Things That Make You Go Hmmm

June 21, 2011 at 12:57 am (advertising, Branding, Design, marketing, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Bethesda Heart Hospital

What’s the first thing you think of when you see this billboard? I thought – “huh, that’s weird. I wonder what they mean?” After all, definitions for a “foursome” range from the sexual to the game of golf, but I get the feeling this billboard is not some kinky reference or about leaving your golfing buddies alone and lifeless on the links. Thinking through the various definitions of a foursome and how it could relate to a hospital it finally dawned on me that it might relate to the anatomy of the heart. There are in fact four chambers and four valves within the heart – That’s it! Now I’m tired and my brain hurts; that was a lot of work to understand a witty billboard.

A lot of work it was, but I got it. More importantly, I remembered it. And I have a feeling that’s what BFW, the agency responsible for the campaign, wanted. I remembered not only the billboard, but also the location of the billboard just so I could stop and get a picture of it. It is no small feat to remember a single 14’ x 48’ billboard while on a 220 mile round trip drive filled with …billboards! So I guess that’s a testament to the marketing force behind the idea.

The agency reports on their blog that “The first day these two billboards appeared, they generated 474 hits on the hospital’s website (that’s huge in their market).  And, according to our client, they’ve continued to generate more buzz for the hospital than any other billboards in recent years.” I have to admit, it drove me to their website and I live 50 miles south of this billboard. Whoever designed the hospital’s logo go it right, too. The “B” reinforces the name, the heart is self-explanatory, and the style, font and color choice reinforce the healthcare aesthetic. So, I guess, job well done on all accounts. …Now where did I leave that SA Node?

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Can’t Email That Important Client? Facebook Them!

October 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm (marketing, networking, News, social media) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Rose Brand's Crystal Series at the University of Tampa

Rose Brand's Crystal Series of stretch fabric at the University of Tampa

Through my blog and twitter updates I have cited many case studies of social media as a networking and branding tool, way to maintain community involvement and policing, and even a case or two of how it can make you unemployed or put in jail. But I saw a tweet on September 25 that gave social media a true business-to-business validation. The tweet came from @Rosebrand and simply stated,  “Just used facebook to communicate with a client regarding an emergency order. Was not able to connect via phone or e-mail but FB worked!” This got my attention.

Here’s the back story – who is Rose Brand: “Rose Brand is the leader in flame retardant fabric, theatrical draperies and production supplies for entertainment, schools, events, exhibitions and houses of worship.” If you have attended a concert, corporate event, tradeshow, or theatrical performance, chances are you’ve seen their work.

…And now for the story: Toward the end of the day on a Friday a member of the Rose Brand West sales staff received a call from a major scene shop in Las Vegas. They had ordered a large amount of NeoFlex, which can be considered a specialty item due to the specific parts and pieces needed. Unfortunately the contact information on the order, and the contact for the project were not one in the same. Thus conventional communication methods – phone, fax, email, smoke signals, semaphore, etc – were rendered moot. Due to the time difference the East Coast office was closed, and the original sales person was unable to be reached. In addition to these communication problems, the item in question was only available from the New Jersey warehouse. Rose Brand operates two warehouses, one on each coast, but they have a vast inventory so some items are only available through one warehouse.

So how does social media come through and save the day? The client contact in this case is a “friend” on Rose Brand’s Facebook Page, and happened to be online at the time. A quick message was sent via Facebook that explained the predicament. That message led to the acquisition of the proper contact information and then a call from the client – 5 minutes later, problem solved. As a Rose Brand representative stated: “In this case Facebook proved to be invaluable. As the end customer was on location and time was running short, it might have been impossible for the client to be reached during normal business hours.”

Social media for the win!

In early 2009 Rose Brand created a Facebook page and Fan page. The company, and members of its staff, are connected to TheatreFace, ProLightingSpace, LinkedIn, and other social media forums. Like many other companies Rose Brand is finding that there is no exact science to the way social media is used, but the real-time learning and conversations that it provides proves invaluable in the day-to-day, business-to-business world.

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King of Pop – King of Branding

June 25, 2009 at 11:13 pm (Branding, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Michael_Jackson_sculptureMichael Jackson was one of the best-branded individuals of our time. His music spanned genres and generations, was instantly recognizable, and often imitated. He developed immortal dances such as the moonwalk and the robot. We’ve seen these dance moves inspire countless other performers, such as Usher and Justin Timberlake.

Michael Jackson was misunderstood by some, but loved by many. He was not only the King of Pop, he was a King of Branding. His product was himself. He dressed as flamboyantly as the royalty of yesteryear – he inspired trends, created controversy, and cemented his mark on pop culture.

How many people can truthfully claim that a nearly 33’ tall effigy of themselves was located in nine different European destinations – including one that was floated down the River Thames? Or hold a patent (US Patent No. 5,255,452) for an “anti-gravity lean”?

Wikipedia recounts his honors and awards including many “Artist of the Millennium” titles, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame double-inductee, and multiple Guinness World Records.

Whatever your feelings are about Michael Jackson the man, it is undeniable that Michael Jackson the legend is a direct result of the King of Branding.

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Extra Fishy Ad

June 24, 2009 at 11:52 pm (advertising, Branding, print media) (, , , , , , , , )

A special thanks to my friend, Dominique, who sent me more ads from AT&T in response to my last post. I especially like the Zimbabwe one with the cheetahs and the grass hands – the coral hands in the Jamaica ad are very nice, too.

All these ads display an almost instantly recognizable cultural feature from the destination, while keeping the graphic simple. They also reinforce the clear, concise, and memorable theme that Jorge Lázaro Díaz (www.careerjockey.org) discussed at freelance camp. The more I see from this campaign the more I like it.

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