Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Phat is Fabulous

Kimora Lee Simmons, a model, designer, mom, multi-millionaire, philanthropist, a brand. This brilliant woman is creative, hard-working, funny and has got it goin' on!


Running two huge hip-hop brand lines - Baby Phat and Phat Farm she has also branded herself - KLS. The KLS brand includes a clothing line, perfume, beauty products and a reality TV show on Style - Life in the Fab Lane.



Recently the baton was passed from her ex, Russell Simmons, so now she is running Phat Farm. With her creative team she is injecting some new life into the brand - not only the clothes but the logo as well. Going from classic to sophisticated and regal looking.



Now that is brandtastic fabulosity!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Miley "Sly" Cyrus

By now you have probably seen or heard about The "Vanity Fair" photo of Disney teen pop star Miley Cyrus. Did this photo hurt this G-rated, multi-millionaire's image and brand? She issued an apology to her fans yesterday and said the photo "embarrassed" her.

Or was this a brilliant marketing move. Afterall, Miley's name and image have been all over the news the last few days. Heck, we're even posting about her. Pretty slyrus if you ask us.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Social Networking? Just Do It

Every executive in the advertising, PR & marketing industry knows they need to get on board with the social networking scene.   It's where the next generation of consumers hangs out.  But all the old guys are wondering- how do you tap into this world?  All you need is someone who is savvy when it comes to the facebook/ myspace/ blogging scene and who has the time.  Finding your niche has never been so easy- location, age, gender, interests, and their friends are right in front of you on your computer screen.  It's just a matter of becoming friends.  Just like middle school.

In this Business Week article, discussing the Effie Awards, it is clear that social networking is something that is a concern for every brand.  According to their survey "Social Networking"  is one of the top buzz words the ad industry is sick of hearing.  Middle school sure can be tough when you don't have friends.  




Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rising Gas Prices Affecting Brands

With the prices at the pump rising higher each day consumers are less likely to spend on non-essentials and more likely to spend on just the necessities. Clothing brands, electronic brands even restaurant brands will start feeling neglected. Everyone from teens to adults will spend more time eating and entertaining at home. Department stores and upper-end teen stores will feel the pinch as teens start purchasing gently used clothing at resale shops. Consumers will become more selective. In order to survive crunch time, brands need to be strong and must come up with a way to stand out above the rest.

Some brand survival tips include:
  • Re-evaluate your brand strategy and streamline your plans. Focus on core activities
  • Tweak your message. Instead of talking luxury and status talk value and efficiency
  • Meet your customers needs and market what they want

Make some adjustments to meet your consumers' needs during this tough time. Use your brand to show you understand what they are going through. By making these changes your brand should still remain on the A list.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Is Wendy Thinking Roast Beef?

Columbus, Ohio based fast food chain Wendy's restaurant was sold yesterday to fast food chain Arby's. Since founder Dave Thomas passed away the restaurant struggled to connect their brand with consumers. Dave was the core of the restaurant, he became the brand and everyone loved him. Several ad campaigns after he passed seemed lost and disconnected to what the company's foundation was based upon. Unfortunately, this led to their huge profit loss and their sale.

So now what happens to Wendy? Does she start wearing a huge cowboy hat? Do they make their new tag "Where's the Roast Beef?" Do they keep things the same. Only time will tell.

We'd like to take a brief moment to pay our respects to Dave Thomas. This time-honored, moral gentleman not only created square burgers and delicious chocolate frosty desserts he also created cherished family memories and fun for all. He certainly is missed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Plastic Clothing?

This month, Coke launched a new t-shirt line made from recycled plastic coke bottles calling it their "Drink to Wear" apparel. T-shirts that read, "Make your plastic fantastic" and "Rehash your trash" are available at nearly 400 Wal-Mart stores as well as at www.Walmart.com. The shirts are retailing for about $7.50. Along with the t-shirts, Coke also created tote bags, caps, purses and notebooks made from plastic bottles. If these products are big sellers they will reuse and divert more than 700 million bottles from landfills.
Way to go Coca-Cola! What a great way to keep the plant green while extending your brand making it hip and thoughtful.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Going Green in Columbus

The official Earth Day 2008 is on April 22nd but Columbus will recognize it on Saturday, April 26th.  This local campaign is unique because it is not about raising funds, it's about the central Ohio community volunteering their time to unite and clean up the earth and make the city of Columbus even more beautiful.  

