Wednesday, October 31, 2007

a reason why Hulu wont be a youtube killer

The "internets" are whizzing around with news of HULU and how it has a legitimate chance at being a real threat to YouTube.

I may be alone in this opinion but I think it it is going to have an impact but not the one everyone is expecting....and here is why.

Besides the obvious reason that people like YouTube and are used to going there for fun videos like "How Krispy Kremes Work"

or documentaries on Tom Selleck that some guy held a camcorder to his TV to record

But because YouTube is open to all people and doesn't discriminate.

You are probably asking yourself what I am talking about.

Well are you?

Ok so I found online a blog called Hurty Elbow that had links to a whole slew of Hulu videos....and being the curious investigator that I am I decided to check it out only to find out that much like I was prevented from viewing anything because I was not using a USA based ISP.

Limiting this service to just America and not North America is short sighted and will eventually prove to be a classic example of "leaving money on the table". I admit I have not really researched into how HULU is going to work but I have read how the combination of YouTube and iTunes grew viewership for shows like The Office and 30 Rock. If one of the goals is to increase viewership then why limit the number of eyes that can view your content? On iTunes the shows where an item that people paid for and I am assuming it will be the same on HULU so again I say Why limit your audience?

I know this may come across as whiny but I take my TV viewing very seriously!

Oh and if you want to check out the HULU links (if you can) click away below!

21-1800 After The Jump

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Now there is more of "SAUL" to love!

For those of you who just can't get enough of me (and I know of at least three of you) I am here to announce that there is now more ways to get "SAUL"

This is still the best place since I post here all the time and will be increasing the output over the next few weeks but if you want to read or hear more of me you can now find me writing (on a semi regular basis) about shopping at Bargainista. My latest post is about buying Air Jordans for my son.......and if you want to hear my silky smooth voice you can now hear my as a semi regular contributor to Six Pixels of Separation (The Twist Image/Mitch Joel Podcast) where I will be talking about stuff I find interesting and sharing some ideas.....sorta like here but will alot more "umms".

Stick around for more posts today as I have a doozy of an idea cooking as well I am going to share some news!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Marketing to those with time on their hands.

Hi Everyone!

As many of your may know, blogging can be a lonely experience. You pour your heart out with each post and you never really know if people are digging your stuff or if they are even reading it. Sure you can check your stats but that only tells you how many people are dropping by....not if they were moved by your thoughts or if you made a difference in their day.

But every once and a while you get an email from a reader that makes it all worth while........mine came over the weekend from Ottisville New York.

Dear Saul

I am writing to thank you for writing such an entertaining and educational blog. I am not sure how I found your site but my friends and I enjoy sitting around the common areas and talking about some of your funny ideas. Your humor and personality shine in your entries and I think that is why I keep coming requesting printed copies of your web site. I do however miss the way you used to mix in a sexy story every now and then.

Keep up the good work and know that you have many loyal fans in Otisville

Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville New York

From now on when people ask me why I blog I will tell them that it is because I am making a difference in people's lives!


p.s. I wonder if I could organize a speaking series where I go from prison to prison talking about personality branding!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Jerry Seinfeld, Marketing Professor

I like Seinfeld. I used to watch all the shows when the show was current but for whatever reason I just can't get into the re-runs....but that is not what this post is about.

The Ubereye Marketing Blog released his first "Seinfeld on Marketing" e-book.

It has some funny observations and is worth the price so go check it out!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I have been tagged and now I have to share personal things about me!

I am “it”.

I am saying this because I was tagged by by Stephanie Fierman to participate in a b5media’s meme about 7 (G-rated) things you may not know about me (or care) here is my list:

1- I love Blaxploitation films like Coffee, Black Belt Jones, and Dolomite
2- I sold my 20,000+ comic book collection because I didn’t want to move them with me into my new house....but I kept my 500+ trade paperbacks.
3- I own 12 suits, 45 shirts and 100+ ties and yet I wear jeans and superhero t-shirts everyday
4- My two favourite fiction authors are Lee Child and Harlan Coben.
5- I fall asleep listening to podcasts
6- If I am home alone for dinner I will usually eat cereal.
7- I usually read two books a week...and by books I mean real books (business or fiction books)

And as a bonus.......#8 – I am the Smartest Man in the World (I bet you saw that coming)

Stolen directly from Stephanie Fierman's site

According to The New York Times, a meme “is an infectious idea or any other thing that spreads by imitation from person to person… the World Wide Web is the perfect Petri dish for memes.” It seems like a 21st century chain letter to me but (a) neither I nor any of my family was threatened with death if I didn’t ‘pass it on,’ so that’s an improvement, and (b) it seems a harmless way to connect with people and to promote websites and blogs not only inside your existing network but to a broader audience, as well. Perhaps memes could be worked into fresh “Refer A Friend” online customer acquisition campaigns.

