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Keep Dave Alive

In a story about managing personality driven brand campaigns, Wendy's give a hard look at how to move ahead after the death of Dave Thomas, Wendy's beloved spokesperson. Read about it in Wendy's Finds Life After Dave
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by Steve Hall    May-31-02    




A Nice Thought for the Day

I just saw this in the Sales Strategies #90 newsletter. Just make you think that we are all concentrating on the wrong things and not the right things in our daily lives:

THE ART OF HAPPINESS

Last night, I read something that was very powerful and I want to share it
with you. Obviously, you can tell from the title it has to do with
HAPPINESS. Why in the world would I want to share ideas about happiness
with you?

Here's why! I just don't see a lot of happy people around anymore. I see
people multitasking and not really taking any pleasure in any of the
tasks. I see people eating, drinking, talking on the telephone, putting
on makeup, and combing their hair and do it all while driving in their
cars.

I see unhappy people on airplanes, rental car shuttles, hotel lobbies,
shopping malls, restaurant, and even in Churches.

When it comes to happiness I'm still a work in progress. I want to share
this essay with you in the hope that it may in some small way give you
something to think about. It sure got me thinking!

"There was never a time when so much official effort was being expended to
produce happiness, and probably never a time when so little attention was
paid by the individual to creating the personal qualities that make for
it.

What one misses most today is the evidence of widespread personal
determination to develop a character that will in itself, given any
reasonable odds, make for happiness.

Our whole emphasis is on the reform of living conditions, of increased
wages, of controls on economic structure - the government approach - and
so little on improving ourselves.

The ingredients of happiness are so simple that they can be counted on one
hand. Happiness comes from within, and rests most securely on simple
goodness and clear conscience. Religion may not be essential to it, but
no one is known to have gained it without a philosophy resting on ethical
principles.

Selfishness is its enemy; to make another happy is to be happy oneself.
It is quiet, seldom found for long in crowds, most easily won in moments
of solitude and reflection. It cannot be bought; indeed money has very
little to do with it.

No one is happy unless he is reasonably well satisfied with himself, so
that the quest for tranquility must of necessity begin with
self-examination. We shall not often be content with what we discover in
the scrutiny.

There's so much to do, and so little done. Upon this searching
self-analysis, however, depends the discovery of those qualities that make
each person unique, and whose development alone can bring satisfaction.

Of all those who have tried, down the ages, to outline a program for
happiness, few have succeeded so well as William Henry Channing, chaplain
of the House of Representatives in the middle of the 1800s:"

Here's what he had to say.

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy... to study hard, think
quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds, to
babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasions, hurry never; in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and
unconscious, grow up through the common."

I find it absolutely amazing that William Ogdon wrote this essay, which
appeared on the editorial page of the New York Times on December 30, 1945.

Happiness is not an entitlement. I wonder how many salespeople believe
they would be happier if only the economy would get better. Happiness
doesn't come from the economy. It comes from what we chisel out every 24
hours we are given.

Well, if this isn't enough to get you thinking maybe a quote from
Frederick Loomis will. He said, "Enjoy yourself-it's later than you
think."

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think . .

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by Steve Hall    May-30-02    




Thank God!!

Finally, we can ditch all that "edgy" and overly "cool" creative that basically just took up space and time with not much additional benefit.

Guess what? Kids are smarter! Bring on the No Bullshit approach. Ads that actually mention and describe what the product is. Good God, not in the advertising world! We can NEVER be too upfront about what we're selling. It might be too boring! Well, time to change. Yup, according to a survey done by YouthStream Media Networks as reported in Media Post, the next generation wants a practical, no nonsense approach to marketing. Check out these stats:

- Students rated practical advertising messages as "extremely" or "very" important, with "honesty" (90%), "product information" (86%) and "description of actual pricing" (71%) getting the strongest responses.

- The more superficial issues traditionally considered vital to this demographic group received far fewer positive ratings, with "celebrity endorsements/models" (6%), "irreverence" (14%) and "coolness/edginess" (31%) among the least favored qualities.

- When it came to personal finances, 47% said they are "more likely" to save money in the current economic climate, and 31% are "more likely" to put off major purchases.

- When students were asked how they would use a hypothetical $10,000 gift, the most popular response was "pay off credit card debt or student loans" (36%), followed by "put it in the bank" (26%).

