Archive for June, 2011

Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女 Toki o Kakeru Shoujo)

6月28日

Last night along with a friend, we caught the late showing of the Japanese film Toki o Kakeru Shoujo, also known as “Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.”  My friend and I caught the 9:50pm showing on a Monday night.  It’s no wonder why the entire theater was empty!  Literally….we were the only 2 people watching the movie!  I was a bit worried at first, but then I realized that it wasn’t because of the movie…it was because it was the late showing on a weekday evening.  Anyway, both my friend and I were pleasantly surprised.

The movie is based off of the 1967 novel Toki o Kakeru Shoujo by Yasutaka Tsutsui.  It was also converted into an anime and more recently, this particular Japanese movie (2006).  From what I understand, the movie isn’t an exact copy of the original novel plot as it is simplified somewhat to make it easier to follow along.

I don’t want to give the entire story away but….In 2010 pharmaceutical researcher Kazuko Yoshiyama (Narumi Yasuda) is injured in a car accident. Her daughter Akari (Riisa Naka) uses Kazuko s newly completed time-travel potion to leap back in search of a mystery man from her mother’s past… but misjudges the date and arrives two years late, in the year 1974. There, she enlists the help of reluctant student filmmaker Ryota (Akiyoshi Nakao), in a race against time to find a man that nobody remembers (via Fandompost).

Overall, I liked this movie. It’s cute like most Japanese anime/films are but at the same time, there is sadness.  At the end of the movie my friend was crying and I have to say I thought about joining her for about 2-seconds but laughed it off.  I guess the one thing to take away from the film is that we as human beings have always wanted a chance to change the past and the reality is….we can’t. We just need to savor the memories, look forward to the future & live in the present….another plus for you fellas in checking this movie out is Naka.  At 1/4 Swedish & 3/4 Japanese ethnicity, she’s got the hapa look which makes her cute and fitting for her Japanese film roles….but at the same time, exotic and sexy for the other model-like ventures  (see below).

Riisa Naka.

For a limited time only, “Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is currently playing at Pearlridge West Theaters in Aiea, Hawaii.  But don’t worry if you can’t catch this movie in theaters.  It’s already out on Blu-Ray DVD which you can purchase online if you’re willing to shell out $30-$40 on Amazon. Though I’m sure you can get the DVD cheaper on something like e-Bay….but if you have the patience and your wallet is a little light, you can also watch the movie in parts online at MySoju.com.  Either way, check it out when you have the chance.

The $20 bill.

6月24日

This is an old one but still a great story to remember to live by.

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked,  “Who would like this $20 bill?”  Hands started going up.  He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.

 He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill.  He then asked, “Who still wants it?”  Still the hands were up in the air…Well, he replied, “What if I do this?”  And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.  He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.  “Now, who still wants it?”

Still the hands went into the air.  My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson.  No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value.  It was still worth $20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way.  We feel as though we are worthless.  But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.  Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased,    you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you.  The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.  You are special- Don’t EVER forget it.”

If you do not pass this on, you may never know the lives it touches, the hurting hearts it speaks to, or the hope that it can bring.  Count your blessings, not your problems.  And remember: amateurs built the ark …. professionals built the Titanic If God brings you to it – He will bring you through it.

Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar.

6月22日

Last night along with a few foodie friends, I took a trip out to the new eatery that opened up in Kaimuki called Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar.  Salt made it’s grand opening on June 14 and there has been a certain buzz about this place through online bloggers and the media ever since… so of course we had to check this place out for ourselves.  If you are familiar with Kevin Hanney’s 12th Avenue Grill then this place may be of no surprise to you as he is also the owner of this establishment.

According to a recent article in Honolulu Magazine, the driving force behind this move was to take the bleed-over bar crowd from 12th Avenue and bring them here.  If you’ve ever been to 12th Avenue for pau hana then you’ll know what I’m talking about. The bar area there is very limited and if you’re looking to do just some drinks and some light tasty appetizers that 12th Avenue offers, then it’s not exactly the most accommodating place.  But look no further now, because Salt is just right around the corner.  You would park in the same parking lot as 12th Avenue but just walk a few steps further to Waialae Avenue where Salt is located.  It’s right next door to Coffee Talk and BC Burrito in the old C&C Pasta and Belladonna location.

