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September 2009

Is Jay Leno Phychic?

On September 14th "retired" Jay Leno returns to NBC and will host a early evening talkPysic sign show.  That he is coming back isn't much of a surprise.  People who know Mr. Leno says he loves television.  But, why is he headed to a 9:00PM Central time slot?

We can answer that question by taking a look at his guest line-up for week one. We've got Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Cruse, Robin Williams, Halle Berry, Eric Clapton...notice something?  Sure all "A" list but clearly the guests reflect what the network sees in the crystal ball.  An aging demographic.  A return to a talk show is one thing...but putting it on before the 10PM News...

Here is the deal:  While the buzz right now is on electronic marketing from Social Media to Text Messages, etc.  The folks at NBC realize the best way to market to individuals 45+ is still traditional advertising on radio, television and, yes even, newspapers though declining.  Here is a study on Boomer Marketing from Bridge Ratings.

Some are just waiting for the poor numbers to rain down on Leno...not us.  Should be interesting to watch.


Sunday Morning Coffee - August 30, 2009

Grab a cup and let's visit about several things that have happened...and what we'reCoffee Cu ps looking forward to.  You're not going to find much in the way of advertising and marketing here today.  We'll pick that up tomorrow.  Sunday morning is a great time for friends to get together.  Thanks for coming by.

The traffic you can get with a good headline.  Last week I wrote about the Iowa State Fair, Edward Lewis, his love for Iowa and his mission to stamp out "the N-Word".   Loads of people came by for a read just to see what the heck was up.  It wasn't what many suspected.  Here is the story, again.

You would think that a guy that does a daily 90-minute radio talk show about business would listen radio.  I don't...or try not to  It only confirms how incredibly dumb some people can be.  This week I listened to Bradshaw on 98.3 WOW-FM as he tried for fifteen minutes, unsuccessfully, to get a listener to understand the "Fairness Doctrine", the FCC and how local radio stations have become anything but "local".  The guy was convinced there is a "Left Wing Conspiracy" in forcing radio stations to cover LOCAL events and share LOCAL information rather than have syndicated hosts broadcasting from NY or LA or FL.  He never did get it.  Proof my friends....

Tuesday of this week I'll be absent from the 12:30PM Central radio show.  I'll be giving business leaders a taste of howand why they should use social media in their marketing plan.  Entry level stuff about blogging, Facebook, Twitter and more for business applications.  Look forward to the opportunity.  Thanks Urbandale Chamber!

Speaking of Urbandale, Mayor Bob Andeweg celebrated his birthday this past Wednesday.  I got to meet his parents who live in Pella.  And, like most parents they know how to share a secret or two.  We're not telling but we had a nice visit while we watched the Urbandale baseball team play New York in the Little League World Series.  Where?  The Urban Grill..of course.Eating aug 12

Kizzy update:  Many of you remember when Kunta our African Gray parrot flew out of our home and hearts on April 26th.  We searched for weeks, walking driving contacting hundreds of people.  Nothing.  Three weeks ago we welcomed Kizzy into our home.  She is 17 weeks old and eats like a horse.  The photo is Miss Kizzy in her favorite position...eating.  What a joy it is to have the house a mess again.  In addition, she's a real "lover" wanting to be held and cuddled for hours at a time. 

Speaking of eating....We've just put the cap on "Restaurant Week" here in Des Moines.  42 independent restaurants joined together to promote "eating out".  Special prices ($25 for dinner or lunch for two) and menus for lunch and dinner got people out to try some interesting local cuisine.  Late word from those who took part it was a success.  We're still wondering if there was enough marketing of the event.  Seems the majority of marketing settled on the Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Iowa Democrats seem to be licking their chops and looking for a strong candidate to take on Sen. Charles Grassley.   The elections, usually a lock for the Republican, may not be as his continued "foot in mouth" banter appear to make him vulnerable for the first time since taking the senate seat in the 1980 elections.   Heading the "potential list" two Iowa women:  Roxanne Conlin and Christy Vilsack....hmmmmm.  Here is the latest article from Cityview.

An Iowa family whose son killed himself playing Russian Roulette and described what he was doing on Twitter is now worried that others may copy his act.  Some suggest the social media site is responsible for bringing out the "dark side" of people.  Here is the full story from the Quad City Times.  We don't believe it for a minute...but we guess in times like this somebody has to take the blame....or so it seems.

