I am thinking with Shawn Johnson winning the Dancing with the Stars finale they might need to stop allowing gold medal winners from competing. I think anyone who has done a physical activity at that level that involves both art and skill like in Gymnastics and Figure Skating will likley win. Kristi Yamaguchi won and now Shawn Johnson won. This is getting too predictable. They need a beginners division and an advanced division of people who have some sport background but not in ballroom. And not in dance specifically. Otheriwse this will always be no contest. And eventually very boring to watch.
I have been a Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Ornament fan since the late 1980′s when we discovered them. I was in Jr high at the time and the thought that a Christmas tree ornament could commemorate anything you want it to was liberating and fun. We ended up buying several ornaments each year until we had a full Christmas tree of just Hallmark Ornaments and white lights. We still buy hallmark keepsake ornaments every Christmas if they continue the series that we like. The classic cars, classic trucks and classic historic airplanes are three that my brother collects. He is determined to have a transportation only tree at some point, and after 15 years he is getting close to that. My mom and I prefer more winter and holiday themed ornaments and have bought some of the light and magic hallmark Christmas ornaments over the years.
This year might be the one exception to the rule, and it is mostly Hallmark’s fault. For some reason they don’t carry hallmark Christmas ornaments at Jewel food stores anymore. Maybe they aren’t as popular anymore? Maybe people have gotten tired of collecting them? Anyway there are also no Hallmark stores in downtown Chicago where I work and none in Oak Park where I live. So, trekking out to get these is getting more complicated. I wanted to order them on the Hallmark Website and in addition to the site being horribly organized and impossible to finding things THEY DON”T EVEN SELL THEM ONLINE!!! (what kind of organization system classifies ornaments by which series is starting and ending when everyone else just knows them by the cars theme? or their subject matter) WTF? Why wouldn’t a site like Hallmark have an ecommerce site? After all they have done to promote their brand they use the website just to drive people to an offline store? Have they learned nothing about the Internet since 1996??
I am an internet marketer so this is my business to know how people use the internet and what they want, and I can tell you for sure they do not want to have to shut off the computer, find their car keys and drive an hour to a flipping store. It is called point and click buying and last year more than 31 BILLION dollars were projected to get exchanged for goods online at Christmas. Why would Hallmark not want a piece of the pie? I think old people making risk averse decisions like this for a large company (who don’t know how or want to spend money to develop a website) end up screwing the company in the long run as they totally alienate the younger demographic. I can’t see the myspace or facebook generation being lured to a store to buy something when they twitter that they have to go to the bathroom online. I wish Hallmark would wake up and smell the propane and get with the way real people do business and shopping online.
It’s that time of year again when the first rumblings of the next year’s super bowl advertisers come out. (for super bowl 43) I think the companies just ask that their info be released this early to start the buzz cycle and get more mileage out of the media buy. There really isn’t any other reason to release the advertiser names now in September when the ads aren’t even finished yet.
They say the 30 second ad spots are selling for $3 Million dollars each. That is the going rate for a direct sales pitch into 88 million homes and TV sets all at the same time. (when are they going to start webcasting the game and the ads all together like a second delivery system of the same signal? why wouldn’t that work?) Advertisers that actually get a positive ROI from that kind of heavy hitting creative investment are wide appeal mass market companies that have products that are either seasonal at that time of year or products that relate to sports watchers or families watching at home. Products like snacks, drinks, beer and cars have long been popular categories for Super Bowl Ads.
This year some of the confirmed advertisers are Pepsi and CocaCola, Anheuser-Bush, and a bunch of un-named Automotive, Movie and snack companies. Doritos have done really well the past few years and I wonder if they will plunge in again. I think the trend may be finally waning in the internet sites do ads category since few of them have that kind of money laying around anymore and/or need the visibility.
The timing of your ad during the Super Bowl Game is also crucial. The good spots are probably taken already in Q1 and Q3. Q2 gets boring because people have been sitting a while and just want halftime to start so they can use the bathroom and Q4 may be less well watched if the game isn’t almost tied the whole time. Many people just turn it off when the game is a blowout. The ends of pods are also bad because it just leads back into the game and consumers forget the ad pretty quickly. Being first in a pod is best since people have been proven to remember things in chunks and the beginning and end are usually the chunks they remember most.
