Sense and Simplicity

Philips has this campaign I keep reading about called Sense and Simplicity. It sounds really cool. Eliminate some of the everyday annoyances like flyaway response cards in magazines or too many ads in programming like Sixty Minutes and you should be able to make a few extra friends. If one of my clients weren’t Panasonic, I’d also be hoping that this example of MFG is helping Philips sell more CE gear.

Dove “Evolution”

Posted: 28 Oct 2006 10:21 AM CDT

If you haven’t seen the Dove “Evolution” spots, stop reading this and click here. If you have a daughter, forward her the link. This campaign continues to break new ground in an effort to enlighten girls & women about the concept of real beauty. And oh by the way, it’s selling soap. Dove sales are up in 4 of its 5 categories.

Wal-Mart Sustainability

Posted: 05 Nov 2006 06:52 AM CST

Wal-Mart, yeah – that’s right, big bad Wal-Mart, has started a massive sustainability initiative that could be the single biggest Marketing for Good effort in the world. By asking all its suppliers from P&G on down to create more eco-friendly products and production processes, this dominant retailer is actually using its clout for the betterment of our little world. Given the fact that they account for more than 25% of sales in just about every category, the ripple effect of this initiative could be extraordinary.

Dew Action Sports

Posted: 02 Nov 2006 08:16 AM CST

Pardon me while I toot my agency’s horn. The Dew Action Sports Tour ended last month. This is the second year of Panasonic’s sponsorship of this 5 market tour. We made a lot of improvements to the on-site experience and visitors responded accordingly. We measured Net Promoter Score (NPS) on a pre and post experience basis and saw a huge jump (can’t give you the real numbers until Panasonic says okay). Panasonic didn’t try to be too cool but let the coolness of their products speak volumes. The online component ShareTheAir.net was a big hit. The athlete photo blogs have been well received and the submissions to the video competition were great. My favorite is the one with the elderly lady who fantasies about skateboarding called appropriately enough Lady Skate. All in all, the whole program was nothing if not engaging.

Slim Jim

Posted: 07 Nov 2006 08:54 AM CST

I love the Slim Jim’s snapalope campaign! It makes me laugh and feel really good about our trade. Each ad is funnier than the next and laughter is proven to make us live longer, if not just more enjoyably. The soda-bottle camouflage suit one kid wears is hysterical and the fact that he loses out to the kid who hides in the cooler and cold-cocks the fleeing snapalope with the cooler door is funnier still. Another ad opens with three snapalopes frozen at the front of the store lit up by a car in the parking lot, a brilliant homage to the cliché deer in the headlights. Now if only Slim Jims weren’t at the bottom of the nutritional food chain along with SPAM and Twinkies!

Cocaine Soda

Posted: 25 Oct 2006 02:51 PM CDT

Sorry folks, lost my sense of humor on this one.

Polish the turd

Posted: 07 Nov 2006 10:09 PM CST

Lots of products and services in the marketplace are at best parity and more often are simply inferior. Too many marketers accept products as is and then leave it to the rest of us to polish the turd. Buff all you want, a stinker is a stinker.

We were invited to pitch a client earlier this year and did a little homework on them. Turns out they ranked lowest in their industry in customer satisfaction. Customers only stayed with them until they could find a better option. When we visited the client and told them our research findings they said to us so you’re saying our baby is ugly? We admitted as much and then offered a suggestion on how we could use marketing to help address their product problems. Since in our humble opinion, any other approach would be wasting their money. With a cost per customer acquisition of well over $300, we figured churn would ultimately kill their business. They said thanks but wanted a promotion right away that would lift sales–we wished them the best of luck. MFG is all about making the product/service better or at least addressing critical product/service weaknesses (like customer service).

Inspi(red)

Posted: 09 Nov 2006 06:30 PM CST

This morning at our semi-monthly status meeting, a fellow Renegade presented her idea report on Product Red, the Bono initiated movement to help fight AIDS in Africa. She wore the red T-shirt she bought at GAP and described how good she felt doing some good for the world while doing something good for herself–shopping. It was a wonderfully emotional report as she explained the program and then dedicated her presentation to two of her friends who died from AIDS. Product Red is unquestionably a brilliant idea that will enlighten millions about an important issue simply by buying iconic products they want to buy anyway.

Photobucket – Video and Image Hosting

Embassy Very Suite

Posted: 12 Nov 2006 08:22 PM CST

If MFG is about removing some of life’s little annoyances then Embassy Suites should be recognized. Had the pleasure of staying at the Embassy Suites hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska last week. Was there to give a speech on MFG to the surprisingly robust Lincoln advertising federation. Being a busy guy, I had to finish off the speech on the plane and when I got to the hotel, I needed to print the text. “How late is your business center open” I asked expecting the usual 9-7 response. Instead, I learned that not only was it open 24 hours a day but there was no charge for printing all I wanted. Relieved, I waited until the next morning to visit the center and using my trusty USB portable drive found a waiting computer eager to do my bidding. As luck would have it, the printer jammed and I was running out of time. To the rescue came the maintenance guy who promptly fixed the printer and waited until my document was printed in full. Bringing a sigh of relief I thanked him and asked “how much for printing 10 pages?”. Knowing I’ve lived in New York too long, I almost dropped my still warm speech when he said “no charge, sir.” I can’t tell you how many hotels I’ve been to that charged for computer usage, paper, faxes and all those things business travelers like myself need when we are on the road. Eliminating that charge seems like a little thing but that coupled with Embassy Suites’s friendly staff, comfortable rooms and a deliciously free breakfast makes me certain to choose them again and again. Be my guest, check them out for yourself.

Fed up with Trans-Fat?

Posted: 14 Nov 2006 08:30 AM CST

KFC caved last week to pressure from the New York City Board of Health among other sources announcing it would substitute soybean oil for its trans-fat laden stuff. The American Heart Association and the former Surgeon General are among the many celebrating this move. I am not yet one of them. Just a few years ago, we were told to eat margarine instead of butter and now it turns out butter may have been a better choice. We were told to consume sugar substitutes instead of sugar and then it turns out sugar substitutes rarely help with weight loss and some have side effects that natural sugar doesn’t have. Besides the fact that health science is an inexact one at best and seems to change radically every 20 years, I believe marketers need to have reasonably free reign over their products and consumers total free reign over their selections. Seems to me that fried chicken is fried chicken and will not qualify as health food under the best of circumstances soy bean oil or otherwise. If a marketer wants to make a healthier product to gain competitive advantage more power to him. If a food marketer wants to make that the richest apple pie in the world complete with lard to enhance a flaky crust and cheddar cheese on top, I say bring it on. Consumers should have the freedom of choice and can elect to eat healthy or not. In the world of marketing for good, good comes from making life a little better and sometimes a fat-laden calorie-rich piece of pie is just what the doctor ordered.

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