Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gotta Love Lists

Who doesn't love a list of top ten weight loss tips, best new year's resolutions and banished words... wait, what? Yes, there is a list of banished words. As public relations professionals, we can appreciate strange lists like this one: Lake Superior State University's List 2009 List of Banished Words.

In 1975, the LSSU public relations director and his colleagues started a list of words that were overused, mis-used and just not useful. Some of this year's banished words are green, maverick, bailout, Wall Street/Main Street and the first emoticon that resembles a heart: <3.

So do you agree with this list or are they missing words that should be on there?

As Merriam-Webster adds words each year, LSSU banishes them! Have a little fun and brush up on your vocabulary. Make it your New Year's Resolution to learn a new word each day!

~ Michelle, Felber & Felber Marketing

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Don’t accept the doom and gloom you hear about the recession

Last week I conducted a seminar for the Industrial Round Table of the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce. Our theme was 'We refuse to participate in the recession - how about you?' I partnered with Jim McClintock a sales training coach with The Training Center in Chagrin Falls. We both spoke about the sales and marketing process and how important that the sales and marketing departments always talk with each other. Jim presented on why the sales process is more important in tough economic times and how to get more closure while increasing value. I spoke on the need to keep your marketing efforts strong and ways marketing can assist and create new and better sales leads. The industrial manufacturing sector of the economy is still strong especially in the B to B arena. The reaction from participants echoed this thought as well.

Here is a comment I received after the presentation:


Thanks for the presentation you and Jim made at the Industrial Roundtable last week. The information presented gave me a different perspective on the recession. It's easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of the recession but the idea that we shouldn't accept that attitude and instead continue to make sales calls made sense. I also thought the idea that we had to be prepared for a longer sales process made sense. I think we sometimes get discouraged if the sales don't close in the amount of time to which we are accustomed. But I know I deliberate more when I spend any money now. The direct marketing campaigns were also very interesting. With the sales environment becoming more competitive we do have to find a way to stand out from the crowd. The examples you showed did exactly that for your customers. The typical marketing materials that have been used in the past won't accomplish that. All-in-all the presentation gave me a new perspective on how to approach the recession and survive.

I also enjoyed the discussion afterwards about other topics that would be helpful to the industrial companies. I think the group came up with some good ideas. It also made me realize that we're all facing the same issues. I'm looking forward to future roundtables.


Joe Snee
HR Generalist
Deluxe Corporation

My advice for 2009 is to not look back at 2008, but keep forging ahead for the future is waiting for those who will grab those opportunities.

Happy and more prosperous New Year.

Bruce Felber

Sunday, December 7, 2008

McDonalds vs Burger King

So we all have our favorites. Kind of like Pepsi or Coke, right? I just saw a fun, clever commercial for "The World's Purest Taste Test" by Burger King. Basically BK's Thailand commercial is about how BK traveled to a place where the word "burger" doesn't exist, documented which burger people liked better - Whopper vs. Big Mac and then the commercial drives you to!

Tonight, the world will find out which burger won the taste test. Now we know who will win because otherwise why would BK air the spot if the Big Mac was the best?

This TV spot is sparking a lot of controversy from people who think this was insensitive by exploiting people. By clicking that link you can also view the other Burger King commercials.

What do you think?? Leave your comments here.

~Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Advertising in Tough Economic Times

Hello AIM readers.

Continuing from my last entry regarding advertising in slow economic times I came across an interesting article and a study. (Reference Advertising in Tough Economic Times By Pete Michuda (EZine

How to market in tough times? Take advantage of the opportunity! Economic downturns are Darwinian events in the marketplace. The weak perish and the strong and agile survive, even thrive. During downturns, some companies disappear or are swallowed up by rivals. Others emerge stronger than ever. There are basic principles which apply during all downturns. How those principles are dealt with determine which companies will eat and which ones will be eaten.

