Old things, new techology

I was out and about in Allston a while back and came across something I hadn’t seen in a long time and it being used for a very modern item. The art of painting billboards is something that always fascinated me when I was driving through New York City or saw the faint remnants on brownstones in Boston. Looks like Microsoft was feeling a bit nostalgic when the push for Windows 8 hit because on the side of 1 North Beacon St I found this hand painted advertisement. Way more simple than most out there, but still a cool throwback for a new computer technology that can be partially to blame for the evolution into digital printing that made painters obsolete. 



There’s a short film called Up There about billboard painters in NYC that Stella Artois funded that I recommend. It’s neat to watch and also interesting to see how Stella was able to double their marketing dollars by telling the stories of the people behind their advertisements. Win/Win


Tis the season

It’s that time of year again where companies pull out all the stops to shine up their image and get some free publicity. It’s been happening for decades and everyone, including the news media still eats it up. Don’t get me wrong, I eat it up too, but its a very strategic piece of an organization’s marketing mix.

The first time I remember something like this in my era was when the Polartec manufacturing facility in Lawrence MA burned down weeks before Christmas. The owner Aaron Feuerstein promised to keep all of the employees on the payroll while they rebuilt. It’s was a holiday miracle because many of the employees wouldn’t have been able to make it without a paycheck during the season, let alone during the reconstruction. The media ran with the story for weeks and although the decision ultimately bankrupted the company it’s still something I think of during the holidays and when I put on a Polartec Fleece.

Today I came across this story from the Lego Company that responded to a child that wrote them a heartbreaking letter about how he’d saved up for particular set and by the time he got the money together it was discontinued and selling for a small fortune on eBay.

They sent him the set for free along with a nice note about how proud they are to have him as a customer. It’s now viral and just in time for the shopping season.

I do question some pieces of the video due to the multiple camera angles and the tearing open of a box which I believe the parents would have had to of inspected before giving it to him. The reading of the entire letter through me a bit too. I’m sure most people don’t think as deeply as I do about this kind of stuff but being a marketer I question every time I see a can of Pepsi in a movie. Either way, it’s heartwarming piece of video.