Below are the pictures of our meal.  I apologize but the memo I had in my phone with the description and prices was accidentally deleted so I’m just going to wing it!  Good thing I don’t do this for a living! For a more thorough and descriptive write-up….not to mentioned one done by a professional… look out for the posting on Nonstop Honolulu very soon!

Aviation, lemon based alcoholic drink. It was $10.

These were Kumamoto Oysters that were on special (not on menu). It had a citrus flavor with a Tabasco froth. Very good, I could eat these all night. They were $3 a pop.

Blistered salted Shishitos. Very simple, one of my favorite dishes. However very inconsistent. Though my dish was great, my friend Sean's version was under seasoned and because of that...very bitter. $5.

Crispy potato fingerlings with aioli dipping sauce. These were pretty good, one of the first dishes to run out. I think it was $6.

This was a pork sampler. Everything here was part of the pig with the exception of the picked vegetables and toasted baguettes. I think they had some kind of liverwurst, prosciutto, smoked pork shoulder and a deep fried sausage made of part of the head. $21.

Smoked ahi stuffed roasted piquillos. This was one of my favorite dishes. Something really simple that you could probably make at home. Very tasty. I think this dish was $6...or $9.

Portuguese flavored clams with chorizo. I didn't get a chance to taste this dish but my friends thought it was very tasty. The clams were a bit small but flavorful. $12.

3 cheese sampler. This one escapes my memory but the brown stuff you see is a fig jams which offset that cheese in the middle....which was very better. The one on the left was a goat cheese. I can't remember the price.

The menu called this one "warm olives" with....whoops. You can see as the later dishes kept coming out I wasn't paying too much attention to the details since I was focused on eating! Anyway, I wouldn't get this again. The olives were very tart.

The beet salad with pistachio's, goat cheese and arugula was one of the better tasting dishes of the night. Very lightly flavored with a vinaigrette.

Overall, I thought this place was good, say 7/10.  If you’re a fan of 12th Avenue then you’re sure to enjoy this place.  They have a lot of things smoked here with use of a variety of cheeses, rich sauces and herbs such as dill, fennel and parsley’s.  The prices were reasonable for the food and depending on what you get…tasty.  They do have a full bar including mixed drinks, beers, champagnes and wines.  The drinks however, are on the pricier side so if you are planning on reliving your glorified college years and getting “hosed,” this is probably a place you don’t want to be doing that at.

I’ll be honest when I say that I wouldn’t go out of my way to come here but if someone suggested it or they asked me to meet them here for happy hour, I wouldn’t object.  The knock is that they don’t take reservations so if you have a bigger party like we did last night you’ll have to get there early enough to get the tables.  The entire place by 8pm was packed so don’t take a chance.  I also heard before coming here that there was a bit of drama between the owner and one of the head chefs where the chef was let go soon after he helped open this eatery. Not sure what the full story is but I didn’t really see that reflected in the food.  Parking is plentiful in the paid lots next door or on the street (Waialae & Koko Head Avenue).

Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar
744-7567
Open 7 days a week 5pm – 2am

Hawaii Meals on Wheels Ad2 Honolulu public service campaign (2005).

6月21日

Since today was all about cleaning up our office, I thought I’d go through my desk drawers….some of which I hadn’t opened in years.  For those of you who think it’s because I’m a slacker that’s only partly true.  I actually keep most of what I need on top of my desk or in my cabinet drawers next to my desk.

Anyway, inside one of these drawers was a hanging folder labeled Ad 2 Honolulu.  I checked out the contents and it was all of my presentation notes and files from my 2005 American Advertising Federation (AAF) conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  I figure I should at least post our oral competition dialogue since it won the 2005 National Ad 2 Oral Public Service Competition.

For those of you who don’t know what Ad 2 or rather what Ad 2 National is, it’s a division of the American Advertising Federation.  Membership is composed of young working professionals or aspiring students 32-years of age or younger.  These individuals either work in advertising and it’s related fields or have an interest in it.  There are 25 Ad 2 chapters scattered throughout the United States including Honolulu, Tampa Bay, Houston, San Francisco and Washington D.C. just to name a few.

