The Apostles with Peter Children

Over the years we've met and done business with many entrepreneurs to established businesses. One that stands out is a guy we've known Peter Children May 2017 for well over a decade. Peter Children is in his mid 80's and works his business, Universal Products, each day.  And, what is that?  Peter has been, for generations, providing other companies with beautiful artwork and promotional items. Now, we're not talking about ice scrapers, although I bet he's done that in the past, but real works of collectable art.  One that stands out is this coin collection that features the Twelve Apostles. Check this brief video....

Told you.  

Peter is somebody that we visit with several times a week and he not only has The Apostles coin set but he also has beautiful Swarovski Jewelry that so many companies, that are attempting to incentivise their customers, give away with a purchase. But, that is for another post.

If you are at all interested in learning more about this great entrepreneur and what he might be able to do for you and your business though some beautiful incentives you can reach Peter, by phone, at 641-423-0184. Nope, he doesn't have a website (something we've begged him to do) but he will call you back.  Thank you Peter for being such an inspiration for so many of us.

Sunday Morning Coffee - January 8, 2012

We'll get back to business tomorrow.  Today you've got the chance toCoffee Cu ps drink up some Sunday Morning Coffee; our look at sex, politics, gossip, opinion.  The stuff you crave.  Don't just sit there, you know you want some!

This week:

  • Chris Hagenow - Week 47
  • Iowa Caucus - It's not just the GOP
  • CNN - We talk Social Media and...The Weather
  • President Obama - Grows some...
  • The Holocaust - A weight loss answer from Dubai?
  • Rick & Newt & Mitt - Huh?
  • Penguins - Happy Feet meets Raiders of the Lost Ark

Don't just sit there grab some Sunday Morning Coffee right here



You are welcome...Michael

In Honor of The Vuvulzela

I was going to save this for Sunday Morning Coffee but...hey why wait?  The marketing of the World Cup in South Africa has gotten a huge boost due to the Vuvuzela those pesky three-foot plastic horns that make a racket before, during and after the match.  Thought I'd show you what we call a Shofar a ram's horn used for a couple of thousand years.  There might be 15 of these in no doubt you've never experienced the Shofar.  Enjoy, at my expense...

Clearly not an expert...but sometimes you've gotta do something like this for fun or else we begin to take ourselves too seriously?

Let's hook up on Twitter?  @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV

Thanks for coming by...

Sunday Morning Coffee - December 13

Ahhh...Sunday Morning the perfect day to kick back with a hot cup of "joe" and catch up.  That's what Sunday Morning Coffee is all about...  Stick around for a visit?  We'll get back to business on Monday.Jov in the snow

The Winter Death Storm 09 blew through his this week and deposited 15+ inches of snow in the Des Moines Metro.  The winners?  The media that hyped this to the max getting loads of people whipped into a frenzy.  Minute by minute of storm tracking was even done by our friends at the Des Moines Register...  The other winners were those who took what they got and made something of the time.  (That's our grand-daughter Jovie...isn't she adorable?

Folks like Heidi Rockwell and her husband Sam who own Yumi's Bakery in Grinnell, Iowa.  The afternoon before the big storm I had, on our radio show Insight on Business, talked about using "snow days" to be creative and proactive.  When the snow came and nobody NOBODY came out to buy Heidi's' baked goods she remembered the article she had read on our blog.  She went to the phone and started calling motels along I-80 and offered them delivery service.  History was made that day as Yumi's Bakery had the biggest day in their history delivering to stranded motorists.  Thanks to Jack Mathews of Our Grinnell for the story!

Georgie Dec 10 Snow In another winter storm related story we remind you that your "good name" is valuable.  Jim Ericson works for Group Benefits Limited of Urbandale.  The company is owned by Brian Hewitt.  Jim doesn't own a snow blower.  This past Thursday he was ready for work but the snow trucks had buried his driveway.  He flagged down a guy driving a truck with a snow-blade and offered to pay him to clear out a path.  The truck driver asked Jim if he worked for Brian Hewitt, Jim was wearing his Group Benefits Ltd. jacket.  When the driver learned that Brian was Jim's boss he said, "I owe Brian one." and cleared the driveway for free.  As Jim wrote to his fellow workers, "You can be very proud of where you work and who we all work for.  Don't be afraid to brag about it.  You never know when you'll receive an unexpected benefit."  Neat...and remember to wear your company logo...if you are proud.

Today is the second day of Chanukah.  If you've always wondered what these eight days are is a link.  Enjoy.Editor and Publisher cover

Another nail in the coffin?  This past week Editor and Publisher ceased to exist.  The 125 year-old publication, known as "The Bible of the Newspaper Industry" decided to throw in the towel and stop printing.  Might it hang around in some form?  Perhaps...but it is yet another sign that things are  And if you are not making the serious changes in your business by increasing your digital footprint.  Well, you know that story.

