Friday, July 30
Thursday, July 29
I'm on the road this week for a new business pitch and I stepped into McDonald's yesterday, just to get a bottle of water (honest!).
Tuesday, July 27
Monday, July 26
Friday, July 23
Thursday, July 22
Wednesday, July 21
Tuesday, July 20
Geek is the new cool, no doubt about it. The technology age has created heroes out of the once isolated and the once unpopular. It's become cool to be a nerd, but there's a limit don't you think ... fashion too?
Monday, July 19
Friday, July 16
It's been heralded as the best social media campaign to date. "To date" because we can't really say "ever" because all of this is so new. Someone will come along soon and up the game, which is the great part about marketing.
Thursday, July 15
I saw a piece of television advertising the other day that made me really sad. I don't normally have that reaction, unless of course it's for animal adoption services. But this one really hit me.
Wednesday, July 14
Yesterday we lost another baseball legend, a "brand" and marketing legend unto himself, George Steinbrenner. Something really special happened in the game of baseball on the day we lost "The Boss", the ultimate all-star. My colleague Jessica DiPietro reports ....
What's your experience, Jess?
Last night was one of my favorite nights of the year. The “midsummer classic,” the Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game. It’s something I look forward to all season as a coming together of teams to celebrate “America’s National Pastime.”
But as MLB has been overrun with scandals from drugs to salary caps to possible strikes to the rising cost of tickets, now the players, owners, and the entire sport have lost some luster. Last night, they got some of that luster back! In my mind, MLB began a rebirth last night by connecting emotionally with their fans and tugging on their charitable heartstrings.
Partnering with People magazine, MLB honored not only our sports celebrities, but “All-Stars Among Us.” Every day people, just like you and me, making a difference in their communities through selfless acts of giving. Extraordinary citizens from every major league city gathered on the field in Anaheim, the home of DisneyLand (could the setting be any more perfect?), to be honored.
Their introduction? A-list celebrities Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Sheryl Crow, all paying tribute to hometown celebrities in video introductions.
And just when I thought it couldn’t get any more emotional, our sports heroes, the MLB All-Stars, walked onto the field and starting shaking the hands of the “every day heroes” while a version of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” was sung in the background by Glee star Amber Riley.
At that moment, the tears started to well up in my eyes. How beautiful in deed! What a way for MLB to connect emotionally with fans, begin to change their tarnished image, restore the faith of fans, and hopefully, reclaim their positioning as “America’s National Pastime.”
To top it all off, a moment of silence for my team’s “boss”, George Steinbrenner, who passed away yesterday, and acknowledgement of legendary Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard, who passed away this passed weekend as well. Being able to remember and honor two amazing “All-Stars” in Yankee history at this particular All-Star game was icing on the cake for a fan like me.
Congratulations MLB for finally making it about the fans and the “All-Stars Among Us.” Bring on the rest of the season!
- Jessica DiPietro, EVP at Lippe Taylor Brand Communications
Tuesday, July 13
The YMCA announced yesterday that it will be shortening its brand name to just "Y" as part of a five year plan to completely rebrand its organization across its vast network of resources. Let's face it, we've been calling it that for decades anyway.
Monday, July 12
The producers of the morning news show on CBS/CW in Philadelphia asked me to come back to do a television segment on personal branding. Specifically how Moms who are going back into the workforce can think about themselves as a brand to be more successful landing a job.
Friday, July 9
If you are reading this, then you've already bought into the concept of blogging. Bloggers have become an influential force in our culture, and brands are catching on to their power. One of my colleagues at work discovered an interesting initiative from a yogurt brand that obviously "gets it".
What's your experience, Alyssa? Jim.
These days the typical PR campaign includes a cool event, a group of editors and a handful of press materials. But as budgets continue to be cut, PR events, launches and deliverables are changing with the times. . Brands are reaching out to different targets and seeking an alternate direction while still promoting within a budget.
One of the most notable changes in the campaign arena is the attendees. As magazines and newspapers continue to struggle every day, and with social media on the rise, bloggers are becoming a new and valuable friend in the world of PR. Blogs and social media sites get news out fast, with clean delivery and execution, and they offer brands the ability to generate great placements that can be posted, clipped and showcased to the client all within minutes.
Many people are becoming fans of social media: moms, college students, and corporate America. I know I religiously start my mornings sipping on a cup of coffee while perusing my favorite blogs and that’s when I stumbled across one of the coolest PR campaigns I have seen in a while.
