ProFlowers Has a Customer for Life.

Posted by truecreek on March 26, 2010 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

My wife and I are getting ready for our annual celebration of the finer things in life, Loveapalooza.  As part of the decorating committee of two, I was charged with arranging for the flowers.

Several weeks ago we received a gorgeous bouquet as a gift from our parents.  The flowers were from  So I went to their site and found a perfect deal:  two for one on roses.  Buy a dozen, get a dozen.  Now that’s the ticket.  So the order was in.

When the flowers arrived two days later, I quickly looked at the roses and determined it was only a dozen, not two. So, being the ever vigilant consumer that I am, the call went out.  Immediately, the ProFlowers customer service rep jumped all into my perceived floral quagmire and took control.  Two dozen fresh roses were headed out the door to me for overnight delivery. With the most heart felt of apologies.  And thank you so much for being a ProFlowers customer.

A minute or so later, a very professional HTML email hits my box repeating the apology and giving me the tracking number of my complimentary order of two dozen red roses.   Now that is the way you handle it.

Unfortunately, it was a call I should never have made.  Later that evening, my wife discovered that there actually were two dozen roses in the package, they were just stacked in a way that only showed the tops of a dozen or so.  Everything was there and they looked absolutely beautiful.


So this morning, I sucked it up and sent an email to customer service. Yes, I blew it and you actually did send the correct amount of flowers.  And please don’t hurt Gabriella, the woman who packaged the gorgeous   roses. And the email was off.

Five minutes later their reply.  You’re very welcome!

I suspect the flowers will arrive shortly and will be just amazing.  Plus, there will be another note inside with some sort of coupon for a future purchase.  Trust me,  that is one coupon that will  never be used.

But  I can tell you that ProFlowers has a customer for life.

Buying a Schedule on TV is Cheaper Than You Think.

Posted by truecreek on July 16, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

Retro TV CommercialIt was just a matter of time.  Back in the day, a rep could easily count on three or four local auto dealers to make his/her budget.  No more.  The media gravy train at the local auto dealer has stopped. Now the real cold calling begins.

Bloomberg:   U.S. TV broadcasters, struggling to replace a 20 percent drop in automotive advertising revenue, are turning to pawn shops, plastic surgeons and other nontraditional sources to fill airtime.

Local station owners like Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. and Gray Television Inc., whose revenue dropped after bankrupt General Motors Corp. and local dealers slashed marketing, are selling mortgage brokers and even landscapers on the notion that TV is affordable.

Across the U.S., the price of an average 30-second local TV commercial tumbled as much as 20 percent last year from 2007, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising, a New York- based trade organization. Auto ad revenue at local stations, down a fifth in 2008 from the year before, plunged another 52 percent in the first quarter, the TV Bureau said.

“A lot of local retailers, like the portrait shop or the pet store, haven’t advertised on TV before because they think they can’t afford it,” said Robert Prather, president of Atlanta-based Gray. “We’re out just beating bushes that we should have been doing a long time ago.”

A half-hour of prime-time TV typically contains 22 minutes of programming and eight minutes of ads, two of which are for local commercials, according to the Television Bureau. Rates depend on how many viewers are watching.

The price of an average 30-second ad placed on a local TV station last year ranged from $6.66 per 1,000 viewer homes in the early morning to $27.29 in prime time, according to the TV Bureau. Prime hours, when stations usually have their largest audience, are generally 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. In 2007, the same rates were $8.09 and $34.12, the bureau said.

“One of the pitches made by stations is that it’s cheaper than you think, particularly if you were looking at prices from a year ago,” Gary Belis, a spokesman for the New York-based TV Bureau, said in an interview.

Nexstar, which said auto ad sales dropped about 40 percent in the March quarter, has sold airtime to pawn shops and mortgage businesses in the Northeast and to ranches in the West, Chief Executive Officer Perry Sook said in an interview.

“The greatest opportunity in all of our markets is local businesses not currently doing business with our TV stations,” said Sook, whose Irving, Texas-based company operates or provides services to 63 stations in markets including Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Jacksonville, Florida.

Nexstar’s new-to-TV advertisers include Snare & Associates Mortgage Services LLC in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.

“I started a new business and needed to get my face out there,” Chief Executive Officer Anthony Snare said in an interview. “It worked.”

Snare said he bought packages of 30-second spots from Nexstar at $1,000 to $4,000 a month.

Gray, whose 36 stations in markets including Madison, Wisconsin, and Augusta, Georgia, received 19 percent of ad revenue from automakers and dealers last year, is now booking ads from landscapers and plastic surgeons for the first time, said Prather. He declined to predict how much Gray would make this year from first-time TV advertisers.

