Mixed Signals: Orange Juice Is Good But Not Omniscient

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Some days are so full of trouble and mishap, they leave us breathless and downcast in its wake. We wish we had gotten a hint of what was ahead so we could have been prepared for the onslaught.A campaign for Florida Orange Juice plays up this common human desire in its campaign series titled “Take on the Day.” The TV spots show a main character sipping orange juice in an early-morning … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: War Child PSA Turns Bullets into Crayons

Communication is plentiful today. Messages arrive via other people, e-mail, radio, TV, mobile devices, mail, telephone, and the Web. The sound is deafening. Message overload is the norm.Marketing specialists look for creative ways to slice through the cacophony, to capture our interest long enough with a message riveting enough to make an impression. It isn’t easy. Our attention is hard to gain, and we are a difficult audience to impress.That’s why I get so excited when a message jolts me … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Staged Brand Experiences or Building Blocks for Belonging?

You remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs—it prescribes the building blocks individuals need to achieve something dubbed self actualization. In order to work toward the pinnacle, our physiological, personal safety, love and belonging, and self esteem needs must be met, respectively. Then we arrive at some idealistic state of personhood, which no one has ever experienced but supposedly exists.Marketing specialists keep these psychological goals in mind to develop strategic messages that impact … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: The Price is Right! Right?

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Math isn’t my thing. That’s because numbers don’t make sense to my word-wired brain. So when it comes to making purchase decisions, I am drawn to sale signs (lower prices listed right there, before my very eyes) and what I think I should have to pay for an item (like an automated spending matrix built into my brain). It’s not mathematically sound. But this is how I’ve gotten through … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: You Are Your Brand

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Some of the best principles of communication are true truth—meaning, what works in business communications also works in personal communications. The more personal businesses make their communications, the easier it is for people to relate to them.That's why branding is necessary—it takes an inanimate object and gives it depth and personality that our humanness can relate to. … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Do Products Deliver the Simple Life We Crave?

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.With all the busyness we face trying to do it all and more in this life, we speak wistfully of our need for more time and less pressure. We pine for more and for less, depending on what we have or lack. And more often than not, we watch it elude us even as we choose one more activity, one more commitment, one more assignment. Busy rules us.Marketing gurus play into this helpless f … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Your Life as a PR Campaign

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Why is the use of social media so popular? It’s fun. It’s lighthearted. It offers a reprieve from life's heaviness.This is also why businesses are benefiting from social media. It provides a place for customers to interact casually with the brands they love, personifying them, integrating them.Although our personal updates are in-the-moment comments about the dailyness of life, f … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: How to Make a Proper Apology

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.We’ve heard plenty of public apologies recently. First was Rush Limbaugh. Then Ann Rosen. Now Mitt Romney. Each one tried to own-up to erroneous attitudes, comments, and behaviors by crafting a statement of regret and releasing it for the world to read, analyze, and judge.Why is it that these public statements tend to fall flat on our ears? And why do they rarely touch the heart de … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Giving Grace to the Airline Industry

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Bring up the topic of air travel, and you are likely to get plenty of harrowing tales about long lines, unpleasant food, white-knuckle turbulence, and frustrating airline employees. Air travel, in all its uncontrollable glory, is one of those first-world blessings that many people love to hate.Travel is stressful because travelers must yield to the almighty airline their s … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: T-Mobile's Good Girl Goes Edgy but Do Customers Care?

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.T-Mobile’s girl-next-door spokeswoman Carly Foulkes has traded her super-sweet personality and pink dresses for super-sassy black leather and some serious brooding. And she’s got a motorcycle.It’s all part of T-Mobile’s new "Alter Ego" campaign to redefine itself as a cutting-edge carrier (i.e., a leather-clad Foulkes) with a speedy wireless network (i.e., a blurry-fast motorcycl … [Read more...]


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