Each year, an Ad 2 chapter selects one non-profit organization and provides them with a fully-integrated, pro-bono marketing campaign complete with advertising, production, media and public relations.   If you are a non-profit representative reading this, you can apply for the campaign here.  The call for applications is normally in June/July but contact an Ad 2 representative to confirm.

Once the campaign is nearing the end of it’s planning & execution, the Ad 2 chapters send in write-ups based on the club achievement competition guidelines.  My memory is a little rusty but I believe there are several categories including: diversity, membership, government relations, communications, public service, advertising education, club management and programs.  The clubs will also send representatives to the annual AAF conference to compete in the oral public service presentation on behalf of their client.

In 2005 myself, Jenny Alessandrelli and Dana Gyllen represented Ad 2 Honolulu in the oral presentation at the competition on behalf of our non-profit client Hawaii Meals on Wheels (HMOW).

I’d like to stress that although the 3 of us presented the campaign and won…winning was a culmination of hard work and collaboration from other club members.  Especially those who stuck it out for the long haul.  Let me take the time to recognize Song Choi, Jocelyn Lee, Brent & Celeste Shiratori (Celebrent), Heidi Kimura, Lawton Mak, Stephen Guzman, Sean Morris, Brigid Ho (Barcase), Natalie Cook, Gina Baurile, Chivas Dabbs and Andrew Cha.  If I missed you, please forgive me (and thank you!).

Surrounded by some of the ladies of Ad 2 Honolulu (June 2005).

PRESENTATION:

Jenny:  Aloha, for the past 35 years, Ad 2 Honolulu members have committed their time and talent to create a yearlong fully integrated marketing campaign for one of Hawaii’s non-profit agencies.  I’m Jenny Alessandrelli.

Brandon:  I’m Brandon Suyeoka.

Jenny:  And the woman behind the scenes is Ad 2 president of the year, Dana Lehman (Gyllen).

Brandon:  To start this year’s campaign, we formed a team of committed Ad 2 members to plan and execute what Ad 2 Honolulu does best…

Jenny:  Create a campaign that makes a difference to the clients we work with.

Brandon:  We sent our Request for Applications to Honolulu’s two major daily newspapers and over 55 organizations responded.

Jenny:  Choosing a worthy organization wasn’t an easy task.

Brandon:  We looked at the different social issues addressed and after carefully considering the needs of our community, we felt we found the right fit.

Jenny:  Between 1970 and 2000, the number of older adults in Hawaii increased by 207%

Brandon:  According to a recent article, Hawaii has the fastest growing rate of senior citizens in the nation.

Jenny:  These are big issues, too big for a single campaign.  So we took the larger issue and focused it to a point where our members could relate to it, and positively impact it.

Brandon:  We decided to tackle the issue of an aging population by addressing the need <pause> of one hot meal.

Jenny:  It doesn’t sound like much, does it? But when you are a homebound individual, isolated, alone and have difficulty getting out of your own home, one hot meal can make all the difference.

Brandon:  As their tagline says, Hawaii Meals on Wheels not only provides fresh, hot, nutritious meals… they also provide regular personal interaction.  And they do this, 5 days a week to Hawaii’s “homebound.”

Jenny:  They began in 1979 with only $25, two small delivery routes, six clients and six volunteers.

Brandon:  Today, they have expanded the service to over 250 clients and 31 routes.

Jenny:   Helping individuals disabled by age or illness, preserve their independence and their dignity by living at home.

Brandon:  Their modest staff of 5 works out of a donated classroom in a local gym…

Jenny:  Yet over the last year, they still managed to serve nearly 230 meals per day.

Brandon:  And this only accounts for a mere fraction of the possible homebound population.

Jenny:  That’s how we knew.

Brandon:  That’s how we decided!

Jenny:  We started a 3 part research program to get a clearer picture on our external environment, assess where Hawaii Meals on Wheels stood as an organization and to establish our campaign goals.

