Friday, December 30

My Favorite Blog Posts 2011

Why have one year-end review when you can have two?  The other day I compiled the top ten marketing moments ... hope you enjoyed them and I'd love to hear if you agree or disagree.  Today I am going to compile my most favorite blog posts from this year.   Not necessarily marketing moments, but the posts that I relate to the most and that got the most commentary.  Last year I did the same thing and thought it was kind of fun.  So here goes:

10 - Brands That Go Political.  A blog post inspired by the gay marriage law in New York State which also ended up as an op-ed piece in PRWeek.

9 - Walmart Holiday Spot.  I don't really expect great advertising from Walmart, but this one got me at hello.

8 - An Authentic Brand.  The marketing buzz word of the year.

7- Senior Year High School.  As my daughter finished up her high school career and prepared for college, I got to relive all the memories.

6- What Women Want in Social Media.  I spoke at a lot of industry conferences, but the #140 was my favorite where I lead a panel discussion of some amazing women in social media.

5 - Chasing Thriller.  My favorite business quote of the year, and the inspiration behind Oprah starting her own network.

4 - Every Presenter's Nightmare.  Proof that a nightmare can turn into a learning experience.  You really can teach an old dog new tricks.

3 - Steve Jobs.  By far and away, the CEO who is had the biggest impact on my life.

2 - 9/11 Lunch with My Son.  The tenth year anniversary brought me new insights.

1 - A Penn State Dad.  A personal perspective on the scandal at Penn State.

Have a joyous new year and an amazingly happy 2012!  Thanks for reading!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

PS:  Favorite quote of the year?  Comes from the Sofia Vergara character on Modern Family:  "Family is family.  Whether it's the ones you start out with, the ones you end up with, or the ones you pick up along the way."

Thursday, December 29

Fire Safety

Today I am writing a very personal post ... to capture my feelings this week.

A business colleague and fellow marketing devotee suffered a very tragic loss on Christmas Day from a horrible fire in her home.  Her loss is beyond comprehension.  I can't even begin to imagine what she is going through.  I feel so lost in my emotions ... don't know quite what to do.

So in her honor, I talked to my family about fire safety.  We literally spoke about what to do in the event of a fire and specific ways to get out of the house.  We tend to have a lot of teenage friends in the house, many of them sleeping over so I talked to all of them too.  I felt so much better doing that.

I encourage you to do the same.  Change the batteries in the smoke detectors and make sure you have evacuation routes planned out with your family.  It's vitally important.  Here's a website to help you prepare.

Happy Holidays to you all ... please stay safe at home and on the road.


Tuesday, December 27

2011 Best Marketing Moments

I love year-end reviews.  It's just so much fun to recap the year and see what we've all been through, together.  So I wanted to write my own year-end recap ... to highlight what I consider to be the best marketing moments of 2011.  At least from my perspective.  So here we go, in order.

10 - OWN.  The year started off with a bang, with the launch of Oprah's own network.  Not sure it's ending with a bang, but the year sure did look hopeful at the time.

9 - SuperBowl.  The marketer's holiday as I say.  This year did not disappoint me.  We had seen previews of VW's "The Force"and loved it but we had no idea what Chrysler and Eminem had in store for us.  "Imported from Detroit" should go down in marketing history.

8 - Aflac Auditions.  2011 saw more social "media" scandals.  Aflac had its own with its "duck" talent.  The brand responded with speed and creativity, bringing us all into the solution.

7 - The Royal Wedding.  You may say that this wasn't a marketing moment, but I would say you are wrong.  This was brand Britain and brand Royal Family's shining moment.

6 - Small Business Saturday. Amidst all the hype around Black Friday and Cyber Monday which honestly got overwhelming, along comes Amex with a much more appropriate promotion.

5 - Schweddy Balls.  A great example of a brand giving a "gift" to its loyalists.

4 - Sofia Vergara for KMart.  It was a long time coming, but the first time I saw the advertising it took my breath away.  Finally a fashion brand that "gets" its audience.

3 - Bronx Zoo Escaped Cobra.  Whether by "accident" or not, this little creature taught us how to engage on Twitter.

2 - Fit 2 Fat @ Fit.  Love this guy!  Mostly because he will do whatever it takes to truly get to know his customer.  A good marketer ought to love that!

1 - Starbucks New Logo.  The logo change heard 'round the world and my most read blog post of the year.  We are still debating the merits and I still stand firm that it was brilliant.

I'd like to thank you all for reading all year long.  Here's to an amazing year of marketing in 2012.

Marketing is a spectator sport, so let's all learn from each other.  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

PS - Although I didn't write about it, an honorable mention goes to Barbie for getting back with Ken.  On social media.

