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    I just saw the craziest commercial the other night! It featured the Burger King mascot breaking into McDonald’s headquarters and stealing the blueprint for a sausage, egg, and cheese muffin. The tagline stated, “It’s not that original, just sausage, egg, and cheese, but it tastes good and it’s only $1.” The end of the commercial shows the Burger King mascot racing through the security gate on a motorcycle, leaving the security guards bewildered.

    I have seen Apple vs. Microsoft and Verizon vs. AT&T, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen food companies directly challenging each other in their advertising. It’s also odd that they aren’t trying to say they are better than McDonald’s, they’re actually trying to say they’re the SAME as McDonald’s. Very interesting in my opinion. I wonder if it’s just gotten to the point that the fast food companies are playing a price game after failing at other tactics. McDonald’s tried to go healthy and go premium, while Burger King has always offered “have it your way” and premium burgers, but now it comes down to saying, “we’re selling the same thing, at the same price… the end.” I haven’t looked into BK’s Marketing recently, but it seems odd that they used this tactic in their advertising. I’ll have to keep my eyes open to see if I can figure out where they’re going with it. But, if nothing else, it caught my attention and kept me talking, so they must be doing something right!


    I’m in a word mood I guess, because this post also deals with word choice in advertising. While walking to the elevators at Adobe corporate, I noticed a 3-section bin with the following labels, “Compost”, “Recycle”, and “Landfill”. Most bins in the Bay area have a place for trash and recycling, and some also include compost. But, so far, Adobe is the only one I’ve seen with the label “Landfill” instead of “Trash”.

    For some reason, I find this to be a little humorous. I understand that we all need to do our part to be green, and recycle or compost when we can. They take it a step further by reminding us where our trash ultimately ends up, and it just strikes me as funny. The makers of this bin must be using this word choice as a small guilt trip to those depositing waste in the trash bin, in the hopes of making them remember that they are contributing to a growing problem. I wonder if using the label “landfull” actually makes people stop and think, change their behavior, or chuckle a little. Then again, maybe no one notices… would you?


    I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, trying to come up with some insightful reason as to why the words “homemade, hand-made, and hand-crafted” aren’t interchangeable. I haven’t come up with a reason why, so I’ll just ponder and maybe one of you can give me some insight.

    It appears that you can use the words “hand-made” and “hand-crafted” for artistic-type items, like furniture, cards, scarves, etc. These items tend to sell at a premium because they are not mass-produced. It’s interesting, because one would tend to assume that humans make more mistakes than machines, and thus, these items should have more flaws.

    “Homemade” seems to be the word of choice for baked goods like pies and cakes. These items also sell at a premium, and come with premium respect when brought to a party.

    So why can’t scarves be “homemade” and pies be “hand-made”? Why are “homemade” gifts less desireable than “hand-crafted” or “hand-made” gifts, but “homemade” pies and cookies are impressive? The words have the exact same meaning, but seem to significantly affect the value of the items they describe. Any thoughts on these synonyms?


    I caught some of the winter Olympics this year, with amazing athletes, a luge tragedy, and one commercial that really struck me. I love the Proctor and Gamble “To Their Moms, They’ll Always Be Kids” commercial! 

    I think this commercial completely holds true to their brand identity. They’ve positioned themselves as a company that is present in your everyday life, with products that you’ll use for a lifetime. Remember when I talked about making your product a habit, and ensuring that it is passed through the generations? Proctor and Gamble achieves and exemplefies this thought in the commercial. When they cut to the Mom’s face and then flash several of their well-known brands, they remind us that Olympians or not, everyone needs and uses P & G products.

    In addition to being spot-on in the brand identity department, this commercial does “emotional” the right way. Even my parents say that no matter how old I am, I’ll always be their little girl.  This commercial continues the sentiment that no matter how high you fly as an athlete, you’ll always be your parents’ baby. And, for this reason, parents always want to give their kids the best. How do they do it? By giving them P & G products! This commercial tells you that P & G wants to help you help your kids be their best, and what better way than to feature Olympians? On another “emotional” note, who can’t appreciate a bunch of cute, aspiring kids? :)

    Finally, I love the subtlety in this commercial. They don’t mention a specific product or brand until the last 5-10 seconds of the commercial. I don’t feel “sold” or “advertised” to, and I don’t have the desire to change the channel, because I’m interested in finding out who made this wonderful commercial. Just like their products, they don’t have to be invasive and in-your-face trying to get you to buy. After they connect with you by showing a proud and loyal moment, they gently remind you that this connection includes many different products from P & G, and that just as their Moms were there, P & G will be there.

