Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kit Kat Encourages You To Take a Break

Imagine strolling the streets of London, absorbing the sights, sounds, and smells of the city.

And then, there it is. A park bench that beckons you to "have a break." But, this is no ordinary bench. This bench is designed to look exactly like the chocolate Kit Kar bar you have come to know and love ever since you were a child.

How could you possibly ignore the opportunity to do exactly as Kit Kat beckons - have a break while out on your stroll?

What a simple and wonderfully executed marketing tactic. The bench clearly and succinctly delivers Kit Kat's brand positioning ... with a budget that is probably the likes of chump change for Kit Kat.

I wonder how many visitors have snapped a photo of this bench?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Save Someone's Life ... Every 56 Days

I was driving to work the other morning, when I glanced up at one of the billboards adorning the interstate.

Never saved a life? It taunted me.

Well, of course, I never saved a life. Chances are you haven't either. Who has?

But, then I realized that the message was assuring me that I could, in fact, save a life ... in fact, I could save someone's life every 56 days. How? By donating my O Negative blood.

Just like you, I've been exposed to all kinds of ads from the Blood Center for a good share of my life. I've heard the pleas to donate blood on the radio, on billboards, on posters, at events, at my children's schools, at work.

But, something about this ad grabbed me on a whole different level. It made me stop and pay attention.

Oh, I know that donating blood can save lives. Chances are you do, too. But, I thought of blood saving lives somewhat distantly ... kind of like that friend you had in 8th grade that pops into your mind once every few years or so. You think about them fondly, wonder what's up in their lives, and then promptly forget them.

But, this billboard delivered a promise that was impossible for me to ignore. It assured me that my O Negative blood would - not could - save someone's life and that this would happen every single time I donated.


It sure makes all my excuses for not getting to the Blood Center seem, well petty. Regardless of your blood type, giving blood is one easy, sure-fire way for you to feel like you're passing a piece of you out into the world to help others.

Did you know that someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds or that 14 million blood transfusions are given each year?

My advice to you is to go to your local Blood Center and ante up. You'll feel good about yourself ... and who knows, you just might save a life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Korean Air Travel Beckons You To Fly With Them

Korean Air Travel serves up a new global TV campaign that is soft, elegant and inviting. Using Tiffany Blue as the common color across ads not only helps to unify the campaign but also portrays an overall aura of sophistication.

Korean Air's new ads bring their tagline - Excellence in Flight - to life in a series of stunning ads (#1 and #2) that beckon you to join them on their journey to exotic lands like Vietnam, India, Seol, Shanghai, Paris, and Brazil.

Korean Air provides a whiff of the flight attendants of yesteryear, as beautiful exotic women very nearly prance down an imaginary runway. It conjures up images of the 2003 movie "View From The Top," when flight attendants were still young, curvy, and beautiful and their jobs were coveted by all young beautiful women.

Wonderfully shot ad; sensual music; imagery that supports the selling message. Great ad!


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Pedal Tavern Without Any Alcohol

A few days ago, I was enjoying an outside dinner along the Milwaukee River when I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. After a double-take, I realized that it was a 16-person bicycle of sorts, which was filled with a rambunctious group of 20 somethings who appeared to be drinking and whooping it up as they cycled down Water Street.

While I must admit that this Milwaukee Pedal Tavern looked like fun, all of these questions popped into mind. Like, is it legal to drink and drive? What happens if everyone on board gets drunk? And, do you really want to work that hard when drinking?

Alas, these questions took me to the Milwaukee Pedal Tavern's website so I could learn more about this innovative new portable bar. I was relieved to discover that an employee of the tavern actually drives and steers the bicycle, while the patrons merely relax. But, here was the shocking revelation - passengers cannot drink while on board. Evidently, the tavern is currently in talks with the city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin to persuade them that passengers would not be drinking-and-driving and, therefore, it would be totally safe transportation. (Hmmm ... what about the drunk passenger that falls off the bike into traffic? Although the same could be said about a passenger on a Harley-Davidson.)

I must admit that I really felt let down when I discovered that no drinking was allowed. They call themselves the Milwaukee Pedal Tavern, but in reality they aren't a tavern at all. Deceptive advertising? Heck, yeah.

So, basically, this bicycle built for 16 represents an alternative to a relaxing horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the city ... without the brown presents deposited by the horse.


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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wake Up America and Eat Oatmeal ... or Not.

Breakfast. That meal that you've always been told is the most important meal of the day. We've heard it all of our lives from moms and from advertisers. But, it's a message that hasn't necessarily sunk in for many of us. In fact, according to ABC, roughly 4 in 10 Americans skip breakfast.

