12.10.2010

Catchy Phrases: What's "In" Now

"Game-Changer." You've heard the phrase. But have you used it? USA Today used "Game-Changer" in a recent article about the tax cut bill, and one of my new clients just gave me an input document with the phrase in it. Use "game-changer" to describe anyone or anything that brings something good and different to the playing field - innovation or convenience. One company that specializes in innovation and brand growth even uses the phrase as their name, without the hyphen. Now more than ever, the market needs "game changers" to stimulate profit and growth. Be one! Or at least write about one.

11.16.2010

FileCatalyst Provides Alternative to "YouSendIt"

Have you heard about FileCatalyst? They're a great alternative to yousendit.com - offering a variety of products and services related to file transferring to make life easier. They have a free service where you can send large files; it's quick and easy, with no log-in or registration required. They're known for secure and fast file transferring. Try it out free at FileCatalyst.com and let me know what you think.

11.09.2010

Nothing To Sneeze At - Kleenex TV, Social Media and FREE Sample Campaign

Kleenex's "Softness Worth Sharing" campaign combines TV advertising, a microsite, social media and free sample giveaways for seasonal promotion genius that's also worth sharing.

The "Softness Worth Sharing" campaign is a great example of brand and direct/social media marketing synergy. Thirty-second TV advertising drives viewer traffic to the website to send a free package of softness anywhere in the US. At the "Softness Worth Sharing" site, simply fill out the sender and recipient information to start the "chain of sharing," which you can track like a UPS package on the site via a map.
Here's one of the 30 second TV spots from the Kleenex "Softness Worth Sharing" campaign ...

Now go send some free tissues.

11.07.2010

I just wrote a letter to Santa!

Macy's gives back ... and brings pre-holiday magic online with a unique, fun and generous website to help support the Make-a-Wish Foundation(R).

For every letter received, Macy's will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1,000,000. Help make wishes come true by writing your own letter to Santa! Click on the letter above and it will take you right to the site ...

11.02.2010

Creative Shopping Bags - An Idea for Advertisers

These days you read and hear so much about the potential of social media for marketers that we tend to forget about other ways to be innovative in "the real world." Shopping bags have traditionally sported a store or company's logo. At boredpanda.com, you can read about and see how advertisers are taking this concept to new heights - with subway bus handles!





10.18.2010

Think Before You Pink

Do you buy products just because they support a worthwhile cause or charity? Some people do. Whether it's a plastic bracelet or a six-pack of yogurt, a product with a charitable tie-in gives you the consumer a "feel good" experience when purchased. It seems like a win-win for everyone - the consumer, the company selling the product, and the charity. But that's not always the case.

I bought Dannon yogurt recently not because of the pink tie-in, but because I like strawberry yogurt. Nevertheless, after noticing the message printed on the back of the lid which urged me to go to a website and enter a code to help raise money to fight breast cancer, I decided "Why not?" - it'd be something interesting to blog about this morning.

Turns out that Dannon's partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation is helping raise money to fight cancer - with 10 cents being donated for every time a special code (found under the foil lids of specially marketed Dannon yogurt products) is entered on the cupsofhope.com website. Here's the landing page ...
Very easy to interact with and "fully loaded" for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
(By the way, that is not a napkin in front of Jamie Lee Curtis' face. That's the video play button.) The Dannon Cups of Hope campaign includes the Activa, DanActive, Dannon All Natural, Dannon Blended, Dannon Fruit on The Bottom, Dannon Greek and Dannon Light & Fit products.

All of which prompted me to do a little research into how yogurt ties in with breast cancer prevention, other than being "healthy" or good for you, and here's where it got interesting.

Up popped an article about "pinkwashing" - the practice where corporations try to boost sales by "pushing pink," tie to a product and then rake in the bucks. From the article:
"For consumers, pinkwashing makes it hard to arrive at an informed choice when making ethical purchases. In some cases, pinkwashing is also used to brand products which are bad for human health, including products which contain suspected carcinogens!
Some activists have suggested putting an end to branded tie-ins altogether, and asking consumers to donate directly to breast cancer charities and research organizations. Others argue that the availability of such products makes it possible for people who would not normally donate to give to the cause. In other words, if you're going to purchase yogurt anyway, you might as well purchase yogurt that benefits breast cancer patients, but you might not send a donation independently.
Consider this, from another article on AOL Health where a breast cancer survivor weighs in on whether pink product overload has gone too far:
"Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., for example, has turned their alcoholic drink pink, and will make a $250,000-contribution to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation this year. We’re talking alcohol here – and research shows that as little as one to two drinks a day can up the risk of diagnosis. Yoplait was another past offender, promoting their Save Lids to Save Lives program while making their yogurt with rBGH, the possibly-cancer-causing artificial growth hormone given to cows. Yoplait has come around, and their yogurt is now rBGH-free -- thanks to an online campaign by Think Before You Pink, a project of Breast Cancer Action calling for more accountability by companies and increased responsibility by consumers."
So that's a lesson for both consumers AND corporations/marketers.

10.15.2010

Steal Smart

When you earn your living by your creativity and have to "be creative" on demand, you have to learn some tricks to keep sharp so you can keep producing. One trick is to "steal smart." Don't be put off by the word "steal." It should really be "borrow" - "borrow smartly" to be exact.

Here's what I mean and a great example.

First there was the Wheat Thins "snack attack" commercial and subsequent print ads featuring a woman being "attacked" by a oncoming swarm of flying crackers.
"This can only end one way," says the woman's voiceover in the commercial as she catches a flying cracker mid-air between her teeth. "Cruuuuunch!" Yum. (You may have seen a more recent version featuring a macho guy in the same scenario.)

Anyway, what a great technique - a flying swarm of crackers against a white background and the main character triumphant in the foreground! Great visual. Eye-catching, point making.

OK - witness now the new "Stop Breast Cancer" online web ads ...
In the animated version of this, the swarming black yukky stuff comes towards the woman who then thwarts it in its tracks with her outstretched bare hand. Swarming something. Woman in defiant stance. White background. Similar technique to the Wheat Thins campaign, don't you think?

Lesson learned - borrow smartly. That's not stealing.

9.22.2010

Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Every Zip Code

This ad appeared in USA Today. Great placement for this ad; it appears on the page that features state-by-state news blurbs (short paragraphs about the top news under a bold header for each state in the nation). Tomorrow is officially the first day of autumn, but hey - with temps in the 90's here in PA, we're still in "sprinkler" mode. So this ad passes "go." As someone who does a lot of work for Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationwide (independent licensees of the BlueCross BlueShield Association), I'm pleased to see this cheerful, simple and well-placed ad, in light of recent and upcoming health care reforms, promoting the brand we all know and trust.

Catchy Ad Slogans Reincarnated

The Original:  
  "Got Milk?" - created for the California Milk Processor Board
and then licensed for milk processors and dairy farmers nationwide.

The Reincarnated:


The Original: 
"What's in your wallet?" - Capital One campaign and tagline.

The Reincarnated:

9.12.2010

The Power of J.D. Power and Associates Awards

Every year, J. D. Power and Associates recognizes select companies - all across the nation and in virtually every major industry, from car manufacturing to health insurance - for great service and high customer satisfaction ratings, all with the goal of making it easier for Americans to be smart consumers. You've no doubt seen the ads that recipient companies run, touting their J.D. Power and Associates rankings, often with a headline that brags about how many years in a row they've received the award. Here's an example that Hilton's extended stay hotel chain, Homewood Suites, ran recently to promote it's J.D. Power rating. The celebratory print ad appeared in USA Today, with the clever headline "HOW SUITE OF YOU."

J.D. Power and Associates awards CAN be extremely powerful in an ad. This Homewood Suites ad features the award front and center, and it has a great start with it's clever headline. The ad's copy is well-written and concise (albeit hard to read), explaining that the award is for "Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Extended Stay Hotel Chains."

8.16.2010

Painted Hands + simple headlines = striking AT&T ads

AT&T is a cell phone carrier that knows how to make a successful promotion. Take a look at these great posters. Using just hands and a phone, American carrier recreates a popular idea of painting hands into the colors of different countries.

8.02.2010

Good copy in unexpected places

On a tea bag tag.

Just a reminder to use space and use it well. You only have one chance to sell. And if a product is already sold, give them a new message before they forget the old.

6.21.2010

CVS Caremark & Supplier Diversity: Making the Connection

Today:  Attended the CVS Caremark Supplier Diversity Business Building Event for women-owned businesses at the Baltimore Convention Center, in conjunction with WBENC’s 2010 Conference & Business Expo.

In this photo: Cynthia Maniglia of The Copy Grove (left)
and Joanne Lewis of Tango Vision, Inc. (right).

The event featured a one-hour session about doing business with CVS Caremark, followed by a series of intense, one-on-one 15-minute, "speed" presentations, scheduled prior to the event - a chance to give your best elevator pitch.
To hit a home run at one of these events:  Be sure to know your niche - where your product or service best fits within the company's structure, as well as how it aligns with your potential buyer's overall corporate strategy.

The Copy Grove has been asked to follow up our recent presentation - and we'll keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by