Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Change We Can Believe In - Litterally

I am so excited about our 44th president. I can't speak for an entire generation, but as a gen-xer this is the first time I've felt connected to our country's leader. He feels like my peer, not my father's or grandfather's peer. He seems to share many of my values. He seems to see the world as I see it.

I was planning on taking my children to the mall on the 20th to witness history in the making. Now that it's going to be a mad house, I'm not so sure. I might just celebrate this historic occasion with my family and friends from the comfort of my living room.

As I was searching for gifts my clients could give to their members or clients who were coming to town, I came across this Obama "Change" Collection.

This commemorative tribute to Barack Obama, our first African-American President, includes the following coins: 2007 Washington dollar; JFK half dollar; Illinois state quarter; Hawaii state quarter. Each coin is colorized with a different Barack Obama image. Each set includes a Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in a black velvet gift box. Each of these designs have been registered and trademarked.

Own a piece of history. Or give this as a gift to your clients, family and friends.

They start at $26.00 for one set. And are as little as $18.00 for 500 sets. The gift box can be personalized. Call or email for details and pricing.

More Information

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Month’s Worth Of Creative Dates For Innovative Marketing February 2009

February 20th is MardiGras

  • Send your salesforce out with logoed boxes of doughnuts to leave with clients on this day that's also known as Fat Tuesday or Doughnut Day
  • Create a promotion that delivers all the beads and trappings of MardiGras and ties in the carnival atmosphere. Make a connection to how the carnival atmosphere seems great on MardiGras, but when they wake up to the sobering reality of the next day your business, product or service is what will carry them over long haul.

Some other designations for February that you might be interested in are:

  • American Heart Month
  • National Pet Dental Health Month
  • National African American History Month
  • National Cherry Month
  • February 1st: Women's Heart Health Day
  • February 1st: Super Bowl
  • February 2nd: Ground Hog Day
  • February 4th - 10th: National Consumer Protection Week
  • February 5th: Mexico: Constitution Day
  • February 5th: Mardi Gras
  • February 6th: Ash Wednesday
  • February 7th: Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbors Day
  • February 8th - 19: Florida State Fair
  • February 8th: Boy Scout Day
  • February 9th: Corvette Day
  • February 10th: Pro Sports Wives Day
  • February 11th: White Shirt Day
  • February 11th - 17th: Jell-O(R) Week
  • February 12th: Darwin Day
  • February 13th: Get A New Name day
  • February 14th: Valentine's day
  • February 15th: Flag Day (Canada)
  • February 15th: Susan B Anthony Day
  • February 16th: Family Day (Canada)
  • February 16th: Crown Royal International Race Of Champions
  • February 16th: Louis Riel Day (Canada)
  • February 17th: Daytona 500
  • February 17th: My Way Day
  • February 18th: Chinese New Year
  • February 18th: President's Day
  • February 19th: Chocolate Mint Day
  • February 21st: International Mother Language Day
  • February 23rd: Anniversary: Iwo Jima Day
  • February 24th: Mardi Gras
  • February 25th: Ash Wednesday
  • February 26th: For Pete's Sake Day
  • February 27th: Spay Day USA
  • February 28th: National Chili Day

Video Store Promo Puts Excitement in the Air

Making a storefront stand out from all the others in the same strip mall isn't easy to do – or is it? John Pflughoft, owner of Jodati Inc., dba Blockbuster, distinguishes his video stores with SkyDancers – "dancing" inflatables featuring a fan inside that continually pumps air through their bodies, making them sway, bend and "dance."

SkyDancers are typically 20-plus feet in height, come in the shape of either characters or straight tubes and can be imprinted with custom logos or messages. "We custom-ordered ours in colors to match our corporate logo," Pflughoft says, "so in addition to driving customers through our doors, these inflatables also support brand awareness."

Pflughoft is using the SkyDancers at two stores and is convinced they're driving traffic to both locations. "We noticed a near instant response to our use of dancing inflatables, as they really help a business to stand out amongst the many," he says.

In fact, he was so happy with the results that he has recommended SkyDancers on a Web site for Blockbuster franchise owners, plus two other stores had put up inflatables on his recommendation.