Brandon:  First, secondary research from the US Census Bureau and the Office of Aging, was conducted to investigate the background on the aging situation locally, and nationally.

Jenny:  Second, we commissioned a statewide telephone survey, donated by QMark Research & Polling, to determine current perceptions about aging in Hawaii and the awareness of Hawaii Meals on Wheels and its’ service.

Brandon:  Research showed that 49% of Hawaii residents had heard of Hawaii Meals on Wheels. However, there was vast confusion about what service they actually offered.

Jenny:  36% of people personally knew someone who could benefit from Hawaii Meals on Wheel’s services.

Brandon:  But only 2% believed aging was a relevant social issue in Hawaii.

Jenny:  Finally, to become more familiar with the duties of our client, we underwent volunteer training and conducted in-depth interviews with Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Brandon:  We joined current volunteers to experience the meal delivery process.

Jenny:  During one of our deliveries we saw a client so excited about his visit from Hawaii Meals on Wheels, he was eagerly waiting for us at the end of his driveway.

Brandon:  As we were leaving, the volunteer informed us that this particular client was there every Monday through Friday, awaiting his scheduled visit from Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Jenny:  In just that one hour we learned the power of one hot meal. <emphasize!>

Brandon:  Now, for 25 years, Hawaii Meals on Wheels has steadily grown and developed its meal delivery service with success.

Jenny:  So why the need for a marketing campaign we asked?

Brandon:  There were several challenges to overcome, including a great misconception on what service they provide.

Jenny:  There is a false impression that they’re a well-funded statewide organization.

Brandon:  They are commonly asked if they combat hunger or if they deliver take out

Jenny:  But most importantly, as their routes continue to grow with increasing demand, volunteers are becoming less abundant.

Brandon:  Current Hawaii Meals on Wheels clients represent less than 1% off the possible homebound population on the island.

Jenny:  With the number of homebound individuals on the rise, the lack of volunteers was a roadblock to expanding their service.

Brandon:  They needed help, and they called upon Ad 2 for the answers.

Jenny:  Based on our research, interviews and feedback from Hawaii Meals on Wheels, we developed two primary objectives for this campaign.

Brandon:  Our first objective was to increase general awareness of the agency’s service.

Jenny:  Our second objective was to promote volunteer recruitment.

Brandon:  We developed 4 phases to cover all aspects of the campaign, comprised of:

  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Collateral Development

Promotions and Volunteer recruitment

Jenny:  In Phase 1, we sought to raise the general public’s awareness about Hawaii Meals on Wheels and the service they provide.

Brandon:  As well as increase awareness of their volunteer opportunities.

Jenny:  Ad 2 Honolulu launched a public relations campaign, and developed press kits for all of the major media outlets in the market.

Brandon:  We followed up with story pitches to reinforce how aging affects the community as a whole….

Jenny:  And that Hawaii Meal on Wheel’s provides a service that can help Hawaii’s frail and disabled maintain their independence at home.

Brandon:  Results of these efforts included a one-hour interactive radio interview that aired on all 7 Hawaii Clear Channel Stations / a feature story in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin / and a news feature on KITV, Hawaii’s ABC affiliate

Jenny:  To date, these efforts have resulted in nearly a million impressions and more than $375,000 in estimated media value.

Brandon:  In Phase 2, we launched our advertising campaign.

Jenny:  First, using what we learned from the research we established our target audiences and created a core message to build the advertising around.

Brandon:  That Hawaii Meals on Wheels goes beyond, just the meal… It bestows hope, dignity, and independence to its recipients.

Jenny:  To meet our first objective in targeting the general public, we selected TV, radio, print, and outdoor media to reach the largest possible audience.

Brandon:  A TV spot was created to illustrate

• Who they are
• what they do
• and who they serve

Jenny:  The print campaign features a series of three ads with the headlines, “Hope”, “Dignity,” and “Independence”.

Brandon:  A :30 second radio spot was produced to mirror and tie in both the TV spot and our print campaign.

Jenny:  Again with the underlying concept that Hawaii Meals on Wheels service goes beyond just the meal.

