Sunday, July 30, 2006

Best Practices: Marketing & Merchandising

Stamps and sound offer innovative ways to establish connections between brands and consumers.

Special Delivery

Entertainment Rights Pic (ER), a UK-based independent media group that owns children’s and family programming, characters, and brands, secured a promotional agreement with the United States Postal Service (USPS) for marketing and promotional activities for its classic Postman Pat character. Postman Pat makes his first live appearance in the U.S. this month when he attends Washington 2006. the World Philatelic Exhibition being held May 27 to June 3. Occurring only once every decade, the Washington. D.C.- based exhibition aims to expand an interest in stamp collecting globally, and will host special activities for children. Postman Pat aims to teach children the values of community, sharing, and helping others. “The agreement with the USPS is an important step in the plan for a range of activities designed to build Postman Pat into a leading children’s character in the U.S..” says Kathleen Hricik. executive vice president and managing director, U.S.. Canada, and Latin America, Entertainment Rights. As such. Postman Pat will make personal appearances, appear in themed photo opportunities and on-stage performances, and will be part of an educational outreach program. The Postman Pat television series launched on HBO Family in fall 2005. followed by a successful HBO Family’s Postman Pat Marathon Christmas Day 2005. ER has secured a further broadcast agreement for new episodes: HBO Family has The Postman Pa/television series launched on HBO Family in fall 2005. committed to running another Postman Pat Marathon and is running back-to-back episodes May 29. In addition, a Postman Pattherre interactive educational pack will be sent to 5,000 schools in the seven states surrounding the D.C. area, and will be downloadable from the HBO Family Website.

A Sound Strategy

As customer experiences advance into the “multisensory” dimension—from iPods to gaming and online—branding consultants also are expanding their services to include “sonic branding,” a form of marketing that uses sound to develop a unified message. Audio-branding company Audiobrain identifies opportunities for companies to incorporate sound and music in developing the brand experience. “It’s no longer only about visuals and advertising.” says Audrey Arbeeny, partner and executive producer at Audiobrain. “Sound is at the forefront of this movement. From iPods to Startucks and American Idol, smart marketers know the key is to create an emotional connection between the brand and individual.” To incorporate sound. Audiobrain developed its customized “Sonic Toolbox,” which contains severai different music and sound files, which can be used both internally and externally in presentations, brand and sales videos. Web. and retail environments, as well as any other touch point that employees or customers interface with. The first step is to define the brand’s voice, which includes tone, tempo, and instrumentation, among other attributes. Once a core sound is developed, Audiobrain can extend it for different uses. For the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system. Audiobrain created a seamless sound experience. It developed the sound signature, full product user interaction sounds, and additional branded soundscapes for both the MTV Reveal Telecast and the Xbox 360 E3 Briefing Event, as well as a Dolby 5.1 surround-sound mix for use in movie theaters and other venues.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Doctor, doctor...

An Irish bloke goes to the doctor and says "Dactor, it's me ahrse. I'd loik ya ta teyhk a look, if ya wood".

So the doctor gets him to drop his pants and takes a look. "Incredible," he says, "there is a £20 note lodged up here".

Tentatively he eases the twenty out of the man's bottom, only to see another £10 note appear. "This is amazing" exclaims the Doctor "What do you want me to do?.

"Well fur gadness sake teyhk it out man" shrieks the patient. The doctor pulls out the tenner and another twenty appears, and another and another and so on...Finally the last note comes out and no more appear.

"Ah Dactor, tank ya koindly, dat's moch batter, how moch is dare den? The Doctor counts the pile of cash

"£1990 exactly."

"Ah, dat'd be roit." he says "I knew I wasn't feeling two grand." funnies

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A New York woman was at her East Side hairdresser getting her hair styled prior to a trip to Rome with her boyfriend.
She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded, "Rome?
Why would anyone want to go Rome?
It's crowded and dirty and worse yet, full of Italians. You're crazy to go to Rome."
"So, how are you getting there"?
"We're flying on Continental," was the reply. "We got a great rate!"
"Continental"? exclaimed the hairdresser. "That's a terrible airline.
Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly and they're always late."
"So, where are you staying in Rome"?
"We'll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome's left side called Trieste..."
"Don't go any further. I know that place.
Everybody thinks its gonna be something special and exclusive.
But it's really a dump. The worst hotel in the whole city!
The rooms are small, the service is surly and they're way overpriced."
"So, whatcha doing when you get there"?
"We're going to go to see the Vatican and we hope to see the Pope."
"That's rich," laughed the hairdresser. "You and a million other people trying to see him.
He'll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours.
You're sure going to need it."

A month later, the woman, all smiling, came in for her hair appointment.
The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome.
"It was absolutely wonderful," explained the woman. "Not only did we arrive on time in one of Continental's brand new jets, but it was overbooked and they bumped us up to first class.
The food and wine were wonderful and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot.
And the hotel.
It was fabulous! They'd just finished a $5 million remodeling job and now it's just a jewel, the finest hotel in the city.
They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner's suite at no extra charge!"
"Well," muttered the hairdresser. "I know you didn't get to see the Pope."
"Actually, we were quite lucky.
As we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder and explained that the Pope likes to personally meet some of the visitors and if I'd be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.
Sure enough, five minutes later, the Holy Father walked through the door and shook my hand!
I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me."

"Really"? asked the hairdresser. "What'd he say"?

He said, "Where did you get that horrible haircut"? funnies

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