Tag Archives: branding

Verizon Wireless: “Can You Hear Me Now?”

It’s #ThrowBackThursday and today’s #vintage video is a look back on Verizon Wireless: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good!”

The ad campaign ran for nine years from 2002 until 2011. Below is the first spot where Paul Marcarelli appeared as the Test Man in the campaign commercials.

In the first two years, the campaign helped Verizon gain market share and reduce customer turnover. The number of Verizon subscribers increased from 32.5 million to 37.5 million in 2003. By the start of 2004 the number of subscribers increased to 43.8 million.

With its ‘‘Can You Hear Me Now?’’ campaign, Verizon followed other advertising campaigns that had reached iconic status by asking questions not meant to be answered.

Kicking off the question campaigns was McDonald’s, when they made ad history in 1997 with its question, ‘‘Did somebody say McDonald’s?’’ Then Wendy’s joined in, achieving contagious success with its ‘‘Where’s the Beef?’’ campaign in the 1980’s. After the 2000 Super Bowl Anheuser-Busch joined with their ad campaign, ‘‘Whassup?’’

Verizon Wireless may be the only one that asked a question and responsed to it, “Can You Hear Me Now? Good!”

It’s your turn. What do you think? “Can You Hear Me Now?” Are you one of the millions of subscribers who joined Verizon during this campaign? Are you still paying for their premium service? Or have you joined another network to save money based on price wars? If so, which network? How is their service quality and coverage working for you?


Retro: The Sharp Wizard Organizer

Today is Retro Thursday and I decided to do a post on a piece of electronics that the iPhone [smartphone] has replaced. I started my research and stumbled on The Sharp Wizard Organizer from 1989.

sharp-wizard 02

I started digging on YouTube for commercials unfortunately, I couldn’t find one dedicated to just The Sharp Wizard, but I did find this little charmer. The Wizard segment is 18 seconds in:

I also found this video by Chris Pirelli. He did all my heavy lifting for me today. He covers everything there is to know about the device. He doesn’t compare it to a smartphone but after listening to his video, we all know our phones out perform The Wizard. LOL!

Chris is a very funny guy. If you have never watched any of his video’s or you’re not familiar with him, today is your lucky day. You’ll get a blast from the past and a new found treasure in Chris Pirelli. Enjoy!

It’s your turn. What do you think? It had apps and memory and connected to your PC … did you have one? Were you a geek in 1989? Does in make you laugh or bring a smile to your face because of a memory?


Tea Tree Products


I had my hair cut last week, and snapped a picture of their product wall. Last month, I wrote a post titled, Big Sexy Hair Philosophy: Anything Is Possible, and in it I discussed  their integrated marketing program that includes the use of Marilyn Monroe.

Today, I wanted to discuss two things. The use of this product wall and the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree collection.

The product wall is a huge space. I’m guessing the space is between 12 to 16 feet long and easily 6 feet tall. I need to be transparent with you, I have no idea how much revenue this space produces for the salon. However, my educated guess is that it could easily produce at least 20% more sells if not more by having the display set properly.

Another way to increase sells would be to have the stylist introduced the products during your visits, and sell the solutions the product offers. Hard selling isn’t needed, just a causal conversation and use of the product would make a world of difference.

Never once have I been introduced to a product or heard another stylist introduce a product to a client. Or mention a sale or promotion of a product. I have my hair cut every four to five weeks.

Did you know that companies pay for the opportunity to have those signs across the top the display? Making it important that their product is placed front and center under their signs.

Bringing me to the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree collection, it is buried at the bottom of the shelving – no where near its signage. Who made the mistake? The salon? The Paul Mitchell representative responsible for this location?


This is not consistent marketing. This is an example of how sells fall flat and no one can explain it. Simple mistakes. Overlooked. That make a difference.

Did you know April was Earth Month? Neither did the salon.