Ready, set… Introducing… Stonyfield Barnstorming Tour. Stonyfield is known for their amazing and delicious organic yogurt, but what you probably didn’t know is that they invited a group of select bloggers to escape reality this past weekend in Vermont and New Hampshire. Bloggers experienced an exclusive behind the scenes look at what the Stonyfield brand encompasses while learning about their commitment to organic farming and why it is so important to the production process. Stonyfield has always been dedicated to social responsibility and you are seeing a lot more companies participating in this type of commitment and sharing their initiatives with their consumers.
Stonyfield set up trips to several organic farms where bloggers were able to learn about organic farming and how it is incorporated into the Stonyfield brand. They shared intimate dinners with the farmers and got “down and dirty” on the farms.
As the four day weekend continued, bloggers constantly posted summaries and Tweeted about their barnstorming adventure. From a PR/marketing point of view, this was a stroke of genius, as the bloggers’ audiences were able to experience their journeys as well. The barnstorming tour culminated with a trip to the Stonyfield plant –where all the magic happens– where they experienced the production process from top to bottom. This type of event is always a plus for the media, because bloggers can share their experiences and their readers are able to relive them through their blogs.
Kudos to Stonyfield on a job well done, you have definitely raised the bar in blogger outreach and are making strides in the world of social media. I loved this campaign and your commitment to organic farming is commendable. This organic yogurt lover along with our agency applauds you!
Check out more about Stonyfield’s Barnstorming Tour at: http://carrotsncake.com/tag/stonyfield-blogger-barnstorming-tour
Alyssa Ciambriello - yogurt fanatic and AAE at Lippe Taylor Brand Communications
Thursday, July 8
My "friends" know that I talk about this woman a lot. She's in my book, I cover her when I do speaking engagements, and I was just interviewed over the weekend for a feature article about her as a brand.
Wednesday, July 7
I spent the long 4th of July holiday weekend visiting colleges with my daughter. She's a "rising Senior" in high school, so we are picking out the schools that she will apply to in the fall. It's a stressful time for a young person, and as a parent I know the enormity of the decision. My years at Cornell were among the best of my life, and I want the same for my two kids.
Friday, July 2
With the onslaught of all things digital, lots of folks are predicting the demise of the traditional newspaper. Of course these same folks say the same about television advertising and print magazines, and I don't necessarily agree. With newspapers, though, even I'm not sure where it will all go.
The key for any brand is to stay relevant, and to continually add value to your changing customers' lives. As soon as your brand is no longer as relevant, then a better alternative will take its place.
The truth is that traditional media outlets still produce the most news, but interestingly the newer outlets I believe are becoming more and more relevant. I personally get more of my news from Twitter and Facebook than anywhere else. Sure, it's filtered by a friend or follower, but that's how I generally hear about something first. Or the Yahoo! home page. Or bloggers. These outlets have made it into my life because they help me, so I go to them first.
Let's look at The Wall Street Journal, as an example, because there has been so much speculation about that brand lately.
For the first time in 35 years, The Wall Street Journal did not win a single award at the Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. Earlier in the year, The Wall Street Journal also walked away empty handed from the Pulitzer Prizes. Almost never happens.
The paper still dominates the news, and their circulation is actually up ... but are they losing their edge? Is the brand keeping relevant?
Perhaps it's all just a sign of the times.
What's your experience? Jim.
Thursday, July 1
I've been a big fan of Target since the beginning. I remember working with them in the early '90s when I was at Johnson & Johnson. The company was just starting up in the mid-west and I knew they were onto something. But who knew, really, that they would become such a strong, consistent brand with such a compelling promise and personality.
Through the years, they've developed that brand through smart alliances with other brands to create amazing, affordable designs across many of their categories: fashion, home, appliances, beauty. Michael Graves, Isaac Mizrahi, Thomas O'Brien.
One of their latest moves is a strategic melding of brand equities that I just have to acknowledge. Giada De Laurentiis for Target. Talk about another powerful brand with a compelling promise and personality! Like retail stores, there's no shortage of celebrity chefs these days. But Giada is unique, and has developed a big following for her brand of tv shows, videos, books, and products.
She brings her "chef-ness" to Target with a new line of cookware, kitchen accessories, and even food that aligns perfectly with the Target essence without losing any of her own. Beautifully packaged, and of course expertly designed. We'd expect no less. Actually, officially, I think it's "Expect More. Pay Less."!
The advertising and the website are SO Giada, yet very Target. Wonderfully shot with interesting angles, with a website that compliments and showcases the breadth of the line. You have to check out the online videos on the Giada section of Target.com. Easy to watch, that's for sure.
Right when Target is trying to develop its grocery business. Hmmm. Good timing :)
What's your experience? Jim.