What's a marketer to do? Cut prices? Ask Detroit how rebates worked for them. When sales stalled, the three American car companies flooded the market with so many off-price deals that nobody would buy Detroit again without a big rebate or a 0% financing offer. Cut product quality or service? Remember Schlitz? Just thirty years ago The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous was America's second-best-selling brew. Someone decided to trim costs by switching to high-temperature fermentation. Customers wouldn't notice, right? Wrong. Six years later the company was out of business. Cut advertising? When Netflix began making serious inroads into Blockbuster's customer base in 2005, Blockbuster cut its $154.2 million advertising budget to $44.7 million. No surprise that Netflix grew from 4.2 million subscribers then to 7.1 million now. How'd the ad cut work for Blockbuster? In 2007, they closed 500 stores and saw a $33.4 million profit turn into a $125 million loss through the third quarter.

The Opportunity? Absolutely! Advertisers should go all out in the media that produce quantifiable results, especially since their messages will be more prominent as competitors reduce spending. No matter how deep the recession is or how long it lasts, it's the perfect opportunity to become aggressive and grab market share as competitors scale back their marketing efforts.

An aggressive approach will pay some dividends early but down-the-road rewards are even greater. Companies that gain share during downturns historically keep that increased share when the economy bounces back. Each share point gained during the recession is worth incrementally more as the market eventually recovers.

A McGraw-Hill study showed that four years after a downturn, companies that maintained or increased marketing communications during the economic slowdown typically experienced 14 times more growth than companies that cut back. As far as today's overall gloomy consumer confidence, there is one thing that is emerging. Even though consumers are cutting back, they're not doing so entirely. Consumers are finding ways to maintain their quality of life.

Even in a time of belt-tightening, Americans are demonstrating a strong reluctance to give up on everyday pleasures. According to on 7/15/2008, many are leaving the car in the garage and staying home. A whopping 50% of Americans plan to buy an HDTV in the next year.

Also, despite the expense, consumers are refusing to give up entirely on vacationing. Even in these tough times, 59% of Americans plan to take a trip of 100+ miles in the next six months. To grapple with fuel costs, they just plan on closer-to-home trips: Epcot instead of Europe.

Pete Michuda is a Certified Radio Marketing Consultant and Certified Professional Commercial Copywriter working in the Chicago market radio industry. He's successfully worked with many small to mid-sized businesses by helping them learn how to properly market their companies and how to realize a positive net return on their marketing investment. He can be contacted via e-mail at

Article Source:


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why Market in Tough Economic Times

Ok we have all either heard or experienced the following - “When the economy is down cut or decrease the marketing budget.” This is a very common thought, but one that can cause more problems now and especially in the future. The concept in marketing is to increase ‘market share’ or at best maintain it.

During an economic slow-down it is very crucial to keep your brand and position strong and maintain top-of-mind awareness. The reason can be simple. When the economy strengthens and shows an upward trend and people start regaining confidence they will increase their purchases. If you have maintained your brand and position it is more likely your clients and prospects will contact you first over the competition that did nothing.

So what can you do to keep these levels high? First I would be very cognizant of your budget and think about your expected outcomes. I would establish what a reasonable return on investment (ROI) you should expect and within what time period. Second consider this is the right time to maintain or even increase your direct marketing efforts. Now more than ever a direct marketing campaign to your targeted audience is likely to do more than broadcast media. Also look at the mix between direct marketing, broadcast and public relations. Multiple touch campaigns yield better ROI than stand alone campaigns. I would also NOT do any efforts that are one-time only. The third element should be the correct copy and “call to action” and special attention to the graphic design. Not a time or place to do this casually. You are a professional and need to maintain that image in all your advertising and marketing pieces. At Felber & Felber we are experts on how to blend the right copy and graphics with carefully considered marketing vehicles for maximum impact. The fourth element you should consider is how you will measure these efforts. By establishing ground rules and measuring devices into a campaign you help tweak or alter the pieces for maximum exposure.

Bottom line - don’t put off efforts now as keeping top-of-mind will pay you back quicker and with better results.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Advertise Yourself!

Getting ready to hit the job market for your first position in advertising, marketing or public relations? Looking for your next gig? Either way you will need to show your stuff. You’ve spent many late night hours toiling over college projects and, in the real world, client deadlines. Besides the heartburn from two pots of coffee and a 30 minute pizza, before now your first impression to an employer was a #10 envelop and a flat piece of parchment. You had no real way to show off your great work prior to an interview (assuming you even got that far).

