A woman who works for a medical glove company, Medine Industries, created a video at a Portland, Oregon hospital to create awareness about breast cancer, raise money for the hospital, and cleverly raise awareness about Medine Industries.


Posted on You Tube, Medline will make a financial contribution to the hospital, and offer free mammograms when the video gets 1,000,000 hits. This is a
fine  example of doing good while simultaneously gaining recognition for your company. The video is spreading virally, and the fact that I’ve posted it here is just further proof that it’s working.


Reality TV show idea

August 27, 2009

A guy yells at other people, and viewers watch...carumba.

A guy yells at other people, and viewers watch...carumba.

Each new reality TV show may be worse than the one before. However, I think I can race to the very bottom with this idea for a show:

Lock 10 real people in a room for a really long period of time where the only entertainment is a very large TV that loops endlessly with reality TV shows. Whoever goes insane first is the winner, as that person is clearly the least brain dead.

What’s the prize? I dunno. Maybe a counseling session on Dr. Phil’s show. No, wait, that would make the winner go right off the edge again.

Point of view is so important to getting your message heard.

A TV commercial for an EA Sports’ Fight Night Round 4 video boxing game uses POV highly effectively. In the virtual ring: Muhammad Ali vs. Mike Tyson. (Wow, ya got me good with that match-up.) Who WOULD win that fight? Would Ali dance and sting his way to victory? Or, would Tyson brutalize his opponent with relentless pile-driving blows?

The commercial’s format intersperses “interviews” of famous people like fighter Oscar De La Hoya and musician Wyclef Jean with very brief glimpses of the super-realistic game characters ready to rumble. However, the famous folks don’t talk at all about playing a video game, they instead talk as if the Ali-Tyson match is actual, here and now, and they are experiencing the fight for real. There’s no “would have,” or “if” language; it’s all present tense and experiential. That’s very smart. Because that’s the gamers’ mentality — with controller in hand, gamers live inside the fantasy and experience it is as real.

I don’t know the agency creatives who made the spot, but they clearly understood the audience for this game and did a fine job getting inside the head of the person who will buy it. And that’s the essence of effective advertising.

Bass guitars

June 3, 2009

bass 005

I’m a bass player who also builds instruments on occasion.  Here’s a new bass of mine that’s nearing completion. Just needs pickups and electronics. Any other ad types out there who play or build?

Entertainment value

May 5, 2009

Do you have to cram benefits into your ad message, or can you stoke some love and attention for your business by being generous in the entertainment value department? I first saw this viral commercial over on Adchick’s blog and had to post it here. It’s a spot for a furniture store that demonstrates the latter tactic that’s on YouTube and maybe runs on local TV, although I don’t know for sure.

Buzzing by Billboards

April 20, 2009

In terms of traditional mass media, I think billboards along commuter routes are smart.  Aren’t the roads about the last place where you can find a steady stream of folks whose eyes are somewhat paying attention to what’s in front of them — not counting the absorbed cell phone gabbers.

I know in some parts of the country billboards litter the roadside. But here in the Providence-Boston area the board count is quite reasonable, giving a good message a decent chance of making an impression.

Advertisers have to resist the temptation to load ‘er up. Although for a publicity stunt I once pitched a board that consisted of HUNDREDS of words. The idea was that people’s curiosity would be piqued so much by the massive blob of type that they couldn’t sleep until they found out what the massive blob of type said. Soon, some crack investigative reporter would get to the bottom of it and run a story that told all, including a cleverly embedded, irresistible advertising message… Freakin’ genius I’m telling you… quickly shot down  by the guy on the other side of the table.

One that I’m proud of had one word. It ran for about 1 1/2 years and helped drive $40 million in legitimate mortgage business for a single-location credit union (no sub-prime stuff for these great folks) that was also a late-comer to the competitive mortgage business. Luckily they didn’t say no.

sfcu-mortgage-billboard_sized1The board itself became  a house under construction of sorts with real wood roof framing and a 9-foot fiberglass construction man.  The thing generated buzz, got media coverage and was even the subject of a high school physics lesson — something about calculating weight and mass or something…

Not the best picture, but since this board was right along the highway in Fall River, MA, I took it from the relative safety of a parking lot where the cell-phone gabbers were less likely to swerve onto the shoulder and wipe me out.

Thought for today

April 7, 2009

It’s not that miraculous things ever happen, it’s that ordinary things contain the miraculous at every moment.