Apple: removed from “Admired Companies”/Lovemarks list

Monday, 19 July, 2010

Sadly, I am removing Apple from my “Admired Companies”/Lovemarks list. I may still consider buying Apple products in the future but Apple is no longer on my “Admired Companies”/Lovemarks list list and it is definitely not a Lovemark to me anymore.

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Removing Apple from list of Admired companies/Lovemarks

Watching Apple’s actions in the recent months (including its app store approval “policies” (note: reversing that one wrong decision didn’t make the fundamental problem go away) and licensing terms “iPhone developer EULA turns programmers into serfs” and “All Your Apps Are Belong to Apple: The iPhone Developer Program License Agreement“), and the final straw of Steve Jobs’ iPhone 4 press conference last Friday (16, July, 2010), I have removed Apple from my list of admired companies (or Lovemarks).

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July 25 update: An insightful piece from Guardian “If Apple wants to be a major player it needs to start behaving like one – The iPhone 4 debacle reveals how much Apple has to learn about life at the top”.


Apple iPhone 4 PR messages – How Steve Jobs turned a finger spot into a death grip

Monday, 19 July, 2010

Anyone interested in damage control or PR spinning should watch Steve Jobs’ press conference last Friday. Steve managed to turn an iPhone design flaw into something worthy of global attention and chances to plug Apple and iPhone 4. Too bad it didn’t work for me (Apple: removed from “Admired Companies”/Lovemarks list).

Unfortunately, as this fortune reporter wrote in “How Steve Jobs turned a finger spot into a death grip” (emphasis added),

At the Apple (AAPL) press event on Friday, somehow, right in front of a crowd of journalists (depicted at the end of the Taiwanese video below), the ‘finger spot’ that cut signal somehow turned into a more universal ‘death grip’ which also cuts signal but in just about every mobile device ever made.

More stories:

* “Here’s Your Free Case, Jerk – Apple’s condescending iPhone 4 press conference“, Slate.com

* RIM to Apple: we don’t have your antenna problem – BlackBerry doesn’t need an insulating case, RIM notes, TorStar

* Handset world: Don’t speak for us, Steve Jobs, cNet

* RIM to Apple: Bull, cNet

* Official statement from RIM [via blogs.blackberry.com] (emphasis added),

“Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage.

One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.”

– Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie

* “iPhone rivals call out Steve Jobs“, LA Times

It is so unfortunate that Apple, instead of doing the right thing and admit to its design flaw and fix the problem, it tried to claim other cell phone manufactures have the same problem which is not true because they don’t have an easily accessible single point of failure (where users can easily touch and drop calls at some areas).

P.S. Here is a Fast Company article talking about Steve Jobs’ presentation techniques “Learn Steve Jobs’ Presentation Techniques From iPhone 4 Conference“.


Congrats MT Carney, President of Marketing, Disney Studios

Thursday, 22 April, 2010

Congrats to MT Carney for being appointed President of Marketing, Disney Studios. Here are some of the news reports and commentaries.

  1. Carney to Run Disney Marketing (The Wrap)
  2. Disney Studios to Name Naked’s M.T. Carney as CMO (AdAge)
  3. Disney Studios hires outsider M.T. Carney to head marketing (LA Times)
  4. Disney Names a New Marketing Chief (New York Times Blog)
  5. MT Carney named head of Disney marketing (The Hollywood Reporter)

Here is an excerpt from AdAge,

“In one of the more surprising moves of an agency executive moving to the client side, M.T. Carney, partner at Naked Communications’ U.S. operations, has been hired to lead marketing for Walt Disney Studios.

As first reported by The Wrap, the hire is expected to be announced by Disney Studio Chairman Rich Ross later today.
Ms. Carney and Disney couldn’t be immediately reached, but Naked confirmed the move to Advertising Age.

“We are very proud of M.T.,” said Paul Woolmington, founding partner at Naked. “Now we have a Naked inside Disney, and we anticipate working in a new capacity,” he said, calling the move a “win-win.” Mr. Woolmington stressed that the move wouldn’t cause disruption at the agency as it’s “bench strength is amazing.”

In 2006, when Ad Age positioned Ms. Carney as a media executive to watch in its “Media Maven” report, John Harlow, co-founder of the U.K. based communications planning shop, described the Scottish-born, former Ogilvy & Mather account planner as having a “fierce intellect, and clients are just taking to her.”

