Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Here’s the scoop: local PR events can be pretty tasty!

In Memorable Marketing, The Marketing Microscope on March 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm

In the midst of national public relations issues that show no signs of, uh, slowing down (sorry, Toyota), it’s easy to miss the small PR victories being earned for products and services in local and regional markets across the country.

Hudsonville Ice Cream is sold in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana – but it has achieved mildly iconic status on its West Michigan home turf.  And I noticed an article about an upcoming event for the company that made me smile and realize that, once again, being true to your brand and your roots is the only real way to go. This post from describes the interesting manner in which the company will introduce 12 new flavors at an event called “the Coolest Taste to Share Extravaganza.”  I don’t love the title, but hey, even its “clunkiness” feels right for Hudsonville’s small-town personality.

On March 27, the company will open its factory doors for only two  hours or so, and admit guests – limited by space to 500. Those guests will pay $10 each for the privilege of seeing the ice-cream-making process up close and delicious, and will be the very first lucky customers to sample the new flavors, which will be revealed one at a time at eight-minute intervals.

And one of the best aspects of all this – and where the “share” part of the title comes in – is that all proceeds go to an organization called  Kids Food Basket. The group serves an evening meal each weekday Read the rest of this entry »


“Consumer-created” ads not what you think.

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2010 at 3:54 am

Confession right up front:  as an agency creative director for many years, of course I have a bias.  I am also aware that these days, it can be hard to resist the publicity value attached to contests in which “average Joes” supposedly come up with the ideas for a company’s television commercials.

But please – let’s stop pretending the gimmick is some kind of  brilliant democratization of the creative process, or an insightful way to present ads that really “connect” with today’s  target audience.

The reality is that almost none of the winning ad ideas or  produced spots that  win these competitions are submitted by  your mailman, your mechanic, or a couple of local frat guys.

Most of them are submitted by agency creatives. Or film directors. Or other people who already make their living in or around the ad industry. That was the case for a couple of pretty good spots for Doritos in this year’s Super Bowl. This post, on AdLab, provides many of the details.

Doritos has held such competitions for several years. I remember sneering at one of their previous winners – a real knee-slapper featuring a guy riding his bike into a light pole while trying to maintain eye contact with a girl across the street.  Wouldn’t sell any chips, but had the mandatory “guy getting kicked in the groin, hit in the head, or otherwise injured” that the viewing public apparently treasures.

I, for one, am tired of watching “winning” Read the rest of this entry »