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I'm Farming & I Grow It - Video

Now for something...different. Much of our advertising agency work revolves around agriculture.  We've Insight Logo Kizzy helped ag companies launch new products and services through traditional as well as social media channels. 

That's why when we saw this video we had to post.  It's says all the cool things about agriculture and it gives a nod to the youth in farming.  Check it:


What we liked about this was the reality aspect.  We were willing to sit and watch for the 3+ minutes because it's something we relate to.  Will it play in St. Louis?  Maybe...but it does highlight the power of creative video in business...even farming.

Thanks for coming by.  If you want to connect leave a comment here or find us on Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook page.



The Perfect Spokesperson?

Lots of companies have spokespeople.  Sometimes they fit, other times Mike Rowe Ford not so much.  When Ford Motor Company tapped Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe as their spokesperson we knew it was a winner. Why?  Rowe is not only believable but he seems sincere, real and crosses from urban to rural with ease.

It's not often a company gets this lucky.

For years Jared Fogel showed how regular folks could lose weight by eating sandwiches from Subway.  Then he fell in love and gained thirty pounds. So much for that...

Who can forget BP CEO Tony Haward in his role as the spokesman for the Gulf Oil Crisis.  Nothing about Tony fit the occasion.  His position, temperament or ability.  Not to mention arrogance.

Back in 2006 we wrote about a Boone, Iowa furniture store who used the very attractive Lauren Bishop as their spokesperson.  It's not that she wasn't good it was just odd the company went out of its way to identify her as if she were actually living/working at the store.  She wasn't. To some it became a creditability issue.

All of this is meant to have you think...really think...about putting your brand in the hands of who/what?  And, while we're at it, we get the link between a lizard and an insurance company (Gecko/Geico) but sometimes we wonder about...the pig.


Thanks for coming by.  If you want to connect feel free to leave a comment here or join us on Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page.



Cookie Cutter Branding

Every company has a brand.  The folks responsible for steering the brand Jc penny logo
may have a corporate office but the "deciders" (the folks that really matter) are consumers.  JC Penny Co. learned that lesson and this week Michael Francis, the former Target Corp. executive who was tapped to redefine the brand, left the company.

What happened?  The consumer was not buying the shift away from "sales events" to steady low prices.  And, when you think JC Penny Co. you already have a brand image of..."old" yet "reliable".  (My 92 year old Mother loves JC Penny Co. my bride...not so much.)  All of that was upset with the new branding effort

To be honest we loved the "new look" of JC Penny Co. with its sleek low clutter print ads.  We've always believed "less is best" when it comes to JC Penny Coadvertising.  But looking like Target was not enough.  The company made the decision to borrow a Wal-Mart approach and go for...low prices all the time. The "deciders" (those pesky consumers) didn't like it because it went too far...too quick.

Perhaps what JC Penny Co. should have done was look at it's overall brand and make improvements in service, selection and begin a campaign that allowed for a slower transition toward capturing a more youthful, well heeled target demographic.

But, investors don't like to wait...and JC Penny Co. had already waited way too long.

This is a lesson in two ways, 1) Cookie Cutter Branding doesn't work. Looking "cool" isn't enough especially when it's out of touch with your core market and its expectations. 2) Mature brands turn their image like a cruse ship not a speed boat, especially true if you want the consumer to hang on.



If you would like to connect, feel free to leave a comment here or follow us on Twitter @InsightADV (business or @MichaelLibbie (personal account).  And...our advertising agency is also on Facebook, here is that link.

The Friday Wrap - June 15, 2012

No, it's NOT the "Fish Wrap" but The Friday Wrap where we look at some me business/marketing/advertising news you may have missed...or seen but without our comment.  Today in The Friday Wrap:

  • Got...Gas? - We figured our friends at Hy-Vee would have learned with "Drug Town" that it's all in
  • Political Attack Ads - Do we really hate them?
  • Cheap Advertising - It's available but it takes work.
  • Decision Making - Small should mean...quick but...
  • Guts - Do you have the guts to be/stay in business?
  • Smart Consumers - Are they "too smart"?
  • Baby Sale - Confusing the consumer
  • Worst Ad of the Week - And now you know...

Thanks for coming by and that link to these stories is right here.  Have a wonderful weekend!



Too Smart for Traditional Marketing?

I missed this quote from Brian Solis when he presented at the Des Man Question Moines Event last week but my friend Justin Wise posted it to Twitter: “Traditional marketing no longer works. People are too smart…too elusive.”

I wish I had picked up on it during the event because I've got a question, "Oh really?".  It's not that I disagree with my friends Brian and Justin it's just that with 140 characters it's hard to get the complete story.  I think the rest of this should have been, "Among those consumers who are connected traditional marketing no longer works.  People are too smart...too elusive." Why?  Because the vast majority of consumers are not connected...that's right.

I know Twitter has 140 million "Worldwide Tweeps" who burn off 400 million Tweets per day. That would seem HUGE...and it is but it also leaves out a HUGE segment of the population that is not connected.  

We can engage in similar Facebook Facts.  While Facebook enjoys a market penetration of 49.9% in North America and 12.1% worldwide we've got to consider just how connected to products and services are these people vs. how connected are they to friends & family. (Data - Internet World Stats)

We've always said that if you are in business you need to be connected through social media. However, to suggest that "traditional marketing no longer works" is a stretch.  Our caution is to use both...well.

Connect with the connected consumer in every way you can and then entice those who are not connected by using traditional marketing methods...and perhaps get them to...connect.




