Monday, February 07, 2005

Super Bowl XXXIX Commercials - The Day After

Just a little buzz on the Super Bowl XXXIX commercials! Don't want to feel left out of the opinion sharing! I really wasn't too bowled over by what I saw, and generally I don't laugh too often. American Idol tryouts make me laugh if that tells you anything!

FRIES MAKE ME NAUSEOUS! I personally did not GET THIS commercial about the Lincoln Fry. You've got to be kidding me that this would be a legitimate offering; i.e., a french fry with the profile of Abraham Lincoln! Give me a break! I guess this is something geared towards the younger generation. And, what about that strange grilled cheese sandwich on eBay! Hmmm. "The first commercial to score with searchers was a McDonald's spot about a french fry resembling Abraham Lincoln. Playing off a web trend of auctioning famous faces found in food items, the spot spurred a flurry of searches on 'Lincoln Fry'."

The WORST !! "FedEx turned its Super Bowl marketing playbook back to 1998, when it won plaudits for a witty commercial by BBDO Worldwide in New York, part of the Omnicom Group, that mocked the conventions of Super Bowl commercials. The 2005 version, also from BBDO New York, crammed into 30 seconds the 10 ingredients purportedly guaranteed to insure Super Sunday success. They included an obligatory celebrity (the actor Burt Reynolds), a bear (the required dancing, talking animal), two lissome cheerleaders (representing attractive females) and, when the bear became a film critic, one of those surprise endings so beloved by copywriters of Super Bowl spots. The best moment: When Mr. Reynolds paused to deliver a pitch for FedEx, it was identified on screen as Item No. 8, 'Product message (optional).' "
Oh My GOD!! It was Burt Reynolds again ... and in a really dumb commercial ... looking stiff [that mask thingy] and dancing? Burt -- Burt -- Burt ... you've got to quit while you're ahead!!! Give it up!!!

YUMMY!! I enjoyed the buzz on Batman Begins.

CLASSY! Personally, I've enjoyed the Budweiser commercials over the years and agree that "despite the timidity of many advertisers, Garfield said there were a few standouts. He called a Budweiser commercial featuring the signature Clydesdale horses "charming," and another Budweiser ad saluting U.S. troops 'tasteful and poignant.' "

IS THAT A BANANA IN YOUR POCKET?? I also went slightly bananas over Careerbuilder.com's monkey business ads, having worked in similar company in my vast career! Sorry, no names please!

HA HA HA!! The top of my list, and my husband's who viewed the Super Bowl at a separate location from mine, was Ameriquest's cat in the kitchen commercial. "The top of my favorite commercial list was Ameriquest's ad showing a man cooking a surprise dinner by way of an ominous-looking knife. The man's cat walks along and knocks over a pot of red sauce. The man picks up the sauce-covered cat just as a woman walks through the door. The last shot shows the man holding a threateningly large knife in one hand, and the cat covered in sauce in the other hand. Coincidentally, the sauce is the same color as blood. The words 'Don't Judge Too Quickly' flash on the screen, and the advertisement continues to assure customers that the insurance agency wouldn't judge too quickly either. This shockingly funny commercial nearly caused me to miss the following commercial."

Victoria's Secret - Brand is ON TARGET

Victoria's Secret - Brand is ON TARGET - Sexy, Red Hot Fashion! I personally love to check out Victoria's Secret stores, catalogs, and online offerings on a regular basis. And, no surprise, so does my husband! I also wear many of their items, love those intimates, and I am a reseller of their fashions. Well, it was no surprise to read in a latest Brand Channel e-newsletter that VS gets high marks for their branding efforts.

The following is from a recent article in Brand Channel.

"Want (her) to be sexy? Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and brands are offering up a plethora of "in your face" material to wake the dead. Among those brands, Victoria's Secret catalog returns each year to remind one of the coming date with a scream. (Gentlemen, it's February 14.) This year, the scream is a pants' bursting bright-red lacy double D push up bra.

With three distribution channels-stores, catalog and e-shop-and marketing communication to match, Victoria's Secret has consistently delivered its brand message at each contact point with the customer. In particular, a visit to VictoriasSecret.com shows an attention to details that has been hitting the right balance between branding and usability for years.

Not only is the first impression on target, with the screen dominated by a picture of a voluptuous model, but all the elements of a branded e-commerce are present: From color-palette, to thumbnail pictures to promotions.

In sum, Victoria's Secret has developed a superb customer-focused marketing tool-at both strategic and operational levels-that is undoubtedly a benchmark for its lingerie category. Its brand focuses on a lifestyle that teases, shocks, and woos our deepest feelings. Far from lagging behind the stores and catalogs, the e-shop is nicely integrated with the other distribution channels and reinforces the brand presence in a sizable fashion."
Cupidon, 1891

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Jaguar Julie First Hand Experience of Super Bowl Week Activities

On Friday, February 4, 2005, my husband and I opted to take a "vacation" day to attend Friday's Super Bowl activities dowtown Jacksonville ! For him, it was a birthday holiday from work at Fuji Hunt. For me, I had to tear myself away, literally, from my online business as Jaguar Julie Designs both selling on eBay and Overstock. Quite a full time adventure, I might add ... but that's fodder for another article !!