Enter, Zolio, LLC and their newly launched website Zolio is a free, multimedia-rich online resume building website. This is not your father’s resume. Forget about the old black and white resumes and move up to Zolio. Let employers see more than a name; show them presentations, graphic design work, videos. Let the sun finally shine on who you really are, show them your Zolio.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Our own Bruce J Felber, MAS, has been elected to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Board of Directors for a four-year term beginning in January 2009. A membership of 7,500 global members elected Felber to the 19-member board in addition to another promotional consultant and two industry suppliers.

Did you know?
A 25-year veteran of the promotional products industry, Bruce has severed on many PPAI committees over the years. Most recently he was chairman of the Public Relations Committee. Bruce is a PPAI mentor and instructor for the Promotional Consultant Academy, a hands-on, highly experiential learning lab designed to raise the professional level of the promotional consultant. Locally, he was a two-time president of The Ohio Promotional Products Association and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in March 2008. Read more about Bruce.

Join me in congratulating Bruce on this huge honor!

Boo! Did I scare you?

Ok ghouls and goblins it is your time. In case anyone did not realize today, October 31, 2008, is Halloween. This means you have an excuse for dressing up and playing pranks. It is also the time to enjoy sweets (your dentist will love this) and look into innocent faces as they say “trick or treat”.

Do today’s kids even know what that means? Will anyone really give or get a trick? I would be curious if anyone could find some non-traditional approaches to this holiday.

If you are so inclined and would love to share photos or ghostly stories, please do so. Remember that there are many children roaming the streets tonight, so slow down and drive safely. This is a fun holiday, but let us all respect each other and their properties.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ohio Means Business

A few months ago, Rob Felber was interviewed about Ohio’s business environment. The interview was just released last week! Learn more about what Ohio has to offer to those who work and want to have some fun too.

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Monday, October 20, 2008

I thought my Snapple blog post would be a snap

But instead, I was in the middle of typing the post when I closed Internet Explorer with Snapple’s website up and 30 more websites opened… it wouldn’t stop loading! Do NOT try this at home.

So, let’s try this again! I’m a huge fan of Diet Peach Snapple. I Love the stuff and used to love the advertising. Remember the Snapple Lady? Anyone else know the Snapple song? I couldn’t find it on the web so here it goes from memory:

Sing a song of Snapple but wait until you drink
‘Cause singing while your swallowing is harder than you think!

All across Ohio, Snapple does NOT distribute large bottles. Snapple only sells the better and bigger sizes in other states. In Cleveland, I recently found “Snapple Singles to Go!” packets! As a consumer, I thought I would miss the “real facts” from under the bottle cap however I surprised to find that whoever designed this small, nifty package found room to include their known-for “real fact.” Did you know that mosquitoes have 47 teeth (real fact #129)?

Marketing lesson… be sure when you create product extensions that you keep the brand’s identity intact. Snapple did a great job in doing this!

And please, don’t go to the website as I’m still worried I have a virus.

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Obligation and Right.

We are closing in on the November ’08 elections and it is an understatement to say it is business as usual. We are facing the most significant election of modern times. With our financial future and our basic way of life being challenged this is when all of us must step forward and make voting decisions.

Our federal election is surely on all of our minds and whether we own our own business, work for a large or small company we know times are being tested. For some of us this is a new experience and for many just another in our lifetimes. I am sure if we all work together we can make the turn for a brighter and more profitable future, but not without some hard choices and a new dedication to see it through.

Don’t forget about our local issues either. State, county and city issues are just as important. Grass roots efforts are the catalyst for many national changes. Consider these initiatives when voting.

I urge all of us to study all our federal, state and local issues very carefully and vote from your heart. As Americans we are extremely lucky to have an open system by which we can change or strengthen our lives. I was always taught that it is not just an obligation and right to vote but a privilege we should not take lightly. President Lyndon Johnson said, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”

Together we can make a difference in our lives by keep our communities and country strong. Thank you to all of our members that continue support and volunteer for our chamber.

Bruce Felber

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fonts on Highway Signs

We all love playing with different typefaces - they make us understand the document or ad better... is it serious, playful, cheerful, dramatic, old school, fancy, etc?

Designers could spend hours making sure the type is just perfect, meaning that it sets the tone, is readable and even desirable. But have you ever thought about how typefaces are used on public signs?

In a recent report on WKYC, a new font will be used on signs around northeast Ohio's highways! Why? They are trying to make the signs easier to read, resulting in hopefully less accidents.

