outside companies or individuals. We are under contract with an advertising agency that manages our marketing campaigns and slogans.
Seems to me the agency is getting the better deal with that contract. "We can give them anything and they have to use it."
Contracts like that one were made to be broken, and don't give me that "unable to accept any advertising slogans or marketing concepts from outside companies or individuals" crap when I know your agency was behind this free and ill-advised study.
Everyone's an advertiser.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Silly Blog Games
So here you go, Descendent of Monkeys. Some Jetpacks Facts. Although the game only calls for five, I will provide some bonus notes. There will be a test on Friday.
1. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany and attended a different school nearly every year, covering New York, Washington State, Georgia, Virginia, Kansas, California (twice), Oklahoma (twice), Texas and then Germany again and California again (for a third time). Also a long stint in Missouri. (Or "Purgatory" for you Catholics.) As a result, I have no discernable accent.
2. To my knowledge, I was the youngest person (aged 12) to have ever helped install an antennae on the roof of the Pentagon.
3. I am a licensed, ordained minister and can legally marry and bury you.
4. I telecommute to New York and Dallas, and it rules. The closest thing to the Jetpack Lifestyle that they promised. I am looking at a canal (which has alligators in it) from where I sit typing this. (Pictured at top. Cue redneck banjo music. Ned Beatty enters, stage left.)
5. I grill a mean salmon.
6. My dog plays frisbee. He has a blog.
7. Though we have three cars in our family, not one of them is American. And I will never buy a Chevy because I hate John Cougar Mellencamp for reasons I won't go into.
And now, I will call out the following bloggers:
Copyranter...because he will refuse to play this stupid game.
Ariel...because she will play this silly game.
Hespos...because he thinks too deeply about this ad biz.
George Parker...because he will drop f-bombs all over his post.
James H...because he will crap all over this game.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Still Selling Romance - Only Weirder
Rosetta Stone, the "learn a new language really fast" software, has long relied on the stock image of a Swedish/French/German/Something woman who gazes into the camera, enticing world travelers to get to know her better by mangling her native language, whatever that might be. (She's still the homepage image on their site.)
In today's NYT was this new angle, featuring a homely farmboy getting ready to meet an Italian supermodel. Implausible? Yes. Funny? Yes. Effective? We'll see.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Where Would Jesus Shop?
Seems Pastor Joe Phelps of Louisville, Kentucky is urging everyone to boycott Wal-Mart because they aren't acting right when it comes to healthcare, among other concerns. (And if I remember correctly, the New Testament guarantees affordable healthcare to everyone.) Joe is part of the Wake Up Wal-Mart group that urges people to waste their energy fighting the One True Beast. I hear you can buy a few items for $6.66 at Wal-Mart too. Joe's brief message is below.
And now, in the interest of equal time, a word from Jesus:
Back in the day, I frequented whatever market was closest to the crib. There was this one, Cornelius and Jonah's Discount Emporium, which was just around the corner from where the disciples and me were hangin' in Capernaum, and it was rumored to have really poor manager/employee relations as well as being a blatant polluter of the wells in the south of town. But what could we do? C&J's had the best prices, they were open all night (except on the Sabbath) they had humble roots and a market presence that simply trumped everyone else. Sure, some Mom and Pop shops got the shaft, but when you need olive oil and a grail at 3AM, where are you gonna go?
All that to say, with all respect to Pastor Joe Phelps (whom I met at a Vacation Bible School when he was a youngster and haven't seen or heard from since) I think to deny your congregation quality at an affordable price is to be a Pharisee and a hypocrite. (I hear from the Phelps kids that the child labor laws in the Phelps home aren't so hot either.)
Maybe Pastor Joe is running for the Kentucky State House soon? I appreciate his looking out for the "least of these" and attempting to "do unto others as we would have them do unto us" but Joe, my man, the poor single mother from the seedy side of Louisville deeply appreciates Wal-Mart's ability to help her put a few small gifts under the shabby Christmas tree for her kids.
You want to make a difference and help kids and poor folks? Louisville needs you, Joe. Healthcare and China's child labor laws are not your problem right now.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Whatever Happened to Customer Service? - Pt. II
My experiences in recent months within the Depot have been less than satisfactory. While they are currently using the "You Can Do It - We Can Help" slogan, I've discovered that finding someone within a Home Depot actually willing or capable of helping is pretty tough. A vague wave of the hand indicating the general vicinity where I might find an item is about all I've come to expect from the orange apron-clad "helpers."
