Monday, October 27

Enter, The Hand Sanitizer

I've made two trips to Dallas in the last couple of weeks, and I live in Manhattan.  The Ebola scare has certainly been top-of-the-media in both markets, and you can't possibly escape the nonstop coverage.

In our media-driven world, that's a given.

But there's another side effect of the situation that's equally as noticeable and once again changing our behaviors ... hand sanitizer.

It seems like the hand sanitizer comes in and out of favor, as our awareness and paranoia for infectious conditions rises and falls.

Literally, everywhere I went in the Dallas area there were bottles and pumps of hand sanitizer.  And now that New York City is on alert, they are popping up all over the city here as well.

I hadn't seen them since the last time we were worried about such things ... If I remember correctly it was the swine flu.

It's almost as if the hand sanitizer is a barometer for our depth of concern over catching something dangerous.  Like a thermometer of sorts.  We are worried now about Ebola, so enter the hand sanitizer.

As a result, I'd wish they'd go away!  I'm sure we all do!

Of course, the interesting part is that the branding doesn't seem to be an important part of the mix.  Sure, there are brands in the equation, but they don't seem to be driving the solution ... just reacting to public sentiment.

Is there a perceivable difference in the products?  Is there a role for branding here, especially when emotions run so high?  

What's your experience?  JIM.

Sunday, October 26

Take It Personally

My series at Entrepreneur about brand positioning is coming to a close.

My final perspective ... take it personally.

Give it a read here if you'd like.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Friday, October 24

Not That Kind Of Girl

Before I start, I must say that I am by no means a super fan of Lena Dunham.  I don't think I'd even say I'm a fan.  I don't think she's honestly even on my radar.  If anything, I'd probably say she's over-exposed and I don't really pay attention.  Her over exposure isn't to the level of Kim Kardashian, but it's all relative.

So along comes Lena with a new book, Not That Kind Of Girl.  I never noticed TBH.

Along comes her web series to go with the book, I never noticed.

I was at a conference yesterday for The PR Council where this INCREDIBLE woman, an American woman who is Muslim was talking about prejudice.  She said to watch Lena Dunham's new web series, or at least the first episode.  She said it was "must see."

I'd do just about anything this woman told me to do.  She was that insightful, brilliant, informed, and logical.

As soon as I got home, I clicked in:

Ok, this is the first definition of feminism I have seen that absolutely 100% matches mine.  Actually, it doesn't match my definition of feminism, it matches my definition of how we should go through life, and how we should look at others.  It is exactly what I say to my daughter, and to my son.

Sold.  What's your experience?  JIM.

Thursday, October 23


FCKH8 ... as in "F@&K HATE" (sorry for the language) just released a shocking video to draw attention to women's rights.

There's shock value to be sure, and in fact when you watch the video linked below you need to do it knowing that you've put your headphones on and you won't be offended.  And you may not want the kids to see it quite yet.

The message is clear ... the point isn't that these little girls are cursing, the point is that they are growing up in a world that is still filled with inequality.

In this case, the inequality is against women, but it's universal in my book and from FCKH8's POV.  In this case the video is raising money for women's charities, but the organization tackles anyone and everyone who faces hatred.  I have to applaud that.

F@&K HATE is exactly right.  Hate has done a lot more damage than the word F@&K.

Click here to give it a view.

I've heard it said that the message gets lost in the shock value.   Maybe, if you turn it off the instant it starts.  But I don't think that's the case.  I've also heard it said that the stats are exaggerated to make the point.  Could be, not sure.  I have even heard it said that it's exploiting kids.  I don't personally like the treatment TBH but ...  I do get the point.  Putting these girls up to the task is a bit harsh IMO, but I still like the message.

I don't know much about the organization either, but they seem to stay consistent with their messaging across multiple topics.

I viewed the video far a bigger picture POV ... a curse word means nothing in the scheme of things.  It's the inequality and the treatment of women (and anyone facing hatred) that is far more damaging.  Hate is far more damaging.

I get it.  I respect it.  I love the message.   The organization must have felt the need to scream in order to be heard.  I get that too.  Even though there's a cringe factor to it for sure.

What's your take?  What's your experience?  JIM.