Archive for Creative

Living Well in a Recession – $3,000 T-Shirt

Stumbled upon this t-shirt today at Zazzle.com that reads, “Fuck the Recession. I’m Still Rich.” You may not have a problem with it, but I think this is an awful idea. Don’t get me wrong – I get the gag – based on irony. A t-shirt that says something like this is usually not actually worn by somebody who has money. That’s what I thought, until I saw the price tag. $3,325.00! Ridiculous. I thought maybe the price itself was a joke, but I added the item to my cart, and sure enough, it costs $3,300! 

Tshirt Front

Tshirt Front

Tshirt back

Tshirt back

$3,325 at checkout

$3,325 at checkout

Here’s my problem with it. When we’re in a “recession,” you should not (as an individual or a business or organization) show signs of living or spending opulently. It’s tacky. It’s insensitive. I guess I just don’t think it’s that funny or novel to spend $3,000 on a t-shirt in this economy. People are hurting. Genuinely hurting.

To waltz around with signs of spending money lavishly is really socially insensitive to me. There are some companies that are doing this – sending out postcards that are gilded, printing Annual Reports with ornamental and lavish features. Stop doing this! Granted, in my line of business (advertising and marketing), I wish clients were spending more money – but I think it makes such poor business sense. If you even look like you’re spending a lot of money right now, you will offend customers. I don’t care if you got a good deal. Perception is reality – if you look like you spent a ton of money, you spent a ton of  money. Be aware of the messages you’re sending.

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What Does Your Blog Say About You?

 

Photo from joelogon

Photo from joelogon

 

Well, what does your blog say about you? More than you would think. Certainly spilling your brain on the page should reveal who you are, but there are also quite a few services that you can use to evaluate your blog, and in some cases its gender or its personality. Is it possible that your blog writing style could be very different from what you believe your personality and characteristics are? Sure, I think so. People can change their mentality when they write; they can change who they are.

Wordle.net is able to generate a word cloud that shows you which words you are using the most in your blog. This is not a tally list, but a visual representation of your most often used words. The words that are used most appear larger. It’s a nice visual snapshot of the words you use most.

Gender Analyzer uses Artificial Intelligence to read your blog and determine if it was written by a man or a woman. Behind the scenes, a text classifier hosted at uClassify.com has been trained on blogs written by men and women. A month ago, Gender Analyzer told me that my blog was written by a woman. However, I must have written about very manly things since then, because it now realizes that this blog is written by a man. And to keep it that way, let’s load this paragraph with some uber-masculine keywords: football, chicks, balls, beer, mustache, fight, piss, gun.

Typealyzer analyzes your blog to tell you what your Myers-Briggs personality type is. It also gives you a really cool visualization of a brain map that shows the part of the brain you’re using when you write. This blog (mikemywords.com) is an ISTP (Mechanic). The site’s description is this: The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

This is somewhat peculiar, because for years, my Myers-Briggs tests have shown that I am an ENFJ. An ENFJ (which you can read about through the hyperlink) is quite literally the opposite of an ISTP. In Myers-Briggs, you are an E or an I, an N or an S, an F or a T, a J or a P. So, ISTP seems to be the opposite of ENFJ. Again, perhaps proving the point that your “blog voice” may be quite different than your real self. 

This is something to be conscious of. Who are you when you are writing your blog? Who do you want to be when you are writing your blog? After looking at the word cloud, the gender and the personality of your writing – do you want to change the style of your writing to better fit who you actually are?

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The Client Always Knows Best

Don’t interpret this as client-bashing. Most every client I have is wonderful, and many of them “get it.” However, over the years, I have been involved in meetings in which a perfectly great solution to a communication/marketing issue was reduced to mush after multiple rounds of client changes. I think that many of you can relate to this situation, and one video really captured this frustrating process. I know it’s been around for a while, but I just ran across it again, and it made me laugh.

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; )

My Jack O’Lantern for this year. Pretty cool, I think (as nerdy as it may be).

 

My Pumpkin ; )

My Pumpkin ; )

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Got Creativity?

OK, this is my rant about lack of creativity by marketers. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It irritates me to no end to see marketers lazily attempt to market their product or services by copying the popular “got milk?” ads by simply using lowercase type and filling their product or service in the blank of “got ______?”  How lazy are you? 

The “Got Milk” advertising campaign was created in 1993 by Goodby Silverstein & Partners for theCalifornia Milk Processor Board and later licensed it for dairy farmers. Milk had seen a 20-year slump, and this wildly popular advertising campaign is credited with milk’s resurgence as a competitor in the beverage industry. The first TV ad to run in 1993 was about a luckless history buff who adores Alexander Hamilton (in fact, it appears his apartment is like a mini-museum). He is slathering peanut butter onto a sandwich as he hears the radio announcer’s trivia contest. The question: “Who shot Alexander Hamilton in that famous duel?” Next caller gets a chance to answer. Well, who do you suppose would get the call. None other than our tragic star who has just stuffed that peanut butter sandwich in his mouth. The DJ cannot understand his answer (Aaron Burr), so our hapless hero reaches for the milk to wash down his woes and win $10,000. No milk. Tragedy. “Got Milk?” is the simple tag on a black screeen. Brilliant!!! Check it out, below. 

OK – so what’s your problem, Mike? I was driving in the Costco shopping center and drove past this pickup truck with these 10-foot cat tower things (I guess the cats climb on them), and a big sign that said, “Got Cats?” Ugh – why don’t these amateur marketers come up with something original instead of stealing and presenting a pathetic carbon copy of a great ad? And there are no boundaries for burglary of “Got Milk?” Check out some of the examples below. You’ve got everything from “Got Jesus?” to “Got Sand?” to “Got Shoes?” Plus, my favorite: “Got Poop?”

Anyway – that’s my rant. Keep your eyes open for these pathetic attempts at marketing, and gaze upon them with absolute disdain. Promise you will?

(Also, just for all of our viewing pleasure, I added a true “Got Milk?” ad featuring Hayden Panettiere to the gallery)

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