Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Starbucks going big.

Starbucks ain't backing down. While McDonald's cruises around Seattle with side boards on busses reading "$4 is DUMB" - Starbucks is advertising on Maureen Dowd's New York Times articles.

Know your target!

"Yeah, we're Starbucks. Whatever. We are what we are."

And McDonald's...$4 is dumb, and a $1 cheeseburger is really smart. Thanks for trashing our environment and introducing billions of cows to hell on earth in the process. That makes me feel good all over.

Still: McDonald's is sooo good. Comfort food extraordinaire.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Taco Del Mar: Annoying Commercial & No You Tube

Local (Seattle, WA) mega franchise to be Taco Del Mar has a commercial on TV that comes on nightly, In fact, it comes on many times per evening - with a woman hopping across the screen saying "chicken - chicken - chicken - chicken!". It's really annoying! The whole commercial...annoying. And to annoy you further, they play it over and over again. It's annoying.

My question: why not formulate an aggressive, interesting and creative YouTube / internet video campaign?

Right now, Taco Del Mar on YouTube has many videos associated with their name, but a paultry amount of views. 12 here, 430 there, 18 here, etc. They should at least have the TV commercial on YouTube, allowing comments. Maybe others love it. But, they don't.

If Serious Pie's Tom Douglas can get 102,717 YouTube views (April 2, 2008), why can't Taco Del Mar get a similar number?

Come on Taco Del Mar corporate - whatchya thinkin'?

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Classic Brands / Packaging part 2 - HERSHEY

Hershey - another very classic 'brand' with 'classic' packaging!

The beauty behind the Hershey "brand": you wouldn't know that the Hershey Company "about" ($9 billion + in total net sales) with 75% of those sales originating from their chocolate category ($6.9 billion) spends about 15% - 17% of total sales on 'marketing', which is about a cool $billion!

Either way, another classic, simple brand that, much like the Crimson of Alabama, never changes their packaging and 'look' to accommodate changing styles - their style is in the not changing part, the consistency 'play' - a 'classic' move!

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Best Selling Drink at Wholefoods

What costs $2.99 and sells better than most, if not all drinks at Whole Foods? You got it! Kombucha! Synergy! Kombucha Synergy - the amazingly 'buzz-powerful' concoction made of fermented tea (very little to no alcohol) which helps with a whole litany of physical and mental attributes: From memory to skin and digestion, this is apparently a wonder drink that actually works, er, sells.

Yesterday at Whole Foods, the gentleman ahead of me was purchasing about 12 of these drinks. At $3 a pop, you have to wonder why. In asking a few stockers at this Bellevue, WA location, they said Synergie's Kombucha sells about as well as any drink at Whole Foods, including the $0.49 Whole Foods label canned sodas, which are actually quite excellent.

Why do they sell so well? I don't know. But I can give you my opinion: it's actually good! You can actually feel the difference. Their packaging is amazing - REJUVENATE (who doesn't need to rejuvenate?) - restore, revitalize, replenish and regenerate. They use all "r's" which makes it so easy, like Apple and Google.

Beyond that it's unique. Try one. It's fizzy. It cuts through the fat. For someone who doesn't drink alcohol, this is a great after dinner drink, unlike any other drink you've had.

I've run into more bubbly, brimming enthusiasts of this drink who swear by it's health benefits. At this weekend's Vegefest in Seattle, WA, I talked with a very bubbly, smart and enthusiastic "jammer" of a woman named (I forget) who swore by the benefits of Kombucha - she's 72, acts 40 and, looks 65 and says that ever since she started drinking Kombucha daily, her memory test scores have increased. She's actually part of a controlled study on aging and dementia, and she credits her memory increase exclusively to Kombucha, as her mental prowess and 'engagement' remained fixed previous to drinking it daily. I wish I had a picture, or better yet, a video. Next time!

It takes a little getting used to in terms of taste. It's definitely bubbly. A bottle can last someone a few 'sittings', or if your like me, one. It's a great appertif - poured into a wine glass or cocktail glass, to sip on during parties, etc. I just happen to not drink, and this happens to be one of the only, if not the only drink I have found in this category of a nice drink to sip on during the 'party season'. "Talking Rain" & "Dry Soda" come a close second.

The thing Kombucha has got going for it, much like 'organic' and 'local', is the "STORY". It rejuvenates. It's organic. It's been around for hundreds of years. It restores and its health benefits have been studied. And with each sip, the fizz and bite remind you of this story. It's a great story, one I'm willing to participate in - a grand, perhaps factual placebo - and perhaps its all very scientific. I just know that it tastes good and like so many other things at Whole Foods - it just makes me feel good for being a part of it, ingesting it, eating it, breathing it. What's the alternative?

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