Bears Madness in the super bowl

Its only a week until the super bowl and the bears madness is finally taking over Chicago.

I still can’t believe that they are even going to the super bowl. Its so unbelievable that after 21 years and so many bad seasons they have gotten this far. We’ve always been cautious of how excited we get about the Bears, and most sports teams in Chicago. We get let down a lot. Besides the bulls winning the NBA championship 6 times in the 90’s, and the White Sox winning the world series in 2005, we’re really not a winning city. The Cubs are a huge example and the Bears have been for a long time too.

In fact the marketing for buying tickets to the sports teams games in Chicago is always phrased with things like “for the love of the game” or “good sportsmanship means more than winning” or even “get sloshed while your team gets squashed” at some points. We don’t expect winnings anymore.

So, that’s why things have been so tentative here. No real Bears craze this season until this week. We didn’t believe it could really happen.  And we’re really tentative about getting beaten in the Super Bowl. So, we won’t fully enjoy it if they do win. No one knows the players names, and no one owns bears hats or jerseys this time around.

In contrast all of 1985-86 was built around this crazy cast of characters on that year’s team. We had McMahon pissing off the media and the NFL, Perry being heralded the biggest guy to play the game ever, and Walter Payton breaking records one right after another. It was a colorful and stellar cast. Even the supporting cast was interesting.  Willie Gault was a former Olympic Sprinter and Kevin Butler was a kicker that couldn’t miss.

This year I don’t know anyone except some erlacker guy who blocks and an inconsistent quarterback named Rex and a coach who sells comcast tripple plays called Lovie. And a guy that got into a bar shooting a few weeks ago that I don’t remember his name. I hope they pull together a good game, but I also hope they pull together a winning personality to be able to make this memorable and concrete for the City of Chicago.

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Kinky Boots

I watched the movie Kinky Boots this weekend and thought it was a good story wrapped around a solid marketing concept. The manufacturing industry is facing cost challenges dialy from china and former soviet states churning out cheap products with cheap wages that the consumer seems to prefer because they save a few bucks. The local manufacturer in the US as much as the UK has to be ready to find a new market that is a niche rather than the masses.

Why you ask? Niche markets are good fits for local manufacturing of goods for several reasons.

1. They want something highly specialized. These high quality manufacturing businesses are good at customization because the have highly skilled workers and are located close to the consumer so colaboration and customization isn’t hampered by language, geographical or trade barriers.

2. The high cost of local US or UK worker wages is only going to produce a profitable product if its an expensive one. So, high end products are where you can afford to pay someone more to produce them. 

3. Within a niche the sweet spot is hit when you provide somethin that these specific people need that no one else makes. If you can do that one thing better than anyone else, people will pay for it, even if it is at a premium price level.

So, its a lesson in Niche marketing and product development from a real story made into a movie. I think its a great one.

Marketing tip of the day: MySpace

Marketing on MySpace

I have been trying to gather my wits and understanding of this alternate universe called MySpace for the past few months. I have gathered these thoughts about it for social & marketing purposes.

1. Its addictive because of a few reasons. You become transfixed by how many friends you have listed, how many views your blog has and by the bulletins and messages and new friend requests you recieve. Somehow this is relate to your own self esteem in a very jr high school kind of way. It is a big popularity contest, no one wins but everyone wants to get attention anyway.

2. It is convienient to stay connected via blog/photos/videos/bulletins with your entire social life all in one place.  (hello, time on site and page view numbers)

3. The WOM (word of mouth) factor is high when your friends recommend things to you via myspace. Music, movies, profiles of the tv shows you watch. Its a running log of what you and your friends are into at the moment. People are older here than you think…plus a large number of people use 99 or 100 as their age on their profiles just to screw with marketers. Having false info in your profile is totally allowed and sometimes the main source of entertainment. So, don’t take demograpical data from MySpace too seriously. Plus people have the right to remain anonymous so they will just make up whatever they want.

4. If you want to reach people via myspace you can do a few things right off the bat:

a. Create an interesting profile, pix, stories, videos, history about you and why  people should be interested in you, your work, your company or product.

b. Request to add your friends, coworkers, relatives, pets and so on as friends to geta a good group going.

c. Blog a lot… Like, daily if possible. Interestingness & frequency are key within your target demographic and content area.

d. Bulletin things out to the group regularly, like once a week. Got a new CD? Send a bulletin about a free preview download, or updates along the way. You’d be suprised how many people/performers/companies using myspace never send out any bulletins or update their information or content.

e. Search by interest and request to add those people as friends if you’re really in the make friends and market myself area. It can’t hurt.

f. If your a company, have an actual person be available via myspace that can respond daily. Its better than a profile that’s static and never changes. Plus have good entertainment available there, updated regularly and honest (funny) dialouge.

g. If you’re a big company spending ginormous dollars on ads on myspace and profiles, please back it up with updates and a real person to interact with on the profile.

All in all, its not a lot different from blogs, flickr or YouTube, its just combined into one place.

Search 2.0

I have been away from the web 2.0 buzz for a while but while I was out sick, some new sites popped up that are really pretty cool. The one I’m most excited about is a new search engine site called Srchr. It combines search on all the sites that you use and look for information.

The interface is easy to use and self explanatory. All you have to do is search in the search box like you would on google or any other search engine, and it displays results from google, flickr, youtube, yahoo and all the other sites you could possibly want on the screen below. Its neat to combine all the meta data from all these sites in one place.

It also gives you previews of the pages in the results if you wave over the links. You can also syndicate your search by RSS. Its a new twist on search and aggregating. And you should check it out.

Web for thought

1. I was aranging my 398 film queue at Netflix, and though what would it be like if IMDB and Netflix merged? That would be cool to reference information about films and then be able to rent, buy or view them online. 

2. Is this the next generation prius? 

3. Great product packaging, but Im not sure it would taste good. I still want to buy it just for the bottles though. Metromint.

4. Another web analytics startup.

5. More product packaging changes…pepsi.

6. Become an M&M promotion.

7. Super Coolness – listpic takes craigslists ads and views them by their photos all on one page.

8. The web 2.0 graveyard.

9. More flickr skillz

10. Google moves into your shopping mall

11.  We begin to say goodbye to Ze Frank and The Show.

12. Joost – TV online – like somehow different from all the other TV online…

13. “24” puts DVD of shows out a week after they air. 

14. Are you ready? The Chicago Auto Show starts in less than 2 weeks.

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