Now if only the new signs could be legible and seen in winter!!

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Monday, October 6, 2008

Word of the day

Narrowcasting: Using TV or radio (broadcasting medium) to appeal to people of different interest.

One of the main reasons I became interested in advertisement and marketing was from the persuasion of advertisements of TV and radio. They are always trying to persuade you to think one way, or act another. It fascinates me how the littlest things can alter the way people think. For instance,my favorite commercials are the "anti-drug" commercials.

One of my favorite ones is of these three boys walking up to a horse and the one boy pulls the tail of the horse and the horse kicks him in the shin. One of the other boys gets fascinated by this and pulls the horse's tail also kicking him in the shin but, the third boy realizes how dumb it is, turns and walks away.

To me, this commercial is saying if you know something is dumb, don't try it . The commercials have such a humor about them that keeps the audience interested – most often it is their plot which has something to do with a current major problem. I know personally, and speaking for my generation, we are easily fascinated in the easiest, smallest little thing. So, if commercials continue to come up with ideas that are short and sweet right to the point, most likely they continue to be remembered


Friday, October 3, 2008

The word of the day

DAGMAR- Goals set for a campaign are easily met.

Sure it is easy to set goals in life but, the hardest thing is to go through with them. Think of the definition, your life is the "campaign" and you set goals to make it "the perfect campaign". In order to achieve your perfect campaign you have to push through with your goals and make it memorable.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Advertising Icon Dies

House Peters Jr., otherwise known as "Mr. Clean," died yesterday at the age of 92 years old.

"Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean..." was a great jingle, one lasting for fifty years. And who says advertising doesn't work?

May he rest in peace.

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Defrag

Definition of defrag: the process of compressing files on a hard drive to improve speed and efficiency.

Make sure you defrag your computers at least once every two weeks!! -Tali

Hello everyone!

Hello everyone,

My name is Tali, and I am an intern with Felber & Felber Marketing for the Fall semester. During my internship, I will be working on marketing and different aspects of P.R. I was first attracted to advertising and marketing when I first realized I wanted to send messages to people through commercials. Other than this internship, I also have a job working in a well-known retail store. When I am not working I am hanging out with my friends, going to see movies or maybe fishing (if I am lucky). I love to write, it's what my teachers know me for. I like to write about anything that comes to mind, mostly things that have happened in my life. I also love to listen to music.

Just filling you guys in on a little bit about me.

Have a good day!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: mindshare

Definition of mindshare: Having a company hold the public's attention and remain top of mind.

For example, a few years ago KFC had a commercial out that included a high pitched shreaking noise throughout the majority of the commercial. A friend of mine complained about how annoying it was and how that marketing company needs to be fired. However, my friend fell in the trap. He remembered the commercial AND KFC - just what they wanted. KFC, in this case, had mastered mindshare.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Streetsboro Chamber Community Showcase Sept. 27th

It is that time of year again when the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce will present their annual Community Showcase. This event is "free to the public" and will feature Business Booths, Craft booths, Taste of Streetsboro and Entertainment.

This year it will be held at the Middle School and runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Come network and see what Streetsboro has to offer. I will be at the chamber booth so stop and say hello.

For more information call the chamber office at 330-626-4769.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Advertising on the West Coast (part one)

After a week spent in Las Vegas and San Francisco, one thing is certain - there is no where like the west coast. It's true what they say out there: California is a lifestyle in itself.

As you can imagine, the marketing structure in Las Vegas is centered on being very loud and exceptionally large in size.

As this was my first trip to Vegas, everyone asked me what I thought of it - and I only had one response: "Everything was really big." But, that is true. Advertising, buses, buildings, food, colors, performers, cars - everything was blown up to larger than life.

Perhaps the most, ahem, blatant form of in your face advertising came on the side of the Paris hotel. Their theme, "Everything is Sexier in Paris" flaunts two young lovers caught up in the moment on their wedding day.

An example of their advertising:

Ahh, gotta love Vegas. Has anyone else seen other similar shocking advertising?

Tweet, tweet, twittering, twit twit... TWITTER!

