Monday, August 29, 2011

Kit Kat Ad Creates a Symphony of Sound


Who ever thought that 15 seconds of cracking Kit Kats, chewing sounds and sighs of delight could pack such a punch and be so memorable?

I love the simplicity of this campaign. Kit Kat's tagline - break time, anytime - is repeatedly shared with viewers via the snapping and breaking of Kit Kats across the city. The sounds are nearly poetic, forming a symphony of sounds that are decidedly Kit Kat.

So, the next time you're out and about, take a Kit Kat break, pull up a bench and relax.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Milwaukee Opens Doors To Tourists

A peculiar sight beckons pedestrians as they stroll through the streets of downtown Milwaukee these days. Doors are randomly placed on sidewalks throughout the city, standing like soldiers guarding numerous buildings and street corners.

As you walk by, you hear the buzz around town ... what is that door doing there? Does it say anything on it? What are they advertising?

The doors beg to be noticed and to be chatted about.
A QR code on each door unlocks the mystery surrounding these doors.

On September 24-25, Doors Open Milwaukee, presented by Historic Milwaukee, Inc., will provide a special treat to residents and tourists. Nearly 100 buildings around town will be open for their viewing pleasure. 

Some of the sites on tap for visitors include a bird's eye view from U.S. Bank’s 41st floor observation deck, an inside look at the Bradley Center locker rooms,  a peak behind the curtains at the Pabst Theater,  an educational tour of the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility to see how Milorganite is made, a historic stroll through Irish Tory Hill and the Third Ward, history aboard a bicycle on the Hank Aaron Trail, an illuminated Milwaukee by night, and the redeveloped splendor of the Pabst Brewery complex.

Nice guerrilla marketing tactic from the city that made Samson famous.

    Coke Celebrates 125 With New Can Designs

    Many of you likely know that Coca-Cola is celebrating its 125th birthday this year. In fact, I previously blogged about how they were lighting up the sky for their birthday on May 17.

    Well, all good marketers know that one way to keep the news alive is to continually stoke the fire with new and interesting things.

    Enter the new Coke birthday celebration can. Countries from around the world are marking Coca-Cola's 125th anniversary with nostalgic cans that are guaranteed to open up a world of happiness.

    Many countries turned to Coca-Cola's colorful past of pin-up girls when designing their cans. Others looked towards vintage advertising and posters. Check out designs from Austria, Hong Kong, England, the U.S., Romania, Columbia, and Puerto Rico below.



    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    Great Clips Takes a Clip Out of Waiting

    This morning, while driving into work, I heard a radio ad for a marriage between Great Clips and Craigs List. Although I wasn't able to find anything about this relationship online, I did find a rather cool mobile app on the Great Clips website.

    Hair salons liike Great Clips and Cost Cutters have always prided themselves on the fact that you don't need an appointment. Just walk in the door and snag the next stylist to get a cost effective hair cut ... without having to wait days, or even weeks, to get that highly coveted appointment.

    But, the problem with this business model is that if 10 other people have the same idea at the same exact time, you might find yourself sitting in the lobby waiting for awhile.

    In steps the new Great Clips mobile app.

    This app will automatically find the salons nearest to your current location. Your job is easy. Just add your name, phone number, and the number of people in your group and then head on over to the store. While it may not guaranty that you'll earn a seat in the stylist's chair immediately, it does cut down on the amount of time you'll have to wait.

    Nice application of a mobile app grounded in a consumer benefit.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Prague Launches "No Shit!" Ad Campaign

    In a recent move to clean up the parks in Prague, Prague 7 launched a new print campaign.  Its message is rather simple:

    Shit is not a cool brand.
    Clean up after your dog.

    Three print executions simply and cleanly - well not exactly cleanly - illustrate the dreaded look of your tennis shoes after unexpectedly walking through doggie doo.

    Prague 7 extends their print campaign to their Facebook page. Judging from the guest posts on the site, 212 people gave a thumb's up to the campaign, offering up their words of wisdom regarding this eloquent campaign:

    "eewwww hahahaha great one! :D"
    "Very clever!"
    "Love the idea. It's a shitty business..."

    And my personal favorite ... "Dirty genius!"

    Now the question of the hour is this, does this ad speak to the poor souls that inadvertently walked through the doggy doo or does it speak to the dog owners who are shirking their dog poop scooping responsibilities?

    I vote for the latter.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    With Chevy, Emotions Run Deep

    I was watching TV the other night when a commercial came on that instantly grabbed my attention.

    The spot opens with a garage owner telling his customer the "news" ...

    "I've got good news for you, kid.
    You're getting a new truck. 
    It's going to cost more than it's worth. 
    Besides, the truck's older than you."

