Tuesday, July 25

Amazon - The Tallest in Times Square

While yesterday I wrote about Amazon deepening its food business, today I want to mention a record-breaking stunt completed by the same brand this past June.

Amazon built a seven story (yes seven!) Echo in Times Square, breaking a record held by Pepsi for the largest stunt ever created in Times Square.

While it wasn't interactive and we didn't hear from Alexa, it was huge. Hard to miss, one could say. Just like Amazon's expanding business. This time promoting its music service, which I have to say as a user is pretty awesome. Just one more way that Amazon is infiltrating our lives.

And I love the culturally-relevant messaging.

"Love is all you need."

Or is it "Alexa is all you need?"

Too much? Want more? What's your experience? JIM

Sunday, July 23

Amazon Goes Foodie

It certainly looks as if Amazon has had its eye on the food business for quite some time.

My first experience was Amazon Prime Restaurants...food delivery from local restaurants fueled by Amazon Prime. While there are quite a few of these kinds of services (particularly locally), it does make sense for Amazon to jump in and help facilitate. As an Amazon Prime member, any kind of delivery works for me.

Then came Whole Foods...Amazon's mass entry and aquisition into the food business. It was a bit of a gasp heard 'round the world but then again not so surprising then you think about it.

Well now, Amazon is evidently upping its food game again with an intent to start selling meal kits, ala Blue Apron.

Amazon registered a US trademark for a service the company described as "We do the prep. You be the chef."

Love the message!

Smart move? What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, July 19

Pop Up Employee

The rise of the pop-up employee is a real trend. Here's how you can create the right environment at work to capture that spirit with your teams. Click here to get to Entrepreneur.com.

What's your experience? JIM

Fiber One She Shed

You've heard of the man cave. Surely, you've heard of the man cave. Can't tell you how many brands did marketing programs around the man cave.

Well Fiber One is now giving it back to the ladies, with the She Shed. Yes, the She Shed.

"Of course it's ok, this is my world."

Gotts love it. What's your experience? JIM

Monday, July 17

Brands Respond to Trump

We are starting to see more and more brands not only get involved in socio-political issues (something that's been trending for awhile now), but also comment on "issues" that are popping up in the political arena...mostly with our new President.

Manhattan Storage has a long history of making such comments, here's just one example from the election last year:

I think a lot of people simply explain it away as "this is New York," but truthfully this kind of activity is invading the national scene now too.

About a month or so ago, Smirnoff jumped into the action surrounding the topic of Russia and captured people's attention for at least one news cycle:

This isn't a CEO supporting a candidate or making a bold statement, these are marketing communications meant to engage the brands' consumers.

Just this week Reebok "spoke" about Trump's recent trip (and dialogue) in France, again capturing people's attention:

These examples, and some others too, have a lot of marketers (and consumers too) asking if this kind of "advertising" is cool. They're asking if it's ok for brands to join conversations about "politics."

That my friends, is all about being consistent with the brands' values and positioning and of course being consistent with the brand's target audience and how they think, believe, and behave.

Is it right or wrong? All of that is best left in the eyes of the consumer. Just like everything in marketing.

I will say that no matter what, timing is everything.

What's your experience?

Sunday, July 16

Sweatiest City in America

You don't have to show me a survey to tell me that NYC is pretty sweaty these days. Ten seconds on a subway platform in July gives me all the proof that this NYer needs.

But it is interesting to see that the Honeywell Fan company did a systematic study of the country's "sweatiest" cities and NYC comes out on top. Surprise, surprise.

This is the third year in a row for said study, but NYC didn't even make the list last year. Surprise, surprise.

I guess it's gotten worse? Makes sense for a fan company to do the study, given the fact that they sell fans to make sweaty people, well, less sweaty. Surprise, surprise.

To read more about it, click here.

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, July 13

Lessons Learned from "The Young Pope"

This article appears on HuffPost - click here to read it there.

Where did you come from? What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, July 12

Hotel Tonight

Creating a successful business is often about fulfilling an unmet need in the category. Great marketing is getting people to want your brand to fulfill that need.

That appears to be the case with the newly minted Hotel Tonight...an online app that helps you find a last minute hotel room.

The unmet need here is that sometimes you decide at the last minute that you need a hotel room. Perhaps a night out with friends that you don't want to end, or a flip in a business meeting that requires another day. Hotel Tonight helps you find that quick hotel room without paying the price of an exhaustive search and last-minute high prices.

As someone who's business travel needs have generally been very fluid, this is a great service because it cuts out of lot of the worry and hassle that you might get stranded. I can also remember back in the day when those late-night train rides back home cut the night short and it would have been fun to continue on with friends.

Hotel Tonight. It's a new flip to the traditional (and newly non-traditional) hospitality model.

What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, July 11

Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day is giving Black Friday a run for its money.

Black Friday and its "cousin" Cyber Monday have become the biggest shopping days of the year...at brick and mortar retailers and then online venues as well. As we all know, the two shopping days fall immediately following Thanksgiving and straddle the holiday weekend. They are huge, and literally every retailer gets into the game somehow.

Well now Amazon is challenging convention once again by upping the game on Prime Day, an all day/night online shopping extravaganza exclusively on Amazon exclusively for its Prime Members. Thirty hours of online shopping "deals" with a new deal listed every five minutes. And then "Lightening Deals" that get randomly announced at super low prices in finite quantities.

It's enough to make your head spin. And of course everyone is getting in the game with advice and tips on how to max out.

I think the key is how fast can you click. Online retailing leadership at its best. What's your experience? JIM

Monday, July 10

Weiner Mobiles

Believe it or not, the Weinermobile - as in the Oscar Mayer hotdog car - has been around since 1936. Delivering goodness all these years.

Well this year the fleet is expanding to include a drone and a cycle. They were unveiled in Weiner, Arkansas on July 4th...to coincide with the brand's new nitrate-free hotdog formula.

Distinctive, fun, iconic, and certainly a big part of the Oscar Mayer heritage.

Hotdog! What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, July 6

Assisted Shaving from Gillette

Now THIS is doing something that a leader should be doing. A leader in men's grooming, in this particular case.

Sure, the brand has been selling razors for men to shave themselves for decades...but now they've created a special razor/blade for those caregivers who have to shave others. It's specially designed for one to shave another, realizing that the reach and the angles are very different.

This AMAZING video showcases it all....

Leadership indeed! What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, July 5

Flexibility is the Key

I've always been decisive...I grew up that way. But I'm learning that there's a new component that is the key to current success. So I wrote about it on Entrepreneur.

Click here to give it a read.  What's your experience? JIM

Sunday, July 2

Snickers Packaging

The "Not Yourself" campaign from Snickers is now hit legendary status, built on a universal insight that when you're hungry you're just not yourself. Think about it...when you're hungry it's much harder to be patient, creative, loving, analytical...whatever qualities make up who you are.

The campaign started with this classic with Betty White:

And then went on to feature some divas:

And some historical figures too:

Any good marketing campaign must also be fully integrated. So while it's great to have great advertising and social content, a comprehensive campaign should hit other touchpoints too. Like what Snickers has now so brilliantly done with its packaging:

Bringing it to life full circle, right at the point of purchase and as you consume it to alleviate your hunger. Essentially solving "Not Yourself" right in the moment.

Not only a universal insight but also great integration!

What's your experience? JIM