Sometimes companies get their ads in at the last moment when 1 or 2 ads are left a week or two before the Super Bowl Game but this may not be available this year if companies are paying 300K more per ad willingly and forking over the money (or deposit) this early in the year. I think that marketers are realizing that in a fragmented market you have to be as prominent on every screen as possible to stay top of mind and above the chatter that gets tuned out. But ad placement is only 1/2 of the strategy. The other half is really the most important. It is really about relevance and humor. If you can make your product funny in a way that real people identify with personally, you have a winner and get all the chatter at the watercooler the next day.
Am I the only one who thought that Microsoft and Yahoo didn’t have the first thing in common? Microsoft is still deeply rooted in the OS/Software/Desktop culture, biz model and products. Yahoo is all about the web and always has been. They aren’t winning the battle of the web right now but they are certainly better at it than MSN. (yeesh) Yahoo handles classifieds, news, advertising sale and products as well as their home page better than Microsoft and MSN. And Microsoft wanted to own them and tell Yahoo what to do? Stupid.
Its odd to think that there are incompatible sets of engineers, technology and visionaries, but these to were never destined to be together. It almost seemed like a hair-brained distraction tactic to keep everyone’s eyes away from something else. What else could Microsoft be trying to do with this kind of deal? And buying up companies that are better at something than you are is such an old school tactic. Why not be affiliates? Lisence their ad network? Become associates so you can foster some kind of working relationship and trust first before you go in for the kill and it will be taken as a lot less hostile.
I just think this whole thing was bungled and made no sense from the beginning. And I don’t even know anything internally about it. I don’t work for nor know anyone who works for these companies. This is just my feeling based on the news reports on the internet and radio.
It does make me worried about the future of Microsoft in a world where they are so off base and desperate like this and no one really has any affinity for them anymore. That said, I am typing this in IE but on a free blog platform and on a chinese computer. Things sure have changed in the past 10 years.
I noticed that the neighbors here have gotten a new mailbox and it’s on their house and not by the curb. I guess that is the old fashioned style rather than the suburban style. A lot of people in Oak Park like vintage stuff and I guess it makes sense with the age of the houses. I only noticed this because I rent a parking spot from them and the check had ot be dropped off in the mail the other day. It got me thinking though since I walk to work and see so many houses, about what the other people have too. And it looks like out here these residential mailboxes on the house with the address on them are pretty popular. I guess it makes the look of the house better if it’s all kind of the same era.
I am going to relax this weekend. Things have been far to crazy latley for my liking. I have had a lot going on at work, at home and with my personal life. I feel that there has been a lot of stuff happen and be determined about the rest of my life that I didn’t really have control over so I think I need some time just to take it all in and digest it. This probably doesn’t make sense to anyone reading this, but it;s ok. It makes sense to me.
Today we were blessed with a visit of some colleagues from another office half way across the country. They exclaimed when they arrived (in a very noisy and disupting fashion) that there were no Hotels in Chicago because there is some Blogging conference going on this week. (What does that mean they have to sleep on someone’s couch?) And why would bloggers get together in person? Can’t that be achieved online? And they all laughed heartilly at their assumed clever wit.
Yea, let’s all pick on the bloggers shal we?
And people wonder why I don’t put my name on this blog or any blog I author. There is still some weird social backlash to people who want to go online and have something to say there. We’re weird and somehow scandalous and creepy to them. What do they think we write about? Pron? Why are they so averse to writing? Is it that unthinkable that anyone outside a newsroom would have something to say to the world?
I can’t explain what blogging is to most my relatives and if they have ever seen a blog, they can’t tell the difference between a blog and flickr, digg and Wikipedia. Ok, some people are just stupid, but mostly people don’t understand the internet. Which is unexcusable in today’s day and age. Where do you live? And do they not have power there? Why else would you not own a computer? Why else would you not know how to use anything except Google and Email?
I think if you don’t know anything about the internet except those 2 things, you don’t have the right to judge other people nor to have any authority about the internet in general. In fact those people who probably still forward email jokes from 1996 should not be allowed to talk about the internet ever. Because it’s obvious they have nothing of value to add.
