blog

From time-to-time, we require a platform, a soapbox of sorts to pontificate. Victims of our own industry, we require the necessary time and space to blow off a little steam! How do so many bad concepts get past the pitch meeting? We want to know. While we might not be able to stop the creative bleeding of others, we can, at the very least . . . call 'em as we see 'em.

iPhone 6. What's That Old Saying About A Picture?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 by Kevin W. Reszel

What's that old saying?  I remember now.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  That pretty much covers it.  Shortest blog ever! #iPhone6 iPhone6Bend

iPhoneBend

 

i remember September

Thursday, September 11, 2014 by Kevin W. Reszel

I experienced that fateful day on a very personal and professional level. On September 11, 2001, I was an employee of Van Kampen Funds/Morgan Stanley.  After seeing the horrific events around the country unfold live on my computer in our Oak Brook office, it was my job as the designated floor warden to conduct a safety sweep of our floor to ensure that all employees had safely left for home.  A mandatory building evacuation had been issued from our home office in New York immediately after the World Trade Center attacks fearing the possibility of further retribution on related financial, military and government buildings.

As I opened each office door, my mind recycled and replayed the images I had just seen on my computer screen.  As I checked under each desk of every office and cubicle on my floor, I prayed for the safety of all those impacted in New York, Washington DC and Shanksville, PA. 

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, I was struck by the amazing resilience of the American people, first responders and the business community at-large.  The overwhelming outpouring of fellowship and ‘community’ exhibited by all was nothing short of remarkable. I carried that newfound sense of fellowship, community, and perseverance into the next few years at Morgan Stanley and subsequently, into the next chapter of my life and the opening of my own business.  

Each year, I endeavor to remember September.  I sincerely hope that each and every one of you find the strength and courage to do the same not only on the anniversary of 9/11, but the remaining 364-days of each and every year that follows.

God bless you and your family.

Kevin Reszel
Chief iDEA Officer + Founder
RESZEL iNDUSTRIES iDEAVERTISING 

brandlogonew3

 

Historic Commercialization and the Making of 'Dead Presidents'

Friday, November 22, 2013 by Kevin W. Reszel

The ongoing commercialism of historic events and legacies never ceases to amaze me. This week, while watching the CBS Sunday Morning program (entirely dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination) I was honestly shocked and amazed to see an advert for a certain 1950s/60s crooner with a long storied and often reported as suspicious connection to the 35th President.   

Fifty one minutes into the broadcast, during a commercial break, a brief spot ran for who else ... 'old blue eyes', 'the chairman of the board', 'the sultan of swoon' ... Francis Albert Sinatra.  Much like the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, the spot heralded its own anniversary connection - the much anticipated/historic (NOT) 20th anniversary of the Sinatra Best of Duets Album, now available at Target! 

Yikes!  The awkward and hinky connections to the CBS Sunday Morning program and the Sinatra advert abound, amaze and horrify. Both celebrate an anniversary; one of a brutally slain President and the other of a brutally mediocre singer.  The CBS Sunday Morning program discussed how JFK was a 'target' on that fateful day in Dallas while the advert promoted how viewers could drive to their local 'Target' to pick up this latest Sinatra musical extravaganza.     

Make no mistake, I know my industry and I know how important it is to place your ad within a medium/audience that will ultimately boost your brand/product or service awareness within your iDEAl 'Target' (pun intended) market, but come on!  Soliciting and running a spot featuring a Rat Pack buddy that had a much talked about and often scrutinized relationship with the 35th President of the United States, during a 'celebrated' and heartfelt historic look at a man who's life was tragically cut short ... feels oh so very wrong and creepy.  

Not to mention (but I will) the Sinatra spot conveniently interrupted a spot for Habitat for Humanity.  I guess in the end, we can all begin to forget about the former definition of Camelot when it comes to this historic event.  Instead, we should change it to Cam-A-Lot which is defined in this sell, sell, sell day and age as; Campaign A Lot - especially during isolated subject-matter broadcasts to potentially make a lot of money or in this case Dead Presidents?  Commercializing history and historic events for the almighty dollar is in itself historic and tragic, like the events that unfolded in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963. 

Sinatra

 

Halloween is upon us.  Don't miss out on a BOOtiful way to SCARE up some prospective customers and sales for your Home Staging Biz! Think about it!  On ALL Hallow's Eve, we ALL distribute candy and treats to neighborhood children dressed in their Halloween finest! So ... what do ALL these young holiday revelers have in common?  They ALL live in a HOME IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!  Savvy Stagers will see this as an opportunity to TREAT children and prospective Home Staging clients as well.  How?  By distributing a little something for the kiddies and the homeowners too!  

