Skydivers spell Honda as part of campaign

I wonder if this worked?

19 skydivers spelled out the word Honda in three minutes and 20 seconds for UK’s first live tv promo, inspired by the car manufacturer’s new advertising strapline: “Difficult is worth doing”

From NOTCOT.org


How to Pickup a VC

From Guy Kawasaki's Sun column:

Many entrepreneurs ask me what is the best way to open a pitch to potential investors. I'll answer that question at the end of this posting, but first let me tell you the ten worst opening lines that you can use:
  1. You say: "I'm bright and ambitious." Investor thinks: "That's a relief because I usually invest in stupid and lazy people."

  2. You say: "I'm a blue sky thinker." Investor thinks: "You have no business model, and you don't know how to ship."

  3. You say: "I don't know much about your firm, but I thought I'd contact you anyway." Investor thinks: "You're a lazy idiot--why are you wasting my time?"

  4. You say: "I love to think of new ways to solve problems." Investor thinks: "Is this a high-school science fair?"

  5. You say: "I have lots of great ideas, but I have trouble figuring out which one to try. Let me tell you about a couple." Investor thinks: "I want to know which idea you're going to kill yourself trying to make successful, not which ideas have crossed your idle mind."

  6. You say: "I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur." Investor thinks: "I've always wanted to be a professional golfer. So what if you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?"

  7. You say: "I'm sure you are aware of the growing need for security. Web 2.0, Open Source, whatever." Investor thinks: "If you're sure I'm aware, why are you telling me you're sure I'm aware."

  8. You say: "If you sign an NDA, I'll tell you my idea." Investor thinks: "You are clueless. How can you not know that venture capitalists don't sign NDAs?"

  9. You say: "The last time I contacted you, I..." Investor thinks: "I'm going to fire my secretary for putting this clown on my calendar again."

  10. You say: "My goal is to build a world-class company." Investor thinks: "How about you ship and sell the first copy before we talk about world-class anything?"

Now you know what not to say. Here's what you should say:

"This is what my company does..."

It's that simple. What you're trying to do is get potential investors to fantasize about how your product or service will make a boatload of money. They can't fantasize if they don't know what you do. And they don't want to be your friend, mother, or psychiatrist until they understand what you do, so cut the crap and explain what you do.


The Made To Stick authors need to wake up and grow up

If you haven't read Chip & Dan Heath's column in this month's Fast Company yet, read it here.

I liked Made to Stick a lot. I thought it was informative and practical. But the stock of the authors of the book just dropped through the floor. They are a policy consultant and a professor - and this academic view of the world came shining through in their column.

Basically, they call out a tactic they're calling "Stigma Marketing" - using embarrassment and/or shame to sell a product. They use Visa (when using cash stops a free-flowing checkout line) and Wisk Laundry Detergent (Ring Around the Collar) among others. And they call for "marketers" to stop tolerating such "icky" behavior.

This is a ridiculous, elitist and naive point of view. This is marketing - the job of marketing is to sell something to someone. In most cases, the customer doesn't really NEED the product, so you have to convince them they need it. What they call "stigma" is another man's "defining the pain in the marketplace."

Funny, they didn't put Apple in the "badly behaved" bucket, even though they employ "icky" marketing to put a stigma on PC users. I guess they must believe PC users ARE, in fact, dorky, suit-wearing, pudgy, clueless people? Their article only looks at the less sexy CPG and credit card industries? "Creams and detergents" solve a problem that is, frankly, unpleasant. Bringing up unpleasant realities to market a solution to those realities is not "icky" its marketing.

And by the way...when people discuss the latest pop business tomes, and Made To Stick (or Tipping Point, et al) comes up, and you hear a resounding "What! You haven't read Made To Stick?!?!?" - isn't that too a stigma?

If you still want to, check out Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, it does have a lot of good concepts.

Branding is a part of marketing but it is also the other way around.

Interesting post today about branding.

Key takeaway:
Company branding is not just a logo. It’s all about perceptions, how your customers or clients view your company and the products and services you provide.
I think this is true, and I BIG TIME believe branding is more than a logo, here here! But I also think the definition is incomplete. The real reason for branding, more specifically having a strong brand, is future sales. I hadn't thought about it in this way until I read Think Two Products Ahead - the book makes a very clear case for this reality (yes, I said reality). Bottom line, brands are important, they are the emotional tie to the customer, they are the perceptions, etc. All of the above are true. But the reason brands exist is to drive future sales.

