Friday, November 30, 2007

ICSC Goes Holiday. Good News from Retail Gurus.

What an evening I just shared with friends and colleagues in the retail and shopping center industry on Oahu, Thursday, November 29th. It was the annual International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) holiday gathering. This year the event was hosted by Ed Kenney of Downtown, the restaurant in the Hawaii State Art Museum. The best and the brightest attended. Bringing to market the new and the most fabulous retail ideas from the movers and shakers in Hawaii today. How? Through cocktails and pupu, of course.

Doug Smoyer, the czar, was there. Also Fred Noa, Jessica Fodor, Al Cottrall, Todd Hedrick, Bill Brizee, Ann Kutaka, Dave Erdman, Rod Tam—to name just a few. Barbara Campbell—our ICSC State Director did an amazing job. Sharon James, Matt Derby, Diane Bruce of GGP—what a gift to be with them and to have them provide so much fun for the event. There were just too many good folks to call each out, individually, so if I've not mentioned you, please forgive me. The stars were out. And I was blinded by the light.

The good news is the new developments. From what I learned tonight from the heavy hitters, our new developments are being so carefully designed to be eco friendly, transit friendly, family friendly, on all islands. As in, if you live in Kapolei, you should be able to work in Kapolei and not drive three or more hours each day. The Second City—remember that concept? Well, it's happening finally.

The shopping center development and marketing folks have their work cut out for them on all islands, but they have a good game plan. I feel confident they'll make it happen.

Happy Holidays. Film at 11.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Every Day.

Thanksgiving. What a wonderful time to reflect on who we are and what we really cherish in life.

I wish you all the most wonderful holiday season. And I wish for all of us—the US, the planet, and all of us inhabitants of this beautiful Earth, a season of reflection and remembering of how important we all are to one another. We can't do it without one another.

May every day be a day of thanksgiving for what we have and for what we wish to become. And may we always remember that we are in this together.

Aloha mai kakou

Friday, November 16, 2007

Online, Bloggers, & Social Media, Oh My.

Time was (two years ago), an advertiser could advertise extensively in traditional media to reach the target audience. A company and its ad agency could research, write the plan, produce brilliant creative, buy the time and the space. Pay the price. And gauge all of this by CPMs (cost per thousands reached by your message), CPHs, etc. Today, it's all about new media, folks. And a chance to break out of the box. And gain so much more.

Online media and blogs give you a cultural heads up with your respective target audience. They deliver a passionate audience, interested consumers who pass things on to other interested consumers. Viral marketing is so impactful. We're talking word of mouth endorsements, here. You're talking with people who appreciate being talked with and and not to. They get it that you and your product are listening more to them and talking less. Plus, this allows you an invaluable online, immediate research tool via the web.

Bloggers and bloggettes (my word) allow a marketer a connected audience, one-on-one conversations, people who actually are interested in your product, a social audience. This consumer is with you. Talking to them is so 15 minutes ago. Talking with them is so now.

For new information on this, visit's latest coverage of the Las Vegas "Blogworld & New Media Expo" at Or just go to and search. Go for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

When It's Time to Change the Channel.

When the ways of the world get you down, it's time to turn off the computer, lose the remote control and cancel your subscription to whatever is bringing you bad news. Truth is, we're only going to get more of what we concentrate on. I'm not making this stuff up. You get what you expect. And when the fear mongers get to us, we sometimes forget we have the power to focus on the good, and to change things.

Not to denigrate television since it's a huge part of my business, but the other night I found I had been watching way too much because I was feeling way too down, after turning it off. Was it the California fires that got me so locked in to the talk shows and the bad news which I normally avoid like the plague? My family in LA is out of harm's way. Why was I not counting my blessings instead of obsessing?

It's the nature of the beast. And by the beast, I mean that part of me that needs to calm down, breathe, and think bright thoughts, as my Roxy shirt says. Global warming, war, immigration, and human rights won't be solved by watching more talk shows or However, it would help to use less electricity, waste fewer trees, plant a garden, and take a bike ride to the beach every now and then.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Months of Political Madness Ahead.