Here's a quick and simple way to get in the Halloween Spirit!  Slip on your Guerrilla Costume and promote your Home Staging Biz by following these steps:

1.  Stop by your local dollar store and pick up several bags of Smarties®.

2.  Grab a stack of your business cards.

3.  Write this message on the back of your business cards ... "Selling Your Home?  Be a STAGING SMARTIE!  Stage To Sell Your Home!  Ask Me How.  No TRICK a TREAT."  Then, sign your first name.

4.  Staple the end of one individual Smarties® treat wrapper to the end of one of your cards so that the hand-written message on the back of the card is still visible.

5.  Repeat based on the number of treats and cards you would like to distribute.

6.  When the doorbell rings, drop your Smarties® treat message in TRICK OR TREAT bags along with other assorted goodies.  ;-)

Don't forget, Mom and Dad will probably be going through all candy before allowing their kids to gorge themselves on their Halloween Holiday Haul!  Great opportunity for the homeowners to spot your unique awareness offering.

For those of you that don't have Smarties® around the house, you can do this with any wrapped piece of candy.  The message for the back of your card in this case would be ... "STAGING IS A SWEET WAY TO SELL YOUR HOME!  Ask Me How.  No TRICK a TREAT." Then, sign your first name.

The main message here is to have fun with your Halloween holiday marketing!  Think outside the ... TRICK OR TREAT bag!  ;-)  And more importantly, don't miss out on this awesome opportunity to create awareness for your Home Staging Brand and Biz in your own backyard!  

smarties

 

i remember September ...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by Kevin W. Reszel

why i remember September 11, 2001 ... 

I experienced that fateful day on a very personal and professional
level.  on September 11, 2001, I was an employee of Van Kampen Funds/
Morgan Stanley.  after seeing the horrific events around the country 
unfold live on my computer in our Oak Brook office, it was my job as 
the designated floor warden to conduct a safety sweep of our floor 
to ensure that all employees had safely left for home.  a mandatory 
building evacuation had been issued from our home office in New
York immediately after the World Trade Center attacks fearing the 
possibility of further retribution on related financial, military 
and government buildings.
as I opened each office door, my mind recycled and replayed the 
images I had just seen on my computer screen.  as I checked under each 
desk of every office and cubicle on my floor, I prayed for the safety of all 
those impacted in New York, Washington DC and Shanksville, PA.  
in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, I was struck by the amazing
resilience of the American people and the business community at-large.  
the overwhelming outpouring of fellowship and ‘community’ exhibited 
by all was nothing short of remarkable.  I carried that newfound sense of
fellowship, community, and perseverance into the next few years at Morgan 
Stanley and into the next chapter of my life and the opening of my 
own business.  
each year, I endeavor to remember september.  this year, I have the good
fortune of passing along a gift of an image synonymous with September 11th.  
on this 12th anniversary of 9/11, please accept this lithograph rendering of
“Home of The Brave.”   from my tri-city business to your tri-city business, let it 
be a symbol of American resilience, community and business ingenuity.  the 
black and white poster found behind this letter is also yours to keep and display 
in the front window of your business (if you choose to do so) as a symbol to all 
that pass by that you too, remember september.
thank you.
Kevin Reszel
Chief iDEA Officer + Founder
RESZEL iNDUSTRIES iDEAVERTISING
reszel.com/irememberseptember       

I experienced that fateful day on a very personal and professional level. On September 11, 2001, I was an employee of Van Kampen Funds/Morgan Stanley.  After seeing the horrific events around the country unfold live on my computer in our Oak Brook office, it was my job as the designated floor warden to conduct a safety sweep of our floor to ensure that all employees had safely left for home.  A mandatory building evacuation had been issued from our home office in New York immediately after the World Trade Center attacks fearing the possibility of further retribution on related financial, military and government buildings.

As I opened each office door, my mind recycled and replayed the images I had just seen on my computer screen.  As I checked under each desk of every office and cubicle on my floor, I prayed for the safety of all those impacted in New York, Washington DC and Shanksville, PA. 

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, I was struck by the amazing resilience of the American people, first responders and the business community at-large.  The overwhelming outpouring of fellowship and ‘community’ exhibited by all was nothing short of remarkable. I carried that newfound sense of fellowship, community, and perseverance into the next few years at Morgan Stanley and subsequently, into the next chapter of my life and the opening of my own business.  