After months of hearing about Twitter, I finally did it. I signed up for Twitter. You can following me here:

So, how does this social media fit in with marketing? It helps you create and keep your personal or professional brand top-of-mind. Companies can get a glimpse into their target audience. One can never do enough research!

Thanks to the Social Media Club of Cleveland, I actually have people following me! I attended the first meeting this morning. Thanks everyone who made me feel welcome.

There is so much out there to learn... I promise to keep our blog followers updated on how social media can be used, etc. More to come!

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Promotional Consultant Academy - Update

The first two days here in Boston has been very full. We have made 6 presentations to the class (or companies as we call them) and I find them to be extremely engaging. The topics range from understanding and setting strong outcomes to the creative process. They are all working on the case study and defining their presentations that will be heard in the morning. Even as I speak our judge is flying in from Colorado.

I have said this before, "you learn so much when you teach others." This process will be handed off to our second team in Ft. Worth Texas next week.

Special thanks to my team: Joe, Mike, and Kip.


Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Values And LifeStyles (VALS)

Definition of VALS: this is a psychographic segmentation approach offering various characteristics and behaviors concerning people and their surroundings.

* * *

I'm baaaack! Boy, do I have some stories about the VALS out on the west coast! Blogs this week will be focused on how the coasts differ.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Promotional Consultant Academy and Learning Lab

Welcome readers. I am currently in Boston to start the three-day exciting Promotional Consultant Academy and Learning Lab as part of the Felber & Felber commitment to reach out and improve ourselves and the industries we serve.

This is my second Learning Lab where I will meet with industry professionals and be part of an on-going initiative to raise the professionalism of the promotional marketing industry. As an industry instructor I will engage with other marketing professionals from around the US.

I will report during the week on the outcomes. For more info go to


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Scholarships for Advertising & Marketing College Students

Attention Ohio college students: The American Advertising Federation-Cleveland is accepting applications for their annual scholarship program.

To be eligible, a student must:
• Be an Ohio resident qualifying for in-state tuition at an Ohio college or university
• Be pursuing a bachelor’s degree with a communications/marketing-related major (advertising, marketing, graphic design, photography, public relations, market research, illustration, web design, etc.)
• Carry a full course-load and hold a current minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale)
• Currently be in his/her senior or junior year (graduating between 2009 and 2010)

Applications are due no later than Friday, October 17, 2008. See application for more details.

If you are a professor at an Ohio college or university, please help spread the word by hanging posters in your classrooms and making announcements and send e-newsletters.


~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Microsoft Campaign Update - Jerry Canned?

As reported by the NY Times, it seems as though the stint with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates is over. Was that meant to happen or did they pull it after the poor reviews? According to this article, this was Microsoft's plan all along... create buzz for a few weeks then begin the "real ad campaign." What a campaign it will be!

We all love the Apple commercials with the PC and MAC guys going head-to-head. So after years of watching those two, Microsoft is retaliating. It's attack time. A similar looking PC guy will be on camera with regular Vista users. Hmmm, remember how much trouble the Alltel spoof caused?

I believe the spots should start airing by next week. More to come!

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Word of Day: Share of Voice

Word of the Day: Share of Voice (SOV)

What does it mean? This is the percentage of a particular brand or company's total advertising volume in that product category. The higher the percentage, the larger voice you have in the product's marketplace.

Why is this important? In a Recession, its important to keep your SOV as high as possible. Continuing to advertise when your competitors are cutting their budgets gives you the opportunity to keep and develop new customers. This keeps you top of mind when the recession is over... giving you the advantage in the marketplace.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Seinfeld & Gates

We are all fans of Jerry Seinfeld, especially Bruce and Rob Felber! So what are your thoughts on his new ad with Bill Gates? If you haven’t seen it, you can watch the commercial here including the little shimmy Bill Gates does at the end!

So what does this ad mean? Well for one it’s creating buzz but will the buzz lead to a bigger goal of... more sales, launch a new product, or lead to nothing? Read about what others are saying about this commercial.

The first time I saw this commercial I thought, well that’s strange. Then after watching it a few more times I actual chuckled. The second ad released within this new campaign can be found on YouTube. The message is all about Bill Gates (and Jerry) learning what Microsoft customers want – but isn’t that a little too late? If I was Apple, I'd be not only laughing but also giving my research department a bonus for doing their homework years ago.