Thanks to Beyond Madison Avenue


Ladies may love Cool James, but they don't love Sears.

You just know this isn't going to work out well...

While its bad for Sears, because I don't think it will work and it seems completely off base from their, well, base. But what are Benetton and LL Cool J thinking? I understand they may not be at their peak either, but Sears?

More at Marketing Daily


Car Brands That Don't Deserve to Live


Harsh but interesting thoughts on which of the big auto brands should stop wasting their time and pack it in. I have to say, they have a point. Check out the article and interactive bar chart at one of my favorite business magazines, Conde Nast Portfolio.

Hershey's House Parties - A Lesson in Tapping an Offline/Online Groundswell

When experiential marketing, or WOM, or buzz, or whatever you want to call it works...it can work big time. Take Hershey's who has been having Bliss house parties. According to PROMO, looks like they're working - more than 129,000 people have attended the parties, plus 22,000 digital photos and 15,000 blog entries. Yowsers.

I'm just finishing up Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Good book for the most part, but they don't talk about the offline component that much - how an offline event like Hershey's Bliss parties can drive blog posts galore and social network buzz.

Check out the stories at CandySnob here and here.


Prominent Turkish Businessman "Rethinks Capitalism"

"Adam Smith is probably dead. Maybe it's time to revisit Karl Marx."

These words were uttered by a Turkish businessman named Ishak Alaton, who is the chairman of $800 million conglomerate, Alarko Holding.

Why is it that some businesspeople decide to turn against the very ideals that helped them build their fortunes? Is it guilt? Is it an attempt to limit what others have now that they have theirs? I'm curious why Mr. Alaton didn't come to this Marxist revelation while he was less wealthy? Nothing like someone building their fortune one way, then telling the world how they should live their lives.

Regardless, I think people would be well served to read (or re-read) Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. It seems to me there are some universal business truths that still ring true today.

From BusinessWeek Turkey
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Top 10 YouTube Brands


1. Nike - "Ronaldinho: Touch of Gold" - Viewed 22.6 million times

2. Pepsi - "PEPSI (Britney Spears, Beyonce, Pink - We Will Rock You)" - Viewed 14 million times

3. McDonald's - "Fast Food Freestyle" - Viewed 11.8 million times

4. Coca-Cola - "Diet Coke+Mentos=Human experiment: EXTREME GRAPHIC CONTENT" - Viewed 8.5 million times

5. Unilever - "Dove Evolution" - Viewed 6.7 million times

6. Disney - "Internet is for Porn" - Viewed 3.3 million times

7. Budweiser - "Banned Super Bowl 2007 Bud commercial" - Viewed 2.1 million times

8. Microsoft - "Microsoft Surface Parody" - Viewed 2 million times

9. Ikea - "Banned Commercial - Swedish Midsummer" - Viewed 1.5 million times

10. Toyota - "Top Gear: Killing a Toyota Part 1" - Viewed 1.1 million times

Source: Custom Communications


Apple to add 2D barcodes to iPhone

More on the future of 2D barcodes...


Packaging - Costco vs. Whole Foods


Costco...bigger bag, brighter colors, disregard for "natural" looking packaging, photos of product, and the Lucky Country kangaroo is considerably different.

Whole Foods...brown bag (to make it feel more natural), drawings instead of photos, a more traditional looking kangaroo, and play up the "gourmet" and "soft."

Both have the star-shaped violator to make sure we know its "all natural."

Interesting, if you ask me. Not that Costco makes vendors change packaging to meet the warehouse store requirements, but that Whole Foods does the same. Let us not forget that while it may be natural, organic, whatever...you still need to market it properly.

From CandySnob

Candy Snob Launches

Candy Snob gets picked up in the BlogHerald!


Hugh MacLeod's WOM Wisdom

"Word of Mouth isn't created by marketers, it is co-created with consumers. People only spread your virus if there's something in it for them."