    My first thought at this point was to wonder when it is ever good news that your car has just reached its final resting place. Vehicles are so expensive these days that few of us are ever financially able to flippantly take an out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new attitude.

    But, that's exactly when the rational side of my brain shut down and my heart took over the analysis of this commercial.

    After being told to grab his stuff from the truck, the young dad silently moves towards his old, well-worn truck. He opens the glove compartment and pulls out a picture nestled safely inside, holding it up into the light to gaze fondly at the picture of his father and himself as a little boy.  They are proudly standing in front of their brand new Chevy truck ... the same one currently awaiting delivery to the car graveyard.

    He gazes fondly at the picture, clearly with a mind at war with the news he has just heard. The camera pans to a check being written for an undisclosed amount. He hands it to the station owner and utters three simple words that seem to have the same impact that "I love you" would have on a smitten lover ... "Just fix it" he says, and then joins his wife and son as they walk off into the sunset.
    The last frame appears telling the viewer, Chevy Runs Deep.
    I am such a fan of brand storytelling. I truly believe the most effective way to sell a product is to emotionally involve the viewer in the brand experience.

    Congratulations to Chevy for a wonderfully powerful and engaging commercial.  

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Sainsbury's Offers A Window Into Healthy Living

    Sainsbury's, a UK grocer that was founded in 1869,  operates 557 supermarkets and 377 convenience stores throughout England. According to their website, they strive to deliver great products at fair prices, by exceeding customer expectations for healthy, safe, fresh and tasty food.

    Recently, Sainsbury's launched innovative new fruit juice packaging which helps deliver this mission to their shoppers.

    All of our lives, we have been told that we should eat fruit to stay healthy. In fact, the food pyramid we all learned about in elementary school urges us to eat five servings of fruit each and every day. We all know this, but often settle into an unhealthy pattern of eating.

    So, Sainsbury's has launched an awareness campaign to help all Brits remember that all important five-a-day rule.

    But, this is no ordinary awareness campaign. Rather, Sainsbury's took this message to the grocery store shelf by redesigning all of their litre juice cartons.  Each juice carton features four transparent windows, with measurements alongside each window. The message? Drink up to line #1 (200ml) and you have just fulfilled one of your five servings of daily fruit. Drink up to the second line and you have fulfilled two servings. Drink up to the third ... well, you get the message. Which is what Sainsbury's is counting on.

    Since this product revamp affects 6,500 products, Sainsbury's estimates this new feature will not find its way on to all of their frozen, shelf stable, and refrigerated juices until January 2013. While encouraging all Brits to be healthier, they are also working on making the UK environment healthier too, by reducing package weight on 65% of all packaging.

    A win-win for everyone trying to live both a healthier lifestyle and to be kinder to the earth.

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Can An Amish Guy Do An Oil Change?

    Bosch has launched a viral YouTube video which encourages people to change their own oil, by using a Purolator filter. According to their website, Purolator has been manufacturing and distributing automotive filters since 1923. The history of the oil filter category actually has its roots in Purolator, which was shortened from "pure oil later."

    Well, anyway, back to their latest ad.

    This video begins with an Amish man driving his horse and buggy. A super appears, which says:  

    "Can an Amish guy do an oil change?"

    Honestly, I fully expected this was a spoof of some type. I was intrigued, so I continued to watch. I soon discovered this was no spoof.  Bosch and their New York ad agency, Grey, actually created this commercial to encourage people to do their own oil changes.

    I have to admit that I am close to speechless after watching this ad ... and believe me, that doesn't happen very often.

    If I could assume the duty of being an account planner for Grey for one day, I could almost script the genesis of this idea.

    Planner: Hey guys, Bosch has got this new way of doing an oil change that's really easy.

    Creative: Really. That doesn't seem very interesting ... aren't all oil changes easy?

    Planner: Well, yeah, but this one is really easy.

    Creative: How easy is it?

    Planner: It's easy enough that someone that has never done an oil change before could actually do it.

    Creative: You mean, like an Amish guy?

    Planner: Yeah.  Ha ha. That's pretty funny. That's a good tagline ... easy enough that an Amish guy could do it.

    Eureka! A creative idea is born!

    Okay, I get the single-minded message. No circuitous route to get there.

    But, I can't help but think that this commercial is making fun of Amish people and their religious beliefs. Amish people are prohibited from owning, starting, or driving a vehicle because it detracts from the Amish way of life. This is a fundamental tenet of their religious beliefs.  It's so important that the consequences of even starting the engine of a car could result in being shunned from Amish society.

