Dodge The Competition and Dart to the Front of the Line

All I can say is WOW… well, wow and all it’s synonyms.  The Dodge Dart ad is not only the best car ad I have ever seen, but probably the best ad this year.  Suck it crappy Super Bowl Ads.

In their new ad Dodge shows an inspirational and idealist approach to product development.  As someone who works in the field, this is how you want to do things, but most of the time you don’t get to ‘kick out the committees.’ So you end up with compromise, and the consumer looses.  That’s why this story is so inspirational.  SCREW compromise we’re going to give you what you really want and we’re putting blood sweat and tears into it.

This is exactly what the market needs to hear and see.  We’ve been sold to; lied to; let down; and disillusioned by companies lately – especially automotive.  Dodge is telling us what we want to believe.  There are real people working on these cars and working real hard, but even more than that – they get it!

From the first Kanye/Jay Z beat drop, through the comic stacatto story telling, to the punch line finish, you can’t help but be engrossed in this ad.  It’s about a minute and a half (3X a normal ad) and it makes me want to watch, want to share, and more importantly interested in what they have to say.  If you give them credit for nothing else, at least it isnt 30 seconds of cars driving on windy roads with some random text on the screen.  Bravo Dodge!

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Flip Your Competition a Middle Toe

This ad epitomizes all that is right with advertising to me and it is the visual stamp on a multi-prong campaign that solidified Vibram’s place in the uber competitive footwear market.  This story is so great it doesn’t really need my commentary, but I believe genius like this needs to be shared.

Here’s the quick summary of the background:

  • Vibram makes Five Fingers shoes… the first of their kind.
  • The people rejoice – the competition gets annoyed
  • Several people completely rip them off and flood the market with counterfeits
  • Anxious consumers enticed by sweet prices by crappy rip offs
  • The people stop rejoicing and send a big WTF to Vibram
  • Vibram calls a WTF meeting and quickly identify the culprit and what to do
  • They then simultaneously tell the customers how to be on the look out for crap shoes, take all legal actions available to stop the flood, take care of the disenfranchised customers  that they had no obligation to satisfy, and of course produce a stunningly concise ad.
  • The plan solidifies the consumer base, establishes the brand and might just have saved the company
  • The people rejoice

 

Marketing in Hell: 6 Lessons from Gordon Ramsey and Hell’s Kitchen

I’m a firm believer that you can draw business lessons from just about anywhere.  To take that thought a step further, I believe the best marketers are the ones who take in content, ideas and thoughts from the widest range of sources and have the keen ability to apply it to what they want to do.  So with that, I pull from the unlikely world of reality TV to present you with 6 marketing lessons.

6 Lessons from Gordon Ramsey and Hell’s Kitchen

  1. Protect your brand:  Who are you?  What do you do better than anyone else?  When people see your logo what do they believe?  Now defend that at all costs because in a world of knock offs, consistently delivering on that promise is the real value of a brand.  Gordon would rather turn customers away than serve food that isn’t perfect… especially if it’s RAW!
  2. Demand Integrity:  This is a way of protecting your brand.  Critics, share holders, directors, customers may scream cheaper, faster!  And neither of these are bad unless they are at the cost of integrity.  Ask any chef that passed through Hell’s kitchen if it’s OK to pre-cook some food, or use a canned vegetable.  They might still shutter from the memories of that mistake.
  3. Build Teams on Passion:  Find passion wherever passion may lie and develop that into the skilled teammate you need.  I’ve seen many a skilled cook vanish before a passionate one in Hell’s.  Passion can’t be faked, and when your people don’t have it neither will your products.
  4. Innovate, then innovate more then consider innovating:  You could argue that every episode of Hell’s Kitchen is exactly the same, which to a point is true.  But Gordon and the producers have brought clever idea after clever idea to the program and viewers still tune in by the droves.  Even within the constraints of TV and dramatic formatting they find a way to infuse creativity into every episode.
  5. SCREAM!  Sometimes literally scream what you have and why it’s awesome.  In each boisterous critique of a dish or chef Gordon is telling the world, “I demand the best, and that’s why you should come to my establishments.”  I’m sure he’s always had a strong voice, but adding a TV show gave him a megaphone on top of that.  Each scream echoes across the nation and reiterates his brand promise.
  6. Live your brand:  Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, Kitchen Nightmares… it doesn’t matter where you see the Man, it’s the same Gordon day, night, weekend.  Hell, I think if I were ordering some crappy food and he crossed my path he’d probably scoff at me for making a bad decision.  This relates to passion, but I wanted to expand it to show it doesn’t stop in the office.

Hope you enjoyed.  Comment here or on Twitter @RobJDay

The 6 Most Definitive Un-Arguable Reasons Lists Make Great Posts

Whether you’ve made one or read one lists have surely been a big part of your internet life.  Here are the 6 most definitive absolutely true every time reasons they make great posts!