Each year, I endeavor to remember September.  I sincerely hope that each and every one of you find the strength and courage to do the same not only on the anniversary of 9/11, but the remaining 364-days of each and every year that follows.

God bless you and your family.

Kevin Reszel
Chief iDEA Officer + Founder
RESZEL iNDUSTRIES iDEAVERTISING  

brandlogonew3

homeofbraveart2

 

A Vine Time to Use Vine to Promote Festival of The Vine Participation

Thursday, September 05, 2013 by Kevin W. Reszel

Congrats on your participation in one of the greatest Geneva events of the season ... Festival of The Vine (FOTV)!  Savvy business owners like yourself know all too well that sponsoring and/or participating in FOTV is a great way to further the awareness of your brand, products and services.  

As the owner of a tri-city area marketing coaching/consultancy, I create remarkable iDEAVERTISING opportunities for regional businesses everyday. Recently, I turned my attention to Geneva's annual end of summer send off, Festival of The Vine.  The word 'VINE' is key here.  A tailor-made opportunity for businesses already utilizing social media in their overall strategic and tactical marketing campaigns.

What is this iDEAl opportunity?  In a word ... VINE.  Twitter's Vine app that is!  Vine is a FREE smartphone app that boasts 40 million registered users!! The good news is ... even now, it's still a VINE time ;-) to use Vine to tap into thousands of FOTV festival-goers.  

So ... you may be asking yourself ... How exactly do I use Vine to create awareness for my business during FOTV?  Good question! Here's the answer ... by inviting those same festival-goers frequenting your business to quickly shoot and upload their Vine videos while in your place of biz!! Vine videos are shot in six-second intervals.  It only takes a few additional seconds for your customers to upload their Vine video, select their location and mention your biz in the Vine video caption.  Ask customers to mention your business name in a hashtag or, you can create and promote your own unique campaign hashtag for the FOTV weekend. If you do this, be sure to promote the unique FOTV hashtag on your own social media assets; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Asking your customers to create Vine videos at your place of business is the first step. Best to alert them to this fun fact by placing signs in and around your biz during FOTV.  We call these 'PromoDirection' VineSigns.  See a sample below.  We know you're busy with last minute FOTV details so please feel free to download a large generic VineSign sample here. Select the PDF to begin downloading. Once downloaded, you can print and hang this generic VineSign in your place of business quickly.

bulletlistitem3 Download Generic VineSign Here

We hope this information was helpful.  Have an wonderful Festival of The Vine weekend!! 

VineSign

 

A Sign of the Times OR a TAXing Dilema?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013 by Kevin W. Reszel

Now that the county property taxes second installment due date has come and gone ... let’s review the use of outdoor advertising/signage as a property tax collection reminder.

I own a small business and collecting fees for my services goes with the territory.  Like many small business owners and entrepreneurs in the services industry:

> We advertise (or iDEAVERTISE) our services to prospects.

> We sell and hopefully win new business.

> We provide remarkable services for a fair fee.

And.

> We collect said fees upon completion of our work.

For me, sending an invoice via email and snail mail is the iDEAl method of notifying my clients when attempting to collect fees for services rendered.  For others, snail mail, financial software or even web-based financial programs that automatically issue invoices ‘fills the bill’ from an accounts payables/billables standpoint.  

Since starting my business some 9-years ago and having worked in the advertising, marketing and communications space for going on 30-years, I can safely say that I have never once entertained the iDEA of using outdoor signage as a method of alerting/reminding clients of pending invoices and/or their financial obligation to pay for services rendered.  ;-)  Why?  Because in my mind, placing a large banner in a high visibility public place simply to remind individuals of a bill due date is insulting let alone A BAD iDEA AND BUSINESS PRACTICE!  Really?  Our county believes taxpayers NEED a property tax payment reminder in the form of a large banner installed at a well-traveled in-town intersection?  It’s not like they didn’t send their fair-share of snail mail communications well in advance of the actual property tax bill due date, right?  The cost to produce and send those snail mail communications wasn’t enough?  I guess I’ve answered my own question since earlier this week I found myself staring at what is by most standards, a very large outdoor banner reminding taxpayers of their financial obligation to pay for county services rendered!