Saturday, December 24

Brands on Christmas Trees

This is a special Christmas Eve blog post, one that just came to me as I was enjoying the ornaments on our Christmas tree.

We collect ornaments ... have been collecting since I was a little kid.  I love beautiful Christmas ornaments of every size, shape, and variety.  I especially love the glass ones.  It just occurred to me, though, that we've got a number of "brands" on our tree.  And I don't think that's just because I'm in marketing.  Some brands have become so iconic, they've made it into our holiday celebrations and homes.  These are brands that have infiltrated our lives to such an extent, that they make it onto our Christmas tree as part of our memory bank.  That's pretty incredible when you think about it.

So as I glance onto our tree, here are the brands that I see:

- Coca Cola (both a can and a polar bear)
- Oreo
- Starbucks
- Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
- Red Ribbon for Aids Research
- Dole (a banana with a logo on it)
- Macy's (a replica of the very first parade float)
- Singer (as in the sewing machine)
- Heinz (you know the tradition of hiding a pickle, right?)
- Hershey (the kiss)
- M&Ms
- Disney (as in Mickey Mouse)
- NY Yankees

I've also got a number of "cities" too, represented by famous icons that remind us of the "brand":
- New York City (many times over) and actually New York State as well (I Love NY)
- London
- Paris
- Boston
- Bucks County PA (where I live ... there's a famous covered bridge)

And some celebrities who in essence became brands:
- Marilyn Monroe
- Elizabeth Taylor
- Lady Gaga
- Elvis

Colleges that are in my life (they are brands too):
- Cornell
- Penn State

A special shout out to a couple of Christmas ornament brands:
- Christopher Radko makes beautiful glass ornaments ... this brand is king and I have a bunch!
- Smith Hawken ... a brand that went away but back in the day released gorgeous ornaments every year, mostly in the garden family

Take a look at your Christmas tree ... got any brands?

Happy Holidays ... what's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

Friday, December 23


When it comes to marketing, some things are just better left alone.

Like the awesome Movember. Such a granular, "authentic" movement that had very humble beginnings and then totally took off. Men growing facial hair to grow awareness for testicular cancer, all during the month of November.

And like Santacon. People dressing up in Santa costumes to get together and have fun.  Nothing more pure than that.

And now along comes Defember. #fail.

Olay (Oil of Olay as many of us know it) is encouraging women to get rid of their facial "fuzz" (their words) during the month of December. Hence Defember.  "Defuzz for good," as the brand says.

OMG.  Give me a break.  Why can't the guys just have Movember?  Why does anyone need to step into that territory?  It's so awesome and genuine.

Ok, so each Facebook "like" contributes to breast cancer research. Nice, but a yawn.  Let's make women feel really bad about themselves - facial hair and breast cancer.  Sounds like an SNL skit.

But of course it coincides with the launch of a facial hair removal product.  Is this a joke that I just don't get?  Or a bad step and repeat?  Or just poor judgment?

Am I missing something?  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

Thursday, December 22

Advertising on ATMs

I always say that anything can be a marketing touchpoint.  A place where you can reach your target consumer with a branded message.  Anything, in theory, especially if it's within arms reach of our consumer.  Bathroom stalls, popcorn bags at the movie theater, shower curtains in the gym locker room, toll booths on the freeway, school buses, etc, etc.

Here's a new one that seems kind of obvious, actually.  ATM machines.  I'm not talking signage around the ATM, I'm talking the screen where you conduct the transactions.

It's an interesting thought, and perhaps a bit of a debate.  Right now the ATM transaction is funded by an ATM fee.  Imagine if you could watch an ad instead, and not have to pay the fee.  The advertising, in essence, would cover the transaction costs.

Would you mind?  It reminds me a bit of movie theater advertising back in the day.  When advertisers started playing commercials right before the movie, theater goers were kind of mad about it.  They almost felt like being at a movie theater was a private moment that shouldn't be interrupted with a commercial message.  Now, it's standard course.  As is product placement within the movie, many times over.

From a marketer's perspective, advertising during an ATM transaction a lot of sense.  There are millions of ATM transactions a day.  It's geo-targeted with a captive audience.

From the bank's perspective, it's a revenue generator at a time when many are struggling.  Maybe the smart ones, the ones that are profitable, could give the ad revenue to charity.  Now there's an idea.

From the consumer's perspective it's a value-add because there's a direct and tangible cost savings.  Its also steeped in emotion because most people hate ATM fees.  Most think they are way too much and way too annoying.  Plus, maybe you might just learn something from the advertising ... who knows!

It's not that different, really, then watching a commercial at the beginning of an online video.  Still annoying, yes, but often entertaining in and of itself.  And as I said, this idea has a direct cost savings.

