Category: Marketing


Yeah, So I Heard Blogging is Really Effective When You Post Regularly…

And from whose mouth dropped this pearly bit of wisdom? Mine own.

More than once, in fact —  in every meeting we’ve had recently with a new or potential client, since social media is a component of nearly every proposal we’ve written lately, and a part of every job we’ve landed unless it is 100% straight print.

Oh (I whine in a non-annoying way), I don’t have time to update our blog — I’m ghost-writing four other blogs every week, plus all the writing I have to do like website content, print ads, a ton of collateral, ghosting clients’ Facebook fan pages, Twitter feeds, e-newsletters, blah blah blah socialmediacakes.

Flickr/theTrial
Flickr/theTrial

But I THINK about our blog constantly. Given the choice, I’d be blogging every day because I have an opinion on everything. In theory, this blog is supposed to have some parameters that keep me within the rather elastic bounds of advertising, marketing, and media; selling stuff; how badly brands/people are selling stuff; how cleverly stuff is sold with out anyone realizing they were, in fact, sold something, or they don’t care because it was so well done; egregious marketing ploys; any time the Wall Street Journal writes about something that I find amusingly outside its purview; I think you get the picture. And did you notice I dropped the “royal we” at some point? Because this is my responsibility, like the creative direction and graphic design are Steve’s. The blog just really ties the room together, man.

So, my random attached-to-no-holiday resolution (although I could pin this onto Labor Day…) is to get back to blogging monthly for Alchemy, and start posting our clients’ news as well when we had a hand in it. Because in addition to always having something to say about someone or something, we have a lot of new work and new clients to talk about, and they deserve the attention.


Unplugged: A Fairy Tale

There once was a time when a vacation was the perfect way to take a break from one’s job, unplugging from the work realm and exploring the elusive, magical world of Time Off.

But time waits for no (wo)man, and in our industry especially – public relations and advertising – connectivity, email, and social media have cast a pall over our ability to get away. Instead, we never really unplug; we monitor, respond, react, and work to keep to our 21st-century responsibilities intact and our clients feeling that they’re getting the service for which they pay. We can’t afford for our clients’ branded social media to take a vacation, too – it’s not feasible to send an “out of office” tweet, Facebook post, or blog comment that is guaranteed to reach all followers. At best, we look like we’re ignoring our responsibilities to clients’ communities. At worst, our clients’ professional reputation (as well as our own) may be on the line while we’re catching few rays and ordering Pina Coladas at the pool bar.

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Social Media: A List of Don’ts When Speaking to a Millennial Audience

There is an indisputable fact when it comes to promoting clients on social media: You need to know your audience. More and more often, we’re finding we must tailor our efforts to address “millennials” as a serious and influential target group.

So, do you need to speak to them differently? The answer is both “yes” and “no.”

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Don’t Harsh My Thongs

What’s with all the thong hate? No, not THOSE thongs. “Thongs” are what we used to call flip-flops down here when I was a kid.

Not our feet, not our beach. Image courtesy of KSL Broadcasting, Salt Lake City UT (ksl.com)
Not our feet, not our beach. Image courtesy of KSL Broadcasting, Salt Lake City UT (ksl.com)

Whatever you call them, I read six articles published in the last week referencing the horror of people wearing flip-flops (Slate,  Huffington Post, MSN, CBS, Fox, and Jezebel), and saw on my way out the door this morning that the Today Show  was, as usual, coming late to the party. At least Jezebel took the contrarian (shocking, I know) position that there is no shame in sporting ugly, exposed feet.

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We Have Some Reservations…

swede fest 2 palm beachIt’s time for SWEDE FEST™ 2 PALM BEACH. If you’re a fan of MST3K (and you won’t know what that means if you’re not), a swede fest™ is a similar animal. But instead of making snarky comments to two robots about a cheesy science fiction flick, you make your own cheesy three-minute “homage” to a scene from a favorite film, which is known in certain circles as a “swede.”

Why are they called swedes? We’re so glad you asked.

Sf2013_FB_Square1 dateYou probably know indie film festivals have a rich history of showcasing amazing undiscovered talent, where Hollywood insiders troll for the next big thing, where A-list stars promote the small labor-of-love projects they do between blockbusters. A swede fest is an indie film festival with NONE of that going for it.

The key to understanding why is in the “swede” part. A swede is a no-budget, laughably bad remake of a hit Hollywood film – the bigger, the better. The term comes from the 2008 comedy, “Be Kind Rewind,” and was made up to explain the sheer awfulness of their remade films by touting them as European – “swedes” because it sounded really sophisticated.  This film, starring Jack Black and Mos Def, is not exactly a classic — but neither is it comedy kryptonite.

A still from the swede for "Point Break"
A still from the swede for “Point Break” already submitted by some over-achievers.

And bada bing! Next thing you know, there’s an underground sweding craze. Two guys in Fresno invited a bunch of friends to make films starring themselves, then get together to screen them in another homage: to the indie film festival – but without the beautiful celebrities, coolness factor, or bidding wars. And that, my friends, is how we ultimately come to SWEDE FEST™ 2 PALM BEACH.

