Monthly Archives: November 2011

Cyber Monday

Looking for a deal on a really special gift?

It is good to be rich. But for the rest of us, I think my Black Friday advice still holds.


Advertising: Another All-Loser Edition

I’m doing a little post-Thanksgiving-catching-up on things in the DVR, so I’m not sure exactly when these ads aired–let’s call it last Saturday. And I can’t decide what’s stupider: Cottonelle’s “Respect the Roll” campaign with its emphasis on something that is clearly a contrived way to increase revenue, rather than something that actually solves customer problems more effectively than alternatives . . . or the idea that Jennifer Lopez routinely drives a Fiat through The Bronx (although it’s actually Los Angeles, so I guess I can believe that JLo is driving through L.A. and pretending it’s The Bronx.)

Seriously, this one is tough.

Black Friday Advice

I work in marketing, so I’m not going to tell you not to shop for deals this Friday. I’m just going to tell you this: Don’t shop for more than you can afford.

There’s enough debt out there already. Why make more of it yours?

Fresh Content, Existing Medium

Sometimes it’s worth taking a look at existing tools that you’re not using, and figuring out how you can use them. Los Angeles Animal Services seems to have done just that, and I’m impressed with what I see.

It’s common to see a series of paired vertical banners hung from light poles along major boulevards. They usually seem to be promoting museum exhibits or touring productions of Broadway musicals. So I was struck recently by a campaign that uses that space for a very different goal.

Each pair of banners carries a photo of a pet, accompanied by one of a set of messages: Adopt, Microchip, Volunteer, Spay & Neuter, License, and Foster.

I think these are really well done. Visually they look like they fit in with the usual messages, but they say something very different, for a very different organization. And that difference meant that they caught my attention–which after all is the point, no?

So how can you make your message look fresh by sharing it somewhere unexpected?

Photos by John and Kathy Lisiewicz

Unfriendly Skies

An Austria-based airline recently forced its passengers to pool funds to pay for $31,500 worth of fuel during a trip.

And in another instance, passengers refused to deplane from a Hong Kong carrier until they received what they felt was appropriate compensation for a 9-hour delay.

In the era of social media, these instances will not go unnoticed. They may not make endless headlines like, say, a quickie celebrity divorce–but people will talk about them, to a global audience.

So if you’re a business, how do you handle this? What do you do to keep this from happening at your company? And here’s a tip: it’s better to keep the incident from happening in the first place than to make up for it later.

Don’t strongarm your customers. It’s a really bad business practice.

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