Archive for the ‘personality’ Category

cooking lessons

June 22, 2010

Ever have an over-achieving sibling? Then you probably know that being born under the shadow of greatness can stink. Just look at Cain and Able, Jimmy and Billy Carter, or Marcia and Jan Brady.

My point is this, when one sibling is a star the other kids can have a tough time keeping up.

On the other hand when family dynasties work, they’re a thing of beauty; The Medici’s. The Kennedy’s. Venus and Serena Williams.

So when Scripps, parent company of Food Network, decided to birth a second channel dedicated to food and cooking, they faced more than the usual launch challenges. They had to find the sweet spot for viewers, advertisers, and affiliates, of course. But they also needed to create a sibling Channel to Food Network that carried a distinct personality without stealing Food Network’s thunder or encroaching on its loyal niche.

And they wanted to launch the network in five months.

It might have been impossible but Scripps put the seasoned pros from Food Network on the case; Michael Smith, Susie Fogelson, Patalia Tate, Katie Ilch, Joanne Harmon, and team. They knew to build Cooking Channel from the personality up. At the foundation was a distinct point of view, clear attitude, and language that resonated with the new audience.

Given our deep love of Food, and our passion for branding, being invited into the new network delivery room was a pinch-me moment for the Tooth+Nail team.  Early on we explored personality directions, clarified the target audience, honed in on a single voice, and crafted brand guidelines, language, and a tagline that captured the battle cry of all Food People, “Stay Hungry.”

Foundation in place, internal and external teams were off and running. The new network flourished: affiliate and ad sales marketing, graphics, packaging, the launch campaign, topicals, and the million other details. Creative partners included Leroy and Clarkson for the image campaign, Trollback and Co. for on-air graphics.

Enjoy the collected works of the Cooking Channel team. Think of it as a birth announcement. We’re so very proud.

Food Network, meet your younger sister, Cooking Channel. She’s so cute, and just the right kind of feisty.

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endings+beginnings

March 22, 2010

3 brilliant spots.

Each makes a different point about beginnings and endings.

The first celebrates the end of a soldier’s tour of duty. I love how honest and simple the execution is.

The next is the perfect sequel ending to one of the most popular viral videos ever.

And the last sparked imitators world wide because–in a brilliant twist–the ending is the beginning. (Stay to the end, it’s worth it.)

All three  spots move me in different ways. Two of them cost almost nothing to produce. They inspire by strong writing and unexpected twists.

Flannery O’Connor once said “Beginnings+endings are critical moments . . . the shorter the narrative, the more important their function and their import.” These short ads make the most of both.

I hope they start something in you.

can’t help ourselves

February 28, 2010


Thirteen of us crowded onto the sofa and chairs around the Superbowl, and this spot came on. A man, a boat, and a horse. The guys laughed because it poked fun at what they think women like: six pack abs, diamonds, and “tickets to that thing you love.” The women laughed because this guy is pumped full of himself.

Women and men: now that’s a tightrope of humor. Old Spice pulled it off, towel and all.

That’s the beauty of finding the right point of view in your brand personality. When it works, you can’t help yourself.

How have you used POV to grab someone’s attention?

*If you want to meet the guy behind the Spice, go here.

our favorite un-app

December 2, 2009

We love how, when everyone’s going in one direction, someone chooses to head in the other.

Like this spot for the Florida Keys. Simple. Memorable.

What’s your favorite twist?

live it out

November 25, 2009

Whether you’re talking business or personal style, standing out takes balls. And the ballsiest person I know is 88 year old Iris Apfel. Iris is outrageous, down to earth, and can count herself among the ranks of art geniuses.

Her medium?  Clothes.

Don’t laugh. Art museums around the country are showing her work, including NY’s Met and the Peabody Essex Museum. Last month we promoted her extraordinary exhibit on radio.

Now, meet Iris…

“Live it out!” Iris tells us. It’s true in life as well as business. The first question to ask is: Do you have the guts to be truly distinctive? All it takes is some balls and maybe a boa.

a fitting experience

November 19, 2009

The movie Amelia starring Hillary Swank opened to mixed reviews this month. However, that didn’t stop the NYC discount retail chain Daffy’s from turning it into a hit.

