Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Toppings for Touchdowns. SCORE!

In Memorable Marketing on August 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I’m always on the lookout for interesting promotions. (Let me know when you hear of one, too, please.)

I just watched the Lions/Colts game on the NFL Network, which was apparently picking up an Indianapolis broadcast.  During the game, they mentioned a unique promotion from Papa John’s  – the “Official Pizza of the Indianapolis Colts.”

Here’s how it works: on the Monday after each Colts game this season,  fans in Indianapolis who buy a large pizza will get one free topping for each touchdown scored by the Colts during the previous day’s game. With Peyton Manning in the house, the count could climb pretty quickly on your average Sunday. Hello, pepperoni, sausage, pineapple, bacon, and onions!200801251239577055

I think this is an excellent marketing tie-in, and one that is probably reasonable cost-wise. Granted, it’s no free chalupa from Taco Bell that  Cleveland fans get when the Cavaliers top 100 points in an NBA game. But at least you know the touchdown thing is going to happen, probably in multiples, every single game. Come to think of it, I don’t know why Papa John’s doesn’t run the same promotion in Cleveland. Wouldn’t cost them a dime.

The Browns last scored an offensive touchdown in a real game on November 17, 2008.  Hey, Papa, would you consider a free topping for each first down?

Welcome to Cleveland. “Home of the cheese pizza.”


Thousands gain health coverage!!! (Yup, it’s a fantasy!)

In Just Thinkin' on August 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Wow, that health care reform is something. The actual poor may have to wait a bit longer, but it is certainly good to know that now, you can obtain coverage for the players you draft in your fantasy football league!  Go ahead and pick Tom Brady — just get the insurance, in case he suffers another big injury. Or snag T.O. without worry — if his sore toe keeps him out a lot, you’ll be covered. (As if that were the only risk in picking T.O.)

It’s a real policy, and it’s underwritten by Lloyd’s of London. That’s right, the people who insure major business assets and high-profile, big-money events are willing to back you in that annual competition with your buddies.

I don’t know what I think about it, really;  it doesn’t annoy me, but it does, for me, slide into the “get a life” category. It does amuse me to think of some 72-year-old British guy in a three-piece tweed suit doing the actuarial table on the likelihood that Larry Glukowski, who lives in the basement at 639 HisMomsHouse, will suffer a fantasy-season wrecking injury to one of his player picks.

To me, the possibility of such 0ccurrences is exactly what makes things like that fun in the first place. As they say in, well, the real NFL, it’s part of the game! Seems like anyone who’d buy fantasy football insurance is the kind that would buy up every ticket in a lottery, just to make sure he wins (at least most of) his money back. So come on, take a risk. Skip the insurance. And while you’re on a roll, do something really risky, like choosing a Brown or a Lion.

The original social media is alive and well!

In Memorable Marketing on August 22, 2009 at 12:38 pm

On campus. In Kearney, Nebraska. Those of us in marketing are relentless in our rush to the next big marketing tool or tactic. And you can’t blame us, really- things are changing so quickly, it’s difficult to stay on the curve, let alone ahead of it.  You might have noticed, for example, that the other day, readers of a magazine were able to watch clips from TV programs in that magazine.

But at the other end of the spectrum, I was able to enjoy marketing at perhaps its purest and simplest. On Friday, the University of Nebraska at Kearney held, as part of its welcoming back students, the “Blue and Gold Community Showcase.”


It was a wonderful event that brought together students, faculty, and the local community. It featured food, music, fun activities for kids and families, and good, old grassroots marketing.

It didn’t depend on breakthrough technologies, exhaustive research, sophisticated media planning, or multi-layered promotional planning.  Well, that is, if you don’t count making a basket to win a coupon for a free burrito. SDC10120(I did, and will soon be visiting a place I didn’t know existed before. Isn’t that pretty effective marketing?) Read the rest of this entry »

Some advertisers today are still “up to” no good.

In Ad Creative on August 19, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Advertisers today continue to shoot straight… their own feet. This is nothing new, by any means — I’m just amazed it hasn’t changed. I believe people today are still hesitant to believe ad claims (especially price-related ones) for very good reason. They’re being tricked. Not lied to, exactly…mislead by little qualifiers that make the “big news” in the ad shrink in the face of reality, leading to disappointment.

I shouldn’t pick on car dealers. Heck, I recently lost a little magazine humor column I had written for years when the thin-skinned New Car Dealers Association in town couldn’t  stand a little humor aimed at some ads (most not even from their dealers). I got lots of compliments on that column, boys; the public agrees with me. (I don’t blame the magazine  for caving under ad revenue pressure;  that’s where we – and journalism — are today.)   Car dealers aren’t the only ones doing it, but they’re so visible. Read the rest of this entry »

Sex. Cells. And lousy T-Mobile ads.

In Ad Creative on August 5, 2009 at 12:37 am

I recently spouted off a  bit on a couple of the “Chad”  spots for Alltel.  But since it seems like half of all TV advertising these days is for cell phone service providers, I’d like to weigh in on a couple competitive campaigns.

First,  I dearly loved many of the older “Dead Zone” Verizon spots. My favorite was the wonderfully-cast “Bates Motel” parody, where the desk clerk delights in describing the “horrible” wireless conditions, but is ultimately forced to save face with “towels are kinda’ scratchy!” Another spot takes place on a train. In it the conductor, disappointed that the usual Verizon posse has provided good cell service in spite of his warning, threatens them with “I’m gonna need to see some tickets.”

Good concept, good writing, entertaining productions.  Makes the strategic point beautifully – good cell service in places others can’t deliver. Read the rest of this entry »