Over the Dandruff

Thoughts we often overlook

25. Link to Website

Here is the link to my website:



November 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

24. Crowdsourcing Beauty

Remember the days when outsourcing information was a fad? Well those days are over.

Crowdsourcing is outsourcing’s better half. The term was coined by Jeff Howe in the May 2006 issue of Wired magazine.

Howe describes crowdsourcing as, “The act of taking a job traditionally preformed by a designated employee and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people.”

Crowsourcing has taken over and although these projects have provided questionable results, there seems to be a new formula that works quite well.

Montblac teamed up with Leo Burnett Milan to help promote “The Beauty of a Second” campaign. The campaign was developed to honor Nicolas Reussac’s invention of the chronograph, which he used to record time to a fifth of a second, in 1821. By using crowdsourcing, the campaign challenged followers to capture beauty in a single second clip. The short clips have been edited into a wonderful piece that shows how beauty surrounds us.


This an excellent example of encouraging your audience to engage with a brand while also honoring a turning point in world history.

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

23. Black Friday Loses its Mob Mentality

Still sweating out that stuffing from this weekend? Yeah, me too.

Turkey-day weekend was yet again a success in the eyes of many Americans, especially online retailers. This Black Friday boasted a 26 percent increase in U.S. online spending from last year totaling $816 Million in sales.

Over 50 million Americans visited online retail sites, 10.2 percent via Apple’s iPhone and iPad, proving the “couch commerce” prediction to be correct. Rather than power through mobs of angry shoppers to get a last second, more shoppers are choosing to take care of the wish-lists from the comfort of their own home

Online shopping, specifically through mobile devices,  was foreseen as a powerful new threat to in-store sales. With over 40 percent of smartphone owners using their device to compare prices and find the best deals, retailers had to stand out.

Patagonia sent out an email Monday to bring attention to its Common Threads Initiative. The email from the company read like this:

“Cyber Monday, and the culture of consumption it reflects, puts the economy of natural systems that support all life firmly in the red. We’re now using the resources of one-and-a-half planets on our one and only planet.

And just in case you think Patagonia is going to use this opportunity to point the finger at some other company, its email talks specifically about what goes into the jacket pictured. The R2, one of its best-sellers, “required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product. This jacket left behind, on its way to Reno, two-thirds its weight in waste.”

Rather than trying to convince consumers to make a quick buy on a once-a-year deal, Patagonia turned its audience’s focus onto their cause rather than their product. By doing this, Patagonia separated itself from the pack, reenforced its brand image, and got away with selling a product at full-price during the season of sales.

Touche, Patagonia. Touche.

November 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

22. Power to the People

There is no denying it. In the brand-consumer relationship, the consumer wears the pants.

The age of Social Media has empowered the people, now it’s time for brands to embrace it. A recent report by Bain & Company found in a survey that customers who engage a brand through social media spend 20 to 40 percent more money of that brands.

It doesn’t take rocket science to realize that engagement adds value to a brand. Trust encourages engagement and engagement makes the consumer feel. But, let’s step back a second.

Just like any relationship, trust is the glue that holds it together. Trust is created through interaction and the best way to earn someone’s trust is by being transparent and honest.

Consumers don’t want to interact with a logo, they want to interact with the people behind it. They want to build emotionally-driven relationships because, let’s face it, they are the best kind.

Scott Goodson put it best in an article earlier this month:

“Thanks to the Internet, the communication channels between brands and consumers have opened up like never before. Today, brands can put some personality behind their names at the click of a button, leading to stronger relationships with their customers and ultimately boosting sales. This is where social media becomes so invaluable.”

So, how should you embrace the empowered consumers?

1. Link social media efforts to concrete business objectives:

– Make sure every touch point the consumer engages with exemplifies these objectives.

2. Focus and tailor your efforts to engage your key customers:

– Not everyone is going to like you. The ones that do, make sure they really like you.

3. Build a social media organization to deliver results:

– Make your organization communicate and coordinate more effectively. “First, it allows the entire organization to learn from each customer touch point. Second, it better enables the company to deliver a consistent and seamless customer experience.”

4. Monitor and measure the results—then close the loop:

– This improves the effectiveness of social campaigns and captures the data needed on leads and conversion to calculate financial returns. This information is then relayed back to product and customer service teams in “the closed loop.”

