Where’s The Toy In My Cereal?!

Category: Advertising,Economics,Jacksonville Ad Agency • September 1, 2012

McDonald's sees a spike in their sales go up every time they employ their strategy of affixing Monopoly pieces to their soft drinks and fries and a few other choice products. They reward those who super size their meals with double the Monopoly pieces. The game is so popular that if you wanted to increase the sale of a less popular item, such as the filet of fish, you could simply apply more game pieces to its wrapper.

The same phenomena exists with a proof of purchase system. Everyone remembers Kool-Aid points from their childhood. You could purchase a number of Kool-Aid branded memorabilia with a large enough number of points. Pepsi and Coke used a similar method. Pepsi even made the mistake of advertising that with 35 million Pepsi points, you could purchase a harrier jet. Taking this literally, one man with a corporate backer attempted to take advantage, only to be told that this was impossible and the company became embroiled in litigation surrounding this promotion. People were more prone to purchasing Pepsi instead of Coke during the period when Coke did not employ a similar system.

The reason I'm posting this is that gimmicks don't always work, but the concept of scarcity suggests that people's wants are infinite and are prone to consumerism. If you tell some people they want it, it just may work. It's like a Jedi mind trick. You can reward people who purchase your product with items that do nothing more than advertise your product either in the home or in the form of apparel. It doesn't work all the time. It takes the right product, but with enough creativity, this concept of “incentive to purchase” can be a home run.

Olympic Gold

Category: Economics,International,Jacksonville Ad Agency • July 30, 2012

For many countries, hosting the Olympics is not just a source of pride, but a shot in the arm economically. This, however, also incurs a hefty cost in the construction of infrastructure and employment of security personnel, etc… China spent 40 billion dollars on the 2008 games. If you look at most of the venues familiar to many from those games now, they look dilapidated, vacant, and are a constant eyesore in central Beijing.

This got me thinking, how many former sites still have pristine facilities that take advantage of the quality workmanship that is associated with international competition. Does Atlanta's Olympic Park still have the same draw that it once did, or is it too in shambles? Do the Olympics offer the financial boon they once did, or is it merely a money pit, that gives your nation international exposure? Food for thought.

For those of you who haven't seen the photo before, there is a picture taken in 2012 of the baseball stadium facilities that once stood in central Beijing. They were constructed 4 years ago specifically for the games, and now seem deserted and occupied by stray dogs.

Did the Towncenter Ruin Downtown Jacksonville’s Chance for a Revival?

I have no doubt that the introduction, popularity and growth of our Town Center fosters further financial stability for our city, as well as, our very own fancy attraction for current residents and distant travelers alike, but what does this mean for the future of downtown?  I fear that as the perceived incentives grow to bring stores or restaurants to the Town Center area, fewer “name brand” businesses will see our downtown as an appealing location to set up shop.

But then, my fears turned to optimism, and actually brought me to an interesting question. What if… just what if… due to the fact that these businesses are, in fact, doing so well… could it, in turn, strengthen mainstream corporation's faith in the Jacksonville market; potentially leading them to open additional stores in other new locations throughout the city? If that were the case, then a solid argument could be made to create a new retail district, in an area where space is cheap and there's a lot of it – but where could that be..? Oh, I know!  How about our very own downtown!  An area I know we are all desperate to see come back to life.

Bear with me here…  We have several store front properties that are vacant, countless empty lots begging to be developed, corner store locations which would be perfect for any pharmacy or corner market, among a painful amount of other real estate opportunities in a reasonable square block radius.  (Do me a favor and Google Map our downtown and give it a one over, you will see SO many vacant lots and undeveloped buildings it will make your head spin… mainly West downtown).  So, if the right retail businesses could be coerced into investing a little money, (and I know our city is already offering incentives for businesses to move downtown) I think our downtown has massive potential to support this type of growth, and to create our own areas like Chicago's Michigan Ave or NYC's 5th Avenue…  With so many “conversion friendly” properties and vacant lots, to me, it's a no-brainer.  Do I even need to mention how much potential The Landing holds…?!

Now, the argument that America is a consumer driven, materialistic, buy now – pay later, “in over our heads” in spending debt – type of society is beside the point. My main focus in this is… if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!  And, as our Town Center has proven, Jacksonvillians like to shop… so lets spread the wealth, shall we?  There are plenty of business men and women who believe it or not, don't live at the beaches… therefore; they might need to head north, or west to get home. What if they need to stop and get a new suit jacket due to spilled mustard, or replenish that make-up supply? Please forgive the stereotypes, but this is simply my way of trying to get a point across that these types of retail providers would do well in our downtown, just as they have in countless other metropolitan cities.

So, this is my plea… Lets pull together and bring our downtown back to the roaring 20's – or maybe revitalize by looking ahead to the roaring 2020's! I think it can be done. I think it should be done. Let's stop talking about the new courthouse and get some outsiders to start putting their dollars into our city, dollars we might actually see a return on…  Let's not let the Town Center kill our downtown – let's let it inspire its comeback!  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Efficiency is Key

The message I really want to convey in this blog, is KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT and CAPITALIZE on it. Typically what we enjoy doing is something we excel in doing. America, for instance has long been trending toward a service economy from a manufacturing economy. Some people get a little disheartened that nothing is made in the USA anymore, but I'm here to tell you, FEAR NOT. If you're not outsourcing your manufacturing, you may not be taking full advantage of this highly competitive global market. First, consider the success of your business. If your business thrives, you can employ more people, thus creating jobs for Americans. These employees of yours will not be manufacturing anymore like the days of old, BUT you can focus on web development, marketing, logistics, etc… The USA no longer enjoys a comparative advantage in manufacturing (largely due to high labor costs and high overhead costs). This doesn't mean, you can't take full advantage of the global market.

Let us assume that you're an aspiring clothing designer. It would be in your best interest to design locally, while manufacturing your garments in a poorer country where they will be happy to receive the work, and have the skilled labor to carry out your order. These less developed nations have a comparative advantage in the manufacture of textiles. Once you receive your high quality shipment of fashionable clothing, you can market your product, set up a distribution center, and sell your product. As you can see, the goal doesn't need to be made in America, it needs to be SOLD in America.