Tell us what you think by leaving your comments. And yes, you can leave your favorite Seinfeld quotes here too!

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CMO from The Plain Dealer Speaking on Wedneday

AAF-Cleveland's September Luncheon will feature Matt Kraner, CMO, The Plain Dealer
Join us for the this informative event on Wednesday, September 17 at Windows on the River. Matt's topic: "Black and White and Ready For The Future." The newspaper industry is experiencing its most challenging time in history. Matt Kraner will share his insight about the realities of the industry and how The Plain Dealer is facing the challenges head on.

Tickets are $25 for members and $40 for non-members. Program starts at 11:30am.

More information here.

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Friday, September 12, 2008

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Surrogate

Definition of surrogate: one individual appointed to act for another.

* * *

Ladies and gentleman, I am off to the west coast for a week. It is my hope my fellow coworkers will keep up on blogging while I am away.

I'll see you next week!!

Super Bowl, Commercial Bowl

Super Bowl talk already? This article isn’t staking a claim in which final two teams will go but rather who will advertise on what I call “Commercial Bowl Day.” Only 10 spots are left for the 2009 event even though there was a 10% price increase from last year. Can you believe it!?!

Watch the 10 best Super Bowl ads of all time (video on left will begin playing top 10).

What’s your favorite commercial of all time? Let us know by leaving a comment.

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

Oh, baby

High heels for babies is one of the new trends in babywear... and sadly enouugh I'm pretty sure this product will catch on. Celebrities such as Nicole Richie and Tori Spelling have already dress their soon to be divas in these heels.

Featured on The Today Show this morning, click here to visit A Heelarious Experience and see the array of products they have available.

A different way of advertising yourself

Ruth E. Rencevicz had a unique sense of humor and a busy life, no one could argue either of those facts. In her life, she was the switchboard operator at both Sears and BFG Federal Credit Union. Also, Ruth proudly served her country during the Cold War where she was largely responsible for the breakup of the Soviet Union near the end of the 20th century.

She had seven children, including one illegitimate child named Greg "The Donkey" King conceived when the circus was passing through town.

She was also an active community volunteer with youth in Tallmadge, Ohio, donating her time to yelling at neighborhood kids for "playing that rap music" at all hours of the day and night. She also served as a responsible mentor to the younger generations by throwing rocks at area teenagers dressed in loose baggy pants, exposing their underwear.

That's what her obituary says anyway.

In her actual life, Mrs. Rencevicz always had a smile on her face and seemed to find a reason to laugh no matter what - even when she was diagnosed with leukemia three weeks ago (despite her obituary saying her cause of death was complications resulting from her children making her old before her time). Her obituary has allowed thousands of Ohioans to laugh while getting a glimpse into this dynamic woman's life.

If you need a reason to smile today, please click here to learn a little nonsense about Ruth E. Rencevicz's life and a unique way of advertising yourself.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You make the call


Our office is having trouble deciding which candy to keep here. So, we need your help! Please view our main blog page and vote for your favorite.


Against Marketer's Advice

Many of you know that I spend my weekends as a firefighter and paramedic. Often times we are called to someone’s home that needs help, but refuses to allow us to help them or transport them to the hospital. We try our best to convince them of the dangers of their situation, but often to no avail. If they are of sound mind and an adult, we often have no choice but to present them with a legal release and let them sign out AMA (against medical advice).

So, here’s a new term AMA (against Marketer’s advice). In marketing and advertising, it is easy to get swayed to make constant changes in your plan. As the next great medium or advertising offer is placed in front of you, resist. We encourage you to do your research or at the minimum, listen to the agency you hired for that purpose and try to stick by your plan. Know what you expect to happen and how you will measure the results.

There is no point in planning a 26 week campaign, only to kill it after just two weeks (or 2 ads!). Then, blame the creative, the TV station or worse yet, your sales people for a lack of results.

Plan your work and work your plan. Yes, make adjustments as needed, but trust in your advisors and let the plan play out.

- Rob Felber

A Recipe on Niche Marketing

Dear AIM readers:

I was sent this link by a colleague of mine and thought I would share with our Blog group. This proves the point that a good idea and out of the box marketing can pay off. Please visit and see what I am talking about.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well.


