Monday, November 9, 2015

And what about that soda in the mini-bar?

Sometimes you just shake your head in wonder.  

There is an article and discussion The Economist about something that really makes you realize that people at big companies aren't always really that smart.
Apparently Marriott hotels was fined ($600,000!!) for blocking guests' personal wireless modems and hotspots and now a complaint has been filed against Hilton too.
The Economist piece goes into detail about it - and the comments are pretty interesting too - but the learning for anybody in the hotel business comes at the very end: "But notwithstanding its legality, price-gouging your customers is generally a bad idea if you are interested in the long-term success of your business. Here's a better idea if hotels are keen to make money from their Wi-Fi, why not offer something worth paying for?"
Good thought.
We've always wondered why hotels seem to be driven - like airlines - to nickel-and-dime guests. At least the big chains seem to take that approach. Independents seem generally to be much more guest-friendly. A hotel that charges Ooopty dollars for parking could, instead, add Ooopty dollars to the room rate and offer "free parking". Maybe instead of gouging on things in the mini-bar, only stock it with things you're willing to give away.
And for crying out loud, don't charge for the Internet.
Sure, a hotel has to pay for it, as one commenter pointed out. But, as another was quick to note, they also have to pay for the free breakfast, the gym, the pool and all the rest of it.
But whether it's an airline or a hotel and whether it's a genuine desire to provide a lot or a pricing mask, add-on charges tend to give customers a bad taste in their mouths.
Especially when they could just walk across the street to a Starbucks and use the Wi-Fi for free.

Friday, October 30, 2015

It's Mac Tonight!

Back when commercials were really good.

That is, before the obsession with dumb jokes and irrelevant comedy took over. Back then, there used to be spots like this.

If you don't know the story, it was originally done by an agency for the Southern California franchise group. So good, it went national.

They had to take it off the air when Bobby Darrin's family sued, claiming they copied his moves. The suit was later dropped.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Non-Millennials and social media - Larry says it better than I could

Read this. Be smarter.

Larry Mogelonsky (the smiling gentleman seated above) is what I call a Really Smart Guy when it comes to hotel marketing. 
I can't remember the last time I disagreed with what he wrote on his fabulous Hotels Magazine blog.
As the discussion of social media and boomers carries on, Larry weighed in yesterday with some really smart stuff. Which makes sense, him being a Really Smart Guy and all.
So rather than offer my own thoughts, and since he said it better that I could have, I give you "Gray is the new green part 12: social media differences."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

We're looking at some blue-shy ideation and an experiential process that can help us profile their emotional needs and head space

I have been doing this for more than 25 years and sometimes I just flat out get a headache when I hear the doublespeak and jargon and blah-blah-blahdiddy-blah that agency and design folk tend to spew.

English please.

That is all.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Pepsi generation for . . .

Come alive!

When Karen first started in the ad business, she was in the creative department at Ehrlich Harris Manes, an ad agency in Bethesda, MD. One of the people she worked with was a production manager named Lyn Thompson.
Lyn was a pretty smart person and she said something one time about a commercial that stuck with me - and it seems to be true today: "That commercial is the Pepsi Generation for __________________." 
So true today.
For a creative business, we sure do a lot of lookalike work, don't we? On any given evening in front of the TV, you're going to see at least two or three "Pepsi Generation"-type spots. For beer, cars, liquor, wine - jeez for whatever. You could pretty much swap out the logos and nobody would notice. Everybody is young and good-looking and just having so much fun and it's just all so unbelievable, isn't it?
There are variations, like the one below, but they really are all pretty much the same, don't you think? Tired? Been there? Done that?
You have to wonder who is driving all this repetitive stuff. Is it a client who says "I want one of those?" Or a lazy agency who thinks everybody under 30 lives a fantasy life - like from "Friends"?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Two totally different, totally wonderful commercials

So here's a look at how good
advertising can actually be - if it wants to.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Because this is the guy who gets credit for saying it, that's why.

Ok, with the "why is there a picture of Ben Franklin in a post about being penny wise and pound foolish?" question out of the way, let's move on to the subject at hand, shall we?

Which is, well, being penny wise and pound foolish.

Here's a short story.

We're in the process of doing a small brochure on a project basis. We quoted a price that included preparation of some specific artwork, but this client wanted to spend a lot less, so we eliminated that - and other things - from the proposal to get to their price point.

Long story short, that artwork has become a colossal pain in the ass and has delayed production of the brochure by at least three weeks. The main reason for the delay is that the client isn't really equipped to deal with this sort of pain in the ass and is having issues properly preparing the artwork.

Of course, we are equipped to do it. And we coulda done it. Long ago. But it wasn't part of the deal and the client didn't want to pay the extra cost for us to do the work, Of course, if they'd accepted our original price in the first place, this artwork would have still been a pain in the ass, but it would have been our pain in the ass, not theirs.

So what should have been a simple brochure has become a problem and is way overdue. For no good reason.

My point here is that there is often a false economy when you Do It Yourself. Which is to say when you get a proposal from an agency or design firm and you want it done for less, think about whether or not you can really take up the slack for things you don't want to pay for.

Maybe it's a good idea to let people who know how to do certain things do those certain things.

Of course, I tend to think that if the most important factor in getting something done is how cheaply you can get it done (as opposed to, say, how well it can be done), then don't do it at all.

That's the cheapest way there is.