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Archive for July, 2010

How do you use a moment of success to make everybody love you and want you back for your next big moment?

That is what marketing is supposed to be about. Close the deal in a way they love you.  And as I said before, marketing can learn a lot from real life heroes. – Original Post

Someone linked me to this guy’s blog, recently, where I found this gem, among others. This “moment” he’s talking about is mostly the stuff of fiction, of well-scripted, well-played scenes that don’t seem to happen in everyday life. So, in keeping the theme of this blog, I’ve compiled a list of movie moments that, I think, demonstrate what the quote is getting at. “Marketing can learn a lot from real-life heroes.” Potential “real-life heroes” can learn a lot from fiction. So, here we go, in no particular order, though my favorites are 1, 3, 6, 7.

1. Before Sunrise

2. 10 Things I Hate About You

3. Annie Hall

4. The Wedding Singer

5. When Harry Met Sally

6. Let The Right One In

7. In The Mood For Love

8. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

9. Spiderman

10. Breakfast At Tiffany’s

These “moments” can be subtle gestures that work at us slowly, tiny seductions that lead us away, and create memories in ways that don’t always capture our attention in the moment.  They can also be grandiose gestures that assault our attention and occupy a piece of our memory for years to come. Give me both.

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“Follow your bliss,” is a quote I like a lot. Makes sense. Do what you want to do because you should know what’s best. While it’s certainly true, it’s also true that with the new, networked world, you no longer have to “follow your bliss” entirely. Why not have other people suggest a “bliss” within your area of interest(s)? Why not ask a friend on Facebook or pose the question to an entire forum? What should my bliss be? How can I follow it? Why not crowdsource?

Brian has done just that. He’s new to NYC and has found difficulty in the dating world. But things are about to change for him. We, the internet masses, have the opportunity to help him overcome this challenge. He’s decided to crowdsource his dating efforts and looks to go on 30 dates in thirty days. His site lists tasks that we can help him with, from match-making to date ideas. Why not date him yourself?

It’s not a bad idea. In fact, it’s a pretty good idea. Not necessarily as a means of getting lucky in NYC/marketing, but as a general rule to live by. I think some of crowdsourcing’s principles are things we already do quite naturally, though there’s always room for improvement. Here are things to consider, with the hope of evading self-righteousness:

-Listening: Everyone’s got things to say. Everyone. Less listening means less knowing.

Asking: A better question, better trajectory, a better answer.

-Doing: Try what the crowd suggests. Then try the thing they’ve warned against.

Essentially, crowdsourcing aims to find richness in places that were, until recently, considered to be barren. Fortunately for us, the world is a much more fertile place than we could have imagined.  So, yes, “follow your bliss,” but be flexible. And good luck to Brian. Sounds like it’ll be an exhausting month.

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American Apparel was in the news recently over a scandal involving full-body photos required of all applicants looking for work in one of their many international retail stores. People across Internetland were outraged over the implied discrimination the request makes.

The overly empathetic, moral me agrees that, yes, it is unfair. Not everyone can be a looker and it shouldn’t be grounds for unemployment. But the consumer side of me really appreciates their employees’ attractiveness. 90% of my shirts are from AA, partly because their Ts fit my E.T.-like body better than any other brand, and partly because looking at the employees fills me with hope that I too can be as sexy and cool them, that I can be like the dude in suspenders and a v-neck at the register, and in turn, I’ll be able to attract the nice-smelling girl in the spandex leggings. Oh nice-smelling spandex legging girl, that headset walkie talkie just makes me love you more.

Bottom line is their brand is unmistakable. It’s consistent. It’s influential. When I find myself thinking, “I want to be like that guy,” they’re doing something right.

AA is back in the news again, this time it’s over a leaked employee email outlining the company’s grooming standards. I’ve already got the threads, and with the beauty code cracked,  there’s nothing between me and 100% sexydom. You have no excuses, either.

The email starts like this:

Hi everyone,

Males as well as females are expected to exude the understanding of the brand’s appreciation for a natural and healthy appearance. Below are a few notes as well as photographic examples that should be circulated to the staff, specifically to male employees.