It now seems one of those clients she won over was Richard Ross, who for many months is said to have been hunting outside of Hollywood for a new marketing leader who could shake things up at the entertainment company and better position it in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Other candidates for the position reportedly came from packaged-goods companies and beverage brands such as Pepsi.”

By the way, this bit of info from the LA Times and Disney’s unspoken rationale seem quite odd to me for the new President of Marketing,

“Disney declined to make Carney available for an interview.”

Footnote: For the last few years, I felt a small connection to MT because her personal site “mtcarney.com” used to have one sentence & a link to this 2006 AdAge article page on my site. Since MT’s page and her LinkedIn profile are both wiped clean now, I suspect thats the price for being marketing boss at the big mouse studio! :) Here is what I remember seeing at mtcarney.com and still cached by Google cache.

Good luck and all the best MT!


Southwest Airlines – From a loved brand to a damaged brand – Kevin Smith & Linda Rutherford

Tuesday, 16 February, 2010

For some mysterious reason, I LOVED Southwest Airlines even I had never been on a Southwest flight. You see, I live in Calgary and Calgary-based WestJet Airlines models itself after Southwest. Anyway, Southwest used to mean nice people and services at an affordable fare to me until this morning.

After reading how Southwest had treated indie director Kevin Smith based on Kevin’s account of the facts and Southwest’s account of the facts (by Linda Rutherford – VP Communications & Strategic Outreach), I believe Southwest made some serious mistakes, continue to make mistakes and refuse to right itself.

I am blogging about this because I think there are some important lessons to be learned here. Feel free to share what you think in the comment section.

Here is an excerpt from CNet (emphasis added),

This may be the best example we’ve seen yet of how Twitter and other forms of new-media mass communication are shaping that old industry known as public relations. Nobody walks around with a Twitter follower count or blog URL painted on his or her forehead, and many extremely popular bloggers still live in relative physical anonymity, which means that the customer relations business is like a game of Minesweeper–you can never be sure what might blow up in your face. [kempton note: This is and should be good for customers because the companies better start treating EVERYONE with respect and good services.]

PR and customer service are two different divisions of a company. But this incident shows how, in the Digital Age, the two are increasingly overlapping. With Twitter, many companies are conducting customer relations in the public eye, and a company’s response to a high-profile disgruntled customer may require dispatching the PR team. Good communication between the two is obviously key.

From Kevin’s Twitter account, here are the first few tweets about this mess here, here, here, here (note: language), here (language re $100 voucher), here, here (on another flight), here, here (with twitpic), here, here (armrest up or down), here (the Southwest public shaming), here (the sad story of the big girl 1/2), here (big girl 2/2), here, here, SmodCast (***audio***, Southwest go f* yourself, a great listen), here (Kevin retweet Southwest apologize because Smith has a platform, part 1/2), here (part 2/2), here (the Southwest non-voicemail), here (the joke), here (Kevin reactions to Southwest’s non-apology 1/2), here (sorry, but you are fat 2/2), here (funny pix), here (Kevin’s reaction), other airlines, the offered $100 voucher (but not accepted).

Here are Kevin’s last two video clips

and this one.

A few of the many videos from Kevin about this mess,

More news from

SF Gate “Is Kevin Smith two people?” (funny)Mercury News, LA Times “Kevin Smith and the unbearable fatness of being”, LA Times “Kevin Smith’s Southwest Airlines incident sets Web all a-Twitter”, Huffington Post “Kevin Smith Challenges Southwest: Bring Airline Seat To Daily Show And I’ll Sit In It”, Businessweek: “Fat Nation: Kevin Smith is Not Alone in Airplane Space Wars”

For the record, because of this incident, I changed from someone who has never flown on Southwest but love it and would love to fly on it some day

to

someone who never want to fly on Southwest unless I have absolutely no comparable other alternatives.

P.S. This Southwest incident reminded me of Warren Buffett’s message to Salomon Brothers employees (I think it is Salomon),

“I want employees to ask themselves whether they are willing to have any contemplated act appear on the front page of their local paper the next day, be read by their spouses, children, and friends … If they follow this test, they will not fear my other message to them: Lose money for my firm and I will be understanding; lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.

Now the concerned Southwest employees have dragged the whole Southwest corporation’s reputations through the mud. And this news has now been reported not only in their “local paper” but repeated around the world. And this news has not only read by “their spouses, children, and friends” but internationally.

