Joining the Nike + Challenge

Ok, I couldn’t help myself. Ever since I wrote about the Nike + Challenge on the “Women vs. Men” commercial in 2009 a little itch grew in me. I usually go out and run a bit, but I’m mostly a gym rat 3 times a week. However, when I wrote about it, I immediately opened the Nike + webpage and started clicking around.

But first things first; to even begin being a part of this challenge, you need the right gear: sneakers with a smart chip in them remotely connected to a USB band wrapped around your wrist. Both gadgets measure your distance, pace, calories burnt and time run. But of course if you are a jogger, you already knew this.

Once you’ve got all of these, you customize them to your own Nike+ profile and you challenge yourself, you push further and further. You can sync in with your friends and even make a “team” sport out of it. So, today, I’m the proud owner of Nike+ shoes that push me to be a more frequent, organized and better runner. Let’s see how far I can go with it.

Mixing it all In

As marketing campaigns have diversified over the point that not even Mad Men from the 1960’s would have imagined, the possibilities are endless. It’s how you mix the different communication strategies to build a successful campaign. Still, most people seem to be inclined to continue with traditional advertisement (rather the minority) while innovators insist on web tools being the only reachable and logical way to go. Then come the giants: mixing it all up.

Just like Corona’s latest campaign. First of all, probably the most iconic Mexican beer, has always navigated with it’s Ocean view relaxed person holding a chilled Corona with a lime on top of it. It’s how this particular beer traveled the world. Over the years they’ve tried to change that image, not because of being unsuccessful, quite the contrary: because it was too successful. Executives at Cervecería Modelo wanted a different association, that Corona could also be enjoyed at different occasions.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utPtqdPjqwY&feature=player_embedded]

Now it seems they’ve achieved that with their wholesome Facebook/Times Square campaign. For 15 minutes of fame, all you have to do is Like the Corona Facebook fan page and appear on the big Screen on Times Square by Corona. Reports say that this campaign has brought over 6,000% increase on online users. After all, who wouldn’t want their face recognized in the biggest advertised spot in the world? Who ever said that traditional marketing can’t be friendly with innovative marketing?

Shades in the Market

Can you really blame it? In a world where Darwin’s Law is the highest, can you really blame growth? Of all the spectacular numerals you see of how the super powers and the emerging markets grow day by they, can you really blame it on piracy? Economic growth is really due to the increasing ability of “ordinary” people to copy, develop and overcome standards. Really, one should only say (as a customer) what do you REALLY offer me that I can’t get elsewhere…?

People and knowledge are getting more specialized and spread out  by the second, then why try to hide the inevitable? We know perfectly well that anything gets more “copyable” and not as unique. Then why try to raise prices? The only logical answer is EXPERIENCE.

Once you go into a Tiffany & Co store they give you a glass of champagne. Will you get that pleasure in a fake market in the middle of Shanghai? Experience is the only true and most original differential there is in the beginning of the twenty first century.

There may be exact knock off’s out there… but experience is irreplaceable. That is the true hope we hold as marketers. Enjoy.

A Day in a Shopping Cart’s Life

It all began back in 1937 when Sylvan Nathan Goldman placed a couple of baskets on a wooden chair and installed wheels underneath the legs. He knew people would not buy as much groceries if they had to carry them around. In a way you can say that today’s $100USD + check out supermarket tickets are thanks to the fact that we can drive around a tiny mountain of goods and even have fun in the meantime (yeah, admit it, you too at some point in life climbed on the lower metal tube and drove around like mad with it).

But ever walked in a supermarket and thought “oh well, i’m only here for a carton of milk, so no point in grabbing a cart” and then walked right into the supermarket. As you walk around, your eyes can’t help but browse around. You find yourself, despite your better judgement, taking a few items here and there. By the time you reach the milk, you have much more than you can carry. So where’s the heroic cart now?

You look around in the hopes of finding one that was probably abandoned. Nothing. You either pull a maneuver and go for the milk or just drop the fabulous new cereal you so wanted to try. Thus, I must give it up for Costco. Just today (although I was already driving a cart) I saw a line of carts in the middle of the freezer section… just in case you thought you were going in for milk alone. Nicely done Costco!

My my, how simple little arrangements like that can increase your total as you check out…

The Dollar Store

You’ve seen them everywhere. Probably in every country I’ve been in, there’s a store with a one-price-only philosophy for all of its products. The Mexican version of that is Waldo’s. Now, it’s happened time after time, version after version that I see brands that I thought were discontinued or copy cats that just rearrange a letter or a character from the original. All at a flat price.

Oh those copy cats… you can’t possibly miss them. It kind of makes you wonder where the line between illegal and legal really is as far as copyrights go. Just today I saw a cereal box with a Siberian white tiger on it and another one with a much less sophisticated colored bird drawn in the exact same position as the original. Really, do I need to give you more clues? Can you guess the price? Yes indeed, $1 USD.

Now, what really made my day (and I really needed a cheer-me up) was the fact that I saw these fig cookies I thought were no longer made. Probably the last time I ever had one I was around 9 or so. It also made me think, how is it that they get to sell these products? Are they left over inventory from a long lost company? If so, then really how safe is it to consume these goods? And yes, indeed once again, all for the modest price of $1 USD.

Oh the magic brought to you by the one-price fits all little stores around the world. What would we do without these little weird stores?