Wednesday, September 30

Doritos Rainbows


In a bold move of support for LGBT youth, Doritos released a rainbow-colored version of its cool ranch flavor...Doritos Rainbows.

But there's a hitch because you can't get them on store shelves. You have to make a minimum $10 donation to "It Gets Better," an organization whose sole mission is to support gay, lesbian, and transgender youth.

The project has not been without controversy (click here), but then again I tried to buy a bag yesterday and they are all sold out (click here.)

Doritos isn't the first to display the rainbow flag in support of the community ...






... but it is the first, to my eye, to require a donation to a charity to receive an actual product ... a charity that is all about preventing teen suicide.

I'll buy a bag of chips for that. And I'll throw out a hashtag for that too #BoldAndBetter.

As for the politics of it all, I'll leave that aside.

As Doritos says, "There's Nothing Bolder Than Being Yourself."

#BoldAndBetter.

What's your experience?  JIM

Monday, September 28

Keurig Kold

File this under "cool as all get out" innovation for the home.

This week Keurig and Coca-Cola announced a partnership called Keurig Kold...an in-house soda machine that makes individual glasses of ice cold fountain soda.

In a variety of flavors and brands, including Coca-Cola.

Truth be told, there is nothing more refreshing than a fountain soda with a ton of ice IMHO. Cans and bottles just don't compare.

Delicious fountain soda!

The fact that this company took their technology and leadership in home coffee brewing and turned it into a "soda fountain" is sheer brilliance.

Paving the way for Coca-Cola's continual leadership as well.

I want one! I want one! I want one!

I hardly ever get this excited over a home appliance! What's your experience?  JIM



Sunday, September 27

Halloween Wine


I was in the grocery story yesterday, and couldn't help but notice a huge display of Halloween wine. Red wine of course.

How clever! All with labels fit for the season, perfect for bar displays and party tables.

With Halloween being one of the biggest party seasons of the year, and also one of the biggest drinking occasions as well, it would only make sense to buy themed wine for your gathering.

And it's just fun! Of course the retail store was smart enough to accompany the wine with lots of Halloween accessories to decorate the bar and party table.

Oh! There was also some Halloween-themed craft beer. While I have certainly seen "fall harvest" type varieties before, I'd never seen such fun Halloween labels and flavors. How clever!

This kind of themed-flavoring and labeling makes for great seasonal incremental sales, which from the brand's perspective makes total sense.

I have a feeling we may be seeing a lot more of this...anyone up for some Holiday Wine? New Year's Eve champagne? Valentine's Day brew? Fourth of July pints?

Will you get some? What's your experience?  JIM

Wednesday, September 23

Underoos for Adults

For those of us who grew up in the '70's and '80s, we most likely remember and probably even wore Underoos...the super-hero underwear with matching tops and bottoms. At their height, they were manufactured and marketed by Fruit of the Loom, and they were the rage. I can vividly remember looking through the displays at Sears as a kid.



Well they are back,,.on the Internet...for adults! And they are fabulous.


A bit of nostalgia for sure, but totally in keeping with our continued pop culture obsession with action adventure heroes.

And who doesn't want to feel like an action adventure hero in their underwear? :)

I'm glad they're back. Not sure I'm going to wear them this time around, but I'm glad they are back.

How about you? What's your experience?  JIM.

Tuesday, September 22

SMART BTS


Here's an article I wrote for Success Story ... about how to be SMART at Back-to-School.

Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM.



Monday, September 21

A Workaholic Helicopter

This article appears on Entrepreneur, as part of my series on balancing work and family as both an entrepreneur and a parent.

Click here to give it a read there!

How do you do it all? What's your experience? JIM


Friday, September 18

Above Average Show


I do a lot of writing, all of the time. I write for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and for my own blog right here.

One of the best parts about writing is reading people's reactions to it. I just love that part. It's very reassuring to see the "likes" and the "shares" and the comments; it's motivation to keep on writing.

I especially like when I'm able to spark a debate. Love that!

I recently wrote an article for Entrepreneur that did just that. It was all about how to deal with work interruptions when you are with your family.

Above Average Show picked it up and did a podcast on the very topic. While I never heard of Above Average Show before, I love what they are all about...helping large families cope with life. We could all use a little bit of that! "Large family living," as they say!

Love that!

Well the host disagreed with one of my points, and threw it out there to his audience. Love that!

Talking about these kinds of issues is what makes us all feel connected and supported, not matter what our family makeup looks like. I just love that any family of any shape, size, or flavor can now find support...just a click way.

Give a listen here, to hear the debate on Above Average Show.

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

Wednesday, September 16

The New Family


This very cool website called The New Family is working towards profiling 1,000 families to show the diversity of our culture. I am proud to say that my family is one of the bunch. "Modern Views on Family Life."

Thrilling!

The site asked me to comment on my family and also decided to add an excerpt of my new book Out and About Dad. Families come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors...but they have one thing in common and that is family.

Click here to give it a read.

