If you love (or hate) Target, read this post from one of my super-smart students.
I jokingly tell people that they charge a cover charge, just to enter the store.
Posted in Communication Tools, Getting the word out, Minneapolis / St. Paul Marketing, Positioning, Twitter, tagged American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Action Network, Clearing the air in Minnesota, Erin Murphy, Getting Political, Michael Jungbauer, Minnesota House File 188, MN Senate File 168, Smoking, Stand up against smoking in bars, Stupid on February 15, 2011 | 9 Comments »
If there is one word I don’t like and try not to use, it would have to be “stupid.” But today, I read something in the Star-Tribune that made me angrier than I am at all those people who deny climate change. So that’s why I’m using the “S” word
Here’s a snippet of what I read:
The latest push appears to be finding some support among Republicans, who now control the House and Senate and who see the ban as a government intrusion on personal freedom.
“It’s really about freedom of choice,” said Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel, the proposal’s chief Senate author. “People have the choice to pick and decide if they want to go to a bar or restaurant that allows smoking or doesn’t allow smoking.”
My response? What about all those servers, bartenders, barbacks, cleaners, managers etc. who also want the freedom to breathe clean air? Don’t they deserve that freedom? Workplace safety is not a choice, it’s a right.
Anyone has the right to smoke, but they don’t have the right to poison other people’s lungs.
Let’s check in with the Minnesota branch of the American Cancer Society Action Network. On their website, they ask Minnesotans to “MN: Ask Your Senator to Protect Freedom to Breathe.”
You fill in your contact information and then a letter is generated to your Minnesota senator. It’s not hard to do, but it’s not very intuitive either. Once you complete the form, you go to another page to print your letters. At the bottom of the page, there are links to share it on Facebook etc. I tried it a couple of times and oddly, different representatives came up each time. First Senator Richard Cohen and then Representative Erin Murphy. The form letter was different, as well. This made me think, well why don’t I get to choose to whom I should send the letter to? Is there someone else I should contact?
Effective marketing? C+ for making an effort.
Social Media, well the American Cancer Society does have a Facebook fan page, but there’s nothing about Minnesota and their opposition to House File 188/Senate File 168. And Twitter, well no Twitter feed either. The American Cancer Society Action Network, tweets, has fans, and shares video, but I can’t figure out how they are related to the American Cancer Society. On a side note, I do love their tagline: the Official Sponsor of Birthdays. What fabulous positioning.
I’m doing my best to make up for that though–please Tweet this and include the hashtag #MNSmokingBan so we can raise awareness — a principle goal of good marketing.
Stand up Against Smoking in Bars by Dawn Aberle
Now, many communities have fines if your dog takes a dump and you don’t pick it up. I highly doubt there are very many people who shout “my dog has a right to do whatever he wants wherever and whenever he wants!” Nor would many be happy to utilize public bike paths and parks and be subjected to the smell or even to step in it.
So as I leaned down to pick up my dog’s pile of steaming poo, I realized I can hold my breath for a little while, and if it gets on my shoe, I can scrape it off and go about my day. I can’t do that with secondhand smoke.
Clearing the air in Minnesota By Taryn Wobbema and Jeremy Olson
The survey, conducted every three years by the Minnesota Department of Health, suggests that the state’s controversial 2007 indoor smoking ban has produced a dramatic shift in Minnesotans’ thinking on the hazards of cigarette smoke.
How dramatic? A majority of smokers now refuse to smoke in their own homes, the survey found.
However, the major part of the controversy in 2007 was on the ban’s impact on bars and restaurants as there were fears it would drive them out of business. A separate study by the University of Minnesota indicates that the smoking ban hasn’t caused economic harm. An analysis of employment data from 2004 to 2008, the latest data available, showed no sign that the legislation hurt hiring in that industry.
Review of Economic Studies on Smoking Bans in Bars and Restaurants by Donald Hirasuna, Legislative Analyst
Almost all the reviewed studies reported, on average, no net loss and sometimes net increases in bar or restaurant sales after smoking bans went into effect. These estimates are for total sales and for the proportion of sales within a county.
It was hard enough to see an old haunt…remodeled (nice new bar upstairs), but then they painted over the stars. I have to admit, I much prefer it without the smoke of my youth. I used to love going to concerts.
Used to…can’t miss the past tense of that verb. I’m a whole new demographic now — married with young children at home.
I love live music, so I’ve made it a goal to experience more now that I’m back in the music city. A goal! a goal? When did having fun become a goal? So how am I doing? One show in June, an old favorite the Jayhawks played 3 sold out nights at First Avenue. I’m not sure it was ‘transcendental,’ but it was close. One this week, again an old favorite that I once flew to Amsterdam just to see. I’m not being too adventurous here.
I’m in a rut. What’s on my iPod? The 90s and anything I played on college radio back in the day….plus a few new artists, like Adele. I listen to the Current and adore the “on now” feature that is front and center on their home page. I need it. Someone at MPR was thinking about what information their listeners (and contributors) would want. Just look down from there and boom! A button to contribute. MPR knows what they’re doing.
Sunday, I was driving down the road at 3:17 pm and this cool song came on the Current. I noted the time and checked the web (later, not while driving) to learn it was a new-to-me band Mumford & Sons who would play First Ave in October. Sold out (of course), but I will never miss a show again, First Ave has an (Apple) iCal link. I used to learn about shows via concert ads stapled on telephone poles all around Minneapolis (before it was illegal) or phone calls from friends who had heard from friends…about who was playing tonight. And now I’m part of their online community, though I’m not sure what that entails.
Poking around the Current’s website, I found their concert calendar. Bob Mould at the Dakota later this month. The Dakota! A lovely place, but really, isn’t he a First Ave kind of guy?
In case you missed the Jayhawks reunion, here’s a snippet:
1960 meets 2010: An old-school bar that worships JKF and all things Irish has a web page: The Dubliner
I’d gone to the web to verify if the Eddies, a local a cappella group, were truly going to play the Dubliner–a bar I’d always thought of as the local Irish dive that I’d driven by a thousand times. Kieran’s it isn’t. I did not except to find a website, let alone a brilliant one.
Inside it’s 1960 all the way with JFK posters, period Guinness advertising posters and the original neon from
the bar’s predecessor the Ace Box Bar. There’s a popcorn maker opposite the bar if you’re hungry and all the usual suspects on tap (Guinness, Harp, Hard Cider, Schell’s, Summit, etc.).
So how do you distill that imagery into a marketing message?
How do you communicate succinctly “gritty, but friendly; neighborhood bar with eclectic music and decent tap selection; no cover; free parking; Irish; JFK fanatics.”
You don’t with just words.
Per Wikipedia, Positioning’s original focus “was cutting through the ambient “noise” and establishing a moment of real contact with the intended recipient.” It’s how marketers build an image in the consumer’s mind. Good positioning catches your interest and holds it — it’s Joe Mauer needing to “take it outside”, but not so much the homage to Coke and Mean Joe Green.
So what makes The Dubliner‘s website so brilliant? It’s what’s not there – no links, no fancy graphics, no obvious smart graphic design, no advertising, no logo, no pseudo Irish pub signs, no…. There’s a drink, some napkins, and the week’s music calendar. It’s spare–just like the bar itself. It tells the consumer just what to expect — good music and a decent drink in a simple setting.