I tagged email a few folks and told them to participate but I am not going to publicly tag anyone!

Hope you liked my list


Monday, October 22, 2007

Possibly the best idea I have ever had.....but you may need a GPS to find it.

I get a lot of ideas. Not all are "Gold" and I know this but once in a while I come up with something so good that I just have to share it.

I have a GPS...OK I actually share it with my parents because I see no reason to use it in the city I live in (cause I have a freakish knowledge of the city streets) but I do rely heavily on it when I am out of town since I am not so good with maps.

Anyway I was playing around with my GPS thingie and I had a flash of brilliance. Since these units already tell you where to go and how to get there......why not have then tell you all about where you are going as well.

My thinking is that GPS units should be pre-loaded with city tours as well as maps.

If you find yourself in Chicago or Los Angeles and are curious about the history of an area of town you could go into tour mode.

This wouldn't work for every town or city but a little movie history while driving in Los Angeles or even a "maps of the stars homes" tour that you could do yourself would be a great value add to any unit.

This is a sure fire Million Dollar Idea!

Another idea I had (not as golden but still pretty good) is one of my many ideas on how to market movies and other items in a new and different way.

I have always been fascinated by the "adopt a highway" program and am surprised that no one has made it a commercial marketing a movie studio could pick a stretch of highway and adopt it permanently but continuously change the "adoption" sign to reflect a new or current movie release. It would be a smaller much cheaper billboard but with more eyeballs. I also like the idea of making these signs digital so you could show trailers when there is a traffic jam.

So next time you plug an address into your GPS or see an "Adopt a highway" sign I want you to think of these ideas and bask in their genius!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Birthday just past and someone forgot to wish me Happy Birthday!

The past Friday was my birthday and a bunch of people in my life forgot to acknowledge the day......I got a bunch of nice phone calls/emails and a whole whack of friends wrote nice things on my Facebook wall but I didn't any thing from Facebook itself.

....or Amazon, Ebay, or even a credit card provider.

Every year around my birthday I wonder if any of the sites or services I willingly give my personal information too will make me feel special and win me over as a loyal fan/customer for life.

......and every year I sit scratching my head wondering why people miss this obvious opportunity.

It would be embarrassing for me to mention how much money I have spent (happily) at Amazon and I will continue to do so but a simple email from someone like them would go miles with me to make me feel like I am not just a nameless faceless customer. I am not a computer programmer but I imagine setting up a automated email to kick out a letter on your birthday would not be too hard but the value of it would be worth much more them the cost!

You may be reading this and thinking I am making a big deal about nothing.....and you may be right BUT small gestures make BIG impressions and can secure or loose future business.

...and in case anyone was curious. Out of the thousands of places I have given personal information to I only received 1 electronic Birthday was from a comic book message board called Jinxworld........and that is where I am going right now!


I am back!.....for real this time


Finally feeling better and back at (almost) full stength. Being sick has afforded me some thinkin' time and I have at least a full week of posts to WOW you all with so please accept my thanks or your patience and the new posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I need your url!

Hi Y'All,

Sorry I have been absent the last few days but I have had some stuff going strep throat. I don't think I mentioned this but I had bronchitis two weeks ago and as soon as I finished my medicine I get something else. I hate to get conspiratorial but this seems like how your TV or Fridge always breaks down when the warrenty is up (pretty sure it is called planned obsolescence)

Anyway since I got sick again so quickly I have decided to have a bubble installed in my house like in that John Travolta movie I realize it will be a annoying at first but I am looking forward to the golden brown tan I will get in the summer!

So by tomorrow I will be back at full strength (blogging wise) and will be posting up a couple posts i have been rolling around in my head but in the meantime I would love you guys to drop me a comment on some websites you like. I want to freshen up my blog role and figured this is a good way to do it.

Don't be shy about adding your own site (if yo have one) to the list and I will craft a brand new "Sites I Likes" section next week!

Now if you will excuse me I am off to a pharmaceutically aided sleep!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

An interesting thing I saw in a book store the other day.....

As I type this, sitting in the Smartest Man in the World Headquarters, I am surrounded by more then 2000 books (and I have read all except 4 of them). I love to read and book stores give me a weird thrill that for me can only be duplicated by dvd stores....but I digress. I was in a major Canadian book chain the other day and overheard an interesting argument.