We are all listeners

The Cleveland Cavaliers season just around the corner and drivers everywhere are already getting excited.


More billboards advertising WMMS 100.7's morning show, Rovers Morning Glory, are starting to pop up across town.

Personally, I know the first time I saw it (Just as I mentioned in the "Fear the Roo" blog) I laughed. I couldn't help it! Rover, a 32 year old male in less than great shape was comparing himself to our superstar, LeBron James. (Needless to say if these two ever went head to head there certainly would not be much of a game.)

Has anyone seen other examples of this "un-comparative" advertising?

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Bacn

Definition of bacn: the middle class of email; email which is not classified as spam because it is not totally unwanted, but isn't really wanted either.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

In marketing, we often look at ourselves as the brand police – watching and controlling our clients’ brand so that its advertised or portrayed correctly. Well, this story takes it to a whole new level. The KFC secret recipe was being moved recently in order for other security measures and renovations to take place. So, they hired the big guns. Off-duty police officers and private security guards were hired to move the famous recipe that Colonel Harland Sanders developed in 1940. Not only is this recipe under heavy guard but it is only known to two people in the entire company. Talk about security.

Reinforcing your brand: not only did KFC highlight that their product is special, it’s so special it needs to be secured in a briefcase and handcuffed to a security expert. You may expect to see this in Prison Break, but is it necessary for a recipe? And what a public relations story! The press is all over this.

What are your thoughts? Does this make you want to eat KFC again and see what all the fuss is over the secret recipe?
Leave your comments here! I don't remember the last time I ate KFC and I'm not sure I'll eat it anytime soon... sorry KFC, the fuss over the secret recipe won't make me eat your chicken!

~ Michelle Hirsh, Felber & Felber Marketing

A different blog

Keeping the focus of this blog on marketing is at times difficult when hard times hit you and there is nothing else you can think about.

A dear family friend, Theresa Wilson, lost her battle with Alzheimer's on Friday afternoon. This was a long, hard struggle and mostly took its horrible pain out on the family and loved ones in her life. In reading Sue Wilson's blog (one of her daughters and the program director for WQMX) she wrote an amazing story of her life and the awful disease that claimed her mind and ultimately her life. Please click here to read her blog and here to read about Alzheimer's, now the sixth leading cause of death in America.

Rest in peace, Theresa.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Deep linking

Definition of deep linking: the act of linking to a web page other than a particular site's home page.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Guerilla Marketing

Definition of guerilla marketing: a nontraditional marketing event intended to have maximum results with the minimal amount of resources.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Circle of Influence

Definition of circle of influence: people who are closest to you and who make up your warm market. These people are easily influenced by you because of your solid reputation in your profession, community or general area of interest.

"Facebook called me a bad name."

We've all heard how social networking sites have advertising based on what items you click on and which sites you visit. All fun and innocent, right? Not anymore.

Facebook is playing hardball.

A writer from the Washington Post told her story here about Facebook calling her "fat" and how she needs to lose a few pounds before her upcoming wedding day. Talk about in your face advertising! How awful.

For those of you not familiar with Facebook, you select your relationship status from the options of: Single, In a relationship, Engaged, Married, It's Complicated and In an Open Relationship. (This particular individual had her relationship status set to "engaged.")

After she got married and changed her relationship status to "married" she was then presented with "Are you infertile?" ads.


Just to see what would happen, I logged in to my Facebook account to see what ads it would show me.

Here is a summary of my profile:

Sex: Female
Age: 26
Location: Ohio
Relationship Status: In a Relationship
Interests: THE BEACH. Cleveland Sports. Photogrpahy. Writing. Traveling.
Favorite Music: I have very random taste in music.
Favorite TV Shows:Sex and the City, Survivor and Ally McBeal.
Work info: Marketing and Advertising

The ads I am greeted wtih are trying to get me to buy competitor's secrets, the Gambling Addiction Hotline (that's odd), the DMA conference and a new hair eliminator promising to remove all of your unwanted hair.

I'm not horribly offended by these ads - aside from the Gambling Addiction Hotline because I've been to one (1) casino in my lifetime and spent roughly $10. None the less, this was a fun experiment.

Has anyone else noticed these in your face advertisements?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jessica Simpson's new ad

She sings, she acts, she dates high profile celebrities like Tony Romo and John Mayer - what's next? Endorsing beer of course!

