Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

The society based on production is only productive, not creative. ~Albert Camus


Silly Bandz

Posted by Jennifer

If you had told me a year ago that I would be paying $6 for a tiny little package of glorified  rubber bands for my six year old and two year old to wear I would have called you crazy. But my kids are obsessed with these things. They collect them. They want different shapes and colors. They match them to outfits.

Brands have even gotten in on the act. Disney has Toy Story and Princess bracelets. Justin Beiber has his own. Silly Bandz can even be custom created with just about anything. Colleges and universities are selling them with logo and mascot images. Even Kardashian Glam Bandz have recently hit the market (I know, you're rushing out to get yours now).

How many packets of Silly Bandz have you bought? And, what's next? A Silly Bandz-branded storage system?

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Bad Advertising Doesn’t Sell

Posted by Roger

TV stations need to stop shooting themselves in the foot. There is nothing more irritating than watching the game or your favorite comedy just to have the decibel level shoot sky high during the commercials.

Why, you ask, would an adman complain that television commercials are aired too loud? Because if it’s done to help get the message across, it just doesn’t work. The viewer either hits the mute button or turns down the volume. The result is exactly opposite of the intent.

When we shout we irritate. When we irritate we lose interest and credibility.

Our ads will be watched when the consumer is a given a reason to. A clever idea, nice music, quality production values and good talent. No one was ever bored into watching commercials.

While we are on the subject of TV, what is with car dealer advertising? Are we supposed to purchase the second-most expensive item we will own, next to our home, from these guys? Sleazy on camera talent, daughters of owners, grandkids of owners, talking enhanced breasts and screaming announcers. Wow, it really makes me want to spend $40,000-50,000!

Don’t they realize that fake excitement is transparent? Even BMW does it. BMW corporate advertising is clean and sophisticated, yet the local dealer advertises like a furniture store going-out-of-business sale. All items must go! Liquidation sale! Makes me not want to by one. Well, at least not from them.

If you're going to do something...do it right. I want to enjoy the ads as much as the programming. When we accomplish that, we sell.

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Bubble Ball

Posted by Roger

Never before in history has creativity and free enterprise been on a more exciting path. A 14 year old from Spanish Fork, Utah named Robert Nay has created the #1 most popular free iPhone app on iTunes. His game, called Bubble Ball,  already has more than two million downloads, surpasssing the very popular Angry Birds game. Had he charged just 99 cents he would have more than $2 million in his account. He found the software to create his idea from a book at his local library.

Today’s tech environment has opened the door for anyone with a creative notion and initiative to take an idea globally. There is no longer any distance between creators and users. Market acceptance or failure is determined by the free market. No experts, research, marketing gurus or agents required. Never before has there been a more perfect time for ideas.


Wordsmith Wednesday (on Monday)

Posted by Jennifer

We're bringing Wordsmith Wednesday to you a little early this week in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.,  pastor, PhD, Nobel Prize winner and well-known leader of nonviolent demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr. King was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the Civil Rights Movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated. Today we observe his birthday of January 15. He would have been 82 years old.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968)

Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


Facebook and AMBER Alert Join Forces

Posted by Emily

Six weeks ago the VA State Police Department issued an AMBER Alert for a 12 year-old girl named Brittany Smith and posted pictures of the missing child on the VA State Police Facebook fan page. With the click of a button, photos of Brittany and a description of the suspected kidnapper and his vehicle were released to 24,000 people via Facebook. Five days later, a woman who had seen the Facebook link recognized the missing girl and the suspect outside a store in San Francisco and the child was safely returned to her father in VA.

Col. W. Steven Flaherty of the VA State Police Department stated that they “…wouldn't have had nearly as many leads to help them in this case had it not been for the sharing of this info among Facebook fans…Social media certainly enabled law enforcement to reach beyond our borders – to find the endangered child.”

Today, 53 AMBER alert pages have been created on Facebook (one for each state, Puerto Riceo, D.C., & the U.S. Virgin Islands) and with a half-billion Facebook users, the new pages signify an important expansion of the National AMBER Alert program.


Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

The world is but a canvas to the imagination. ~Henry David Thoreau


This I Believe

Posted by Jennifer

The book, This I Believe, created from some of the most popular essays from the 1950s.

"This I believe." Edward R. Murrow popularized the phrase back in the 1950s with his popular radio show by the same name. On it, he interviewed well-known entertainers, politicians and celebrities about their guiding influences. The result was a well-crafted and beautifully produced essay where the subject comments on the "...values that guide their daily lives."

Dan Gediman, executive director of This I Believe, Inc., has revived the popular show, now allowing average citizens to write and record their own essays. Some of the best essays are even aired on Fridays during the popular Bob Edwards Show on Sirius/XM Radio's XMPR and on Public Radio International.

I love the old show and love listening to the incredibly famous comment on everything from The Bible to growing up with 10 siblings. However, the idea of opening up the exclusive list to the "common man" is brilliant. I listen to Bob Edwards almost religiously each morning in my car. I love his interview style, his sense of humor, his obvious deep knowledge on a plethora of topics. But mostly I love his interview subjects. I've learned about new music from artists like Trombone Shorty. I've cried when he interviews the families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've been inspired when he interviews Yo-Yo Ma.

The addition of the "new" This I Believe to the Friday morning show at first seemed strange to me, but I quickly warmed to it when I heard actual stories of love, loss and redemption. Families joined by their love of a baseball team. Marriages surprisingly saved with a cancer diagnosis. While the celebrity stories are interesting and beautiful, it's these real-life stories that grab my attention and make me think.

If you haven't checked them out, I highly encourage you to do so.


Wordsmith Wednesday

Posted by Jennifer

I got an idea, an idea so smart my head would explode if I even began to know what I was talking about. ~Peter Griffin


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