Thursday, September 28, 2006

Go Daddy Commercial

Go Daddy commercial for the superbowl that didn't make the cut.

Martin Calle on Social Media & Social Marketing

Professionally and personally, I have some thoughts I'd like to share on Social Media and Social Marketing. Let me know what you think.
One: Marketers will always thirst for consumer ears and eyeballs wherever they can be found, hence marketers divert ever increasing sums from traditional to "new media."
Two: The number one fear in America is, guess what? Public speaking. Not only do we fear talking to other live human beings, we have blogs to use to express our "true feelings" to others. Isn't the irony of that sick? I always thought that had to be done face to face. If we don't perfect that craft our society's next step is underground with the Morlocks. Step into the sun and talk to someone face to face! Otherwise, what form of "introvert" will social media produce? We use the computer to learn and to communicate while advertisers interupt us, but do we also use the contrivance of television and the internet to escape "physical" contact and communication? No. E-harmony success stories do not disarm my fears.

Wood's Gone Wild: Tiger Woods & Your Dad's Old Car

I like Tiger Woods. He is a dream endorser, but suggesting that he's the band-aid attracting younger buyers to Buick is too much! Click the link. Read the article. Here are my comments to Ad Age Writer Rich Thomaselli:

Whose hype are you believing? Tiger Woods - "the magician helping Buick shake its image as an old people's car?!" Buick's Marketing Director must wine and dine you really well.

I was hired by General Motors, The Buick Motor Division and McCann-Erickson to revitalize Buick's image and positioning. Long ago Tiger was supposed to be "the man." He is! But as long as GM keeps making cars that "look ten years old before they are new" no one is going shake Buick's image as an old person's car.

That's GM's fault. They have a tenacious cling to old fashioned ideals and styling cues that matter to...well, only people at GM.

But McCann-Erickson has contributed to the brand's demise as well as to the ad industry's "reputation problem" highlighted in Matthew Creamer's current Ad Age Cover Story "Just Make It Stop..."

Do you remember McCann's, "It's the fine line between sport and sedan" for the Buick Regal? No one else does either. What dreck, as the Germans would say. What consumer ever asked for "a fine line between sport and sedan"? It's strategic and creative dribble. (Oh yeah. Go to McCann's web site. They have a picture of "Mental Jellyfish" on their home page.) The job was to sway those who otherwise purchase Honda Accords, Toyota Camrys and Ford Tauruses to Buick. My God!

Our research found that most competitive purchasers wouldn't recognize a Buick even if it ran them over. They perceive the brand's product lines as little more that rental fleet fodder. So GM should immediately stop selling the product to fleets. It dilutes the brand's equity. Oh yeah. I forgot. Then they'd go out of business because mostly fleets buy Buicks.

That's not McCann's fault. The brand's invisibility is not due to a lack of impressions. They have spent lavishly!

It is because GM clings to outdated styling cues that matter only to those at GM and their aging Midwestern buyers market. In fact, the division's 110 question long battery needs segmentation questionnaire is skewed to the wants and needs of this audience - not younger East and West Coast spenders. Bottom line. You have to make something that someone wants to buy. And Buick doesn't. So drop that study.

Yes, the Regal is a nice looking car. When we portrayed the vehicle unbadged, as a potential Porsche entry to the US mid sized car market, audiences went wild! Then they saw those horrible front and back end styling cues and sneered "Buick." "I knew it."

Tiger Woods is the cream of the crop as far as endorsers go. But you can't stick him on a brand like a band-aid and create a miracle. As long as GM, or Buick, makes cars that look like old people's cars, they will remain old people's cars.

Preceding a presentation at GM headquarters I was approached by Buick's strategy head. She let me know that I had many friends in the room. She also let me know that no one was going to turn Buick, or GM around single handedly. But somebody should.

That Porsche Regal is still in the wings. I have the strategy all mapped on paper ready to go. Projections indicated annual sales of 250,000 units - not including fleet sales. Will I have any takers? Or will they give me the John DeLorean prize?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Advertising Agencies Short On Real Ideas

Masterful. Simply Masterful. Hats off to Advertising Age Magazine's columnist, Jonah Bloom for summarizing Madison Avenue's decline so succinctly.

There was a time when CEOs went to advertising meetings and advertising meetings contained use of the word "sales." But the ad agencies couldn't stand the heat so they had to get out of the kitchen. So CEOs stopped going to advertising meetings and advertising meetings started using the phrase "generating awareness and recognition" which is Greek for "if we through enough stuff against the glass, something might stick." And thus began Madison Avenue's downward spiral and the implementation of "pay for performance" advertising. Madison Avenue's copywriters and strategists were given the liberty to dig heir own graves.

