Monday, February 23, 2009

Why don't they just buy the Target® logo?

The scan above is a letter sent to ex-employees laid-off by Microsoft.  The letter involves overpayment of their severance pay, and Microsoft wants the money back.

Whether Microsoft has a right to get their money back is another subject - the point here is that this letter points to a corporate culture that has low regard for how people relate to brands.  Or, in the words of Dale Carnegie, "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

They had the time to create, formalize and establish bureaucratic processes, but managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of success by not sending this letter:

Dear employee:

We screwed up and overpaid your severance.  It gets worse - you'll have to pay taxes on it, too.

So, you can either keep the money and do with it what you think is best or you can send $xxx.xx back and we'll get a new statement out to you.

Personally?  I'd keep the cash.  Spend it on something cool (not iTunes) and get this economy rolling.  Ok?

Bill Gates

Sweet jiminy - they could have had a PR bonanza.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Put that candy down this instant. you don't know where it's been!!

With all the talk of doom lately, I thought I'd clean out the cupboards - in case room had to be made for dried goods, ammunition, zombie repellent...and in the process, found a peculiar piece of candy left over from Halloween.

It's a "Gummy Body Part."

Hmmm.  Hmmmm.  Hmmmm.  

When the kids asked me to identify it, I just...didn't know quite what to say. Knowing they wouldn't be satisfied with a, "Well, I just don't know" I told them it was a spleen.

That answer seemed to do the trick, but I have emailed the Frankford Candy Company to get the official response.

The candy was manufactured in China.  I wonder, if I was a slave laborer, grinding 96 hours a week in a candy factory, what would I think about to get me through the day?

Oh well.  Back to work.  

Hmmm.  Wonder what flavor it is...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The fat lady sounded like...gas.

According to The News (your source may vary), GM is tossing brands to keep itself running. In case you're wondering how to feel about this, you should feel sad - but not for the brands themselves or for a venerable American institution. No, feel sad for the legion of advertising, marketing, PR and communications leaders who hitched their hearts, minds and souls to these defunct wagons.

Having been on all three sides - client, creator and manager - of product development and promotion, the only constant in this business is the gut-slicing humility that will prove even the most confident assertions WRONG.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Another reason not to trust the 60s. Or turtles.

The spot above is a National Association of Broadcaster's announcement circa 1965.

People tend to despair about popular culture - handwringing and fingerpointing how we've gone to hell in a handbasket and lamenting that our fall from clean living has probably gone too far.

Life was better, back then...or was it?!!

Sweet Jiminy, just as I was being Zombified by the stoner singing "BINGO," I awoke to realize that a turtle shot the kid!


Oh well. It looks like he and the turtle made up...and the kid went on to learn that crime doesn't pay because of what he learned on television.

Good old days, my eye! Obviously drugs were not only plentiful, they were considered PRODUCTIVE.