Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cultural Observation of the Day.

As an Account Planner, I'm constantly observing my world. Constantly eavesdropping, watching and taking mental notes. Tonight my cultural observation of the day smacked me straight in the face.

If you're single, avoid Lund's grocery after 9 on a weeknight. It turns into couples retreat and no aisle is safe.

The bakery becomes a place to pick that piece of cake to share. Frozen food a mecca for sweatpants couples picking out the perfect frozen pizza. Produce a field for the festive couple to pick a round pumpkin.

Its true that there are some activities in this world that are designated specifically for couples (brunch) and single people (clubs), I just didn't know that the grocery store had a designated cheap date night.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Verizon chips at iPhone's Achilles Heel with "There's a Map for That."

Verizon's latest ad campaign, "There's a Map for That." (agency: McCann Erickson) states what many consumers have been complaining about since the debut of the iPhone: AT&T's lack luster coverage.

The latest TV spot which debuted at spot 6 of Ad Age's Top 10 Viral Videos this week, shows early success in tapping into consumer insight. The key component in making a campaign successful creatively and in ROI. It is also what often makes a campaign viral. Its that simple.

Congrats to Verizon and McCann on some great work!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Building Communities by Discovering Hidden Gems.

With the rise in popularity of staycations, many are discovering the sights of one’s own city. This has become a recent hobby of mine and my favorite sightseeing adventures are finding those hidden gems off the beaten path. Recently I discovered the Riverview Theater off of 38th street and 42nd avenue, bordering St. Paul and Minneapolis. With a décor ala Mad Men, and a beautifully designed one-screen theater it stands out from the sea of mass-produced suburban multiplexes.

Photo: Riverview Lobby (Emma Wiedner)

Providing a step back in time from the décor to the candy selection to the ticket prices (never over $5) the theatre is one of those cultural highlights of the city hidden beneath the obvious sightseeing surface. One feels as if they’ve been let in on a community secret by discovering it.

Photo: Riverview Theater Concessions (Emma Wiedner)

This inclusion into a community secret or hidden gem is when one truly begins to feel like a local of the community. A moment where one becomes a part of a community, and by the inclusion of others begins to build upon that community. This insight of community building around hidden gems is a wise lesson for marketers to always remember.

For brands to be successful they should provide a hidden gem like quality, a feeling of inclusion and community for its consumers to connect to and build upon. When brands exemplify this it turns people from consumers to brand advocates, a key consumer group that has turned Harley Davidson, Toyota and Apple into iconic brands with staying power. At the end of the day always remember: A brand has no staying power, no steam if it doesn’t build a community to rally around it.