5. Be flexible and adaptive. It’s still early:

– Social media is continuously evolving. Be alert of these changes and be ready to adjust.


November 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

21. Season of Change

Ahh! The most wonderful time of the year is upon us. Family, food and football. What more could a man ask for?

With the infamous Black Friday approaching, both shoppers and retailers are preparing for another expensive Holiday Season. As shoppers fight for the lowest prices and retailers adapt to mobile shopping, it’s important for us in the idea industry to put storytelling back into Holiday Season marketing.

While we continue, “focusing on direct-response price-discount offers, we miss golden opportunities to grow brand loyalty.” We tail away from communicating emotions and telling stories to make a quick buck. We become blinded by the “Benjamins” and lose sight of what the brand stands.

There is no better time of the year to tell a story. Tradition runs high during the holidays and provides the perfect platform for creativity and emotional connection between a brand and its audience.

It’s oxymoronic really. During the most wonderful time of the year, many brands forget what makes them so wonderful.

It’s not about the price or the warranty; it has nothing to do with the product at all. It’s about the story. It’s about creativity and engagement. It’s about making an emotional connection with your audience that, “leads them to feel good about the brand and the experience of purchasing your product.” It’s about creating awareness early in the decision-making process. It’s about relying less on price and more on people.

And in the end, it’s what makes your brand stand out from the rest.



Now sit back, relax, and watch people go crazy at Target.

November 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

20. The Universal Traveler

A few days ago I was stumbling around on Brain Pickings and came across a book titled The Universal Traveler. Originally published in 1971 by Don Koberg and Jim Bagnall, the book is, “essentially a blueprint to design thinking nearly four decades before design thinking was a buzzword.”

After reading a few reviews and looking at snapshots from the book, I was sold. I finally received my copy of Traveler yesterday and cracked it open. I wanted to share some of what I’ve seen so far:



A Creative Problem-Solver is . . .

. . . innovative and ever-renwing

. . . a dealer in options and decisions

. . . procedural and methodological

. . . a skilled habit-maker and habit-breaker

. . . a divergent-convergent thinker

. . . rhythmical, thoughtful and sensitive

. . . a fearless adventurer and a cautious planner

. . . both off-center and in-line

. . . non-normal; consciously different when necessary

. . . a thinking-feeling person

. . . a lovable jerk; one who subverts in an acceptable way

. . . accepting (open-minded, relaxed, brave, adaptable)

. . . analytic (curious, interested, fact-gatherer)

. . . definitive (conceptual, insightful, purposeful)

. . . idea-prone (free-wheeling, inventive)

. . . selective (decisive, assertive, discerning, assured)

. . . active (self-motivated, dedicated, constructive)

. . . evaluative (judgmental, objective, critical)

. . . an independent “both/and-either/or” person


In our Creative Strategist class this is exactly what we talk about. Creative Problem-Solvers have an universal occupation that is always keeping them busy and  ideas brewing.



"An excursion through the Process of Design is like taking a round-trip from San Francisco to Boston."

Here, essentially, is the creative process of the Universal Traveler.

As I read further into this book I plan to share some of the more knowledgeable mummers and thoughts that I stumble upon.

Onward we go.

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

19. The Twitter Race

Twitter has become a wonderful tool to help brands interact with consumers and many of the smarter ones are taking advantage. This is a smart branding technique because it allows people to interact with the Citroen brand via real-time social networking, thus helping promote the brand. By providing a point of interest, winning a new DS5, Citroen is hoping to win over a larger audience.

Recently, Euro RSCG Amsterdam and Perfect Fools have collaborated to create “the world’s first Twitter Race” to help promote the launch of the Citroen DS5.

The race, set to take place on November 17, is a timed one-day tour around Amersfoort, Netherlands during which Tweeters will attempt to, “persuade the drivers to come to their location using the hash tag: #ds5race.”

The driver will be accompanied by a co-pilot who will direct the driver which way to go via the most persuasive tweet. A Facebook page, which features a countdown clock, will monitor the race with a live-feed camera in the DS5. At the end of the race, the driver will stop and hold up a sign with the most recent tweet on it and the first person to re-tweet the message wins the car.


Game on.

November 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

18. Absolut Inspiration

“At the end of the day, it’s about people. It’s about putting people in the moment and giving them an experience.”

