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July 2008
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September 2008

I'm Guilty...You?

Businessman_winner Ever tell somebody you "have to" go and do something?

Be honest...

We all do it.  We all say, "Gosh, I can't meet you for lunch I have to go to the grocery store."  Or, "I'm headed out right now, I have to go to my sons football game."

How silly of us...when we actually "get to" do these things.

OK...sure this can be a stretch.  Like if you are guilty of something you just might "have to" go to court.  But...even there we are fortunate to have a court system to "go to".

You can catch the drift...

So...just maybe this weekend we try to change our "have to" to "get to".

"Sorry, I can't go to the movie.  I get to go to the grocery store."

"I get to take thirty minutes to pay the bills."

Think about it, we are so fortunate to have grocery stores to go to, a job that allows us to "pay bills", live in a country that has a court system, sons and daughters that we "get to" watch at football or basketball games.

What a great outlook changing two words can make...this weekend let's give it a try.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we "get to" work for some great clients...every day.

Marketing to "Larry the Cable Guy"?

Man_cartoon_farmer Getting back from The Farm Progress Show had me thinking about how some companies try to market to farmers as if they are one step away from being "Larry the Cable Guy".

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Today, like always, producers come in all levels of ability.  But, when you consider many of these folks park their butts inside tractors costing a quarter of a million bucks, run a business that has gross income of several million dollars, react to market pressure quickly and operate highly technical equipment...much of it way outside the pay grade of some advertising's hardly the image many marketers "dream up".

This year, at one of the largest outdoor farm shows in the nation,  technology was everywhere.

But some companies still market their product or service as if they are talking to an 8th grade graduate.

Those days are gone...and companies that continue to think they are doing the right thing with their "rube" approach...they too will soon be gone.

Great show...and lots of exciting things for the future!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications

Yesterdays Marketing - Todays Reality

Farm_progress_digital Wednesday I went up to Boone, Iowa to the Farm Progress Show.  Anybody who thinks we can market to this very small segment the same way we did fifteen years ago better wake up....or quit.

Digital was everywhere.  Here at the Pioneer Seed display it was like Vegas met Iowa.  And this was not the only example of how companies are using very different means to impact consumers with a message.  It's no longer OK to simply hand out literature and "stand around" waiting for somebody to ask a question.  Marketers are taking an "in your face" approach while they start to impact younger demographics.

Hindu_temple_north It was a great day!

One other thing about Iowa and how we are changing:  I've not driven up Highway 17 for some time.  It's a beautiful ride if you like the simple wonders of the Iowa countryside.  You can top a hill and see corn and soybean fields that stretch for miles.  There is peace here and something very simple and secure and familiar.  Some things never change...or do they?   This is a photo taken today looking north.  Corn needs some help here's corn.

Hindu_temple I then rotated 180 degrees and shot this photo looking south.

It is the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center about 8 miles north of Granger and 3 miles south of Madrid.  For those of you who think Iowa hasn't changed much...  We'll here's proof we have.

The point of this article is if you are marketing ANYTHING the way you were fifteen, ten or even five years ago...we better have a talk.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we're lovin' the future.


Clean Up Your Act!

Clean_office_2 This morning I read a post from my friend Sherry Borzo.  In Clear the Clutter she visited with Marsha Hines who gave some great tips about cleaning up your home.  (That and some "Fung Shui" deal...I think he was the power forward for the Chinese basketball team?)  Sorry...the Olympics are still too fresh!

I know nothing about "Fung Shui" but a hearty "Amen!" to the clutter issue.  It is really, really amazing how much more productive I am when the desk is clean.  And...what is really great is how much easier it is to FIND STUFF when it's all filed.

Anyway, I made the effort several weeks ago to clean the place and keep it that way and you know who is more pleased and calm than me?  Our clients!

Nice stuff Sherry....

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications  "Now just where is that dust rag?"

Surround Yourself With The Best...

Img_4511 We've been fortunate to do work for the State of Iowa.  In particular the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).  Fortunate because we honestly love this state and its people.

Fortunate because we think it shows in our determination to consistently turn out a superior

It's all about the people we work with....

Emmy_bob Above, Bob Bracken works on the final edits for the video we produced for the IDALS.  He is a first rate editor and it shows in his work.  So good that if you take a look at that little "gold thing" on top of his monitor you'll note it's an Emmy.

An Emmy for Editing.

We had just a couple of weeks to write the script, get it approved, schedule a location, do the shoot, capture the still shots, do the first edits, get client approval, make the changes, throw in the graphics and deliver the final product by August 6.

Video_shoot_idals The pressure was on...and Bob, Paul, Gary,Pete Tarpey, Keith Brown, and the entire crew delivered...big time.

The best was when we made the delivery, on time and complete, the client, Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and his staff clapped.  We're talking a round of applause...that was really nice.

So not only do we get to surround ourselves with some of the finest people in the advertising & marketing business...we also have the best clients in the world.

Thanks...we mean it!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we're grateful to be working and living here in Iowa.

Des Moines Restaurant cut

Img_4516 Here we four of Restaurant Week in Des Moines, Iowa.  This time at Alba in East Des Moines....

Me?  I am looking at somebody in space...

Great food but they ran out of various "specials" at like 8pm?    Anyway, for somebody that did not hear about this event until Monday...I'm more than happy to take part.

It's an interesting marketing item too.  The week that school starts is traditionally the worst week of the year for your local restaurant.  So what better time to load up on the marketing and push for a first ever event like this?  Our bet is this is here to stay and the 33 places that decided to join in....will enjoy a higher profit week than they did a year ago.

Img_4520 And...tonight our waiter was John....he and we had a great time.  Here he is seen opening a new bottle of wine.  While John and Ron point to others who should have been more responsible. Thanks Waiter John for your help!

Friday night, I don't t get to go...but I hear Sam & Gabes is on the list.  Their Steak d'Burgo is to die for.

Thanks for a wonderful event.

The Last To Know...Or Wrong Vehicle?

Waiter_background_rest Earlier this week my friend Michael Leo called and wanted to remind me that it is Restaurant Week in Des Moines.  He wanted to get together with other friends and hit some of the 33 different Metro restaurants offering a three course meal for only $20.08 per person.

I'd not heard a thing about it.

Usually we pride ourselves on knowing what the heck is going on in town...but this one totally missed us.

I did not read about it, nobody that I know blogged about it, I did not see it on the local television news....nada...nothing.  Am I out of the loop or was the vehicle used to transport the news not in my world?

So I went looking.

I found this piece on WHO-TV and this piece from the Des Moines Register or Juice...I just can't tell.

I see where the Des Moines Business Record and the Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau came up with the idea....  And it's a great idea...

Oh, And Sara had this piece on her BLOG.  Nice site!

Friends_008 Did we take advantage of Restaurant Week in Des bet!  Here we are at Christopher's...and we're having a great time...but I swear I'd not heard about it until Monday!  I've GOT to get out more or expand my reading to stuff NOT associated with advertising and marketing!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we need to "get a life"!

Would Diver Pay $6 For An Air Tank?

Scuba_tanks Forgive me...I'm on this "cost/benefit" kick this week.  No doubt because we recently had a client meeting where advertising/marketing costs came up. 

In this case a new company had dedicated 3% of their startup budget for "advertising".  That amounted to $5,000.  However, what we didn't realize was that number included EVERYTHING from design to printing to websites...everything.

To be fair, we knew the budget was skinny...BUT it is a worthy cause and a non-profit so we made the decision to do most of it pro-bono.  That means 90% of the creative, administration and professional marketing advice...has been free.   Like in "no charge".  In the end it will save their butt...however most companies don't get it.

This experience got us to thinking.  It's not uncommon, especially in these challenging economic times, for companies to "cut corners" in an effort to save money.  Often the corners that are cut...are things like advertising and marketing...which can spell doom for a product or service. 

Eye I told somebody the other day that a company who cuts their advertising and marketing dollars is sort of like a diver buying a six-dollar air tank or somebody shopping around for "cut-rate" laser eye surgery.

It can come back to bite you.

"But," said my friend, "you're trying to equate quality of life or life itself to advertising and marketing."

Exactly...because when you think about it...solid, sound advertising and marketing IS the life of your product or service.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications

There's A New Coach In Town...

Gord_dineen During a Des Moines Iowa Chops (American Hockey League) press conference held this afternoon at Hy-Vee Hall, Bob Murray, General Manager-Iowa Chops; Sr. VP of Hockey Operations for the Anaheim Ducks introduced Gord Dineen (L) as the new Head Coach for the Iowa Chops.  That's right...GORD!

Coach Dineen took the microphone and within minutes had the crowd of Des Moines Hockey Faithful excited by his promise to, " hockey so tough that other teams that come here to play, won't want to come back."  He added, "We want people to know we're a tough, in your face team.  We'll compete with hard fore-checking and we'll finish off the checks."

Laatsch_dineen_murray He also praised the facilities and thanked, several times, the Anaheim Ducks for allowing him to come from Portland, MA (the former home of this AHL franchise) to Iowa.  "We had a good year in Portland and I'm grateful that the Ducks were willing to let me continue in this new role."  Dineen was the assistant coach in Portland. (L-R:  New Iowa Chops Assistant Coach Matt Laatsch, Coach Gord Dineen & Bob Murray)

Dineen was originally drafted by the New York Islanders in the 1981 draft and played for the Minnesota North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, where he was a team captain during the 1993 - 1994 season.  He was with the Penguins when they won a Stanley Cup in 1991.

Bill_dineen   Here is the frosting! 

He is the son of none other than Bill Dineen who won two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings back in 1954 and 1955!  Yeah baby!  This young coach knows a thing or two about playing tough.  Now maybe you can figure out why his name is Gord....

Go Chops!

(Bill Dineen Image from a great place for memorable sports products.)

The $15,000 Logo...

Des_moines_logo_new This morning the City of Des Moines showed off their new logo.  According to a story in the Des Moines Register the redesign will cost the city a little more than $15,000.

According to the article that figure includes decals, letterhead, and the "animation of a television logo".  The design was done totally "in house" and now the city will have to outsource much of the work.


Let's say...just for kicks...the actual design time is 20% of the $15,000 price tag (we all know it's higher...but play with us for a minute).  That means the logo cost $3,000 to create.

$3, house.

I raise this issue because, from time to time, we're asked to create logos for products and companies.  The one thing in common for logo design takes talent and time and time is, like they say, money.  I can also share with you we have NEVER charged a client anything even close to that number even if they request five to fifteen different "looks".

Seems folks at City Hall like the new logo and so do we.  We're just posting this story for future reference.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications