Verizon Seeks Big Gas Results from Half-Fast Advertising

First Kmart. Now Verizon.

These companies think a play on funny word expressions not normally allowed in commercials will drive sales.  So I ask, and wonder:  What’s the big attraction with double entendre advertising?

The answer is eyeballs and attention.

In the case of Kmart, I get it.  The brand has long since lost relevance and is suffering financially.  The marketing team needed to break the brand out of its 1970s/1980s cement.  So, last year they came up with a free shipping offer that integrated in-store shopping with their e-commerce website, and created “Ship My Pants.”

The ad won’t go into any time capsules celebrating the best of American culture, but it did go viral and generate tons of attention.  Ship My Pants has reached 22.7 million views – and that’s just on the Kmart YouTube channel.

Seeking to leverage the popularity and build on the momentum, Kmart quickly rolled out a companion ad called “Big Gas Savings.”  Ouch.

 

However, for all the notoriety, the marketing probably didn’t make a business difference (not clear what could have).  Kmart, part of Sears Holding Corporation, continued to lose money. Looking at the rough time frame for the two ads, Adjusted EBITDA for the 13 weeks ending November 2, 2013 was -$139 million.  That was a bit better than the -$169 million loss for the 39 weeks ending November 2, 2013.


That brings us to the Verizon FiOS ad I saw over the weekend.

 

My first reaction was disappointment.  I guess I expected more from Verizon.

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Rabbi’s “Look Up” Sermon Reminds that Attitude Essential in Life and Business

What does a Rosh Hashanah sermon have to do with marketing and business?

I’ll explain.

Looking from Dante's View across the Badwater Basin salt pan to Telescope Peak, 11,049 feet, at the top of the Panamint Mountains. Photo Credit: National Park Service.

Looking from Dante’s View across the Badwater Basin salt pan to Telescope Peak, 11,049 feet, at the top of the Panamint Mountains. Photo Credit: National Park Service.

At Dante’s View in Death Valley National Park (CA), it’s possible to see both the highest point in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney) and the lowest (Badwater).

Rabbi David Nesson described this geological marvel in his Rosh Hashanah sermon. Noting the volatile, dangerous world in which we live, and in the religious/spiritual context of the new year, he identified a life-management choice.  We can either Look Up or Look Down.

No surprise that he encouraged Look Up.  It’s a powerful idea with significant personal meaning.  And, it definitely applies to the business world as well.

Outlook and attitude make a difference in life and in business.  An enthusiastic, can-do approach is positively contagious across the organization. It’s much more fun and productive to work in that kind of environment. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.

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How LinkedIn Users Earn an “F” in Personal Marketing

Enough already.  I have to call “foul” on LinkedIn users.

When I played pick-up basketball, we self-refereed and yelled out “foul” when we got hacked. It worked fine.

It’s time for LinkedIn members to take a similar approach.  Let me explain.

Why is it okay for a stranger to send me a connect request without a reason?  It’s not.

Credit: LinkedIn.com

Credit: LinkedIn.com

Something prompted you to send the message.   Tell me.  LinkedIn makes it easy to replace or add onto the standard verbiage that comes in the connection request box. So, why don’t people do it?

If you can’t take two minutes to tell me why you’re reaching out to connect, then don’t bother.  It’s unprofessional and impolite, and I’m not interested.

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Joe Pulizzi Knows Content Marketing. You Can Too.

Do you want to get smarter about using content marketing to grow your business?

Then read Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi. Recognized as a content marketing evangelist, Pulizzi is the author of three books and the founder of the Content Marketing Institute.

His third book is full of practical tips that are integrated with solid marketing discipline.  It’s easy-to-read, has lots of examples, and contains “how to” implementation steps.

Whether you’re an up-and-comer marketer or a skilled practitioner, there’s something to strengthen your marketing tool kit in this book.

4 NUGGETS PLUS 5TH BONUS TO GET YOU STARTED

1.  Content Marketing Definition.  “Your customers don’t care about you, your products, or your services.  They care about themselves. their wants, and their needs.  Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.Continue reading

Sports Marketing Triple Play: Team, Retailer, Shoppers Win in Free Furniture Promo

Credit: Ashley Furniture - College Station, TX.

Credit: Ashley Furniture – College Station, TX.

The Texas A&M football team made a lot of furniture shoppers very happy last week when they beat South Carolina 52-28.

The margin of victory in A&M’s season-opening win meant that customers of Ashley Furniture HomeStore in College Station, TX would get their just-purchased furniture for free.

It was an exciting moment for the team, store and customers.  Maybe not so much for the insurance company.  Learn more in this mini case study, plus four keys to your sponsorship and sports marketing success.


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Hain Celestial Gives Rice Dream Easy-Open Top

Consumers of Rice Dream rice drink can now prepare their morning cereal faster thanks to a new packaging innovation.

Credit: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

Credit: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

The Hain Celestial marketing team is phasing-in a new, easy-to-open screw cap atop its familiar Tetra Pak carton.  Offering this consumer benefit continues a trend of  making the pour easier, although it’s been quite some time since the last update (pull-off foil strip) was incorporated.

Anyone who’s ever had a pull-strip malfunction, which then required puncturing the seal with sharp or blunt force, will appreciate the new closure.

More good news for shoppers:  the new convenience feature appears to have been incorporated within the brand’s existing price structure, as retail pricing is unchanged at present.   Continue reading

Humorous Twitter Character Fights Severe Drought in California

Changing behavior is one of the hardest things to do in marketing.

In drought-stricken California, the nonprofit Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) has rolled-out a creative marketing campaign to persuade consumers to conserve water.

Photo: Southern California Water Committee.

Photo: Southern California Water Committee.

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