***Disclaimer: I am not discouraging or encouraging purchase of the products discussed in this blog.***

If you don't like what I say--hire me so that you will!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Muslim PSA: My Faith My Voice

America was built on the notion of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  In this dream freedom for everyone is innate.  Our racially-charged history shows that dream has yet to be actualized.  In recent weeks it has come to the nation's attention that a mosque is scheduled to be erected near Ground Zero and open its doors on September 11, 2010.  New Yorkers are upset and those who lost family members are beyond furious at what they perceive as a slap in the face.  In response to the backlash the Muslim community launched this ad campaign:

I'm not going to debate the merits of New Yorkers and Americans alike who are angry with the Muslim community for the location of the mosque.  That is obvious.  I am also not going to defend why the Muslim community felt it was a good idea to build the mosque at that location.  That is also obvious.  I am here to discuss the ad.

I like the ad.  The use of many different races and ethnicities used to portray the religion was smart. In my experiences people are surprised when you do not fit into their box of what a _______ (fill in the blank) looks like.  They just cannot wrap their heads around it and search for an explanation.  As a young black female there are countless incidences where I have been rudely asked, "What ARE you??!"  Like I'm an alien or some endangered creature they have never seen.  It is beyond offensive.  When I explain to these peons that I am Black it blows their minds. They are usually taken aback, "but you don't look black!" (What exactly does that mean??) So they immediately follow up with, " must be mixed with something!"  I have learned to handle these comments with a flippant remark that dispells that notion and (hopefully) their ideal that there is only one type of Blackness in this country.   I am happy that the My Faith My Voice commercial does the same thing.

The ad shows the world that not Muslims are not all Middle Eastern, African, or Indian.  They are also Black Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians.  They are deaf, women, and even children. 

My Faith My Voice shows us that the Muslim religion is not something to fear.  They are no different than any other religion that has fanatics. Do not let the fanatics speak for everyone.  It isn't fair. 

I wish a campaign like this had been run after the 9/11 bombings and even during our last presidential election.  Perhaps if we had not had nine years to let the fear and hatred of the Muslim religion fester, our country would be a little more open-minded to the religion.  I hope the campaign is received with open arms and that we can all try to move past our differences.  We are all just people.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Friday

I wanted to give you all a nugget before the end of the day and had a great post about game shows, that Blogger (I WILL NOT get angry with my host site) decided not to save the final edit.  Therefore, I will leave you with another post and (hopefully) a belly-aching laugh!

I'm not sure if you've seen their commercials featuring puppets reenacting actual calls to the company.  They're hilarious and are surely inspired by one of my favorite college shows Crank Yankers on Comedy Central.

Thank you, from those of us who loved Adam Carolla and company, it brings us to a place of nostalgia and happiness.  It also makes us look forward to your commercials and that's the truth!  I'm sorry that there's no video, but this is one of my absolute favorite calls. **Use your headphones--slightly NSFW language**

P.S. This Saturday (lol) I will be attending the Big Ten Bar Crawl in Chicago and I MUST say GO BLUE!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Obligatory Tiger Woods Post

The entire world knows (perhaps too much) what occurred between Tiger and Elin during their marriage.  Their union ended this week, and both can focus on moving forward with their lives.  One aspect of the dissolution of their marriage that intrigues me is Tiger and his role as a future spokesperson.  Now that he is divorced and no longer committing adultery I am curious to see if he can resume his job of brand ambassador.

Tiger has had a rough year personally and professionally.  His family endured a  struggle that most would hate to go through in their private lives, while in the midst of the public eye.  To top it off, after losing key endorsements he has performed rather poorly (for him) at his career.  His less than stellar performances on the golf course are not surprising.  Some might proclaim this is karma and/or his head isn't in the right place causing him to suffer in all aspects of his life.   While those explanations are possible I think there could be something else going on behind the scenes. 

Is it wrong to consider that maybe Tiger is playing us? He can take out all his frustrations in the arena where he excels.  His plan could be to keep a small presence in the PGA while he gets his life together.  What if while he is resolving his issues through golf he becomes better than ever??

