Friday, February 5, 2010

Free Idea Friday

Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. Every Friday I will share an idea that's been rolling around in my head that I have neither the time nor the where-with-all to execute. Remember, it's free, so take it for what it's worth.

What's more important than the game and commercials on Super Bowl Sunday? The food. It has to be delicious, fun and easy to eat while you're talking smack with your buddies. So here's an idea for a snack food that brings my favorite football food into a new, convenient form... enjoy.

It's chili in a stick
My friend and co-conspirator of many years, Ron Brant, was always fascinated with food on a stick and kept trying to figure out how to make chili on a stick. Well this idea puts chili in a stick and makes it just the right size for snacking during the Super Bowl or any other game for that matter. I think they sound tasty. Anyone want to help me make them?

Thanks again to Glenn Fuller for quickly illustrating the idea. I know he'd prefer more than an hour so he could really showcase his talents, but you get the idea.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

All Eyes Are On Us. Well Almost All...

If projections are true, about 103 million people will be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday. That's one-third of the U.S. Population. They'll watch what we hope will be a good game between two compelling teams. And thanks to Apple, the brand that started this whole Super Bowl advertising extravaganza in 1984, they'll be closely watching the commercials.

This year will bring the usual assortment of sophomoric humor, ironic celebrity cameos, and talking animals. Actually, outside of GoDaddy and a few others, it doesn't look like a bad year for spots based on the previews, but I keep wondering: with one-third of the people in this country watching, is it really enough to show another poor schlub being hit in the groin? Can advertising be more? Can advertising do more?

Maybe not. But it's worth thinking about.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Be Like Drew

It doesn't have the same alliterative ring as "Be Like Mike," but it's a fitting mantra for leaders in these troubled times.

In the fall of 2005, Drew Brees was coming off serious shoulder surgery, the city of New Orleans was just drying out from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, and the team he was going to play for had been the laughing stock of the NFL since their inception in 1967. How did Brees approach the situation?

"People looked at New Orleans and said, 'Hey, where are you going to live? The organization is in shambles.' But for me, when I visited New Orleans, I saw an opportunity. I felt like it was a calling for me. Not only to come here and help turn the organization around, but to help with the rebuilding of a city and a region.” Brees said before the NFC Championship game.

Brees has actively taken on both challenges. His leadership on the field elevated his teammates play. The year after he took over his team went 10-6 and made it to the NFC Championship game. And his Brees Dream Foundation has helped rebuild schools, playgrounds and provide health care for kids in need to aid in the recovery from Katrina.

He saw opportunity in chaos. He saw a mission that needed to be accomplished. He took what he was given and made it better. In short, he led. Something we all need to do more of in business.

Sure the economy's a mess and companies are still struggling. But we're not going to get out of this by whining. When you go to work today, ask yourself two questions. "What's my mission?" and "What am I doing to make everyone around me better?" That's the first step if you want to be like Drew.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Breaking into the Big Game

Before we get started today, a little disclaimer, I enjoy the taste of High Life and until a few months ago was working at a MillerCoors roster shop. 

Miller High Life has clawed its way back into our national psyche by positioning itself as a beer for the everyman in all of us – smart, sensible and darn tasty – which makes the Super Bowl the perfect venue to promote this brand. There's just one problem. Anheuser-Busch has exclusive rights to the national broadcast. To get around that, Miller is buying spots in local breaks alongside car dealers and furniture stores in key markets around the country. Nothing earth shattering there. Just smart media buying. What I really like is the creative strategy.

Continuing with their successful spokesperson Wendell the delivery guy, High Life is promoting the little guy in these spots, having selected four local businesses to showcase on the Super Bowl. It's a tight fit with the brand, a nice way to position themselves against Bud Light, and creates just enough talk value to have garnered a bit of media attention before the game. I'm looking forward to seeing how these guys interact with Wendell in their spots.

Different brands call for different strategies, and it looks like Miller High Life has the right one for the "big game."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Please don't air my spot.

It's a tried and true marketing tactic: create a spot you know has no chance in hell of airing on the Super Bowl and when it gets rejected raise a world class ruckus. The latest advertiser to join GoDaddy, Peta, Ashleigh-Madison and others using this tactic is a gay male dating site,

I, for one, am glad the spot isn't airing on advertising's biggest stage. Not because it shows two guys kissing. I've seen plenty of that in my 50 years and even kissed one or two myself. It's just a bad spot. Badly shot, lousy acting, and last but not least, no self respecting Packers fan would be caught dead in the arms of a Vikings fan.