A Sharp Approach to Baseball

There's a pretty good chance that if you went to a Major League Baseball game this year after the All-Star break, you were exposed to a Sharp Aquos high-definition television. Sharp Electronics, which spent its second year as the official HDTV of MLB, ran a complete lineup of fan activities and promotions throughout the second half-season.

Much like the Philadelphia Phillies, Sharp ended the season with a serious playoff push. "The Sharp Aquos Instant Replay Roadshow" appeared at every postseason game. The effort, which debuted during the All-Star Game, allows consumers to be the umpire by watching replays on Aquos displays to make the call on controversial plays.

"The Sharp Aquos Experience Mobile Tour," meanwhile, used a 53-foot double-expanded trailer to create the ultimate showcase for its products at postseason games. "At all of our activation points, Sharp gives away promotional items emblazoned with a specially designed logo that features both of our brands and the MLB silhouetted batter," says Judah Zeigler, associate vice president for the retail and marketing group at Sharp.

At the in-stadium kiosks during the post-season, Sharp gave away branded cinch sacks, soft baseballs and playing cards. "Because we give away items that can be used over and over, like the cinch sack and playing cards, we're able to keep Sharp's association with MLB in the mind of the consumer, not just at the point at which they're interacting with our brand at a special event, but for days, weeks or even months afterwards," says Zeigler. More than 5,500 retailers participated in MLB-themed Sharp promotions.

The Athlete's Foot Gives Its Brand a Kick

Hoping to add a little spring to its step, The Athlete's Foot began a rebranding effort earlier this year. The venerable athletic shoe and sportswear retailer has opted to move away from its name (which is also an itchy fungus) and toward the acronym, "TAF."

To help consumers become familiar with its altered name and new logo, the company offered a free drawstring backpack as a gift-with-purchase during the back-to-school shopping season. Consumers who spent more than $75 received one of 11,000 free backpacks.

"If the branded item makes sense to the overall strategy, then it can help build a brand," says Darius Billings, director of retail brand marketing and merchandising for NexCen Franchise Management, parent company to The Athlete's Foot. "For TAF, we have committed to a strategy of serving the everyday athletes of the world – the student athletes, the before-breakfast athletes, the after-work athletes and the weekend athletes. To do this, we need the TAF brand to speak their language and live in their world. A TAF coffee mug isn't necessarily going to do this, but the drawstring bag can, because it is an important element of the everyday athlete."

It was a perfect fit because it jives with TAF customers' athletic routines, says Billings. "For the student athlete, it's their second bag, the first being their book bag," he says. "The drawstring bag is something that travels with them to practice, to competitions and to games. For after-work athletes, it replaces the briefcases at 5 p.m. And so the brand, which aims to serve the everyday athlete, is also a part of the everyday athlete's life."

The bag helps the brand raise awareness in an organic way. A simple gift-with-purchase "may not seem like much, but next time you're near a weekend soccer tournament, a 10K run, or a pickup basketball game, look around." Billings says. "The drawstring bag is everywhere. It only makes sense that TAF should be a part of that space."

Chiquita's Fresh Idea

We all know it's good to eat our fruits and vegetables. Now, Chiquita Brands is trying to make it even better. Consumers who purchase Chiquita and Fresh Express fruits and vegetables can earn "Fresh Funds." This "Healthy Rewards for Healthy Living" consumer loyalty program, launched in September, presents consumers with points redeemable for a host of prizes.

Fresh Funds participants can redeem their points for a branded tote bag or free Chiquita or Fresh Express products. They can also use their points to participate in auctions, for items like a Cannondale bicycle, as well as make donations to charities.

Chiquita hopes the program, will help its products stand out in the produce aisle. It also expects Fresh Funds to increase frequency of purchases as well as promote awareness. "This program fits the direction we're headed as a consumer-focused company," says Bryan Brown, corporate communications director for Chiquita Fresh Express. "It connects with our Chiquita and Fresh Express brands, and just as important, it attracts consumers to the produce aisle and encourages a healthy lifestyle habit of eating fresh fruits and vegetables."

Chiquita Brands, a $4 billion company, is using direct mailers and in-store displays as well as an online push to get the word out. Leading up to the launch of, the company launched an online teaser campaign. Six viral videos drew 400,000 views of the site. It also leveraged Facebook and MySpace to get social with consumers.