I also wanted to take a moment to thank Mother Nature for helping to raise awareness about Earth Day.  It's obvious that she is providing some amazing sunny spring days to remind humans what they are destroying.  After the walk I just took, I think I just made up my mind to do my part.  I will be signing up to volunteer on Saturday, and I am done with plastic grocery bags.

I am sure there is a lot more that I can sacrifice, and I will continue to post on the subject.  Feel free to comment and share any ideas!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Scarlet and Gray and Green?

The Ohio State Lacrosse team might not get as much attention as the football Buckeyes, but maybe they should. This team is filled with philanthropists. For this team, giving back is as normal as going to the box on the lacrosse field.

Some of their efforts include adopting a platoon in Iraq, cleaning up a neighborhood park, renovating a local rec center and one player even took donations to shave his head donating the money to Locks of Love. The latest act of paying it forward was inspired by sophomore player James Green. On Saturday the OSU Lacrosse team was sporting lime-green shoelaces with their scarlet and gray uniforms.

Why? Moved by the mission and story of the HEADstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports blood-cancer research, Green persuaded the OSU coaches to purchase these $10.00 a pair shoelaces to make their debut at the lacrosse game in the shoe. The team donated over $500 through this purchase and got some great PR for the cause.

What a classy team - GO BUCKS!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Glow in the Dark Cause Marketing

Another great cause marketing campaign helps a non profit organization. Jergens Skincare in support of The Skin Cancer Foundation announces “Glow in the Dark,” a campaign to give up bad tanning habits in favor of alternatives like Jergens® natural glow Daily Moisturizers and Jergens® natural glow express Body Moisturizer.

Sign the pledge wall and Jergens Skincare will donate $1 to The Skin Cancer Foundation. With your help, Jergen's Skincare will donate up to $20,000.

Did you know . . .

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 1 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually.

  • One in 5 Americans and one in 3 Caucasians will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • More than 90 percent of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure.
  • Exposure to tanning beds before age 35 increases melanoma risk by 75 percent.
  • Kudos to Jergen's for using their brand to team up with a very good cause!

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Tween Branding and Virtual Worlds

    Tweens - 8-14 year olds who are a very smart, powerful and growing consumer group.

    Tween's loyalty to certain brand are influencing their parent's decisions with everything from clothes, cell phones and even cars. Because tweens prefer computer games and Internet to TV, advertisers will have to become craftier when getting their message out.

    Tweens love playing in the virtual world. According to a new report issued by the industry trade organization Virtual Worlds Management, there are more than 100 virtual worlds targeted at kids and or teens which are either live or in development. Disney's Club Penguin has a virtual Pirates of the Caribbean world, FlowPlay is a place where kids can create an avatar to look like them, or Whyville is where kids from all over the world can chat and play together.

    More and more time is spent on these sites which makes us wonder how long it will take before advertisers begin creating "virtual" Starbucks or Abercrombie & Fitch stores. Or better yet, virtual TV stations that run their very targeted spots.

    We have just posted our bemeelounge.com widget to our site. Feel free to visit or share this site with any tween who would like to express, explore and evolve in a safe and fun environment.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Take Steps to fight Crohn's & Colitis

    Did you know there was a central Ohio Crohn's & Colitis Foundation? We did not, but now we do and our services have been sought out to help raise awareness of this disease. More that 1.4 million Americans suffer from Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and other digestive diseases, affecting one in 200 Americans. This painful, unpredictable disease can affect anyone at any time and might require those affected to spend weeks in the hospital, have surgery or may even be fatal.

    A cure is needed and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is actively searching for that cure. They need your help and central Ohio residents can lace up their shoes, have some fun and make some noise. Take Steps and support the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation here in your own community.

    Take Steps Walk is Saturday, June 14 2008 downtown in Bicentennial Park. The walk starts at 7:00 p.m. rain or shine.

    You can register on-line at http://www.cctakesteps.org/ and enter your zip code to find the central Ohio chapter.

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Crawl for Cancer- an insiders perspective

    Over the weekend I participated in a fundraiser called "Crawl for Cancer, " and I have to say it was more successful than I expected. I guess there are different ways to define success, when talking about a pub crawl. It was a colorful sea of t-shirts on the young men and women who participated, and a sense of camaraderie among the crowd. It was touching to see all these twenty and thirty-somethings gathering for a philanthropic cause and just having a good time.

    There was also some vomiting, some fire-jumping, and strangers making out. It was obvious that many people were drinking more than they typically do on a Saturday afternoon/ evening. It was reminiscent of OSU tailgating, and I was clearly not the only one who thought so- several confused folks were yelling out OH & IO throughout the day.

    The Columbus Dispatch had an article on Sunday raising questions about the safety of the event, and I can see where some would be concerned. With the amount of beer being consumed, the night could have ended in fights, drunk driving, and all kinds of drunken mistakes. But it also could have touched the hearts of some young people who typically are not involved with charities.

    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    Music is Spot On

    You've heard them, Ben Lee, Yael Naim, Landon Pigg. What? their names don't sound familiar. You've heard them, it's the music you've heard on TV commercials. Ben Lee - Kohl's, Yael Naim - Mac Notebook, and Landon Pigg - Diamond's Are Forever.

    This has become the latest first hear venue for artists (mostly up and comers). Although iconic artist Madonna uses her new single, 4 Minutes, which features Justin Timberlake, in a commercial for Unilever's Sunsilk hair care. People actually seek out blogs or web sites to find the artist name and song title so they can download their new favorite find. 

    The approach makes the product seem hip, draws the viewer in who otherwise might not notice. But who does this help, the product or the artist? I'd have to go with the artist on this one.

    Some sites you might want to check out to find the newest song you heard on a TV spot. http://www.squidoo.com/tv_commercial_music
    http://www.whatsthatcalled.com/forum/index.php?automodule=blog&blogid=1
    http://www.clipland.com/

    Friday, April 11, 2008

    Up Close with Jimmy Roman

    One on one interview with Jimmy Roman our featured artist of the month:

    columbus imPRessions: What type of music do you play? How long have you been playing?

    Jimmy: The type of music I play is acoustic/pop/rock. I’ve been playing guitar for roughly 12 years.

    columbus imPRessions: Have you played with other bands?

    Jimmy: After graduating high school I started a rock band called 11th hour. For about 5 years we played in mostly the New England area of the U.S. My songwriting developed quite a bit during this period of time.

    columbus imPRessions: Who are some of your influences?

    Jimmy: Lifehouse, The Normals, Matt Nathanson, and Damien Rice.

    columbus imPRessions: Any plans for a CD? If so, release date?

    Jimmy: I will have a 4 song EP that will be released July 22. In early January ’09 my full length CD will be released. Both of these albums will be released on ECI Records (http://www.ecirecords.com/)

    To purchase his music or find out more about him visit http://www.jimmyroman.com/, http://www.jimmyroman.bigcartel.com/, as well as iTunes. He also has profiles on Facebook, Myspace, iLike, and Reverbnation.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008

    Texting - it's Not Just for Kids it's Used for Business too

    Should you IM to promote your brand? It's all the rage among the 18- to 27-year-old Gen Y crowd, a key demographic. Its popularity is even approaching that of e-mail.


    Why not harness the immediacy of IM to spread your message?


    You first that to understand the differences between how people use IM and how they use other communication media. IM might look like an e-mail, with people typing messages to each other. But its really more like talking on a cell phone. People react as negatively to unwanted instant messages as they do to receiving cell phone calls from strangers who are trying to push information in their face. Unsolicited IM pitches could be a thousand times worse then telemarketing phone calls and unsolicited commercial e-mail.


    However, if you want to build friendly relationships use IM to make yourself or your organization available at all times to those interested in what you have to offer. IM can be a quick and convenient way for people to get answers from your organization and can be great for organizations that have a strong online presence.


    Bottom line . . . if you'd like to incorporate IMing into your business brand strategy do some research, consult an advisory group for advice, and extend the offer for IM service and send messages to those only wanting the service.


    Top Text Terms Used in Business:

    AFAIC - As Far As I'm Concerned
    ASAP - As Soon As Possible
    CLM - Career Limiting Move
    CYA - Cover Your Ass
    DD - Due Diligence
    DQYDJ - Don't Quit Your Day Job
    DRIB - Don't Read If Busy
    EOD - End Of Day
    EOM - End Of Message
    EOT - End Of Thread
    ESO - Equipment Smarter than Operator
    FYI - For Your Information
    GMTA - Great Minds Think Alike
    HIOOC - Help, I'm Out Of Coffee
    IAITS - It's All In The Subject
    IANAL - I Am Not A Lawyer
    KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
    LOPSOD - Long On Promises, Short On Delivery
    MOTD - Message Of The Day
    MYOB - Mind Your Own Business
    NRN - No Reply Necessary
    NSFW - Not Safe For Work
    NWR - Not Work Related
    OTP - On The Phone
    P&C - Private & Confidential
    PEBCAK - Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard
    QQ - Quick Question
    RFD - Request For Discussion
    RFP - Request For Proposal
    SME - Subject Matter Expert
    STD - Seal The Deal
    SWAG - Software And Giveaways
    TBA - To Be Announced
    TBD - To Be Determined
    TWIMC - To Whom It May Concern
    TIA - Thanks In Advance
    WIIFM - What's In It For Me
    WOMBAT - Waste Of Money, Brains And Time
    WTG - Way To Go
    YW - You're Welcome