Not sure about other taxpayers, but the very sight of a banner like this begs a question or two ... or thirteen.  Questions like:  

Q.  How much time was spent on the iDEA to post these banners?

Q.  How much did the banners cost? 

Q.  At the time of banner purchase, did the county pay sales tax? ;-)

Q.  Who pays to have the banners printed?   

Q.  Who pays for the labor to put the banners up?  

Q.  Who pays for the labor to take the banners down?  

Q.  Are these banners a good use of taxpayer dollars?

Q.  Why a red, white and blue banner color palette?  Subliminal or intentional patriotism? 

Q.  Why the need for another promotional vehicle to further the current snail direct mail campaign which already includes ‘our bill’ and due dates?  Is the current snail direct mail campaign not producing the Return On Investment (ROI) the county had hoped for?

Q.  In 2014, will we begin receiving reminders via Facebook and Twitter?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of strategic and tactical social media communications.  I’m just not sure how many of us will be able to summon the strength to ‘LIKE’ or ‘FOLLOW’ a tax-oriented Facebook or Twitter page.

Q.  Is the county entertaining the iDEA of promoting Foursquare check-ins for those taxpayers making their tax payments onsite?  I can see it now ... “Hey fellow taxpayers!  At the assessor’s office paying my property taxes ;-)!!  Tip for those coming down, FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE prior to stepping through the door.”  

Q.  Are we going to begin seeing a flood of Instagram pics and Twitter Vine videos from the county, showing us how to write our property tax check, place in an envelope, apply a stamp and place the envelope in a town mail box?

Q.  Is this new out-of-the-box reminder signage a trend?  Hope not!  I really don’t want to begin seeing banners in town reminding me:

> My Kids School Registration Fees Are Due.

> My annual Park District Health Club Membership Fee Is Due.

> My Traffic Court Date Regarding a Parking Ticket Is Next Month.

> I Have Two Books Overdue at The Library.

> My Annual Prostate Exam Results And Bill Are Now Ready For Review and Payment.

If this is a trend or ‘SIGN OF THE TIMES’, let me know where I can SIGN UP to OPT OUT. 

signothetimes

 

Dear 'Some' Online News/Media Websites: 

Please stop with the forced polling - 'answer this question to see the full article and/or sign up' website membership recruitment tactic. Forcing online readers into providing data for content is NOT exactly subscription friendly nor is it the best way to begin a new engagement/relationship with a prospective reader. Not sure why you haven't figured out by now that when you employ data for content digital gatekeepers, you increase the odds of getting something you don't want ... bogus data. 

Thank you.

DataGatekeepers

 


 

We Live In An Age of Immediate 'Didyouseethat'ification.

Friday, July 26, 2013 by Kevin W. Reszel

We live in an age of Immediate Gratification.  Strike that.  We live in an age of Immediate 'Didyouseethat'ification. As most brands know all too well, the advent of social media has elevated the art of PR crisis management to dizzying heights!  Today, news travels at the speed of not just sound, but 'surrounded sound'.  The definition of surrounded sound in today's marketplace means; something bad happens and citizen reporters armed with camera-enabled smartphones have you SURROUNDED, ready to SOUND off.

Maybe in the case of this most recent FedEx package pitching performance, PR crisis management traveled at the speed of GROUND surrounded sound ... FedEx GROUND that is! Forget here we go again, more LIKE here WE THROW AGAIN.  The combined social and mainstream media universes (or is it universi) are all a flutter about the most recent FedEx package pitching performance.  If you haven't seen it, check out the video here.  I'm struggling as to how FedEx didn't learn their lesson after the 2011 'Cranky Customer Computer Monitor Gate' incident. For those of you that don't remember, a FedEx driver at that time was seen pitching a particular package packed with a computer monitor over a gate.  I'm no transportation/shipping/logistics wizard but I'm thinking it's probably not a good iDEA to throw anything over a gate, starting with an extremely delicate piece of equipment LIKE a computer monitor.  How ironic that the FedEx driver pitching said computer monitor over said gate was in fact, the person being 'monitored'. 

Wouldn't you think that FedEx would have slightly altered the content of their driver training course after the 2011 incident?  Example; cover topics addressing difficult delivery situations AND the explosive use of handheld camera technology firmly in the hands of a huge segment of the population. I'm just saying, feels LIKE a no-brainer right?  Here's an iDEA, add a new chapter to the training manual called; DON'T THROW ANYTHING, EVER, ESPECIALLY OVER A GATE! Or, THE EYES OF TEXAS, FedEx AND THE WORLD ... ARE UPON YOU! While this latest media gaffe is unfortunate, FedEx did do a good job of DELIVERING a SPEEDY response (sorry for the logistics pun) in an attempt to combat this most recent situation.    