I am always amazed by how many people ready my blogs. (including you) I don’t know you personally, and I am not a professional writer or media property, yet you find my writing interesting enough to read. And it even seems to be international now. One of the terms I see listed as a search engine term people have used to find my blog is “das bourne ultimatum”. That means someone most likley in Germany is searching and after going through a bunch of search results (because I don’t rank all that high) they clicked and came here to read my review. It also suprises me that even though I blog a lot about straight marketing and media topics, the most popular posts I have are about the marketing of the Simpson’s Movie, The Bourne Ultimatum and Californication. How interesting is that? Maybe it has to do with people accepting anyone’s opinion about what makes a movie popular and less accepting of someone’s un-named marketing advice? I guess putting my name on the blog would have more transparency, but blogging isn’t something my employer condones, in fact I don’t think any of them I have worked for do. And I want to be able to speak freely so I do it without my name. In general though the search traffic has continued to pick up again, as the blog directories have dropped off as I removed my links and memberships.
Update: The traffic has picked up at the other blog finally. I ahve no idea what change helped or didn’t help. It’s always trial and error I guess. I can’t link to it from here too often because they think I am trying to pass page rank. Hah. So go see chicago weekend fun dot com without the link.
With gardening being so popular right now, I have seen a lot of people buying ornamental sculptures and decorations to make their gardens more personal. One thing that is popular in the midwest is the mini windmill. These don’t generate electricity like the old ones did, but they are cute and add a fun flair to your yard. Check out the web for sales on 8 foot ornamental garden windmills for your yard.
This was odd in that it is pretty serious like a cooking show. Everyone likes his voice so much, maybe he should star in a cooking show. I bet people would tune in to watch.
I have been sick from my allergies for the past few days and not really writing anything here on the blog. I am not sure why I only developed allergies as an adult, but I can’t seem to get rid of them either. I take claritin D for the constant sinus goo that my body creates, and MOST of the time it works. Sometimes though the dust and mold is too much for me, and I succumb to some silly virus that invades while I’m battling these allergies, and wins. This was one of those. I hope it is over soon, because I’ve already gone through 3 boxes of Kleenex and this is getting a bit ridiculous.
I know I have thought that writing a book in my spare time that could sell and become an extra source of income and possibly a career change later on. But its a daunting task if you have never written anything as long as a book before and you may be procrastinating because of that. I have thought there are 2 or 3 topics and story ideas I have that could be books. They wouldn’t have to be that popular, but just amazon sales and residuals as a little side income would be nice. And it would be nice to put those thoughts down on paper too.
I have found a site that has a writing course that says it can teach you how to write a book in 28 days, for $49.95. http://www.writequickly.com It says there that it covers the basics and exercises that you need to organize your thoughts and get a book written. Which is cool. It looks like they have gotten some good reviews from CNN and Yahoo. (and it used to be $299.00 so this is a good deal) I think that this could be a course to take to see if this really is what you want to do with your evenings and weekends. It could help you figure out what you want to write, how to write it and if this really is right for you. Pretty cool if you ask me.
I got a blurb in an email about a new RSS fed desktop widget/ticker software/service a few months ago and signed up to find out when it would be publicly available, and I am excited to say that it is available now. I downloaded Particls and have it running on my work computer and it is pretty cool to get real time alerts via RSS of any feed I want. They let you add RSS addresses in directly and add keywords that they search for and deliver news on also. The specific feed option is better because they seem to filter the news by keyword, and only show things with a lot of traffic or posts. I’m not sure on that but that’s my theory. Anyway, it seems to take less time to get caught up with feeds this way than in a reader like bloglines or google reader. I’ve tried those and abandoned them when there are so many unred posts that it looks insurmoutable. So, this might be an option for people who have enough bandwith, processing power to run this in the background and have a .net framework running on their computer. I’m not sure if it is MAC compatible right now, because I’m on windows. Anyway, I thought it was new and cool, so I thought I’d share.
The commercial holiday season has hit us again.
And likewise I am out of cash for the season.
That didn’t take long.
Here’s a great flickr group about the commercialization of Christmas.