Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Woo Hoo WaMu Ads Still Playing

clipped from www.wamu.com
Go to home page

Play it again, WaMu. Whether you've seen them on TV or just want to catch what you've been missing, here's where you'll soon be able to watch all of our current TV commercials. You may just get a new outlook on banking.

WaMu Free Checking™
"Hair" TV Spot
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Remarkably, yesterday I saw a TV ad for WaMu. Given its current situation as a failed bank taken over by JP Morgan Chase (the new ownership is clearly shown on the WaMu home page), it seems like a huge waste of money to keep playing the old WaMu ads.

Don't play it again, WaMu.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Stadium's Swan Song

History of Shea Stadium
August 15, 1965
The Beatles play at Shea
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Shea Stadium, home of the Amazin' Mets, is about to close forever. The team is already selling the old stadium seats on its Web site. Nostalgia marketing really works.

Browsing the "final season at Shea Stadium" page, I came across some historical milestones, including the Beatles concert. I bought a $15 ticket to that show from a friend but given my tender age, my parents wouldn't let me go--it meant more than an hour on the subway each way and they also knew that the Beatles were drawing hysterical mobs. In short, the concert was no place for a young girl.

Now if only I'd saved that ticket, which was intact and in perfect condition! But I was so disappointed, I threw the ticket away. Who knew it would be a collectors' item in just a few years?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Farewell to House That Ruth Built

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Watching last night's emotional farewell to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx brought back many childhood memories of going there with my father and sisters. We never saw a World Series game in person, but we did see many Yankee greats play--Maris and Mantle and other legends of this once mighty baseball team.

Mounting the stairs to the subway station as the final inning drew to a close, we'd peer over and see the last out(s) from the platform and then slip into a subway car and be gone before the crowds surged out of the stadium. Babe Ruth would (should) be angry that the house he built is being torn down.

Farewell to an era. I doubt the new stadium will inspire the strong feelings that this grand old stadium has inspired over its 85 years.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Keeping Up with Social Media

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This blog has some fascinating posts about social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). One recent article talked about some of the big corporate rumors of the past and lessons to be learned in using social media today.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pepsi Battles False Rumors

clipped from www.pepsi.com


You've received an erroneous email about a "patriotic can" that Pepsi
allegedly produced with an edited version of America's Pledge of
Allegiance. The truth is, Pepsi never produced such a can. In fact,
this is a hoax that has been circulating on the Internet for more than
six years. A patriotic package used in 2001 by Dr Pepper (which is not
a part of PepsiCo) was inappropriately linked to Pepsi. Thanks for
giving us the chance to clarify the situation and please feel free to
share this message with anyone else who may have received the erroneous
email. Details of the hoax can be found at

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Pepsi's home page has a link (bottom left) to a "False Rumor Alert" correction, shown here. The rumor has been floating around the Web for years, yet it's a big enough deal for Pepsi to battle with e-mails and a home-page link to debunking info at Snopes.

Ignoring false rumors doesn't work. Companies have to jump in with corrections and lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Refuting Rumors Online

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Rumors can spread so quickly online that companies must take immediate action to refute them as soon as they appear. Of course, rumors may still float around days or even years later.

S.C. Johnson refutes rumors with links right on its home page. Get the company's side of the story with just a click--a very smart marketing idea to engage and inform stakeholders.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Lessons from Lux Radio Theatre

clipped from www.unilever.co.uk
Lux header image
clipped from en.wikipedia.org

Lux Radio Theater, one of the genuine classic radio anthology series (NBC Blue Network (1934-1935); CBS (1935-1954); NBC (1954-1955)) adapted first Broadway stage works, and then (especially) films to hour-long live radio presentations. It quickly became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, running more than twenty years.

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The Lux Radio Theatre brought Hollywood shine to Lever Brothers’ Lux soap. Originally broadcast from New York City, the weekly radio program took on new life after Danny Danker, a JWT executive, suggested moving it to Hollywood and hiring well-known stars to perform high-quality shows based on hit movies of the day. Hosted by the legendary Cecil B. DeMille, the program was a big-budget extravaganza complete with full orchestra and sound effects.

Lux lives on as a Unilever soap brand, and the old radio shows are still available in podcasts and downloads. Lux Radio Theatre was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.

Here’s what I admire about Lux Radio Theatre as a marketing vehicle:

- Brand loyalty. Every show explicitly thanked listeners for their loyalty, which permitted Lux to continue sponsoring quality radio entertainment week after week.
- Brand benefits. Scripted live commercials mentioned specific brand benefits, such as “mild for your hands” and “good for your complexion.”
- Celebrity association. Headliners linked Lux with the most famous actors of the time: Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, and on and on.
- Publicity. Paying up to $20,000 to stage a high-quality weekly radio program was newsworthy during the Depression and WWII. Lux was truly deluxe.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Sizzle of Staycation

clipped from www.competeinc.com


Chart 1
Chart 2
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This summer's marketing buzzword is "staycation," found in everything from backyard furniture ads to state tourism websites. Just Google the word and you get more than 556,000 hits (and nearly 18,000 hits for images). Lots of people are vacationing close to home, as this research suggests. But what's new about that?