Monthly Archives: February 2006

Filet-o-Fish Spotlight Time

You know Christmas is coming when you first spot Santa Claus.

The Fourth of July is on the way when a tent selling fireworks pops up.

And Lent is near when every fast-food chain starts touting its lowly fish sandwich that is unloved the rest of the year.

As a Baptist, I don’t officially observe Lent…but every year I do see it coming by way of marketing. I see the Fish Sandwich ads start and I know Easter is only 40 days away. For some weird reason, it fascinates me every year. My mind is focused on marketing too much.


Design Basics

Via Scoble
I’ve always said that marketing by committee is never a good idea. This video parody shows what might have happened if Microsoft had designed the Ipod box.

This is true for creating all your marketing pieces as well.
The idea of “we paid for this space so we need to use all of it” sometimes kills your message.


From Cherry Hall to Trump Tower

If you’re a long time reader of the Shotgun Marketing BLOG, you know that I like to pull teachable moments in marketing from the NBC “reality” show “The Apprentice”.

Season 5 starts tonight and I’m already interested in one of the candidates because she’s from KY. Charmaine Hunt is originally from Madisonville, KY and graduated from my alma mater, Western Kentucky University.


Marketing with Sally Struthers

This happens more in small businesses in smaller markets, but I’ve seen examples of it everywhere.

“We’re doing a special section this week to highlight the boy’s basketball team trip to the state tournament. Will you support the team?”

Ask the salesperson how buying a miniscule 3×3 ad will help the kids. The answer is…that it doesn’t. Your money goes to the owner of the media outlet and a commission for the salesperson. The cash never even gets near the kids.

Not only are you being duped by the salesperson into believing you’re helping the kids…but you’re wasting your marketing funds.

“WILL YOU HELP THE KIDS?” is the the rallying cry of salespeople who don’t know how to sell the merits (if there are any) of their media.

I do think a responsible business should support local charities, schools, and other philanthropic ventures. But give the money directly to the organization and be careful not to confuse these donations as marketing.


You say potato

When you try to tell a consumer to think contrary to the common world view, you’ll fight an uphill battle and 99% of the time you’ll fail. It’s hard to change the way people think. Really hard. If you try, it’s going to take lots of money.

Currently, NBC is attempting to fight a battle with their coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics. They say the Olympics are in the Italian city of Torino. You know it better as Turin. (as in the Shroud of…)

Apparently when Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports, visited Torino/Turin a few years ago, he liked the way “Torino” spilled off the tongues of the locals. They chose to frame the Olympic coverage that way.

However, the AP Stylebook that most journalists follow says to use the English version of foreign cities. It’s Rome, not Roma…Munich, in place of Muenchen…and Moscow instead of Moskva.

Most of the public has heard of the Italian city of Turin…and when you read the Games results in the paper (or anywhere other than NBC), the dateline will be Turin. But when you watch them, they’ll be from Torino.

They say you should never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel…or has a transmitter. It’ll be interesting to watch a battle to frame the way you think between the inks and the transmitters.