Blog

April 2014 - Page 2 of 3 - PS Insights

BRING HOME THE BACON

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There is a new iPhone app from Oscar Mayer that wakes you to the sound of bacon sizzling in a pan. Seems to us it’s a good tie-in to morning and a great breakfast brand reminder. Mixing marketing metaphors is a great idea if the shared experience is relevant for both brand players. What do you do to extend your brand experience into unexpected places?

THE DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE

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We recently saw an ad in Bloomberg News for Ultimate Software. They were promoting their predictive software which uses Big Data and analytics to tell you whether an employee is thinking of leaving your firm. While the ad was positioned as “be informed so you can keep them,” what’s also clear is that you can use the software to “be informed so you can isolate them or replace them.” We all knew Big Data had its dark side, but this leaves us with a case of the willies. How do you plan to manage and motivate your employees in this Brave, New World?

REALITY SUCKS

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Every time we think television networks can’t find another new reality show concept, we’re amazingly surprised at the new low. Wanna watch some home boys go noodling for catfish? You’ve got a choice of programs and networks! Ditto gold mining, trash picking…you name it. Once upon a time we found reality contestants interesting. Now we’re not sure we’d even want to share a beer with them. How low can we go? A reality limbo contest show, anyone?

EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT

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Credit to The Martin Agency – Geico’s ad agency – for the smart way they continually refresh the “15 Minutes Could Save You 15%” campaign. Coming up with a second, completely fresh idea while still referencing the original campaign is one of the hardest things to do in advertising. In fact, while we can think of hundreds of campaigns that have had dozens of iterations, we’re hard pressed to think of any other advertiser that successfully kept the original campaign – yet gave it a completely new spin. How do you keep your message fresh and new?

IFWEMADEIT

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Advertising hijacking is an everyday occurrence on YouTube. Mashups of commercials populate the web. But when a brand hijacks and mashes up the worst of the Super Bowl fare it’s a ballsy way to get noticed. IfWeMadeIt.com is a repository of mashedup animatics that are really fun and really promote Newcastle. No Bollocks!

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

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Competitive sports such as gymnastics, skating and diving all have a “degree of difficulty” multiplier. The judges reward participants who are willing to push their skills to the next level—and risk losing it all against accomplishing the first quadruple whatever. How do you recognize “degree of difficulty” when you give out assignments…and give out rewards?

REDNECK CEO

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We saw a hat recently that gave us a giggle. Redneck CEO. The guy looked the part. And in the age of Duck Dynasty, we’re kind of recalibrating where intelligence, insight and expertise reside. Are you moving beyond judging books by their covers?

SOMEBODY HAS TO PAY RETAIL

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A recent report in Crain’s New York Business revealed that Macy’s is now the #2 employer in the greater NY area—trailing only perennial powerhouse JPMorgan Chase. But retail jobs pay an average of $39,000 a year—one tenth the average of fast-disappearing Wall Street jobs. And the number of retail jobs has grown 20% in the past five years…triple the average. It signals a seismic shift in New York City’s jobs market. Are you staying tuned to your business’s job growth potential?

WHO’S THE BOSS?

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Many years ago, Steve was creative director of an agency that accepted a client’s son for a summer internship. Mercifully, it was only a 3-month job—but Steve learned an important lifetime lesson: “Never hire someone you can’t fire.” How do you tactfully address those awkward requests in your business?

MACHO WALL STREET

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An interesting article from Crain’s New York forwarded by one of our regular readers. Seems that between 2002 and 2012, 200,000 women left Wall Street while 237,000 men came in. Now Morgan Stanley is trying to bring mommy-tracked alumnae back into the business. In their first class, 14 women were accepted out of 248 applicants. Even getting into an Ivy has better odds than that! We think Wall Street’s got a ways to go. How is your industry doing on genuinely embracing and delivering on diversity?