If you are a LinkedIn user would you consider taking our Poll on "Holiday Closings"?  Many folks have and it's fun to see what people think about taking time off during the holidays.  And, if you've got a comment...feel free to leave one.

I uploaded UberTwitter on Friday easy.  Do you yet Tweet from your mobile device?  Just checking...

Thanks for sharing a cup of coffee with me.  Learn more about us at our agency website,  Keep in touch with us on Twitter:  @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV or @RuralLifeRadio.  Here we are on Facebook and this is the link to Des Moines Local Live.  Have a great Sunday and thanks again!









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.








Man suitcase Back in the United States and anxious to get BACK to work.  I've been in Israel for the past eight days.  And, as always, there were more stories then there is time for you to read them.  However, allow me one brief review of what is really troubling the airline industry and perhaps your business as well.

As we all know, traveling by air is a hassle.  My standard rule of thumb is that if the trip is shorter than 700 miles.  I'll drive, thank you.  Why is that?  And, the better question might be:  Why would YOUR customer rather switch than stay with you?  We think the answer is pretty simple:

Nothing is "special" and the employees don't have a clue.

Airline employees, as a whole, are very professional folks and they never miss an opportunity to let you know.  Are your employees the same?  You know, do they know plenty about the product or service but fail at the ability to engage the customer?

It makes for a very impersonal adventure.  It's not to say we require employees to 'gush" each time a customer asks a question but it would be nice to have them be warm and interested.

So, perhaps the lesson we should learn from this is to remain focused on not only our professional relationship but also our personal lives.  Care a little more perhaps and engage.

Beats flying!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications

The Sparks Fly Upward - World Premiere

Knacht Last March when we signed on with the musical production of The Sparks Fly Upward we had no idea of what to expect.  It's always like that with a new product, service or in this case, a musical.   Last night was the dress rehearsal and we took some publicity shots for the future.

The story line follows three German families, two Jewish and one Christian, through the days before, during and after the Holocaust.  The interesting thing about this piece is the focus on doing good rather than the "Final Solution".  It is also historicaly accurate and the detail is amazing.  While  mo st of The Sparks Fly Upward is set in a time period between 1939 and the end of World War II,  the message about standing against genocide, in our day, is very real and timely.

In addition it's "home grown".  The Sparks Fly Upward has been written by Cathy LesserShul inside Mansfield a law professor at Drake University here in Des Moines.  The production takes 20+ actors, a 37 piece orchestra, a 30 member chorus and a projected photographs of the period.

But, most of all it is compelling, gripping and hopeful. 

The Sparks Fly Upward will see it's first performance Saturday evening at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.  Coming to see the production are professionals from New York, Chicago, Cleveland and Israel. 

Sabbath We think it's got legs...hope you can come.  There are still a few tickets available for the 8:00PM show.  For here!

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications

And Now For Something Really New...

Sparks_web Doing media work for the new musical drama, The Sparks Fly Upward has been a wonderful experience in expanding our abilities.  And, we're grateful.

For those of you who don't yet know about this wonderful musical drama we invite you to visit The Sparks Website and learn more.

In a nutshell, this is the story of three families, two Jewish and one Christian, as they come to realize their "normal" world has been ripped from them and how they cope with their fears, their faith and their hope. 

While set in Nazi Germany the musical does much more than tell the story of that time.  It is also a call to action to confront bigotry, hate and genocide in our time.

Joeg The World Premiere will take place here in Des Moines at Hoyt Sherman on November 8th which is the 70th Anniversary of Krystalnacht.  (Go ahead click and read.)  It will be conducted by Des Moines Symphony Maestro, Joseph Giunta, directed by Timothy X. Troy and will feature the Des Moines Choral Society and a cast of nearly twenty people.

The piece was written by Cathy Lesser Mansfield of Des Moines.  Whom we thank for the opportunity to work on the project.

In the weeks ahead we'll be doing loads of public relations efforts in the Des Moines and the Midwest.  If you have a group that would like a presentation, a guest appearance or further information send me an e-mail or give us a call.  We'll make it work for you.

Hope to see you and your family at Hoyt Sherman on the evening of November 8.  And, yes, tickets are now available from Hoyt Sherman or Ticketmaster.

Micheal P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we're really excited about this opportunity...can you tell?

Sunday Morning Coffee - Brief Bits

Coffee_cu_ps Here we and I over a cup of coffee.  I spend some time on Sunday reflecting on some of the stories and events that's happened over the past week.  Some of these things may have an advertising or marketing focus...others, just observations.

Sunday just seems like a good time to do get a refill and let's get into it.

Obama wins big in South Carolina and the news media is awash in "black/white" talk.