The best policy is to treat each and every single customer with full respect and do the right thing. Don’t lie because your lies to customers will be discovered and your apologies may only come after all the damages have been done.


MonopolyVote.ca campaign – Is this a win-win for Calgary (other cities), Monopoly, and other stake holders?

Tuesday, 26 January, 2010

The Monopoly Canadian edition has created itself a successful promotion campaign by creating the website MonopolyVote.ca for residents in different Canadian cities to vote to have their own cities be added to the board game. The campaign is reported in CTV Calgary tonight and CBC earlier and reported in CTV Edmonton.

Is the campaign a win for Monopoly?

This is an absolute and unqualified YES! The effort of creating the website and the limited marketing cost to get the press release out and other associated cost is tiny when compared to the free TV air time given for free by TV stations involved. Plus these coverage are BETTER than paid-advertising because they are reported as NEWS!

Is the campaign a win for Calgary (and the other cities involved, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, etc)?

Well, it is not that straight forward. It is unlikely tourist will want to visit Calgary (or another winning city) simply because they are on a board game. And it is not like residents in that city need Monopoly to remind them their city is great or nice to live in.

In fact, one may be successful in arguing the winning city that beat off other cities may be HATED by residents in those losing cities. (smile)

Is the campaign a win for the city politicians (or former politicians) involved?

Well, the answer to this one is easier. It is an unqualified YES because mayors/city councillors (or any former city politicans) can appear to help promote the city and promote themselves at the same time! Why not?! (another smile)

Is the campaign a win for the TV news shows who air these kind of “NEWS”?

Well, some may argue that fluffy news like the MonopolyVote.ca vote is a “feel nice” story for the city and doesn’t do much harm. But at the same time, marketers are getting smarter these days and can find very innovative ways to dress up their advertising, marketing and promotion campaigns as “news-look-alike” and then issue them as “news” where they often get reported as news as those smart marketers planned.

Is the campaign a win for the viewers who watch these “NEWS”?

Well, if the viewers simply watch these “NEWS” without thinking about the potential hidden agenda, then people may get brainwashed at the same time. And that can be bad in the long run.

On the other hand, if the viewers watching these “NEWS” realize these “NEWS” are actually advertisings, and then decide to expose these types of “NEWS” and talk about these tricks, then may be viewers can learn to immunize themselves from these so-called “NEWS” in the long-run. And TV stations will learn to filter out these kinds of “NEWS”.

Forewarned is forearmed. Feel free to share your personal experiences in the comments.

Postscript: This reporter is very keenly aware of the irony in the additional publicity created by reporting of the website MonopolyVote.ca.

If this reporter was Monopoly’s marketing consultant, the only worry would be the media completely ignoring this campaign and say nothing (good or bad) about it.

So, in a game of Monopoly, the constant winner is the ultimate owner (Hasbro) of Monopoly! (big smile)


People Watching – AdAge Media Stars

Sunday, 24 September, 2006

Apr 22, 2010 Update: Congrats MT Carney, President of Marketing, Disney Studios

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I love “people watching” (OK, not quite as detailed as Jono’s “people watching” game). For me, I just love to observe people that I know or don’t know in meetings, social gatherings, or even when I am waiting and being really bored in lineups.

AdAge has just provided me with another nice way to “people watch” with their “Media Mavens: The Year’s Ad Industry Media Stars“. Here are some “random” picks from the list of 17,

(Sept 25 update: I have some more interesting “random” picks here)

xxx Amy Powell
Senior VP-Interactive Marketing, Paramount Pictures

Amy is trying some very interesting things at Paramount. I am paying attention on this innovative development and I am interested in what will Amy do next. Excerpt,

” If Ms. Powell’s job was mostly buying online media, “I’d be so bored,” she says. She’d rather create original content to hype Paramount’s films and find ways to embed that material into new media places and devices. She organized a live chat recently that had the writers of next summer’s big-budget action flick “Transformers” answer fan questions. “We want to give fans a first look at everything because we want their feedback,” she says. “We put the writers out with no chaperones. And it was live on purpose-it wasn’t filtered or polished.””

