Tag Archives: branding

Seeing Red

starbucks-red-cup-christian-protest

That’s some tempest in a teapot…er, Starbucks cup…brewing through the newsphere today. Before you could say “Is it Christmas yet?” the entire holiday blew up for the good, simple folks based in Seattle. Did they really think they could go minimalist this season?

All it took was one irate, self-described social media personality to upload a clever, gotcha You Tube video, and Donald Trump weighing in at a pit stop in Illinois to completely upend their Christmas packaging and put them on the defensive. “Maybe we should boycott them,” he said, even though he claims to have “one of the most successful Starbucks in Trump Tower.”

Can you imagine how many meetings were held and how much money was spent for the company to go all PC on us? “We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It’s a more open way to usher in the holiday,” said Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of design and content. In a statement the coffee giant said the red cup allows for customers to put their own drawings and messages on it.

Really? How’s this message: “Nice try, Starbucks! Can’t wait to see what happens next year!”

 

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Filed under Branding, PR Problem

Volkswagen, Why?

For the past six+ years, I have driven a Volkswagen.

First, the Eos, a fabulous hardtop convertible with a beautiful design and a powerful engine. It broke my heart to exchange it for a bigger car, the Toureg, which ended up being too big for me, and then I switched to the smaller but very reliable Tighuan.

My husband drives a VW Passat. Obviously, we were drawn both to the styling and drivability of the brand, not to mention the automaker’s value pricing and easy-breezy service department.

I probably could have been a customer for a long, long time. But now, with today’s news that the EPA says Volkswagen cheated a second time on pollution tests, I feel polluted myself. Will the brand recover?

I’m not sure, but one thing I know: it’s time to pull out the stops for your loyal supporters. We are your most likely future customers. We are already family. We are already believers. But there’s only so long we’ll stick around.

VW Tighuan

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Filed under Branding

Netflix is the New Black Indeed

In an earlier blog post more than a year ago, I was extremely down on Netflix and thought they had blown it by fiddling around with their pricing structure.  But boy do I have egg on my face. According to a recent story in The New York Daily News,  1.3 new U.S. subscribers signed on during the third quarter alone, helping the company post a 22 percent increase over its third-quarter number last year. No surprise then, after that data was announced, the stock soared 10 percent.

Why the love affair? I think it’s pretty simple, since I am one of those fans with a mad crush. First of all, Orange is the New Black and House of Cards are both first rate shows with excellent actors, writing and production. And second, what I really love about these shows (and Netflix in general) is the ability to watch them anytime, anywhere, in any environment.

My location of choice is the treadmill. I hang my iPad in front of me, pop in a set of earphones, and I’m off and power walking for the next 50 minutes or so while enjoying top-notch entertainment. The calorie burn and cardiovascular workout are icing on the cake. I’m actually disappointed when the episode ends.

Now that I’ve blown through my two favorite shows, I’ve started downloading movies and other television shows. I mean, really, how great is that?

With its recent, multiple Golden Globes nominations, Netflix is definitely on to something new and exciting. It just shows that a brand can overcome a stumble when looking at the world through a new color lens.

OraNGE

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Filed under PR Commentary

In Brief: Ring-a-ding-ding Joe Boxer, You Certainly Caught My Eye

I’m feeling a bit like Congressman Francis Underwood, Kevin Spacey’s character in “House of Cards,” when he pauses in the middle of a plot point and turns toward the camera, deadpanning, “I’m surprised it took this long.”

I noticed Joe Boxer’s new commercial for Kmart last night and did a double-take. Are those guys in boxers grinding their hips to the bell chimes of “Jingle Bells?” Wow, now that is one heck of an out-of-boxer Christmas commercial.

By this morning the nay-sayers started coming out of the woodwork (they may have started last night, but I was too busy dreaming of a JB Christmas). The Parents Television Network is outraged. Joe Boxer’s Facebook page is predictably lighting up with lots of tsk-tsks. But Kmart is standing firm, and according to the online poll on AOL, the fans were ahead 64% – 36%.

Take it from Professor PR, that’s what’s called creating a buzz. I hope we’ll see Bobby, Seth and Kenan in their Joes this Saturday night, with a guest appearance by Seth and Justin. Would that be fun?

Why stop at Xmas? How about a little something for the eight nights of Hanukkah? Imagine Halloween next year.  Can’t wait to watch this #ShowYourJoes snowball pick up speed.

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November 19, 2013 · 12:18 pm

New Home Page Design for Facebook

Facebook held a news conference yesterday to preview its latest changes, particularly its makeover of the home page that greets you.  You’ll see bigger photos and links, and yes, links from advertisers as well.

Driving the new format is Facebook’s challenge to attract more ad dollars while also holding onto users of the social network. Company co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to become the best “personalized newspaper” in the world.

Professor PR thinks the change is an excellent way to build brand awareness, but a potential turn-off to people who are still struggling with Facebook’s earlier tweaks to the page. What do you think?

Read Somini Sengupta’s full story in The New York Times.

Image

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Filed under Uncategorized

This New Year, I resolve to…

…take a good look at my marketing initiatives. Click here to learn more.

Present

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Filed under Marketing, Uncategorized