Monday, October 27, 2008

Color associations

Color associations are funny things, aren't they? Especially with so few primary colors to choose from, overlap is imminent.

Red is hugely popular, even beyond aids control non-profits and economic philosophies implemented by sadistic political leaders.

The American Heart Association is one, the Red Cross, Denmark, CNN, and even a brand that makes it as straightforward as it can be- RedBrand. These are just a few. As you can see, it can get pretty interesting when these associations are crossed. That's it for today's manufactured controversy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fake right, go left

While many people, including myself, have given Microsoft's Seinfeld spots a mixed review, I think their new work fills a void long felt by a large part of the population. From the first spot, "Pride," which begins by poking fun at Apple for being so elitist and trying to make the rest of us feel stupid and un-hip for not having Apple products, to the half-dozen or more following spots Crispin Porter + Bogusky made in much the same format, Microsoft tells us that it's okay to use the same type of computer as 90% of the U.S. population.

Apple has taken great pains to establish its image - the hip, educated, understated socialite. The new ads from Crispin, however, take that positive and turn it into a negative. They let Apple's hard-fought, narrow image pigeon hole Apple to a tiny percent of the population (Apple still only represents about 15-20% of personal computers sold), while illustrating the diversity of PC users. All in all, I put it in the win column for Microsoft.

Of course, Apple has already fired one back across the bow. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a clever counter.

I should be clear that I'm no anti-Mac. Check through my posts and you'll see plusses and minuses for both PCs and Macs. I'm just not a Mac fanatic and I like to skip the hype and get to the substance. Mac has certainly done its job well, though- as an advertising creative, I've been talked down to many times for not being a Mac fanatic. Macs are certainly good for certain uses, like graphics and audio/video editing, but make sure you're using the tool, not the other way around.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fake word of the day - fassenal

Ex. He's fassenal, but my cousin Vinny is faster.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cutting the fat

Times like this present an opportunity - an opportunity (and strong encouragement) to review your company's portfolio of products and/or services. It's time to weed out the weak performers and focus on your top earners. MillerCoors is doing just that.

Zima is going the way of the dodo bird. The product's sales have been steadily dropping for some time, and MillerCoors has cut production on this lame duck. I only fear the product that they're giving its shelf space to - Sparks - a caffeinated alcoholic energy drink. I know they serve Yager Bombs in bars, but it seems to me the last thing anyone needs while intoxicated is the energy to actually carry out any of the misguided plans alcohol may have helped them form.

From Adweek

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Part of effective branding is making sure that everything you do and say is consistent. Everything Mercedes does is luxurious, everything Walmart does reduces costs, everything mini does is small, and so on. It helps hammer home the message to such a point that when you think of (company) you think of (quality). That said, why does Big Lots have such small shopping carts?

I would think a store with "big" in its name would at least have average sized shopping carts. Instead, (at least where I live) they have tiny shopping carts like the ones you would expect to find in drug stores. It also seems to detract from people who might be tempted to "stock up" on deals, by limiting the amount they can move around the store with a single cart. I would be interested to see if the size of the container you offer a shopper has a substantial effect on the amount they purchase. If so, Big Lots could certainly benefit from the adjustment.

Unless Big Lots offers these small carts to maximize shelf space by reducing aisle width, I might suggest they put the "big" back in Big Lots and upgrade to full size carts. Just my two cents, and possibly a lucrative thesis project.