Thursday, October 20, 2011

Innovation + Entrepreneurs @ Owen

This post originally appeared on Owen Bloggers. I thought I would share it here as well since I haven't posted anything lately. =)

A few days ago I received a meeting invite from one of my favorite Owen Professors: David Owens. He’s our resident innovation guru and soon to be published author. He had invited a small group of students to meet with two representatives from the Financial Services Forum to discuss innovation and entrepreneurship. Plus, he was offering free lunch; so obviously I went. 

I did a little research prior to the meeting to answer some questions like: What is the Financial Services Forum? What do they do? Why would they be interested in talking to me?
According to their website: “The Financial Services Forum is a non-partisan financial and economic policy organization comprising the CEOs of 20 of the largest and most diversified financial services institutions doing business in the United States. The purpose of the Forum is to pursue policies that encourage savings and investment, promote an open and competitive global marketplace, and ensure the opportunity of people everywhere to participate fully and productively in the 21st-century global economy.”

Basically, they were asking us for our ideas on how public policy can help promote small business creation in the U.S. 

You’re probably wondering why we are such bad-asses to be invited to a meeting of this caliber. Well, at Owen we have more than handful of rock star students with start-up and product development experience. Take Annie Skidmore, a small business owner and one crazy creative lady or Megan Allen who is Co-founder of Georgie Beauty. Then there is Owen Blogger’s very own Blake Knight who, before Owen, made a career of working at start-ups. And as for myself, I am currently participating in an in-school internship with a start-up to develop their Nashville marketing and launch strategy.

Some topics of our discussion:
1.       Reduce the restrictions and regulations of starting a business. Word on the streets is that most start-ups fail. Business Week puts the failure rate at 64.2% over 10 years. Plus, they don’t usually reach a point of profit for several years. This brings up questions of the necessity for regulations and taxes on entities that are already shelling out limited cash on things like patents, prototypes, and attorney fees.
2.       Incentivize talent to take risks with start-ups. As mentioned before, I recently signed on for an unpaid marketing internship at a start-up. Since I’m a student, I could use the money, but instead I’m going to get class credits. However, this is not an option for everyone and start-ups can’t complete with the pay and benefits of a large corporation. The catch is that they still need great talent to make the company successful.
3.       Promote educational institutes to focus more on business. Education is always preparing students for a test or for the next level of education. But what happens when you go through all the levels of education possible and you realize you have no idea how to job interview? Or that you didn’t even know it was an option to start your own business?
4.       Help start-ups entrepreneurs connect with each other. Business is really often all about networking. How much easier would it be to start a business if you had a networking of people who had been there before? People who could answer questions and help avoid pitfalls?
The meeting was a rare opportunity to speak directly with key influencers in Washington and participate in drafting economic policy to spur job growth, and hopefully they walked away with a few ideas to include in their report.

What ideas do you have on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the U.S.?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fashion Show!

Working on my latest blog post for Owen Bloggers, this video is my inspiration.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Un Chein Andalou

Here is the Salvador Dali film with the eyeball cutting. It's not gross, I promise. It's actually very interesting with the juxtaposition of the eyeball slicing and the clouds drifting across the moon.

Plus, he used an animal eye so no people were harmed in the making of the this film. And you won't lose your lunch.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just another reason why I love Nissan...

I have always loved Nissan. I know many people who love their foreign cars, but they're always talking about Honda or Toyota. For me, there are many reasons why I love Nissan. It's the quality of it's products; I had a Nissan Maxima that survived until 300K miles. It's the service; I was chummy with the service manager at the dealership when I had my Sentra and all I ever went in for was an oil change and a car wash. Did I mention that they build their cars in the U.S.?

I love them so much that in a recent interview when I was asked about my favorite brand and marketing strategy I used Nissan and it's new "Innovation For All..." campaign.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

2D Barcodes: Suggestions for Personal Marketing

The point of the bar code is to store lots of information or a URL that is too long for someone to be expected to remember or type out. So, how can you take advantage of these uses? 

1. Making your resume more interactive
- You can direct people to your LinkedIn profile which should contain your photo, links to your website, and a detailed history of your work experience/education.
- It can also direct people to examples of your work if you are a graphic designer or artist.

2.Making your business cards more interactive
- You can link your business card to your resume or LinkedIn profile to maximize your networking.
- The bar code could simply important your contact info to someone's contact list to help streamline keeping your info handy.

3. Video Link
- This one is more tricky, but if you are an actor or director or someone expected to have videos this would be a great way to link to a sample of your work.

Any other ideas for personal marketing with 2D Barcodes... share in the comments! Just remember, make it worth it for someone to scan!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Updated Links and Salvador Dali

I recently updated my "For Your Entertainment" links on the right and I would like to call attention a new addition:

I've been looking for a stock photo website like this for awhile so I'm happy to finally stumble upon this gem. They have all sorts of freebies- like a monthly free font, screen savers, free photos, and illustrations. Love! 