FedEx2

 

60-Second Helping: Morgan Stanley "The Pursuit/Anthem"

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 by Kevin W. Reszel

The new 60-second television spot and print campaign for Morgan Stanley, while visually impressive, doesn't exactly 'WORK' for me.  In the end, it all comes down to the terrible T's; tag line and talent.  

LOVE the integration of art and history to help 'ILLUSTRATE' the overall wealth management/promise of capitalism positioning.  

LIKE the 3-D visual appeal.  The use of murals and live actors creates a 'ROCKWELL-IAN' meets Modern Day 'COMFUSION' (that's the good kind of fusion when messages effectively communicate/relate to the target audience).  

NO-LIKEY the tag line and talent. In fact, I feel it's these two components that make for a jarring end to what is otherwise, a well-crafted campaign.  

The tag line "We are Morgan Stanley. And we're ready to work for you."  Yikes!  Might conjure thoughts in the minds of current clientele ... "I see.  Just so we're clear, I understand from viewing your new television spot and print ad that NOW you're ready to work for me?  So what were you doing before?"  Also.  Could this tag be possibly interpreted as an admission that someone might not have been working all that hard before but NOW ... they're ready to buckle-down?  

Finally.  The selection of the primary talent/actor left me with a feeling of 'CONFUSION' (that's the bad kind of fusion when messages do not effectively communicate/relate to the target audience) when it comes to the overarching Campaign Customer Value Proposition (CCVP); Morgan Stanley is - ready to work, ready to roll up the sleeves, ready to get down to biz, ready to help me prosper.  If that's the case, then please refrain from showing me the type of individual commonly referred to as a corporate 'SUIT', wearing what appears to be a very expensive business 'SUIT' of armor, semi-sternly pontificating about what may or may not be 'SUITABLE' for me when it comes to my own wealth management 'PURSUITS'.

MorganStanley

 

Mini Blog: Reenacting Out?

Thursday, May 02, 2013 by Kevin W. Reszel

I would imagine Jamestown Settlement staff charged with reenacting life in the 1600's may be firing up their resumes after reading the NBC News story "CSI Jamestown: Anthropologists lay out evidence of colonial cannibalism." 

Think about the possibilities.  One day you're making brooms in a quaint village from the 17th century and the next minute, you're quite possibly making brooms in a quaint village from the 17th century AND reenacting ... colonial cannibalism.  

Downside(s):

  • The potential new job description tweak might be a bit above the pay-grade for some of the 'less seasoned' reenactors (sorry for the pun, couldn't help myself).
  • Cancellation of the 'all you can eat' lunch buffet in the employee cafe. 
  • General buzz kill in and around ye old water cooler. 

 

Upside(s):

  • Possible raise due to the increased workload!
  • Addition of new culinary skill set on resume and Linkedin profile.
  • Longer meal breaks due to reduced crowds at your particular exhibit during the lunch and dinner hours.

 

While downside(s) vs. upside(s) appear to be a wash, it's clear that with this kind of news, some colonial reenactors could find themselves 'reenacting out'.

Source:  NBC News

 

The 'Branding' of Winter Storms?

Saturday, December 29, 2012 by Kevin W. Reszel

In November of 2012, The Weather Channel, one of the most recognizable brands in broadcasting, decided they would begin 'naming' Winter Storms.  Their rationale ... "During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation."  Good iDEA?  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines branding as; the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand. Giving something a name or BRANDING Are there really that many storms for us to keep track of that we need a brand name?  

First off, TWC says they will name 'noteworthy winter storms' but it appears that every storm is getting a name.  In fact, TWC has already pre-loaded a list of winter storm names, ready for 'noteworthyness'!  

 

Why No End of The World Sales?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by Kevin W. Reszel

If the Mayans are correct, we're only a scant two-days away from the end of the world and yet, I haven't seen one End of The World Sale ... ad. How is this possible? I fully anticipated an onslaught of campy/over the top "End Of The World Sale (EOTW/S)" ads on tv, radio, the web, social media, email, etc.  To my dis'mayan', I've yet to hear, see or read one ad taking full advantage of this shameless promotional opportunity! I had my heart set on seeing, reading, hearing such phrases as ... Everything Must Go ... Have You Been Dying To Get Your Hands On A New (Insert Product/Brand Name Here) ... This Sale Is So Crazy, It Will Be The Death of Us ... and so on. But no!  Not one mention of the EOTW in any advertisement.  iDEAl businesses and industries that missed the boat on prospective EOTW campaigns include; Funeral Homes (offering EOTW BOGO sales), Travel Agencies (offering EOTW escape junkets to Vegas because now more than ever 'what happens in Vegas STAYS IN VEGAS ... FOR ETERNITY), Health Clubs (offering EOTW get skinny in time for the afterlife), etc.  Instead, it's biz as usual with the normal juggernaut of holiday ads.  How ironic! Retailers are pushing their wares on the all consuming public, ringing up sales of items that may'an' or may'anot' be of any use to anyone after December 21st.  It appears that many advertisers missed possibly THE GREATEST promotional opportunity of all time, neglecting to think outside the box ... which in this case could very well be a coffin!  