The host of presidential contenders is overwhelming, as is the drivel that historically surrounds much of their ad campaigns. The anticipation of the sheer shameful dross that is the upcoming onslaught called presidential political advertising is enough to make most folks not only roll their eyes, but grind their teeth. Come Election Day, we're all going to need some really good orthodontists.

Sadder yet, is the fact that one single candidate can spend more to finance an election try than a Third World country's total gross annual product.

According to Nielsen data released yesterday by The New York Times, Mitt Romney is way ahead of his Democratic and Republican rivals in ad spending. So far this year, Romney placed 10,893 political ads, mostly in Iowa.

No other Republicans came close. Rudy Giuliani has run 642 spots, on radio only. John McCain and Fred Thompson only began running ads last month. McCain in New Hampshire and Thompson on national cable.

On the Democratic side, Bill Richardson placed 5,975 ads, more than any of his rivals. Barack Obama placed 4,293, and Hillary Clinton about half that.

Clinton’s campaign Web site,, has attracted the most visitors, 759,000 so far. Obama’s site is close behind, with 749,000 visitors. Nielsen also reported that 71 percent of all the ads were placed in Iowa, and nearly 95 percent of them ran on local television.

Stay tuned for the gory details. Film at 11.

Monday, October 15, 2007

How to Weave Your Web.

Whether you're a newbie or you've been online forever, small business owners are too busy minding their stores to successfully navigate the complexities of buying and managing their own online advertising, whether it's pay-per-click, banner ads, call-based solutions or ROI measurement tools.

Businesses need a turnkey, fully managed software solution with a reputable company that supports interactive advertising with predictable pricing and guaranteed results. Pricing and results are the key words here.

Most companies provide any or all of these services: Search Engine Marketing, Display Advertising, Internet Yellow Pages, Directories & Submissions, Call Solutions, and Landing Page Creation.

Your ad agency or marketing consultant can direct you to some good companies and oversee the execution of your program if you don't have that expertise in house. It's a marketing tool you can't afford to leave out of your mix. Experiment with a small online campaign to begin with and build it from there as your budget and comfort level grow.

Go to, to the "Press Center" and click on the 10/10/07 press release to see September's latest data on the Top 10 Web Sites, brands, and advertisers by company. The information is fascinating and will show you the power of the web done right.

What's "News" About It?

It's crazy today how national television news programs have allowed themselves to become little more than star gazers or infomercial vehicles for selling products such as Ann Coulter's books. What's even crazier is that we—and the conglomerate giants—allow it. After all, there is revenue to be made here, oh you captains of the broadcast industry. American Express pays big bucks for their commercial airtime, remember?

But beyond losing revenue and boring us to death with all the hype, self promotion and constant sensational e-tainment, it's a huge disservice to the American people who actually need credible, fast, current sources of broadcast news coverage. Televisions are everywhere but there's very little real news anywhere.

Is it any wonder that the people have taken over via the Internet to post news and keep one another informed? The Internet, which continues to receive a larger and larger slice of the advertising dollars each quarter. And is considered the best vehicle for "experiental marketing" of a product today. While television ad revenues continue to slide.

Wake up broadcast companies. This is pretty basic Marketing 101.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When Good Ads Make Bad Sitcoms.

The "Cavemen" ad campaign for Geico car insurance was truly inspirational. Created by The Martin Agency of Richmond, VA, it was great as a :15 or :30 second chuckle. And it also proved that great creative advertising no longer has to come from the big cities.

The ad campaign also did the client a great service by leveraging itself further as an innovative media and creative research tool. Martin created "The Gecko", "The Cavemen" and several other very humorous TV campaigns and ran all campaigns, concurrently, on different media in different markets at the same time. They were able to test the effectiveness of the creative execution as they were airing them. A brilliant marketing move. I applauded loud and long.

However, the newly launched television sitcom "Cavemen" can't quite cut it. What's next, "The Gecko" cartoon show on Comedy Central? Good try, agency. Really, really would have been the bomb--had "Cavemen" not been such a bomb. You can't take a very clever 15 second idea and make it sing for 20 minutes (or more, depending on number of commercials).

It's just not that funny.