Friday, November 27, 2009

Calling Bullsh*t on Black Friday

Leather jackets for $25!

Complete drill set for $14.99!

Two for one hoodies!

599 doorbusters storewide!

The TV has been screaming deals out for two weeks now. At this point, who can keep track? Old Navy has the 3 for 1 turtlenecks, right? Or were they opening at three? Or was it one? I have to get to Sears by 4:00am for $5.00 cardigans. Or was it 5:00am for $4.00 neckties?

In the blur of Black Friday doorbuster deals, any good marketer has to wonder if the message is getting through. After all, there are only so many crazy consumers willing to forsake sleeping in on a day off from work for the fabulous Black Friday savings at the mall. Diamond necklaces for $49.99 just might not be worthy of a 5:00am wake up call. Exactly what type of diamonds are those anyway?

There’s a fair amount of bull… um, baloney… in Black Friday advertising. Sure, some doorbusters are worthy of their name, but others… well, you have to wonder what a $25 leather jacket is really made of.

The marketers at Jetson, a Florida-based electronics and appliance retailer, seem to be wondering the same thing. So, they decided to call out some of this year’s questionable doorbuster deals in a TV campaign that calls Bullsh*t on Black Friday.

Launched last week, the original spots got pulled because the use of an announcer saying “Bull” with a “bleep” after it was a little too risqué for wholesome, Floridian audiences. The revised version is just as good.

Enjoy watching (unless you are already out there checking out those Whatchamacallit TV deals).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ahoy! Blue Ocean ahead!

About a year ago I finished “Blue Ocean Strategy,” an interesting book penned by two esteemed academics. Unlike other marketing books full of frothy creative ideas, “Blue Ocean Strategy contends that success can be achieved through a proven systematic approach. This approach doesn’t focus on besting your competition; rather it makes your competition irrelevant. When you create your own Blue Ocean, you sail it alone on the way to success like you’ve never imagined.

The book was enlightening and, I thought, wholly achievable. After all, they outline the system for creating a blue ocean. With a little creative thinking (an abundant resource at RWA), we could create our own blue ocean. One year later, we’re still sharing the seas with our competition.

I had begun to question whether blue oceans existed anymore when I came across an article in the New York Times this week entitled “Using Marijuana Stores to Market Food.”

It appears that the Attorney General’s decision to end the Bush administration’s practice of frequency raiding marijuana dispensaries has spawned a most unexpected result – the emergence of a blue ocean. We can also credit the AG with a whole new crop of business innovators aptly dubbed “ganjapreneurs.”

One such ganjapreneur is Hapa Sushi, a Colorado sushi restaurant chain. Recognizing the obvious connection between getting high and getting the munchies, Hapa Sushi is tapping the newly liberated marijuana market with ads touting the restaurants’ proximity to dispensaries around town. So residents can now grab a baggy to roll and a California roll all in the same trip.

It’s maybe not quite what the authors had in mind, but it’s a hell of a blue ocean.

Sail on, Hapa Sushi. Sail on.