At the check out area of this store there was an agitated guy raising his voice demanding a discount on his book since the price of the book was $24.99 us$ or $34.99 can$. His argument was that since the value of the Canadian dollar is at par (or worth a few pennies more then the US buck) then he should be able to purchase the book at the US price or that they should be the same price.

I am not sure if he spoke to the store manager but whoever he did speak to explained that there was nothing he could do and the customer stormed out.....without purchasing anything and at the same time he freaked out some other customers.

This was a HUGE missed opportunity.

Now I am not going to pretend to understand if this manager has the authority to discount anything and she probably handled things exactly as she should have. She was polite and respectful she just didn't give in to the demand.

The opportunity that is being ignored is a way to inject some personality into this brand by being a little self effacing and saying "Hey we noticed this disparity and we are going to do something about it". Have a company wide sale or promotion would boost the good feeling of the company as well showing a little humility by recognizing that there is something wrong.

(This post/idea can be co-opted to just about any store or business so when you think about this later don't get caught up on this just being about book stores.)

Companies need personality because people connect to people. People like when someone can say "we were wrong" and actually do something about it so by following my little idea is a great example of doing both..........and I would bet $20 that the first to do this would steal a whole wack of market share.

Now some of you are probably saying to yourself "This guy is foshizzle...don't he know that the cost of them things are determined by when they is bought and the Canuck buck has only been powerful for a short time" (That is how I imagine people who disagree with me sound) and yes I agree that there would probably be some money being left on the table but if you get 20% more business going into the holiday shopping season I am pretty sure you would do OK and continue with new business into the new year.

Trust me....I am The Smartest Man in the World!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Thoughts on Great Ideas

Ideas Ideas Ideas!

Lets ask David Lynch what he thinks of them!

Thanks to Yves Van Landeghem for finding this!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

David Caruso wouldn't be a good marketer.....

I have a lot of guilty pleasures.

One of them is CSI Miami. I am not sure why I still watch the show since it doesn’t captivate me in the way a really good show should but there are a few things that keep me coming back for more.

One is that I love that we are to believe that at a crime scene all a CSI needs to do is spray an aerosol can of stuff into a car and they will magically get the height, weight, age, skin tone and annual salary of the person who was driving......and the other is David Caruso and his magic sunglasses.

I was thinking about David Caruso’s magic sunglasses last night and how they relate to Marketing. I admit this is a bit of a stretch but bear with me till the end.

Good/Great marketing or advertising happens when people take the time to really understand their target market. This involves going beyond just the statistics but to do some real world talking to folks and getting real opinions. I have written about companies in the past who employ celebrities to endorse their products even thought the celebrity is a bad fit...well this wouldn’t happen if people just took the time to talk to people. Personal connections and networking is such an important tool in career development so why wouldn't you use the same concepts to gather information. Asking people in casual conversations what they like and what they don't like is IMHO a far more honest and valuable tool to get real world information to what people are asking real people.

Some marketers rush to judgement, make quick decisions, and walk away. This is not different from when David Caruso’s character (and yes I realize it is a TV character) Horatio Cane delivers one of his snappy one liners, puts on his magic sunglasses and walks away....heck an even further comparison can be made to the fact that Horatio never really looks at people but rather squints and looks over your or past you.

For really great marketing to happen people need to step back, look people in the eye and get to know who they are and how these people want to be spoken to and marketed to.......because if you made bad assumptions you will not only create marketing that doesn’t work but you may also find yourself in a car with a guy who is pointing a gun at you because you thought he was someone he wasn’t.....just like on the last episode of CSI Miami!

Still not sure what I am talking about?

Well then watch this.......


The things I will do to promote this blog.....

Check out this news report to see just how far I will go!


p.s. I will post something real interesting later

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

He kept telling me he would be in a movie someday....

I have met "Superman" a few times. Interesting guy to chat with and he told me a few years ago when I met him at a comic book convention that he would be in a movie one day......and it looks like that day is here.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

20 Million Dollars...That is a whole lot of pennies!

I am not a Nascar fan.

I have nothing against the sport or the people, I just can't seem to get excited about it. That being said I did happen to catch a few minutes of the big race this weekend and saw something that was puzzling.

It was the #27 car.

We all know about the cars and how they are moving billboards for major brands looking to cement permanent relationships with the Nascar faithful....and I like that. There is nothing wrong with brash commercialism but I was still troubled by the sponsor of the #27 car.

Who was is you ask?


This kinda puzzled/bothered me because as a Charity (one that I collected many pennies for during my many Halloween outings as a child) I found it odd that they would spend the approx. $20 Million Dollars it takes to be a title sponsor when that money could go to better places.