Ten years ago it had gotten so bad that the 4As (The American Association of Advertising Agencies) had to close the career page (the place where ad agencies could post jobs and candidates could post resumes) on their web site. In its place, for a short time, ran a sign that read: "Due to the miserable economic conditions on Madison Avenue, the AAAA has closed the career page. Because it is unlikely that this condition will change anytime in the near future, the AAAA has elected not to make an investment to upgrade or republish the career page."

So read Jonah Bloom's column. Wonder why advertising agencies can make messages so fun, and underlying messages (the big ideas based on rich, robust and proprietary insights) so bad. Visit McCann-Erickson's web site. See the "mental jellyfish" yourself. If a picture is worth a thousand words, would you hire this agency? And if you did, why would you stay? Yes I like Leo's pencil. I used to work there too and hold it in reverence. But the doodling is too symbolic. Account groups and clients argued for months over who would pay for original research to "ferret out" the big idea. Since no one paid, strategy flew by the seat of the pants of the highest executive - which is not a big idea - nor in anyone's best interest save those in their chair - and paid handsomely to do so. And if you are new or coming up in the industry at Coke or P&G do not become redirected by obfuscation or side issues such as media selection and social marketing. So you make a bad buy. So what? Wayne Gretsky says, "You miss every shot you never take." And I'd like to add that if you are not making mistakes you are not learning. If you are not learning, you are not growing. Social Marketing? Chase consumer ears and eyeballs wherever you find them. My view is that television and computers are for learning, or to escape. But they are singular experiences - anti social - for every moment in silence engrossed in some show or pinned to some blog is a moment we are not actually talking to another human being.

Jonah? You accused ad agencies of being commoditized and homogeneous. Vanilla. You are correct. That is the problem. What is the solution? Owner-executives. Not home grown. Not industry grown. Mavericks. How do you find them? They are few and far between. But don't call recruiters. They seek the "classically trained." Those in the industry loop and those just graduated still in the process of learning everything for the first time themselves. So pay attention clients. You'll have to find owner-executives yourselves. A wise, and rich man once told me that, "Life is a matter of exposure. The more you expose yourself to, the more likely you are to succeed." So find those as different rather than as alike you as possible. And I don't mean irreverent creatives who shun suits. I mean those with ideas to which you are violently opposed because "we" [you] cling to our ideas more tenaciously than our most prized material possessions - which can vanish when we can no longer wholesale our time for a paycheck because an account was lost or sales plummeted. (Let me tell you about IBM's founder who retained the man who made a $600,000 mistake sometime) In collaboration with this difference is the strength of bigger ideas. It's genetics. The bigger the differences between two, the stronger and more beautiful the offspring. Thanks for the stimulation Mr. Bloom. I'm tickled.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Calle's Carnival of Consumer Marketing - September 26, 2006

Dave Lorenzo presents "The Five Habits That Make You More Money"

Dave's recommendations are right on the money! His recommendations are all very obvious. So why don't we do them? As my dad taught me, "Sometimes the best answers are so obvious, they're not obvious." Way to go Dave!

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Calle's Carnival of Consumer Marketing - September 22, 2006

Steve Faber presents Internet Ad Revenue Growth Slower – Is That Indicative of Something Bigger? posted at Debt Free.

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Steve makes two conclusions here that I couldn't agree with more.

1) What Ford desperately needs is brand loyal, long term customers. I would like to say that that is acquired by making products desired by more people. Obviously, the best practices employed to determine what people want are not working well enough to raise the bar and sell more cars.

2) Ford needs to make sure they [young people] become Ford customers for life. How do you do that? I walked into the Genius Bar at an Apple Store the other day. My 80 gig iPod wasn't working. I was the last appointment of the day. It was 9 PM down at South Coast Plaza. I was tired. Apple's resident Genius Jason was tired. He took one look at my $400 iPod and said, "You know what? I'm just going to give you a new iPod because you've already been here once today." GOLDEN! I am now an Apple Computer devotee for life! I had always purchased PCs before. But you better believe my next and every subsequent computer will be an Apple.

Now that Jason knew he had done the right thing he continued to explain the rationale behind his move. "We take more time to build and test an Apple. They cost more because we build them to work as well on day one as they will work on the last day. They cost more, so we figure the people buying them will be responsible and take care of them. So we figure that when something goes wrong, it's our fault. Here's your new iPod."

Man. What an experience.

