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Spinning Beach Ball of Death

Posted by m.e.h. in Funny, Media, Technology

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Nice chuckle for a Saturday morning.

m.e.h.

Celebrate International Women’s Day

Posted by m.e.h. in Media

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Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. It is a day intended to celebrate women’s accomplishments and advocate for gender equality. It was originally called International Working Women’s day. It started as a Socialist political event, so it has roots in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The attached artwork is a poster from Russia for International Women’s Day in 1914.

Here are some ideas for ways to celebrate women today. Anything recommending cupcakes is alright in my book. Also, here are 10 facts about women in politics. Impress your friends with these random nuggets. They make great Tweets.

But above all, stop today and take a moment to think of the women around you that work hard. Whether they are the primary caregiver of your home and children, your boss or your therapist, the contribution women make everyday in society can’t be underestimated. Men may rule the boardroom (for now) but women make the world go round.

m.e.h.

 

Set Fire to the Rain

Posted by m.e.h. in Media, Music

No gimmicks. All this woman needs is her voice. Oh, and those awesome eyelashes. Stunning. Her Royal Albert Hall concert Blu ray is a really fun and well made production. There is an “every woman” element to her delivery and banter. She really draws you in and makes you want to root for her. She’s appropriately self-deprecating and takes her fair share of the credit/blame for the now famous break up that prompted all the luscious songwriting that became her album 21.

m.e.h.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

Dr. Seuss, I Can Read WIth My Eyes Shut!

Happy Birthday, Theodor Seuss Geisel!

Posted by m.e.h. in Books, Media

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Dr. Seuss would have been 108 today. Learn more about him here.

m.e.h.

Disney’s latest attraction: fat shaming?

Posted by m.e.h. in Brand, Marketing, Media

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Both Disney World and Children’s Healthcare of Georgia have recently launched campaigns targeted to people battling weight issues. Georgia’s Strong4Life campaign features videos and pictures of overweight kids saying things like “it’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not” among other provocative language. The campaign calls for us to “work together to solve the crisis” and warns that ”it’s time to wake up.” Pointed and heart wrenching to see.

More recently, a new exhibit called Habit Heroes was opened (on a limited basis) at Epcot at Disney World, and co-sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which stars Will Power and Callie Stenics who teach patrons the risks of poor eating and a sedentary lifestyle. It features Disney-esque animated characters that carry a less than Disney-esque message. Pictured above, Snacker, Lead Bottom and The Glutton are depicted as clueless at best or at worst, lazy and slothful.

In both cases, they have been met with controversy and major criticism in one camp, and a call to “get over it” from the other camp. Detractors say shame tactics do more harm than good. Supporters are happy that steps are finally being taken when clearly people won’t take steps on their own. Needless to say, this is a pretty incendiary topic.

This also represents a colliding of worlds for me. I blog about health and fitness over at The Weightress and have lost considerable weight myself (80 lbs.), and I’m also a marketer who understands the need to develop a campaign to meet the needs of your business/cause. So I stop and ask the question: what were the marketers (or imagineers, in Disney’s case) trying to accomplish by starting a conversation about weight?

It’s no secret that obesity is a huge problem in our country. Over 30% of adults are obese and the number jumps over 50% for adults that are overweight. (As measured by BMI.) Georgia, in particularr, has the second highest childhood obesity rates in the nation. It is a major social issue (with things like body image, bullying, eating disorders, etc.) but it a huge financial one as well. What are the medical and physical costs of obesity? Between therapy, medication and disease treatment, I’m going to go with “huge.”

As a marketer, I would guess that education and awareness are the primary goals of both the Strong4Life campaign and the exhibit at Disney World. If I measure success on those two criteria, I would first say they have nailed awareness. The state of Georgia has generated broad discussion and debate on the topic. They have generated an army of mommy bloggers who are outraged at their methods. But there is no disputing the fact, they have generated awareness. As for education, time will have to tell. Changing habits it like turning around a giant ship. It takes time and lots of small corrections. I know this first hand.

As a person who has battled weight, I don’t think the tactics used in either case are respectful of the audience or show any compassion for their situation. Tough love doesn’t work when encouraging people to get healthy. Shaming someone in the happiest place on Earth doesn’t encourage them to do better, or to say no to the funnel cake offered just around the corner. Embarrassment doesn’t get people excited about learning about nutrition and exercise.

It just doesn’t.

A supportive community, an open and honest dialogue with your doctor and building a culture that applauds activity and lifestyle changes (and not fad diets), those are the things that turn a ship around.

I hope more good than harm comes these efforts because I truly believe the collective hearts are in the right place.

m.e.h.

 

Photo from Salon.com

Posted by m.e.h. in Brand, Funny, Marketing, Movies/TV

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Stephen Colbert is the newest “sponsor” of Wheat Thins. In order for Stephen to be comfortable speaking in the “brand voice” for Wheat Thins, he was provided with an internal memo, most likely a creative brief from Nabisco marketing or related agency, outlining what the brand stands for (Wheat Thins are the “perfect snacking sidekick”) and doesn’t stand for (don’t depict overcomsumption, major brand don’t.)

Who knows if this was really from Nabisco or not, but when read out loud in the light of day/the internet, this was painful to hear. It’s silly in its earnestness and self-importance. I mean, really. Does the statement “Wheat Thins are not a crusader or rebel looking to change an individual’s path (or the world)” have anything to do with the brand?

But it hits a bit close to home for us marketers. If we’re honest, can’t we all admit we’ve written briefs like this? When you craft a statement like “Wheat Thins keep you on the path to, and proud of, doing what you love to do, no matter what that is” doesn’t it make you feel a bit smart. Smug, even? You are proud of your product, because, come on, it is the path to enlightenment!

Among the  mandatories, brand do’s and don’ts, and key takeaways, lies a need for a bit of humility. When you sit down to write your next brief, think about this: If a TV personality reads your brief on the air, you would really be helping to “create a purposeful experience relavant to the brand” or would you be the guy with your head in your hands while a studio audience laughs at you?

m.e.h.

 

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

— Albert Camus

Inspiration

Posted by m.e.h. in Books

Posted by m.e.h. in Media, Movies/TV

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Oscars are tonight. Time for tears, applause, acceptance speeches and red carpets. I have seen all but one of the best picture nominees (haven’t seen Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, not sure who has) and I’d like to see The Descendants or The Artist win in the top category.

Should be a fun night!

m.e.h.

Somebody that I used to know

Posted by m.e.h. in Media, Music

“Let's get liquored up and watch Downton Abbey.”

— My husband

Words to live by

Posted by m.e.h. in Funny, Movies/TV

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