Who's in your family? What's your experience? JIM

Exploring Public Art in Central Park

I must admit that public art in our public parks is one of the biggest benefits of living in a city...especially in a city like New York.

I finally got an appreciation for public art when I experienced "The Gates" in 2005 by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. You could say I was a late bloomer. Their exhibit featured 7,500 orange fabric "gates" that spanned 23 miles around Central Park. It was a sight whether you were on the ground, in a high-rise, or on a plane. It was a feat of artwork.


The latest installation that I experienced over the summer reminded me of "The Gates." While it didn't have the scale, it was impressive in its expression of the paths and walkways of Central Park. It's called "Desire Lines" by Tatiana Trouve. The exhibition is several racks of spools of colored rope, each spool representing a different walking path in the Park with rope measured to the exact distance of the walkway. Very impressive, all 212 of them.


What I enjoyed about "Desire Lines" is that it encourages you to not only explore the exhibit, but to also explore the vastness of the Park, which in and of itself is public art. Central Park is a public sanctuary made available for all of us to enjoy, including these kinds of public art installations.

I believe that is the point of "The Gates" and of "Desire Lines," and the point of public art in general. Go out and explore!

I have profound appreciation for it, even more so now as an adult.

I recently did a podcast with Jeffrey Shaw from Creative Warriors...where we talked about Central Park right at the onset. Click here if you'd like to give it a listen.

And then go out and explore!

What's your experience?  JIM.

Tuesday, September 15

Celebrate the Little Successes

This article appears on Entrepreneur, as part of my series on being both an entrepreneur and a parent.

Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM


Monday, September 14

Another Chicken Sandwich?

How many ways can you fix up a chicken sandwich?

McDonald's seems to think that there is yet another angle with its new Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich. With Chick-fil-A on its heels, it's no wonder that the fast food chain has to try something to get some news.

I find this new introduction quite fascinating because to my naked eye it really is just another chicken sandwich. Sure it's marinated in buttermilk, ok, but every sandwich has some sort of angle I would assume.

The fascinating part is all the reviews on YouTube. People are really into talking about this stuff! I should know, I know, because I'm in marketing and this is what we do for a living. But I still find it fascinating.


Reviewers are even commenting on the packaging! I love it! We know from research that reviews are very influential, and this new sandwich has had more than its fair share!

The brand also filmed a "blind" taste test by serving the new sandwiches out of an unbranded food truck. With people not knowing that the sandwich is from McDonald's, they tried it and of course loved it.



Yet another fascinating way of getting the message out that this one just might be unique.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Wednesday, September 9

Be a Brand, Not a Product


I recently did this podcast with Jeffrey Shaw for Creative Warriors. It was great fun.

Jeffrey is all about creativity ... inspiring it, instilling it, recognizing it. As someone who is creative at heart, I love what he's doing and I'm thrilled to be among the Creative Warriors.

We talked about a lot from topics like Central Park, to how people perceive you, to the difference between a product and a brand.

That's the part I liked the most...it's my life's work. We should all strive to create brands, not just products.

Give a click here if you'd like to listen in.

What's your experience? JIM.



Tuesday, September 8

Ask For Help!

This article appears on Entrepreneur as part of a series devoted to balancing work and family.

Give a click here if you'd like to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, September 2

A Burger for Peace

I learned in grad school at Columbia to always look at both sides. I had a professor who drilled that into us - we'd voice an opinion about a marketing issue and he'd immediately ask us to argue for the other side.

Ever since then I've always been able to see both sides of any given argument. It's a gift that he taught me.

So when Burger King issued a "challenge" to McDonald's to join them for the International Day of Peace and to put aside the burger wars for a moment, I totally got it. I actually thought it was quite brilliant. The brand threw the concept to McDonald's out there on social media, took a risk, and then waited patiently for some sort of a response.

They offered up a "McWhopper" of an idea.



I totally got where they were coming from.

But they didn't get the response that they were hoping for. It's all been over-analyzed and debated to death by now, but it's actually pretty simple.

Basically, McDonald's dismissed them. They dismissed the idea, put it into context of real war, and poked them for using social media as a vehicle to engage.



While my first reaction was a cringe, I also got where they were coming from.

I saw both sides of the equation.

Are the burger wars at all on par with world peace? NO.

Could Burger King have just made a personal, private appeal to McDonald's to make a ground-breaking collaboration? YES.

Did McDonald's use the situation to put Burger King in its place? YES.

In the end, where do I net out? Being able to see both sides means being able to have an objective opinion.

I think it was pretty clever of Burger King. They understand their context when compared to actual war and world peace. They weren't exaggerating their importance, at least not in IMHO.

Do we live in a social world? YES.

Do we respond to marketing messages that break through the clutter? YES.

Should we all have just a little sense of humor? YES.

What's your experience?  JIM.

PS - Burger King has since gone on to try to keep the idea alive by collaborating with other restaurant chains to try to make a "Peace Burger" in a pop-up store for one day. We shall see where this all lands.