    To illustrate this point, at the end of the commercial, the announcer and the Amish man engage in the following conversation:

    "Do you ever think of starting one up?"


    "Would you get in trouble if you started the car?"

    "I would be shunned. My neighbors would have nothing to do with me."

    "What if you tinted the windows?"

    "Yeah, but God would know ... and I would know ... and you would know."

    Is it just me or do you find this ad disrespectful?

    Even, if this isn't a real Amish guy, but some actor that grew a beard, put a straw hat on, and wore plain clothes, it is still making light of a belief system that the Amish people hold near and dear to their hearts.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    LinkedIn Is A Networking Connoisseur

    I am a huge fan of LinkedIn ... huge enough that I was included in their 100 Million Members campaign that broke last March as a way to celebrate reaching this important pinnacle in their evolution.

    Now, I don't hand out my loyalty to just anyone. In my mind, a brand has to earn my trust and respect in order for me to become emotionally connected to the brand.

    LinkedIn has done that in spades.

    Over the years, they have provided me with the tools needed to become a far better networking and prospecting strategist. What I like most is that they never relax. Instead, they continually make improvements to their user interface, constantly devising ways to help their users seamlessly network with colleagues, clients, and prospects.

    Case in point. Yesterday, I received an email from LinkedIn.  The email contained a montage of pictures. To my delight, I actually knew the people pictured in this collage! It turns out they are individuals in my contact database that have changed jobs or revised their status since the beginning of the year.
    But, the fun didn't stop there. Each picture was hot-linked to their LinkedIn profile. Plus, cute little messages, like "See Megan's new job" and "Where is Katherine?" were highlighted throughout the picture collage.

    With this one simple email campaign, I was able to quickly determine which of my connections had changed jobs this year. People that were of particular interest to me required only one click to catch up with what is going on in their professional life.

    Now, you must understand that I am seldom wowed by email campaigns. I get over 100 emails a day and, frankly, I have a really hard time processing all that information each and every day. But, LinkedIn has clearly found a way to break through all that clutter by asking themselves one simple question, How can we help our users? How can we help Sue?

    This is a great reminder to all marketers. Stop adding to all the information clutter out there. Stop stroking your own ego. Ground yourself in the mindset of the target. And ask yourself one key question:

    What can I do to help?

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Zappos Bares The Whole Truth

    Quick ... what's the first thing you think of when I say Zappos?

    Let me guess ... shoes, right?

    Well, Zappos is setting out to change that perception with their latest print ad campaign, in which women are shown wearing nothing but shoes. Covering the well, sensitive parts of their bodies, is a sign which reads "more than shoes."
    In a story written by The New York Times, American Apparel's Director of Online Marketing offers the following:

    “Are they doing it because they want to get attention
    from blogs and Web sites that will write about it? 
    Or are they doing it because it’s the ad campaign that speaks
    most truly to who they are and what they want to sell?” 

    For those that know the Zappos brand, you would have to agree that they are not a typical run-of-the-mill brand. Well renowned for their quirky sense of humor and appeal, customers appear to be very loyal to the brand and their unrelenting focus on customer service.

    But, will Zappos customers associate the scantily shoe-clad models with the brand they know and love? Or am I merely playing into Zappos' hand by blogging about this campaign?

    What do you think? Blows Away Customers

    Alright, I admit, there is a childlike side of my personality that just loves little claymation figures. I think it may harken back to the days of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cartoon figure that I absolutely fell in love with when I was a child.

    So, when this commercial for, announcing their 30% off summer sale, came on the other night, I was drawn in immediately.

    As I watched the commercial unfold, I found myself wondering why the family's hair was consistently shown being blown by the wind. Until the rug pull happened, of course ... they were "blown away" by all the savings. Nice tongue-in-cheek
     The only thing I haven't been able to figure out was the lure of a free Amazon Kindle at the very end of the commercial. When I visited's website, I didn't find any mention of it either.

    Absolut Advertising Anything But Blank

    Building on a lifelong history of romancing their iconic vodka bottle, Absolut is inspiring artists around the world with its next adventure.

    This journey began with a creative brief which was distributed to a number of the world's hottest young artists. Artists were given a clean canvas of a large Absolut vodka bottle and asked to create a masterpiece founded on the basis of their new campaign, "It all starts with an Absolut Blank."
    The 18 artistically inspired bottles are intended to be a limited run collection. This inaugural line staged its debut in the UK, with plans to air advertising on billboards in L.A. in the near future. The completed artwork will be placed on public display and then extended into print, interactive, digital, collages, murals, and light installations.

    Take a peak at some of the stunning designs created for this campaign.

    Absolutly Amazing.
    Sue Northey - Find me on