Reminds me of another story of the man who bought a turbo diesel Mercedes. Twenty years later, the car would not run. Turbo charger problem - so he took the car to the dealer. The dealer put a brand new $3,500 turbo charger on the twenty year old Mercedes. The following month the owner came back to the dealer and purchased a brand new Mercedes. Don't you think that dealer made his money back from his "small" gesture of goodwill? THAT'S HOW YOU BUILD BRANDS. Found on page one of BUILDING BRANDS FOR DUMMIES.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Branding BlowOuts. Now Innovation Impotence Too

Well, you already know my view on branding. It's something you do when you have a lot of money and don't have anything important to say, kind of like Blue Cross Blue Shields "Power of Blue" branding campaign. I thought Big Blue was IBM? Well, plagiarism never worked in school either, but some branding expertly making six figures for no reason at Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Anyway, on to Innovation Impotence. You know Innovation and the Creativity Economy are supposed to be the hot new buzz words given Business Week Innovation Editor Bruce Nussbaums tick on the subject GET CREATIVE August 5, 2005. Accordingly, two years ago, according to a Boston Consulting Group Poll, 97% of CEOs said they were disappointed on their innovation return on investment. As Jeff Goldblum said in the movie Independence Day, "Ooopps." This year that number is reportedly down to 64%. The dramatic turnaround is attributed to better PR awareness. People were listening.

Yet according to McKinsey & Company the consumer products industry has lost its glow. Revenue in the US $2 trillion packaged goods industry is flat and executives want to know where the growth is going to come from.

So as Clara Peller said in those venerable Wendy's commercials, "Where's the beef?" Consumer packaged goods innovation is still, for the mostpart, nowhere to be seen on the horizon. Why?

Because business leaders misuse the term innovation, throwing it back and forth as if saying the word makes it so. Lets look at innovation at The Home Depot who is currently running an Innovation HomeShow 06 in all of its stores. Is this innovation? With hundreds of innovations on display? No! Because manufacturers assembled merely because they have updated old products does not constitute innovation. In fact, making the old new has never been considered an innovation. It's just a necessity. Hence, these innovations fail to change the rules of the game and generate incremental profit and volume. Though newly designed, LG and Maytag's numbers are still flat. On the upside, better displays, the newest models and more knowledgeable sales associates have helped The Home Depot and Lowe's appliance sales teams chip away at perennial go to department store Sears.

Memo To: GM & FORD

There is a saying in sales that says, "No one quits when you're making money." So what's wrong at GM and Ford? Obviously they're not making money. How do you make money? Obviously, by making products that people want. But how do you make products that people want? Obviously, the best practices employed to determine that aren't (best practices.) Have you ever taken a look at something such as GM's 110 question long battery needs segmentation questionnaire? Worthless. There are two other ways to make money. Money makes money, and people make money. These companies need new people.

Halo products Solstice, Fiero, Reatta, Corvette should be the norm - the cost of entry rather than the exception. So keep firing strategic leaders who say there is a market for people who want ugly cars (such as the Chevy Lumina). They don't. Remember that when you think you are great, you are only good - When you think you are good you are merely mediocre. Stop making stupid decisions such as putting the last of the V-8s in the ugliest Chevrolet's ever designed (Caprice)- and then, when they didn't sell, conclude that American's no longer wanted V-8s. No - Americans no longer wanted ugly cars (looked like a big upside down bath tub - self respecting New York cabbies didn't want them either). Abandon trademark styling queues. No one cares what tail lights are on a Cadillac versus a Chevy - except Cadillac and Chevy. Stop advertising that only talks to GM about GM. Kudos to Nissan's Versa for positioning itself as the cure for claustrophobia. At least "that's" talking to consumers. Abandon design quirks. Consumers told us the problem with GM cars is that they all look ten years old before they're even new.

There's nothing wrong with Pontiac's Solstice. It's interior is unremarkable by today's standards. It's only remarkable to GM. It's Jimmy Durante nose is awkwardly unusual and beautiful. Stop positioning your divisions in quadrants. No one wanted an Oldsmobile (the division lost its consumer reason-for-being pinned hopelessly to one of the corporation's brand positioning quadrants like a tail on a donkey. Oldsmobile's death was like watching a worm dry up on hot concrete - you could have picked up and saved the worm by moving it, but you didn't). Stop abandoning platforms. As soon as Mark Hans-Richter leaves the Solstice will go the way of the Fiero and Reatta. I call it the John DeLorean Effect. Big company's hate individual success because it can't be duplicated by others.