    Monday, April 7, 2008

    Local Musician Shares Beauty through Lyrics

    Twenty-seven-year-old Jimmy Roman is someone we all can learn from. A Delaware, Ohio resident for two years, Jimmy came to the town for a position as Music Director at local church, Terra Nova. He is a talented singer songwriter, and his kind heart is evident through his music.

    We asked him what inspires his music:

    “Relationships are what really drive most of my songwriting. Not just between men and women but also with family, friends, God and anyone else I see who has an interesting story. Beauty also inspires much of my music. I look for beauty in everyday things that most people miss. There’s quite a bit to take in. Since there’s so much hurt and pain in the world I like to see things from a different perspective.”

    Come out and experience the beauty during his next show at
    Espresso Yourself Music Café in Powell, Ohio on April 18th, 2008.
    50 W Olentangy St Powell, OH 43065


    Learn more about this local artist at www.jimmyroman.com

    Saturday, April 5, 2008

    Introducing the New Brand of One of Columbus Ohio's Rock Radio Stations

    As of yesterday the Blitz became the Rock.
    Because a radio station's success is based on ratings, they need to find ways to attract listeners and keep them coming back for more. Apparently WBZX - the Blitz needed a face lift to keep Arbitron ratings up.


    Introducing WRKZ - the Rock. A slightly new format, definitely a new look, but still good old rock n' roll. The question is, will this face lift and slightly new brand approach make a difference and attract more listeners? I'm sure their advertisers are hoping so. They might have changed the name and look, but they've yet to change the URL of their web page. http://www.wbzx.com/ says a new website is coming soon. Stay tuned and rock on!



    Thursday, April 3, 2008

    ReverbNation

    The music you've been enjoying on our site is from ReverbNation - http://www.reverbnation.com/. ReverbNation.com is a Music 2.0 company that is responding to the changing music business standards. It's a social networking community for people passionate about music - artists, fans, venues, music labels and managers.

    Through this community artists are able to strengthen the relationships they have with their fans. Fans are given the ability to be promoters of their favorite artists. It also gives fans, labels, venues a voice in the community as all are representatives of the entire music ecosystem. Everyone is invited to take part.

    With the help of ReverbNation we have decided to do something new that we hope to refresh every month - highlight a local musician that we enjoy. We hope to introduce you to some new music you'll love.

    Searching ReverbNation we found local musician Jimmy Roman. We've interviewed this insightful artist and he has shared with us his love and talent of music. Enjoy his music, he's great! Come back soon to learn more about him. We'll be posting different stories about him throughout the month.

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    GOkickball Awareness Campaign

    You may have noticed that we have had several postings on the topic of GOkickball...that is because they are one of the imPRessions clients. The two young Columbus guys who run the league are busy with their primary careers and needed help making a splash before the Spring season began.

    That is where we came in... to help them make an imPRession among their target: active, urban twenty and thirty-somethings.


    How?...With a tight budget, we had to be creative (fortunately, creativity is our forte) but this has been a fun project and the positive results are becoming clear as registration is at an all time high...
    • Social marketing: hitting up blog sites and leaving comments, creating a myspace page and updating it with tunes, photos from previous seasons, and requesting friends.
    • Flyers: sounds old fashioned but we created some simple informative one-sheeters and the guys distributed them to some local condos and apartment complexes.
    • Print media: we sent out calendar listings to all local media and pitched the previously posted story to Columbus Alive!
    • Additional materials: We created and printed business cards, had a banner made with the GOkickball logo (to be hung at league bar) and are currently working on additional promotional products like post-it flyers.
    One final shameless plug... REGISTRATION ENDS FRIDAY so spread the word, sign your team up and get ready for some childish outdoor fun! www.gokickball.com/columbus