We’re sweding a sci-fi/horror classic. Nope, not telling. And we have friends sweding “gems” (yes, in quotes, because the following movies are neither precious nor squeal-worthy)  like Ghost, Point Break, Titanic, and The Shining. A full list of the movies reserved for sweding is at www.swedefestpalmbeach.com. You can also buy tickets there to the July 27th festival for the outrageous sum of $5 per person.

And if you are interested in playing director (and star, and editor, and production assistant, etc.), you should call dibs on your movie today. SWEDE FEST™ 2 PALM BEACH allows one entry per film, so if someone else loves Mannequin as much as you do, you could be SOL. The deadline to submit is July 9th at 11:59 PM. Instructions for submission are on the same website.

Guess we should mention that, again this year, we designed all the stuff (logos, collateral, ads, swag, you know the drill), including that groovy low-tech website. Do we love WordPress or what?


Mom Jeans and Pie

Hot Mom Jeans -- not an oxymoron anymore.
Hot Mom Jeans — not an oxymoron anymore.
Nothing mom-like about these, either...
Nothing mom-like about these, either…

They’ve done it again; The Wall Street Journal has written about something seemingly so far afield from the Bernanke press conference and stock prices that I am grinning wickedly. Of course, it actually does have a monetary and advertising/marketing tie-in — women over the age of 35 spend a LOT of money on clothes, and can better afford to spend $200+ on a pair of jeans. But this headline was just too non-WSJ for me to pass up: “A Makeover for ‘Mom Jeans.’

Then there’s the pie. According to MediaPost.com via Supermarket News, the pie is beating the cream filling out of cupcakes, and is the next big food crush. So, this is my “mom and apple pie” blog post, albeit turned on its head a bit.

First, an admission — I’m a mom, I’m smack in the target age range for mom jeans, and I love cupcakes. But I’m as likely to buy mom jeans or stop eating cupcakes as I am to start driving a minivan, i.e. never gonna happen. Truly. Never.

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Honoring Traditions with Modern Style: Pawar Inc. uses Alchemy for Logo

The logo and tagline...
The logo and tagline…

Sometimes Steve has the opportunity to create something really beautiful, and after so many years creating logos for luxury real estate developments, I think it’s kind of a treat for him to do something so diametrically opposite.  In this case, he created a logo for someone we respect and admire, who started her own very niche business.

Amen Pawar-LaRosa is an extraordinary special event planner, and she is now on her own specializing in traditional Indian wedding ceremonies with a contemporary twist — the tagline we developed together is, “Honoring Traditions with Modern Style.”

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Turns Out Marketing is Really the Pits…

Actor Jessica Szohr, "Gossip Girl" and armpit model...
Actor Jessica Szohr, “Gossip Girl” and armpit model…

Here we go again — I caught a headline in the Wall Street Journal that practically gave me whiplash. If you read this blog with any regularity, you’ll know I LOVE to find articles in the WSJ that are waaaayyyy off-topic in relation to the reams of copy written about global stock markets and the paper’s conservative-leaning editorial.

The headline in question? I reproduce it here in the same point-size type as the online article…

Unilever Tackles the Ugly Underarm

Turns out that the market for antiperspirant and deodorant is, in essence, 100% saturated. Oh, these bon mots are just going to keep coming.

What’s a savvy marketer to do? Come up with a new reason for female consumers to switch brands: Re-mediating our unattractive underarms.

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Redfining Glamour: The LadyLash Studios Website Debuts

The LadyLash.com home page, with slideshow of their work.
The LadyLash.com homepage, with slideshow of their work.

Sometimes a project comes along and the client says, “I trust you; be creative as possible; capture our persona.”

These are the projects that allow us to expand the boundaries, show a client in the best light possible, capture the essence of who/what they are, and then take it to a whole new level.

Mikaela and Georgio Fernandez, of LadyLash Studios, are that client. They trusted us implicitly to interpret who and what they are.

They had no website, and were doing all their online promotion through Facebook and Twitter — in fact, they’re a fascinating case of how best to utilize the tools of social marketing.

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The Burger Bros Opt for a Bit of Alchemy to Build Their Brand

Images of freshness, courtesy of photographer Barry Kinsella
Images of freshness, courtesy of photographer Barry Kinsella

Talk about a fun account. The Burger Bros — Peter and Nick Julius to their family and friends —  hired Alchemy to take its Fifties-esque logo and create a fully developed Brand Identity for its fresh-food franchise.

Humor works for the Burger Bros.
Humor works for the Burger Bros.

We started by getting a feel for the Fifties style of the Burger Bros.’ logo, and everything else seemed to organically grow from there,” says Steve Owens, Alchemy’s Partner/Creative Director. “They’re serious about the old-fashioned freshness and quality of their food, but we felt that a sense of humor was an important part of the whole aesthetic appeal.”

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