Monday, June 23, 2008

September is Self-Improvement Month

Almost no matter what your product or service you can create a promotion around self-improvement month. If your business is consumer oriented, like a weight-loss clinic, it’s obvious how you can build a promotion around this designation. But if your aren’t so directly tied, try playing to the idea of your client or prospective client improving themselves as a purchasing agent, a marketing manager, a human resources manager, etc, whatever their position. Choose appropriate imprinted items to use based on your theme.

August 15th is National Relaxation Day

Develop a promotion to show your clients how they can enjoy August 15th, National Relaxation Day, because you are taking care of... Choose from a variety of products to put your logo on from stress relievers to relax chairs to CDs to spa sets.

Napkins Get Creative Juices Flowing

While Abraham Lincoln may have written the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope, many a moment of inspiration was jotted down on a cocktail napkin. So much so, that Esquire magazine created a promotion asking people to pen some words of wisdom on these white paper goods.

Esquire mailed 250 napkins to writers all over the country. In return, they received 100 short stories that ran in the magazine. Knob Creek, meanwhile, created a program called "Words to live by" where it offered poignant snippets of prose like "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

The two recently joined forces to launch "The Napkin Project with Knob Creek." Consumers who visit can view interactive napkins featuring the words from both efforts. The virtual napkins can be zoomed in and flipped over. Other content from interviews with Knob Creek Whiskey Professors aimed to educate consumers about the joys of whiskey.

This is "a great example of how we create interactive content inspired by materials that originally appeared in the magazine. Because advertisers are funding added functionality on the site, users get a richer experience while being exposed to brands in unique ways. Advertisers are able to engage in a conversation with users in a forum that isn't overly commercial or intrusive," says Chris Johnson, vice president of content & business development for Hearst Magazines Digital Media.

Modell's Teams Up Online

Many a member of the football, soccer or softball team relies on Modell's Sporting Goods for their equipment. That's why when the national retailer decided to launch its first-ever online sweepstakes, it opted for a team-based effort.

Its "Holiday Team Getaway Sweepstakes" used a new patented technology created by Cohen-Friedberg Associates. In order to enter, a consumer had to recruit a team member to also enter. This was fitting because the grand prize was a trip for two to St. Petersburg, FL, to catch a Major League Baseball spring training game.

"Modell's is all about team, so it's fitting that its first online promotion would be centered around that concept," says Eric Friedberg, co-founder of the marketing agency that created the technology which can be scaled to include any number of amount of team members (although he said four or five should likely be the max).

Modell's partnered with St Petersburg/Clearwater Conventions and Tourism, Trade Winds Island Resort on St. Pete Beach, JetBlue and the Ted Williams/Hitters Museum. An exec "from the museum sat next to me at game two of the World Series and he heard me talking about the technology and he said ‘I want in,'" says Friedberg. "It's hard to innovate on the Web these days. It's all about being viral. How can you get your brand in front of as many consumers as possible? This accomplishes that."

Teams who entered at were also randomly selected to win a $25 gift card.

Grey Goose Invites Music Fans into the Den

Grey Goose vodka has taken the spirits category by storm with its award-winning taste and eye popping price tag. On January 13, it began reaching out to new fans with its Live from the Artist's Den series of one-hour concert specials. The underground concert series, which will show emerging artists in extraordinary settings, airs on Ovation TV.

While the brand will offer logoed handouts and items with gift bags at the events, one thing it will not offer is CDs. The tracks will instead be available for purchase at iTunes. Grey Goose is very picky about where its logo is placed and would not reveal what items would appear at the events – you just have to be lucky enough to be in attendance.

Especially considering the line up which includes: Ben Harper on a 700-acre farm in Tennessee; Fountains of Wayne on a 100-year-old ship at New York's South Street seaport; and The Swell Season at the Good Shepherd Center Chapel in Seattle.

"Presenting ‘The Artist's Den' is a unique and innovative way for Grey Goose Entertainment to establish a relationship with a new audience that it does not otherwise reach through original paid advertising," says a spokesperson for Grey Goose Entertainment, New York. "It also supports the fact that Grey Goose is dedicated to producing original and unique content for television, music and film."

Grey Goose also produces the series Iconoclasts for the Sundance channel where it brings together to two leading innovators from different fields to discuss their creative process.

Getting to Know the Gecko

To paraphrase the ever-charming Gecko in the Geico radio ads: "who doesn't like a friend that gives you things?" Kids visiting the San Diego Zoo recently got the message. A costumed Gecko was on hand handing out finger puppets and figurines as part of the leading insurance provider's partnership with The Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Geico Gecko Exhibit features the real Madagascar day geckos and the not-so real mascot. The tour and exhibit will continue nationwide for three years at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. At each stop, Geico will make a contribution to wildlife conservation. It will also be the lead sponsor for AZA's Earth Day "Party for the Planet" on April 22nd.

"We wanted to use the power of the Geico Gecko to support a worthy cause," says Rynthia Rost, vice president of public affairs for Geico, Washington, D.C. "Zoos and aquariums are important cultural and educational resources in the communities Geico serves. Now, our Gecko can help people save money on car insurance and help zoos and aquariums save wildlife."

The tour is expected to reach 157 million consumers. It's being supported by a series of animated commercials starring the mascot interacting with other zoo animals. One shows him attempting to speak to a jellyfish. He says, "I'll be honest here, it's very hard to talk with you, I mean where exactly is your face?" Another features the gecko talking to an otter. Unfortunately, for the mascot known for giving, the otter refuses to share his clams. No word on whether the Geico cavemen will begin popping up at natural history museums.