Even if they got a Charity discount (does that exist in Nascar Sponsorship deals?) they would still be in the hook for a big chunk of the fee.

Now I understand this is advertising and the goal is to get many eyeballs on the name and the url but I wonder if this will end up being effective for them. I know I was turned off by it and even if I am blogging about it and giving them exposure it may not be the type of exposure they were hoping for.

*and if anyone knows if this was a freebie or something please feel free to chime in and call me stupid but I read every press release and couldn't find any mention of that. The PR does mention that they hope the race will move people to donate in record numbers.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Twittering for good and not just to report bathroom visits...

If you read this blog or my twitter entries you probably know I have been sick the last few days.....well I am feeling much better now and figured it as time to get back to my blog. Holed up in bed I read a lot of blog entries and followed my twitter subscriptions. One of the twitters that caught my eye was from C.C. Chapman recounting that someone asked him to name a company that is using Twitter in a great way and he came up blank. I was determined to find someone so I could post about it and look like a smartie pants but alas I came up with nothing as well.......But I did come across a website that is using Twitter in the smartest way I have seen so far!

Bargainista is a great site that discovers and announces "sales" from retail stores in the Toronto area. The site is jammed packed with entries and each "sale" also gets its own Twitter posting so if you are not signed up for the RSS feed you can still get a reminder (in a line or two) about the newest discoveries.

I see a lot of people use Twitter to announce a running account of their every move.....and that is cool if you are into that sort of thing but the more people figure innovative ways to use this powerful tool the more important it will become!


Disclosure : The lady who runs the site is a friend of mine and very attractive but neither influenced my decision to write this post :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Phoning this one in....

Not feeling good today....running a the instead of trying to come up with something interesting and insightful I have decided to just post a video or two of one of my favorite performers.

Ladies and Gentleman.......Ricky Jay

Type at you tomorrow


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Celebrities can kill a brand.........

I had a interesting conversation last night at Ad Lounge about a company I used to consult for. A friend mentioned that this company is trying to build buzz by getting paparazzi pictures of celebs wearing their company t-shirts.

Disclosure: I love Celebrities and one of my guilty pleasures are Celebrity Gossip sites like TMZ so I am not poo pooing the idea of Celebrity endorsements just saying you need to think about who you use!

I am not going to out the company in question because they are good folks but I will comment about the idea of creating buzz in this way. In the case of this company they got Paris Hilton and you would think that is a BIG DEAL but (and I have written about this before) if you are going to go down the road of having a celebrity "speak" for your company you should choose a celeb that fits into your demo (I know that is probably not possible since Celbrities live in another world) or at least may seem like they would/could use your product.

The company that I am carefully blogging about is a company that boasts economic value and heavily promotes cost savings over their competitors.........this kinda screams "everyman/everywoman" and not a child of privilege that would probably be embarrassed to actually support such an initiative.

For a small to medium sized company, (and this company is) spokespeople should somehow resemble the target market if you are looking to create a feeling of community and acceptance. The thrill of a celebrity pretending to use your favorite product wears off pretty quick if it isn't authentic.

just my .02!


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

If I am ever charged with a major crime........

I am counting on loyal readers and friends to get Jake Byrd to come to my press conference.

It would make things more fun!

I had noticed that the content was becoming very serious so I hope you enjoyed this video. I have seen it a bunch of times and it still makes me laugh!


If I was in charge of marketing for the CBS show "Cold Case" I would........

Get people to buy music!

Marketing plan over.

Thanks for look confused.

OK I should explain. Cold Case is a detective show featuring a bunch of foxy police solving "unsolved cases" from years past. It is a good show and one thing that they do so well, maybe better then any other show, is work music in each episode and the songs featured in each episode is specifically from whatever time period that the "case" took place.

Music is another character in this show since it sets the time and mood of the episode. CBS understands the important role it plays since it has a whole section of the Cold Case website listing the songs featured in each episode.

So this got me thinking........(and here is where I tell you what I would do if I worked for them etc etc).....instead of just listing the music used on the show........why are they not offering the songs for sale?

I know there would be licensing and royalty issues but CBS doesn't have to do this on their own. Why not talk with iTunes and set up a section of the site as "Music from Cold Case" and when they choose the songs from the Cold Case spot (and not from the artist's location on iTunes) the album art would show up with the cols case logo and the words "Sunday at 9pm" or whatever.

Staying "top of mind" with multiple "touches" (and I mean good touches) is so important and marketers need to use every available tool to accomplish this.

If you ask is a good thing I am hear to dispense these free ideas :)



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