They also have what is probably the biggest and most enjoyable time waste ever... Clockbusters. 

It's a movie quiz using stock photos found through their website. It was fun to play plus a totally awesome marketing ploy since I've signed up and told my friends about So A+ for them. As for my movie guessing skills, I earned a 45 and 42 for my first pass on each of the games respectively.

There were some on the sequel version of the game that I just could not get. Like what movie is described by a kid watching TV, a cross, and spooky tree? What about a guy screaming, an elf kid, and beetle on someone's ear?

Now you are probably asking yourself what this has to do with Salvador Dali. Well, I did spot a lovely picture of him earlier on The Chive so I thought I would leave it here to pretty up this post. Dali is my fav so I could not resist. Maybe I'll hunt down eyeball video he made. It would definitely stump you on Clockbusters...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Follow me on Twitter!

If you are so inclined, follow me on Twitter @chicky_hannah

I'll post cool articles, say silly things, and make you feel special all in 140 characters or less. Won't that be fun?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Emmy Noms are IN

I love the Emmy's. It feels like my best friends are the ones getting the awards. At the Oscars, it's all the popular kids.

Aside from the actors, hosts, and T.V. shows winning awards- everyone's favorite commercials are also up for the big prize. So I present to you, the emmy nominated commercials, videos and all. =)

Monday, June 13, 2011

:Face Palm:

"I don’t know quite what we’ll be selling yet. Maybe niches. I’ve heard the niche market is doing really well."

Hahaha... check out Clients From Hell for a good laugh and some relief from your miserable clients.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Listen up Marketers!

The Oatmeal lays it out for you on how not to sell something. Perhaps there are a few key ideas we can take away from the humor piece.

Like, don't be pushy like a used car salesman. Don't be over familiar like a used car salesman. Don't offer limited time offers that are not real like a used car salesman.

Basically, think of everything you would do that would be equal to a used car salesman's tactics and back it off that just a little. So maybe a notch below a used car salesman. A new car salesman? They wear better suits, right?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Uh Oh. Coca-Cola is set for World Domination

I just heard the news that Pepsi is no longer the number 2 soft drink in the world. It has been over taken by Diet Coke!

According to the WSJ, Pepsi's marketing is to blame and I agree. In the 2010 Superbowl they opted not to have a commercial in order to focus on the Pepsi Re-fresh project. They took a similar approach 2011 and are now possibly seeing the effects. Or maybe the Super Bowl has nothing to do with it - they did have a few ads, but they were for their Pepsi MAX product line.

I wonder if this means we're going back to Genertaion NEXT. Remember when Britney Spears sang the catchy Pepsi tune during a Super Bowl commercial? Yeah. I like those days too. 

You can read all the details on the WSJ article here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Viral Mash-up

If you haven't already, check out this marketing video from Smart Water. It's title: Jenn Aniston sex tape. (Don't worry, it's complete SFW.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Birthday to End All Birthdays

My favorite part: "Below the line execution such as cake decorations and even the family dog."

Very Clever.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Doritos declared Superbowl Ad winner!

In an article from Brandweek, the Superbowl ad's are ranked according to ad tracker Ace Metrix.

Their top 6 are as follows:

1. Doritos' "Pug Attack"
2. Pepsi Max "Love Hurts"
3. Doritos' "House Sitting"
4. Pepsi Max "Torpedo Cooler"
5. Bridgestone Tire
6. Snickers with Richard Lewis and Roseanne Bar

I am surprised the Darth Vader ad didn't make it further up with list- it is ranked 8th. Apparently, the "Pug Attack" ad was very appealing to children. Maybe the Darth Vader ad just didn't appeal to a wide enough variety of people?

Monday, February 7, 2011

And the winner of Super Bowl XLV is...

Volkswagen! They had the best commercials and the best strategy. They actually released the Star Wars themed ad on-line the week before it aired. To date, it has 15 million views on You tube! Compare that with the Eminem/Chrysler commercial at 500K or the Doritos pug commercial at 625K. (I am partial to pugs though.)

Check them out below, in order of views:

1. VW - Darth Vader with 15 million views

2. Chrysler/Eminem Ad with 500K views

3. Doritos pug commercial with 625K views

Which ones were your favs?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ad Campaign FTW

I recently came across this wonderful ad campaign in Daily Dawdle. The link to the original website is here.

It's aptly titled "Life's Too Short for The Wrong Job." For a promotion, it does a great job of conveying the message of what their company offers, but I'm not sure about the locations- it looks they were everywhere. I also think they were targeting hourly workers, but I can't be sure. It's a fun campaign. I just don't know if it did what they wanted.

You can catch the rest of them on the websites listed above.