Brandon:  While the nature of this client lends itself to billboard advertising, unfortunately it is unavailable in Hawaii…. However, mall signs were produced to reinforce the Print campaign and engender support for the organization.

Jenny:  These signs were placed in geographically targeted locations throughout the island and will result in over 82 million impressions.

Brandon:  In our print and radio flights, we developed a headline to tie in our general awareness campaign with our second objective of recruiting volunteers.

Jenny:  “We’ll provide the meals if YOU deliver the hope.”  By YOU delivering the hope, the headline breathes life into our second objective of recruiting volunteers.

Brandon:  A second TV spot was produced targeting potential volunteers.

Jenny:  We wanted our audience to make a personal connection to the focal character in the spot illustrating that  “This could be someone you know, possibly someone close to you”

Brandon:  We also wanted viewers to understand and witness the gratifying feeling volunteers experience when donating their time to Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Jenny:  Media was targeted to effectively hit both the mass as well as niche markets.  From our research, we found that the majority of the current volunteer base is composed of church groups and the business community.

Brandon:  To address this, we secured ad placement in both church bulletins and business publications.

Jenny:  Through Ad 2 Honolulu’s continued relationship with local media outlets and because of the worthiness of the cause, we received…

Brandon:  OVER $600,000 worth of TV / Radio / Print / and Outdoor media donations <say it like you guys are bad asses>

Jenny:  In Phase 3, collateral development, we created an updated and unified brand identity to help reinforce Hawaii Meals on Wheels as a viable organization in the community.

Brandon:  To do this, we designed a refreshed logo…

Jenny:  Updated their letterhead, envelopes, business cards, and brochure…

Brandon:  and produced malls stands and car magnets.  These are just some of the tools we designed to help Hawaii Meals on Wheels extend the life of this year-long marketing campaign.

Jenny:  With heightened awareness and refreshed support materials, we began execution of our promotions plan.

Brandon:  Promotional efforts for Phase 4 were designed to increase visibility in the marketplace, establish corporate partnerships and create site-specific volunteer opportunities.

Jenny:  To maximize the impact of our efforts, we kicked off Phase 4 in March, to coincide with national ‘March for Meals’ month.

Brandon:  We built the promotions plan around Ad 2 Honolulu’s Annual fundraising event, Spring Palette, which was developed as a venue to raise awareness of the organization and encourage the participation of our members.

Jenny:  The event entertained over 300 guests and allowed a tie-in to Hawaii Meals on Wheels tagline, ‘Food for the journey, hope for the soul.”

Brandon:  In addition, we secured a state proclamation designating the day of the event as Hawaii Meals on Wheels Day.

Jenny:  Funds that were raised from the event helped to defray the hard costs for this year’s campaign.

Brandon:  Throughout the month of March we carried out our grass roots programs to help Hawaii Meals on Wheels recruit new volunteers and provide them with direct volunteer assistance from our membership.

Jenny:  Ad 2 Honolulu set up and manned volunteer-drive booths in highly targeted locations, chosen according to where our client indicated there was a need for volunteers.

Brandon:  To encourage our members to get more familiar with Hawaii Meals on Wheels, we set up opportunities for members to ride with their volunteers during a meal run.

Jenny:  Ad 2 Honolulu solicited a number of possible partners and arranged for a third-party company to help promote Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Brandon:  We created an arrangement in which Times Super Market, the third largest supermarket chain in the state, allowed us to place Hawaii Meals on Wheels flyers into grocery bags at checkout during Easter weekend.  One of their busiest shopping weekends of the year.

Jenny:  We also secured a partnership with McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii who donated salads for one of Hawaii Meals on Wheel’s heavier delivery routes.

Brandon:  McDonald’s coupons were also given as an incentive to recruit new volunteers and to reward current volunteers ….

Jenny:  Both Times Super Markets and McDonald’s have agreed to continue these partnerships in the future.

Brandon:  Aligning Hawaii Meals on Wheels with two widely visible corporate sponsors in our local community. <pause>

Jenny:  Planning is a circle and you always have to go back to where you started… with your objectives.

Brandon:  Our objectives for this campaign were to:  Increase awareness of Hawaii Meals on Wheels and its service and Promote Volunteer recruitment.

