Media & Communications
Are Words Becoming Obsolete in Marketing? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 26 July 2012 15:38
By: Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries

It sure looks like it. Most of the recent marketing successes are visual successes, not verbal ones. Here are 10 examples from my recent book, Visual Hammer (www.visualhammer.com).

1. The lime.

Until 2009, there had never been a Mexican brand on Interbrand’s list of 100 most valuable global brands. There is now: Corona, the beer with the lime on top of the bottle.

Today, Corona is the 86th most valuable global brand, worth $3.9 billion. In the United States, Corona outsells Heineken, the No. 2 imported beer, by more than 50 percent.

2. The chalice.

A second imported beer is moving up the ladder in America and for exactly the same reason Corona was so successful. It’s Stella Artois from Belgium.

Stella Artois is the Budweiser of Belgium, so ordinary fast-food restaurants sell it in plastic cups.

No plastic cups for Stella Artois in the U.S. market. The importer provided bars and restaurants with its unique, gold-tipped chalice glasses.

Today, Stella Artois is one of the top 10 imported beer brands in America.

3. The silver bullet.

The only mainstream beer that has increased its market share in the past few years is Coors Light, the silver bullet.

Coors Light has already passed Miller Lite, the first light-beer brand, and recently Coors Light also steamed past Budweiser to become the second largest-selling beer brand in America.

4.  The duck.

Then there’s the remarkable transformation of Aflac, the company that brought us the duck. In the year 2000, the company had name recognition of just 12 percent.

Today it’s 94 percent. And sales have gone up just as dramatically.

The first year after the duck arrived, Aflac sales increased 29 percent. And 28 percent the second year. And 18 percent the third year.

5.  The pink ribbon.

In 1982, Nancy Brinker started a foundation to fight breast cancer in memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who had died from the disease. Since then, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised nearly $2 billion.

Today, it’s the world’s-largest non-profit source of money to combat breast cancer. A recent Harris poll of non-profit charitable brands rated Komen for the Cure as the charity that consumers were “Most likely to donate to.”

6.  The red soles.

Look at the success of Christian Louboutin, a French designer who regularly tops The Luxury Institute's index of "most prestigious women's shoes."

In 1992, he applied red nail polish to the sole of a shoe because he felt the shoes lacked energy.

"This was such a success," he reported, "that it became a permanent fixture." And ultimately built the phenomenally successful Louboutin brand.

7.  The green jacket.

In the world of professional golf, there are four major championships: (1) The U.S. Open, (2) The British Open, (3) The PGA Championship and (4) The Masters. The first three are hosted by major golf organizations, but the Masters is hosted by a private club, the Augusta National Golf Club.

Every, year the Masters gets more attention than any of the other three  events.

8. The colonel.

Consider KFC, now the leading fast-food restaurant chain in China with more than 3,800 units in 800 cities.

To most Chinese people, the letters “K F C” mean nothing, but Col. Sanders is known as a famous American and the leading fried-chicken brand.

9.  The Coke bottle.

What Coca-Cola calls its "contour" bottle is 96 years old. Few are currently sold but recently, the company gave its iconic bottle a major role to play in its advertising programs.

The results have been impressive. Recently Diet Coke passed regular Pepsi-Cola to become the second best-selling cola drink.

10.  The cowboy.

And look what the cowboy has done for Marlboro cigarettes. The year Marlboro was introduced, there were four strong cigarette brands in America: Lucky Strike, Camel, Winston and Chesterfield.

Yet today, Marlboro is by far the leading brand, outselling the next 13 brands combined.

It’s also the world’s best-selling cigarette brand.

About Laura Ries

Laura Ries is president of Ries & Ries (www.ries.com), a marketing consulting firm in Atlanta. Laura and her partner/father, Positioning pioneer Al Ries – have co-written six books on branding that challenge conventional wisdom. Al’s revolutionary book “Positioning: The battle for your mind” taught us words are important in marketing and now Laura’s book “Visual Hammer” (www.VisualHammer.com) tells us why visuals are more powerful.

 
Lt. Governor Simon to welcome “The Onion” to Chicago PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Kara Beach   
Monday, 23 July 2012 13:16

CHICAGO – Lt. Governor Simon will declare it “The Onion Day” in Illinois on Tuesday, July 31 in honor of the satirical newspaper making Chicago its international headquarters. The declaration will come during a fund raiser for the Better Government Association emceed by WGN TV’s Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten that features special performances by a banjo-toting Simon and The Onion Players.

The Onion claims to be the “biggest, most expansive, most powerful, most terrifying and most influential media company in the civilized world.” Leaving behind New York City, The Onion consolidated its media operations in Chicago this month, and recently broke ground on a new studio in River North for digital video production. The Onion will move 100 employees to the new offices and studio in October.

