20 Jingles in 60 seconds

I should have learned to play guitar.


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Bad To The Bone

In another case of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” the German company Sky-Go has developed “The Talking Window” for use in public transportation.  Using bone conduction technology a transmitter silently releases high frequency oscillations onto the glass that only people leaning their head against the glass can hear.

Imagine the joy your ad will bring to world weary commuters who only want to grab a bit of shut eye before they arrive at their destination.

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The Feeling Is Mutual

Bank Mutual headquartered in Milwaukee has 79 branches across Wisconsin.
The Mutual Fund Store headquartered in Overland Park Kansas has over 70 branches nationwide including Milwaukee. That poses a problem for The Mutual Fund Store’s new “The Feeling Is Mutual” radio campaign which happens to be the slogan Bank Mutual has used in their radio campaign for several years.

Most people only half listen to radio commercials while eating breakfast, reading and and trying to get the family ready for the day. So it was the other morning. “Blah blah blah blah – the feeling is mutual.” “Blah blah blah the feeling is mutual.” about the third time the phrase “the feeling is mutual” came on I started to wonder why the bank had changed the style of their ads. Traditionally one “The feeling is mutual” per 60 second ad has been sufficient. Then I realized that the ad I wasn’t for Bank Mutual but for the Mutual Fund Store. . Not all that effective for the store, but they did a bang up job of reinforcing the Bank’s slogan.

I’d be surprised if The Mutual Fund Store knowingly copied the phrase. Most likely the ads work for all of their stores outside of Wisconsin, but someone – the local investment guys, the radio station or some of their investors should have tipped them off within a few minutes of the first ad playing. While it might be a hassle producing a special commercial for two of your locations it would be a great investment of time and money. And you can take that to the bank.

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Around The Corner From Cinnabon

In what I predict will end as an idea whose time has not come.  Tesla Motors, which until now manufactured upscale (expensive) electric vehicles, has been opening stores in shopping malls during the past several months.

According to George Blankenship, who helped create Apple’s retail stores and now leads Tesla’s sales strategy, the objective is to engage people when they aren’t thinking about buying a car.  Imagine, you are shopping for nuts and candy at Buddy Squirrel, when you spy a “must have” $100,000 Tesla across the aisle.  Now imagine the person who could afford a Tesla push their way through bands of roving teenagers and power-walking seniors in order to get to the dealership only to have to wait for all the “lookie lous” with cinnamon syrup dripping from their fingers to get the hell out of the way.

There’s also the small problem of manufacturer owned dealerships.  Most states have laws prohibiting them. In fact, Chrysler was forced to sell off their flagship Los Angeles dealership last year because it violated California franchise laws.  The National Automobile Dealers Association is up in arms over Tesla’s move as well, fearing this might give other manufacturers ammunition to take similar steps despite the laws.  But since Tesla does not have a network of franchise dealers they may be able to skirt the issue.

Tesla has plans to introduce two new models including a “Crossover” priced 40% less than  current models.  Perhaps mall locations can drive sales of cars in the $40,000 range, but I wouldn’t count on mall foot traffic resulting in more sales than the traditional stand alone showroom on auto row.  Of course I could be wrong.  After all the “traditional” showroom sales model has changed quite a bit since the 1930s and 40s.  Enjoy!

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Hello Ladies, Does Your Ad Look Like Me?

ImageCopying the premise and style of a national advertiser for your local business is dumb and lazy.  It usually starts with a local advertiser telling the sales rep that the ad for (name the product) is cool.  A light bulb goes off in the sales rep’s head and sensing an easy sale says, “Why hells bells we could do that!”

Maybe this scenario didn’t play out for a Miami plastic surgeon, but the end result is the same.  I believe that anyone should be able to spend their money any way they wish.  But unless you are a plastic surgeon with tons of money to burn, I would strongly advise that you not spend your budget trying to rip off a national ad no matter how cute, funny, or popular the ad might be.

The good doctor uses a look-alike for Old Spice’s spokesman Isaiah Mustafa and starts the commercial by showing what looks like Old Spice Body Wash.  The first mental Image?  Old Spice.  Last mental image?  The Old Spice whistle.  The Proctor and Gamble folks are probably saying thank you very much as their attorneys start building a copyright infringement complaint.

Every business has a story to tell, good businesses have strong stories to tell.  Great businesses know how to bring those stories to life in their marketing.  It takes work.  Lets talk.

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The Following Emergency Is Brought To You By

Faithful readers know my feelings about the NASCARIZATION of America. On the other hand, selling ads beats the hell out of raising my taxes.   I’ve discussed School buses and highways but now fire engines are being considered as advertising vehicles (literally).  The city of Baltimore is facing a 48 million deficit for 2013 and is considering selling ads on emergency vehicles.

According to the Huffington Post, PETA has jumped on the bandwagon to be among the first to take advantage of this opportunity.

Now as a public service to other cash strapped municipalities, I offer the following potential sponsors for your consideration:

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Would You Call This A Spectacular Groupon Offer?

I signed up to receive Groupon offers, in order to keep my finger on the pulse of new marketing opportunities.  I’ve been under-whelmed.  There are only so many massage, facial, haircut, and manicure offers that I care to read about (the actual number is very close to zero).  Not to be deterred by my lack of participation in the Groupon experience, from time to time they send me “incentives” to pony up and buy something.

Today, I received notice that Groupon has a Spectacular deal for me from Barnes and Noble.  Ok I’ll bite… hmm… 50% off a $10 eGift card.  I can’t believe it – a five-dollar savings!!!  Stop the presses and let me catch my breath.  I don’t know how Groupon does it.  An offer this good just two weeks after sending me an offer that could have saved me $5 on a $10 certificate from Speedway (at current prices that would give me either a free gallon and a quarter of gas or a couple of jumbo hot dogs).

If Groupon wants to bribe me to get me to buy, they’re going to have to come up with better first time offers than that.  Saving five dollars isn’t enough incentive to bother filling out Groupon’s payment information in order to make a purchase.

If the lack of “WOW” isn’t enough, Groupon informs me in bold type that the deal cannot be purchased with promotional codes, gift codes, or Groupon Bucks. If you violate these terms, Groupon will refund your purchase and close your Groupon account.

I’m not a big fan of Groupon for most retailers.  While it has worked for some businesses, the downside of alienating your regular customers, and training customers to wait for a “deal” doesn’t outweigh the potential benefits.  But whether it’s Groupon or an incentive you create yourself, make sure your offer knocks the socks off of potential new customers.  Otherwise you’ll leave them feeling like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” when he first used his Orphan Annie decoder…. “(sigh) A crummy commercial?”

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