Give Thanks

I’m blessed.

I have a beautiful wife and I spend my days working on things I’m passionate about. Any complaints I have can be filed under first world problems and I’m given wonderful, amazing opportunities every day.

I’m grateful for all I have. This little soapbox included.

One of my other endeavors (discovershowgo.com) is turning into a full-time job, which is yet another blessing. With the success of Showgo comes some decisions about how and where to spend my time.

I really enjoy writing this blog, but today marks my last post indefinitely. This is one of my hobbies that will be toughest to drop, as I really enjoy writing, learning and sharing for and with you all.

Stuck and I will continue to post from time to time, but we can no longer guarantee regular, timely posts.

We have a modest following at best, but we are both proud of what we’ve achieved and for the readers that check us out and interact with Don’t Advertise to Me. Thank you all!

My wish for you all this Thanksgiving is that you will find happiness and comfort in your family and friends.

Best wishes for the entire holiday season and the New Year. I hope our paths will cross again soon.

- Jeff

Saturday Spamday

Charities that don’t do what they promise.

I donate money, they send me stuff I don’t want. That is spam.

The humane society sends “gifts” and follow up letters at a rate that makes me wonder if my donation actually went to the cause I intended to support, or did I simply fund the production of crappy, future landfill items for myself? It feels a little bit like if you were to give Salvation Army Santa a $10 bill and as you walked away, he stopped you and threw $5.75 in pennies at you.

A few religious charities that will go unnamed are clearly selling or sharing my information. That one goes like this: I donate money in my mother in-law’s name for Christmas, they sell my name (or share it), I get spammed.

These two behaviors totally befuddle me. Because, guess what are the best two ways to guarantee I never donate to you again?

- Words by Jeff

The Most Epic of Splits

Every organization wants to go viral. But how? Interns and executives alike bang their heads against walls every day trying to answer that question.

Volvo and my new favorite action star of all time, Jean-Claude Van Damme, proved just how easy it can be just last week.

Make sure not to confuse this near-perfect piece of internet marketing with a stunt. It involves a stunt, but it is as thoughtful and sincere as marketing (read:story telling) gets.

The interesting thing about Volvo’s solution is that their insanely popular YouTube add has the same formula as a successful television add from any era.

Remember, as much as things appear to change they are mostly staying the same.

How to Avoid Choking Down Terrible Stuffing

 

Stove Top stuffing is not only the most popular brand of stuffing sold in the US, but probably the only recognizable brand as well. At least that’s what I’m going with since I can’t even name another one (Kirkland Signature and other store brands don’t count). The point is, Stove Top on a Thanksgiving dinner table is like seeing Nike polo shirts on Tiger Woods and it fits the confident tone of this commercial.

Thus, I’m hardly offended when the Pilgrim in this spot claims that Stove Top stuffing makes Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving. It may be a bit exaggerated, especially since I, personally, am not a stuffing connoisseur, but since I can’t think of any real competing brand then fine, Stove Top stuffing can hold it’s title of staple. I concede the point, even with the Pilgrim so incensed, he feels he had to escape this calamitous affair.

However, the advertisers couldn’t help themselves from getting weird with this spot. Since they already have a goofy David Cross doppelgänger dressed in Puritan chic they thought it would be great for him to imitate scurvy convulsions, being it was the en vogue disease of sea travelers in the 1600s. Unfortunately, to the average TV viewer that doesn’t study pathology of diseases no longer affecting the general populace, this action looks more like the Pilgrim climaxing on a vibrating chair, or pleasuring himself with a pencil sharpener.

Normally, I’d chastise this commercial for throwing such an odd punchline at the end of commercial, but I find myself befuddled, because the joke is disturbingly funny and doesn’t appear to hurt the brand. Sure, it’s weird as hell, but as long as that Pilgrim doesn’t lay any “scurvy” hands on my stuffing, I’ll probably indulge in the Stove Top myself.

#askJPM: Q Without the A

My favorite thing that happened last week is best understood by heading over to Twitter and tapping in #askJPM in the search bar. It’s OK, I’ll wait.

Welcome back. Epic, right? If you want more, or can’t understand how and why this happened, you can read more about the tremendous fail now dubbed “The JP Morgan Q&A Fiasco” here.

By now of course you might be familiar with all of this, but it’s worth catching up on how this all went down. After all, there is a lot marketers, business people, CEOs and budding standup comedians can learn from this mess.

JP Morgan thought it would be a great idea to run a Twitter Q & A. They sent a tweet about it, received a flood of justified and canceled the session – quickly turning the entire thing into just a Q.

The easy lesson is, don’t turn to people that clearly hate you for a Q & A session on Twitter.

I knew the higher-ups at JP Morgan were disconnected from the masses, but I had no idea just how disconnected until last week. Most human beings are aware that it isn’t exactly “in” to be rich, careless, greedy and criminal. There are millions of Americans still struggling because of actions taken by JP Morgan and similar institutions.

All JPM had to do was check with the guys and gals in the mail room: “Hey guys, we’re thinking of running a Q & A on Twitter next week. Good idea?….Oh, OK. Yeah. I’ll take those middle fingers and the spittle now hanging from my nose as a ‘nope.’ Killer, thanks a ton!”