 

Olympics vs. Superbowl Ad Snub?

Saturday, July 28, 2012 by Kevin W. Reszel

Let me start by saying that I've worked in the ad biz for 28+ years. Over the years, I've watched the Superbowl and the Olympics (both Summer and Winter) without fail. Like many, I Tivoed (is that a verb?) the Superbowl game so that I could watch the ads time and time again.  Like many, I often find more enjoyment from the commercials than the game itself. Last night, again like many, I fired up the DirecTV DVR and watched the taped delayed (thanks to the greed of NBC) 2012 Olympic Summer Games Opening Ceremonies.  

For the most part, I thought the Ceremonies were okay but a formal review of the London Ceremonies is for another blog.  What I want to touch on here is a thought that occurred to me for the first time in my 49 years.  As NBC took the first of many breaks during the Ceremonies, I was struck by a lightning bolt ... why is there NO Olympic commercials hype? After being thoroughly embarrassed that it took my 28+ years in the biz to even ponder this notion, I began to look at the possible reasons.

My first thought was, it can't be for a lack of eyeballs. In 2011, Huffington Post reported that 111 million people "watched the Green Bay Packers outlast the Pittsburgh Steelers" in Superbowl XLV. In 2012, International Business Times reported that "111.3 million people tuned in to see the Giants beat the Patriots 21 to 17" in Superbowl XLVI.  The day after the 2012 Opening Ceremonies, BBC News reported "The London 2012 Olympic Games began last night with an opening ceremony watched by 62,000 people in the stadium and an estimated global television audience of one billion."  So ... the Olympics delivered approximately 889 MILLION MORE VIEWERS and yet, here we are today talking about; whether that truly was the Queen jumping out of the helicopter with 007 or, how much did Sir Kenneth Branagh get paid for reading a 20 second excerpt from "The Tempest" and then simply standing around, teeth clenching an unlit stogie (very politically correct), sporting a costume befitting audacious industrial engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Sir Topham Hatt from Thomas the Tank Engine.

Either way, what we didn't do the day after the London 2012 Opening Ceremonies was discuss how funny and/or entertaining the new FedExBudweiser or Miller commercials were or how Go Daddy continues to push the envelope when it comes to the age old question ... does sex sell domain names?  Sure a few companies crafted commercials with an Olympic theme, but the sizzle and the significance of Superbowl-esk commercials continues to be obviously absent.  Again I ask why?  Just prior to the start of the Olympic broadcast, I sat in my La-Z-Boy, adult beverage in-hand, primed and ready for a little Dos Equis :30 second spot featuring The Most Interesting Man In The World with a brilliant Olympic twist.  Something like ... At the 1896 Athens Olympics, he fashioned Gold Medals out of twigs, yellow colored flowers and funnel cake.  I mean seriously, what's a summertime festival without funnel cakes?  But no, my hopes and dreams of a Summer Olympics with commercials and brands battling it out, going head-to-head with the annual February advertising juggernaut ... all dashed. 

Anyone following me on this?  How are the Olympics, more specifically, the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, NOT the ultimate 'Superbowl' of brand awareness?

 

Marketing/Making of the St. Patrick's Day Green

Thursday, March 17, 2011 by Kevin W. Reszel

As we settle in to celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2011, I can't help but notice the unfortunate, ever-growing, holiday juggernaut that is ... the marketing/making of the St. Patrick's Day green. Raised Irish Catholic south of Chicago (south side Irish don't you know), St. Patrick's Day was always a family day filled with fun, food and frolic.  Yes.  frolic.  ;-) But over the years, like many Americanized holidays, St. Patrick's Day has taken on a "forced" commercial flavor that for many revelers and realists, for many reasons, leaves somewhat of a bad taste in the mouth. Even in the old country, St. Patrick's Day is becoming a day of marketing/making of the green rather than a celebration of heritage and culture.  Case in point, until most recently, pubs in Ireland were closed on St. Patrick's Day as it was and remains a day of worship.  Here in America, you could also say that St. Patrick's Day is a "holy day" with many, at the end of the day, on their knees worshiping at the almighty porcelain toilet forced to revisit an over-indulence/consumption of green bagels, green beer, green eggs and ham and so on.  