Stampede Light Plus, made by Dallas' Stampede Brewing Company, has signed the catch all bombshell to be the new face of their brand - a vitamin-enhanced beer.

Ms. Simpson has even taken a 15% share in the company to solidify her interest. Although terms were not yet made available, one can assume it's a rather large chunk of change.

In a statement released on her behalf, Simpson said as an entrepreneur she's "always looking for ways to diversify my portfolio with good ideas and good people."

Mind you, her great portfolio includes box office hit "Blonde Ambition" (huh?), skin care line ProActiv (which she admits to never using) and Dessert Beauty (which resulted in a number of lawsuits).

Any guesses what will result from her endorsing Stampede Brewing Company?

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Incentivized traffic

Definition of incentivized traffic: viewers of a website who have received a form of compensation for visiting a particular site.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google's at it again

Is there such a thing as too big or too much power? Rightfully so, some can argue both points and each would be correct. But, when internet giant Google launches their own browser, Chrome, is it time for other browsers to say "uncle?"

Click here for the full story.

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Mousetrapping

Definition of moustrapping: using browser tricks as a way to keep a visitor captived at a particular site. This often happens by disabling the "Back" button or generated repeated pop-up windows.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Out of touch

Diana Kingsbury, my co-advisor, and I were talking last night about our weekends before our weekly meeting.

"I feel so out of touch now. I'm back in the stone age!" she said very impatiently. "I don't know how I'm going to survive!"

You see, Diana had an unfortunate experience with her cell phone and some dampness. Her cell phone didn't make it.

This conversation got me thinking more about this wave of technology and how much our daily lives are wrapped around it. When I was in 9th grade I had a pager and that was considered VERY risky (and a bit trendy). Now, cell phone providers are targeting kids of all ages using the array of family plans to sweeten the deal.

And actually, to tell you the truth, they are doing one heck of a good job in advertising to this young generations.

For example, we've all seen the T-Mobile commercial with the parents engaged in a conversation on awarding their kids with more minutes based on their behavior - with a clever shot in to the driveway showing these same adorable youngsters fighting while washing the car and the father saying something clever about also taking away minutes too.

This ad will hit home for the parents and the children looking for yet another reason to ask their parents for a cell phone.

I can just picture it...

Father: "You don't need a cell phone."
Daughter: "Yes I do! Pleaaaase?"
Father: "No. Why do you think you need a cell phone? You are ten years old!"
Daughter: "Because! Everyone else has one! I promise I'll be good!"
Father: "How can you promise that?"
Daughter: "If I'm not good then you can take my minutes away and I won't be able to use my phone but just to call you and Mom!"

And just like that, T-Mobile sells another family plan to this family. Why? The son has a point, everyone else DOES have one. Plus, it is good to have on you for emergencies and it is an excellent way to keep track of your kids.

Word of the Day

Word of the Day: Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)

Definition of IMC: A combination of appropriate marketing communication disciplines, media and vehicles in a marketing campaign designed to achieve a set of objectives.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Now that's a shame

PlayStation Portable (PSP) made its debut in the United States in March of 2005. Afterwards, like any smart company, Sony decided to beef up the advertising and chose to include larger than life PSP units mounted on billboards.

Very neat. Oh, but wait... what is that error message in the lower right corner?

That can't be good! Sadly, it was too late to fix this problem and PSP billboards all over the world crashed.

How could this have been prevented? Well, I have never claimed to be a technowiz, but certainly I am no stranger in the field. But, this is a matter of simple testing. It was a great idea, one that is very unique and very appealing to the eye... that is, when it is actually functioning up to its capabilities.

What can we learn from this failed (and very expensive) advertising lesson?

When marketing something (or yourself), make it appealing - but also ensure you are in it for the long-haul. Nothing is more frustrating than learning too late about a problem that could have been solved before launch - imagine how Sony felt!

Also, make sure you are emphasizing your capabilities and strengths. People will see you for your abilities and respect that you have challenged yourself in your weaknesses before launch. That's a lesson we can all learn from.


Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Free-standing insert (FSI)

Definition of FSI: an individual or group of advertisements inserted without bound in a print publication. It is only located on pages that contain the ads and are unique to any other editorial or entertainment matter.