    I’m not generally one to enjoy commercials, but I applaud this one from Proctor and Gamble. I think they made a brilliant use of their time and sponsorship of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Congrats to the athletes too :)


    While working in a retail store, I was responsible for taking the deposit to our bank. I generally worked regular hours, so I took the deposit Monday-Friday, usually around the same time, to the exact same location. It never ceased to amaze me, but when I walked in, some “greeter” would ask if I had a cash transaction, and informed me that someone would be with me in just one moment. Now, I realize that they were trying to make me feel welcome and valued, etc. etc., but let’s look at a few reasons why I saw through their “sincere” welcome.

    They followed a script. Almost to the letter, every greeter said the exact same thing! I came into the bank every single day of the week, so if you REALLY want to make me feel valued, quit giving me the spiel. The person who made me feel the most valued and welcomed was the teller who called me by name, asked about my weekend, and didn’t talk from a classroom assignment.

    They didn’t recognize me. Clearly, if I’m in the bank every day, I know the routine. Why don’t they know the routine? I don’t need to be directed where to go, told that my wait time will be “just one moment” every 5 seconds, and asked if there’s any other services that I need. If you REALLY value me, you’ll know me, and treat me like we’re old hands at this whole make-a-deposit game. Again, the teller who made me feel most valued never had to ask about how to handle the transaction, she just remembered what she did the day before.

    They were over-compensating. Apparently, the perceived wait time in banks is a huge problem, so they attempt to mitigate this problem by giving you an update about the wait time every few seconds. I understand what they’re trying to do, but I can clearly see how long the line is, how fast the tellers are moving, and when the next teller is available. You can be sincere about giving an update, but don’t over-compensate to the point that it is annoying.

    Do we see a trend here? The person at the bank that I feel values me the most is the person who remembers me, and treats me like she knows me. She gets me in and out in a timely manner, and mitigates my perceptions by ACTUALLY doing her job effectively. If you really want to making the customer feel valued, REALLY value them! You can’t fake it, and you shouldn’t have to. Customers make you or break you, so find ways to make your interactions sincere.


    Wise words of wisdom from my Mom! As I embark on the job hunt once again, my Mom reminded me that confidence goes a long way, and that sometimes a mini-makeover is just the confidence boost you need. While pondering my potential personal makeover, I started thinking about what would happen if companies decided to give their brand image a makeover.

    The ever-popular debate: to update the brand or not to update the brand, including logos, taglines, color schemes, jingles, mascots, images, etc. Some would argue that the entire point of a brand is to provide recognizable continuity for all aspects of the company, for as long as the company remains viable. Others argue that innovating the brand image with a little face-lift can help reach new markets, and breathe fresh life into a company. I think both are valid arguments, depending on the state of the company. Take Coca-Cola, a company founded over 100 years ago. Their brand image is reliable, All-American, classic, and strong, and they’ve supported this stability by actively upholding and protecting their trademark script letters. Anytime you see that script, you immediately think of Coke. This is the purpose behind the unchanging brand, the ultimate symbol of recognition. Their commercials give you that familiar comfort of a refreshing drink, and you always come back to Coca-Cola Classic. And, if you seek to uphold a brand image of stability, it is probably best to stick with a single image to represent your brand. If however, you seek an image of trendiness, evolution, “fitting in”, and attracting new people, a brand makeover would be a reasonable choice. Naturally, I must turn my attention to the logos presented by Pepsi. While they’ve kept the same color scheme and spherical red, white, and blue, they have significantly altered their look over the years. They’ve also brought in the hottest celebrities for each campaign, and the look of their cans change regularly. Clearly, they’ve been persistent in upholding and protecting a brand that embraces change, and their continual updates enhance this brand identity. I believe either strategy can work for a company, but I think they must make a clear choice about what type of brand identity they want. Companies cannot assume that a makeover will be a fix to problems they encounter, and makeovers should be used as a strategic part of the overall company plan.

    So, does your brand image need a makeover, or are you confident that you’ve built a brand image to last a lifetime?


