Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stan Lee is my superhero

I hope you've all been watching the fabulous SciFi program, "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" these past few weeks. The pure human drama (and pure humanity!) of the whole series has been heartwarming, to say the least.
I have to admit to a large lump in my throat, and an allergy attack in my eyes, when Major Victory was called back to talk with his daughter on the phone after his elimination. Yes, I'm not afraid to admit it.
At any rate, no doubt those of you who've been true believers in this series, right along with Pat and me, will have noticed a "strange" similarity between Stan's signature line and my own. That "similarity" is technically known as identity. As I've mentioned to some of my colleagues in the marketing business, I do have permission from Stan himself to use that famous catch-phrase, and I do so with pride and humility (not an easy task, let me tell you!).
Still, let's all make certain to tune in on Thursday to see Feedback crowned the next Dark Horse Superhero.


Friday, July 21, 2006

We're Having a Heat Wave, a Tropical Heat Wave

Well, well, well. Aren't we all uncomfortable all across this great land of ours?

We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC are perspiring as much as the next person, but we always try to wring every last drop of inspiration out of each and every experience and situation.

I may regret this, but I'm going to reveal our next upgrade to our fabulous, full-motion-video-capable soft drink vending machines: a full-sponsorable cool misting device.

Imagine this: you're standing at the vending machine, watching a quick video while your soda is being blast chilled for your drinking pleasure. As the 300th drop of perspiration readies itself to drop from the tip of your nose to the toe of your flip-flops - mirabile dictu! - out from the front of the machine comes a super-fine mist of the purest water, its height computer controlled based on the beverage you have selected, puffs out, reducing the ambient temperature by a full 9 degrees Farenheit (that's nearly 5 degrees Celsius, for our metric friends!)!

"Wow!" I hear you say. Wow indeed. Wow indeed.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

This just gives me Gas - but in a good way

Indeed, it's been quite a while since I've had a chance to blog away, but a recent article caught my eye, and I just had to chime in.
The article from MediaPost says, in part:
  • THE NETWORK AND CABLE TV "upfronts" may have been sluggish this year, but place-based TV executives say they're enjoying a surge of interest from ad buyers--and the medium's recent growth, including the launch of Gas Station TV on June 5th, and a new network in New York's Duane Reade pharmacies scheduled to go live in Fall 2006, suggests that place-based is here to stay.

    Indeed, "advertisers are excited by the opportunity to touch consumers at times when they've traditionally been very hard to reach," confirmed Jeff Minsky, director of emerging media platforms for OMD Digital. Unlike regular TV, place-based installations allow advertisers to reach people as they are coming or going from work, or in retail establishments--all ideal times for ad messaging.

That's right - even the biggest of the big Media agencies are beginning to catch up with us here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC! Imagine, place-based TV - who'd have thought of such a thing? Oh wait - we did! Nor does Jay Standish, Inc. LLC limit our clients to pre-established "networks" of places, such as filling stations or pharmacies. No indeed. With our concept, the places can be chosen one-by-one or in groups or categories: anywhere people want to buy a tasty beverage, your full motion (and full audio!) message can be seen (and heard!) by your top, thirsty prospects.

Imagine, if you will, a bunch of friends returning from a successful fishing trip, stowing their gear at the dock, and getting ready to return home in their same old cars and trucks. Having packed all their "sodas" and "pops" in the coolers, they will most likely stop at the Pepsi (or Coke!) machine to purchase a drink for the ride home. Suppose you were marketing a new vehicle with a special feature, say one of those new chilled storage compartments, and these fishermen (or women!) see your spot as they're lugging those massive coolers back to their vehicles. Who's to say how many of them might be tempted to stop by the dealership on the way home to see whether that championship-quality bass (or muskie!) would fit in said compartment? Who indeed?

Rather than speculate, we here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC challenge any and every marketing maverick to give us a try! Just see how many of those $0.10 (on average!) pre-paid deposits on carbonated refreshment turn into purchases (or leases!) of new vehicles. We triple dog dare you (if you'll pardon the slight breach of daring etiquette).


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Another "Aha!" Moment for Marketers!

Well, well, well. It's always gratifying to find that others (are at least beginning to) agree with one, isn't it? It's even more gratifying to find that an entire industry agrees with one, and it's in that sort of "cat bird seat," as it were, that I find myself.

A recent article in the marketing trade press mentioned that outdoor or out-of-home advertising is the fastest growing medium apart from the internet. Industry experts noted that it's not just painted bulletins out there any more. In fact, the part of the industry driving this growth is the LED displays such as those found in Times Square.

An ad agency bigwig noted that it's "not just regular 30-sheets. You can just look in Times Square--people are really starting to get into LED displays, and it's driven by the desire to create something that's truly impactful." Apparently outdoor companies are selling out these boards faster than they can build them.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? It certainly should, if you've been following this blog. It is just this amazing transformation of what was into what ought to be that drives us at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC. It's that drive that created the full-motion-capable displays on beverage vending machines. It's that drive that has kept us ahead of an entire industry which seems, only now, to be waking from a 14x40 bed and smelling the coffee - or other, possibly ice-cold!, beverage of its choice.

