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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Reebok one-ups Nike

In Brands, Consumers, marketing, strategy, Uncategorized on November 6, 2008 at 7:16 pm

I don’t know how many folks have been following the story of Arien O’Connell who ran in the Nike Women’s Marathon here in San Francisco. She was a school teacher who ran the race but didn’t run in the “elite” group because she thought of herself as an average runner.  Turns out that she ran her best time that day.  A time that beat the average time of the elite group.  Actually it beat the 3rd, 2nd and 1st place finishers of the elite group.  And it wasn’t by chance, everyone was equiped with digital timers that registered their times automatically so it wasn’t as if she hopped the bus and showed up at the finish.

So, great story for Nike you would think.  Woman says just do and and does it.  Not so fast, it took them DAYS and a bit of bad press to even give her a trophy although they made it clear that she still didn’t win.

Along comes Reebok and gives her a trophy for the race and $2,500 for her school.  Pretty good move Reebok…oh, and getting a press mention and building your brand as “for everyone” is definitely worth a couple of grand.

Video killed the muzak channel.

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2008 at 1:52 pm

The very lovable folks over at Very Short List broke the news of MTV Music this morning, a website dutifully broadcasting the best of the MTV music videos from our youth in an attempt to make us feel forever young. Now that I think about it, isn’t that the best part of nostalgia, a sense that we are still that age, at some point, in some part of our bodies?

It’s still in Beta, but I’m hoping that they can create a steady stream loop in the next version so that I can direct connect to the TV and not have to get up and change the video to feel young…my old bones just can’t take it. And as so long as I’m creating my wish list, how great would it be if my vote could be used to create my own station ala Pandora?

And yes, I was going to predictably post the Buggles here but I decided that Christopher Walken dancing was about 20X more awesome on a somewhat down day…

We are still a nation divided

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2008 at 7:51 pm

6th Grade Student’s American Flag
Originally uploaded by vagabondrhythm

I flew back to SF to vote and then on to DC today. Sitting in the Crown Plaza in Bethesda it is amply apparent that we are still a nation divided despite an apparent sweep by the Democrats.

It was spurned on by a loud group of conservatives in the hotel bar that truly made me feel for the first time in my life like actually having a fist fight. Considering that I have a presentation in the morning I’m glad I didn’t but the amount of vitriol spilling forth was shocking. Not only was it loudly and blatantly racist it but it shattered by perception that the campaign process and election had actually changed things in America on a broad scale.

Then when I stopped watching the horse race and actually started looking at the results I was abruptly reminded that it is only a few thousand in each state either way.

Toward the end of the campaign myself as well as many others derided the undecideds because we couldn’t understand who they were. Who could be undecided after this sort of campaign? We were all firmly on one side or another and couldn’t really understand how someone else couldn’t be…especially someone that we thought was like us.

Well, it is just a reminder that there are lots of people who are like us and many who don’t share our perspectives. No matter who we are. To truly build a country again we will need to come together on some of these major issues and start to rebuild.

CNN debuts hologram reporting

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I feel a bit like I’m watching Star Trek although I have to admit it truly feels like the future. CNN is dong a bunch of great stuff this year and I hope they’ll continue to build.

Beautiful…but useful?

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2008 at 10:32 am


Originally uploaded by sharedegg

SharedEgg is a project where they linked up consumers, their brand affiliations and put them into a big brand blob.

We often try to see if there are themes amongst groups, segments, archetypes…how things cluster and what can be learned from the information. For example, figuring out shared brand affiliations can help you recognize whether you have a brand that thrives in sub-cultures. In this application, you can also test the influencer theory by watching whether the same people generally start brands into the shared conversation and interestingly, are they the same people who remove them…or does someone else have that task…

Point is, there are lots of applications for this type of study but as Sharedegg shows, one of them seems to be art.

hat tip to Influx.

Free stuff everyone, it’s a recession!

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2008 at 7:03 am

I’m done buying things. I’m just going to wait around for people to give me stuff. Last week I got a free taco from Taco Bell because some guys stole second base in the World Series. On Tuesday I’m going to go home and get myself a free coffee for voting.

I’m thinking that maybe if I wait around someone will give away a car if we reach 100 degrees in December. It could be the global warming giveaway and we’d all get a Hummer. (Consider it GM, you need something) Maybe Toll Brothers could give away a home for every homerun next season, I think they have enough left over and just think about the new database they would have.

So you just got some free thoughts, I’d love to get some more free stuff.

Brand identity that I love: DWR Tools for Living

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2008 at 1:48 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Brand Extension I Hate – Vaseline

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Picture 3

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Sometimes the best thing a consultant can do is tell his/her client that something is a bad idea. That common courtesy does not appear to have been extended here.

Vaseline rationally makes sense; It’s soothing, it’s moisturizing, it goes on the skin, but the brand isn’t rational as much as it is emotional and sensory. Emotionally it either reminds you of diaper rash or the Proctologist and from a sensory point of view it is thick and gloppy (technical term) and probably not something you would want to smother on your skin unless you were being paid to wrestle in a kiddie pool…and even then.

I understand the purpose of the extension and trying to move out the guardrails on the brand so that they have more room on the road for product extensions and a real men’s beauty category. But they are about ready to spend a lot of money in a poorly conceived effort.

In addition, Vaseline is owned by Unilever so it is not like there was a lack of brands that they could have used for this initiative. They own AXE, Ponds, Dove and an English brand called LUX all which could have worked better than Vaseline.

The original maverick

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2008 at 4:48 pm


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Yes, these will soon adorn the walls, bringing a little bit of outlaw back into the gentrified West Village.

My Friday.

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Picture 1

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Last Friday I managed to skip out of work slightly after 5 and make it down to the Vintage Poster show that was going on here in San Francisco. I was really struck by a series of 1950’s posters commissioned for General Dynamics to promote atomic energy. Created by Eric Nitsche his brief probably read something like…

“… repackaging military hardware development and the emerging nuclear industry as a sponsor of peace”

Fascinating story of a man and his work. Some more of his work can be found here, and the presenting gallery from the SF show is here if you search under Atomic Age.

My purchase, on the other hand, was a matching set of Lone Ranger and Tonto posters that measure in at an imposing 6 feet, 2 inches each. They’ll look great in the New York apt…or so I keep telling myself.