Mixed Signals: Amy’s Bakery Company Public Melt Down and the Purpose of PR

Venn-Diagram

Mixed Signals is an occasional column in which Erin Straza muses about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Momentum. It’s what gets wheels turning and rocks rolling and online mobs . . . um . . . flashing.The flash mob phenomenon occurs when many people gather up the strength of their cyberspace voices and unleash it in a particular direction. Typically, it’s toward a person or organization or idea that has gained attention for unpopular views or improper beh … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Nigella Lawson Refuses to Airbrush Her Curves for The Taste

The-Taste

Did you hear about the latest celebrity photo airbrushing incident?The buzz surrounds English food writer Nigella Lawson, who is one of the hosts/judges on ABC’s new show The Taste. Promotional materials for the show include Lawson, who is wearing a form-fitting dress. And it shows the curve of her stomach.Rounded stomachs are frowned upon in Hollywood, however. Airbrushing techniques are typically used to create a more subtle curve so as to not offend the Hollywood standard.Lawson r … [Read more...]

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: Grey Poupon and Our Search for Validation

Grey Poupon

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.If 1981 was before your time, you may have missed the TV advertisement that solidified Grey Poupon mustard (owned by Kraft Foods) as the go-to condiment for discerning palates.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_pGT8Q_tjk&w=600&rel=0The ad was successful, placing the mustard in the upscale, premium category and appealing to people who wanted something a bit more f … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Pole Dancing for Kids?

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Remember how the word association game works? I say a word, and you say the first thing that comes to mind. It’s what Family Feud was all about.That's why I was caught off guard by an article on The Huffington Post that had "pole dancing" and "children" in the same report. These two words certainly do not go together in my brain. The article says that pole-dancing enthusiasts want … [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: Nike Redefines Greatness

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.It was sort of sad, really—the bungled attempts the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made to ensure their select sponsors received the bulk of the spotlight during the London games. The athletes were forced into a two-week blackout period, restricting them from any mention of unofficial sponsors. And unofficial sponsors were in no way allowed to benefit from Olympic-themed mes … [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...]


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