Full motion in an outdoor board - with audio as well - it's an idea whose time has come, and we're where marketers will come to get it.


Friday, April 28, 2006

At Last - A Reality Show for Me!

Perhaps you've noticed my sign-off in these blog entries (and in all my missives, for that matter!) and wondered where I got it. Well, among my heroes I count as one of the greatest the spectacular Stan Lee. It is precisely from him that I adopted my now nearly ubiquitous "catch phrase" of Excelsior!

Well, the folks at the SciFi channel are apparently taking time out from screwing up their programming with ghost hunters and mediums and other vaguely fantasy-related drek. For what are they pausing the destruction of a once-mighty brand? Why, to create a reality show where Stan Lee will judge among various creators of super-heroes, that's what!

In fact, Mr Lee (remember that song from the bubble-gum era?) will not only choose the winner, but will participate in the prizes by creating a comic book featuring the winning super-hero! In addition, there will be a made-for-TV movie featuring the character to be shown on the SciFi channel. I may have to continue my too-frequent absence from this endeavour in order to "flesh out" my own entry.

I'd say more, but one can't be too careful these days!


Monday, March 27, 2006

They're beginning to get it!

Well well well. It's certainly not the way I would have expected it, but it appears that flattery is to be ours, here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC! That's right, imitation - being the "sincerest" form of flattery - is what I mean, and CBS is who is doing it.

Even as you read, in a supermarket near you, there may be large "screens" installed (or being installed!) which will allow the shoppers to view specially designed CBS programming - or "content" as we are coming to call it these days.
Why, you ask, do we at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC consider this flattery? Simple - they are moving their marketing messages into a position where there are viewers who are already in the buying mood and mode! It's the same concept we have been promoting with such vigor to all who will hear us - especially those in the automotive industry - with our full-motion capable beverage vending machines.

We hate to say we told you so, but we, in fact, did tell you so.

Now, if we can just get an order form for something beyond unpaid market research ....

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I'll Just Google It ... Yahoo!

Yes indeed, the vagaries of fame and function along the information superhighway (or so its inventor was wont to call it) seem to ebb and flow with frightening irregularity. It was only a few years ago that the Yahoo! cowboy! was suing for more residuals! because he could yodel!, yep, yodel real good! Now, it's increasingly infrequently that the compulsory ! is included with the word Yahoo, and Google has become a verb. I think it would make R. Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller proud, but I think it makes the rest of us uneasy.

Google, the company which pledges to "do no evil" is busy planning to store, index, and cross-multiply your (and my!) personal data - all in the cause of making the all world's information available to all the world all the time (except portions of that information deemed too "true" or "dangerous" in certain countries, of course).

Still, Google does have a huge advantage over Yahoo! in my book - they are all about the business of context, while Yahoo! is all about the business of lists. A shopping list is all well and good, assuming I'm headed to the market, but if I want the answer to a question, I'd prefer information related to my query.

Ah, context, and its close relative: environment. It seems we always come back, in these screeds, to that conceit of ours: your message is always better delivered in an environment where the consumer either expects it or requests it. It's all well and good trying to force cod-liver oil down my throat, but I'm likely to choke if you do it in my sleep. (No, really, Pat, it's not a good idea!) If, however, I realize that I need a good dose, I'm more than happy to swallow - just please, when I'm expecting - even better, when I'm craving it!

So, how do Google, Yahoo!, cod-liver oil, and shopping lists come together? It's quite simple, really. If you want to deliver a message to a consumer about the benefits of purchasing your product, why not deliver that message when said consumer is already in buying mode?! That's right, full-motion capable beverage vending machines are the Google to a television program's Yahoo! Oh, it's plenty of fun to watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, but when the dramatic tension between, say, Will and Grace, or Patrick and Sponge Bob is quashed with a commercial for medication or cereal, there is no positive rub-off. When, however, a blast-chilled, sanitized-for-your-protection tasty beverage is dispensed with an invitation to drive away in a new Previa (or is it an Odyssey!), the purchaser is bound to stand up and take notice.

So, I say it's time to Google your customers' thirst, so you won't have to hear your competition yelling Yahoo! as they convert your customers to their products. It's truly that simple.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I think we're all Bezos on this bus

And no, I don't mean that hulk of a man, Jerome Bettis when I say bus.

I recently came across an old quote from the Amazon guy, Jeff Bezos. He said that "anything worth doing is worth doing badly," or words to that effect. I suppose the idea is that one is better off getting started and going back to fix things than to wait until everything is in order and then finding out that someone else has beaten one to the proverbial punch.
In the heady days of the dot com false alarm, that must have seemed like awfully good advice. In fact, given the situation, what with Amazon boxes featured in nearly every trash pickup across these United States, it may well have been exactly what it seemed. However, now that irrational exuberance has been nipped in the bud, and the closest thing to it we see on the horizon is Web 2.0, it seems that it might be time for one to actually do something well!