I predict that next year Tiger will return to the beast we know and expect on the course.  I believe he will be better than he was before.   And when this occurs the endorsements WILL FOLLOW.

But Mad Media Maven who would want to endorse an adulterous divorced ex-sex maniac??

Excellent question-I'm glad you're paying attention!!  The answer is simple:  AMERICA!! 

The United States loves a good underdog story.  Even though Tiger was wrong, he apologized (with tears) and has  corrected his mistakes: completion of rehab, a private divorce, and most importantly-keeping a low profile.  Now, after losing things that he valued (beautiful wife, family unit, longtime coach) he could be perceived as an underdog.   Our society is built on tales of hard-earned triumpiant victories.  Tiger overcoming his strife and succeeding on the course will shut up critics and bring viewers back to golf.  

In a nutshell: if it worked for Kobe Bryant it can work for Tiger Woods.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 is on to Something...

As I've mentioned I recently came back from visiting my parents in Alabama, and we flew in and out of Midway International Airport.  I would like to paint the picture of how I felt on this day, and why I'm impressed with  It was very hot and humid-so much so that I didn't feel a major difference when we arrived in Atlanta.  I wear jeans and sneakers when I fly because I freeze on planes and I am not walking through security barefoot.  I also had Rex my Rat-Cha traveling with me.  Traveling with Rex is always stressful, because he hates his carrier and I hate cooping him up in such a small space for long periods of time.

Once we arrive at the airport I take him potty one last time before we go inside. I have to put him in the carrier to check bags and get seat assignments.  To go through security I have to do the standard things everyone does: take my laptop out of its case, remove my shoes and other items to place into the security bins.  I then have to take Rex back out his carrier,  remove his collar, leash etc., to walk through the metal detector with him in my arms.  Afterward I have to put EVERYTHING back into it's original case; all while trying not to lose my dog and anger the people behind me for taking up too much time at the end of the conveyor belt.  It stinks.

Now, I bet you want to know why I set up that horrendous scenario.  It's because in the midst of this chaos and misery I noticed that has set their ads in unique places where every traveler will notice them: in the security bins!  I. Was. Floored.   Every traveler must use those bins for to go through security!  Even if it's just to take their keys and cell phone out of their pocket, the bin is a necessity.  Not to mention that Midway is an International airport in one of the world's largest cities.  If that isn't enough to make your eyes pop consider this nugget of information: In 2009 there were a little over 17 million travelers passing through Midway!!

So, let's dig a little deeper into the why the placement of these ads is superb and unique. First off, they have clearly defined their target. wants a repeat customer with disposable income.  Most leisure and business travelers meet that requirement. Secondly,  the ads are cute and relative to the distinct situations one finds themselves in when they travel-taking off their shoes to walk through a metal detector.  Lastly, (and this is my absolute favorite part)the genius lies beyond just the ads themselves, but in the physical location of the ads.  Think about it.  What does TSA encourage all travelers to do?  Arrive at least two hours prior to your flight.  Why? To ensure you get through the increasingly stringent airport security.  This, coupled with the increase of travelers refusing to pay the extra fees to check their bags, equals more carry on luggage.  As a result more persons are required to use extra bins to go through security.  Then, after passing inspection,  the travelers have at least an hour to wait at the gate.  In this hour they may decide to hop on the free Wi-Fi and browse  It is impossible to think this is just a creative ad campaign.  The thought and execution are perfect.  Remember,  the bins caught the eye of this distressed and harried traveler.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Old Spice W(in)

Finally back in Chicago!!   Kanye was right when he described Summer Time Chi--it truly is The Good Life. In other news, I have some solid options that could flourish into major career changes.  I'm pretty excited and cannot wait to see how everything pans out!!! I will be sure to keep you posted as I navigate the transition into my next stage of life.

Now that I have finished updating you on my world, I would like to officially congratulate my crush Isaiah Mustafa-The Old Spice Guy.  Last night Old Spice Body Wash received a Creative Arts Emmy for Best Commercial- "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like."  Is it a surprise that the Old Spice guy received this award? Not at all.  There has never been a campaign that combined social and traditional media in real time, found a voice (literally and figuratively) that millions could identify with, and produced a new pop culture phenomenon. 

