In the News

Super Bowl! Super Bowl! Super Bowl!

Posted by on February 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm

… like Sunday! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!

In case you didn’t know, there’s a big show tonight, and I’m not talking about men in tights, either! ha!

I am so excited about the commercials this year. Social media is going to play a big role in the ads, and they are expected to be better than ever. They better be with a cost of around $3.9 million a pop!
Yes, I know.. that number is usually inflated and it never reflects the rate card pricing.. which goes out the window for events like this. But it sounds good, right?

I am going to be your Super Bowl Commercial 411. I’ve got the inside scoop on when commercials are airing, pre-releases and more.

You want even more?

Tomorrow check back here over at AMA Baltimore to get my take of the best and worst of commercials, and why I think they were a hit or flopped.

Now, for the inside scoop… has released the commercial schedule. Seriously!
Take a look at what products air when, and be ready to take notes! Notice anything key about the products in slots before/after each ad spot?

I’ve already mentioned that social media is expected to be a big part of tonight’s ads. Here’s the skinny:
Social Media Gets Legs

Oh, and don’t forget to check in on Four Square to don your Super Bowl XLV badge!

Lots of brands have been getting pre-show buzz. Volkswagon is one of them.
Mashable has a Top 10 list of brands getting the most pre-show Twitter buzz.

Here’s a sneak peek at the VW commercial to air later today:

What brand are you most looking forward to seeing in the Super Bowl commercial dual?

Implications of the New Starbucks Logo?

Posted by on January 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm
Starbucks 40th Anniversary Logo

There has been quite a bit of buzz around Starbucks today. First, Bloomberg offers an opinion on the new partnership between Kraft and Starbucks. A few hours later, Starbucks unveils their 4th logo in the 40 year history, sans “Starbucks.”

Most companies could only dream of such buzz, but leave it to Starbucks to reign supreme.

Let’s look at the Starbucks-Kraft partnership. Bloomberg reports that this partnership could cost Starbucks in grocery retail as home-brewing is becoming popular among coffee elite. If you didn’t receive or purchase a Keurig in 2010, chances are someone you know did, or it has been installed at an office near you. The argument made by Bloomberg is that Kraft’s home-brew system ails in sales, which could have a detrimental effect on sales as Newman’s Own, The Donut Shop, and other home-brew ready coffee cups are penetrating the market.

My opinion? Meh.
It’s Starbucks, already. They are way ahead of home-brew cups. Anyways, if you are a home-brew user, you can purchase a reusable cup compatible with your machine and use any coffee that you like – you don’t have to purchase the ready made plastic cups of coffee. Plus, you’ll help the environment through eliminating the use of prepackaged cups and the shipping footprint while saving a few bucks on the overpriced prepackaged cups.

Oh, I can’t forget about instant coffee. Coffee snobs around the United States gasped as Starbucks entered the instant coffee market earlier this year. Starbucks trotted forward, determined to make a splash in this space dominated by Maxwell coffee, another supermarket staple. Many saw this as a huge gamble for the mega-brand, but it has actually fared well for Starbucks. They now offer 3 different types of instant coffee and are available both in Starbucks stores and grocery stores. Smart. The decision to do so, supposedly, was upon realizing a drop in retail stores sales as more folks opted to brew at home, Starbucks introduced what they consider a price-conscious package. I still think it’s overpriced, given Maxwell is just as good and is about $2 less for a pack of 8.
Oh yeah, Maxwell is part of the Kraft brand network…. Hmmm.

Now onto the real news.
Coca-cola, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew have all gone through major rebranding of their logos. One thing in common though – none of them dropped the name on the logo. This leaves many, including me, wondering why Starbucks would even consider dropping the “Starbucks” name from the logo.

Since the original Starbucks opened in the 70s (Which I highly recommend visiting if you are ever in Seattle), the Starbucks logo has always had a round-shaped siren. It started as brown and white, then later evolved to include green. (I’d love to see the market research on choosing the color green…) Now, facing new market entries and attempting to get away from the snobby Starbucks stigma, the beverage giant has decided to drop the circle around the siren touting “Starbucks.”

