Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Marketing Manny

In the grand tradition of Alfred E. Newman, Manny is forever wearing that "what, me worry?" look on his face. And who can blame him?

This guy is arguably the biggest knucklehead to walk down the pike since Homer Simpson first appeared on the Tracey Ullman Show nearly 30 years ago. And based on their bank accounts, it is fair to conclude one simple fact:

Americans love knuckleheads.

Manny, who started his baseball career in my hometown has proven to the world that loyalty is nowhere to be found on his list of character traits, while cash is a prime motivator. He's played on four different teams while knocking more than 400 baseballs out of the park. He doesn't really care who he plays for or how long he plays there, he just wants to get paid. His field play is among the worst in the history of the game, as is his ability to simply make it onto the field. I mean this is a guy who disappears in the middle of an inning to take a leak... a guy who gets busted for taking female hormone drugs. He is a class A knucklehead who can rake all day long... and little more.

And the fans can't get enough of him.

Meanwhile, down in Tampa, where the Rays are battling it out with the Yankees for first place, fans won't even show up to watch their team. Cincinnati has the same problem in southern Ohio... and so does Texas and San Diego (Cleveland attendance is dead last, but for good reason), which gives me an idea: rather than allow the Black Sox to pick up Manny's contract, why not make him the league's designated hitter? Manny can show up in all the ballparks where equally pathetic fans will show up just to watch him do whatever it is that Manny does. He can be the league mascot on the field.

It's a thought.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How Much Would You Pay?

Hey, want to see the most disgusting thing ever? Seriously, something so gross it will keep you awake tonight? If so, click here.

Yeah, it's a mattress covered in bedbugs. Nice. It is the new epidemic. West Niles Virus and the Swine Flu (H1N1) are so yesterday.

Best of all, you need to know that these aren't your grandma's bedbugs, these are super powered gnawing machines that not only show up in beds, but have the ability to shut down movie theaters and retail stores (Victoria's Secret).

It is gross and nasty and it is happening everywhere. Fortunately, one company has a solution, and not only is it an effective solution (both immediate and long-term) against these nasty little nits, it is a green solution - safe to pets, people and plants.

ZymeAway, LLC has created a three-part solution (though you can buy individual products) consisting of ZymeAway All-Purpose Cleaner to clean and prepare surfaces, Bug-E-Spray to get rid of the critters and Bug-E-Dust to keep them out. Complete, environmentally friendly remediation. I know about this because I know the creator and environmental director of ZymeAway. He is an awesome guy whose only mission in life is to help people find a safer way to clean surfaces and "control" pests.

Of course you're probably thinking you will never need remediation, right? You think you're one of those clean people whose home is impervious to pests, right? Well think again. Bedbugs, like mosquitos and flies are equal opportunity pests, and they are coming to your town soon. The question is "what's it worth to you to get rid of them?"

There is an old Spanish proverb: "You can't have more bedbugs than a blanketful." Speaking for myself, a blanketful is one blanket too many.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Future of Marketing: Online or Up a Tree?

Did I ever mention that I am a family guy? Not a Peter Griffin kind of family guy or a Don Corleone kind of family guy, but more of a Mike Brady meets Tommy Gavin kind of family guy, which explains why I was visiting my mom last Sunday instead of lounging around the pool.

As I pulled in the driveway I was immediately struck by the image of my smiling nephew shimmying up a couple of elms in my mom's front yard.

"Uncle Jimmy," he yelled, "come here quick, I have to show you something. And get out your phone, you're gonna want a picture of this." What young Michael Santana lacks in subtlety, he more than makes up for in confidence.

And I was so pleased by what I saw.

At this particular stage in our social evolution, when children are actually suffering hearing losses due to a preoccupation with MP3 players, cell phones and video gaming, it is nice to know some kids still climb trees. And at this particular stage in our social evolution, when some people are preoccupied with saving the environment from humans, it is nice to know it is okay for kids to still climb trees.

Of course, Michael still loves his video games. Between climbs I noticed him hunched over and rubbing his hands. "Hey, Michael, are you okay," I asked, fearing he may have suffered a severe bark burn during his descent. "No, I'm fine," he assured me, "I just need a minute to reboot."

As my dad used to say, "All things in moderation."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

OMG, WTF, Maybe One Day We Can All Just Grunt... LOL

Big news from the District:

The Senate passed a new bill earlier this week. The HHFKA, which includes provisions FMI has sought to help lay the groundwork for a smooth transition for WIC customers to use an EBT card for their transactions. However, FMI was disappointed that the Senate cut funding to SNAP.

And this headline is just in from Ad Age:

APCO Comes Under Fire After HP CEO Resigns.

In the world of health news...

WHO says threat of H1N1 has passed, but H5N1 is still lurking.

I can't speak for anyone else, and maybe this makes me old-fashioned, but I actually enjoy reading words. Maybe it is a reflection of the cell phone, text and twitter age we live in, where characters are at a premium and speed is of the essence. Or maybe we are just getting so lazy that spelling out a whole group of words feels like an unnecessary punishment. But it really has to stop.

Last week, my son sent me this gem:

CDC began surveillance for foodborne disease outbreaks began in 1973; however, no SGA outbreaks were reported before 1984.

If you can tell me (without cheating) what an SGA is – and all suggestions are welcome and will be accepted – you will win the first ever TingFactor t-shirt award.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Music to My Ears

Imagine falling into two holes on the same day – both seemingly disconnected – and winding up in the same place when you finally land.

There are many key ingredients to marketing. But the one I like most of all and the one I am talking about now is clever.

Merriam-Webster defines clever as something marked by wit or ingenuity.

So I fall into the first hole upon arrival at work this morning. My old friend and partner in marketing (Neil Egan) put me on to his son's band – Me, D and the Machine. Before my feet hit the ground I was hooked on the raw cleverness of this band's sound. Love the music, love the voices, and most of all, love the cleverness.

Then I fall into the second hole. I am halfway through the digital files on the band's MySpace page when my son calls. "What are you doing?" he asks. "Listening to a young band that I really like?" I reply. "Is it Everyday Chemistry?" he questions. "Huh?" I verbalize. "You know, the Beatles album from the 1980s."

At this point I am tumbling deep into the rabbit hole, dazed and confused. Then Christian sends me to a web site aptly entitled "The Beatles Never Broke Up". And with my head still spinning I get to the site just as my feet hit the ground. And there I learn that in an alternate universe the Beatles never broke up.

I love clever.