Thursday, August 30, 2007

Green marketing with a mercury lining

Maybe I've had my head in the sand, but after replacing lots of incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescents, now I find out that the CFLs must be recycled carefully because they contain mercury. The October Consumer Reports magazine has a two-page report (starting on p. 28) about how to choose and what to do if a bulb breaks.

Sylvania is offering CFL recycling kits for $15 and up. Here's a more general site, from the state of Montana, discussing CFLs, how they save money, and how to recycle them. (Bottom line, I'll be saving my dead CFLs until I can turn them in during my local community's hazardous waste day.)

Interesting unintended consequence of "green" marketing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Meet the Ryan People

Next month, my local AMA chapter is hosting a speaker from Catapult Marketing, a division of the Ryan Partnership. I don't know these agencies, so I Googled them and was fascinated by Ryan's Web site.

I particularly enjoyed the "At Your Service" section, where the company's experts talk about what they can do for clients. This added a very personal dimension to Ryan's message, with the special appeal of "hey, we're real people, we really understand good marketing, and we're ready to help you engage and motivate your customers." Great combination of one-to-one B2B communication wrapped in a sleek, accessible online package. Click and see for yourself. And be sure your speakers are on!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Putting a Pricetag on Humor

One of the best laugh values I've ever seen is My Comics Page. For about $1 a month, you can have up to 150 comics delivered to your e-mailbox every morning. Just about everything is here, Dick Tracy to Doonesbury, Agnes to Andy Capp, plus political cartoons for left, right, and middle.

There's no risk--you get a two-week free trial to see whether you're getting a buck's worth of laughs. Thank you to my friend Nancy R. for tipping me off to this great site!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Psst! Wanna Invest in a Pool of 50-Year Mortgages?

Statewide Bancorp of Rancho Cucamonga (I'm not making this up) began offering a 50-year mortgage loan in the spring of 2006 (see its original press release). Less than two months later, it expanded the program to subprime borrowers.

The idea is to make monthly payments more affordable for borrowers. Lending Tree analyzes the pros and cons of 50-year mortgages here. Your tradeoff for low monthly payments is another two decades of paying interest on the principal.

In today's subprime mortgage mess, the real issue is how any bank will be able to package and sell such loans to investors. Without investor interest, the 50-year mortgage loan will wither away.

Hey, anybody interested in a short-term loan to buy eyeglasses? Put on your specs and see my July 26th entry.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On the Dark Side, Dripping with Irony

Harley-Davidson's ad campaign for its Night Rod Special cleverly taps into the grown-up outlaw image with a solid dose of irony. The headline is "Scare Life Back into Roadkill" and the body copy talks about "Marinated in bad." Take a look at HD's Web page for this model. Below the photo of the big, bad motorcycle is the subhead: "It came from the dark side of wherever your mother told you not to go." Ooooooh, who couldn't resist at least taking a look?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Marketing in a Web, Web, Web, Web World

Pepsi and Toyota do a lot of brand-building off the Web, based on consumers' interests and lifestyles, and reinforce those activities online. Makes sense to get the most bang for the buck using the Web to engage consumers in as many marketing activities as possible. More examples to follow. For now, check these out:
  • One page on Pepsi's Web site showcases the company's involvement in car culture; another page focuses on fashion (not just Pepsi-branded apparel).
  • A special page on Toyota's Web site trumpets the company's sponsorship of teams at events like the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament Trail and the Danskin Women's Triathlon Series.
  • Coca-Cola's Web site links to all kinds of marketing activities, including exclusive music downloads and its Second Life "Virtual Thirst" contest.