” * Embeds content into new-media hangouts of cognoscenti

* Celebrates every movie’s difference and connects with target market “

Since I have one hand in the movie/TV business, this is certainly very useful and neat stuff to know.

xxx M.T. Carney
Partner, Naked Communications

M. T. is someone that I am watching (closely, very closely). Excerpt,
” The most unexpected result of Naked Communications‘ U.S. launch isn’t the fact that the communications planning agency has racked up 11 clients in just eight months or that every traditional agency wants to know what they’re all about. It’s been the rise of M.T. Carney.”

” The agency will team with fellow hotshop Taxi (Kempton: I love Taxi, they do cool stuff.) to rebrand OLN, the cable network best known for broadcasting the NHL and Tour de France, as Versus. Naked has been working with Johnson & Johnson, though Ms. Carney declines to talk about the relationship. (J&J says the company doesn’t comment on partners.) It also just picked up some global duties for Coca-Cola Co.’s Far Coast coffee launch. ”

” Naked is premised on the notion that communications need not involve an ad buy. As such, it positions itself as neither a creative agency-Naked doesn’t execute on the strategy it creates-nor as a media agency. As digital channels proliferate and commercial clutter accumulates, it’s only natural that marketers would be taken with any counsel that can help them reach their targets-especially if that doesn’t involve heavy outlays on traditional media.

“I thought I had a broad idea of what communication is, but every day it just seeps further and further out,” says Ms. Carney.

* Has helped pick up blue-chip work from Coca-Cola, Nokia and Virgin Mobile

* Strategist, not creative or media shop”

Looks like I have much to learn from M. T. and Naked. Will see. Here is a 2005 article in Fast Company about Naked, “Is Mad. Ave. Ready To Go Naked?“. Excerpt,

“They may well make quite a splash here–especially if the Naked way demonstrates the kind of results it has achieved in Europe. In 2002, for example, one of Honda’s UK agencies, Wieden+Kennedy London, came up with the idea of a two- minute short film featuring the innards of the Honda Accord. A two-minute commercial would be ludicrously expensive to air regularly on TV, though. So Naked came up with a clever distribution strategy: Air the ad 10 times in high-profile TV slots, unleash it virally online, and then create a DVD of the short film and a behind-the-scenes documentary that could be glued to the cover of men’s and car magazines. Without Naked’s contribution, the idea would have died because it didn’t fit Honda’s budget. In its four years working with Naked, Honda UK has “increased sales by 35%, and as a total business we’ve spent 3% less money doing it,” says Simon Thompson, the carmaker’s marketing director.”

xxx Alfonso De Dios
Associate Director-Media for Greater China, Proctor & Gamble Co.

“Alfonso De Dios, Procter & Gamble Co.’s associate director-media for Greater China, recently met the grand monk at a Shaolin monastery in Henan province, a cradle of Chinese Buddhism. After the traditional protocol, the monk handed Mr. De Dios his name card with an e-mail and web address. And then matter-of-factly, the monk mentioned he would soon be visiting Disneyland.

“That demonstrates China today, a healthy tension between tradition and the new order. As much as China is opening up, it still remains grounded on its core traditions and values, a 1,000-year-old tradition plugged into cyberspace. A great, no-miss opportunity to connect and make a difference in our consumers’ lives,” says Mr. De Dios, 40, a friendly, soft-spoken Filipino known to colleagues as “Pon.” “

“P&G spends more than $45 million at an auction held every November for a year’s worth of prime-time airtime on CCTV, China’s national state-run broadcaster, more than any other company, earning Mr. De Dios the princely nickname “king of the auction.””

” * Finding more creativity further away from Beijing

* Has drawn the nickname “king of the auction” as the biggest TV buyer “

xxx Don Gloeckler
Manager-Media Research, North America, Procter & Gamble Co.

I know nothing in this area, so may be that is why I need to know more. Excerpt,

“Don Gloeckler was a market researcher focusing on advertising creative and share data for most of his 28-year Procter & Gamble Co. career. He shifted to media research three years ago, and his late-career transformation is helping shake up U.S. media measurement, too.

As manager-media research, North America, Mr. Gloeckler, 52, has become P&G’s point man in pushing for commercial ratings covering individual TV ads. And it’s moving the needle. Nielsen Media Research earlier this year announced it will roll out affordable ratings for one-minute commercial pods.”