We researched the best way to get downtown. It was decided we'd pay $5.00 for an all-day transit pass. The deal was that you find one of the authorized park and ride lots as advertised in the Times-Union. However, once we found our lot, there were several of us who got confused and parked on the wrong side of the shopping center. After a good 30 minute wait, I suggested to my husband that he was perhaps in the wrong area! You know, husbands don't usually succumb to taking or asking for directions well !

We ventured over to the other side of the shopping center and lo and behold !!! there was the trolley car and a few buses. Ambling up to the transit car at 12:30pm, we were abruptly told, "NO tickets until 2pm!!" "Say What???" asked my informed husband. "I read in the paper that the buses started at Noon!" Well, that was some misinformation. OK, we're off to a not so good start! We called our friends who were at another lot experiencing the same confusion. After hooking up, we all drove down to the Southbank area and opted to ride in the Tram. That was fun!!

Once we arrived at The Landing in downtown Jacksonville, we encountered a hopping place! I actually got a die-hard Eagles fan to hoot, holler, and growl at me because of my Jaguar garb! OK, that was fun . . . but my stomach was growling and I was hungry. We finally found a cool little spot, Mongo's, to have a Mongolian lunch. That was my first time for such a cool place! You fix a bowl of meats, fishes, spices, oils, vegies, and a separate bowl of sauces . . . then you proceed to a grill area and watch your food being grilled! I loved it !! Specially with all the jalapenos I added.

So, what was so special about this place?? Well, glad you asked. We were finishing up lunch and spotted an interview about to get underway out on the patio deck area. JOSH GRACIN . . . remember this country singer from American Idol ?? Well, I was one of those millions with speed dial who actually voted for this talented young Marine. I waited patiently with pen and paper in hand and then went up to the young man, introducing myself as "Jaguar Julie" who is one of your oldest fans and had speed dial . . . and would be attending your Pepsi Smash concert that evening. Now, I GOT HIS AUTOGRAPH. Yikes! You'd think I was a teeny bopper. I don't think I've ever gotten anyone's autograph before. OK, either a sheltered life or much too reserved???

Well . . . we continued to enjoy the goings on on the St. Johns River. Heading over to the stage area, we saw Tom Arnold, he looks better in person! Then, Bert Reynolds showed up with Chris Rock and Adam Sandler. After these 3 "gentlemen" were interviewed, they were squired past all us "admiring" FANS to be led over to the Adams Mark Hotel. Excuse me while I dis, dish the dirt, on Bert! OK, I'm not one for being rude or unfriendly [ Hello Bert, did you hear me calling your name? ] . . . but, Bert, stop with the plastic surgery already!! I didn't say this, but someone standing nearby said something about a Mask and I don't think they were talking about Jim Carrey's movie. I understood that a reporter was dogging you and you wanted NO INTERVIEWS, but you had admiring fans . . . I'm way too old to be shouting your name and waving! Did you forget your contacts? Time to retire!

Now Chris Rock, not much better! Has fame gone to your head??

OK, now it's time for Adam Sandler . . . I've always watched your movies, but wasn't necessarily an A+ fan. BUT, my opinion has changed based on your cordiality that you expressed on Friday at the Jacksonville Landing! You took time to acknowledge your fans, hey you even smiled and waved! Thank you!
Well . . . several hours passed, my tootsies were getting tired in my black fringed Durango cowboy boots. We bought two shirts from a licensed Super Bowl seller and one beer bottle holder. YIKES, our charge tab came to $102.00! Way too much for this merchandise! Hey you guys, that's pretty near price gouging . . . especially since I can buy things off eBay at better prices. Oh well, part of the NFL, SUPER BOWL experience.

Finally . . . it was time for the Pepsi Smash Concert !! at the new Jacksonville Arena. All in all, this was an enjoyable experience . . . once my husband surrendered two Monster batteries from his high-end FujiFilm digital camera to Victoria at the gate. We got to our seats, but I could have used binoculars or another Lasik touch up. So, we moved to the seats that my husband initially purchased. Once the concert got underway, we were definitely impressed by the talent of Josh Gracin. Next up was Chris Cagle . . . WHO?? I can't say that I've heard of him, but he did a great job with his performance! And mighty engaging with the audience. Then came Jo Dee Messina! "WOW," said my husband. "She looks like a biker girl." Well, that meant he found her hot and sexy. And, VERY TALENTED!!! I thoroughly enjoyed her singing and performing. For a little person, she sure could belt out the tunes. Last was Dwight Yoakum. I wasn't terribly impressed with this country singer . . . he's got to stop mumbling when he sings and talks. Unfortunately, we opted to leave near the end of his performance.