Oh, and don't worry, I still believe in building a brand :-)


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by Steve Hall    May-29-02    




Donnie Darko...Had to Post Again

This is an incredible movie. Made for $5-10M yet having a great ensemble cast. Drew Barrymore actually made this little movie happen. This is a weird movie when you first see it. I didn't quite get it until it was over and I thought about it. The filming is so different. The camera movements. The strange "mood" of all the characters. I love these "small" movies. I passed it by at least 5 times in the video store until I finally had nothing else new to watch and finally picked it. I am glad I did.

It's basically about a teenager who saves a town and all his loved ones by sacrificing his life. Not to mention that it is also a love story as well as a science fiction story about time travel. Roll that all together with a very off-kilter script and wonderful direction and you have a great movie.

It's too bad it didn't get a wide release. Mystical, strange, weird, great score. I love it! You should all go rent it.

First time director Richard Kelly is one to watch.

You can read a "real" review of this movie here.


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by Steve Hall    May-28-02    




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Cell Phones

You walk down the sidewalk now and you see at least every 5th person doing the now popular walk-and-talk thing. If you get close enough to them to hear the conversation, it is usually about some inane topic such as, "Honey, I'll be home late." It's interesting how so many people have these things grafted to their ears. As popular as they have become, the person still looks like a pretentious prick.

I guess I shouldn't complain since I had one grafted to my ear as well during the heyday of dotcomdom. Late for this plane, change hotel reservations, cancel million dollar orders, re-instate those same orders 5 minutes later, return 50 daily phone mails. The list goes one.

With that era over, maybe people are having real conversations and I am just missing it. Maybe because I am only semi-employed and I have cancelled my mobile phone to save money that I am not understanding of the "m-life" lifestyle that ATT has so forcefully crammed down our throats. Mindless services that no ones need.

Well, I'm sure that when I get back into the swing of things full time, I will also be a religious member of the "m-life" generation.

All a matter of perspective I guess.


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by Steve Hall    May-28-02    




Not Much To Say

It's Memorial day and there just isn't a whole lot going on. Wish I had more but I did stay up to a ridiculously late hour because I couldn't pull myself away from the movie, Being There. I had never seen the movie all the way through. It was very good. Peter Sellers after all his Pink Panther movies in a serious role as a not so bright individual thrust into a position of great admiration.

Anyway, 1979...it's worth digging up at the video store.


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by Steve Hall    May-27-02    




Today Tonight Tomorrow

You've got to love how the young beautifully butcher the English language. My 3 year old daughter has some unique ways of describing days current, past, and future:

Tomorrow = Tomorning, the next morrow
Last Night = Yesternight
Tonight = Bednight

Priceless

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by Steve Hall    May-24-02    




Wireless: Youth and Upscale Consumers Want an M-Lifestyle

Maybe ATT was right with there agonizing tease campaign during the superbowl that had such a predictable pay off. Our friends over at CyberAtlas have reported on a study that indicates that the youth among us actually want that trite hip or whatever you want to call it lifestyle.

Who Knew?
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by Steve Hall    May-24-02    




Internet Advertising: Is it Local Yet?

In Tig Tillinghast's article, My Dad and Online Media, he states that online media has not yet reached the level at which a local merchant, his Dad, can fully utilize the the power of that medium. While on a general scale that may be true but there are some mechanisms out there can achieve some level of regionalization. See his readers comments to that affect.

In my own professional use of the medium, over two years ago, I was able to achieve a very successful AND regional campaign through DoubleClick's technology. It can work if you search for the solution.


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by Steve Hall    May-24-02    




For The Dogs

From Media Post:

"Everything you ever wanted to know about your dog is now in one place. Exotic Dogs is a unique website that launches this month and has all the information you could ever need about man�s best friend. Exoticdogs.com is a 1000+ page commercial site filled with resources and information for dog lovers everywhere. Features include an extensive database of 207 breeds with over 1000 photos. Detailed information can be found about each breed such as temperament, health issues, compatibility with children and other pets, care and exercise. Other extensive databases include a pet services directory showing veterinarians, groomers, breeders, names and even pet cemeteries across America."

What will they think of next?


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by Steve Hall    May-23-02    




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