The Onion leaders attribute the relocation to the Illinois tax credit for web video, TV and film production, as well as the city’s comedy scene and proximity to Hot Doug's Encased Meat Emporium and Hotdog Superstore. Simon will dedicate a new song to The Onion and the BGA for their work in exposing political corruption and promoting government transparency.

EVENT: Corruption Is Not Funny LIVE!, the BGA Summer 2012 Event

TIME: 6-9 p.m.

DATE: Tuesday, July 31

PLACE: Paris Club, 59 W. Hubbard St., Chicago

Click here for more information, or visit www.bettergov.org

 

 

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How To Write A Happy Ending PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:45
By: Joe Thomas of Left Brain Digital

I can't even fathom the number of conversations I've had with new clients suffering from a severe case of "I Just Don't Get It!" disease. The stories of why they wrote their books or developed their products are all different, but the endings are the same: They're not selling diddly. Squat. Nada.

Before we get too far into the whys and why nots, let me warn you, I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. There's no magic form for you to fill out to get instant access to my "Special Report," nor is there a download of secret “For Your Eyes Only" information designed to get you on my mailing list. (My next rant is going to be about buying into the web marketing trap.)

Instead, I’ll go straight to the “why,” which is as complicated as it is simple: People can't buy what they can't find.

Most web marketing gurus will tell you that Search Engine Optimization can help direct potential customers to your book or product, and why you should hire them to get you listed front and center. I am not that guy. Oh, I believe in the power of Google, but there are major caveats:

1. Search engines are great if you know what you're searching for. Type in your name and/or book title into Google and look at the results. You may be at the top of page 1 and even have 22 different listings on the first and second pages. You may get the same results on Bing and other search portals. You might even show up first on Amazon.com, where your book is right there, for sale to the masses. But you're still not selling many books are you? Here's the tricky part: YOU know your name and your book title, don't you? But, people can't search out your name and book title if they don't know them.

2. People can search for my incredibly, fantastical keywords, can't they? Well sure they can – and they do. Let's assume for a second you have a book and it’s about Politics, Money, Religion, Employment or any number of topics. Now go to Amazon and type in your keywords – you know, Politics, Money, Religion, Employment … You just discovered there are 672,481 books using your Incredibly Fantastical Keywords, right? Now type in those same keywords along with your name and/or book title. Eureka! There you are. I now direct your attention to No. 1 above.

3. Your website is totally gorgeous but it's not getting you sales. The first part of this quandary is, LOOK AT No. 1, above. Are people actually visiting your site? Have you checked out your server logs to see what your traffic data looks like? You're probably thinking your webmaster takes care of all that, right? Unless your webmaster is getting a piece of the profits from every item you sell, odds are he/she doesn't really care. Let's be honest here, you're paying your webmaster whether you sell or not. Now, if your traffic data is showing that you’re getting a boatload of traffic but no sales, maybe you need to be more realistic about how gorgeous your site really is. Looking good and converting visitors into buyers are two different things. But before you start blowing up your site, go back and LOOK AT No. 1, ABOVE.

Here’s a bit of free advice: If your marketing plan to reach 100,000 book or product sales is based on people finding you without a clue who you are, keep your day job and forget about buying the fancy car with your profits. You need exposure. You need to get your name and the name of your book, product or business in the news – in newspapers (they all put their content online nowadays), magazines and e-zines and blogs. Get yourself interviewed on talk radio and TV, if you can. Get your social network sites up and active and build a following.

Plenty of people do it themselves. If you find that too difficult or time-consuming, hire professionals to do it for you. There are 5 hundred million thousand books and products for sale online. If you want folks to know what to search for, they have to know that you exist and what you have to offer.

And the happy ending will come.

About Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas is the founder and owner of Left Brain Digital (www.leftbraindigital.com), a web development company. He’s an award-winning web designer/developer with more than 18 years of experience in print and web design and development. Thomas' work became a major influence in graphic and web design in the "Y2K" era of the Internet's dot-com explosion.

 
Rock Island Library Lines Week 8 Summer 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Rock Island Public Library   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:38
Books are Brain Food for Adults

Join us this week for our LAST Recipe Club and Swap event for adults!

 

chocolate bars Monday, July 23 at 6:00 pm in the Main Library Community Room. Chef Rachel Doumia will demonstrate a dessert and offer chocolate cake samples. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite dessert recipe to share in the recipe swap portion of the event. (Admit it: We had you at chocolate.)

 

Are you reading to win? Entry forms and boxes at all Rock Island locations for the Adult summer reading club. Top prize is a new Sony® eReader. Entries due by July 27. Winners will be notified by phone Friday, August 3.