Jenny:  Thus far the campaign results have been successful.

Brandon:  To date, this campaign has secured over 60,000,000 impressions in a small market of only 850,000 people, and remember… this campaign will continue for 7 more months!

Jenny:  Since the launch of the campaign, Hawaii Meals on Wheels has already received a 20% increase in the number of calls compared to last year.

Brandon:  …and the calls keep coming… with requests for information on how to become a client or a volunteer.

Jenny:  One man was so moved by the volunteer TV commercial that he called within minutes of seeing the spot.  He said it reminded him of his mother playing the piano, and he knew he was meant to be a volunteer.

Brandon:  The media is set, promotions are planned and the affidavits are available in the addendum.

Jenny:  We’re confident this message has been felt and will continue to felt throughout the life of this campaign.

Brandon:  To be certain, post research is scheduled to validate our results.

Jenny:  Armed with comprehensive market research, a new brand identity, and our list of media, PR, and promotional contacts, we’ve given Hawaii Meals on Wheels the tools to sustain visibility in our local market for years to come.

Brandon:  Here’s what Allicyn Tasaka of Hawaii Meals on Wheels, had to say… [play recording of Allicyn]

Jenny:  The campaign is valued at over one million dollars.

Brandon:  Hard costs for campaign production totaled $3,700, all donated by Ad 2 Honolulu.

Jenny:  Cost to client?

Brandon:  Absolutely nothing! And this is just the beginning… thanks to the contribution of Ad 2 Honolulu and the members of District 13….

Jenny:  Hawaii Meals on Wheels, an organization that has worked tirelessly with little to no marketing resources has finally received the notoriety and recognition they deserve.

Brandon:  Mahalo!

Advertising: It can’t solve all your problems.

6月17日

Advertising plays an important role in your company’s business strategy.  If people don’t sense (yes I meant to say sense – see, hear, smell & touch) your products or services then how would they know that they’re available for purchase?  And of course, if people don’t purchase your products, then you won’t generate any sales….. which means no income or revenue and a fast track to certain oblivion.

It’s no secret that communicating and advertising your product benefits to consumers is vital for the success and longevity of your business.  Among other things, it also allows you to separate and differentiate yourself amongst  your competition.  But what a company really needs to embrace is the knowledge that advertising won’t solve all of your business’ problems.  So what exactly does that mean?  Allow me to illustrate with a few scenarios I’ve witnessed over the years that I’ve worked in this industry….some of which I’ve personally worked on.  Since most of these are local (Hawaii) companies or companies that are still in business, I won’t use actual names….just in case :P

LANGUAGE BARRIERS…
The scenario:  Statewide dental service network that has multiple branches on each island (Oahu, Kauai, Maui & Hawaii) .

The problem:  Due to consumer cutbacks and a weakened economy, the company was struggling to maintain all of their branches and retain all of their experienced dentists on staff.  They needed to generate sales in a stagnant market and do it quickly.

The solution:  According to internal data, the branches were servicing many clients that used English as a second language.  So we were tasked with creating ethnic ads in Filipino and Korean and have them run in their respective ethnic publications.

The ‘real’ problem:  One could call it a good problem if there was such a thing…the ads were well received and their call volume and walk-ins increased.  The problem was that there were really only a few Filipino and Korean speaking staff members.  Most branches had none which actually cause more of a problem because of the language barrier.

MATCHING THE COMPETITION:
The scenario:  Interstate air carrier.

The problem:  Though their rates remained competitive with the other air carriers in the market, the “word on the street” was that this particular carrier had a bad rap when it came to service and reliability.  This was confirmed through 3rd party consumer surveys.

The solution:  Commit to spending on a large multi-scaled advertising and public relations campaign.  Primary message – service.  Secondary message – low rates.

The ‘real’ problem:  This particular air carrier didn’t do much to full fill their service promise internally.  The campaign backfired on them since nothing really noticeably improved.

INCREASING CALL VOLUME:
The scenario:  Back in the 80′s and early 90′s many of us may remember the “Long Distance” phone carrier wars.  One local company in particular needed to maintain their current customer base as well as increase new business.