In walks Quaker Oats, with their new Wake Up America commercial ... an ad dedicated to instilling the beauty of morning into your psyche. A charismatic voice tells you to wake up and to conquer the world as you embrace morning. Quaker Oats aren't introduced into the commercial until the last few seconds when a freeze frame of the package and the words, "Does your breakfast make you amazing?" grace the screen.

This ad was certainly effective at making me feel good about the power of that special time of day called morning. But, it used a very soft sell to try to encourage me to eat oatmeal to start the day off right.

A look back at that ABC article reveals that only 9% of people eat hot cereal for breakfast. Cold cereal wins hands down, with 31% claiming it as their morning favorite.

While I really did like this new Quaker Oats commercial, in the end it really didn't convince me to give up my morning fruit for a steaming bowl of porridge.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

There Are a Whole Lot of Numbers Left in My Life

In the 1950s, there were three things that a woman would never be caught doing: 1) smoking in public, 2) wearing long pants, and 3) coloring her hair.

Where her hair was concerned, she was instructed to pull each gray strand by its root, rather than risk association with those who bleached, or worse, dyed their hair (actresses and "loose" women). That is ... until Clairol entered the scene with their revolutionary new product, making the act of coloring your hair an acceptable practice. Women went to the store in droves to purchase Clairol, recognizing the new product for what it was ... a way to defy age.

Years ago, it was considered uncouth to ask a woman her age and the presence of just a few strands of gray hair was looked at with disdain, even horror. Yikes! As a young girl, I remember women being stalled at 39 years of age for years on end. If someone commented on her being 39 for three years running, she would merely smile and say, "A lady never tells her age."

She didn't talk about menopause or depression or having a hysterectomy either. She lived in a world where she was expected to know her place and to be happy in it; a place where her husband was king and she was meant to be the perfect wife, the most gracious hostess, and a June Cleaver type mom to their perfectly turned out, well-behaved children.

Of course, life wasn't really like that inside the privacy of their home; but, the media certainly portrayed a woman's life in the 50s and 60s as a living, breathing Pleasantville, of sorts.

Lord, am I happy those days are gone.

Being 50+ today is a celebration! It's a time to take stock of all you have accomplished in the first several decades of your life, to redisover love, to form a friendship with your adult children, to find time to sit and enjoy a cup of tea while reading a wonderful romance novel.

There are other more subtle benefits to being a touch older, too.

I find that I am no longer comfortable being a well-worn welcome mat - I can say no and not feel as guilty about it.

I don't care as much about what people think of me these days - I just do what's right for me and the people I care about.

I can actually shop by myself, for myself, taking time to wonder around a bookstore or to carefully select produce at a farmer's market.

Instead of jet-setting to track meets, dance recitals, and school plays, I have rediscovered the love and companionship of my best friend ... my husband.

I spend time with my girlfriends, talking about our children, yes, but also cheering on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field or planning exotic vacations over a glass of wine.

Life is full of richness and wonder for me these days. I'm in a great place at work - a place where i can use my wisdom to make an indelible impact. I have a wonderful relationship with my grown children and am thrilled they still enjoy spending time with their parents. I am rediscovering quieter, more intimate times with my husband, as we go on weekly dinner dates. I love who I am and what I've become.

As Mark Twain once said, "Age is an issue of mind over matter; if you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

To my way of thinking, age is just a number and there are a whole lot more numbers left in my life.


I am trying to blog my way to the AARP Orlando@50 conference. This blog post is an entry in their competition to find the official blogger to travel to and cover the event. Find out more about the conference here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

What do you want to be when you grow up? That's the question asked of all little children.

I want to be a fireman!
I want to be a hula dancer!
I want to be an artist!
I want to be a princess!
I want to be a train driver!
I want to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz!

In this YouTube video, the dreams go on and on.

But, somewhere along the line we stop dreaming. We figure out where our life is headed, hunker down, and follow the path that has presented itself to us ... usually, the path of least resistance.

Some of us may have had doubts along life's path. An even smaller number of us may have had the courage to switch careers mid-stream, with the hope of finding our true passion in life.

Who ever said that we had to stop dreaming anyway? Why can't we change our direction from time to time? It sure would make life a whole lot more interesting.

With amazing insight into the new aging consumer, AARP nails what so many aging Baby Boomers feel - it's never too late to learn. Their two new commercials (#1 and #2) are absolutely charming, with vignettes of older individuals talking about .... When I grow up ...

I want to be a volunteer firefighter
I want to run a marathon
I want to write a novel
I'm going to start a band
I want to fix up old houses
I want to fall in love again

Thank you to AARP for shattering the paradigms of aging. How incredibly refreshing!

Sue Northey - Find me on