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Fat and Lazy Kids

Yea, yea. We all heard about the study on how obese we are and Derek Jackson of the Boston Globe takes it further with an article about the demise of phys ed in public schools.

I never new that most kids don't go to phys ed anymore. No wonder most kids have no sense of team spirit or drive to compete. After all, that's the real world. As much as we might love to all sit around in a one of those "self-esteem" sessions, we better get off our collective asses and realize that the real world is all about competition.

Oh, and for all of you who think that winning and losing hurts our poor little child's self esteem, you might also note that the physical exercise involved in act of winning and losing a phys ed dodge ball game INCREASES self esteem.

Get off your ass!

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by Steve Hall    Jul-31-02    




Band Geek or Band Sheek?

In high school, I endured the usual label of band geek. That was until we got a new band director who whipped us so far into shape that the term geek simply was not applicable anymore. We even had football players cheering us on! Since high school, the ranks of those choosing to be a part of the marching band in high school and the parents and teachers that support it have dwindled greatly. Some say it's because it takes too much time or that their child needs more free time. I say we became lazy. We allowed our children to become lazy. We lost our spirit to care about participating in school support.

I felt very proud to be a part of it. Besides, those busrides to and from the football games were perfect for getting with the girl of your dreams!

It's nice to read about a group that still has this spirit and that is so enticing that they have to turn people away. Read about it in the Boston Globe

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by Steve Hall    Jul-31-02    




Effective Email Strategy

Saw this post on SherpaBlog. With crap that fills one's Inbox these days, it's nice to see that one company is at least trying to make online correspondence more palatable. Some nice tips...


[07/23/02] BEST PRACTICES IN CUSTOMER SERVICE REPLY EMAIL

Just got a note from Clif Bar customer service in response to a
query about their product that I posted using their site form
yesterday. If you are in charge of deciding what your customer
service email should look like, you might want to steal an idea
from them:

1. The "From" was a real person's name. In fact it's the name of
the person who signed the letter.

2. The subject line simply read: CLIF BAR INC which is pretty
bare bones, but since they didn't use their brand name in the
"from" line sticking it prominently in the subject line was
mission critical. Also, because it didn't use up all 30
characters or so that I can see of subject lines in my inbox, it
actually really stood out due to brevity. Plus it just looked
honest. So despite the fact that I get so much spam these days I
often enough delete "real" messages by mistake that get caught up
in it, I noticed this one.

3. The letter was in text-only. No HTML.

4. The letter started with a few lines of white space, which
caught my attention because it was, well, odd. Then there was
today's date, then a few more lines of white space and then a
salutation "Dear Anne".... and oh I get it, it's a real letter!

And you know, suddenly it felt very honest and respectful and
pleasant. Especially after spam overload.

5. After giving me some advice about my question (including handy
links) the last paragraph gave me a toll free phone number to
call plus an email address if I had any more questions.

6. And just like a "real letter" it ended with a "Sincerely," and
then a real person's name and title there at Clif.
http://www.clifbar.com

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by Steve Hall    Jul-30-02    




Someone is Actually Listening!

Thank God that iVillage is listening to it's users. Over 90% of the sites users claimed that pop ups were the most frustrating feature of the site. Read the article on Media Daily News

This is so right. We are killing the medium with these senseless commecial bombardments that people obviously hate with a passion. I applaud the iVillage decision and call upon all other publishers to to the same.

Save The Web, Kill Pop Ups (and Unders)


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by Steve Hall    Jul-30-02    




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Another One Bites The Dust

Uh Oh...

From the New York Times:

Ziff Davis Is Said to Plan a Bankruptcy
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by Steve Hall    Jul-29-02    




And Now From The Truly Amazing Department...

In this business we fight so hard to reach those all important potential customers yet hoping we do not "buy" too much waste along the way.

Now, we have a technology that allows you to "beam" sound to a person and only one person from about 100 feet away. How would you, advertisers of the world, like to send a separate message to every person standing in the lobby of a big sporting event. To personalize to the minutia your commercial message. Read about this technology. It's cool. Of course, while it allows for that all important targeting we crave, it will not create the hyper-individualized demographic profile also needed for this technology to make any sense. I guess someone else will have to invent that. Oh wait, I got it....just put a chip in everyone's head that broadcasts their demographics and lifetime buying habits. See? There you go marketers. Now go market!

Hearing is Believing
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by Steve Hall    Jul-29-02    




Apple's Switch Campaign

You knew it had to happen. Let the spoofs begin!

http://www.macboy.com/cartoons/switch/gates/switchgates.swf


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by Steve Hall    Jul-28-02    




Who me? Responsible?

We have always been a litigious society but it is just getting ridiculous. Punch someone and you can sue the person you hit because you broke your finger. Sue someone because hot coffee burned you. Blame teachers for your child's bad behaviour in school when teachers are given no ability to discipline.

Now, you can sue someone because food makes you fat!

Fat man sues food chains.


Is this man so idiotic as to think that fast food is actually healthy? Use your head people! It's called common sense. Have we become so stupid as to have to rely on a court to determine common sense. No one wants to take responsibility for anything these days. We have become a lazy bunch of losers who blame everyone else for our faults and shortcomings. It's just sad. It's very sad.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-28-02    




An Ad Recovery?

Interesting news clips from Rick Bruner's Executive Summary Newsletter

Signs of Ad Recovery


There is nothing we marketers love more than drinking our own bathwater. Here's my contribution: a list of headlines I've seen in the last week or so that would seem to indicate a rally in the flagging ad market for the second half of this year. Wishful thinking? All I know is that in the pundit business, three makes a trend, and here are six hopeful articles:


The only spoiler to all this good news is McCann-Erickson's famous ad industry prognosticator, who recently downgraded his estimates for 2002, but only slightly, and either way he's still predicting growth over last year (now of 2.1% instead of 2.4%). As reported in MediaPost, he explained his downgrade by saying, "In December I was too optimistic. Now I'm too pessimistic."

- Rick Bruner 7/17/2002 permanent link  

Now, it's just a matter of how long we have to wait.


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by Steve Hall    Jul-28-02    




Don't Change Your Agency

This article offers some intelligent insight into some of the things we can all do to fix and save client/agency relationships. There's just too much needless shifting of accounts going on.

************************************************************
The Online Spin - Friday, July 26, 2002
Do You Need a New Ad Agency?
by Tig Tillinghast
************************************************************

There is a lot of relationship shifting in the online agency
world. Client-agency relationships aren�t so much �marriages�
as they are dates who �go steady.� Heck, a lot of agency
relationships are one-night stands.

What do you think? Read the rest of the Spin and
post your comments at:
http://www.mediapost.com/eNewsletters.cfm?Nid=1897

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by Steve Hall    Jul-26-02    




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