Everybody is playing the game...  That's really sad considering we've just "celebrated" Martin Luther King Day, lined up and "remembered" the idea of race equality.  Guess we've got more to do.

Those of you who know about our advertising agency know we tend to specialize in agricultural and rural lifestyle issues.  Now comes a report that is linking the increased number of beef recalls for E-coli to distillers grain, a byproduct of the ethanol industry.

Angus_bulls Is it?  We don't yet know.   However this is another swipe at the industry that has reshaped Iowa and Rural America.  We've long held our doubts that ethanol from corn is the long term solution to energy independence and if this one sticks...kiss it goodbye.  Why?  The numbers.  Remember there are a whole lot more of "them" (non-agriculture related individuals) than us.

The housing industry slump is being felt here in Iowa as associated business begin to lop off jobs.  However many say because of our tie to agriculture and insurance much of Iowa may have some "economic stability".  We sure hope so...

Mlk_pitts_mpl But about jobs.  Here is a photo of Leonard Pitts and me taken last week at the Martin Luther King Day Celebration at the Iowa Historical Building.  Mr. Pitts was on hand to deliver the keynote address.  I've long admired his writing both as a music critic and now as a Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist.

See the fellow in the background to my left? (I know it's on the photo)  That's former Lt. Governor (1983 - 1987) Bob Anderson.  Lt. Governor Anderson was recently tapped to lead the Iowa Institute for Tomorrow's Workforce.  Knowing that I approached him and asked, "So tell me Bob just where are these 150,000 jobs Iowa will be short by 2010?

I have a real reason for asking.  I have four families on the line who WANT to move to Iowa and in particular Des Moines but we're having trouble finding them work.  One is a law professor, the other an high-tech Internet programmer and the other two are truck drivers who want to move from New Jersey for a better life here in Iowa. 

I've been trying to find the answer to that question for months...Bob took my card and said he'd call somebody and have them call me.  We'll see.

Other than that...sunshine and a high of 36 expected for today!  Enjoy...and thanks for reading.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications

Our "Village" Found Its "Idiot"...

Village_idiotThis week his name is Marc Nicola of Angelo's Pizza of Des Moines  and Urbandale.  Webster defines "idiot" as "An utterly foolish or senseless person".  It seems to fit in this case.  I don't know Mr. Nicola but I'll introduce you to him.

But before we start, part of our job as an advertising and marketing agency is to help our clients from making themselves targets.  Angelo's Pizza is not a client.  But they should be.

Recently there was an article in an "alternative" newspaper here in Des Moines.  The paper, "Cityview" mentioned Mr. Nicola's restaurant  and that there is on the menu an item called the "Illinois Nazi".  Go ahead read the article...we've got time.

In short, the reviewer, Jim Duncan, said that to: 1) Have an item on the menu that was "baked in an oven" and had the Nazi name attached to it was a bit shocking and, 2) the response of Mr. Nicola to an article in the Des Moines Jewish Press which raised concerns about the name lacked an understanding of a horrific event (The Holocaust) and that Mr. Nicola dismissed it because, " It happened 60 years ago and people should just get over it" was a little over the top.  That is the "short" of the April 12, 2007 food review.  If you would like to read the entire article go ahead...we've got time.

Then our Idiot, Mr. Nicola, fires a back a letter to Cityview. Saying that this menu item has been around for, "almost thirty years" and that it was named for, "two fictional characters in the movie The Blues Brothers".  To my knowledge the resturant does not have a "movie theme" and I didn't remember any "two characters" being named the "Illinois Nazi's".  So, I checked out the script from the movie...and you can too. far we can forgive our Idiot.  He just may not know and besides, the story has been passed down from Idiot to Idiot for nearly thirty years.  It's Oral Tradition by now.

Nazi_deathcamppic However then he goes one step further and writes.  (Are you ready for this?)  "Quit trying to read into something that isn't there.  If it makes you feel better, look at it this way - this time the Nazi is going into the oven."

This now becomes the damning statement.

Segregation Gee...Mr. Nicola...why not come out with the "Segregation Sandwich"...I'm sure we can help you figure out some historic references that might help you market  the tender "white meat".  On second thought...forget it.  Nobody would "get it". And, it would be disgusting!

Oh, in case you think we are holding this up because of some "Jewish Issue" you need to know that even the German Consul, Mark Schlenker was offended by the use of the word "sauerkraut" even being teamed up with the word "Nazi". 

It's just stupid and poor Mr. Nicola.  He has no clue.

Tell you what "Pizzoni".  It's people like you that give folks like us hope.  We've said many times that in every village, there is somebody who needs some help in their public relations efforts.  Thanks for proving our point.

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we like to think that Urbandale and Des Moines might not "cotton" to idiots.