Archive for October, 2007

Taco Bell: Steal A Base, Steal A Taco


Taco BellThe 2007 World Series is about to start, and there’s already a winner – Taco Bell.

Taco Bell has announced that if a player from either World Series team successfully steals a base, every person in America (all 300 million of us) will be able to visit Taco Bell on a specified date and time to receive a free Beef Crunchy Taco. Taco Bell is calling the campaign “Steal A Base, Steal A Taco.” The campaign website is here.

Promotions like this are admirable because of the scope and potential cost to implement. What of course justifies the cost of implementation is that it is irresistible fodder for the media – and until giving away one free item to everyone in America is commonplace, it should be worthy of news coverage. Even if you don’t like the restaurant chances are high that you’ll either tell a friend about the promotion or hear about it from a friend or your choice of news source. And that’s just what Taco Bell is counting on.

There are two ways this promotion can end:

No player steals a base – Taco Bell still receives MILLIONS of dollars worth of free PR (news articles, TV news reports, blogs, and word-of-mouth) and doesn’t have to give away a single taco.

There’s a stolen base in the World Series – Taco Bell still receives MILLIONS of dollars worth of free PR, a lot of people get something for free and have a little fun, and Taco Bell has the chance to pick up some new customers from the promotion and increase the reach of their brand further in the U.S.

Either way Taco Bell wins.

Fun With Monster Sticker Font


FLIR Monster Final

I-Mockery has a cool little application that will generate a 1970’s monster sticker version of any word you enter.
(Unfortunately for FLIR, the ‘L’ and the ‘I’ are too similar)

FLIR Note: Google Billboard


How many companies can put up a hand full of billboards (with just a phone number!) and wind up having it covered by so many other forms of media that the end reach dwarfs that of the billboards themselves? I saw this billboard everywhere: the Bellingham Herald, blogs and several news websites.

Read more about the billboard here or try calling the phone number.

Google Billboard

I Miss The Rowdy Buckaroo


Rowdy Buckaroo StandingThere was a time in downtown Bellingham when you knew someone had your back. If your lunch, meeting or shopping trip ran long you still had a fighting chance to beat a parking ticket. One man stood for the common drivers of Bellingham – the Rowdy Buckaroo.

The Rowdy Buckaroo would patrol downtown Bellingham in his custom painted van looking for expired parking meters. When an expired meter was found, the Rowdy Buckaroo would pop a Canadian dime into the meter (the meters used to accept Canadian currency) and leave a note that said you had been saved by the Rowdy Buckaroo. He was a downtown Robin Hood protecting the commoners from the “big mean city.” And as you and I both know, people always love to root for an underdog.

The City of Bellingham didn’t take too kindly to the lost income that would have resulted in the payment of the parking tickets had the Rowdy Buckaroo not stepped in, but surprisingly there wasn’t too much of a confrontation. In the end, the Rowdy Buckaroo rode off into the sunset, the parking meters were modified to reject Canadian change and the drivers of downtown Bellingham were left to fend for themselves.

Rowday VanThe Rowdy Buckaroo was the effort of Travis Holland, owner of the Horseshoe Cafe in downtown Bellingham, and was a brilliant piece of out-of-the box marketing that not only benefited Holland’s own business, but the visitors to downtown and the surrounding downtown merchants as well.

There are a few reasons why the Rowdy Buckaroo was such effective marketing. See what inspiration you can take from Holland and apply to marketing your company:

  1. Authenticity
    The Rowdy Buckaroo looked like a rowdy buckaroo – he was a character. And from what I remember, he also sincerely enjoyed saving people from parking tickets.
  2. It didn’t “stink” like marketing.
    Something of value was given to drivers that saved them money and hassle. Drivers weren’t left feeling tricked or even marketed to.
  3. Word-of-mouth
    People told one another their Rowdy Buckaroo stories and news about him and the Horseshoe spread. How could you resist telling someone the story of being saved by the Rowdy Buckaroo?!
  4. Fantastic PR
    Every time a story was written about the Rowdy Buckaroo, Holland’s restaurant would get some press. PR doesn’t have to mean twisting a reporter’s arm to tell your story. Create something interesting/newsworthy to begin with and coverage will often follow.
  5. The Rowdy Buckaroo was fun.
    It was fun watching the Rowdy Buckaroo in action popping dimes into expired meters and leaving notes. The Rowdy Buckaroo was was equal parts entertainment, performance art and marketing.
  6. Fusion
    The Rowdy Buckaroo and his custom vehicle were highly visible. What started initially as a form of marketing in the downtown core actually became infused as a part of the landscape and culture of downtown.
Learn more about FLIR Creative. Visit our website and view our work.

Jason Runs The Jaws of Life


You’ve already seen me in action in the St. Joseph Hospital O.R. One of the other great experiences I had a week ago while filming a video for the St. Luke’s Foundation was the opportunity to run the Jaws of Life. The clip below shows me running the cutting attachment on the Jaws.

FLIR Note: Bellingham Church House


My mother-in-law lives in Fairhaven near the church house that is featured in today’s Bellingham Herald. I’ve been watching with great interest and curiosity as the owner has taken a run-down vacant church and turned it into a uniquely beautiful building. Kudos to the owners for their vision and how their work beautifies and adds character to our city.

Historical and before/after photos here from the owner’s sculpture website.

Trim: Before / After


We see before/after photos all the time in advertising, but there’s something about Trim that’s interesting and takes a new angle on the before/after shot.

Trim is a photo project created by two photographers who collaborate on work together under the name Big Rocket. The two photographers set up a camera in a barber shop and took before and after portraits to show the change a haircut can make. The project is one of the Best in Book winners in Creative Review’s Photography Annual published with the October issue of CR. [via Creative Review blog]

Haircut Project