Generosity in Marketing

•May 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A headline in Adage caught my attention: “Building a Generous Brand”. It was great attention-getting headline to make me stop and read.  And after reading, I  began to think about brands in a different way.  

Don’t get hung on on the idea that this is about tying brands to altruistic/ socially-concious causes.  It is a different concept altogether.  As the editorial says, “We’re now in the business of building brands about ideas. And that means a car company can sell fun, a soda company can bottle optimism and a chocolate company can make joy.”

And doesn’t that seem a lot more intellectually challenging than just featuring speeds and feeds?

 It’s a quick read, and well worth your time.

“Gut Course”

•May 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I just finished teaching my annual “Gut Course,” also known as Human Biology 551, at the University of Washington.  This is something I do every year.  Although the work I do at STRA is my true passion, I like maintaining this connection to my past life as a Gastroenterologist, and connections I get to make with the students and faculty.

 While teaching the next generation of doctors  is serious work, I do like to have a bit of fun along the way.  I always start the class by telling my students that the Gastrointestinal Tract is the most important organ system of the body based on several simple, self-evident facts:

  • First, all other organs of the body metabolize nutrients for energy and cell growth. In the absence of those nutrients, these organs starve. The GI tract is the principal site of intake of nutrients. The evolution and function of the GI tract ensures the maximal absorption of nutrients and water to support life’s functions. Before the advent of modern agriculture and Whole Foods, one’s next meal and drink of water were often in doubt.
  • Second, an M.I.T. Media Lab study in the early 1990s, which looked at how computer technology could reproduce the sensation of bodily pleasure, clearly showed that the human body was happiest when something was either entering or leaving it. The GI tract is a major bodily portal of both entry and exit.
  • Third, we make the observation that when one’s bowels are not happy, there is an extremely high likelihood the person is not happy.

Here’s hoping your bowels are happy!

Green Products Come “Down to Earth”

•April 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The New York Times Fashion & Style section just featured the  “Green Depot” — a small chain of stores committed to affordable, truly green products for everyday life.  I am impressed by the focus and drive Sarah Beatty had in creating the stores.  Check out the Green Filter page where they describe what it takes to be truly green and also have some really fabulous icons to help shoppers.

Wish there were one nearby, but thank goodness they are online!

“Eating your own Dogfood”

•April 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Kudos to P&G for staging a fundraiser with a twist: it was a means to encourage staffers to see how they can reach people through new social media like Twitter. Sometimes you need to ‘create’ a reason to try something new, and in this case, a number of needy families benefited as well.

Reaching Tomorrow’s Customer—TODAY!

•April 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes It Takes More Than Medicine

How can a medical advertisement successfully attract the attention of both the youth and the middle age population?
Choose a topic in which interest and strong opinions are held for either group; opinions that could not be more split—– and then, Reverse Polarization!
Create an unexpected way to bring them both to the same opinion—top it off with a smile and a warmed heart…… you have quite a commercial, and perhaps a new youth fan base: the customer of tomorrow.

Life is for Sharing… and Dancing!

•March 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Geeksugar  says it best: “It’s rare when commercials make you feel good, and even rarer when they can make technology seem like a community enhancer rather than a discourager.”

T-Mobile crafted an amazing ad that is just plain fun to watch.
Read more about the ad, “the making of” and  flash mobs in general here.

The real world version was less artistic, but certainly showed the power of technology to bring people together: a Flashmob of 13,000 people gathered at Liverpool station because of a notice that started on Facebook.

•March 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Internet/ TV revolution continues, with a sense of humor
(Alec Baldwin certainly has reclaimed his career!)