The problem:  Even though they were a local company with established trust, they still had higher rates then their competition, most of whom where mainland based carriers.  From focus groups it was revealed that “price” out trumped all other reasons why a consumer would choose a long distance carrier…However since they were rapidly losing market share due to rates, the executives decided to respond immediately with a campaign based on their strong points.

The solution:  What the focus groups also revealed was that this company in particular was recognized by the community for their friendly local service.  The company decided to push an ad campaign that played up their local, trustworthy service (rather than take the time to adjust their business model to accommodate for lower pricing).

The ‘real’ problem:  In the long run, people want to spend less especially for something of a commodity such as long distance phone calls.  The company had to pull back the advertising until they readjusted their pricing model.  They basically threw money into a bottomless pitt.

IN THE END:
I could give many more examples but I’ll end this short of boring you.  The lesson learned here seems to have a few common themes.  Before you send a message out into the public, be sure that you’re prepared internally like in the case of the dental service and airlines.

Look at advertising from the inside to out.  In the long distance carrier scenario, the company should have adjusted their pricing model before moving forward.  They heard what consumers wanted through research, yet they still went ahead with a campaign that pushed service.

It astounds me how obvious these blunders are, yet these mistakes are still commonly made.   What’s worse is that advertising is always the scapegoat for a company’s woes.  Yes…”it’s not the ‘lower rates’ that other companies have, it’s the creative you put in our ‘awesome service’ ad.”  Really???

15 crazy Japanese ads to start the week off.

6月13日

What better way to start a new work week off then a good laugh.  Here are a bunch of crazy Japanese commercials that are either funny…strange…or just plain insane.  Enjoy!

It’s the Terminator like you’ve never seen him before. Maybe he should move to Japan to get out of the limelight and start a career in commercials.

Hahaha, I think I’d feel the same way as this dude did.

You gotta love the illustrations….

The actor is actually Korean.  The product is Japanese.  The commercial is silly.

If any of you know what the Japanese pornographic term “bukakke” means, this spot is somewhat based off that concept….why else would the gal be pouring the white stuff on her face and be at the bottom?!

Uhhhhh….what??

Why I like this commercial.  The spot portrays an “unsexy” product (high blood pressure) and makes it memorable & creative.

It doesn’t matter what language you speak, Milk does a body good.

This is a Japanese commercial, but made in Taiwan. Which is why the talent is speaking in Japanese but the narrator has a Chinese accent.  Either way, I’m looking up up…

Anyone have any idea how the creative even remotely ties into the actual product?

I think I’d like it too if a cute Japanese gal comes running at me and puts me in a death hold…

I’m not quite sure what to make out of this spot. I don’t even feel like eating bananas anymore after seeing them come out of that guy’s nose.  But it looks like this guy could get the chicks with that outfit especially if he floats away on an invisible car.

I think this one is saying Penguins can upgrade your shitter?

Yes….that irritating show Glee is even shown in Japan.

I get it. Hair removal makes your skin shine so much that it can reflect the sun. The guy’s expression is pretty funny. Good example of a commercial with high memorability where I’ll remember the particulars about the creative but in the long run I don’t think I’ll remember the product name.

A few funny shorts on the web from Thursday.

6月9日

100 Japanese school gets strut their stuff against pro soccer team.

You gotta love those Japanese talk shows that think of every type of scenario imaginable including a soccer match up between 100 school kids versus a pro team.  Here’s part 2 of the segment.

Robobeer.

A fellas dream toy. Now if it could only actually serve beer…and some cocktail nuts while we’re at it.

Most epic and manly beer commercial ever.

I hope the beer tastes just as good…

Blake Griffin in a Rage commercial??

No connection between the two whatsoever but still funny as well.  The cardboard scene sorta reminds you of that ESPN Chris Farley ad

And what’s more…

Guidebook to the folk monsters of Japan.
The Darwinian Evolution of graphic design [infographic].
Thomson in-flight safety video….with kids!

Advertising: You can’t please everybody.

6月7日

Most season veterans in the advertising industry will understand that even after years of working on ad campaigns and intensive market research/focus groups to perfect your message and creative….you cannot and will not ever create an ad that everyone likes.