    In an effort to help potential employers get to know me, I made this introductory video and posted it on YouTube. I’m an advocate of social media and connecting with customers, so I thought it fitting to use this tool to help put myself out there. Please enjoy my take on Marketing and work culture, and take a look at my resume if you’re looking to hire a Marketing professional!

    Click on this video to hear my thoughts on how technology is changing the marketing landscape.

    Click on this video to hear about why I chose a career in marketing, and find out about some of my early career experience in the field.


    Think what you will, but I must admit that I’m a “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” fan. And, when a new show, “The Deep End”, premiered on ABC, I started to get hooked on that too. Then, the Marketing wheels started turning, and I thought back to my college days of investigating placement for different SKUs in stores. You want your products at eye-level for the consumer, and you want to cross-sell and up-sell different items together. It seems this is also true in television, and they’ve managed to sell me another show.

    “The Deep End” definitely appeals to the same audience as the shows it preceeds in the evening line-up. I think it was an intentional and brilliant move to put it directly before “Grey’s” and “Private Practice”, and core audiences from both shows can start their evening earlier. Also, since it debuted later in the season, viewers can use this show as a “fix” while waiting for the next season of the other two shows. Viewers always complain during the lull between seasons, so giving them a snack should help quell their appetites and their frustration while awaiting the arrival of their beloved shows. It’s a win for ABC, as viewers stay hooked and in-tune with the network. More viewers, more often, equals higher ratings and more ad sales for ABC. This is a pretty obvious connection, and networks do it all the time… I’m just particularly interested because I see how Marketing and strategy worked on a personal level. I always enjoy this realization, as it gives me time to analyze why I feel that way, or why this tactic sold me. As I settle down for my new evening line-up, I have to give some credit to ABC… you pegged me right :)


    My husband is an avid blog-reader, and came across a blog by Paul Graham. He sent over the following links for my reading pleasure:





    Can I just say much I enjoyed reading these articles? I relate to each one, and I love the in-depth analysis on determination, loving what you do, and what it means to be wealthy.

    The first link talks about the anatomy of determination, and how willfulness, ambition, balance, and discipline figure into the “equation” of determination. If you’ve ever wondered why you are determined but unsuccessful, this article may help change your course of action.

    The second link sends you to an article titled “How To Do What You Love”. This post delves into the paradox between work and play that is set up by our society. From an early age, we teach children that work and play are separate, and that work is necessity, while play is for enjoyment. Then, as the years progress, we tell to them to “find a job that they love”. This is an oxymoron for most, because they’ve been raised to believe that the two are mutually exclusive. Take a look at this post and see how you feel about finding a way to do what you love.

    The last link discusses different definitions of wealth, and what it means to be truly wealthy. The author implies that money does not make someone wealthy, but rather the power to do what he wants makes him truly wealthy. If this is the case, money is just a tool, so chasing after money is really chasing after the wrong goal. After reading this article, you may change your view of wealth.

    I really enjoyed these articles by Paul Graham, and I highly encourage you to take the time to read and think about the concepts he develops in each of these blog posts.



    Have I talked about the brilliance of Michael’s? Michael’s is one of my favorite craft stores, and I usually enter with anticipation, and leave with my hands full of wonderful scrapbooking materials. And the best part… my receipt is a coupon for 40% an item, valid for the following week!

    Let’s talk about why this is so brilliant. First, it’s a really good coupon, and generally catches my attention. Second, it’s in a form that I usually take anyways, so there’s no extra piece of paper for them to try to force me to take. Third, it’s valid the very next week, so there’s an instant gratification piece for me, and a returning customer each week for them. Fourth, most crafters can’t have just one, so if you can get me in the store again, I will probably buy several items. Fifth, it just makes me happy :) I know those are 5 quick reasons, but such a simple idea really makes me feel good as a crafter, and thoughtful as a Marketer.

    I think this is a great example of an offer you can’t refuse that also benefits the bottom line. When you give customers extra reasons to come in to the store or make a purchase, they are much more likely to do just that. It sounds really simple, but you have to balance the amazing offer (aka: giving things away just to attract people) and the bottom line (aka: buy 100 and get 1 free!). I think Michael’s has done a superb job, and I will continue to enjoy this offer I can’t refuse :)

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