Nowadays there are Kiss Me I'm Irish merchandise and competitions, Shamrock Shakes, Lucky Charms, Pot-O-Gold lottery tickets, etc., etc., etc.  And don't even get me started on the whole corned beef and cabbage pot-luck-dnner thing.  For years restaurants and diners across the country have seen green serving up corned beef and cabbage to patrons happy to plunk their greenbacks down for what could be deemed one of the more untraditional Irish-isms ever!  Once and for all people, corned beef and cabbage is NOT traditional holiday fare in Ireland or anywhere else ... other than America of course.  At the end of the day, St. Patrick's Day that is, reality finally steps in and then realization sets in ... no denying it, the St. Patrick's Day marketing/making of the green is here to stay.  Or better said as an old world Irish proverb ... 'Tis better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there's no money.' 

stpat2011

 

Brand Nau·se·am: Ad Before Video Content Fail

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 by Kevin W. Reszel

Don't mean to sound too naive or preachy but am I the only person that has an issue with commercial lead ins to online "news" videos related to the horrific tragedy in Japan?  Don't get me wrong, I get the whole ... captive online audience - ad before content - strategy.  But for a news event the likes of this?  Using tragedy to hock brands just prior to viewing Japan's devastating loss of life and property is horrific in its own right.  Not to mention the overwhelmingly "negative brand positioning by association" factor.  Not sure it's such a brilliant move to gain eyeballs only to associate your brand with human suffering? 

 

Brand Bash: NLDS and The Rice-A-Roni Haters?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 by Kevin W. Reszel

A brief word on some good old fashioned, fun, lighthearted brand bashing, major league baseball, rabid baseball fans, delicious rice/pasta dishes and of course, the fabulous city of San Francisco.

So I'm sitting at home the evening of October 10th, ensconsed in my favorite chair, snacks at the ready, watching the Braves and Giants do battle in the 2010 NLDS.  God I love baseball, especially this time of year!  I also love people watching, especially rabid baseball fans, their signage, demeanor, etc.  During an Atlanta Braves pitching change late in the game, a Braves fan proudly stood up and displayed a sign that immediately caught my eye.  As soon as I saw it, I jumped up, paused the Tivo, grabbed my iPhone and snapped a few photos of the television screen.  Apologies in advance for some of the image pixelation on the photo attached to this blog.  Reason the fan sign was of interest?  Appears that one rabid Braves fan is a hater of not only the Giants baseball club, but apparentlly any and all brands associated with the city of San Francisco, as evidenced by their sign simply stating Rice-A-Roni Sucks.  It gets worse because the word Sucks mind you, is in RED and in all CAPS!!  I'm stumped.  Rice-A-Roni?  Really.  Of all the brands associated with San Francisco, you (anonymous fan) select the wholesome goodness of Rice-A-Roni?  Yeah, yeah.  I get it.  Like the jingle of old . . . "Rice-A-Roni" a San Francisco Treat."  Can't say for certain but I don't think the Rice-A-Roni jingle mentioned "a San Francisco Giants treat."  I could be wrong?  Come to think of it . . . no I'm not wrong.  They don't mention the San Francisco Giants in the Rice-A-Roni jingle.

Seriously.  Rice-A-Roni?  Is that the best you can do when it comes to fan brand bashing of the opposing team and the city, state and/or overarching region in which they hail from hence reside?  If you must, how about bashing other things, companies, products, etc., from the greater San Fran area.  For example The Gap's new new logo.  Yes!  The Gap's new logo!!!  I can see it now.  Rabid Braves fan spends hours creating a sign and then at the right moment during the game, anonymous fan proudly stands and delivers with hands and arms thrust in the air, a fan sign that  exclaims . . . The Gap's New Logo SUCKS and oh yeah, but the way, I don't really care for or enjoy your baseball club known as the Giants.  Okay.  A bit wordy, but you get the point.  I guess what I'm trying to say is . . . bash the team if you want, don't bash the brands that make America and the American Pastime great.

ricearoni

 

Brand Blur and The $5.00 VIP Experience

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 by Kevin W. Reszel

What is a V I P worth today?  Better yet, what is the customer experience worth today?  Better still, what does it mean to clearly identify your brand's ID and positioning as it relates to the "first impression" customer experience?  Short answer, to some $5.00.  Allow me to explain.  While traveling this past weekend with my family, kind of a last summer fling before the new school year begins, I came across what I like to call a Brand Blur.  What's a Brand Blur?  Happens when the positioning of a brand's product/service (or the product/service of a brand's alliance provider/partner) blurs the line between perception and reality.  Majority are unintentional, happen upon first impression and most require a little closer review.