The new ad sources aren’t likely to entirely replace the decline in auto revenue, analysts and TV executives said.

“The big issue is that it takes 10 or 12 small ones to make up for some of the big car dealers we’ve had in the past,” Prather said.

When Will Marketers Boost Spending?

Posted by truecreek on May 29, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

We’ve been discussing this exact same thing with clients for several months now and it seems like we’re almost there.    Brand advertising on TV will once again be back in vogue, with some nice budgets behind it.

By Mark Dolliver

Will ad agencies need to wait until the recession has certifiably ended before they see a rebound in their clients’ spending? A survey released today by the Association of National Advertisers gives a glimmer of hope that marketers’ expenditures will turn upward sooner than that.

In online polling last month among members of the ANA’s Brand Marketer Leadership Community panel, 68 percent of respondents said they plan boost their media budgets as the economy recovers; 41 percent said they’ll increase their spending on social networking/word of mouth. As for the timing, 73 percent said “they would ideally implement these increased marketing activities three to six months before the recession ends, and an additional 16 percent as soon as it ends.”

A renewed focus on long-term brand-building will represent a shift from what many marketers have been doing as the recession deepened. The ANA’s report of the findings says two-thirds of marketers “have shifted their emphasis to more short-term strategies in the last six months.” Such a shift is reflected in the answers respondents gave when asked to cite the areas in which they’ve cut back. Fifty-six percent said they’ve cut media budgets, and 41 percent said the same about sponsorship/events activities. The activity most likely to have been increased amid the recession: “pricing deals,” cited by 47 percent of respondents.

For all the flux in marketers’ use of media, TV remained atop the standings when respondents were asked to say which media are effective for building brand equity. Sixty-four percent cited TV. Though down from 80 percent in a similar February 2007 poll, that still put TV ahead of online (61 percent) and “guerrilla/word of mouth/buzz marketing” (57 percent). Lagging farther behind were magazines (51 percent, down from 67 percent in 2007), radio (30 percent, down from 36 percent), outdoor (26 percent, down from 35 percent) and newspapers (19 percent, down from 36 percent). Social media garnered the most mentions as “the media channel that marketers would like to use but have not yet been able to implement.”

Elsewhere in the survey (conducted in conjunction with marketing-services firm ‘mktg’), respondents were asked about the factors they watch most closely as indicators of “brand health” — i.e., the degree to which brand equity is increasing or declining. “Customer experience/satisfaction” was cited by 48 percent of respondents — up from 37 percent in the 2007 poll. “There is less focus on traditional metrics such as brand image and awareness, which tend to be lagging indicators of brand health,” says the ANA report of the findings.

Kudos for Comcast’s (Goodby’s) New Campaign.

Posted by truecreek on March 16, 2009 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

Comcast has been a regional client of this agency for almost a  year now.  Our job has been to write, design and produce the stuff that sells things; DM, catalogs and the like.  All of the brand work came from Goodby, where That’s Comcastic originated.  We just follow their lead happily.

But the new campaign, dream big, is just great and the agency deserves a tremendous amount of credit for taking the client in this direction.  The new campaign offers up some of the most visually interesting work I have seen in a long time.  Some see it as bizarre, but for me, it does a wonderful job of humanizing the category…something that is tough to do with broadband accounts.

With this category, it’s all about the features and benefits of the three products, the speed of the network, the amount of channels you offer in high def, the price point and the like.  To take all of that and turn it into a sort of Yellow Submarine meets Monopoly spectacle is just fascinating to watch.  Not to mention the extremely creative music that just carries the spot to a whole new place.

It will be very interesting to see how the campaign unfolds over the next six months to a year.   Does it have legs?

USA TODAY Super Bowl Ad Meter Top 10

Posted by truecreek on February 2, 2009 under More Dam News | 3 Comments to Read

Always love the USA TODAY instant spot rankings from the Superbowl. Here are the top ten, with length , quarter played and score:

Doritos Crystal ball sees free Doritos. 30 1st 8.46
Budweiser Clydesdale’s romance with circus horse. 60 2nd 8.42
Budweiser Clydesdale can fetch. 30 2nd 8.26
Bridgestone Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head take a drive. 30 2nd 7.83
Doritos Superpowers of Doritos’ crunch. 30 2nd 7.79 Overachiever needs help buying a car. 60 2nd 7.78
Pedigree Dog is better pet than an ostrich or rhino. 30 2nd 7.71
Pepsi Mix of Forever Young with Bob Dylan and 60 1st 7.65
Castrol Grease monkeys and Castrol Edge keep car running. 30 2nd 7.56
Bud Light No Bud Light at meetings to cut budget. 30 1st 7.49