Here's another look at the award-winning spot, (and Isiah)that started their groundbreaking campaign:

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Love You NFL

The NFL Ticketexchange ad shown during tonight's pre-season game between the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers was fantastic.  I was wondering, "how will Ticketmaster feel about this loss of revenue?"  Well, for those who also thought the same thing they won't!  The NFL Ticketexchange site is powered by Ticketmaster. Regardless, I see a huge success in the near future!

Another great spot was their "we're all winners now" (because the season hasn't started) commercial. The piece showed individuals running through their homes with various team flags in preparation for Game Day.  It got me cheering and I felt a surge of excitement (that only football can cause) when I saw THE CHICAGO BEARS FLAG on the screen.

As a female football fan the NFL and ESPN never cease to amaze me with how well they understand their target.  Their humor is on point, and they pump you up to watch the game. BRAVO!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Try Again Orbitz

Recently I witnessed a blatant knockoff TV commercial attempt brought to you by Orbitz.  They have created a character who can only be described as an indistinct, older, white man, dressed in a suit walking through the streets "predicting" collisions and interactions of people and objects on the street all while never losing eye contact with the camera.  Sound intriguing? It isn't.  It smells like lazy unoriginal creative, and you can do better.

One of my pet peeves is when someone attempts to replicate the success of another.  We have all seen and enjoyed the Old Spice Guy commercials starring Isaiah Mustafa.  Did you think we wouldn't notice that you created the polar opposite?  Mustafa is a handsome young,  shirtless, black man, with a voice that commands your attention. (I admit I have a crush!!)  The commercials are engaging and hilarious.  In order to  comprehend the humor in the ads one must actually listen and digest  what Mustafa  is saying!  Genius.  Make the client want to pay attention to the ad.  When Old Spice included the social media aspect in the campaign it became an unprecedented viral success-their sales have increased 107% last month!

So, Orbitz...that does not mean America wants a faux Old Spice Guy.  We are content with the one we have.  Tell  your creatives to hit the drawing board and try again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pilot Post!

Welcome!! I am so excited to begin this journey.  I hope you'll enjoy the ride (and invite 100 of your closest friends).


Currently I'm in Alabama visiting my parents with my brother and sister before we all head back to school and the inspiration for this blog came on:. the commercial inciting (I use this word loosely) consumers to buy the Samsung Galaxy.  The premise is  buy the phone it's great blah blah blah, but the main point of interest. Get Ready.  Avatar the movie is already downloaded on the phone.  Yes, you read it right. Avatar. The 150 minute movie.  Really?! You think this feature is distinct enough to sway consumers to purchase your phone?  Think again.

My question is who  are you marketing to?  All campaigns have a target.  However, I believe they are simply marketing to everyone.  Avatar  is (currently) the highest grossing film of all time, so EVERYONE must want to have it pre-loaded onto their cell phone to watch at their convenience.  Oh yes, a 150 minute movie to drain my battery so that the only thing I can do with my phone is watch the movie, is a great idea.  FANTASTIC!  While I do not know the specs on the Galaxy,  I doubt it contains the storage capacity of say a Droid or an iPhone.  

Let's take the dissection further.  Do people even want to watch movies on their phone?  I understand that for those who travel often it's a perk, but those people may want to watch something else occasionally.  (If they're watching anything at all, because those who travel often are usually doing work on the plane.) Can they delete Avatar and upload new media or is it embedded?  So, who exactly is the ideal target?

In my opinion children are the perfect audience for this feature. Children love to watch movies.  They never tire of watching the same movies over and over.  Therefore my suggestion is this: market a cell phone type apparatus to children with this feature.  My friends who are mothers say their kids love to emulate their mothers by talking on the phone.  Why not design a product for children that looks like a cell phone and contains a feature where they can download their favorite shows and movies?  Just an idea.

All in all, Samsung did not do proper R & D ,and this product should never have come to fruition.

This is your Media Maven signing off.