Danke! (for visiting)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christina Aguilera - FAIL

I recently wrote an article for my school's blog on branding and used Christina Aguilera as an example.

You can check out the article here OwenBloggers or read below. It combines 2 of my fav things: marketing and pop culture.

Selling More than Albums

If you listened to pop music during the 90’s, then you’ve heard Christina Aguilera’s music.  She has been wildly successful with 4 Grammys and more than 43 million albums sold.  When she first appeared on the scene, people thought she was another Britney Spears copycat with her bubble gum pop music.  Later, Aguilera was able to generate her own buzz and establish herself as a pop icon with a different sound.  Her sophomore album, Stripped, could best be described as raw and provocative.  She dyed her normally blonde hair dark, wore risqué clothing, and shook her hips while singing about getting “Dirrty.”  The album was a hit and even though she greatly changed up her image, it was accepted by her fans.  

Her most recent album, Bionic, was another re-invention of Aguilera.  This time, she dyed her hair platinum blonde, wore skin tight cat suits in promo shoots, and her first single told of “kissing all the boys and girls” on the dance floor.  Unfortunately, the recipe was a failure and Bionic was certified a flop; Aguilera isn’t even going to tour to promote her album. To make matters worse, media outlets complained that Aguilera was trying to be too much like Lady Gaga with her party attitude and crazy clothes.  Aguilera has spent more time defending her Lady Gaga look-a-like style than selling singles in the past 6 months. 

With all the bad pop music on the radio today, why was Aguilera’s album a failure?  Since the release of Stripped, Aguilera’s life has changed dramatically.  She got married, had a child, and took a few years off to be with her family.  Clearly, Aguilera’s main focus is no longer the club or party scene.  She’s probably had more early mornings than late nights and, like most new moms, hasn’t seen a non-cartoon movie in ages.  The problem with the new album is that Aguilera isn’t being authentic.  Nowhere in Bionic did she mention life as a married woman or a new mother.  She certainly has other things in her life besides her family, but no one thinks that those things are clubbing and promiscuity.  Perhaps if Aguilera was a tabloid staple like Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, she would have had a better chance of selling herself as the party type.  There is a discord between the paparazzi images of her with her son or now-former-husband and the image she tried to sell with Bionic.  

Aguilera is the example of a failed branding effort.  Like a parent trying to wear youthful clothing so that they would still be considered cool, Aguilera tried too hard to be something she wasn’t.  Branding is about not just selling a product, but selling you.  Aguilera’s story exemplifies the dangers of deviating too far from yourself for a brand or of misbranding in general.  This has the potential to be an issue for everyone, even if we all aren’t trying to sell albums.  The goal is to align who you are with what you hope other people to see. 
Now sure how to determine your brand?  First, write down 3 key characteristics you feel best describe how you want others to perceive you.  Next, ask your friends what 3 key characteristics they would use to describe you and compare.  Maybe you will learn that people think you are very serious, but you had humorous as a characteristic.  If you see a discrepancy, try to reconcile your brand.  A good place to start is to find out why people think this about you.  It’s not about changing who you are, but figuring out how others see you and what you can do help them see you the way you want them to.  So, if you are Christina Aguilera and you want people to believe you stay out all night in a club, then you may just have to do that.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Health care and Social Media

Pharma and other heath care companies are usually quiet when it comes to social networking. To date, the best effort I have seen is from Humana (insurance company). They actually aren't present on the social networking sites, but they have built some great online content in the form of informative and interesting videos about healthcare. You can catch those here.

But, there are hundreds of companies out there that participate in health care. A recent article from BNet reports that Pfizer is making it's move into the world of social media with an active facebook page. (Some companies like Genentech have facebook pages, but no content.) Additionally, they have a blog for their scientists. Understandably, pharma companies are hesitant to enter a world where the content and messages can be generated by the customers. On the other hand, this is why being a part of social networking is so crucial. Most companies use it to connect with their customers and get feedback they wouldn't otherwise hear. The though part about pharma and healthcare participating in these forums is the lack of regulation.

Right now, the FDA and other government regulators decide what companies can say and how they can say it. The best example of this is the recent commercials for the birth control pill, Yaz. The original commercials aired, but apparently were found unclear by the FDA. So they had to release another commercial to straighten things up.
Check out the commercial:

Other errors or instances of misinformation have much more severe repercussions for the company. Fines are good example. Given the sensitive nature of their communication, Pfizer is taking great strides in connecting with customers while trying to maintain some level of regulation. As the article notes, they have launched a playbook for employees to help them make informed decisions about responding to customers and posting content. There are no re-shoots for social media so let's hope it works.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marketing Humor

Check out The Chive, a photo-blog, for some good ol' fashioned marketing humor. (Note: there are a few unsavory words on 2 of the captions.)