Back to the family mini-vaca, already in progress.  As my family and i passed through the threshold of our "standard hotel room", my gaze was immediately interrupted by three letters boldly declared on a particularly attractive room amenity.  Amazing how my brain immediately interpreted these letters.  All I saw was V I P emblazoned on what appeared to be a complimentary bottle of water.  How nice I thought, that this particular household brand name hotel had provided us with, not just any bottle of water but a VIP bottle of water!  Again, amazing how my brain immediately interpreted the three letters as V I P AND that VIP, at least in my mind, equates to the word - complimentary.    

Considering we had already shelled out a modest amount of money for our "standard hotel room", I wasn't exactly anticipating any V I P treatment.  But as the perceived appearance of a complimentary V I P bottle of water loomed large in the focal point of our room, intentionally paired with the "standard hotel room" clunky plastic ice chest and squatty drinking glasses, I began to give in to the seduction of the V I P (Very Important Person) mindset.  Immediately my brain began to conjure up visions of complimentary poolside cocktails, valet parking privileges, extra towels, unlimited shower caps, etc., etc.

Then of course I was slapped back to reality as I took a closer look at the brilliant blue V I P tag resting neatly around the neck of  what my brain had perceived as a V I P complimentary bottle of water.  Upon closer examination, I came to find out that this is NOT in fact for V I Ps NOR is it a complimentary bottle of water.  No.  This is a V | P bottle of water.  In mere seconds I had gone from V I P to V | P, falling victim to an abbreviated brand stamp and creative use of the keyboard symbol for "pipe" found on the right-side of the primary keyboard, immediately under the delete key.  With reality crashing down around me, stripped of my V I P status, ;-) I read on.  It was now all as clear as the sparkling water in the bottle I held.  This particular bottle of water is NOT only NOT complimentary, it is in fact "provided for my convenience" at a charge of $5.00?  So, if I am so inclined to be convenienced, I am to conveniently pay $5.00 for the bottle of water upon consumption of said convenience.  Not exactly the V I P treatment.  

Brilliant or baffling?  The simple fact is that I was momentarily taken in by the iDEA of exclusivity and three unassuming letters.  Separately they mean nothing.  Put them together and they take on a very specific customer expectation.  Our eyes met across a not so crowded "standard hotel room".  As is often the case, anticipation, excitement and expectation reigned and upon getting to know one another better, reality set in.  V I P?  No.  V | P.  A brilliant attempt by a hotel and their alliance partner to create up-sell opportunities?  Hardly.  A baffled customer experience brought on by delusions of grandeur?  ;-)  Could be.  Either way, it all comes down to crisp clear brand and product positioning.  In this case, what could have been originally perceived as a complimentary offering to an exclusive set of clientele can and probably often does give way to confusion with the later leaving some customers thirsty for a better brand/product experience?

VIP2

 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day 180-Second Spot

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 by bootnumlock

Not looking forward to the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade or should I say, the 3 hour NBC commercial, brought to us by NBC's exclusive coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics!!!!.  Do we really need Roker and cast of Heros at parade curbside freezing their unmentionables off in an act of shameless promo?  How does seeing the stars of NBC shows, bad lip-syncing celebs and lame parade banter enhance my Thanksgiving Holiday!  Don't get me wrong, all about brilliant brand marketing. Thing is, nothing brilliant about the Hello Kitty float sponsored by Pepto-Bismol!

Hello Kitty

 

Veterans Day Sale?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 by bootnumlock

Veteran's Day 2009 - First off, allow me to express my undying appreciation, respect and admiration for all veterans. HEROS ALL! Without you, there would be no FREE in FREEdom! Personally, I would like to thank my father in-law Jamie E. [NAVY], my friend Nick M. [AIR FORCE] and my Dad [ARMY].

VETERANS DAY SALE? I've NEVER been a fan of the Veterans Day Sale campaign. Honestly! Do retailers really believe a Veterans Day Sale with 50% Off Select Futons or Sweaters actually honors our Veterans and their families? How about offering Veterans and families deep discounts and not just on Nov. 11th. Without that kind of commitment, the Veterans Day Sale campaign is nothing more than a shallow gimmick.