So stop confusing motion with progress GM and Ford. Everything you are doing is just window dressing for board members and accountants. Just stick to the facts. Make products someone wants. And remember, no one quits when they're making money.

Required Reading - John Maxwell on Leadership

Required reading for every C and Board Level Executive.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gillette's Rusty Image

Gillette. It sounds like the French name for a dilettante or a dandy. What we'd call a sissy. All soft. Not hard and strong. Now technological leadership is why the brand wraps itself in science fiction imagery. Who else could put 4,5,6,7,8,9 or ten blades in one shaving head? Ridiculous. But doesn't Gillette's CEO realize that only 3% of men over 18 find science fiction appealing? Why not target the 1% of us that listen to jazz? Obviously the brand is having trouble relating and resonating with its core audience. Are we sure this is a man's brand? NYC firemen are our role models today ... men's men ... not Gillette Fusion's Captain Kirk and Jean Luc Picard. (Do they shave in the 24th Century?)

So maybe it's time for an extreme makeover.

Option 1)

Bring in Leo Burnett and The Marlboro Man. Cowboys are always rough, tough, big and strong and sexy too!

Option 2)

Package razors and razor blades like hand tools. Men like tools.

Option 3)

Choose new colors. Corvette Yellow and DeWalt Black says big and strong - and men like tools.

Option 4)

Position razors as tools, not as personal care or health & beauty aids. Did we say men like tools?

Option 5)

Burl razor handles like pocket knives. Make the blade and handle foldable. Real men carry pocket knives. Offend business people who can't take knives to work or the airport. You have to stand for something and executives are not your core audience anyway. Only 30% of Americans graduated from college. The rest of us don't work at Procter & Gamble or J. Walter Thompson Advertising. We're out hunting real turkeys, watching pro bass fishing, thumbing through Bow Archer and Field & Stream.

Option 6)

Create a razor called "The BackStroke." Put blades on both sides. After all, swimmers, actors and gay men shave hair from their entire body.

Kraft CEO Slams Company, Trims Marketing Staff - September 18, 2006

Rosenfeld's Internal Memo Takes Aim at Bloated Bureaucracy

For the full text article click the link in the title above. My take, emailed to Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld and Advertising Age Magazine writer Stephanie Thompson follows:

To:Stephanie Thompson

Advertising Age Magazine

Subject: Response to your article published September 18, 2006

Kraft CEO Slams Company, Trims Marketing Staff
Rosenfeld's Internal Memo Takes Aim at Bloated Bureaucracy

I couldn’t agree more with Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld. Kraft’s marketing department has long been populated by what head hunters call “the classically trained” – young bureaucratic MBAs who, whenever the word “sales” pops up, point their fingers across their cubicle to “that department over there.”

But it’s not their fault. Kraft’s culture expels “founder-executives;” those few who create brands and mentor the young. The personality just doesn’t fit corporate America – hence the role of consultants – those who can provide an unfettered dose of experience. Irene Rosenfeld may have laid a few marketers off – but then again, Irene must put into place the mentors whose creative and strategic innovation leadership enables the young to flourish. I know Irene Rosenfeld realizes that “LET’S GET GOWING” is a two way street.

One reason people fail to innovate in companies is because managers are uncertain as to whether new directions will help or hinder a company’s goals and objectives. Without mentors, someone who knows how to create and build brands from scratch, the young resort to bureaucracy for corporate survival. They must “fake it till they make it.”

What am I looking for? I remember an Ad Age article about one Procter & Gamble Chairman; I believe it was my friend Ed Artz, who sat one Sunday evening a month in his kitchen - with the head of his HR - to discuss the performance of his top 200 managers. Can you imagine how much more effective Ed or John Pepper would have been had they sat down with each of those 200 managers for a three to five minute impact meeting themselves! Who better to set the pace and lead by example!

But bureaucracy aside, I’ve found and worked with a number of Kraft founder-executives and alums who as author Jack Kerouac said, “Flew over the cuckoos’ nest” before moving on.

• Open Pit’s Group Brand Director Karen Scott for whom we pioneered barbecue’s thick and spicy segment. The thick & spicy segment grew at 66% while the baseline brand retained a 3% growth rate.
• Kraft Dairy Group’s Marketing Director Roger Harrison for whom we restaged Breyers as The Full-Of-Fruit Yogurt setting record profit and volume gains highlighted in Kraft’s Annual Report.
• Marketing Manager Eric Shultz for whom we repackaged both Kraft Mayonnaise and Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs. After Eric’s departure it took Kraft 12 years to implement recommendations to repackage Kraft Mayonnaise in wide mouth jars so that people making potato salad could actually get a large spoon into the jar and put hot dogs in zip-lock bags – both moves that expedited product usage, purchase frequency and shelf velocity.
• Jell-O Strategic Marketing Director Cindy Sila for whom our new product concepts registered a 100% top two box intent to purchase score – yet have yet to live their billion dollar interactive consumer sales day. (interactive confections are the fastest growing segment of a $24 billion industry)

This is a short list of Kraft clientele that includes lots of work for Irene Rosenfeld’s contemporaries – including ex-Kraft Chairman Bob Morrison. But, “the good die young” at Kraft. I know that Irene Rosenfeld realizes that in leadership “it is only in raising others that we ourselves become leaders.” So more importantly, Irene Rosenfeld must figure out how to hire and retain older top marketing/mentoring talent rather than the classically trained bureaucratic fresh fruit and corporate carrion on which headhunters feast - for it was one of those who asked me to remove the word “squiggly” from a new product concept I created because it was “too salesy.” The new product I created: Halloween and party favorite Jell-O Jigglers.

Thank you.
Martin Calle
Calle & Company

Friday, September 15, 2006

Gillette: Dull Blades, Not Dim Wits

Gillette's tagline has always been, "The best a man can get" but it should now read, "Men who confuse motion with progress." No wonder parent P&G is disappointed with their recent business acquisition and performance of top management rumored due for a shake up.

Not long ago (remember when razors had only two blades?) I met with Gillette's head of technology, research and product development. He introduced me to their next "innovation," a three blade razor. It wasn't long before I quipped, "Boy, I can't wait to see your introduction of razors with 4,5,6,7,8,9,and 10 blades" - a comment which drew a frown - for there you have it. I had hit Gillette's business strategy square on the head. I laughed. But no one needs razors with 5,6,7,8,9,or 10 blades as evidenced by Gillette's dramatic slowdown. That was nearly 15 years ago sitting on the top floor of Gillette Headquarters in Boston.

Technological window dressing (Gillette Fusion's Star Wars/Star Trek/halosphere approach) so prevalent in the brand's campaigns for latest launch Fusion will not engage the brand's warp drive. Maybe the brand should go back in time, not forward, and simplify - mornings are already so complex with Folgers being the best part of waking up. The company needs to find new consumer needs or "selling dimensions" that are more relevant and resonant to heavy users - Here is the true opportunity to innovate. Would that be Damascus steel rather than a light saber? Damascus is an ancient process of folding steel in visible and controllable patterns to produce the sharpest blades as found in Saracen swords. Looking back rather than forward might inject some caffeine into consumer engagement. Didn't those guys have tougher beards anyway?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Calle's Carnival of Consumer Marketing - September 14, 2006

Jody DeVere presents Female Energy Needed To Sell Cars? posted at Ask Patty - Automotive Advice for Women.

You got that right! So many brands have female skews yet no female at the helm. Two of the brightest I've met are Marina Shoemaker and Paula Travenia. Paula runs communications research for Buick and Marina drives strategy for GM corporate.

The last time we met was following a project to redress McCann-Erickson's brand positioning strategy for the Buick Regal - a product line and brand that GM feels has the greatest challenges, and the greatest opportunity - on paper it's the same car at the same price point as a Camry, Accord or Taurus, yet lags far behind leaders for several reasons including way outdated styling cues that ruin the overall feline effect. Paula's last counsel to me before making that presentation was "don't worry, you have a lot of friends in the room, but no one is going to save General Motors single handedly."

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Calle's Carnival of Consumer Marketing - September 14, 2006

Chuck Russell presents What Exactly Is Dealer Invoice posted at buyanauto.

Buying an automobile via a dealer has been problematic for consumers and car manufacturers now for many years. Consumers don't like going there and manufacturers don't like being tied to 5 and 10 year contracts with dealerships that cost millions to build. Not only do consumers not understand dealer invoice - most consumers in studies for General Motors found that the bread and butter vehicles; Honda Accords, Ford Taurus and Toyota Camry perform so well that they are literally perceived to be commodities. Made so well that a consumer could go to Costco, plunk down their American Express Card for a down payment and authorization to hit their card every month for $289. Stored in Costco's vast parking lots we found that no one needed dealers - and that was 12 years ago.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hot: Toyota FJ Cruiser


Directory > Words > Dictionary

a·dap·tion (a-dăp'shun) n.
Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. 1995.


The act of making suitable to an end or the condition of being made suitable to an end: accommodation, adaptation, adjustment, conformation. See CHANGE.

Procter & Gamble's well recognized creative and innovative thought leader, Calle & Company has launched a new process joining its stable of creative, high profile business and brand development solutions often touted by Harvard Business School.

the process takes advertising campaigns and positioning strategies that don't work and teaches the dog to hunt. Contact the firm for more information.

Monday, September 11, 2006

McDonald's Exclusive - McD's hunts for marketing chief

Good morning.

Board of Directors. Who should McDonald's select as the new marketing chief? Someone with organizational restructuring and cost cutting experience? Someone adroit at new restaurant design and menu planning? Someone sophisticated at testing new ideas like taking employees out of the loop, developing kiosks and other real estate points of distribution? An insider? An outsider? A technician? Or a visionary? A business architect? And for how long should their input have an impact?

Dick and Maurice McDonald were great restauranteurs - but lousy business men. They never sold more than 15 franchises and only 10 became restaurants. One owner asked to call his restaurant McDonalds in Arizona and was told "no" because "McDonald's doesn't mean anything in Arizona."

Then along came a visionary named Ray Kroc who made ice cream equipment for the two brothers. He was also a real estate visionary who could foresee a nation, a world of McDonald's restaurants. So he hired his real estate buddies at significant discounts and promised them a piece of the company. Today, McDonald's is the largest real estate owner on the planet, aren't they?

So who to hire next? Not another real estate guru. Donald Trump isn't available. Not another cost cutting management and organizational titan. Not an adman or marketer adroit at 30 day promos and new products.

McDonald's needs a transportation authority to take it the next hundred years because roads are obsolete. The problem is not in generating an incremental usage occasion for a BigMac or QuarterPounder (which by the way I invented for the firm while at Leo Burnett in Chicago). I can do that. The problem is how to get more people to McDonald's faster. Think "increase frequency and velocity" globally. Boston can finish their Big Tunnel Project to alleviate traffic congestion, but anyway you slice it, a human behind the wheel will create a bottleneck, even if Southern California's famed 405 became 20 lanes each way, there would still be road rage and traffic snarls. The problem isn't the road, it's the people.

So McDonald's needs to find a heavy hitter with government transportation and auto industry ties. An infrastructure hardscaper. Someone to take the company accross the next century's goal line. Someone who can do with roadways and cars what Ray Kroc did with real estate. He hardscaped the landscape. So are you looking for a hardscaper, or a cosmetic landscaper? Because a Wall Street darling won't cut the mustard.

While I was at Burnett I was asked by the company Chairman what I thought about client Philip Morris' acquisition of Kraft. Since I structured the deal (it was my concept) I said that Phlip Morris was making the deal to reduce profit dependency on tobacco. He looked at me as if I was a crack pot - or on crack - but as a pragmatic futurist I know intuitively how to read trends and the writing on the wall. Tobacco was ten years from going down. The Kraft acquisition (before tobacco became a target) reduced Philip Morris tobacco profit dependency from 96% to 46%, set the stage for young execs such as Betsy Holden and Roger Deromedi to lead the firm and craft (no pun intended) Kraft's IPO and PM to continue to flourish. Thanks Hamish Maxwell! Growth and creating opportunity for others is my ambition.

Advertising Humor

Driving down a dirt road in the middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin, Leo Burnett and I saw this sign tacked to the side of a general store.

"We sell worms with fish appeal."

Best ad we never wrote. 1969.

Red Meat Marketing

Attention producers and chain grocery store owners: Do you want to depict the virility of red meat in advertising? Portray your product on a red, not white background. Advice: Compliments of Leo Burnett, personally, 40 years ago. My advice: Go with it. The past is often forgotten.

The American Flag & Patriotic Links - September 11 ( 911 )

I will say nothing to avoid cliche. I title this picture "Today"

Links to other Patriotic and Historic sites:

The Flag of the United States

Flag rules & regulations

Founding Fathers - American Flag

Flag Etiquette - Courtesy of USA Flag Site
American Flag Info - USA Flag

American Flag Protocol.

Rules for Display of the American Flag

Display Outdoors

Over the Middle of the Street
It should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.

Flown at Half-staff
Should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By "half-staff" is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the President of the United States.

Flown on the Same Halyard with Non-Nation Flags
The American Flag should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the right of the flag of the United States.

Suspended Over a Sidewalk
The flag may be suspended from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.

From a Staff Projecting Horizontally or at an Angle
The flag may be projected from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, with the union of the flag placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.

In a Parade with Other Flags
The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag, or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

With Non-National Flags
The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.

