Friday, July 9, 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. 

Pump it up
The other day I had to inflate the tires on my old Trek and after digging the pump out from behind all the gardening equipment, I attached it to the tire and started pumping and pumping and pumping.

Now, I don't mind a little work out, but I figure there has to be an easier way to do this. That's when I remembered an idea I had years ago. It's pretty simple but as far as I know, no one's done anything like it.

As gas prices rise and people look for alternative modes of transportation like bicycling, removing a barrier like low tire pressure would seem to be a good idea to increase riding ease and rider satisfaction.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Be like LeBron

In case you haven't heard, LeBron James is going to make a decision on which team he'll be playing for this evening. In fact, he's going to do it on a one-hour program broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Speculation has run rampant in the sports media and blogs for months on where he will end up. Groups in Cleveland, New York and Chicago have gone to great lengths to demonstrate their love for LeBron producing videos, direct mail pieces, even putting together elaborate star-studded dinner parties, all in an attempt to attract the star who supposedly is worth millions to the franchise and city that land him.

It's all a little crazy. And unbelievable marketing by LeBron.

In much the same way as Apple does in the run up to its new product launches, LeBron has made news by saying nothing.

Apparently LeBron knows that in the absence of information around matters that some consider important, people will fill in the blanks themselves. The lack of news coming out of LeBron's camp has fueled the speculation and extended the life of the story. 

Contrast this with Chevy's painfully long and tedious launch of the Volt. We've seen pictures of it for years. It's at every auto show. Major media outlets have been granted test drives. We've even been treated to the glory that was the Volt Dance. There is nothing we don't know about this car and we're still months away from its launch.

No network is going to run a one-hour special on the Volt even though it's arguably more important to the future of the U.S. economy than where LeBron plays basketball next year.

In fact, GM has done such a bad job in the prelaunch publicity of the Volt, that it will be old news on the day it hits the showroom floor.

As LeBron proves, when it comes to fueling the media, the less you say, the more buzz you create.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pure Advertising

I know this isn't a new campaign, but when this spot came on TV last night everyone in the room remarked how good it was and that got me thinking.

The Pure Michigan effort doesn't do anything differently than any other tourism campaign. In fact, it's pretty formulaic.

It uses idyllic images of iconic landmarks of the state, appropriate music to set the mood, a famous resident reading flowery copy that glorifies the experience.

I've seen this creative strategy executed by virtually every state in the country, yet none of them have had the effect on me that the Pure Michigan spots have. Maybe that's because I grew up in Michigan and have a predisposition to like the message. Or maybe it's because this campaign is just better.

I guess what this spot really proves is that you don't always have to break the rules to break through.

Sometimes you can just be perfect.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Range Rover drives back to the future.

Last Thursday at a garden party at Kensington Palace to celebrate Range Rover's 40th Anniversary, they introduced the new Range Rover Evoque Special Edition and their new creative design director, Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice.

According to Range Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern, Beckham will advise Range Rover on interior designs. Her first work is on display on the Evoque.

This effort reminds me of some of Ford's forays into designer editions like the Bill Blass Continental and the Eddie Bauer Explorer.

Clearly this is a publicity stunt where Posh gets to pick a few colors, add a few accents and call it her own, attracting the interest of women who would otherwise not give a second look to the Range Rover brand.

Yes, the Evoque is a different Range Rover. It's smaller, less boxy, more fuel efficient and modern. Yet somehow this move just feels like so much marketing, an attempt to be hip by wallpapering over a brand that has lost its relevance. I doubt it will have much long-term benefit.

In fact, I hope it doesn't. I'd hate for GM to emulate this move by hiring Madonna to design a special edition Suburban.