Yes, it’s that plain and simple.  I’ll put money down that even commercials popular among you and your friends have gone viral on YouTube with a few dislikes checked off on them.  Advertising in some sense are like pieces of art. They generate opinions both the favorable and unfavorable kind.  Many will receive praise….a lot will have critics.

But it’s surprising to see how many clients will have their agencies work tirelessly to create a flawless piece of advertising that is aimed to appeal to the masses.  Often times I will see them dilute their own creative to try meet every demand they would hear in a focus group or from “unscientific” surveys.  It astounds me of how far out of their way they go to do this.

Granted, I have been in this industry long enough to know the importance of such feedback and research.  Both prove to be invaluable in helping the creative team along in their process.  However, there needs to be a line drawn as to what we processes and what we actually use.  Too much scrutiny results in “analysis paralysis” where we spend a lot of time on the creative but never get it out.

So here are a few things I have observed over the years that clients can take into consideration when they are beginning a new ad campaign.  They can take it for what it’s worth but know this….they are getting an outside observation…which can help when they are tunnel visioned with their own product/service.

  1. Accept the fact that you cannot please everyone with the advertising your agency creates.
  2. Sometimes, being you can’t be helped.  There are just some products & services out there that will appeal to more people.  GAP jeans for example may have wider marketability then say something like depends.  But if you can create a memorable and recognizable ad for a “boring or mundane” product, then your agency has done its job.  In my opinion, Intel has done a great job marketing their products.  To the layman, no one really knows specifically what their stuff does….you sorta just know they had stuff in your computer that makes it run faster.  After they rolled out this campaign, people started to get a better grasp of who they were and what they did.  Here’s one of the spots.
  3. Pay attention to the market research and what you learn in focus groups….but don’t go holding up the train if someone is unhappy with something that shouldn’t affect the overall message or creative.  I’ve witnessed focus groups where people would comment on the way an actor was dressed on the concept boards….it was even more frustrating to have clients spend the money to actually change the actor’s wardrobe on the concept boards!
  4. Focusing on the memorability of your advertising will go a along way.  But just because people remember your ad doesn’t mean they’ll remember the message.
  5. Too many cooks in the kitchen will ruin the pot.  As so with your ads, as I mentioned above diluting your advertising with a lot of minutia and differences of opinions will be harmful to the overall ad.
  6. Your message in your advertising could be loud and clear but the challenge is having people retain that message.  So there needs to be some form of balance.
I’m sure there are many more things that I haven’t thought of but that’s all I’ve got for now and it’s time for me to head out cause it’s rubbish day and I have to cook dinner!  Later!

Vintage Saturday morning cartoon commercials.

6月3日

If you grew up in the 80′s and early 90′s…somewhere between Scooby Doo and the Smurfs you must’ve come across these classic commercials.  The funny thing is it may have been new to you but it probably starting running years before  you even graduated from Sesame Street!

I don’t know about you but amongst friends, at least once or twice we had to count and find out….how many licks does it really take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?  I can’t remember.

I don’t know about you, but Woodsy Owl scared the crap out of me when i was a young tyke.  He had more than a few PSA’s that ran during his reign, which started in the 70′s and continued through the 80′s.  I grew out of him and Saturday morning cartoons by the late 80′s so I’m not sure how long he stuck around… but I hope I never get caught with him in a dark alley.

Since we’re on the pollution topic, let’s not forget the famous crying Indian.  This was a little before my time but I do remember seeing it on the tube in the early 80′s.

This dude has been around for a few generations and he’s still giving you the “only you” line.  Funny how much he sounds and resembles Michael Clarke Duncan.  In any case, I think I’d rather stay on his good side and not start forest fires.

I always thought this was local campaign but only recently did I realize that it was a national movement.  I guess I thought it was local because I remember Oceanic Cable partnering with McGruff the Crime dog.  You could always get help if you saw an Oceanic Cable truck.

Well that’s all I can think of for now. Sure there were many toy & McDonald’s commercials but these were the ones that transcended a few generations!  Know of any more?

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