The Paul Mitchell Tea Tree collection has a goal of planting 500,000 trees by 2016. When you purchase a Tea Tree product you support Reforest’Action and they’ll plant a tree with any purchase of a Tea Tree Brand product.

reforest action


There was zero promotional signage telling me about Paul Mitchell support of Reforest’Action. Who missed it? The Paul Mitchell representative? The salon? I have to guess this one belongs to the representative.

By adding your name and email to Paul Mitchell mailing list you can plant a free tree without purchase. Click here.

It’s your turn. What do you think? Is consistent marketing making a difference in your business? Do you introduce your clients to add-on sells in conversations to increase business?

As an example, McDonald’s increased sells with a simple question, “Would you like fries with that?” This question added millions to their bottom line.

“Do you need batteries to go with that?” “Would you like to supersize your order?” “Can I get you a dessert to go?” “Would you like a cup of coffee to relax over and continue your conversation?”

What can you ask your clients as an add-on question that could increase your sells and boost your bottom line?

What can you ask?

Texas Roadhouse Legendary Food


Texas Roadhouse is a steakhouse that serves American fare with a Southwestern twist against a Texas-themed setting. They are known for their bottomless buckets of free salted, roasted peanuts. The chain is based in Louisville, Kentucky.

Their tagline … Legendary Food, Legendary Service®, and Legendary Fun!

Kent Taylor opened the first Texas Roadhouse in Clarksville, Indiana, in February 17, 1993. Which is approximately 1,200 miles from Texas, I’m just saying …

Almost everything on the menu is made from scratch. It’s easier to tell you what’s not. On the kid’s menu the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, applesauce, and hot dogs are not. The low-fat ranch salad dressing is not.

It’s also worth stating that the T-bone steaks are cut off-site and vacuum packed and shipped to the restaurant but are never frozen.

I had dinner last week at our local location. Since this site is about branding I wanted to discuss their theme. They carry through on it from the parking lot and the exterior of their restaurant all the way to the table and menu.




That is until I reached for their drink menu.


Thats when they lost me. Their Margarita’s may be legendary but their menu feels more like Panama City.

The images used on their website felt more like their theme, but I have to admit their site even left me wanting more Texas.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.11.59 AM

It’s your turn. What do you think? Does the drink menu fit the theme? Could their website benefit from an overhaul? Does the bottomless buckets of free salted, roasted peanuts help or hurt appetizers and or desserts sells?

Magnavox Commercial Starring the Smothers Brothers

Today is #TBT, and looking back at Magnavox’s Escort Camcorder brings a smile to my face. If you don’t remember wanting one you might remember your parents having one.

After all they were, fully automatic, had instant playback, weighted only 3.5lbs and were so simple to use everyone had to have one.

Yes, I know, it’s not on our ‘want list’ today.

According to Pew Research Center, 61 percent of Americans own a smartphone. That means that 61 percent of us carry a fully automatic, instant playback, simple to use ‘camcorder’ in our pocket that now weighs less than 4.6oz’s based on the iPhone 6.

In this 4.6oz package we now have in our pocket at our immediate access: a digital camera, GPS device, voice recorder, iPod, radio via iTunes / Pandora / Spotify, a library through Kindle e-reader or iBooks, we can stream movies and TV via Netflix / Hulu or even HBO. You can even use it as a remote control to your TV, DVD and Blu-ray players, stereo equipment and even some air-conditioning systems.

Let’s not forget home security systems, morning alarm clock, newspapers and magazines, games, photo album, level, calculator, flashlight, stopwatch, pedometer, compass, timer, watch, calendar, phonebook, and mirror.

You could even add a low end laptop to the list because of our ability to run apps like Evernote, Notes and even versions of Keynote, Numbers and Pages on the iPhone.

Life is a funny. The one thing that is consistent is change. People change. Things change. You could call change evolution. We evolve to keep up and stay current.

Magnavox has changed their product offerings to stay current with todays trends and  is focusing on smart TV’s, Blu-ray’s and home cinema’s. One thing that remains consistent is their tagline: Magnavox … Smart. Very Smart. It hasn’t changed since 1988.

A footnote for everyone to young to remember “The Smothers Brothers,” