Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

365: AIGA Annual Design Exhibition 29

aiga365AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts) is extending their annual  365 Annual Design Exhibition 29, which I saw yesterday and highly recommend, until this Friday, Feb. 27th. The annual competition presents the winners in their gallery at 164 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The exhibit can also be viewed on AIGA’s virtual gallery and is published in a “substantial” (their word for a big mo-fo coffee table adornment) book.  The selected works also becomes part of the AIGA Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum in Colorado.

AIGA National Design Center, 164 Fifth Avenue at 21st St. Manhattan; Mon. – Thu. 11 AM–6 PM; Fri. 11 AM–5 PM.

Soy milk survey results

So the overwhelming and somewhat surprising results are offcially in. Most people order soy milk because they are lactose intolerant.

Coming in at a close 2nd is that because people actually prefer the taste of soy and nut based milks to the taste of regular milk.

Among the “Other” answers given, some people don’t take milk at all in their coffee while some others do not know whether the milk being used by their particular shop is organic or not. As in, they do not know if the cows whose milk they’re drinking has been ethically derived or not. So these are all legitimate reasons.

The sneaky reason I had for taking this survey was because sometimes when I visit Abraco Espresso, they are out of their freshly made almond milk. This is due to people that I thought were ordering almond because they thought it had less fat. The survey shows that this is not the case – most people are lactose intolerant or just prefer the taste. So what happens when vegans actually go into the shop is we get screwed. Because while someone who likes the taste has been hogging all the almond milk, we will have no milk substitute available for us.

Anyhow, what I learned was that people just love the taste of milk alternatives or they are lactose intolerant – as is most of the world. But sometimes they’ll just bite the bullet and get regular milk.

I should become a market researcher. . . . . . NOT (channeling Borat).

House De Lux

I’m drawn to lights, bright colors and fun.

So when I walked down my usual path on Orchard Street between Stanton & Rivington, I was shocked to see that amidst the historic raw New York buildings and one of the more quieter blocks in that neighborhood a brand new store had opened that was the flame to my moth-like nature.

The weirdest thing is that the store primarily carries clothing for women (they are soon to start carrying jeans for men which will probably fall way out of my budget) and yet I still wanted to enter. It was recently featured in Elle Magazine apparently and also promoted by some costume designer that worked for Sex & the City.

The store is the brainchild of a DJ who happens to be of Egyptian origin; S. Hamady. The name literally means “house of light.”

The bright colors, buzzing lights, plush pleather cushion in front of the register are just a few of the treats you get by visiting the store. Even if you don’t purchase anything, be sure to check it out for sheer awesomeness. The store prohibits photography within the premises and it’s understandable why.

It should be experienced, not seen.

Have You Heard About — THE FIBER? Vote For the Most Annoying Local NYC TV Ad!!

We all know them, we all watch them, and worst of all, we all remember them! After all, isn’t that the point? Especially the ones where they repeat a phone number [who can forget the Sheraton commercial decades ago -800-325-3535?]
OK here are my nominees
1) All the Bob’s Furniture ads [the “Bob-o-Pedic” mattress, or the modular sofa bigger than an entire NYC studio apt, with chaise and 2,4, or even 6 cup holders]

2) The Stanley Steemer spot with Toby the dog’s “new trick” [which is cleaning his butt on the new carpet– hey lady, check out the dog’s food!], and the horriffic cry of “Oh God, make him stop—–T-O-B-Y!!]

3) US Window Factory
a) the British guy who says “I don’t even live here, but I’m gonna move here……..”
b) the woman with the white lips outlined in red, 70s-style big disco hair, and the Lawn Guylind twang
“so cawl us; we’ll instawl yaw windahs…”
4) Empire Today 800-588-2300…… see?

5) The Grand Prospect Hall — elaborate violin music, grand staircase, huge crystal chandeliers, so far so good, then the music crescendos, abruptly stops, fade to couple on the spiral steps proclaiming
“We Mek-a Your Drims Kem Troo” in an accent that sounds like a mixture of Eastern European, Russian, and newly-arrived Sicilian”

and finally, who can forget:

6) Optimum Triple Play, complete with bongos, bling, mermaids, and rates to call Puerto Rico, and a number that tattoos on the brain —- 877-393-4-4-4-8!

7) Time Warner’s response — man eating his daily “colon-blow” cereal, when the doorbell rings;
man looks through peephole to see nerd with a comb-over, and murmurs “this should be fun”,
man opens door, and nerd says “Good Morning. [while making elaborate rainbow-colored arc-shaped sweep of his hand] Have you heard about [pause] THE FIBER??”
Man holds up cereal bowl, and says “I think I’m taken care of in that area” uh-LOL?
8) ___________________________________ write in your own

The winning ad agency gets the “noodgie” award, which is a download of a fingernail scratching a chalkboard!

phone booths as advertising

So I am still wondering, in this age of cell phones, why we still have those phone booths. Actually I use the term “booth” lightly because they are no more than 3-sided shelters, and only from the waist up, at that. Despite the fact that the “shelves” have wide gaps, and hardly hold anything, there are still cell-phone users who lean up against them.

As a former sales rep who really depended on those self-contained phone booths to afford me privacy I got a job offer in one) and block out city noise while I conducted business, the switch to these paltry enclosures forced me to seek out hotels and climate-controlled buildings. Once, when my boss was about to break the bad news in mid-July, that our salaries were being cut by 20%, he started the conversation with “I hope you are at a phone in an air-conditioned building because this will be a long conversation”. I can still feel my stomach dropping in the lobby of 30 Rock.

Now I read in the Times that the sides of these outdoor phone-enclosures are advertising cash cows. The companies who put them up, are not even concerned about the phone functioning or not, or even if the phone is still there! They are making more money from advertisers than they would ever make from phone calls! I don’t know, but it would seem to me that this is just another way that corporate America can “sneak in” their ads. Read about it at
I think bus shelters, buses, and subways provide enough venues for commercial propaganda! Dirty, garbage-filled eyesores with phones that don’t work anyway, or with wires popping out of metal walls, are shameful and another thing that makes our city look dirty and neglected.

NYC Condom – a Sensation!


The numbers are in and all over the news. Because of the new free condom campaign, City Hall gave away a record 5 million in the first month – a huge difference from the usual 1.5 million. That’s a LOT of condoms in 30 days. Mayor Bloomberg is calling it a “Sensation” and it looks like he’s right.

I guess good packaging and advertising DO work. If you haven’t seen the ads all over the place, the new wrapper is stamped with the letters “NYC CONDOM” in the same font and colors used on city subway maps and signs. Which is great, but also sad to me that after all these years of New York’s efforts to reduce the rates of STD’s and unplanned pregnancies, it took this new campaign to increase distribution. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee of anything, but it’s promising.

If you’re looking for the free condoms for yourself, you can pick them up at any of the locations listed here.
I LOVE that so many establishments jumped on the bandwagon!

What I still don’t get is how the new package design helps track effectiveness. Am I missing something, or has my morning coffee not kicked in yet.

Empty Time’s Square at Night – Photos from Laughing Squid


I love these photos posted over at Laughing Squid—on one of the sub-freezing nights last week, Scott Beale went to Times Square in the middle of the night and snapped some great photos. It’s great that the streets are practically empty in these; almost like a post-apocalyptic Time’s Square—like all the ads and billboards survived but there’s not a person to be found.

I much prefer to look at photos of Time’s Square than actually go there, that is for sure.

Photo Credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Aqua Teen BOMB Force?

I woke up today and turned on NY1 to see if I should be expecting a snowy weekend or not. Instead, I saw the last few seconds of reports of a bomb scare in Boston. Thanks to the fact that the maintenance man finally came and fixed my internet (for the 500th time) the other day, I jumped on line to see what all the scare was about.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Adult Swim. Are you serious?

Being a prospective “ad-creator” myself, I understand that the industry is constantly trying to look for new ways to advertise their products without the stagnant billboards and posters we see plastering our city already. While I can understand the fact that these illuminated signs with the cartoon characters basically giving the bird to any onlooker may upset some people, this issue is not even brought up. The fact that these ads had a battery is pretty much the biggest issue. Quite honestly, I think some officials are blowing this way out of proportion.

According to, the Mayor of Boston called this “outrageous,” and a congressman added “It would be hard to dream up a more appalling publicity stunt.” Come on now, I can think of about a million different things that would be a more appalling publicity stunt. In fact, that almost sounds like a challenge…

Not every city is taking this so seriously however. Other cities such as LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle,
Portland, Austin, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and our very own New York City, have had these ads in place for two or three weeks. In some cities they weren’t even noticed by federal authorities, while in others they were simply just removed without much complaining. In New York City, 41 devices have been found and removed.

All in all, I guess this guerilla advertising pretty much worked. Not only did those who see these signs become a little more familiar with Adult Swim and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but now the whole nation knows just a little more about these food characters. Congrats guys.

Microsoft Vista Acrobatics

2007_01_vistalaunch2.jpgMicrosoft always makes waves when they release a new product. The song “Start Me Up” by the
Rolling Stones has become synonymous with Windows 95 thanks to an aggressive ad campaign. So, you know the technology mega-corporation would do something huge to top past efforts with today’s highly anticipated release of Vista, the latest installment of their popular “Windows” operating system… Enter Cirque Du Soleil.

[Photo courtesy Gothamist]



My buddy Neil over at Metblogs Melbourne pointed this really cool site out to me… Basically, you type in a message and it gives you pictures of buildings that spell out that message for you. VERY cool Google Maps mashup.

This would be great for a website header, logo, or simple banner ad.

[Photo courtesy of geoGreeting!]

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