Here are my favorites (all family friendly):

Ah, The Chive. Making things funny since yesterday.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Speaking of logos...

Check out this excellent article on Starbuck's new logo.

Is this new change like when Gap tried to update their logo in Oct 2010? Or is it something better?

Here are some comparisons:


Personally, I like it. If anything, it shows that they are not only expanding their offerings, but accepting that their offerings have become more than coffee. I don't always go into Starbucks for coffee and I think this logo represents that trend and direction for them.

(The Starbucks logo is registered trademark of Starbucks, Inc. I am just borrowing it!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Need a Logo?

As an individual you may think you don't need a logo, but just like a business you need something to help people remember you by. This is especially helpful when job searching or starting your own consulting business. Right now, I am in the internship search process so building my own logo has been on my mind lately. My research led me to some cool websites that will do logo design on the cheap so I want to share them with you.

Some examples:
Logo Design Works - Portfolio

Logospire - Gallery

Creattica - Home Page

The best part is all the things you can use your logo for...
- Custom USB drives
- Business Cards
- Watermark your resume
- Email signature
- Cover letter header

In the meantime, I'm just counting down the days until my logo arrives...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Forbes: 2011 Brands Set for a Comeback

Ah, the infamous Forbes "in pictures" article. This one is about the 10 brands that will make a 2011 comeback. Let's check them out...

1. Planter's Peanuts - the Pistachio of 2011

I really love the current Pistachio adds of 2011 with Ocho Cinco and Snooki, among others, cracking their nuts. I am not sure if Mr. Peanut is going to see the same fun revitalization of their image. They have Robert Downey, Jr. as the voice of Mr. Peanut for the upcoming ads, but it doesn't make the fact that he's a peanut with a monocle any more fun. Check it out the commercial here. (The video has been on youtube almost 2 months and I haven't seen it until now.) With that not-so-viral video they aren't looking to a make an Old Spice type comeback for 2011. It just wasn't that fun to watch again and again.

2. Chevrolet - America!

Chevy is a comeback brand for a different reason. They are coming back from the brink of financial ruin and need to change their image in the eyes of Americans post-bailout. With Toyota still limping from their 2009-2010 brake fiasco, they have a chance to gain some market share with their greener line of cars. On the other hand, I think Nissan might give them a run for their money.

3. Infusium 23 - Cult brand, really?

I guess this hair care product has been on the shelf for 86 years! It sounds like all they need is some marketing, any marketing, to remind consumers that they're out there. Their campaign is different for a hair care brand; they're going for a nostalgic feel to remind consumers of when their mothers used the product. It's an interesting take on a product that is mostly advertised using youthful models with fabulous hair, not moms. We'll see if it works!

4. Little Debbie - Worst Snack EVER

Little Debbie tastes fabulous, but i ignore them in the grocery store since they are so unhealthy. Like Infusium 23, they just need to remind consumers of their existence to see a boost in sales. To keep  that going though, they should start offering some low fat or all natural products.

5. Pert Plus - No Marketing, No Sales

Not much to say here. They haven't put money into marketing in last 5 years. It makes sense the people would switch brands or reach for other products in that time.

6. La-Z-Boy - Now in Pink

I think this is will be a really fun and effective campaign. I wish they had thought of it sooner. If anything, it's just a great line extension to a product that is already in many people's homes. I think the tag line should be, "La-Z-Boy, now with less arguing."

7. Levis - For Everyone

Check out their newest campaign, called Go Forth, here. Surprisingly, this is the same campaign that brought us the O' Pioneers commercial last year. I'll be intrigued to see what they do differently this time around besides just air a commercial that wasn't really understood. Here is a link to the newest ad. Additionally, iMedia Connection named Levis one of the best social media campaigns of 2010. Check out the article here with some info on how they managed to nab 2.1 million facebook friends.

8. Sure - Raise your hand!

I clearly remember the Sure commercials from 10 years ago so I'm excited they're bringing them back. I don't know if they'll do the same "raise your hand if you're Sure", but I think it's worth a shot. The commercials were memorable after all. Check out a clip here to remind you what we have been missing all these years.

9. Quaker Oats - Blah to ?

The challenge here: make Quakers Oats less boring. Their ads are going to focus on the healthy aspects of Quaker with an exciting flavorful twist by showing scrumptious Quaker breakfast combinations. One question, is there anyway to make the Quaker less boring? If so, they need to figure it out.

10. Jimmy Dean - Giving up on the Sun guy already?

Maybe. Their new campaign is targeted at mom's. The idea is to keep them from battling their kids in the morning when it comes to breakfast aka the Morning Villains. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Supa Cool Website

Check out

It's a website of keynote and power point presentation examples. Their goal is to bring inspiration and design to those usually boring presentations. I think they nailed it.

My favorites are:
Storytelling 101

Changing the Face of Type