“Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
’relax,’ said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can checkout any time you like,
But you can never leave!”
I came down to Big Sur this week for a bit of a getaway. I love it down here and I have really tried to disconnect a bit and have barely checked email. Admittedly, I have done a bit of FourSquare check-ins
A stretch of Rt. 1 North of Big Sur slide into the ocean last week, so getting here took extra time since the only way into Big Sur was from the South. This morning there was a slide to the South – so now I’m stuck in Big Sur until CalTrans clears the road. Gulp. I guess there are worse places to be stuck.
Idyllic Rt. 1
The Rt.1 everyone is dealing with this week. It’s a looong way down!
Ever since my parents bought my first computer – an Apple IIe, I’ve been an Apple Fan. Sure they have made their mistakes along the way and I’ve owned (and still own) Windows based computers. I love great design and one thing Apple has always done is great design, even the boxes their computers are packed in are smart, well thought out and have excellent UX.
When Apple lunched the iPad2, I was immediately taken by the cover – more so then with the iPad2. The iPad2 had the features I expected but the cover surprised everyone and I have yet to met a person that doesn’t love the design and ingenuity. Aside from the great design, my quick follow on thoughts are this:
- I want one
- They just captured the lost revenue on iPad2 accessories
- Everyone will buy one vs. the other third party covers – since only Apple’s will have magnet
- BIG REVENUE and BIGGER MARGINS
- Second quarter will blow past Wall St. expectations
If you have ever walked into an Apple store, I’m sure you have spent time at the accessories wall. Apple has certainly created a great business for a lot of accessory companies over the past years and they have always had some great accessories. I had an Apple joystick at one point (I was great at Karateka). Apple’s Magsafe power cords are a great example of smart design and great margin accessory products, for which Apple holds the patent and does not license the technology. Not many people buy multiple power adapters. I bet people will buy multiple covers. But even if consumers only buy one iPad2 cover, Apple still wins since it’s one more cover sale they were not getting with the last device release.
I’m not the only one that is thinking this way about the sheer brilliance of the iPad2 cover [revenue] strategy. I follow Asymco “curated marketing intelligence”. This past week Horace Dediu’s (@asymco) acticle, The Billion Dollar Smart Cover nailed it. Although I think his estimate of only 60% of iPad2 buyers getting the cover is conservative. I bet that Apple reports 85%.
Whatever the percentage, I really like the continued smart design that Apple keeps cranking out. Call me a fanboy if you want but all I can say is show me another device or media company that innovates and has the margins of the kids down in Cupertino.
The other day I was looking at Yahoo! and Google front pages to compare what they are doing with their logos for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Hats off to Google for starting this trend that all the portals are now doing. I happen to think that Yahoo!’s Olympic landing page is the best overall.
Of the three sites (NBC, Google, Yahoo!) I’ve been checking and comparing on a regular basis, Google is the only US portal that has China listed first in the medal standings. The US has more overall medals but Google is listing China at the top of their list. IMHO this medal count methodology would seem to fit well with Google’s “all or nothing” approach to things in the Google centric world of all or nothing. What do you think? Granted their source for the medal count is the Beijing Summer Olympics website – built and hosted in China by the Beijing Olympic Committee which I’m sure has no bias to the Chinese team. Perhaps their medal count methodology is from the same school that determines age for the Chinese women gymnasts.
With a nod to Auggie Busch and his new bosses, last night at Monaghan’s our trivia team name was “This Bud’s for EU”, after trivia I heard that the Drudge Report used the same line – great minds think alike. At least for our This Bud’s for EU trivia team conquered all comers.
Although I was a wee lass in the 80′s, I have vivid memories of the news stories about the Japanese buying up hallmark US properties, media companies and golf courses amidst that period of the dollar and economy being weak. But IMHO, A-B could have held off inBev, if they had only kept up with the market trends in their business of mass distribution. I don’t believe the weak dollar and the economy is fully to blame.
For the past several years there has been been a lot of consolidation in the global brewing business. Take for example, Miller – that Champagne of beers. Miller, while HQ’d in Millwaukee Wisconson is owned by SAB Miller, the South African brew master of brands such as Grolsch, Peroni, Hoegaarden, Pilsner Urquell and everybody’s favorite – Olde English 800 Malt Liquor. Molsen bought Coors..and the list goes on. If A-B had flexed its muscle and cash reserves, they could have bought more beer brands and built a better defense. The soda business is much the same – just ask friendly folks at Coca-Cola. In these businesses where locked up distribution and globalized brands is everything, you either go big or go home.
I’m less concerned about inBev making drastic changes to the A-B brands that people in the US and other countries love (for their Americana kitsch) and more concerned about the lack of having any US brewer with scale. A-B gobbled up many of the craft brewers years ago, so they are now part of inBev. Heck, even little north woods Leinenkugel up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconson is part of inBev.
And being the self serving adman that I am – just thinking about the branding possibilities for that yet to be named brewer have me thirsting for some great ad work down the road. I wonder if DDB is thinking about this yet?
In the meantime I’ll continue to have a Bud every once-in-a-while as well as a Stella. And BTW did you know that in the UK and Europe that Stella is commonly referred to as “wife beater“, as in you belly up to the bar and order a wife beater and you will without question get a Stella. I found this out while going to lunch in London a couple of years back. As part of this deal, I sure hope domestic violence won’t be on the rise.
Who will become the last American brewer to step up the the plate and speak for American brewing? Anyone have thoughts/suggestions – I would love to hear from you.
The other day I noticed this ad and laughed. Either the creative knew exactly what he/she was doing or the are seriously out of touch with the world. WTF has long been shortcut for a well know phrase. Daring creatives and their advertisers, especially ones targeting the YAM audience, can get away with this and many do (e.g. Axe, McDonald’s, Old Spice, etc.) But the Spirit ad, marks the first I’ve seen in the typically conservative airline world. Granted, World Traveler Fares isn’t a stretch to but is this Crazy? Or crazy like a fox?
A while back the McDonald’s creative team at Tribal DDB came up with something similar, aimed at the Dollar Menu audience – YA to be sure. The response certainly proved that we were connecting with our core audience and getting noticed. The ad went on to make it’s way into the blogoshphere and wikipedia and into a major newspaper cartoon strip, where it was parodied. The talk value and earned media, in my opinion, was a perfect fit with our audience and certainly gave the Dollar Menu “street cred” with the target. To this day, I take my hat off to our creatives for bringing this to the client and to our client for being an advocate for pushing the envelope.
Like many of you, I saw the great outtake of the typically sanguine Bill O’Reilly going beserk on his crew for a teleprompter snafu. What you may not have seen is this producers cut of the snafu. Hey, Bill, take a deep breath and relax…this is the no spin zone.
The original video is here