Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tom Green Hosts Talk TV Show From His House

Tom Green has been getting all web 2.0 social media on us with a decent enough show that he broadcasts live nightly from his house. The Tom Green channel on the web displays his real home phone number for any and all to call and ask questions on air. Celeb guests like Perez Hilton, Tony Hawk, Dr Drew and Kenny+Speny come on over to Tom's house and bring items for later resale on eBay to raise funds to keep the show on the air. Viewers get to vote on what the funds are actually spent on (necessary vid equipment or a useless stuffed bear, for instance). Podcasts on iTunes, yep. Blog, yep. Mass calls to submit user-gen YouTube vids of you watching him.

All he needs now is a groundswell of viewers and paying advertisers and he has a disruptive model for the giants to be concerned about (or mimic).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Taking It To The Streets: Obey Endorses Obama

Well known (and previously mentioned) street artist, Obey/Shepard Fairey, has made a recent endorsement of Barack Obama - and has done so in a quite intriguing way. He created 350 limited edition screen-printed posters (image above), to be sold to fund a larger street poster campaign. The profits are being used to produce stickers and large posters that will be sent to those who are willing to throw down for Obama in the streets. See communication from the Obey team below:

"Thanks for reaching out and wanting to get involved with OBEY's effort to support the OBAMA Campaign. Shepard made this image for the purpose of making pasters to be put on the street, with the money coming from prints sales to help fund the effort. For those interested, we will be sending out a care-package of the OBAMA Paster plus some OBEY stickers to be put up on the street. These pasters will be folded, not tubed, and are STRICTLY for street use. We do not expect to see them for sale on EBAY or anywhere else, so we ask that only the seriously dedicated get involved!"

There will also be non-partisan posters pushing everyone to vote:

Remember, Obey is the guy who over the past 10-15 years has decorated most major U.S. cities with the iconic Andre the Giant imagery:

Look familiar?

Honestly, I see this as a significant endorsement because street artists, in general, tend to be anti-helping-the-man. They are known for being anti-this and anti-that, but rarely, if ever do we see them promoting a politician, or a presidential candidate for that matter. Not to mention Obey has quite the following. Equally, if not more significant, is that the Obama camp appears to be embracing the endorsement.

Wonder if we will end up seeing any of these posters around?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tooble Comes With The Goods

Tooble is a new program that allows you to download any of the content on YouTube to your computer with ease. No video editing or IT skills necessary. It's free and has a very slick and user friendly interface - it can even function as a standalone YouTube browser. Tooble downloads, converts and imports any YouTube video into MP4 format to play on your computer, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, etc., with just a few clicks. You can even take the MP4 video file and drop it into PPT - perfect for all of those times you wanted to drop that YouTube video into a deck. Finally, my one complaint about YouTube has been solved.

Currently you need a Mac. You can also sign up to be a Beta tester for the PC version.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Scrubbing Bubbles Hits The Mark On Cool Product...But Misses On Targeting

I'm probably pretty late to the game, but just saw one of these commercials (on late night TV of all times) and felt like posting about it. The Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner is quite possibly the coolest innovation in bathtub cleaning I can recall seeing (not that I pay much attention to the category...but still). What has been nagging at me though, is the fact that in their advertising (specifically the target that seems to be depicted in the spots), they position the product toward a familiar audience because it may have seemed to make the most sense or was the safest route at the time (and perhaps it does/is in some way). Check one of the spots here:

I think this is an example of a HUGE missed opportunity in reframing who your target market is. Personally, I think this product is made with- and could have been marketed with- young guys in mind (or, to steal a term from Seth, Gen GuYs). As a member of this group myself- twenty something, still getting used to this idea of being a "professional" and that having clothes strewn about the apartment and dirty bathrooms are no longer socially acceptable as they were in college- a product that allows us to achieve a reasonable level of clean, while requiring the bare minimum of effort, is a god send. Having a clean bathtub and yet not having to spend a minute with a sponge, or can of cleaning solution? Sign me up.

Yet the ads depict the type of out of touch, 1950s style, women who are oh so happy that cleaning is a part of their day that is so typical of commercials in the cleaning product category (always makes me think of the Swiffer campaign...another missed opportunity to go after young guys who would never "dust", but find no issue with grabbing a swiffer cloth and wiping down the TV).

I'd be curious to understand better what the client/agency thought process was. I really think there are plenty of guys that would go for this easy fix cleaning solution, but the company isn't trying to get to them (to my knowledge), maybe out of fear of alienating what they see as their base. Anyone else have thoughts on this (even if it is just to call me a bum for not commenting on these spots sooner)?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Age of Conversation 2.0

Age of Conversation is back with another book underway, "100 voices, one conversation". And In the true spirit of collaboration, you're invited to decide the book's topic together and vote on the topic collectively.

Topic choices are:

Marketing Manifesto
Why Don't People Get It?
My Marketing Tragedy (and what I learned)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Brand Belief System at Pazzaz Printing

While I don't know Pazzaz' prices or capabilities, I certainly know his beliefs. And I suspect Pazzaz will keep my colors true on the press. And I'm compelled to spread his print belief system across the web to all my peers about Pazzaz Printing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Politics 2.0: Interview With Obama Girl

For all you undecided voters out there who have yet to join the Obama camp, here's some more of the inspiration you need.

Hate it or love it, it's still pretty amazing to me that something which started as a joke has managed to maintain attention for such a prolonged period of time.

And for those who missed it, peep the return of Obama Girl just before the Iowa Caucus (1.3 million hits on YouTube and counting), when she received a pep talk from none other than Truman Girl.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Likemind this Friday!

Open call for anyone (not just us ad folks) who is interested in morning coffee with Likemind. C'mon, it's early, but it's easy: you just show up any time between 8a and 10a this Friday and chat about whatever's on your mind (and we are all about the 15 minute saturation period for your coffee to sink in). Likemind cohorts at Anomaly will even pay for your coffee.

Friday January 18th
Espresso Royale Caffe on Hennepin and 12th (click for map)
8am-10am, come any time.

More info can be found here:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The De-blinging of MTV?

MTV is announcing a new program that takes the spoiled brats from My Super Sweet Sixteen and dumps them with indigenous tribes in Africa and Antarctica. It's called Exhiled! and it's a 180 turn from the ostentatious and limitless lifestyle glamorized in the original show.

The premise of this show stuck out to me, and I think it’s because it’s a demonstration of our swing away from soaking up the unattainable ultraglam world of My Super Sweet Sixteen to being more interested in “what’s right.” MTV is following that trend with Exhiled!. Over the next year, we will become more focused on what's right and what's wrong as the presidential election bears down on us. Things we haven't thought about for years are creeping back into our minds, and I think it's making us all a little more righteous. I think plenty of brands have picked up on their consumers being fed up (cashing out, as Faith Popcorn calls it) and have staked out territory as allies in “being fed up.” They’re anti-establishment; they’re rebel. But this MTV program may be going one length further to focus on life after being fed up—depicting what it’s really like out there in the world, rather than just being against what the world is not. "Our audience in the past few years has really begun to look at how they fit into the world; it's core to who young people are now," said MTV executive Dave Sirulnick. "Some of these girls had very little awareness of what was going on around them and were very self-centered. We thought, 'Here's an opportunity.'"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Air Jordans, New Design Approach?

Nike is dropping the 'golden' pair of Jordans on Jan 25. Golden, if you will, as they are the Air Jordan XX3 – which means they are the 23rd version of the Air Jordan – and Jordan wore #23 for much of his career.

More interesting than it being the golden pair is the design approach. Nike says the AJXX3 is the first b-ball shoe as part of its Considered initiative, where all products are designed with reducing waste and utilizing environmentally friendly materials in mind. Apparently, in contrast to most kicks, the AJXX3 uses a minimal amount of environmentally harmful adhesives and instead relies on a new design system of interlocking panels. Sounds cool, however, curious to know how environmentally friendly these shoes really are?

The interlocking panels, light weight elements (in some cases made of recycled materials) and unique details (Jordan finger print inspired sole pattern) added to the productions process. Apparently a lot of people in the factories were pissed as this “wasn’t business as usual,” according to Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s vp of innovation design and special products. Tinker lead the design and was also the guy who came up with the concept for the Nike Air bubble/Air Max. Below is a video of where he found inspiration for the Air Bubble:

In Jordan brand fashion, the typical build-hysteria model is being employed behind the AJXX3 release. Only 23 Nike sanctioned stores, each with only 23 pairs will have the kicks on Jan 25. $230 will be the ticket. As expected, this initiative will be supported by a campaign appropriately titled “Become Legendary.” Jordan, Melo, Chris Paul and Ray Allen will appear in the spots which are expected to come out mid January.

*Props to Aki and Alyson for their Design for All presentation yesterday.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hello fromo Iowa (part three)

As the nation gears up to see what N.H. has in store for us, I couldn't help but try to pull some attention back to Iowa. Although I gave you a taste of what the caucus was like from my relatively juvenile point of view, I thought my parents would provide an interesting take on the caucus that often isn’t available in the blogosphere (my parents are decidedly not bloggers). Since they are semi-retired, I was able to rope them in. Their thoughts are below:

Thoughts from my dad:
"I’ve always been an independent—although most often voting Republican rather than Democrat—so spent a lot of time reading about and listening to the candidates from both parties. With growing concern about Iraq and Pakistan and many foreign/energy relations issues, I joined my wife and daughters in supporting the Democrats—making that decision in the last 1-2 weeks.

With so many candidates and platform topics, I observed more of a ‘go with the crowd’ mentality this year versus prior presidential election years. For that reason, to aide me in my ‘winnowing many down to few’ process, I consulted a ‘selection quiz’ on the internet developed by Minnesota Public Radio. By spending just a few minutes answering 14 questions on 14 different platform issues (Iraq, taxes, abortion, immigration, stem cell research, gay marriage, line item veto, energy, death penalty, gun control, education, social security, healthcare, and environment ), the quiz helped me more easily identify those candidates more in alignment with my views.