Nuf?  OK.  Have a great Sunday and let's work on only doing great things come Monday morning.  Thanks for reading!  Michael Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where you can follow us on Twitter, @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV






Does The Voice Match The Brand?

The other day on our radio show, Insight on Business, we talked about radio and television commercials and making sure the voice used on the commercial matches your brand.  If it doesn' can harm more than help.Man studio mic

This came up the other day when we were listening to the radio and heard a voice over for a well known Des Moines business.  Now, the national brand of this business is very masculine.  The "voice" and image of the national brand is a deep rattle that matches the trademark sound of the product.  In other words, the "voice" matches the brand.

Except when this local business hit the air.  The voice used in the ad was anything but a "deep rumble".  Oh he tried...but it sounded forced and at one point I thought it was a 13 year old boy who's voice had not yet changed.  To my knowledge this is also the third or fourth voice used in their local radio ads...

A couple of issues:  1)  The items sold by this company are high ticket.  The voice, clearly an amateur, took away from the richness of the brand.  2)  "Voice shopping" should be done in private...not public.  3)  If the company was skimping on voice talent to save money, they did.  But at what cost?

One other thing, and my friends in radio and television will agree, you can get the station to voice any of your ads...for free.  But, then they sound like everybody else who has had the station do them  If you are paying top dollar to run the ad...wouldn't you want the ad to sound the very best and different than the others?

Voice talent is an investment...not a cost.  Here is proof:

Sam Elliott - Chicken or Beef - People still can't swallow the new Matthew McMonaughey read...sorry.

David Duchovny nailed it for Pedigree Dog Food...nobody could have done better.

Kate Walsh - Cadillac CTS 2008 - Who can forget, "When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

Bottom line...spend a little more on your production and you'll get more...

Thanks for reading, Michael Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications




Avoiding the "N Word" & Other Fair Thoughts

Meet Edward Lewis from rural Montgomery County...yes, Iowa.  If you were one of theFlag Guy 3 lead one-million+ fairgoers to the 2009 Iowa State Fair you no doubt saw him and wondered who in the heck was this guy walking quickly through the fairgrounds holding, high, a flag of Iowa.  He wouldn't say anything he would just walk and walk and walk.  Did you see him?

You couldn't have missed Edward Lewis....he was there...everyday...eleven days....ten hours a day...rain or shine.

Why?  That's what we wanted to know so I stopped him and asked him what was up.

"I'm a proud Iowan who enjoys the fair and see an opportunity to share my joy of living Flag guy 4 mpl here with others", said Lewis.  Edward is 45 years old and has a reason to celebrate.  "I've had open heart surgery, my arteries were blocked and they did five by-passes.  I think I've had maybe four heart attacks in my life.  I shouldn't really be here but I am and as long as I am I want to help celebrate the goodness of Iowa."

So good.

"I also want folks to cut down on the use of the "N-Word" if you know what I mean", said Lewis.  "No, not quite sure what you mean," said I.  "Well, you know, that state to the west of us."  "Nebraska?", I asked.  "Oh NO!  There you go!  Don't say that...."

I'll try not to do that Edward.  But seriously, what if this action by Edward Lewis catches on?  Might there be TWO people at the Iowa State Fair next year holding high an Iowa flag and silently proclaiming what a great state we have?  And, then three and cool. Bet it wouldn't happen over know..."over there".

Also spent some time on Sunday afternoon with Bob Schultz who has been on the Iowa State Fair Board for years.  We talked about the numbers and he said that if Saturday was over 100,000 people and Sunday hit 100,000 they would reach that one-million attendee mark.  He was right on.  Saturday was about 105,000 and Sunday 100,143 folks came through the gates.  Well done.

I also had to ask Bob about the Michael Jackson butter sculpture and the flap that created.  "It was all staff driven. The last thing we knew was that the theme was going to be "Field of Dreams" and somehow it ended up being about the Moon Landing complete with a Michael Jackson doing the "moon walk".  They did that and we caught the grief."  The State Fair Staff opened it up for a vote by Iowan's.  And the issue was smacked down 66% opposed to an Butter Michael and 32% approving.  Funny how things happen huh?

The Iowa State Fair is a great place to be...with or without an Iowa Flag or a State Fair Board Member pin.  Ask Edward Lewis or any number of his 999,999+ friends.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV





Sunday Morning Coffee

"Sunday Morning Coffee" is that time to, briefly, reflect on several issues from the past week and give you our thoughts...not a lot of advertising and marketing here.  We'll rampCoffee Cu ps that up again on Monday...  But, for now, grab a cup and let's go.

Seems that some folks don't know when to grow up...or shut up.  In The Des Moines Sunday Register today there's a story about yet another Iowan getting fired because he took a "Seinfield" joke a little to far.  The message here kids, it's a TV show that was about nothing.  Don't bet your career on it and worse yet, when a woman says, "no"... pay attention.

Muir Boots The numbers at the Iowa State Fair are way down this year.  Some are suggesting the economy while others have managed to, on the Internet and local radio, make some really poor comments about Iowa's biggest attraction.  We first made our venture to the fair Saturday night for a few hours.  Long enough to say "howdy" to several friends and buy a pair of $5 barn boots at Muir Embroidery and Sports ShopTodd Muir and his father have expanded their "Fair Store" in the Cattle Building to over half the foyer.  But what?  NO website????  However, five-dollar boots?  Very cool.

In case you missed it, we told a brief story about one of our clients, Country Vet Pet Food and the "baseball player" somebody at their facility saw in a dog food bag we created for hunters and sporting dog trainers.  We didn't see it...but hey, baseball is a sport too.

Meanwhile, the pubic will soon meet "Trio" from NatraTurf.  It's the eighth product we've helped develop for our client over the past 14 months.  What does it do?  It makes beautiful lawns and gardens....with no fertilizer.  We'll tell you more soon.

Still no word from the Iowa GOP or the Iowa Democrats about moving the 2010 Iowa Caucus off a Saturday afternoon.  The parties agreed to this boneheaded move on July 28th.  We sort of figured somebody might call and say, "tough" but nothing?  Odd or is it?  If they move forward with their plans, we predict their numbers will be even least we hope so.

Eating aug 12 Kizzy, our African Gray Parrot, is settling in around the place.  Many of you might remember that Kunta flew out of our home and our hearts on April 26th.  After months of looking we caved and brought Miss Kizzy home.  Later today it's off to the "Caged Bird Society" show to look for toys.  I'm telling you this is worse than having kids again.  And, almost as expensive.

Speaking of kids...two more of our grandchildren were in town Saturday.  Miss Sailor and Mr. Jake came up with Mom...from St. Joe.  It was a great day...and I think Sailor is maybe...just maybe thinking her Zaydee is a pretty neat guy.  We'll see.  We looking forward to their daddy coming home from Afghanistan in a few weeks.  He's a pilot who flies C-130's and everybody misses him.

For those of you who follow our writting you might remember our friend in Illinois, Leah Guffey Banister who lives in a very rural area near Springfield.    We had mentioned her in a publication about social media.  Last week her home was damaged by a tornado that ripped through town.  We heard about it on Twitter where she is known as @FarmerSpice.  Nobody hurt but loads of damage.  Meanwhile her husband is still serving in Iraq.  We wish you all well.MPL Janet

That's it!  Told you very little in the way of business...we'll save that for later in the week.  A reminder that our radio show, Insight on Business is heard Monday - Friday starting at 12:30 Central.  We hope you'll come by for a listen on advertising and marketing tips and stories. is the address.  Hey, speaking of Insight on Business, it was a real joy to re-connect with my old ranch rodeo buddy, Janet Tingwald this past week on the air.  We talked about her business and getting employees motivated and leaders to lead.  Good stuff.

If you want to keep up with us you can follow us on Twitter, @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV and @RuralLifeRadio.  Thanks for, get out to the fair today and boost those numbers.  It's 1/2 price you know!

Michael Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications you can learn more at have a great Sunday!







Let The Governor of Iowa Speak...

I like Chet Culver.  There, I've said it.  I like him because, to me, he has always seemed like "one of the guys".  A former teacher and coach, I've always thought of him as beingChet Culver somebody that you could sit down with and have a serious conversation or a cold beer. Or, both at the same time.  I also see him as a leader who in his heart has the best interests of all Iowans.  Of course, I also liked Terry Branstad, Tom Vilsack, Bob Ray and Harold Hughes.  (Some of you are, right now, doing a Google search for Harold Hughes...I know you are.)   During my years in Iowa I have had the pleasure of sitting down with all of these men and each treated me with kindness and seemed to have a sincere interest in what I had to say.   Guess  I'm an "equal opportunity" sort of guy when it comes to the leaders of our state, no matter the political party.

Those of you who follow this blog or our radio show, Insight on Business, know we talk plenty about the use of Social Media for business.  One of our favorites is Twitter.  We see it as a business tool.  We use it to learn about breaking news stories, interact with clients and potential clients.  We use it to watch consumer trends and we use it to relate and to build relationships.

That's why we were excited to see @GovChetCulver pop up on Twitter.  "All right!  The governor of our state is going to join with the governor of Michigan, @GovGranholm, and others and begin a conversation with Iowans who live here and elsewhere.  What a great opportunity!"  But then we noticed all of his Tweets were in the third person, "Come and see Governor Culver do XYZ today at..." or "Gov. Culver today announced that...."

We don't want Phil or another staffer communicating with us....we long for the Governor to pick up his Blackberry and let us know what is on his mind.  What he has to say to the people and then listen to what the folks of Iowa have to say to him.  That is the real beauty of Twitter.

So, Governor, ask the staffer to put away the keyboard and let's build a relationship...  You will be amazed at the support you'll get and the insight you'll receive.


Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advetrtising, Marketing & Communications - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV 


Having A Little Fun With Images...

If we took everything so seriously...we'd end up in a funny place.  Well, maybe not soSportsmen's_Blend_Bag-bad_hunter "funny".  This is a story about how people view different very different ways.  Our advertising agency is blessed to have clients that have been with us for years.  They know that they can depend on us to move quickly if needed.  And, if you know anything about agency work..."things" are always needed..."yesterday".

A couple of weeks ago our client Country Vet Pet Food said they wanted to expand their line of value priced dog food into the sporting dog world.  We had already designed new bags for them and this new request is meant to build market share in another demographic. 

Sure!  Let's take our design, add some graphics put it in "blaze orange" a common color for hunters and outdoor sportsmen and bingo...a new bag!

And, so we sent the first image.  It had the birds, the dog and a guy holding a shotgun.  Or so we thought...  (go ahead you can click on the image to make it larger)

Sportsmen's_Blend_Bag-gun The client liked it...and then passed it around for "the committee" to have a look.  It's always interesting to see what folks come up with....when a design or an idea goes past "the committee".

Gary Kubicek the Sales and Marketing director and our contact (and friend) at Country Vet, called and said he had people think that the hunter was a baseball player.  "HUH?  A baseball player?"  We never saw it...but somebody that has been involved in more Rorschach Tests than us saw a guy holding a baseball bat.  "Hmm....OK we'll change it."

But before we made our finals we sent back the second of the images you see...clearly marking the "gun" as a "gun".  It got a laugh all the way around from the client to the bag production folks.   Ya just have to have a laugh every once in a while.

Thanks for reading.  You can learn more about our advertising agency by heading to our site...and follow us on Twitter, @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV.



Today - Insight on Business Radio

Midweek and only four more days of the Iowa State Fair.  I know...but we're excited.  Welcome back to Insight on Business this nations only daily, live radio show with a focus on advertising, marketing and consumer trends.  We'll give you the headlines and the stories and then some tips or "take away" items that you can use in your next marketing adventure.  We do this daily Monday - Friday at 12:30 Cental as part of Des Moines Local...LIVE and you can hear us on  Come by for a visit?Eagles Logo

On the show today we're talking about Michael Vick the convicted felon and should the advertisers and sponsors have been let in on his signing by the Eagles?  You might be surprised by our answer.

Robert Jones a a freelance writer has an interesting take on WHO is cutting what when it comes to print and electronic media buys.  We'll tell you about it.

Target_logo So, what is up with Target?  Expect to see more ads for the chain as we get closer to the holiday season. In fact, Target is going to be spending a considerable amount now in the third quarter in their continued effort to distance themselves from Wal-Mart.  We'll give you our insights on what your company might take from this decision.  Don't miss it...  In the meantime if you want to read the article from Advertising Age here you go.  It's all there but not our insight.

Hey, how about our friend, Dan Shipton?  Here is the article from The Des Moines Register about his latest effort and we think it is too cool!  Way to go Dan.

That story led us to this one:  Are you over 40 and think you are washed up when it comes to being a founder of a new company or a new idea?   Not so fast!  The Kauffman Foundation out of Kansas City has done a remarkable study of 549 company founders.  You might be surprised at what they learned.  We'll tell you.

Know anything about CPM (Cost Per Thousand)?  Well, Mike Shields from MediaWeek has an interesting story about how CPM rates for online ads have started to climb.  Might this be an indicator of better days ahead for print?  We'll give you our insight and some key thoughts about what you might want to be thinking about when it comes to your rates.

In MOO NEWSwe've got breaking news about John Deere.  Looks like it is the worst business sales year in 50 years.  US market steady but overseas isn't looking good.  Here is the article, again, from The Des Moines Register but not with our commentary.  That's only on the show.

Insight on Business is a production of our advertsing agency, Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications ( and you can contact us there or follow us on Twitter before, during and after the show: @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV - Thanks for listening (, reading and watching!


Advertising & Marketing Radio - August 17th

From time to time we'll throw out a post about our daily business radio show, Insight on Business...that you can see and hear from just about any place on the planet.  Today being Monday we thought you might like to know what we'll be talking about at 12:30 Central on  We do the show to offer you some insight onMade USA consumer trends and give you ideas you can use for your own campaign. 

On the show today we're going to take a look at "Buying American".  Who thinks it is important and who doesn't...and what that matters to you when you are marketing your product or service.

Also we'll tell you about the new switch in the marketing for Campbell's Soup and why, as my Mother is fond of saying, "tending to your own plate" is always good advice.

A client of ours called last week wondering about taking their products into the Hispanic Market.  So...we did some looking around and found this great article from BrandWeek.  Something to think about if you're going in that direction.  We'll give you our spin and what we had to say to our agency client.

Is the New GM too much like the Old GM?  A great story from Ad Age...we'll break it down for you and want your input as well.

FIVE things you should never do on Twitter!  What?  Only five?  We'll talk about it.

These stories and more today at 12:30 Central.  Insight on Business is a production of our advertising agency, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications ( and we are responsible for its content. You can follow us on Twitter before, during and after the show, @MichaelLibbieor @InsightADV.

Sunday Morning Coffee, Mad Men & More - August 16, 2009

Sunday Morning Coffee is a bunch of random thoughts, some personal and business Coffee Cu ps that deal with our world.  If you are looking for hard-core business, advertising or marketing isn't the day.  Check back tomorrow.  For now, settle back, grab a cup of coffee and let's visit.

This is the first weekend of the Iowa State Fair for 2009 and a quick look at the numbers indicate attendance is down a bit from last year.  The economy?  Maybe.  The weather?  Perhaps.  Division?  Hmmmm....  Over the past couple of weeks on Twitter and on Broadcast radio stations here in Des Moines I've noticed a greater number of people, who apparently consider themselves too chic and way too patrician to stoop to the level of being considered "fair-goers".  That's really too bad because the Iowa State Fair is an amazing blend of all the wonderful and weird that is Iowa.  That the Fair draws a million people in a state with only three million souls is an accomplishment.  Least we remind the "oh so cool"  the economic impact to Des Moines helps them too...

Mad MenSpeaking of "oh so cool" tonight (9PM Central)on AMC is the season debut of Mad Men.  We profiled a bit of the show on our daily radio program, Insight on Business this past Friday.   Did you know that of basic cable original series, Mad Men draws the highest percentage (49%) of viewers 25 - 54 who make $100,000 plus?  Is it any wonder that BMW signed on as the sole sponsor for this episode?

"Follow me" replacing "Friend me"?  -  Facebook and Twitter are both used by social media marketers but, by some metrics, Twitter is more popular in the marketing world.  e-Marketer had this review and the numbers.  Good reading.  Notice too that the vast majority of companies incorporate Twitter and a BLOG.  We think that's smart and something you should consider.  The "tweet" gets the word out there while the "blog" explains it.  (OK...I couldn't help throwing in something of marketing value!)Pedro,_Dave_and_I

Our son-in-law, Chase, is a pilot currently serving in Afghanistan.  We hear from him often and like other parents, family and friends of all our service men and women we think of him daily and keep them in our prayers.  Here he is (far right) with two of his crewmen.  Not sure the ball cap is regulation....hmmm.

Finally, I wrote a "Letter to the Editor" which was published today in the Des Moines Register.  It has to do with the 2010 Iowa Caucus and that both the Iowa GOP and the Iowa Democrats made it a point to schedule the 2010 Iowa Caucus on a Saturday.  We said when it was announced it was a poor idea.  We also think it's so silly that people can comment on news stories or opinion without being identified.  We believe this policy further inflames and gives voice to irresponsible behavior.  Just what we need in our increasingly divided world huh?  What do you think?  (By the way, the comments are great.  It's amazing how little people know about their faith...and others.)

Thanks for reading!  You can follow us on Twitter, @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV and learn more about our full service advertising agency at  Have a great Sunday and we'll catch you later.