Reading is So Delicious for Kids

Egyptian fruit bat photoWednesday, July 25 is BAT time! Join us for the Incredible Bats Show, 10:00 am, Rock Island Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street.


Licensed USDA Class C exhibitors Sharon and Daniel Peterson have presented multimedia shows on bat education for the past 15 years. The show offers facts about the diet, living habits and many benefits of an often misunderstood and feared creature. Attendees will also meet the couple's live Egyptian Fruit Bats. The bats were born in captivity, and are one of a sub-order of Old World fruit bats, Rousettus Aegyptiacus. (Native species of bats cannot be captured, sold or traded. Most are protected by state and federal laws.)  Details here.

One week left to read! The Reading is So Delicious summer reading logs are due back July 27, so keep reading!

 

All programs are free. No library card required. Questions, call the Children's Room at 309-732-7360,

 

Teens: Feed your Mind - READ!

Teens have two program choices this week (and two more next week.) Sweet!

 

illustration of a round pizza The Great Pizza Taste Test, 5:30 pm, Tuesday, July 24. Blind taste tests of area pizzas. You pick your favorite! Rock Island Main Library, ages 12 to 18.

 

Teen Movie/Food Event, 5:30 pm, Thursday, July 26. Come see Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Johnny Depp, and make a food craft you can eat. (Nothing too gross, we promise!) Sweeney Todd is a musical about a murderous barber, so the content may not be suitable forSweeney Todd movie poster younger or more sensitive teens. (Better for ages 16 and up generally, but use your own judgment.)

 

And here's a heads up for next week:

 

Final Teen Iron Chef contest, 4:00 pm, July 30, Main Library.

 

Mark your calendars for the Teen Summer Wrap-up Party, Tuesday, July 31! It starts at 5:30 pm in the Main Library Community Room. Teens can pick up their prizes, play Wii and other games, eat snacks, and just generally bask in their summer reading success.

 

 

Keep reading! Teen summer reading prizes include books, DVDs, gift cards, or the grand prize, an Amazon Kindle® eReader!

Like Audiobooks? Try OneClickdigital!

One Clickdigital advertisement

Rock Island Library has added OneClickdigital, a new service that allows you to download thousands of audiobooks for enjoyment on a portable listening device. All books are iPod compatible. To learn how to use it, sign up for a free online webinar to be offered on July 24, or click the link on our website to create a user name and get started. Details:

 

OneClickdigital subscription made possible by funding from the Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District.

Week 8 of Summer Reading

Our thanks to:

Summer Reading events and prizes sponsored by Friends of the Rock Island Public Library, Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District (Southwest Branch events) and the Rock Island Public Library Foundation (summer art and drama.)

More Ways to Stay in Touch!
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Rock Island, Illinois > 309.732.7323 (READ) > www.rockislandlibrary.org Rock Solid, Rock Island.

 
Batman Exec Producer Earns Comic-Con’s Highest Honor PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 20 July 2012 13:42
Uslan Joins Ranks of Industry Legends

Michael Uslan, Originator and Executive Producer of the Batman film franchise, joined industry giants Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Charles Schultz when he received Comic-Con International’s highest honor: the Inkpot Award.

The award recognizes lifetime achievement in the comic book and film arts industries. It came as a surprise, says Uslan, who was presented it during the recent San Diego Comic-Con International, the largest such event in the world.

“I am beyond thrilled!” he says. “I did not know that I was to be awarded with The Inkpot, and to be included with so many of the industry’s heroes is truly humbling. I particularly want to congratulate my fellow 2012 winners!”

In a manner of speaking, Uslan grew up in the Gotham Universe and, since childhood, his dream was to have the world see his favorite superhero as he saw him. Despite many obstacles, Uslan held fast to his dreams as he methodically worked toward his goal, including teaching the first accredited college course on comic book folklore in 1972 and earning his law degree four years later.

His journey is documented in his new memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman (www.theboywholovedbatman.com).

“I was just a kid from the suburbs who loved comic books, but I had a dream and I wasn’t going to stop till I made it come true,” he says.

Now busy leading the charge on what may be the most critically-acclaimed comic-book movie to date, The Dark Knight Rises, Uslan was featured this week on The CW Television Network special “The Batmobile.”

The Dark Knight Rises, the third movie in the Batman trilogy, opens July 20.

About Michael Uslan

Michael Uslan (www.theuslancompany.com) is the Originator, and Executive Producer, along with his partner Benjamin Melniker, of the Batman franchise of motion pictures. In his 36 years in the film and television industry, he has been involved with projects such as “National Treasure,” “Constantine,” and countless animated films. His work has earned Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. An authority on comic book history, he is the author of several books including his autobiography, “The Boy Who Loved Batman,’’ now in bookstores and at amazon.com.

 
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