This is cool…
Courtesy of BBC One.
CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business ranking have New Jersey in the top 10 for “quality of life” and #3 in education. I’m surprised at the former, not so much the latter.
Who’s last? Oh, you betcha.
I can almost hear the the Mister Softee music playing in my head. If you grew up in New York City, you know what I mean. In Brooklyn, the passing ice cream truck would get mobbed by kids on every block — each clutching mom’s money.
In the suburbs of New Jersey, I’ll occasionally see a beat-up old van, hand-painted, with a freezer in the back, reselling popsicles. Mister Softee dispensed the good stuff.
The folks at ThinkGeek.com are doing it right. They know their customers, and they know what they’ll buy.
Whether they sell a lot of WiFi caps or not, it’s entertaining enough for online browsers — who, in this case, happen to be shopping. Made me click around. Found an excellent backpack, too.
Add to cart, geeks.
A few months ago, I subscribed to an HDTV service that carried the Voom HD channels from Cablevision. Slowly, these channels started dropping out of the channel line-ups. One of the first to go was Mojo HD, which featured one of the more memorable new programs,”Three Sheets” — a program that combined travel and drinking. Scripps Networks’ Fine Living TV picked up the series last month.
I thought the ad was well done and the positioning unique and distinctive. I had a hunch it would move some product for the brewer. Well, look at this: Ad Age is reporting their sales are up 17%:
Through mid-June, a period when imported beer sales dropped 11%, sales of Dos Equis rose more than 17%, moving the brand into eighth place among imports (in a tie with Stella Artois), when shipments rose 13%. That success prompted Heineken executives, who had been running the ads since 2007 in a few stronghold markets for the brand, to take the message national this spring.
“There’s never really been an import brand that’s been built so clearly through advertising,” said Benj Steinman, publisher of Beer Marketer’s Insights.
Equally unprecedented is the campaign’s reliance on two things rarely seen — actively shunned, even — in beer ads: a gray-haired protagonist, played in the Dos Equis ads by veteran TV actor Jonathan Goldsmith, who in every ad acknowledges that he doesn’t always drink beer.
But to hear the people behind the campaign tell it, there was really no other way to effectively attack the 2006 brief, which challenged the agency to “establish a distinctive, desirable and premium identity as evidenced by significant growth of key brand-tracking measures,” which would, in turn, be “different from other brands,” a “cool brand” and be “worth paying more for.”
They came up with a character who has spent his life, according to the grainy images in the spots, engaging in swordplay, leading mysterious expeditions, reeling in large sailfish and arm wrestling soldiers. The images are provided without context or explanation, which is the point.
Excellent results, my friends.
Run your in-town errands via bicycle? Good idea! Almost get run-over by a car, truck or bus? Scary, isn’t it? In my little town, not all the streets are bike-friendly, so I tend to ride up on the sidewalks — especially with the kids. We’ll ride through parks and along bike paths, but we like to explore from time to time. The New Jersey Department of Transportation publishes biking guides, so we plan to ride some of those, too. But you’ve got to load the bikes and take a drive.
For convenience, we’ve been riding the old Lehigh Valley Railroad’s Perth Amboy-South Plainfield line, which was abandoned many years ago. It will soon become part of the Edison Greenway, which includes a new bridge over U.S. Route 1. Eventually, you’ll be able to ride or walk it from South Plainfield, past the Triple C Ranch, all the way to the Woodbridge Center mall.
Like the idea of converting old railroad rights-of-way to greenways? I do, and I plan to get involved with Rail to Trails.