From Hugh MacLeod's twitter missives via Brand Autopsy

Candy Snob Helps Feed Your Candy Obsession with News, Reviews and More

Candy Snob is the place to go to indulge your sweet tooth. Whether you're crazy for gourmet chocolate or a sucker for hard candies, we've got all the news, reviews, and information you can cram down your gullet.

(PRWEB) May 13, 2008 -- As more and more novelty and gourmet candy hits the market, it can be increasingly difficult to decide which confections will tickle your fancy, and which are sugar-coated duds. Candy Snob understands that candy can be more than a foil-wrapped treat to boost your blood sugar -- it can be a sensuous experience, the nougaty highlight of your day, the caramel apple of your eye. The blog will help readers rekindle their love affair with sugary treats, with an eye toward the confections of the past as well as a nod toward the future.

Candy Snob - CandySnob.com

Blogpire Productions has the sweet pleasure of introducing Candy Snob to its growing list of consumer-oriented weblogs. Candy Snob was started to help bring the joy back into candy, offering candy reviews to help readers make decisions based on more than total grams of sugar.

"Most people think of candy as what they see in the grocery store," said Bob Wallace, an editor of Candy Snob. "Those are great, but there is a whole universe of chocolate and candy out there beyond the check-out aisle."

For the health conscious, Candy Snob will tell you about healthy candy products packed with natural ingredients. The blog will keep readers posted on the new treats about to hit the market, and will be reviewing new and upcoming candy treats.

"Chocolate is not unlike wine in that each piece comes with its own distinct tastes," added Noel Wallace, Candy Snob editor. "We're hoping to explain these nuances in a way that is understandable so you can get the best candy experience possible."

So whether readers are looking for unique gifts, new treats to sample, or simply interesting news and views about their favorite sweet indulgence, Candy Snob is the place to visit.

About CandySnob.com:
Started in 2007, Candy Snob is helmed by a capable staff keenly interested in all things confectionery. They come from a long line of sweet teeth and candy buffs, with tastes ranging from the nuanced flavors of bitter dark chocolate to the retro gooiness of Mallo Cups. Along the way, they also picked up a taste for jelly beans, hard candies, gummies, and anything else in the candy family.

About Blogpire Productions:
Blogpire Productions is a set of blogs bringing an influential audience to brand advertisers focused on product and category niches. Founded in 2004, Blogpire Productions continues to expand each month and build new and interesting web log titles for readers around the world. Many Blogpire Productions weblogs have received Yahoo! Pick of the day along with being featured in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, FHM Magazine, and other magazines and Web site features.

Other Blogpire Productions weblogs include: SingleServeCoffee.com; KitchenContraptions.com; JustTheChips.com; TVSnob.com; ShavingStuff.com; FastFoodFever.com; GPSLodge.com; ShirtSnob.com; TheCookingNews.com; LiquorSnob.com; ReallyNatural.com; CheapFunWines.com; CriticalGamers.com; SingleServeEspresso.com; SuperCoolPets.com; ToolSnob.com; SuperCoolBaby.com; CasinoSnob.com.


State of the Social Media Union

Very interesting article on the state of the union for social media on The Viral Garden.

Social Media pic via Flickr user Jeff Milner


3M again proves the best innovations are simple and useful

How do you make one of the most storied innovative products in history better you ask? Leave it to the originators. 3M now has transparent Post-it Notes, so you can highlight things, etc. They call them Sheer Colors, we call them brilliant. Simple innovations make a big difference.

From Cool Hunting


Nike Head Tshirts - Logo abuse taken too far?

Hey...I'm not one to get too bent out of shape when someone knocks off a logo. I understand there is equity in the logos, but in my opinion its usually not that big a deal - usually its free advertising.

Which is the case here as well...but I think this may be too much. Interesting to see how Nike reacts, if at all.

From SneakerFiles

How NOT to pick a slogan for your new business

I'm going to list just 5 of the lame, uninspired taglines/slogans that Team Forty came up with. There are a ton more, click here to see them.

Create. Organize. Share. Connect. (blist)
Experience. Share. Connect. (geotract)
Connect. Share. Live. (KIJIG)
Create. Share. Connect. (Factory Joe)
Discover. Share. Connect. Discuss. (InfoAddict)

Why You Need to Read the Team Forty Blog

Because if you don't you might miss things like this: