Archive for the 'Marketing' Category

Bringing the sexy to owl pellets


Yes… I used sexy and owl pellets in the same sentence.

When someone asks what sort of work FLIR Creative does it’s fun to mention the projects we’ve done with Pellets, Inc. First, because it’s interesting to see the reaction when I say the word owl pellets (owl regurgitates a pellet, kids dissect it in classroom labs to find animal bones and learn about owls), and second because the science-meets-fun work we’ve done for them has gone a long way to help communicate what Pellets, Inc is about.

We’ve completed the redesign of the Pellets website, so take a look – you know you want to cut one of those pellets open and see what kind of animal bones you find!

The Fringe Benefits of Failure


I highly recommend that you carve out a few minutes today and read, watch or listen to J.K. Rowling deliver the following commencement address at Harvard. Link (via BoingBoing)


“I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. …Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. …Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned….

Authentic Traditions In Business


Habit is an acquired pattern of behavior that often occurs automatically. Stopping at the same place for coffee each morning on the way to work or grocery shopping every Monday evening are consumer habits.

Tradition is also repeated behavior, but it’s driven by emotion and the positive feelings of prior experiences – tradition just “feels right.” While we usually just go through the motions with habit, we’re more willing to modify our typical routines for tradition.

Unfortunately, many businesses think tradition is just their yearly schedule of sales (spring sale, 4th of July sale, etc.). The businesses and organizations that understand tradition (and people’s affinity for tradition) transition from being just stores into brands with loyal followings.

Need some ideas of how to integrate tradition into your business? Here’s what others have done:

  • The Boy Scouts
    Each year after Christmas the Boy Scouts drive through town and pick-up old Christmas trees. For a few bucks I save the hassle of getting rid of my tree and support a great organization. I know that for probably the rest of my life I can count on the scouts to pick up my tree. For the scouts, picking up trees is consistent with their core value of public service and also acts a fundraiser for their organization.
  • Hardware Sales
    For as long as I can remember, Hardware Sales has given fifty-cent pieces in its change instead of two quarters. There’s no cost in doing this, it’s memorable and it fits perfectly with who they are and what it’s like to shop there.
  • Les Schwab
    For over 20 years Les Schwab has run an annual promotion giving away free beef with every new set of tires. The promotion has a down-to-earth legacy and conveys the unique working-man roots of the Les Schwab brand.

In addition to each having traditions that correspond with their core values the Boy Scouts, Hardware Sales and Les Schwab traditions all have something else in common: If any of them ever stopped their tradition people would notice and complain. That means they’re doing something right.

Here Comes The Super Bowl


As a football fan and a marketer, I love the Super Bowl. To prepare for this holy day of great football and advertising:

1. I view past Super Bowl ads at to get in shape for the ad portion of the Super Bowl.

2. On game day I don’t drink any liquid until half time to ensure not a minute of media glory is missed.


FLIR Creative’s score prediction: Pats win by 13

One of our all time favorite Super Bowl ads:

Design Has A Shelf Life


Phone Helper
(image via the great site Modern Mechanix)

Design is a funny thing in that today’s perfect design solution can become outdated or in need of replacement in short order. Over the years I’ve seen companies and organizations cling to their expired logo/website/brochure because the VP’s son designed it, or because they spent thousands of dollars on it 3 years ago and are stubbornly trying to get 5 years of life out of the project. To the company’s detriment, the design that was originally created to help that company be profitable (insuring they stay in business), does the opposite and starts to cost them money (lost business, perception as an industry laggard, etc.).

Design has a shelf life. Your business, markets, and life are in various states of flux, but that’s no excuse for settling for off-strategy or expired design/branding.

Shapoopi: When was the last time someone was excited to see your ad?


While watching TV last night I ran across King 5’s Evening Magazine. They were running a piece previewing new Vern Fonk Insurance ads that will start running in February. (If you haven’t seen Vern Fonk Insurance’s low budget and goofy TV ads before I linked to a few below.)

And yes, you read that right, Evening Magazine was doing a story on a local business’s ads that haven’t even started running yet. No, the ads don’t appeal to everyone (they’re not supposed to) and yes they’re so bad they’re good. It’s that one-two punch that makes the ads a pretty good case study. They attract and qualify the ideal group of prospective customers while entertaining a few others along the way.

You might not like the ads, but when is the last time someone was excited to see your ad? Or better yet, told a friend about your new ad?


Apple’s Advertising Creativity – part 2


A while back we wrote how we loved seeing Apple use the traditional banner ad format in a more creative way. They’re doing it again with a new ad we saw on the website today. Click here or on the image below to see it in action.

Apple 3