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Showing posts from November, 2016

Chipotle's 300 Calorie Chorizo Burrito

Call it fate, call it karma or just bad luck but Chipotle, a U.S. Tex-Mex restaurant has had a bit of bad time recently when it's come to publicity. First it was an E. Coli scare that shut down many of their restaurants and was a twist of irony due to their reputation for selling meat from socially responsible free range animals. Now there's this, a 300 calorie Chorizo burrito that no one in their right minds would a) buy on a diet, and b) believe the hype.

Where in the marketing process did this get approved? Did they forget the decimal? Did they ask Jared Fogle? I can't believe they meant 3000 calories (which is more likely the case) and you can't tell me that this made it all the way up the chain of command, was approved, and then rolled out to countless stores without someone suggesting that this is one the most idiotic advertising blunders in the history of meat wrapped in flat-bread?

Now customers in Los Angeles are filing a class action lawsuit against  Chipot…

What Can Cake Mix Teach Us About Marketing?

First and foremost, it's recognizable that many notable landmark examples in public relations are merely propaganda themselves. They're the metaphorical, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, of the genre. Examples, like the Chevrolet Nova that meant No Go when marketed in Mexico or the infamous eggs in a cake allegory. They persist even among professionals as examples of how to market to consumers but are factually flawed. None the less, there's something to learn from them.

In the case of the cake without eggs, the story goes like this. A company invents cake mix but find it's not selling very well. A salesman and psychologist, recognized for the first focus group (probably another lie), Ernest Dichter decides to poll women as to why they don't like baking with the cake mix which is arguably better tasting and easier to make. After all, you just pour the box into a bowl and add water, right?

But what Dichter (supposedly) found was that the recipe was too easy (everything incl…

New Balance Shoes on fire and in a state of crisis.

What happens when the KKK comes out in support of a brand? New Balance shoes recently found itself in such a dilemma. How did it happen? New Balance, who manufacturers their shoes in the United States and the United Kingdom came out in support of Donald Trump during the election in response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us and frankly, with President-elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction,” Matthew LeBretton, New Balance’s vice president of public affairs, told the Wall Street Journal.
The Trans-Pacific partnership obviously helps brands who manufacturer their shoes in foreign countries and import them into the U.S. market. Trump whom has campaigned against such partnerships and who believes that trade restrictions will bolster U.S. jobs and the economy would likely benefit companies like New Balance against their competitors.
Just Barron Trump in New Balance — Jack Posobiec (@…

Can Love Shape the Brands You Buy?

What happens when your partner picks brands and products that you hate?

An interesting story on NPR on a study about brands and love, and how they shape what we buy. Can Diet Coke determine if you're headed for a divorce? Possibly, says researchers if your partner prefers Pepsi. Research suggests that your feelings toward your partner affect brand buying decisions. In the interview, Gavan Fitzsimons at Duke University suggests that such purchasing decisions (as such in the Diet Coke example) are sometimes acts of defiance rather than personal preferences. He suggests that these brand purchasing decisions even occur outside the presence of the partner. For example, your partner and you both prefer Burger King to McDonald's, but the unhappy partner in the relationship, even when alone, may choose McDonald's as an act of silent defiance to their feelings of relationship happiness.

This seems to suggest what we already know. People with shared common interests are generally h…

A DNA Test that tells you who you are.

The greatest pr trick that's ever been used (repetitively) is the who am I approach and remarkably its always quite effective. That's because, when an organization reaches out to its audience, it is in effect trying to connect its products and services to those individuals. In essence, the organization is saying, "we understand you" and therefore this product fits into your lifestyle, your story of who you are or who you want to be. Who doesn't want to be the fit upper middle-class runner who just bought an Iphone 7 and can now go run in the rain? In essence, the goal of such a campaign that uses the who am I method is to  offer you assistance to answering that very question. The answer is always a product or service.

So when the DNA Journey went viral on social media, you would expect that it was released by a company selling DNA test kits. You know, the Ancestry tests that allow you to find out if you're really German, English, Asian or what not. Since the…

Clinton's Roar vs Trump's Dystopia Public Relations - Who will win?

As a registered Democrat I must admit that Trump's public outreach has been far better than Hillary's (generally and excluding when he goes off the rails). The above video is an ideal example of well written communications and how they can go viral. However, we must remember that these are not Trump's words but the work of a speech writer working behind the scene. Considering America is a country of the Hollywood blockbuster it astounds me the poor level of speech writing not only in this election but in public relations in general. This video is obviously one of the better examples despite Trump's generally free-scripted antics that come across as less than presidential.

While there is an argument that there is a vacancy of intelligent word-smithing, there's no guarantee that such methods are effective with the voting base. The times of Winston Churchill rallying a country to win with mere words may not work with a country like America. A country of instantaneous…