” * Fresh perspective on U.S. media measurement

* “Everybody wants him in a meeting”

* Ad-side member of Media Rating Council ”

xxx Steve Sternberg
Exec VP-Audience Analysis, Magna Global

This statistic stuff is strangely interesting and exciting to me. Go figure! Excerpt,

“Steve Sternberg, exec VP-audience analysis at Magna Global, a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos., pointed out in a new study that Nielsen Media Research’s minute-by-minute ratings system should ideally be a more precise second-by-second system. The kicker? He released it just in time for this year’s upfront season, likely challenging many buyers’ purchasing decisions.

The study worked like this: Mr. Sternberg’s staff recorded and timed roughly 60 programs on broadcast and some prime-time cable; then they logged in the time and length of each program segment, national and local commercials, and network promos. They lined up these data with Nielsen data and finally were able to analyze commercial pods.”

“He certainly has a sense of timing. “We try to anticipate the next big needs of clients,” he says. This study, released in April, squarely addressed a topic consuming the TV industry: just what kind of audience is watching commercials.

“Buyers and sellers [are saying] that ‘We want to get to some type of semblance of a commercial measurement right now,’ ” he says.

Mr. Sternberg was first honored in Advertising Age’s Media Maven report in 1997 and since that year he has placed in the top six of Ad Age’s MediaTalk, a listing of the most-quoted media executives.”

” * Minute by minute? How about second by second?

* Has the knack to make the research better by asking right questions “

More readings? Yes! I will gladly read more stuff. Much to learn from Steve.

xxx Meridith Jamin
Managing Partner-Director of Consumer Insights, Mediaedge:cia

Very insightful stuff and new methods. Excerpt,

“Meridith Jamin, managing partner-director of consumer insights at WPP’s Mediaedge:cia, knows that a TiVo helped potty-train a 3-year-old boy. How? She managed a consumer research blog where a mom wrote, “It has helped with the toilet training since he is willing to walk away from the TV and know he’s not missing anything.”

The blog was part of a May 2005 project called Digital Moms. For Ms. Jamin, customized blogs have become the evolution of qualitative consumer research. For Mediaedge:cia it’s a new research tool to offer clients such as Sony Ericsson.

It all started when Ms. Jamin, 39 and the mother of boys ages 2 and 4, asked moms to write their thoughts in a blog as the precursor to traditional ethnographic research. But instead …

“The insights were just as rich and in some cases richer than what we would have gotten if we just dropped in on someone’s life,” she says.”

” * Account planner by trade, consumer- insight specialist by passion

* Adept at figuring out motivations ”

xxx Craig Woerz
Co-Managing Partner, Media Storm

“Craig Woerz’s timing could have been better. He and his business partner, Tim Williams, launched their independent media agency Media Storm just after Sept. 11. They’d become disenchanted with the business after the swath of consolidation and wanted to create an agency that focused on business verticals. Theirs was to be entertainment.

Five years later, the agency has built a vertical expertise in its array of entertainment accounts, which include NBC Universal, Tribune Entertainment, Fox, FX and Court TV. “

“”They’re very much an ideation-driven company, not just a straight media-driven company,” says Mary Corigliano, senior VP-marketing at Court TV. “Craig encourages that within his group. … I need someone who will take my $1 and turn it into $100.”

* Drove FX’s “Rescue Me” with broadband and wireless play

* Viral efforts “turn $1 into $100″ for Court TV”

xxx Kim Kadlec
VP-Worldwide Media, Johnson & Johnson

I love to pay attention to game-changer and Kim is definitely one. Excerpt,

“A new-media executive at a conservative package-goods and drug company might be expected to take a year to survey the landscape before making big changes.

That’s not Kim Kadlec’s style.

Since taking over as VP-worldwide media at Johnson & Johnson last fall, the former media-company and agency executive has pulled the eighth-largest U.S. advertiser out of the TV upfront, instituted integrated communications planning, started talks on putting engagement metrics into media deals and overseen a budget shift toward emerging media. “

“Now she’s trying to help others in the industry broaden their perspectives. Ms. Kadlec launched a J&J “externship” for media executives as part of the company’s communications planning process. Executives from Meredith Publishing and NBC joined J&J’s ranks in the summer. Ms. Kadlec raised some eyebrows when she pulled J&J out of the upfront, but she’s more confident than ever that it’s the right move. The move “infused [brand and agency teams] to be looking at things a little differently.”

* Has lived the branded-entertainment world and, as a mom “is living teen digital behavior”

* “Changed the game” for agencies “

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I am sure when I get a chance to read more about the other Media Stars, I will probably have more to say. Will see.


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