The more difficult lesson is actually more common among companies of all sizes than you’d think. Maybe JPM shouldn’t have run the Q & A in the first place, but once they did, they never should have shut it down.

Twitter is full of loud, arrogant, smart, obnoxious, anonymous know-it-alls.  It’s pretty easy to predict what they are going to say or do as a mass reaction to almost anything. JPM could have seen the snarkpocalypse coming and diffused the situation.

The saddest thing about this whole incident is that JP Morgan could have turned all of this – as bad as it seems – into a positive marketing campaign. Handled briefly, politely and cleverly, the Q & A could have been salvaged and the effort would have turned a few heads. JP Morgan missed an opportunity to take the punches and use Twitter for what it is meant for: connecting, discussing, learning and teaching.

There is no better tool on this planet than the Internet for companies to reach, impact and build relationships with current and potential customers. JP Morgan’s biggest mistake last week wasn’t running the Q & A. It was showing the world that the worst about them could be true by giving up on it.

Saturday Spamday

This blog.

Just kidding, subscribe to the right and keep reading (thank you).

- Words by Jeff

#IPOisthenewadvertising

The new standard for advertising in Tech seems to be going public.

Launch an IPO and everyone talks about you. A lot.

They have been in the news daily since they announced their IPO, much like Facebook last year. If you are in the business of bites and pixels it might make more sense to just launch an IPO and let the attention roll in. Why spend resources on marketing when you can get 1,000 times more attention for going on a date with Wall Street.

I am half-way kidding. But Twitter’s recent IPO has made me think a lot about what will happen next for the world’s best social network.

Will their stock price continue to go up whether or not they turn a profit? Is the Tech world almost all based in fantasy (Twitter is not the only big timer that fails to turn a profit while investors back up money trucks – Amazon, comes to mind)?

Will we look back at things like Instagram and Twitter and mark this moment as the beginning of the next big bubble-burst for Tech?

- Words by Jeff

City Folks Just Don’t Get It!

 

They’re right. Even though technically, I’m a suburbanite, I don’t get it from the badly mixed cut scenes of animals dubbed with human voices to the cartoon version of the subjects of American Gothic. It’s like the time my cousin hit a speed bump on his two wheeler and ended up with his nuts smashed against the cross bar; it’s a horrible wreck, but I’ll be damned if anyone is going to stop me from laughing till I pass out.

I can’t fault the basis of this website as creating more specific dating sites has become the in vogue thing in internet matchmaking. After all, if that beautiful buxom twenty-three year old cow herder turns out to be greasy, fifty-six, and a guy, at least he’ll be able to hold his own in a steamy convo about John Deere and combines. I’m sure that this website draws users like Christian Mingle gets the devout and gothic match.com grabs all the Robert Smith fans.

I just think if you want to convincingly attract users you don’t spend your marketing budget on TV spot that looks like some high school senior submitted it to barely pass his senior project or that some local access show rejected in the mid 90s. Rather than try to be clever, just put a banner on screen and overdub a quick audio of some farmer sounding type giving the site a shoutout. Hell, he can even remind us city folks of our inability to get it.

Best Worst Line of the Entire Spot (0:05):

“Do you think they will ever find us true love?” No Mr. Cow, because bestiality is illegal.

- Words by Stuck

A Walk in the Clouds

Back in the 1990s Airwalk jumped from a young, middling shoe company to one of most dominating footwear firms on the planet.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the little engine that could – their successes and failures – in his classic exploration of epidemics, The Tipping Point.

Airwalk rose on the back of focused messaging and edgy, gutsy advertising. Not long after, they slipped on the back of growth and all the hazards that come with trying to do too much, too fast. It makes sense. They had to come back down to ground at some point. Because, you know, gravity.

At the height of their powers, Airwalk was pumping out advertisements that did not just promote their brand but tapped into the veins of their target market. They struck a nerve in a big way. They took a look at what the market offered and what was missing. Then they hit all the right notes with risky, sexy, funny ads – print, television and otherwise – and climbed high in the apparel world.

For me the two big takeaways are: The only thing in this world that matters are people (and what they want) and trajectory matters.

Enjoy a few of Airwalk’s classic ads while you think about how you can not just connect with your audience, but improve their lives.

- Words by Jeff

 

 


Movie Trailer Tuesday

First thing’s first: It’s 11/12/13 and that kind of thing is rare. Take a moment to do something you wouldn’t normally do – talk to you boss about that promotion you deserve, surprise that someone special with a gift, talk to a stranger on the bus. Ok, now on to today’s movie trailer:

The name of the animated movie game is, “appeal to kids and parents alike.”

In other words, try to be like Pixar and share stories that delight and enchant children, while entertaining parents with clever jokes that fly over the heads of the little ones.

We will not no for sure until Thanksgiving, but Disney’s trailer for their upcoming Frozen offers the potential for that wonderful, magic formula. 

The film will be what the film will be, but I was happily surprised by this trailer and the entertainment this winter-time film could offer for animated feature fans of all ages.

And if  this official trailer has not managed to convince you, try this scene clip, which manages to use physical comedy on multiple levels in a way that reminds me of some of Pixar’s best animated shorts.

- Words by Jeff

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