Women:

a) Makeup is to be kept to a minimal- please take this very seriously. Liquid eyeliner, pencil eyeliner and eyeshadow are advised against; mascara must look very natural (ie. should not be clumpy or a color that does not compliment your skin and haircolor). Blush must not be overdone- should not have glitter or sparkles. Liquid foundation is prohibited (undereye concealer is understandable if it looks natural- ie. not clumpy or caked on, must match your skin tone). Please do not use a shiny gloss on your lips; any lipcolor must be subtle.

b) Eyebrows must not be overplucked. Full eyebrows are very much encouraged. Please do not dye your eyebrows a different color.

c) We encourage long, healthy, natural hair, so please be advised of the following:
-Hair must be kept your natural color.
-Blow-drying hair excessively could cause heat damage, so this is advised against.
-“Bangs” or “fringe” are advised against. It is not part of the direction we’re moving in.

d) Jewelry must not be distracting. Please do not wear accessories with another brand’s logo on it- this includes watches. No gauges whatsoever. One earring per ear is encouraged. Earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets, etc. must be simple and tasteful. Please E-mail me or work@americanapparel.net with a photo if you have any questions about a specific piece of jewelry you’d like to wear in the store.

Pics that accompanied the employee email.

Men:

a) Hair should look natural. Excessive product to the extent of creating stiffness and an unnatural or greasy appearance to your hair is advised against.

b) Eyebrows should be natural. Please do not dye your eyebrows a different color or overpluck them.

c) Males should not wear makeup.
d) Facial hair needs to be kept clean and well groomed. Any mustache or goatee of a contemporary style are advised against.
e) No gauges allowed whatsoever.

Reminders about basic dress code:
a) Button-up shirts must be tucked in to trousers.

b) Sneakers of any style are not allowed. Plain white clean Keds or Keds-like shoes are allowed.

c) Please do not wear any earrings. All accessories and watches must be clean, simple, and tasteful. They cannot distract from the garments.

d) Garments must fit properly. Trousers cannot be too tight or too baggy- and must be clean. Shirts cannot be oversized or too tight. If there is an employee that does not wear garments that fit properly, please contact me ASAP so we can resolve the matter.

e) Belts must be worn with trousers that have belt loops.

More email pics

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Bobbi Eden, seen here out of her work attire.

With only 4 hours till kickoff between Spain and the Netherlands, two countries which have yet to win the world cup, there is a possibility that a win for one country may be more historical for reasons unrelated to soccer(football).

Bobbi Eden, a Dutch erotic film actress, tweeted a promise that if the Netherlands won the cup, every one of her twitter followers would be entitled to oral sex, courtesy of her and a few of her co-worker friends. The Huffington Post reported on July 10th that she had “more than 20,000 followers.” Her twitter, at the time of writing, shows 109,793 followers. Not bad.

Days earlier there was a story about Larissa Riquelme, a Paraguayan model who promised to run naked through the streets if her team won. Unfortunately, Paraguay was eliminated, though Riquelme has decided to follow through on her plan, a sort of consolation prize, as I see it, for losing and for being one of the most boring teams to watch.

What’s going on here? I thought soccer was about fist fights and vandalism, drunken song and face paint. Apparently, it’s about other things, too. Particularly, sex, and in the case of Eden, the effective use of social-media to create buzz and self-promote on the back end of an international event. It’s a great idea, but 109,793 is a big number. 109,793 is a lot of people. 109,793 is a lot of schlong.

If Eden does decide to make good on her promise, it’ll be as historical as the Netherlands winning the World Cup for the first time. For 109,793 men, it will be an especially long and harrowing 90 minutes. Good luck to the Dutch.  Good luck to her. Good luck to the 109,793.

P.S. A por ellos.

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a hose - Popular Mechanics

Unfortunately we never got around to waterproofing the interiors of homes. Sorry. We really wanted to do it but things around here have been nothing like we expected. We were busy doing other things. 2001 was a particularly crazy year.

We did invent this thing, the internet, though. And with it, all the waterproofed supplies you can dream up are available for purchase through online retailers. You could probably even find out how to make your own waterproofed living room, drain and all. I’ll teach you how to Google something a bit later.

Oh yeah, Future Housewife, we’ve made many technological advances to help you around the house, just don’t expect to be using a hose indoors. Now there are all kinds of cool gadgets to make wife life easy and fun. There’s one, in particular, you should know about, it’s called the Swiffer. It’s wonderful.

Also, you won’t have to spend your days cooped up in the house! Ladies of the 21st century, if they choose, can head out and join the workforce, like the men. In fact, they’ve become quite competitive. But don’t worry, your housework will be waiting for you when you get home.

I guess I just want to apologize for the waterproof house thing. I’m just as bummed as you are. But I promise you that the other things we’ve been doing could possibly be better than the waterproof idea. Judge for yourself, Future Wife.

Love, Spencer

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