Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gutsy move by Starbucks

I was in my local Starbucks the other day and saw this sign.

Wow! I was totally blown away.

The copy reads: "I long for the day that you completely ignore me. You'll be on your break, enjoying a coffee in your favourite mug or tumbler. And I'll just sit back and smile."

For a company for whom I'd suspect 90% of their sales are made in disposable paper cups to put out a poster saying "stop using paper cups" takes serious guts. I'm no better than the next guy. I get my coffee in a paper cup far too often. And I love the fact that Starbucks told me to stop it. And I don't love Starbucks. It's hard to love a gigantic company like them. But I like them a lot more after seeing this poster.

The problem is that the next time I went into this Starbucks the poster was gone. And I haven't seen any more since in that Starbucks or any other. I hope they didn't chicken out. Because with their volume I could actually see something like this having a very positive impact for them. Hell, imagine if they actually made a big deal out of this. I'll bet they wouldn't hurt sales at all, but their brand likability scores would go through the roof.

If you're reading this Starbucks people, consider it. It's counter-intuitive, but it's so crazy that it just might work.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wonderful work from Stella

I love this ad.

It's a wonderful Stella spot. Great brand feel. And totally unique.

But my favourite thing, by far, is the use of that strange little oil painting in the middle of the spot to show the carnage that took place when the pirates attacked the beer ship. It doesn't fit at all with the rest of the spot, yet it fits right in. It tells a part of the story that is untellable, and does so in a manner that makes you not question the outcome. Totally odd, completely random, and yet it's perfect.

In looking for this ad on YouTube I also found the 60 second version of the spot. Perhaps it's because I've become used to the :30, but I think I like the shorter version more. More shots of the painting and the blood flowing from the fountain don't add to the perfect feel of the spot. I still think it's great, but it's just not as understated as the :30.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Brutal Honesty

I was heading into my local driving range when I saw this sign.

But I appreciated this sign for two reasons. First, the insight is bang on. Most golfers suck. After playing for 20 years and loving the game, I still suck. And I think that most golfers know they suck. So they go to the range to improve. But all they really do is practice doing the things they already do wrong, so they continue to suck. Lessons are the only way I've ever gotten better, and it's amazing how seldom I take them.

Secondly, they got the insight across in as blunt a form as possible. Some insights need dressing to make them more palatable. Some need features added to make them more noticeable. But for someone going to the range to try to get better, the brutal harsh truth is the way to go. Leave it clean, leave it simple, and maybe I'll get it through my thick head.

The truth, plainly stated. How refreshing.

Who'd have thought that I'd find a lesson in communications at my beat-down local driving range.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Magnum / Star Wars

OK. Forgive me from stealing from the viral video charts, but I thought that this was just too brilliant.

I knew when I first watched this that it was damned close to the original. But it wasn't until I saw this side-by-side comparison that I understood what a great job they'd done.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


It's amazing how often I find myself in these discussions. And each time I find myself surprised. The requests sound so reasonable, but in the end they're asking us to devalue our time and services. I can't see someone asking a lawyer to write up a contract for free the first time, or to just pay their accountant to do half their taxes, but companies often treat their agency like this.

I guess that's just the business, and it's in our hands as to whether we're going to have the self-respect to just say "no".

Huge kudos to whomever put this together.