Before the screening of the film at the Ziegfeld Theater in Midtown Manhattan, a music video became the genesis of an experiential ad for the retailer.

Dancers on the screen were upstaged by dancers on the stage as all the performers acted out how shoppers try on clothes in “Fitting Dance”.

Find your fans and create an experience that delights them. Zappos does it with customer service, Daffy surprised the Ziegfeld crowd and T-mobile rocked a crowded train station.

Ask yourself how your brand can bring joy to your customers, then ask your customers for their business.

We’d love to know what groups you’ve been thrilled with and why. Is there an agency, a freelancer or a consultant that over delivers and is rewarded with your loyalty?  Do tell.

M

let’s talk

October 23, 2009

Nyc_transit_authority_token

We’ve talked about conversational writing. Now, let’s talk conversation. Part 4 of our Write With Balls session (from Promax/BDA) is all about getting the dialogue going.

Imagine running to a train when, suddenly,  other commuters break into a fox trot. What would you do? I’d take a picture and call my friends. That’s what T-mobile hoped for–and they turned it into a viral video that circled  the globe.

January 20th. I was sitting in front of the TV, laptop open and, while several million huddled together  in the Washington,  I was with all my friends watching the event with CNN and Facebook.

It didn’t matter that all the comments flying by were just a virutal version of “Can you believe this is happening?”

The ability to connect with my friends and strangers made a great moment even more memorable. And it was a perfect fit for CNN’s brand.

Finally, this spring, I felt like the world had taken a weird turn when I saw this video on youtube. But of course it was part of another massive plan. This time for True Blood, a revolutionary and virtual ad campaign.

Shared moments,  virtual moments, vampire moments: They’re different sides of the same subway token. Kind of crazy, totally exciting and here we are with the best seat in the house, witnessing this new frontier.

What’s your favorite shared moment?

mini miracles

September 2, 2009

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Discard beverage. Take off shoes. Slide computer through xray. Purchase identical beverage a moment later. Board plane. Squeeze computer bag and body into seat. Endure not-so-solitary confinement for hours marked by B movies, salty snacks, and a shortage of fresh air.

By the time custom forms make the rounds and the landing gear has settled, you are under a spell, some metaphysical abracadabra. Poof, a new world is outside the terminal doors: Singapore, Mumbai or Kuala Lumpur.

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So many fresh ideas on the other side of the puddle: a different way to deliver lunch, a solution to collecting trash, or package milk. Sometimes dull becomes delightful.

Consider the mind-blowing technique of Keith Loutit, an Australian film maker.

Loutit shoots real life and turns it into miniature. TV1 in Australia was sharp enough to hire him for their image campaign. Magic.

your happy spot

August 25, 2009

balloons

Is that optimism I smell in the air?

Here’s a little happiness from Passat. And if the singing doesn’t lift your mood, look for the smiling sheep near the end.

What do you think–is the tide turning?

learn the lingo

July 14, 2009

We’ve got a slew of writing tips, but it’s summer and everyone deserves to chill.

So we’re enjoying long days and dolling out our tips nice and slow.

Pull up your chaise and schmear on some sunblock. Part 3 of our Promax/BDA session follows:

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We spell it out for you:

B=begin with personality

A=apply attitude

L=Learn lingo

L=Let’s Talk

S=Stay sharp

Picture 10

We start with the smartest, most basic tip of all:

Write like you talk. Yeah, just like that.

Short, incomplete sentences. Colorful language. Simple words. That’s how you and your buddies talk. And when you put that lingo into a spot, an ad, or on your website, it pulls folks right in. Whoosh, like magic.

Here’s a cool guy spot for Ocean’s 12 from USA Network.

Love that line, “Try to keep up.”

And here’s more real talk, from History. Epic footage, sure. But Chris Moseley and her team were smart enough to let a simple sound bite tell the story. And, by the way, they share a nugget of info we bet you didn’t know.

So, what’dya say?

Try writing like your viewers talk, not like an ad. Make it real, or make yourself another Mojito. Either way you’re likely to start a conversation.

Got a favorite straight-talking spot? Let us know.

How about a favorite summertime drink? Buy this round and we’ll get the next.

Cheers