The vodka brand Absolut teamed up with TBWA/Chiat/Day to launch it’s Absolut Blank campaign. The integrated campaign launched in the UK in July 2011 and thrives on one big idea: The Blank Canvas.

The campaign started as an outlet for creativity by inviting artists to let loose on a blank canvas in the shape of the Absolut bottle.

Now, Absolut has decided to expand the creative movement to the everyday consumer. A free app, available only on iOS, allows users to capture their surrounding through the “Absolut Lens,” which includes the camera and microphone. After they are happy with their “Absolut Blank canvas,” users can upload their creation to the Absolut Blank App Gallery, where they are available to the masses.

Yet another addition to the campaign is Absolut Blank Live. This part of the campaign consists of events throughout London where participants select a favorite music track and dance in the Absolut Blank “pod.” The pod uses motion-tracking technology to create digital trails off of the participant’s sweet dance moves. The ten best video-portraits will be remixed together and shown at a final viewing party in December.

Absolut was able to create a campaign that engaged the consumer, was visually interesting and delivered the core brand message. Blank allows not only established creatives like artists to show off their talents, but also encourages their audience to inspire and be inspired through the Absolut Bank campaign. They allowed people to thrive in the moment, take in their surroundings and provide content. Absolut creates the experience of a creative and provides inspiration for the masses.

November 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

17. Personalizing Presents

You have to hand it to J.C. Penney. The clothing store, which is been reshaping its image for the last year, is set to launch their holiday campaign that revolves around the tag line “Who’s Your Santa?” This year, J.C. Penney is adding a personalized touch to the way we exchange presents during the holidays.

QR codes have been making appearances all over and have become a popular marketing tool. J.C.Penney has decided to get a little creative with the relatively new technology by introducing the “Santa Tag.”

After buying a gift from a J.C. Penney store, the shopper receives a “Santa Tag,” which has a QR code on it. The shopper can then scan the QR code and follow the instructions to record a personalized message for the person the gift is for, slap the “Santa Tag” on the present and send it off. Present receivers will be able to scan the code to see who the gift is from and then respond via the same QR code on the present.

I know, it’s a little sad. We are relying so much on technology these days that we can’t say thank you face to face or write a meaningful thank you note (which are sadly going out of style.) But it the digitally driven world we live in, this clever use for a QR code provides some personalization during the holidays that few believed could come from such a medium.

It will be interesting to see where QR codes go from here. Will they fall under the fad category or continue to adapt and innovate, allowing it to compete with other technologies such as Near Field Communication?

The “Santa Tags” will be available in J.C. Penney stores beginning Tuesday, Nov. 15.

November 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

16. Bud Light Set To Go Platinum

Anheuser-Busch InBev is set to change the light beer market with the launch of Bud Light Platinum in early 2012.

The new brew will boast a 6% alcohol by volume (ABV), a sweeter taste and have 137 calories per can. With less calories and 1% more ABV than Budwiser original, and the all important “Light” in the name, Bud Light Platinum seems poised to take mainstream light beer where it has never been before; the increasingly popular craft beers market.

A-B InBev and MillerCoors combined for 66.8% of beer shipments last year, but also watched their sales drop by 3% last quarter as the booming craft beer market has saw sales rise 15% during the first half of 2011.

It’s a trend A-B InBev could not overlook as they bought Chicago-based Goose Island Brewery for $38.8 million earlier this year. Many were surprised by the acquisition because of of A-B’s Shock Top line and it’s success competing with Coors’ Blue Moon, but the big brewers have yet to conquer the ever-growing craft market.

As A-B InBev’s third addition to the under-performing Bud Light family, Platinum hopes to make a big splash in the world of light beers. After lackluster attempts to cash in on the growing craft market with Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Golden Wheat, craft connoisseurs are finding attempts by big brewers to enter a small and independent brewer’s market oxymoronic.

To help bolster it’s Bud Light image, A-B plans to invest major money behind Platinum for a spot during the 2012 Super Bowl. Platinum seems to be taking a different aim then Bud Light Lime and Golden Wheat by targeting the late-night party crowd rather than the hard to please craft beer drinkers.

There has yet to be an agency selected to do the Super Bowl spot for A-B InBev. Bud Light Platinum will replace Bud Light Golden Wheat as it has struggles since it’s expensive launch in 2008.

November 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment