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Market Like a Rock Star...

Very early last week Des Moines, Iowa radio stations were buzzing about ticket give-a-Eagles LP Jacket way contests for The Eagles who will be coming to the Wells Fargo Arenaon October 24th.  In addition there have been ads promoting the event on TV, Radio, print media and blogs.  Two things:

The Eagles - October 24th.

Here we have two realities - 1)  October 24th is two months away, 2)  Who doesn't know of The Eagles?

I bring those two realities to the surface because there are still business owners and marketing departments of businesses that "think" all they have to do to promote their relatively unknown product or service is to, "Run a couple of ads in the newspaper, do a week on the radio and we're gonna sell stuff like crazy."

"Crazy" is the important word in that sentence.

I once had a (former) client tell me, "Now that we're runnin' them TV ads for the Grand Opening I've sent out the word that we're gonna have to hire more people to sell our stuff!"

I had to, once again, share reality with him.  (Maybe that's why we don't represent them anymore?)

If The Eagles, whom everybody over the age of 30 would know, and their promoters and venues are taking the time to smother the Des Moines DMA with advertising messages 60 days prior to their "Grand Opening" do you really think a spend of $1,000 in six days to market an event or a product that is obscure will work?

If so...maybe YOU should let me know YOUR secret.  Honest...I'm listening.

You can learn much...from a Rock Star...



We're on Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV we can carry on the conversation there or you can leave your comment...below.  Thanks for coming by!


Sunday Morning Coffee - August 29, 2010

Scattered thoughts from a cluttered mind...   Welcome to Sunday Morning Coffee where I Coffee Cu ps take a look at the week that was and look forward to the coming week.  It's an opportunity to leave business for a day and make like we're sitting around our favorite country (or city) cafe talking about...stuff.   We'll get back to business tomorrow but for now...  Have a sip?

We did it.  We closed on our house last Friday.  For nearly five years we've had the pleasure of living in a beautiful townhouse and left the outside chores to others (well, when they would cut the grass and trim and paint and...)    While we're only moving 1.2 miles away it might as well be 300.  The packing is pretty much the same.  More later...

I'm always amazed at who turns up on Facebook.  This past week I re-connected with a person I'd not seen or heard from for over 20 years.   How do you use Facebook?  Business FlagRemington or Personal?  Or both?  Wait....I got sidetracked!

Speaking of houses -  Susie and Barry Raymond of Fort Dodge continue to live on our acreage and not make house payments...for months and months.  Yes, we're trying to get this resolved and have them evicted or pay up, but it's a process.  Their attorney, a David Isaacson of West Des Moines, isn't so great at "communication",  the last letter I saw from him was dated June 17.   Last week I sent a letter to the Iowa State Bar Association maybe somebody there can light a fire under somebody and get things rolling.  You've got my number David...and man, have I got yours.

On to more pleasant things...

I see that Paris Hilton got busted last week.  Yawn.

In one of the  most snarky editorials I've seen Cityview, the rack distributed "alternative" RAGBRI 2010newspaper in the Des Moines market, took a swipe at RAGBRAI last week.  RAGBRAI, for those of you who just went "Huh?" is the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.   It is billed as the largest biking event in the world.  And a week doing 435 miles and nearly 15,000 rider it may be.  However, You can almost feel the glee in the Shane Goodman editorial piece as he takes on the Des Moines Register, his favorite target, and writes about the 28 deaths that have occurred during the 38 years of the event saying that law enforcement and the Iowa Department of Transportation have "suggested" that RAGBRAI limit the number of riders.  Shane's real frustration is, "millions of dollars in registration fees" garnered by the Register.   If not he would have been much Decostermore bold:  Shane, we've been thinking, in the past 14 years (not 38) there have been 6,321 traffic deaths recorded by the Department of Transportation.  Maybe if we banned driving in Iowa and resorted to... bicycles?

If you've not been keeping up on the "Tainted Iowa Egg" story...where the heck have you been?  The only good thing about the Iowa Public Relations/Branding train wreck is we've identified an excuse:  Austin "Jack" Decoster is now the image we're going to use to deflect the damage to Iowa Agriculture.   Trouble is...Iowa Agriculture knew about Mr. Decoster and his "business model" for years.  Yet...  Here is a sample from RootsWire.

Speaking of agriculture, we're headed to Boone, Iowa and the Farm Progress Show( #FPS10 for you Twitter users) this week...along with thousands of our best friends.  WhileBooth Shot w Flo web insight Farm Progress (the magazine) doesn't release attendance figures, and that's wise because if you live by the numbers, you die by the numbers...ask the folks at The Iowa State Fair, the economic development folks in Decatur, Illinois (the other permanent home for the show) say that in 2007 there were 150,000 attending.  I was there and believe it was also the hottest on record.  Bottom line, lots to stuff to see and people to meet.  Our reason for being there is long term client Calcium Products will have a booth in the Varied Industries Tent...and there is an "ag Tweet-Up" in the VIP building.  Search #FPS10 for Todd Razor details. 

Gotta go...pack.  And move.  And pack and move get the idea.   Say, tomorrow it's Todd Razor from the Des Moines Young Professionals during our Metro Monday edition of Insight on Business with Michael Libbie.  That's Noon Central only on Webcast One LIVE.

Thanks for coming by, I monitor Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie, @InsightADV and @RuralLifeRadio during the week.  Maybe we can pick up the discussion there or leave a comment below?















Local Brand Problems - From Iowa

Who is in control of your business brand?  I'll let you ponder that while I take you through three Iowa Brands that are suddenly in deep trouble...the answer is in the details.GOP Shoes

The Iowa Republican Party - There is a gigantic split in Iowa (and other states) as to who is in control.  In Iowa there are the Mary Louise Smith/Robert Ray Republicans and the Bob Vander Plaats/Kim Lehman RepublicansTerry Branstad, who wants to become governor (again) is walking a tightrope between them.  That is why he selected a little known "Lehman sort of partner", Kim Reynolds, for his running mate.  Attractive and "down home" enough to throw around an "aw shucks" Reynolds is an unknown to statewide politics and hasn't really thought through her position...on much...other than she is a reach out to the Vander Plaats/Lehman Republicans.  (Have we seen this before in a recent national election?)  The question is...what is the GOP Brand?  I can tell you the Branstad/Ray/Smith folks are not, at this time, in charge of the brand.   It's a problem.

The Iowa State Fair- For 154 years the Iowa State Fair has been seen as a beautiful Iowa State Fair 2010 example of everything that is fresh and wonderful about our great state.  Then the 155th Iowa State Fair came along and for over a week they have been fighting the public image of an unsafe, racially tense...battle ground.  "Bands of roaming hooligans harassed fair-goers as they left the fairgrounds."  There were beatings, stabbings and a flash crowd that went nuts. The issue has garnered big media attention and, on top of poor fair attendance, and (what many see as) uncontrolled and runaway pricing the brand has suffered.  Who changed what about this brand?  The Fairboard, Staff?   Nope...

Iowa and Iowa Eggs- Up until four weeks ago nobody, outside of farming, knew Iowa wasChild Egg the largest producer of eggs in the United States.  Sure, we knew and agriculture knew and those of us who view the Iowa economy knew...  But then came salmonella, over 1,500 cases of people getting sick and the story of the Dekoster Farms (again).  Turn on any national news show and the words Iowa and Salmonella are linked.  Who changed the Iowa brand?  The Iowa Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the Iowa Tourism folks, farmers?  Nope...

So, you still think that the thousands of dollars you've spent building and attempting to maintain your business brand will keep you from major brand problems?  You really think that you have control over your all aspects of your brand?

The good news

The Iowa State Fair will recover because of a loyal fan base that will rise to it's defense and a professional staff that will work with state and local law enforcement to insure the safety of the hundreds of thousands who come to the fair.  And our bet is you'll see some price roll-backs at the 2011 fair.

Iowa and Iowa Eggs - The "fix" is already being played out however there are going to be more "heads that roll".  The "fix" in this case is none other than the "villain of agriculture" Austin "Jack" Decoster who has been a thorn in the side of many...for years.  Already local media have rushed grainy photos of Decoster into their news stories and bloggers are on a roll.  Consider this from DailyMe.  And, while it is unfortunate, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey (considered an automatic winner in November) will be singed by this as his opponent points fingers and asks questions.

The Iowa GOP - Have faith friends.  Folks say you should never discuss politics and religion and when you mix the two it can be lethal.  That's what direction the Iowa Republicans have done for political expediency.   It will bite them...the general public is not ready for a least we can hope.  And, even if former Governor Branstad is elected he will govern more from the center and that will REALLY inflame the "right". such a fun topic...thanks for coming by!


I monitor Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV come on by for a chat...or leave your comment here.  




The "Inventory Problem" for Local Advertisers

Planning on doing some local radio or television advertising for the 4th Quarter?  Here is something you might want to think about.Tally sheet

If you have a local business and you were planning on running local television or radio in September and October...forget it.  You may not be able to afford the cost.  Why?   Record spends are coming our way for the Mid-Term Elections and broadcast facilities will be covered up with political advertising...covered up and that means they have little inventory.  What that means for you are higher prices if you can get in.  We've been told, across the country, that broadcast facilities are charging 30 to 40 percent over rate card.

So....want some suggestions on what you should do?   There are tons of alternatives if you get started now.  What?

  • Get your social media house in order, build a plan and start...NOW;
  • Include video work for YouTube and include it in your blog (you have one right?);
  • Look for "lesser known" broadcast options; (I'd tell you Webcast One Live but better not);

There is an advantage of "going small" with lesser known broadcast'll have center stage and not be crowded out.  That, in itself, is worth something.


Thanks for coming by!  Say,  I monitor Twitter @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV if you would like to carry on the conversation.  And, we've got one of those Facebook Thingys or you can leave a comment here.

Insight on Business - Stand Ups

The video camera is a great tool.  Last week we filmed a quick post about how to get started.  Using that same technology here is a quick two-minutes on our Monday - Thursday broadcast Insight on Business with Michael Libbie.  We've edited several "stand-up" promos to the daily broadcast, stitched them together and...well, here's the result:

Insight on Business a program to help you better understand the world of advertising, marketing and consumer trends.  We take this pretty seriously, our day usually starts about 4:30AM with the research and writing of our Business Blog so we can get it out by 9:00.  Our hope is that it helps your business.  We're LIVE Monday - Thursday at Noon Central only on Webcast One LIVE!  See you at noon!



Sunday Morning Coffee - August 22, 2010

Kids of all ages gather around!  It's Sunday and that means the pot is on with some SundayCoffee Cu ps Morning Coffee.  Here is a look back at the week that was and forward to see what we'll be doing and talking about in the coming days.  Consider it scattered thoughts from a cluttered mind.  Let's' go!

For those of you in Des Moines it looks as if the "Merle Hay Auto Mile" is getting shorter with the announcement that Stivers Merle Hay is closing and moving west to their super store in Waukee.  The outward migration continues...  Consolidating their business makes sense, it's the trend after the recession.  Wonder what convenience store will go there?

American-airlines-logo American Airlines

They announced last week that there will be an added fee if you want to sit toward the front of COACH CLASS.  I share this with you to prove the fact that boneheaded moves can come from big business as will as "Mom & Pop".  Charge for bags?  Check.  Charge for snacks?  Check.  Charge for pillows?  Check  Charge for the privilege of sitting against the bulkhead with your knees under your chin?  Check.   Next up:  "Oh, Mr. Libbie, you want to sit down during the flight?"

Please, Southwest...come to Des Moines...  Please.

I see where "I want to be Governor For Life", Terry Branstad wants to shutter the Iowa Department of Economic Development and create a private/public partnership even though the department has been wildly successful in bringing some major players Google, Microsoft, etc. to Iowa.  Where have we heard this before?   Come on kids...put your thinking caps on. is a hint:  "Social Security".  You're on your own after that.Gov Culver Steer Show

Meanwhile...and I don't do politics...Governor Chet Culver did get some applause at the Governor's Charity Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair.  Not much...but you have to understand the crowd.  Agriculture folk hate the governor.   They are not really sure why...but they do and it's...weird and frankly, disrespectful.  You guys know better than that. (Photo: Flicker - Gov. Chet Culver)

Sad note!  Today is the final day of the Great Iowa State Fair - 2010...  I was only on the "Hollowed Ground" twice this year.  My bride believes there are more important things to do like pack and move...  Jeeze! 

Drum roll....   Come on you can do it!  Last Thursday during Insight on Business with Michael Libbie we showed you the weekly winner for "The Worst Ad of the Week".  I do not want to leave you in the dark you go.  One word:  Creepy.

Are you OK?

My friends over at The Des Moines Egotist carried the story on Friday.  I want to thank you guys for watching our show!!  ;-)  Oh...and I hear that they just may feature ME in tomorrow's Fly Strip edition.  ("I was born a poor white child in Detroit....")  You guys are TOO cool!!  Thank you!!

From our : "I'll Do Everything I can to be Accepted at Eastside Night"  We have gnats so we have added to our Kitchen Decor the science and technology of an Iowa Barn.  Hey...It's natural!  And, a great conversation piece when guests, come a-callin'.

Last week we were at our son's new house helping him, and his lovely bride,...paint.  They have no gnats...or fly catchers.  It's a shame.

Have you followed us on our Facebook Page for Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications?  I'm just asking because you really should.  For the love of everything you hold it for the children!  Plus you'll be the first on your block to get our daily updates for Insight on Business and loads of fun stuff like that special, secret de-coder ring...well not really but...come on, it's free!Woman attractive

Speaking of Facebook:  For those of you wanting to improve your social media response to Facebook Ads, one word:  Cleavage!   It seems a recent study proves that cleavage gets the highest response 61% higher than "normal".    Clearly the research is flawed so we at Insight Advertising will have to take on the task of double checking the methodology.  Is that OK honey?

Tomorrow on our show, Insight on Business with Michael Libbie it's Metro Monday and our special guests (Yes, we will have a total of 3!) will be Brian Waller the Executive Director of the Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce (there are 28 in the Metro) and Marc Hollander from the Davis Brown Law Offices and "PR Guy" for the Downtown Chamber.  

No doubt we'll be asking Brian and Marc about the changing face of Downtown Des Khenri boloMoines.  While we are seeing some fantastic new construction...we're also seeing more empty office space and even buildings.   There is this story from The Des Moines Register about yet another restaurant closing notice the number of square feet available with more to come...should be a great buy.

THEN...and yes, there is more...coming in at 1:00PM we'll be visiting with Keelia Paulsen of Kehenri.  Good stuff coming up tomorrow at Noon Central and only on Webcast One LIVE!WebCastOneLive image

Did you hear?  Gas prices are expected to fall after Labor Day.  Labor's one of those holidays I can never remember when it is...until it's here.

Good news for Rural America!  Former Iowa Governor and now US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack came to Iowa to announce more money for Rural Broadband Internet connection projects.  And, he used OUR LINE about the importance of the project to the economy.   Love it when we are quoted.  Here is the story from our post from, Highway 6 - Your Road to the Country.

OK...must put this to press...the sun has just crested and it's looking like another warm and sticky be moving boxes.  Have a great Sunday and we'll catch you back here tomorrow.  By the way, I monitor Twitter @MichaelLibbie as well as @InsightADV just in case you want to keep in touch there.  Thanks for reading...must go change the fly catcher.














Using Video for Your Business - How To

The other day on our business television webcast Insight on Business with Michael Libbie I shared several tips about how to use video to improve your marketing MPL Flip position.  When you put sight and sound together people notice.  That is the magic of television.  And that's why we at Webcast One LIVE went to both an audio and visual platform. 

But, what about you?  Can you afford to use video to promote your business?  The answer is YES!  Here is a short clip on how we use it and it should make sense for you.

For more information on the Flip Video Cam here is their website.

Here are the points I made in the video:

  • Buy the best equipment you can afford;
  • Know and master the edit;
  • Sound is critical, if you have a soft voice go with an external mic;
  • What should you shoot?   You have a story...right?
  • The power of the testimonial in video.


Thanks for coming by and let's hope this help your business get noticed!


What Was...IS at the Iowa State Fair

Had you told me that Tone Loc and Vanilla Ice would have brought this many people to the Anderson Erickson FREE stage a week ago at the Iowa State Fair...I might have said...."Nah!".  Wrong!

I would have been...WRONG!  Thousands came tonight, partied and had a great time...

So for your business....sometimes what is OLD might be COOL...if you play it right.  So, let's think about this.  What do you do, or have you done that is worth...thousands?  Think about it.

The people are hungry...for better times.  What can you remind them of?



Sunday Morning Coffee - August 15, 2010

Sunday = Sunday Morning Coffee!  This is a visit between friends about a whole raft ofCoffee Cu ps things that happened this past week...and a look forward.  Because it's a conversation, I'm interested in your take.  You can comment below, send me an e-mail or say something on Twitter: @MichaelLibbieScattered thoughts from a cluttered mind!  Grab a cup and let's get started:

Biggest news in these parts is the 155th Iowa State Fair began on Thursday.  Early projections had advance ticket sales outpacing prior years mostly, we think, because the availability of ticket sites climbed from 250 to over 2,100.  You know, even at $10 it can be the cheapest full day of entertainment on the planet.  IF you don't buy anything...however (see below) YOU better!

State Fair Root Beer Inflation at the Iowa State Fair - A year or two ago you could still buy the famed Iowa State Fair Root Beer for $1.00.  No longer...  When I took the photo the "nice lady" at the stand said, "Well have you taken a picture of gas prices too!??!?"  Yes...and it's cheaper this year than last.  (I think she was just...too hot and humid.)

The first two days attendance at the Iowa State Fair might also suggest it was just too hot and humid.  A total of 173,724 so far this year compared to 199,224 in 2009.   Today....the high is only set at 83 degrees and very low humidity.  Going?  See you there.

The Iowa Democratic Party must have been listening or reading my post about Trade Show Booths.  This year their booth, in the Varied Industries Building, is "open" without tables separating the workers from the attendees.  The Iowa GOP?  Nope.  But, when you already know EVERYTHING...Gov Culver Twitter August 2010

Speaking of politics:  I had a dream last night (some would call it a nightmare) where I ran into Governor Chet Culver at the Iowa State Fair.  I had two things to share with him:  1)  Start doing your own Tweets and FOLLOW regular Iowans - @GovChetCulver and 2)  I invited him to do Insight on Business with Michael Libbie to talk about the IJobs program.  Even in my sleep...some great tips.

Oh...tomorrow Metro Monday, the Monday Edition of Insight on Business with Michael Libbie, will feature Ed Weintrob of Brooklyn, NY.  HUH???  We'll be talking about micro-news coverage and about his love of Des it fits.  Noon tomorrow...only at Webcast One LIVE!

Tip of the Hat to Andrew B. Clark and his wit. (@TheBrandChef)  I'd been whining about water in the basement of our house.  On Thursday I was to meet a "basement expert" but couldn't get in the house because I couldn't find my keys!  (Dummy)  Andrew writes on Twitter:  "You can do it, hey, the water finds its way in...

This week, I think, I'll find out if I can toss the squatters off of my property in Fort Dodge.  Some people have no pride at all.  It's going on two years since they've made a payment.  YOU Finger You would think it might be easy to force them out.  But...

The Economy - Just so YOU know:  YOU are responsible for the economy being sluggish in July.  YOU did not purchase enough.  YOU made the decision to save rather than spend.  YOU, while you purchased vehicles, failed to purchase homes.  YOU!  Meanwhile business experts are fawning all over General Motors because they posted huge profits for the second quarter of 2010.  "Wonderful!", "Exciting!", "Leadership!"...but nobody considered all of the YOU's who no longer have JOBS.   Factory workers, dealerships, etc.  Something, yes, had to be done.  But...leaving that part out of the news story?

Which brings to mind a question a viewer of our show once asked, "What is the patriotic duty of 'Corporate America' to pay livable wages and hire people to put confidence back into the economy?  Or is the only motivation to stock holders?"  Never mind...I know.

IA State Fair Crowd Hey, are you going to The Iowa State Fair today?   Just checking because Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc will be there.  Show at 8:00PM. That's what I'm talkin' about!  And...the Nadas at 7:00PM all at the Anderson - Erickson Dairy Stage. is FREE!!!!

Got this fair stuff in my mind today huh?  Apologies to those of you not lucky enough to make the fair this year or who don't care about the fair, or think the fair is "yucky" or don't have time, or it's too crowded, or whatever!  ;-)

OK...out the door with this pot of Sunday Morning Coffee...  Have a great day.  Back to BUSINESS tomorrow!  Here is the personal Facebook page, just in case you can't get enough.  Sorry...































Worst of the Week

 On our daily, Monday - Thursday television adventure, Insight on Business with Michael Libbie, seen only at Webcast One LIVE,  we usually take our Thursday afternoon webcastWebCastOneLive image web and share with you an ad, campaign or brand that, in our opinion, is "The Worst of the Week". 

I failed to do that yesterday so, we are going to make amends by offering you TWO selections for  "The Worst of the Week". 

First, let's stay local with Kum & Go:

Name Our Cup On the heels of the successful promotion "Morning Face", where consumers uploaded photos of their morning faces to a microsite,, for the chance to win a Kum & Go gift card and prize pack, (and the opportunity to be mocked for all time) Kum & Go came up with this forgettable "Name Our Cup" adventure.  While "Morning Face" was fun, engaging and targeted this promotion is/was, in our opinion, the result of trying to be as vague as possible on the heels of something that worked.

Let's look at what we think is a national mistake with Target:

There are so many things wrong with the "Up and Up" branding effort by Target that it's hard to stay focused...but, I'll do my best:

So, let's review "Up and Up":

  • Vague - What the hell does "Up and Up" mean?
  • Vague - Why make consumers search for WHAT the
  • Vague- Sending out promotional items that requires magnifying glasses to read.

We didn't/don't like seems...vague.

Target has the "brand capital" to do something better than this.  Here, we think, they come off looking more like Wal-Mart than Target.  "But, Michael it is supposed to look generic."  Target spends millions to NOT be generic and then they do...this?   Consider the Method and sharp.   That's where Target should have gone.

But then...nobody asked us.