After the initial shock wore off within a matter of seconds, I thought to myself, “Genius!” Only if they change the color from green to something else. The green circle, regardless of what’s in the center, is identified worldwide as a Starbucks beverage. Be honest – how many of you knew there was a siren in the middle of the green circle? You probably knew there was something there, but the green circle is what has been ingrained in your brain. Forever.

Is it a huge leap for Starbucks and diminishing the coffee-snob reputation? No.
I think the price point of their products would have a bigger impact of reducing a premium brand reputation, because let’s be honest – Starbucks isn’t the cheapest cup in town and it’s not the only one with free WiFi and cushy leather seats, and baristas that speak a language I will never understand – hence why I continue to order a Medium Latte with Skim Milk and Sugar Free Vanilla.

I’m not sure how much of an impact the new logo is going to have on the non-Starbucks products and services. I still think the logo is too recognizable to fully separate Starbucks retail coffee shops from Starbucks-owned Tazo tea .. and whatever else Starbucks has cooking. I suppose time will tell.

And just think, in about 4 weeks, we will all have forgotten about this silly little Starbucks news.. we’ll be talking about the funniest Superbowl commercial, surly to stir the pot yet again!

For the record, I prefer tea. Twinnings Lady Gray Tea, specifically.

And I love Dunkin Donuts. I don’t need a degree in coffee ordering to order, either.

Android: Full Steam Ahead

Posted by on December 29, 2010 at 10:34 am
Lego Android

Today, released unofficial numbers around Android apps. According to the article, the Android app market has now surpassed 200,000 apps. This is astounding, given that it took 2 years to get to 100,000 apps, and a mere 2 months to reach the 200,000 mark.

This is interesting, especially since Apple’s app store has over 300,000 apps. It’s also an interesting stat given the tight requirements the Android market has. An app can only appear in the Android market after it has reached a specific download quantity and satisfaction rating. This is not necessarily the case with all apps in the Apple app store.

This has everyone asking, “How did Android get here so fast?”

Well, I have a few opinions…

How to Track Santa Claus

Posted by on December 24, 2010 at 10:15 am

You can track Santa on your mobile device this year!

How to Track Santa Claus on Mobile Phone:

  • Go to Google Maps
  • Search for “Santa”
  • The Gift of Giving

    Posted by on December 17, 2010 at 11:44 am
    Give the gift of recommendations

    Do you end up running store to store trying to figure out what to get your colleagues for the holiday?

    Well, I used to be one of those frantic people until I realized that people don’t need more things. They need cookies!
    Just kidding..

    While many of my colleagues and friends are getting a box full of my famous cookies, there are many other “free” gifts that mean so much more than material things.

    Last year, Joe Mechlinkski of EntreQuest challenged the EQ readers to think of new ways to give to the people you spend many of your waking hours with. The one idea that I’m thinking of doesn’t require a single penny. It doesn’t require a whole lot of time. You don’t even have to leave your comfy office chair or couch to make happen.

    I happen to think that this is a marvelous idea.

    Marketing 2011: Predictions from the Field

    Posted by on December 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm
    Crystal ball

    So we just read about my takes on 2010…. onto 2011.

    No doubt that 2011 will be a game changing year, again. It will be interesting to see how the trends in marketing evolve, how the new technologies still to come will play the game, and how businesses will respond to the constant change in the industry.

    Here’s what I predict:

    Marketing Monday: What’s in the cards for 2011?

    Posted by on December 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm
    Tick Tock Tick Tock

    2010 was an exciting year for marketing professionals. The acceleration of technology has paved the way for many marketing professionals to stretch and become more aligned with customers. Think about how far social media has come this year.
    Mobile marketing is moving into many marketing plans.
    Leveraging brand ambassadors has never been easier.
    Listening to our customers is more than focus groups and market research.
    Wow. I can’t believe how much the profession has evolved in one single year!