When I was a junior in high school I went to the theater to see Batman, Mask of the Phantasm. I would still recommend seeing it. And I would go to see it again. Now, take that with a grain of salt because that same year I went to see Cabin Boy too. Twice.
Anyway, I was unaware that I could have the chance to do that again. See, there is more in store for Batman fans than simply the feature film. Check out this trailer for the animated ‘Batman: Gotham Knight”.
My name is Ben and I am an addict.
Recently I had a bad day; I blew through a month’s worth of minutes in an hour. I stole from my parents so I could send more texts. I signed up for six new cell phone plans yesterday during a two-hour trip to the mall.
I want to stop but every time I call my sponsor I fall off the wagon.
Think I’m kidding? Ok, I am. But I’m not kidding when I tell you that two kids in Spain, ages 12 and 13 were recently admitted to a mental health hopsital to be treated for cell phone addiction. Their parents are citing poor grades, withdrawl and a complete inability to interact socially without their cell phones.
Are cell phones the new crack? Is Michelle Obama or Teresa McCain going to launch an updated version of ‘Just say no’? Will law enforcement shut down mall kiosks instead of crack houses? Will Congress meet to discuss the effects of cell phone advertising on minors and move to censor, er, I mean limit the ads?
I sit here in 2008 asking myself is this what we have become? A society addicted to…technology? Kids – 12 and 13 – are addicted to cell phones. Why do they even have cell phones? And how can we expect them to act any differently when adults walk around with electronic devices in their ears, even when they’re not on the phone?
Is this a problem? And if so, where does it end? The same could be said for video games, instant messaging, blogging (gulp), Twittering, etc., etc., etc. All of these things make us withdrawn and sometimes unable to interact in a healthy way. So what should we do? Fear technology? Put limits on it? Censor it?
I don’t know what road we’re on, but I’m sure I won’t like where we end up.
There’s a reason McDonald’s doesn’t try to serve steaks. They know what they are – a cheap, in and out greaseball pit of fat that the masses consume blindly on a daily basis. It’s almost as those who frequent regularly have forgotten what good food tastes like. But I’d have to believe, even if they ate a McSteak they would recognize that something’s just not right.
This is how I view Celine Dion. The McDonald’s of the music world. And it turns out she tried to serve up some steak about six years ago during one of her Vegas concerts, attempting to cover AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’. This was also the lasat time she tried to cover AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long.’ Turns out that it left a lasting impression on people as it was named ‘worst cover song’ by the ‘Total Guitar’ magazine staff.
Who thought this would be a good idea? Of all the songs she could’ve have sang. Do a bunch of older women in polyster really need to hear this song? They would’ve been happy with any Barbara Streisand song or something like that, I’m sure.
Appropriately, Jimi Hendrix’s version of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’ was named best.
Last week I was wondering if invention, in marketing, is dead. Well, rest easy my friends; my faith has been restored.
I first saw this on Seth Godin’s site; it’s the eye-opening video that shows how the radiation from four cell phones can pop corn.
Speculation raged and over the course of roughly a month it was viewed by 4 million people. The marketing community started to debate what company was behind this obvious(?) viral campaign. Earlier this week we were answered:
Cardo Systems, a manufacturer of bluetooth headsets was behind the whole thing, raising awareness for how their headsets reduce 99% of power output.
This is a stellar campaign. I am green with envy that they came up with this and executed flawlessly. However, I will be interested to see if it impacts sales at all and I hope they close the loop and let us know.
Regardless, it is already successful. After all, did you know who Cardo Systems was before this?
Do you want to know why the world feels a little smaller? Maybe it’s because all the forms of communications we’re starting to rely on (instant messaging software) is at the center of a wiretapping discussion.
You see, the government thinks it has a right to request access to certain people’s conversations. One such service, Skype, doesn’t agree. You can read about the case here and the compliance order here. (This act was passed two years ago, by the way….ohhh, hope you didn’t have any embarassing conversations.)
However, you can wake up and start realizing that there’s no such thing as a private conversation anymore (well, unless you’re on Skype) right about….now.
Lately it feels as if the world is becoming a much smaller place. I think it’s because the Internet has become so vast, so quick. And I also think it’s because so many people want to start making money off it. And by people I mean big business, government and institutions that were slow to embrace and now realize they may have been passed by.
Case in point – the AP wants to charge licensing fees for people who quote / use their stories. You can read about it here, and why, fortunately, the constitution protects us against this.
Personally I think it’s because they want to see how much they can get away with in wrestling more of our personal freedoms away, i.e. an excuse to see who is writing what and when.
Long live the constitution.
I started following the writing of Ariel Waldman a few weeks back. Her site, Shake Well Before Use, covers a lot of marketing ground. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs to read (I just wish she’d post more!).
Anyway, she shared this Father’s Day ad that had me appreciating the art of the copywriter. (Although, if every kid is awesome as my daughter you can’t be too upset by the outcome…)
It was a pretty hectic week. I’m sure we all had one. A lot of ‘floods, broken levees, destroyed corn crops, raised gas prices, midwest damaged, Continental cutting, Tim Russert’s dead’ news. So I just wanted to go numb on the couch tonight with some Molson and mindless YouTube. And guess what I found, courtesy of bonniegrrl (via Twitter):
How have I not seen this? At least now I have. And you have too. Happy Friday. And happy Father’s Day!
One of the best things about being a dad is sharing the joy of reading with your kids. I love reading with my daughter. I like to see the parts she laughs at, smiles at – and I like to see when she tries to read it back to me. She wants to tell me the story. She doesn’t have to read the story to tell it, she just ‘reads’ what she sees on the page.
That’s the beauty of storytelling – telling someone, in your own way, what you’re seeing. This makes me reflect, in sadness, on what the passing of Jim McKay means, especially to those who have a great respect for fantastic journalism.
I’m not going to write about McKay’s accomplishments; many people more qualified and more talented than me have written about that. But I am thinking of the art of storytelling that might have died with McKay.
I watched some of his old footage from Wide, Wide World of Sports and the Olympics. The way he described where he was visiting served as the only picture many people had seen of his location. For example, when he went to Moscow he painted such a picture for people that had never even glimpsed at the feared region. We may never experience that again. The Internet has eliminated that. We have seen all there is to see. And if there’s something we haven’t seen all we have to do is visit YouTube moments after it happens.
As marketers, we need to remember this. The bar has been raised in how we tell our story. We need to be so compelling in doing so that you put a picture in your audience’s mind they can’t shake. There’s more to doing that than putting a picture on a Web site and letting people draw their own conclusions.
Sometimes it pays to study the classics.
I’m reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. Part of me is disappointed I didn’t read this about 14 years ago. Part of me is glad I am just reading this now.
See, the ideals in the book are blowing my mind. I’m not sure my teenage brain could have handled it. However, what if I would have had this knowledge then? Would I be who I am today? Who knows.
But as I read the book I am constantly challenged by the fact that the main character stays true to his passion and doesn’t let anyone corrupt that, no matter what. This inspires new thought, new ideas – he’s not controlled by the parameters of what people consider to be ‘normal’.
Are we at this point in marketing? Are we tied to normalcy? Is invention dead? When you sit down to do a program, do you select from a cache of what you know to be safe tactics? Or do you merely select them because you know that’s what your client wants you to select?
Think back; at some point a press release, a sell sheet, direct mail, etc – these things were new ideas. They’ve been around for centuries. Even God had collateral – ever hear of the ten commandments?
When was the last great original marketing idea? When will the new marketing idea emerge? Don’t tell me that invention, in marketing, is dead.
Think of that next time you sit down to plan for a client.