Sunday, November 30, 2008

One Way Car Makers Could Go the Extra Mile

With the economy in the gutter, car sales have skidded, and automakers have begun to plead for government subsidies. It's an ugly scene out there.

That situation aside, I think that car makers should look at ways of going the extra mile to befriend consumers again. Sure, cars are safer now than ever, gas mileage is slowly improving, and the amenities inside of cars (can you say cupholders?) have increased. But perhaps it's the simple things that they're missing out on.

For instance, I just read an article in Consumer Reports about 12 things you should have in your car in case of a break down. The list they developed contains the following items: hazard triangles or flares, jumper cables, a flashlight, roadside-assistance membership, tow rope, duct tape, small shovel, bag of sand, windshield scraper, emergency blanket, and hand warmers. All simple things that people ideally should have in their cars, but how many of us really do bother to have all of it?

My feeling is that an auto maker or car dealer should set themselves apart and surprise buyers with a package containing all of these items upon purchase of a new car. Think about how little this entire package would cost (a couple hundred dollars at the very most), but how much goodwill they would be delivering to the new car buyer. Ultimately, it's a simple gesture but it shows they care about the driver.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

When Not to Slow Down...

I thought maybe I'd have some luck at getting a hold of people at work this week, figuring that fewer people would be traveling for Thanksgiving this year and more people would want to be at work in order to safeguard their jobs and/or boost sales. Y'know, good old fashioned boot strapping.

Quite the contrary.

This week has been so slow and that really surprises me. Usually, when the economy is going well, people tend to feel more free-flowing with their time and money so they take off work and you can't find them on days surrounding the holidays. And I would have thought the opposite would be true for this year's Thanksgiving since people seemingly would be hustling to boost sales for the end of this dismal year. I guess that's not happening though, at least not in my neck of the woods

I've made lots of calls and emails and it's like a ghost town out there. I guess I didn't get the memo!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pillsbury Doughboy: Happy 40+ Birthday

It dawned on me that the Pillsbury Doughboy has been around for a long time. Turns out, Mr. Doughboy popped into the advertising world in the 1960s, making him over 40 years old.

Which leaves me with the simple question... shouldn't he be the Pillsbury DoughMAN by now?

Chew on that one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just a Random Dental Hygiene Thought

Everywhere I look I see ads for teeth whitening. I guess that's a good thing, in the sense that most people out there take care of their teeth, so dentists and dental product companies need to drum up business in some other way... so "why not encourage people to have a bright, shiny white smile?" these dentists must be saying.

I just had a random dental hygiene thought however... I wonder if it will ever be socially acceptable, and/or trendy to have one's teeth dyed another color. At this point in time, seeing somebody with, say red teeth is considered pretty gross, unless it's Halloween or it's a kid who just ate a cherry flavored lollipop.

But maybe some day down the road, you'll see kids picking out teeth dye colors to match their outfits, or rabid sports fans dyeing their teeth in their team's colors, or politicians taking on a new hue to impress a crowd. After all, who would have thought that tattoos, ear piercings, and hair coloring would be so popular just 50 years ago?

Just something to chew on...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Reminder, in Light of Today's Election

As people stream out to the polls to elect either Barack Obama or John McCain the next President of the United States of America, this election has focused around "change" from the current path this country has taken.

Keep in mind, however, that regardless of who is elected today, the REAL power to change things lies in the hands of the PEOPLE.

Wall Street meltdown? The American people let that happen, from seemingly intelligent businesspeople to everyday citizens.

Global Warming? This is one of the greatest catastrophes of all time, also created by humans like you and me.

Iraq War? True, this one was led by the current President, but Americans still enabled it to happen and continue.

This list could go on and on.

Ultimately, if the people of the country truly want change, they have to be more involved and not rely just on the President and other elected officials to make it happen. Talk is cheap, voting is cheap, but doing something about the problems on an individual level is the best way to really bring about change...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Email Inefficiency

This is a call to all marketers and web designers at various email service providers, including, but not limited to Care2, Comcast, Hotmail, and Yahoo!...

Let's make email more efficient.

Altering one simple step would save countless hours for the collective masses of email checkers:

After entering my screen name and password on an email providers login page, ELIMINATE the next screen which basically says nothing more than how many emails I have in my inbox. I don't care about links to news snippets or cutesy articles or things you're trying to sell me, which are slipped into this meaningless page... I'm just trying to get to my email!

That is all.

Thank you.