  1. Ring the bell; I’m ready to fight!  Ever read the catchy title of a list post and think “oh no you didn’t” or perhaps something with more expletives?  Maybe the title of this post got your dander up.  “What the hell does he know?”  That’s fair and part of why lists are  awesome.  Hit on a topic people care about and they will read and engage.  That’s the whole reason we’re writing right?  See my next list the 5 reasons you are writing – a comprehensive list 🙂
  2. Your reading this aren’t you?  For a combination of reasons people are drawn to lists, and to each his/her own.  Whatever combination of influences brought you here, the point is your reading it and hopefully laughing at yourself a little.
  3. You know what you are committing to before you even click the link.  Five reasons ice cream is tasty???? Yea I can jump into that for a min.  13,000 reasons the Vikings did not take over the globe – yea I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of commitment yet… it’s not you; it’s me…
  4. Easy peasey.  I’m not going to lie to you… I thought this up and knocked it out in about 30 min which in the world of content creation is a blink.  Think of interesting topic, write down some things within the topic, elaborate with cheap humor.  Now you have a list!
  5. Flattery equals instant sharing.  Not only do we like making and reading lists… we LOVE being in them… even if it’s a bad list, at least someone is mentioning you.  Which reminds me thanks @EliseKovi for inspiring this lazy post.  Call out your friends, your enemies, your pets… I don’t care.  As long as you can throw someone in the mix they will probably engage in some manner.
  6. Addiction.  Like morning coffee, lists are an addiction.  Humans love to put order to the world; it’s natural.  We love to rank, file, rate and vote.  Lists help make that happen.  They take a large complex topic and put it into digestible well ordered bits… addicting little bits…

So there you have it.  These are the six and only six reasons lists make awesome posts.

An Uber Lesson in Customer Service

It seems all too often that the world of technology has numbed us to a point where weak customer service is expected, bad is tolerated, and horrible gets an angry tweet.  Too many parts of the process have been automated.  Too many steps have been added to keep you from getting where you need to go for the help you need.  Too many people who don’t have a vested interest in making happy customers end up on the other end of the line with the understandably annoyed ones.  It’s all too much, but customer service can and does live on even in the most technologically based companies.

I present to you UBER – “Everyone’s Personal Driver.”  Since its inception Uber has made customer service a priority and they deliver in a big way.  Two personal anecdotes:

  1. Mid winter I left one glove in my ride – After one email the Boston Community Manager was on the case.  My glove was delivered back to me personally by the drive who took me home that night.
  2. Recently Uber noticed I had some difficulty using the service.  They proactively got in touch with me, apologized and offered a credit for the trouble. Unbelievable.

I know many other people have had just the same experiences, and anyone who has ridden with them knows this personality flows down to each and every driver.  Top to bottom this company takes care of it’s users.

Now these are nice heartwarming stories, but what does it amount to?  Where is the bottom line?  We’re in an age of amplification – good or bad.  Uber has me willing to sit down ad write this piece praising their work.  They have my friends and my loyalty to their service, and most of all they have us all recommending them to anyone who will listen.  This is something a commercial or billboard could never do.  Even more than this they are building a fortress that cannot be knocked off by another app/company in 6 months.  Talk about a barrier to entry.

Cheers and much success to you Uber!

That Punny Got Hops and Other Pun Beers

Love em or hate them puns will be around forever, and we’re all stuck with them.  So if you  cant beat em join em.  Here is my first list of awesome pun beer names.  So have a good yuck and get to work on your own.

Honorable Mentions for Awesomeness, but not fitting criteria:

  • MMMMMMMM Hop – the impending Hanson Beer.  HILARIOUS, but not existing
  • Mortal Wombat submitted by @cristymaldonado – AWESOME but could not be verified
  • Here Gose Nothing created and submitted by the talented @EmilyRagle for her friend’s first brew of a Gose style.

So there you have the list – for now – but with any list of its kind it’s up for debate and update.  Thanks to all who contributed, and those geniuses behind the names!

A Real Lobstah Roll

It’s not often that I take the time to write about food.  But when that food is soaked in beer I think it deserves a few words.  When that beer is Sam Adams Summer Ale it deserves grander words than exist in my vocabulary, but I’ll do my best.

I had the unique honor of joining brewer Jennifer Glanville and the Sam Adams team in DC for a taste of this culinary creation, and it did not disappoint.  Sam Summer is the perfect balance for lobster.  I devoured mine in no time,  but chances are you aren’t going to find one any time soon, so for the adventurous out there here’s the recipe.  If you make one I better get an invite!

Samuel Adams Summer Ale Infused Lobstah Roll

Recipe Created by Samuel Adams Chef Partner David Burke

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz lobster meat cooked
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced green apples
  • 4 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 8 Shaved scallions
  • 4 Artisanal rolls
  • 1/4 Cup Sam Adams Summer Ale
  • **OPTIONAL 12 Pack of Sam Summer 🙂

Method:

  • Pour a Sam Summer and start drinking
  • Mix mayo, cream cheese and Summer Ale in a bowl
  • Enjoy more Sam Summer
  • Mix lobster meat, celery, carrots, apples tarragon, lemon juice and the previously mixed concoction together in the bowl
  • I think it’s time for some Sam Summer
  • Dole out to each of the 4 buns and top with scallions
  • Salivate, sip your Sam Summer and Dive in!