Category: RETAIL


Taking Proactive to the Next Level

A while back, I wrote a blog post for Alchemy that featured a long-form advert that mashed up the Internet’s obsession with cat-based cuteness and the super-cut, sweaty aggro look of sports apparel and fitness beverage spots. It spoke of my admiration for this fully blown viral campaign for Mars Petcare’s Temptations Treats for Cats. The centerpiece was a truly inspired YouTube video (link to come later, because this post really isn’t about it yet).

Almost five months later, I received an email from a very friendly person at the brand’s PR firm pitching me a new campaign constructed in the same fashion: hook, hashtag, user engagement, full media campaign, digital content, social media — and a new video:

While I appreciate the video a whole bunch and contributed to its views and shares (that is a seriously catchy vibe, Los Saicos), what I’m writing about is that this gigantic corporate enterprise and its agency found my blog post. And responded to it.

I find that level of digital search-and-conquer impressive. It reminds me that our efforts leave a pixelated trail of breadcrumbs that can circle back to our clients when we handle this whole integrated media thing properly.

If you’re the least bit curious about the post that provoked the response, here it is.


Sports and Cats – No, Really…

What do you get when you cross the Internet’s obsession with cat-based cuteness and the super-cut, sweaty aggro of sports apparel/fitness beverage advertising?

This:


The genius of this spot (designed as much for web-based enjoyment and virality as a broadcast buy) is that it appeals to a truly massive audience. Temptations Treats for Cats has hit on a pitch-perfect pitch that turns the traditional cutesy, meow-y, snuggly, or playful cat kibble spot into an ad that has been viewed since in the last four days over 216,000 times. It could run as successfully during an NFL game as it could during “Ellen.”

The purpose of this brilliant mash-up? Mars Petcare brand just “rolled out” new Temptations Tumblers. What’s the USP? Cat treats that are rounder than previous iterations – not that the average cat cares overmuch. According to the brand’s hype, “Now you can roll, toss or bounce delicious treats for your cats.” Based on years of feline observation, most cats prefer not to participate so actively in the apprehension of said treats.

So what.

With the corresponding hashtag #TimeToPlayBall!, a YouTube channel, and a dedicated Facebook page that began teasing the spot on Tuesday, this is really all about a product marketed to the buyer, not the end-user – which in no way diminishes the creative brilliance of the clip. By this time next week, it will have millions of views and shares, and sales of Tempations Tumblers are guaranteed to see a bump.

It’s a perfect example of how ad agencies can combine creativity and execution; concept and casting; cross-platform marketing; cuteness and edginess; music, muscles, and cats.


SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH Opens Big!

Any time you work on a brand-new event with a client, there’s always the possibility that — even with a great concept and a clever hook, after everyone’s hard work, late nights, inspired ideas, creativity, sharp copy, media hooks, great pitches, relentless social media outreach, promises from everyone to cover the event, smart media buys, great sponsors, high-profile partners, and every other factor you can imagine — you’ll have a half-full venue. There are so many intangibles you can’t control; then add in that it’s summer, in Florida, during hurricane season, when it usually rains every afternoon from 4:00pm until 7:00pm, it’s hot and humid and hair gets frizzy, people are away on last-minute vacations before school starts and/or work gets back to a more normal schedule, and did we mention it’s summer? And that no one knows what a “swede” is?

Midtown's Belle Forino and Sherri Gedraitis in front of the step-and-repeat using our logo and graphics
Midtown’s Belle Forino and Sherri Gedraitis in front of the step-and-repeat using our logo and graphics

Yet none of that seemed to matter last Friday night when the inaugural SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH launched to a sold out crowd of over 500 attendees on Mainstreet at Midtown.From the red carpet in front of The Borland Center for Performing Arts through the final credits, this was high-energy entertainment for everyone involved, with “swedes” submitted by amateur filmmakers ages 10 to 60. More > “SWEDE FEST™PALM BEACH Opens Big!”


Downtown Beauty Institution Debuts New Web Presence with Unique Video Productions

The Cosmo & Company Home Page
The Cosmo & Company Home Page

When you’ve been a mainstay in the area’s salon industry for almost four decades, surprising your clientele is going to take something really…different. One thing Cosmo DiSchino has never feared is taking a risk. Ever since opened his original downtown West Palm Beach location after arriving from Boston’s famed Newbury Street, Cosmo has been the man behind the chair. He is the mastermind, the owner, the motivator, and the mentor at Cosmo & Company.

More > “Downtown Beauty Institution Debuts New Web Presence with Unique Video Productions”


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.

More > “Mom Jeans and Pie”


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.

More > “Turns Out Marketing is Really the Pits…”


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.

More > “Redfining Glamour: The LadyLash Studios Website Debuts”


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.”

More > “The Burger Bros Opt for a Bit of Alchemy to Build Their Brand”


The ‘Wall Street Journal’ Tells Us What Next Year’s ‘HOT’ Color Will Be. Uh huh. I Said ‘The Wall Street Journal.’

A Jonathan Adler Design in...Honeysuckle
A Jonathan Adler Design in…Honeysuckle

<sarcasm>That bastion of all things fashionable, The Wall Street Journal, </sarcasm> reports that 2011 has a hot color all its own: Pantone 18-2120 TCX, or in non-artist-speak, “honeysuckle.” Yep. The Wall Street Journal. Honeysuckle. News.

I so love it when I get the basis of a post from the iconic newspaper read by dudes in suits on the train, and published by Dow Jones & Co. Earlier this year, the venerable business godhead presented me with another great story: how hard it is for bands to come up with great names. My first thought is inevitably, “Do hardcore Journal readers just skip over stuff like this?”

Courtesy of Pantone
The original Pantone Matching System fan guide. As reflected in the colors on cover, the 60s were all about bright, bold psychedelia, Peter Max and the Beatles.

But, back to pink. Yes, because  Pantone 18-2120 TCX is pink. Hot-house flower pink. Mad Men pink. This passage reads as if penned for one of the glossy fashion tomes, not the paper where people check the Forex and read about grain futures: “A sherbety shade of pink, with a hint of red and orange zest, honeysuckle is seen by designers as a pick-me-up at a time when many people have had their fill of misfortune.”

More > “The ‘Wall Street Journal’ Tells Us What Next Year’s ‘HOT’ Color Will Be. Uh huh. I Said ‘The Wall Street Journal.’”


Capsule Collections: High Fashion and Low Prices. Hell, Yes.

All rights reserved by Daria Angeli
All rights reserved by Daria Angeli

According to today’s Women’s Wear Daily, the latest addition to the sublime Vera Wang’s portfolio of decidedly non-couture designer items is a cosmetics line featuring makeup and color, skin care, bath and body products, and beauty accessories Kohl’s plans to introduce by spring 2012. Her Simply Vera line debuted there in 2007, is a consistent performer, and a very important part of Kohl’s retail strategy.

As a female with an eye for Chanel and a bank account for discount, the proliferation of capsule collections by marquee couture designers and celebrity/designer-types makes me all warm and happy inside. Until I try to actually acquire these high-concept, low-cost gems and find that there are women who wait in line overnight to get their hands on these clothes the day they debut. My meandering path to the store means there’s exactly one item left, in XXL, and in a color that makes me look nauseated and/or consumptive.

More > “Capsule Collections: High Fashion and Low Prices. Hell, Yes.”