So it was odd to meet an aging hippie named Duffy out in the Christmas tree tent in the parking lot. Smiling, almost dancing to the carols emitting from the speakers mounted in the corners of the tent, Duffy seemed like a man who had upped his Zoloft or Xanax dosage without his doctor's permission. He engaged us in small talk as he tied the tree to the roof of our vehicle, talking about the upcoming shuttle launch and how he and his wife were going to a friend's house on the beach to see it. He smiled and made eye contact. He thanked us for our purchase, telling us what a great tree it was. Waving, he wished us a Merry Christmas as we took off. We drove away from the Depot agreeing that, "That guy was WEIRD!"
About a quarter mile later it occurred to us just why Duffy was so weird. He was nice. He wasn't surly, uncooperative or dismissive.
And since when, we wondered, is "nice" abnormal?
Previously in Whatever Happened to Customer Service?
Friday, December 08, 2006
I know a bit about Northwest Arkansas, having spent a decade in neighboring Southwest Missouri. Julie Roehm must've considered Bentonville pure hell, the ultimate flyover country. A self-described "agent of change" and what many call "a rising star," Roehm brought her big city attitude and ideas to what is rightly considered the most backward part of the country. And they are proud of that backwardness. Nevermind that Sam Walton is dead, Wal-Mart people are still part of the surrounding culture. There is a Norman Rockwell streak that runs deep in the area. It is a place of barely concealed racism (they're learning, slowly), a place suspicious of outsiders and a place EXTREMELY resistant to change. Northwest Arkansas is a place and a people that look down on big city types and high-rolling con artists, just as big city types look down on small-town Arkansas. The good people of Bentonville thought they smelled a carpetbagging bullshit artist and got rid of her. Simple. End of story.
So when you're down in the Ozarks trying to grab a piece of that $600 million with your best dog and pony show, check your attitude at the door. And leave your sexy, politically correct campaign ideas back in the Big City. Wal-Mart is never going to be hip, sexy or viral. The winner of this account will take Wal-Mart back to the humble roots of Sam Walton and appeal to Wal-Mart's base, which Roehm helped alienate. That base is Bentonville, Norman Rockwell, Low Prices and Traditional Values. I know you hate that phrase, "traditional values." Tough. Learn it.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Attention Holiday Shoppers
I am SICK of seeing H2s all over the place, which are nothing more than glorified Chevy Tahoes, WITHOUT the bed. In addition to thinking they are somehow now associated with the tough image of the military, this ad for the H3 sums up nicely why people keep buying these pieces of crap: "More Chrome. More Luxury." Ho-hum.
Yeah - tell that to the troops in Afghanistan, Hummer. "More Luxury! More chrome! Yeah!" Why don't you concentrate on your initial mission of providing reliable, safe transportation for our troops rather than how cool MC AndreDanger is going to look cruising down the streets of Inner City America or how on-the-prowl divorced Soccer Mom from Suburbia USA will look buying groceries?
Hey, Toyota, isn't it about time we get this information out to the SUV buying masses? Hummers suck.
I'm Confused by this Tail
If We Smolder, They Will Drink
“As consumers’ tastes evolve and their palates become more discerning, they seek products that reflect this heightened sense of quality,” said Neil Gallo, Diageo (Cuervo importer and Marketer) Senior Director, North America. “Cuervo Black is the perfect tequila to show the world you have grown up, not old.” (Translation: Our signature product has no quality and is meant for frat boys and girls gone wild.)
Only one problem: The new product doesn't taste like tequila. It tastes like watered-down Jagermeister. So the attempt here is to get those "growing up" kids to relate to the Cuervo brand, not to tequila at all.
Attention tequila drinkers: Don't be fooled by this attempt. Tequila was meant to be done in shots, chased by beer. Tequila and cola is an abomination, no matter how many blue-eyed male models attempt to stare you down and dare you to drink it. Attention Cuervo and Diageo: "Don't Let Go" as a slogan is desperate and the public doesn't translate it as "grab life by the horns" as you'd hoped. To them it reads: "Please don't leave us. We'll change!" That never works in failing relationships and it won't work for your new "sophisticated" tequila. You're tequila. Go with what you know. Shooters and margaritas.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
This is our diversion.
A fun take on the German techno/art scene, this is how we keep occupied as the world burns. But you gotta admit, there are some chuckles in here. Dole? Chiquita? Del Monte? Any takers here?