As everyone seems to know, in order to do well on an internet search, one's paid search text ad should be fewer than 15 words, but more than 13 words. That works out to about 14 words of plain text to get across a "unique selling proposition" or "unique product benefit" on a page awash with text and "graphic" elements. Sounds difficult to me.
Get my message across in fourteen words? How about fourteen scenes? That's right, in a full-motion, full-audio mini-theatrical presentation of fourteen scenes (lasting approximately 30 to 32 seconds) an enterprising marketer can certainly reveal the wonders of his (or her!) brand to the interested viewer.

Imagine, as you no doubt already are, the benefits of sight, sound, and motion all on the screen of a full-motion capable beverage vending machine. A customer walks up - to make a purchase! - deposits cash - to make a purchase! - and receives his (or her!) beverage. But wait - where do the fourteen scenes come in? Right here, gentle reader, right here.
By way of engaging the customer(!), the advertiser offers to pay the deposit on the beverage container (ranging from $.05 right on up, depending on locale!) in exchange for the viewing of the mini-theatrical presentation (actually, a form of a commercial!). While the film rolls, the customer is assured that his (or her!) beverage is being cleaned, sanitized, and blast-chilled for his (or her!) added enjoyment.
That's right - we offer to pay the deposit on the beverage container in exchange for viewing a commercial. Just imagine if all marketing transactions were so transparent; consumers would no longer balk at commercial messages, as they would understand that the media (and beverage containers!) they enjoy so much are being under-written by the providers of commercials.
We at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC believe that this new open-ness will lead to a virtual perestroika of purchases, yea, a veritable glasnost of gelt, from which the noble American Consumer will never willingly depart.


Monday, March 13, 2006

The Next Big Thing

Well, perhaps I'm "giving away the store" in this post, and perhaps I'm not. We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC are not ones to toss away opportunities for billed consultation, but this is such a "mega-trend" that it probably is better served here than in a more formal "report" or other document.

You've probably seen the news reports that - for the first time in recorded history! - the sales of carbonated soft drinks (i.e. "soda" or "pop") actually declined in the US this past year. Why is this? Most likely a combination of the aging of the population (did you know that the leading edge of the Baby Boom generation is entering its 60's? That's right, the 60's generation is in the 60's again!), and the health conscious dietary habits of the youth of America. What with bottled water and all, it's like pulling teeth to get these tykes to drink a sweetened, carbonated beverage (oh dear, no pun intended there!).

So what are we to make of this? We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC believe it's time for more and more marketers to take advantage of our unique selling venue - the full-motion-video-capable beverage dispensing machine. That's right, a savvy marketer could find his (or her!) commercial playing on the front of a Pepsi (or other soft drink) machine in nearly no time at all.

What with the decline in sales, this means the soft drink is becoming more of a considered purchase, rather than simply the impulse, knee-jerk kind of habit it had been in its hey-day. With a considered purchase comes consideration. This means that the purchaser is doing two very important things:
  1. Considering a purchase - i.e. actually "thinking" and,
  2. Making a purchase - i.e. actually "buying,"
What better time to catch a consumer with a marketing message than when he (or she!) is in the midst of thinking and buying - the two things all modern marketing is designed to elicit. I'll grant that many marketers prefer that their consumers refrain from the "thinking" part of this equation, but we don't handle cigarette machines, only soft drink dispensers.

Still, imagine, if you will, your consumer - for example, a Man (or Woman!) aged 25-54 with a household income of $60,000 (or more!), pumping gas into his (or her!) current vehicle. As the tank fills, and the bill mounts, what better time to catch his (or her!) eye with that full-motion video of a new, fuel-efficient, possibly even hybrid, automobile? The simple answer is, there is no better time, and in this case, the simple answer is the correct answer.

But this brings us to the question of where one can find such machines. Ah, where indeed? Let's leave that conversation for a later post, or even a personal sales call, shall we? We shall indeed!


Friday, March 10, 2006

Can't get it out of my head!

Well, I'm sure it can't be just me, but I am completely unable to get my mind off the image of SNL's Jimmy Fallon dancing on a taxi cab with the delicious Miss Parker Posey.

There, I said it - she is simply delicious! I can't say with absolute certainty, as I'm not certain that the opportunity would ever present itself, but I think she could turn a gay man straight, at least for a while. (Ah, would that I could have been there to catch her when the foolish Mr Fallon tossed her away!)

I know not everyone is as enamored of the advertising and marketing game as I am (after all, that's where I earn my wages, as it were!), but I find myself inventing commercials for various products, just as vehicles for the delicious (there, I said it again!) Miss Posey's considerable thespian abilities. I had made a suggestion to an agency friend, complete with story line and some basic direction, but there was no interest, apparently. Alas, the auto industry seems not to be as forward-thinking as the beverage industry.
Go, Pepsi!

Well, I think that suffices for now. Watch for the video of the commercial - you can find it on Youtube.com as well as at ParkerPosey.org - you won't regret the view.