As to the caucus itself, because of the level of dissatisfaction with our current administration and the number of highly qualified candidates, turn-out was substantially greater than prior caucuses and more than the caucus leadership was ready & equipped to handle. With initial support for 6 of the democratic candidates, ‘politicking’ and arm twisting eventually narrowed the field to 4, with a few of the 1st time caucus going becoming disillusioned with not being able to stick with your original preference and leaving the caucus rather than switching support to another.

The caucus process is more intimidating than the normal ‘closed curtain’ voting process. This creates a more knowledgeable voting public because you want to know so you can influence and defend. Unfortunately this also means that many do not participate..."

Thoughts from my mom:
"In person I found Hillary Clinton to be a surprise. She was warm and very, very informed on every issue and questions brought to her. She treated the audience as intelligent and informed citizens. She was friendly and easy with the crowd as she walk around shaking hands

I also was impressed with Obama’s speech making. He too is smart and ready. However, I didn’t find his demeanor with the crowd afterwards as comfortable and he didn’t stop to talk as much as he may have earlier in his campaign. He appeals to a b ig crowd and does it so well. I saw him several times and always in a big room where some of the other candidates were comfortable at small restaurants, and the like. It is just style each finds comfortable for him/her.

Last night was the caucus and I went to find twice to three times more people there than what was expected. Due to numbers it was chaos at first. I started at Richardson’s table but had to move to a viable candidate for delegates. I just couldn’t figure out who I wanted to get behind liking them all. Finally, I went with Hillary Clinton because I want a woman to be taken seriously for the top job in this country when she is as prepared and capable as this candidate. Early in this campaign I still want the country to know that I woman is a real possibility for this job and I am not ready to concede that it won’t happen.

However, all this said, I am a fan of Barak Obama and think he has had the best people on his team imaginable. They called daily, canvassed our home, kept on top of things very professionally. They did a terrific job. They also have a very strong candidate to promote and I feel happy that he did so well last night. His speech following the win was so strong that how can he be denied."

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hello from Iowa (part 2)

I am sure you have all seen the headlines – the big Democratic turn out, the big Obama win, the big Clinton loss, and the religious right’s single-handed miracle of a Huckabee win – but what happened in Iowa last night holds far more secrets about what is to come than those headlines.

I caucused with the Democrats so I will have to limit my comments to what I saw there, although from my understanding, the Republicans go, pledge, pray, vote, and go again -- home to watch the Orange Bowl (Kansas was playing after all). The Democratic caucus procedure is much more involved, but more on that later.

I felt as if I stepped into a time warp last night as I entered the church/precinct 1 voting center in Muscatine, Iowa, a smallish town on the Mississippi river. 261 democrats showed up to caucus, far more than they were expecting. The planning felt similar to the planning, I imagine, that goes into a Spears’ offspring, but I believe that was because of the sheer numbers. Although we were there to decide something with implications far beyond our small town, it had the feeling of caucusing over the gnawing decision of who should head up the PTA. We were in a large room with one microphone (which few people could hear), the majority of the time was spent attempting to count how many people were there to caucus. Once we managed that debacle, people were asked to separate into groups based on the candidate that they were supporting. Stickers were passed out by precinct leaders and more counting ensued, in order to be a “viable candidate” groups needed to have 15% of the attendants; this by the way was explained to us as “multiply by .15” (our family put our heads together and figured out it was 15%). Our precinct selected 5 delegates for Obama, 3 for Clinton, and 2 for Edwards.

The caucus could not have been more low-tech. It harkened to a time when town hall meetings were not orchestrated events with “don’t tase me, bro” security. The caucus was a decidedly local event. Yes, people here care about the war, but it seems they care more about the neighbor kid down the street that has been deployed in Iraq, than the details of the hows and whys of what got us there. Yes, Iowans care about national issues, but the reason I think Obama won last night, was because he understood the changes people want are not “wedge issues” but “make your life a little better” issues…

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hello from Iowa

As a very recent addition to the Fallon gang, I am returning to my home state of Iowa to do what Iowans do best, caucus.

Over the last few months, my family and I have braced ourselves against the onslaught of political ads, political rhetoric, people playing politics, political mud slinging, political polls, political reporting, and most of all, a seemingly never-ending stream of politicians. Exhausting? You begin to understand what it is to be an Iowan before the caucus.

I believe the political ad that packed the most punch in our neighborhood was the Huckabee ad that declared a cease-fire for the holidays. For those of you that missed it, this was the ad the mass media focused on due to the fact that there was a cross in the background… I didn’t hear many Iowans complaining. I am not sure if this type of gesture will move votes, but it does produce goodwill, even in my house, and lets just say, we’re NPR, not Fox News.

The most beautiful thing about the Iowa caucus is that those that wish to be engaged have a real chance to make a difference. Many of my friends and family have talked face-to-face with candidates. Seeing as in Iowa right now, politicians are as ubiquitous as corn, you can take the car for a test drive so to speak… kick the tires, look under the hood, all that. I’ll be here tomorrow to give all of you outside the great state, an Iowan’s look at the caucus. Under the hood…

And so, we caucus.