12 October 2007

CNBC, Hampton, Jerry and Me

I did a talking-head gig on CNBC the other day. It was about using Sixties nostalgia - especially music - in commercials. If you've read my book or monitor this blog or especially if you've seen my song 'n dance - I've covered this subject ad nauseam. I'm not sure if I'm sicker of hearing Sixties music in commercials, or sicker of hearing myself talk about it.

Hampton Pearson was the host/reporter. He's actually a fun fellow, very down to earth behind that biz persona. We had a wonderful chat on the phone - and again the next day in the studio.

It was a good segment - however, when it aired I noticed that, through the magic of editing, some of my comments were taken a bit out of context. But what's new. Although I said what I said, I didn't really say it about what the report said I said it about.

It actually made me feel very important - like some Democratic presidential candidate being quoted in a segment on Fox News. Or like being inserted into some gag on The Daily Show.

The biggest surprise for me was when Hampton (on the phone, the day before) said, "We'll have you and one other guest in this segment." Then we talked a bit about what I was going to say - and before we hung up, and just out of mild curiosity, I asked who the other guest would be. "Jerry Della Femina," he said.

I gagged. Chuck and Jerry. Pretty funny. This fellow is a hero of mine. He's a legend. He wrote one of my favorite books about advertising. What the **** am I doing on the same show as this guy?

I play loud blues electric guitar. So put me on a show with Eric Clapton. I have bunches to say about blues guitar playing - and if Eric wants to slip in a few words, let him.

I just checked the CNBC web site and don't see the segment. I'll check again in a few days and if it's available I'll link to it - even though I didn't quite say what I said.

I'm not sure if Mr. Della Femina said what he said. You'll have to ask him. But being the selfless sort, I'm happy for him that he had the chance to be on a television news segment with me, and got to say whatever he may or may not have said.

11 October 2007

Friends In The Netherlands

In The Netherlands I made many new friends, and finally met up with a handful of folks I'd been in contact with for some time.

Among other things, Arjan in't Veld heads up InTheField Marketing en communicatie and runs the Mokka Marketing Blog. One of his clients is PLUS Magazine. Arjan has been helping with the redesign and implementation of their web site - adding interactive sections like this one.

View the site through Babble Fish to get an idea of what's being done (although don't completely trust the quirky translation).

The Mature Market Interview with Arjan in't Veld.

Martijn de Haas and Michel van den Bosch own the marketing firm Active Development:
Active Development is a consultancy/participating company in the marketing and communication to the 50+ market. We advise and/or participate in efforts of companies in entering the market and effectively reaching the 50+ consumers. This could be in thinking up new marketing strategies, new communication, online activities, and product development. We have a growing database of 50+ consumers who are providing us information in all these activities and who are actively taking part in our panels.

We have developed a small local fair called "the fair for people who enjoy life", or short in Dutch "de Levensgenietersbeurs": www.levensgenietersbeurs.nl

This a fair that is held in relatively big cities in Holland and holds about 30 exhibits. The textual marketing is ageless but the target is attracting the 50+ consumer who has money to spend on luxury articles. From our experience and backed-up by psychological research we found that as people get older they tend to value local socials networks more and more. They want to build close relationships with local entrepreneurs who give them optimal service and a feeling of being a 'friend' rather than a customer.
Here is Active Development - and their Fair - stuffed in the Babble Fish meat grinder.

We can learn a lot from the Dutch about how to market to the 50+ demo. In some areas they're way ahead of us.

02 October 2007

The European Speaking Tour (maybe Part I)

I'm finally back from the European Speaking/Consulting Tour sponsored by Bayard Presse, PLUS Magazines, and Roularta Media Group.

I guess you don't need a play-by-play. It was a success, Carol Orsborn and Brent Green were a notch above top-notch, our hosts treated us like Royalty everywhere we went, and my more-significant-than-I-am other had the time of her life as tourist and part-time nanny for the three prima donnas.

Carol is blogging about it all, so keep up with her musings. I'm sure Brent will also have a bunch to say when he returns and has some time.

I'll skip the travelogue, and only mention business stuff. The two most impressive things for me in Europe:
1) These incredibly dedicated, talented, hard-working, creative people I met, socialized, and worked with from all the companies, all the PLUS Magazines (along with Vi Over 60 and Notre Temps). I'm still reeling from being around such energy and artistry.

2) The 50+ Fair in Utrecht, Netherlands. Impossible to describe. Attendance over five days was just shy of 100,000. Almost 600 exhibits/booths. Seriously - I can't describe it. It was like everything I've been talking about for the last five years physically washing over and overwhelming me. The web site also doesn't do it justice. It can't. You had to be there.
A few bloggers have commented (but you may have a tough time reading their posts) - and the feedback from the attendees has been positive and enlightening. I still haven't answered all of them - and they keep piling into my inbox.

12 September 2007

Immersion Experience Sheds Light On Seniors

I had a good chat with Dan Miller of The Patriot-News last week. He asked me what I thought about a marketing/advertising firm embedding some employees in a retirement community.

Also interviewed was Todd Harff of Creative Results - a colleague and leading expert on marketing adult communities.

The article should be available online for a few weeks. All in all, it's a good one:
Immersion experience sheds light on seniors
Market researcher Bob Fell, 43, wanted to know what it's like to live in a retirement community, so he spent August at Garden Spot Village in Lancaster County. The ground-level research is part of his company's efforts to become a national leader on how to market to people 55 and older.
I'll stand by my quotes - although a few were slight misquotes and taken a bit out of context.

This will be my last post for two or three weeks. I'm off to Europe for a speaking and consulting tour. If you email or call don't expect a response until early October.

When I return to the ether, no doubt there will be stories to tell …

08 September 2007

Hopping Around Those Social Networking Sites

It’s nice to wake up in the morning and see that you’ve been ‘blogged’ by two top ones – coincidently both on the same subject: social networking sites.

I’ve written about this subject ad nauseam - here, in my book, in articles. Three posts:
Invasion of The Baby Boomer Pod People

Invasion of the Baby Boomer Pod People Returns

Sleepy Baby Boomer Internet Villages
Matt Thornhill and John Martin of The Boomer Consumer fame (and they’re also famous for a few other things) have put together “The List” of Baby Boomer social networking sites – along with trenchant comments on many of them. It’s not a complete list, and they admit as such. But that’s the point. These silly sites are popping up like mushrooms. There is no way you could ever list them all or find them all. Many have died already, or are in their death throes. (Instead of an obit section like Eons has, I’m thinking of putting up an obit section here for Baby Boomer social networking sites.)

Here’s the comment I left on The Boomer Consumer Blog post.

Then Peter Himler, numero uno Flack (hey, he describes himself as such – at least the ‘flack’ part – ‘numero uno’ is my description), also talks about social networking sites, and tells a great story about his experiences with one:
... Within a day, I started receiving messages from some of the lonelyhearts whose less-than-appealing head shots peppered the site .... The next day, the come-ons from paid escorts arrived. I cancelled my membership and struck the site from my new business prospect list ... I'm convinced that there are many social networks -- some I know, others I don't -- with the kind of membership, content and utility that will accrue to me personally and professionally. I'm just scratching my head on which ones.”
Business networking sites - of course, it's simply good business to join some. But as far as general interest social networking sites, when Peter mentions “content and utility” I think he means relevant articles, videos, and new media - along with finding products and services of interest to him.

That's not social networking.