With Other National Flags
When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

With Another Flag Against a Wall from Crossed Staffs
Should be on the right, the flag's own right which is the viewer's left, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

Display Indoors

From a Staff in a Church or Public Auditorium on a Podium
The flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker (to the right of the audience).

From a Staff in a Church or Public Auditorium off the Podium
Custom and not the flag code hold that the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence as part of the audience, in the position of honor at the audience's right.

Used to Cover a Casket
It should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

Other than being Flown from a Staff
The flag should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes or drapings are desired, bunting of blue, white and red should be used, but never the flag.

Never fly a torn or tattered flag.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Creativity Economy?

What prevents a company from following the path of marketing reinvention, creativity and brand innovation? The inability of managers to assess whether an innovative idea will advance an organization's goals or take it off course.

Calle's Carnival of Marketing Personalities - September, 8, 2006

Peter Kua of RadicalHop hits the nail right on the head - personalities are critical to explosive business growth and marketing success - and you can't beat positive word-of-mouth advertising.

Our slant: If you go through life, without becoming a character, you haven't really lived life yet. If you've lived through it, then you've earned the right to talk about it," passionately according to Dale Carnegie

See: Peter Kua presents 3 personalities critical to explosive business posted at Business. Innovation. Passion.

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Calle's Carnival of Social Marketing - September 8, 2006

Social Marketing Carnival guest Nedra Weinreich, President of Weinreich Communications, hits Social Marketing right between the eyes. See Nedra Weinreich presents: Social Marketing vs. "Social Marketing" Smackdown posted at Spare Change.

Thanks Nedra! We've stamped your hand. Feel free to re-enter the carnival at any time.
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Daniel Letranova: Innovation & Multiculturalism

Daniel Letranova posts interesting thoughts on connections between innovation and multiculturalism: that innovation is strengthened by the influence of outside mix.

In writing, Daniel said: I saw your post on the BusinessWeek Nussbam blog and wanted to send you a link to my blog. I'm focusing on the area where Innovation and User Experience overlaps. I'm convinced that the future of innovation lies in multi-culturalism and this is why I have begun to publish my blog in English, Spanish and French. I studied P&G from afar and wrote a book that covered it among the other companies that were featured in the BusinessWeek article, (April 24, 2006), where they nominated the World's Most Innovative Companies. The book is called Innovation Strategies of the worlds most innovative companies.

Thanks Daniel. I have worked with the companies you've studied, now recognized as the world's most innovative companies, for 60 years - providing rich, robust and proprietary consumer innovation insights. My take on multiculturalism and innovation is tied to genetic principles. Whenever you cross two of anything that are most unalike, you produce stronger offspring than if you had crossed two that are very alike. Opposites attract. And Calle & Company's culture is very unlike the firms mentioned. Maybe that is our appeal. I never asked.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Calle & Company Speculative Advertising For Miller High Life

Life, Is My Favorite Beverage

Just Ban Technology

Maybe the Mennonites and the Hutterites have it right. Just ban technology.

Every year we go to our cabin in the high Eastern Sierra Mountains. Plenty of trout, exploring old mines, ghost towns and petroglyphs - but No television, No radio, No Cell Phones, No Computer, No Internet, No Laptop, No access. No Technology. In fact, after 60 years we finally got a land line phone to that place because my wife's aunt and uncle are getting old and something might happen. Yes, at 10,000 feet plus, elevations that dwarf the popular, crowded Vermont and New England ski destinations I favored as a teen, THE CABIN is that remote.

Rather than replace human socializing by going one-on-one with insulating personal use products that promote antisocial behavior such as television, iPods or GameCubes or GameBoys, we begin to talk...and talk more. We get up with the sunrise and watch the stars at night searching for shooters and satellites in a sky lacking light pollution, and air pollution. There are no televisions, no cell phones, no connections, except our own. The Milky Way is as clear as can be.

By the end of two weeks and evening chats and entertainment over cards, backgammon and board games we return to the urban sprawl of LA or NYC vowing to put the television away.

That lasts about two weeks. Withdrawl symptoms force my children to return to and another session of popular runescape at:

Back To school

It's back to school time and many students can't wait to get reacquainted with teachers and friends. For others, the outlook is darker. Many students are not so happy about returning to school. Forget about complaints about getting up early or homework. That's just the surface symptoms. What's beneath the iceberg?

A new study released by Calle & Company indicates the reason is something the company calls AA - not alcoholics anonymous - but "Anticipation Anxiety." The sense of despair experienced by children is brought on by a feeling of being unable to anticipate what is going to happen. They don't know what's going to happen next. They don't know what to expect. That's the symptom.

