24Nov/100

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

Howard Aiken, the original concetual designer behind IBM's Harvard Mark computer.

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. ~Howard Aiken

22Nov/101

Smelly Business

Posted by Terry

John Lennon sniffing a bottle of soda

American ingenuity is still very much alive and dwelling on university campuses. Michigan Daily recently covered 12 of the most innovative ideas to come from the university community in the past year. One innovation, in particular, captured my attention because it is being used aggressively by the Westin Hotel group. From a marketing perspective, it is the kind of innovation that we are likely to see become much more common as a communication tool.

As the article states, every Westin Hotel around the world, from New York to New Delhi, smells exactly the same. Each hotel uses the chain’s signature scent – White Tea by Westin. The smell not only provides a fragrant welcome, but also acts as a subconscious marketing ploy.

According to marketing professor Aradhna Krishna’s research in the burgeoning field of multisensory marketing, this specific type of advertising specifically targets your subconscious and may be more effective than traditional forms of marketing. “I’ve shown that if a product has a very unique smell, than memory for other aspects of the product increases," said Krishna.

In a 2009 study, Krishna found that scented products help individuals better remember details about a product. “Among all the senses smell has a more direct connection with good memory. So, if other aspects of information get stored along with smell, than the likelihood of retaining that information is higher," she said.

Creativity’s last sensory stronghold (smell) has now found its place in the marketing world. Get ready for a barrage of smelly campaigns. Here's to hoping marketers do a better job than some of the perfume and cologne manufactures in selecting their signature scents.

19Nov/100

Super Mamika

Posted by Jennifer

When Sacha Goldberger, a French photographer, discovered that his grandmother was suffering from depression, he wanted to create a way to get her out of her "funk." He devised a series of photos, starring 91-year-old Frederika, where she dressed in a series of outrageous costumes in off-the-wall poses and locations.

The result is his new exhibition, Super Mamika, now showing at Gallerie Wanted Paris.

These phenomenal photos show Mamika in a super hero costume sitting on the wing of a plane in flight, flying on a treadmill, and even face-planted into the side of a building. The cute, fun and obviously irreverent photos also are available for purchase.

The best part of "Super Mamika" is the Goldberg reports his grandmother no longer shows any signs of depression!

18Nov/100

Who Shot J.R?

Posted by Jennifer

Thirty years ago this week, 350 million people (83 million television viewers in America alone) tuned in to CBS's popular show Dallas to get the answer to one of the biggest cliffhangers in TV history. Who shot J.R?

The show, which debuted in 1978, was the first of its kind as a "primetime soap opera," and went on to run 12 full seasons.

The phrase became part of the lexicon, even becoming a popular T-shirt before the airing of the third season, which was riddled with a SAG strike and a contract dispute with Larry Hagman. Viewers had to wait an excruciating eight months to find out who shot the guy people loved to hate.

Cliffhangers have the amazing ability to keep people talking about their favorite shows during the off-season and (today) encourage sales of full-season DVDs, soundtracks and other branded apparel. And, of course, they have the desired effect of heightening the anticipation of the following season.

Dallas' "Who Shot J.R." is arguably the best television cliffhanger off all time, but what's your favorite television cliffhanger/plot twist?

17Nov/100

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

One of my favorite Matisse paintings, The Dessert Harmony in Red

Drawing is putting a line round an idea. ~Henri Matisse

15Nov/100

Look me in the eyes…I said the eyes.

Posted by Jennifer

Handless model Tanja Kiewitz has recreated the famous Wonderbra ad featuring Eva Herzigovia in order to draw attention to handicap awareness group CAP48.

According to The GlobalPost, the ad has had a positive impact on fundraising, resulting in an increase to four million euros in donations, a 10 percent jump over last year.

While CAP48 says most of the reactions to the ad have been positive, there have been some concerns about throwing a negative light on a much-needed awareness campaign. What do you think? Does sex sell anything?

10Nov/100

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

Elbert Hubbard, an American writer, artist, philosopher and publisher, is probably best known for his essay, "A Message to Garcia."

The brain is a commodity used to fertilize ideas.  ~Elbert Hubbard

9Nov/100

L is for Leukemia

Posted by Jennifer

One of Aidan's monster drawings, available on Etsy.com

"Aidan is no ordinary 5 year old boy, in fact he is quite extraordinary. What sets him apart from most kids is his love for all things scary. He loves monsters, clowns, drawing, and dressing up. He does not wait for Halloween to roll around to have an excuse to wear a costume. And you better believe while in costume he will break character for nothing."

Incredible words that begin the explanation of the Aid for Aidan blog.

Aidan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on September 13, 2010. He's undergoing chemotherapy, but with the help of his amazing parents (great pics of Aidan with his mom and dad on the blog), Aidan is helping defray the cost of his health care and his parents' lost wages by doing something he loves - drawing.

Aidan loves monsters. And not just in a "yeah, those are cool" kinda way. Aidan REALLY DIGS monsters. He draws them all the time!

So, 10 days after Aidan's diagnosis, his parents started posting some of his monster drawings on popular homemaking site Etsy.

Aidan's monster drawings have taken off! Prints of 12 of Aidan's original drawings are available, and (to date) more more than 3,900 have already been purchased!

In fact, the site has been so successful that two weeks ago the family posted an update thanking their fans and letting supporters know that Aidan's dad was able to avoid taking a second job, and the family did not have to sell their family home.

This is my favorite of Aidan's monster drawings. Check out the rest of them on Aidan'sMonsters, and purchase your print for only $12.

8Nov/102

Lessons from the Language Lab

Posted by admin

In this new feature, we'll be sharing some of the most common grammar, syntax and spelling issues we see in editorial and promotional writing. Have one that really drives you crazy? Submit it so we can write about it!!

The abbreviations i.e. and e.g. are frequently misused in writing. The key to learning proper usage is understanding what each one means and then remembering which one to use. Here are the “how” and “when” to use these abbreviations properly:

I.e. is an abbreviation of the Latin words id est, which mean "that is." E.g. is an abbreviation for the Latin words exempli gratia, which mean "for example."

Since most of us don’t practice our Latin everyday, (well, at least I don’t) I’ll share with you how I remember the difference between the two: i.e. starts with “i” and means “in other words,” e.g. starts with “e” and means “for example.”

Now, let’s use them in a sentence.

I am looking forward to eating my favorite foods at Thanksgiving, i.e., turkey and mashed potatoes.

In this sentence, I used i.e. to help clarify which foods are my favorite and because I used i.e., you know that the two that I listed are the only ones that I consider to be my favorite.

Remember “i” = “in other words” or “in essence.” I.e. is used as a way to further explain what you just said. You can use a definition or a metaphor to specify.

I love Thanksgiving because of all the delicious foods that are served, e.g., turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole.

I used e.g., so this means that those dishes are among all the foods that are enjoyed at Thanksgiving, and not the only foods. E.g. works like, “including.”

Use e.g. when you are not using a finite list. A fun way to remember is that e.g. means “Egg sample.”

How to punctuate: According to most style guides, using a comma after i.e. or e.g. is recommended. These abbreviations can also be used to introduce a parenthetical statement.

3Nov/100

Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

Linus Pauling was an American chemist, peace activist, author and educator. He is one of only two people awarded two Nobel Prizes in different fields (the Chemistry and Peace prizes), and the only person awarded two unshared prizes.

The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away. ~Linus Pauling

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