If you would like to connect with a comment, you can do that here is our Twitter Profile and our advertising agency Facebook Page. Thanks for coming by! - Michael

Loyalty & Customer Service

Our posts are about advertising and marketing.  Ways in which business, Man Exclaim of any size, can seize an opportunity to expand their "awareness footprint" among consumers.  And while we focus on media we also love to see exceptional customer service.  Here's three stories that have a common link.

Clive Power Equipment (CPE) is just west of the Village of Windsor Heights and owned/managed by John and Chuck Agans.  When we purchased our home in "The Village" we needed...stuff.  Buying local is as important as buying quality and that's why we settled on Clive Power & Equipment.  Then, several weeks ago we got an added bonus...Honesty.

Our Toro lawn mower kept stalling out.  Less than two years old, and looking brand new, I hauled it to CPE and described the problem.  One of the guys said, "Before we check it in let's check that cable that came out of it's holder."  He popped it in, started the mower and new.  Clearly they could have checked it in, threw a wrench on it and charged me $100 but...they didn't.  We value that.

Professional Roofing & Aaron Helmrichs

Roof May 2012 Helmrich RoofingWe needed a new roof...badly.  I talked with other homeowners and had several estimates.  A guy by the name of Aaron Helmrichs had been working in the area and my neighbor suggested we allow him to bid the job.  He did and his estimate came in under several others but...included more work such as proper ventilation changes, a new sub-roof and extended ice dam protection.  They had the job done in two days, no mess and the owner was on site several times and came back after the work...twice just to check on the finished project.  On his third visit we wanted to pay him and he said, "I just want to make sure the job is perfect before you pay me."  What the hell?  You want his number...we'll share or check this from Angie's List.  

Iowa Computer Repair

Ed Snuffin and I could not be further apart when it comes to politics but we respect each other and when I had a major melt down of our billing system and that computer I turned to Ed.  Not only did he rush the job...he also took the time to re-train me on some functions I had missed.  This was the second time in three months we used Iowa Computer Repair for a business related task and we're sold.  Sure, it cost a little more than the "Big Box" but knowing I was supporting a local business and getting great service was worth the extra $50.

Three stories about locally owned business people doing good work. I think that speaks volumes for all of us and I'm glad to offer a little extra boost for them.  And a word about what I wrote last week about the "Connected Consumer" THIS my friends is exactly what my friend Brian Solis was talking about. My connection with you and these businesses and our adventure.

This week it's a plumbing and electrical adventure...I'll let you know.



If you want to connect with a comment here, feel free or follow our advertising agency on Facebook and/or on Twitter.  Have a great week!

Connected Consumers - You Paying Attention?

This is just half of the crowd that was on hand yesterday during the Brian Solis Crowd Solis presentation at the Science Center of Des Moines.  They came on the invitation of my friend Ben Smith of Social IRL.


To listen to Brian and several other local social media types discuss reaching consumers with your message and, more importantly, how they interact with you or...your brand.  

Solis BrianDid I learn much?  Some.  Much of what I heard I also speak about on the circuit so it was, many times, a confirmation of what we already know and suggest to our clients.  

What I did find amazing was Brian's discussion on the three types of consumers:

  • Traditional - Those consumers who connect with products and services by using "traditional media models".  You know, print, television, radio, fliers.  What you should remember about this group is that it continues to...shrink.  However, it is clearly not...dead.
  • Digital - Those consumers who get information from both traditional sources as well as digital modes.  They check out websites before the buy.  Do some Google searches on products and services.  Read blogs and ingest information before making a buying decision. However, according to Brian, this group also is shrinking and moving to:
  • Connected - This consumer not only seeks information online but
    also shares his/her thoughts, experiences and buys with others who Solis Connected Consumer are also connected through social media.  The "funnel" becomes "circular" with lots of interaction, pushes, thoughts, and questions. It becomes, almost, group think on products and services.

The Connected Consumer shares with others who are connected often without your knowledge (unless you too are...connected).  They will become your best and most loyal consumer or...your worst nightmare.  It all depends on your ability to connect, answer, be helpful and....stop selling.  The buy happens when the connected consumer feels as if you honestly care about the entire experience. Not just the sale.

Good stuff kids.  To connect with Brian you might want to head here... Your thoughts?




If you would like to comment, feel free to do that here.  Or let's connect on Twitter @MichaelLibbie (personal) or @InsightADV (business baby...all business) and here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for reading!

The "Mom Test"

When I saw the headline I cringed...and I suspect you did too.  It's one thing when somebody gets fired over some goofy Facebook post or when an employee receives a reprimand for writing something stupid on Mom 4 June 2012 Twitter. But when it's the Superintendent of Schools for the largest district in Iowa and the e-mails are in clear violation of business policy...not to mention the sexy content. It makes us want to bang our collective head against the wall.

There isn't much of an excuse...for any of it but it is a stark reminder that even the smartest people can get sidetracked and muck up their life. And, in this case, very publicly.

I'm not throwing any darts at anybody here.  Frankly, I don't have a horse in this race.  However it is, yet another, reminder that everything you say or write using our new methods of communication can be there...forever. Like my 92 year-old mother said today, "You should never write or say anything that you would not say or write to your Mother."

I think that is very sound advice....




If you want to leave a comment here, feel free or let's connect on Twitter @InsightADV (business baby) or @MichaelLibbie (personal) or here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for reading.