The cause is busy, or lazy parents who do not adequately prepare their children for what to expect - not just the day before school - but on an ongoing basis. The failure to pass down valuable life experience increases the odds that otherwise bright children will not achieve their fullest potential.

The cure is spending more time with your kids and an equal amount of time with teachers and school principals - asking them what's coming up next, expecting and inspecting the school curriculum, enabling the children to see this daily interaction as a leadership example and translating that to a home agenda is the cure. Just going to parent teacher meetings, open school nights or PTA meetings won't cut the mustard like it did in the 50s. But then again, families were tighter units back then because families did spend more time together.

Coach Attacks & Player Abuse - Public Service Announcement (PSA)

This post documents coach attacks and player abuse. Adults attacking children participating in sports. By leaving comments here, and leaving links, you can help us police criminal acts and child abuse.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Extend Ad Reach Beyond Google With Pheedo

I recently discovered a way for blog publishers to extend their reach and ad revenue beyond Google AdSense and AdWords with Pheedo

The company is developing a code snippet for blogger users. Link to their RSS feed for instant updates.

Good Morning Thinkers

Innovation Leader Joyce Wycoff posts an interesting article on Sam Walton's 10 Rules for success.

Here are eight indispensible others I've found true over the years that are easy to remember: AABBWWKC stands for:

A - Have a great attitude.
A - Maintain a great attitude.
B - Be on time.
B - Be prepared.
W - Work a full day.
W - Work your territory properly.
K - Know where you are and know where you are going.
C - Take control.

If you do not succeed, it is because you CHOSE not to work all eight of these steps every day. And that's a fact.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Calle & Company Carnival Of Consumer Marketing

Welcome to our carnival wherein we wish to roast in good jest the consumer product marketing industry's common sense, good taste and concern for our needs. Categories for our carnival include: Advertising Campaigns, Marketing Opinion, Emerging Trends, Rants & Raves, Pics & Pans, What's Hot What's Not, Professional Comment, Tongue In Cheek Insights. We welcome your additional suggestions.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Innovation Investment

Why are 97% of today's CEOs dissappointed with their i-ROI (Innovation return on investment)? That depends on what you call an innovation. Managers very often confuse motion with progress, viewing any product, service, technology, or process that is new or different as an innovation.

For example, The Home Depot was first to market french door refrigerators with water in the door. An exclusive distribution agreement with manufacturers gave The Home Depot a proprietary six month advantage over rivals. Yet, The Home Depot failed to realize an incremental profit.

The innovative refrigerator design failed to fuel a higher replacement rate or first time purchase velocity.

Considered a remarkable "improvement" by the manufacturer, updating technology for technology's sake is merely seen as keeping up with the jones by consumers - which explains why revenues are flat in the $2 trillion US consumer goods industry- and why CEOs wonder where the new growth is going to come from. CEOs should be interested in exploring processes that can turn mature earnings companies back into rapid growth businesses.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

McCann-Erickson & InterPublic Group

McCann-Erickson, one of the world's premier consumer product advertising agencies is verging on senility regarding the company's own branding efforts. Click to its web site and what do you see? MENTAL JELLYFISH. If I was a client with hundreds of millions tied up with this firm I'd run for the door.

Life Takes Visa

Speaking with Amanda Gleason of finance blog youngandbroke got the wheels turning about credit card marketing the other day.

Life takes Visa is very appropriate.

98% of Californians are one paycheck away from not making their next mortgage payment.

Diners Club and American Express were the first credit card companies. Both initiated retail credit card operations in 1958. American Express later repositioned their product as "the green card" because (like an immigrant) it gave consumers permission, for the first time, to live beyond their means.

"Membership may have its rewards," (American Express) but who wants to be a member of this club? The rise in credit card usage coincided with America's abandonment of "the gold standard." Prior to 1958, Congress was not allowed to spend more money on domestic and foreign operations than we actually had on hand - stockpiled as gold bullion in the vaults at Fort Knox, KY.

Now that the government can spend itself into debt, so can the rest of us. So much for financial accountability, responsibility and integrity. Almost everyone spends more than their flow, Maybe Visa's copywriters tried out other tag lines such as, "Life Requires Visa."

Financial stress is the #1 reason most people get divorced today. We no longer live on the "gold standard" (what a great ironic metaphor). This is a debtor society.

Thanks for your rich, robust and proprietary insight Visa! The US divorce rate was significantly lower prior to 1958.

Famed ad agency McCann-Ericson's motto is, "The truth well told."

Does McCann-Erickson handle the Visa account? Who knows, but check out their web site. (mental jellyfish!?)