I think it's a good idea all around, except when there's a long line and you have to stand through a commercial.  What's your experience?  Jim

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

Wednesday, December 21

Lay's Potato Chips

I always say that marketing is a spectator sport and we can learn from each other.  It looks like Lay's Potato Chips took a page out of the Coca Cola vending "book" when it created its latest stunt.

A while back I wrote about the Coca Cola "happiness machine" where the brand put up a vending machine at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia that dispensed random acts of happiness instead of bottles of Coca Cola.  Things like flowers and pizzas ... all caught on tape.

Lay's followed suit at a Walmart in Argentina with its own version, tied directly to a product attribute it wanted to promote.  This is no ordinary vending machine.  Instead of putting in coins, you insert a raw potato.  The machine then kicks into gear showing how the potato is processed ... and then a bag of "fresh" chips pops out.

It appears as if the vending machine actually just made the chips, but it's actually a video.  But still very cool.  And totally makes the point that these chips are made from 100% real potatoes and are incredibly fresh.  Love how the brand managers "searched and reapplied" a marketing idea that they saw in the marketplace, but then made it their own.  And created a retail experience tied directly to the message that they wanted to communicate.

I got it.  What's your experience?  Jim

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

Tuesday, December 20

1993 AT&T Commercial

A new client of mine recently turned me onto an "oldie but goodie."  You may not remember this television advertising campaign from AT&T called "You Will", but I remembered it in an instant.  Television advertising was still king back in 1993, and I was at Johnson & Johnson and had just launched a new teen skin care brand called Clean & Clear.  It was a wildly successful launch and I was loving marketing.

This campaign from AT&T was a breakout because it predicted all these cool things that technology was going to bring us to improve our lives.  Advances in how we communicate, learn, travel, take care of our home, and monitor our healthcare.  And the company that was going to bring all this amazing technological advances to us?  AT&T of course!  It was quite startling at that time.  Not to exaggerate, but we were all talking about it.  Living in the metro New York area, I can also tell you that I had a lot of friends who worked at AT&T.  They were a player.

Looking back at it now, not quite twenty years later, it's even more startling.  The number of things that have actually happened is amazing.  Not everything, but quite a few of the predictions came true.  Security systems for the home, e-books, GPS navigation for the car, monitoring devices for wellness ... very cool.  The company that really did bring us all these technological advances?  Not AT&T.

The giant (not only in size but in influence as well) that was once AT&T is a shadow of itself now (remember the GIANT statue at the main entrance ... it was a WOW).  Still around, which is saying a lot, but sadly it did not make its own prediction.  Which really is sad because it was a brand that had tremendous equity and that made a promise to improve our lives.  It was a brand that understood the balance of functional benefits and emotional connections, even back then.  It was a brand that we all had in our day to day lives.  Some of us still do, but not to the magnitude of what was promised.

As many marketers say, a brand is a promise.  Now surely AT&T has evolved their brand promise through the years to change with shifting market issues and competition, and I wish them well.  For me, a brand is also an experience and it's fascinating how the brand experience of AT&T has radically changed.  Perhaps that's the reason why it's not quite the gentle giant it once was?

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect

Monday, December 19

PMS Becomes A Brand

The beloved PMS ... the Pantone Matching System has officially (at least in my eyes) become a brand.

If you are not familiar with Pantone, it's the bible of all bibles when it comes to color selection in the graphic arts field.  There's not an Art Director in the country that doesn't live by it.  Every good agency person has a PMS book at the ready, sitting right on their desk for quick review.  But for years, it was just an industry secret, nothing that the public ever saw.  It was an industry exclusive tool ... at least up until now.

For me, the brand expansion started with mugs.  Pantone mugs that featured signature colors ... you could pick the color that best expressed your personality I suppose.  I thought they were the coolest thing, and in fact when I was recently visiting a fellow advertising agency I noticed that they were using them to serve coffee to clients.  It impressed me and made an instant "brand" impression.

For the past several years, Pantone has been declaring "the color of the year," which has had great impact on design trends.  2011 it was Honeysuckle.  Don't know what Honeysuckle looks like?  Well then just check your PMS swatch book to see it, as well as all the shades around it.

Then most recently I read that Pantone was getting into the cosmetics category.  Makeup from Pantone?  Makes sense, actually, when you think about it.  If they "own" the color range (the full color range), then that might as well make its way into color cosmetics as well.  For added credibility, it's an exclusive deal with Sephora, and is starting out in the tangerine and orange family of colors, to coincide with Pantone's color of the year for 2012:  Tangerine Tango.

Brilliant.  Set to hit Sephora stores in March, if successful the line will expand to include other colors.

It's so much fun to watch an industry "vendor" if you will turn itself into an industry leader, pop culture trend, and then a brand.  This is why I love marketing!

Like any good brand, you can follow all the activity on Twitter @mypantone and @pantonetrends.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

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