Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On Hiatus

I am going to take a blogging break for a while. Back some time in the future...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Of All the Days for the Oven to Go Out!

Our oven - less than six months old - went out Thanksgiving morning. We had to run around the neighborhood to find a neighbor not using theirs (found one two houses down).

It's like the damn thing was programmed to pick the worst day to go out!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Not All Symbols are Universal

While reviewing a PowerPoint pitch that was going to a Japanese customer I cringed at the last slide talking about "partnership". It had the inevitable clip-art for this sort of thing:

Now this sort clipart is sort of cheesy for a normal PowerPoint presentation, but this was for a JAPAN presentation. They BOW there.

Don't get me wrong, everyone in Japan obviously knows what a handshake is, do it with their Western counterparts, and would perfectly understand the symbolism of the picture. They also wouldn't be offended, per se, but you know "how American" would be going through the back of their mind.

I took it out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

When Did You Get Your 2008 Planning Calendar?

And how many appointments into the New Year are you?

I got mine in October and (not including b-days and holidays) already have things scheduled well into January.

When I was younger, I used to have a problem adjusting to the New Year - I would use the Old Year for the first month or two into the New Year. These days I have the opposite problem: I use the New Year mistakenly the last few months of the Old Year. The main problem is that business planning for 2008 is well under way, all new "deals" that are started now are 2008 deals just because of lead-time, and thinking about budget is all in 2008 dollars.

From a business standpoint 2007 is already over, except for retailers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Other 47% Are Liars

This headline is just wrong: 53% of men admit to ogling other women. How many times have you heard one of the following from men in committed relationships:
  • You can look at the menu, as long as you don't order
  • She married me, not my eyes
  • It doesn't hurt to look

There are probably a few more I could come up with if I had more time. Add any I missed in the comments section.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Corporate Created "Holidays"

How (Halloween has) changed: someone saw they could make money off it - "Woodstock" in the comments section of I Hate Halloween

Woodstock nailed this one on the head. Halloween has moved from an obscure holiday that provided a little fun for the kids to a $5 Billion free-for-all because candy companies, costume companies and the like figured they could make money on it.

But Halloween is not alone in this regard. In fact, there are now several "holidays" created solely by corporate marketing departments: Cinco de Mayo, SuperBowl Sunday, and an endless list of Hallmark holidays ranging from Boss's Day to Secretary's Day.

And I can't see any good coming from this trend. Peering into my crystal ball, here is what I see the corporate marketing departments coming up with in the future:

Pearl Harbor Day - A major sake brand pitching the phrase "You Never Know When Your Enemy Will Become Your Best Friend" starts promoting people to eat sushi and have sake every December 7. Sake sales and sushi restaurant sales explode, and within five years people are holding sushi parties at home. Special Kirin and Sapporo displays start appearing in grocery stores around Thanksgiving.

Erection Day - Viagra, taking a play on "Election Day", promotes ED awareness for the first Tuesday of every November using the tag line "Making Love is More Interesting Than Watching the Returns". Condom companies join in with special coupons and give-aways. Within two election cycles there are mini baby boomlets the first half of every August.

Canada Day - Molson and Canada Dry, seeing the success of Cinco de Mayo, pitch Americans to start holding "Canada Day" celebrations every July 1. The effort fizzles, however, as the marketing departments can't come up with a Canadian snack to promote along with the drinks.