As we write this, the fate of the European Union (and possibly the global economy) rests in the hands of comedian Beppe Grillo, sometimes referred to as the “Jon Stewart of Italy.” Maybe he’s exactly what Italy needs. Maybe not. But the politicians have no one to blame but themselves. When politics become a joke, comedians can become serious candidates. Is anyone going to “standup” to this?
March 2013 - Page 2 of 2 - PS Insights
Nick Bilton’s column in Monday’s NYTimes stirred a hornet’s nest of replies. His suggestion that digital “thank you’s” are no longer necessary among millennials raised the ire of hundreds of readers. We think any SMART millennial will take the 1/100th of a second to e-mail or text back “thx” and some are wise enough to go beyond. We recently got a hand-written snail-mail thank you note from a millennial we helped this summer. And not a peep from an intern who worked with us last summer and said she’d “be in touch.” Which one do you think will get the job of her choice and have the bigger career?
Last week, the City of New York launched a new ad campaign focusing on teen pregnancy. The next day, other teen pregnancy organizations complained that the campaign stigmatized teen moms. Personally, we think ANY campaign that does not take a compelling point of view will likely have no impact. We salute the pushback from the Mayor’s office and wonder how ANYTHING gets done these days on any level of government. What agendas do you deal with in your organization that preclude marketplace action?
Marissa Meyer (Yahoo’s new CEO) canceled telecommuting as a work practice at Yahoo – and the editorials have been coming both pro and con. This is an interesting move for a brand new mom and it runs counter to the trend of more companies creating flex-work opportunities for their employees. Research has shown that working from home can be more productive while working in the office leads to more innovation. Clearly businesses need both. What’s your balancing act to get the most and best from your organization?
Oreo received huge press and praise, not so much for their whisper spot on the Super Bowl, but for the Dunk in the Dark Twitter idea they launched during the black out. Hats off to their agency – 360i – holed up and watching the event together waiting for an opportunity. Increasingly, the best consumer connections are coming from special moments and authentic situations. Are you prepared find those moments to delight your consumers in unexpected ways?
The Harlem Shake remains the #1 Billboard single. Maybe the best way to kill a meme (did someone say Gangnam Style?) is with another meme. In addition to the Peanuts characters, there are now 60 advertising agencies that have Harlem Shake Videos. The Today Show has been vilified for being late to the party. But hey, when the meme parties begin you’re not really late until it’s over. So always follow the trends, but figure out whether, where and when you should add your brand to the chorus. And (most important) how will you do it your way?
The Late Night wars just hit a new competitive level – stunt wars. Jimmy Kimmel was hijacked by Matt Damon for an entire show and Conan ran an episode exclusively screening clips submitted by viewers. Entertaining? Relevant? Ratings builders? What do you to increase the conversation about your brand? More important, is your inspired conversation consistent with and supportive of your brand image?
So the Pope announced he was stepping down and the jokes start coming. Really? Newspaper headline “Pope Gives God Two Weeks’ Notice” and the new moniker for His Eminence? “Ex Benedict.” If everything is fair game for late night jokes, don’t you need to be that much more circumspect in everything you post or put out there about yourself and your brand?
The problem with celebrities? They’re people. First, the Tiger Woods fall from grace. Then, Lance Armstrong. Now, Oscar Pistorius (complete with his Nike ad, “I am the bullet in the chamber”). There have been others and there will be more. Nike rises above the fall of its heroes. But so many of its heroes fall from their vaunted perches. How do you protect your brand from the foibles and hubris of humans?
Well the ship finally came in. Five days of consumer torture at sea and the PR storm will continue. Why didn’t they get another ship there to offload passengers? Air drop portable toilets? Get food to the ship immediately? In the face of adversity, do you do everything possible to protect your customers – and, therefore, your brand?