Tag: marketing

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I received one of those awful mea colpa marketing emails today from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater with the BLM stamp of approval. They are “examining their own complicity in systemic racism.” The same sorts of steps that we have all seen in emails from other associations and vendors were outlined, etc etc. For many reasons […]

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What Happened to Holiday Catalogs?

 

I check the mailbox. Nothing. OK … bills. It used to be filled with holiday catalogs. There was Vermont Country Store, with old-time candies, colognes like “Evening in Paris,” flannel pajamas, ornaments and decorations from yesteryear, like those bubble lights and waxed angel candles. They still sell board games for families like Life and Candy Land, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and Bavarian wooden weather houses, where the man would come out if rain was coming and the woman if a sunny day was predicted. Then there’s LL Bean with warm scarfs and cozy slippers! I loved the Trappist Monks who remind you about their delicious jams, coffee, and fudge, along with a CD of Gregorian chants or holiday choruses. There’s Harry & David, with the delectable pears, fruitcakes, Moose Munch, chocolate popcorn and chutneys.

I used to be bombarded with these catalogs every year, like Lands End who sent coupons, which always equaled a purchase from me. I’m easy, but I like to see the merchandise. There’s nothing in the mailbox this year. I asked my sister if she’s gotten any catalogs this year? Zero. What happened?

I did get a postcard from Fossil announcing Black Friday specials. It’s tucked behind the phone and I will pop in, thanks to advertising. They tell you to shop local. It boosts the economy — forget online, Amazon, the easy sitting at home at your computer shopping. Get out and mingle, have an early breakfast at the local Cracker Barrel and see what the local shops have created to inspire you. Getting in the holiday spirit requires getting up from a chair!

Cloudburst — only a paper cloud?

 

“Tell me, burnt earth: Is there no water? Is there only dust? Is there only the blood of bare-footed footsteps on the thorns?” “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”

Eric Whitacre is a conductor and composer with matinee-idol good looks, personal magnetism, a slick marketing strategy, and arguably common sense, too: he recommends young composers not waste time acquiring training in academic theory beyond what they need to write music that sounds good. Whitacre is beloved in the choral world, but also, sometimes, disdained — for being overrated (he is, although overrated can still be good), for being gimmicky (also true, though his gimmicks often land), and for writing music “suffused with a sense of easy spiritual uplift… Everything [is] maximally radiant and beautiful, and beautifully sung. And that [is] the problem.”

If that’s the problem, it’s a problem many composers would like to have. Or at least it’s a problem many performing musicians wish the composers whose music they have to perform had. Our disdainer continues, “Whitacre is so sincere I suspect he would glow in the dark.”

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Hey, Remember when the Coca-Cola company decided to discontinue a successful product in favor of a new formulation? Yeah, pretty much every human being knows how that turned out… except for the current executives of the Coca Cola company. On Wednesday, Coca-Cola announced plans to stop selling Coke Zero in the US in August, replacing […]

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There’s an on going issue of marketing Islam to non-muslims and how western countries try to market their concerns to the Islamic world. I’ll try to describe part of it… Former President George W Bush recently gave an interview on the Today Show with Matt Lauer. W was there to promote a book, but Matt […]

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Is that coffee you’re drinking fair-trade certified and ethically sourced? Is the microprocessor in your laptop manufactured by a company whose board is half comprised of women? Have the holes in your blue jeans been carefully frayed by Indonesians working in an air-conditioned surround? Vanity is an ugly vice; vanity with regard to one’s virtue […]

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A couple of years ago my wife self-published a book. It did well enough that we decided to pay to have it professionally published in a second, expanded edition. We’re gearing up for a re-launch and before I start dropping $5000 checks for media-packages and publicists I was wondering if you could help a guy […]

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I wrote this for my personal blog. Just about the smartest thing I have done in recent years (aside from starting this blog) was to join Ricochet. Through the Center-Right Community of thoughtful, smart, and welcoming people, I have made new friends, expanded my knowledge, and partaken of some of the world’s best humor. Doesn’t […]

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For those who have owned businesses or been salespeople and tried to meet potential customers, it is usually not long before the first invitation comes to visit a referral networking group. The basic concept is that the group has business categories, and they will only allow one business of each category into that particular chapter. […]

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How did I get to be an expert at formulating marketing plans? Well, I got a D in Marketing at university, but that was all I needed to get my degree, so I was happy and out of there. Several years later, I worked for an Information Technology (IT) company and was transferred into a […]

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A friend recently dipped his toes into Patreon, an online resource of “recurring funding for artists and creators”, in hope of diversifying his sources of income. Best I can tell, Patreon is akin to the more popular Kickstarter service but focuses on recurring patronage as opposed to crowdfunding of particular projects.  And who do I see […]

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You Are a Snob

 

snobNo one likes a snob. He lowers his salmon-colored Financial Times to register disgust with your every-colored USA Today. Picking up his detailed Maserati Quattroporte GTS (with sport package), he sighs as you bounce into the car wash with your 2008 Honda CR-V. He lives in a better neighborhood, his kids go to a better school, and his dog is a pure-bred shipped in from an artisanal kennel in Hungary.

Being called a snob is one of the worst insults you can offer to a class-denying American. That’s why CEOs brag to their employees about flying coach, celebs hang out with sick commoners at the local children’s hospital, and multimillionaire politicians suck down corn dogs like carny folk. (Note: None of these rules apply to The Donald, for he laughs at the iron laws of political physics.)

But the dirty little secret is that everyone is a snob. Hopefully not about many things, but always about something. Wherever you fall on the income scale, there is at least one area in which you will not skimp. The F-150 driver in rural Michigan who scoffs at the fools driving Chevy pickup trucks. A self-described redneck in Kentucky who only drinks Basil Hayden’s bourbon. The stoned surfer who wouldn’t be caught dead in a Quiksilver tee.

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If there’s a marketing guru in the audience, please explain why we can’t watch TV or listen to the radio without being subjected to Geico and Progressive ads at every break. I’ve sworn I will never buy insurance for either of these companies due to the never-ending assault every time I turn on the TV or […]

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Dear RNC Leadership: Why I’m Not Donating

 

I recently received a letter from Tony Parker, treasurer of the RNC, excerpted below:

Chairman Priebus has written to you several times this year asking you to renew your Republican National Committee membership for 2012  As the Treasurer of the RNC, I’m concerned that we haven’t heard back from you … I know other things come up, and perhaps you’ve just been delayed in renewing your membership.  If that’s the case I understand … I hope you haven’t deserted our Party.

Pancakes So Good They’ll Make You Smile

 

IhopFor the first time in 20 years, the International House of Pancakes has a new logo! The Valhalla of after-bar-closing-time munchies, fluffy carbs, and sticky sucrose has introduced an IHOP red and blue mark that concedes nothing in glitz to uber-modern companies like Google, Citigroup, or Ubuntu and is about to show the American marketing world just how far the smile can actually be taken.

It is all just a little bit spooky.

The press release from the June 1 logo debut states:

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Most people understand that change, as such, is not a value. It’s a phenomenon, and it’s happening everywhere all the time whether we like it or not. William F. Buckley famously described a conservative as someone who stands athwart history shouting “Stop!” The merits of doing so can be debated, but at least the proposition makes […]

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