YIKES . . . my tootsies were soooo tired! We had to now search up our bus to take us to the park and ride lot. This was absolutely a most miserable time for me! As we trudged quite a walk to find the right bus waiting area, we had to wait on a good 3 buses before one pulled up. It was chilly, dark, and a long wait. This is one challenge for the SUPER BOWL COMMITTEE!! The Jacksonville Transit Authority needed to do a better job with the transportation! The lines were monstrous at Midnight! That made for more than a 12 hour day for us.

A final word . . . Pepsi was literally "throwing out" small red/white/blue squeeze balls on key chains as specialty give-a-ways at the Jacksonville Arena front door. The young people enlisted to perform this task were having way too much fun rifling these balls at old fogies such as myself! But, I did catch the two that were aimed my way, much to the surprise of the youngsters! ;-) This didn't negatively influence my opinion of Pepsi. Pepsi-Cola has always been my #1 choice over Coca-Cola. I love the way Pepsi-Cola tastes and have never acquired a taste for that syrupy sweet taste of Coke! Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, we'd drink Pepsi or often R.C. Cola -- Royal Crown Cola . . . which was the favorite of my grandparents!

Rating Super Bowl Ads - Bloggers Exercise Power

Bloggers' newest power: rating Super Bowl ads ... By John Boudreau, Market Researcher, Mercury News
"Everyone knows about the Super Bowl.

Now there's the Blog Bowl. What better sign that blogging has gone mainstream than this: The popular act of online journal writing by anyone with a PC or laptop is now part of the Super Bowl ad sweepstakes. Market research company Intelliseek will be monitoring the blogosphere for the buzz on Super Bowl ads to give their clients instant feedback on their ad extravaganzas. Intelliseek, a Cincinnati company that owns blogpulse.com, also will set up a panel of 50 to 100 bloggers to offer comments on ads during the game for its clients."

A convergence of factors -- the near-religious fervor in which Americans identify with, and talk about, their favorite products, the mass appeal of online communication and the buzz factor tied to Super Bowl ads -- has led marketing experts to focus more closely on what consumers are writing in blogs and on other Web forums . . . A well-read blog gives its creator, or those who post opinions on it, a global audience. 'Suddenly, instead of an audience of just a couple of colleagues, someone can have an audience of tens of thousands,' said Jonathan Carson, president and chief executive of BuzzMetrics, a word-of-mouth research company in New York."

"The Super Bowl, in a sense, becomes the ultimate buzz-platform, said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management . . . That's why companies are willing to pay a premium -- $2.4 million a 30-second spot -- to get their message across during Super Bowl commercial breaks, he said."

"Intelliseek's Blackshaw and others believe monitoring the blogosphere is a good way to measure whether a Super Bowl ad is a bust or buzz. For instance, Intelliseek declared the last Super Bowl a low-buzz ad event because most of the blog chatter was about Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction,' not about an innovative commercial." Read more about this.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Latest Trends - Fashion News From Alexis and Gianni

Here is the latest "scoop" from Alexis and Gianni . . . I just found this website this morning and will definitely be a customer when I'm in the market for new, hot, fashionable furs!! Why don't you check them out and see for yourself.

What’s the color? Earth tones, black and pastels. That’s what’s hot for fall 2004. Call it back to nature, perhaps it’s because animal prints remain strong, but calm, soothing rusts, beiges and browns are “in” this year. Black still holds a monopoly, but pastels are the other colors to talk about. Women who gravitate toward color are going to find baby blue, pale pink, light apricot and winter white strong in the selection to choose from.

What’s everyone showing? A touch of fur is a must this season. Whether on a vest or jacket, a handbag or hat, a shoe or boot, this little accent will give everything is adorns the post treatment. Fur trims are being shown in every design and ready to wear collection affording all a little luxury.

What’s new? Laser cutting and carving ran the gamut, appearing on mink, sheared beaver, rabbit and shearlings. The use of laser carving gives the ability to add patterns resembling floral and crocodile, while cutting through the skin adds a perforated, lacey, feminine quality to already lightweight fashions. The use of
lightweight and reversible skins, both with and without laser enhancements, still prevail for the season.

What’s hot? Ruffles, ruffles, ruffles, that will be the must have to complete your outerwear wardrobe this fall. Whether on the hem, fronts or sleeves, or on all, ruffles are shown adorning shearlings, sheared and long hair minks, knits and leathers. Feminine and flowing, these flounces of fur and fabric are a winner!

What’s in? Call it a shrug, a stole or a capelet; the shoulder wrap is the hottest item on everyone’s shopping list this year. Having become younger and more artistic and unique, this small accessory is shown in fur and fabric combinations and knitted and crocheted designs. These little pieces are anything but ordinary.

What’s for him? Fur and shearling in the men’s collections have hit an all time high for fall 2004. Men, having finally realized the warmth of fur, will be seen in the latest looks from coast to coast and continent to continent. Cool and conservative, hot and urban, stylish and sleek, all looks in men’s fur and shearling outerwear.

Check out FOXY BROWN collection! It's hot. Go shopping and see what HOT furs you can find here.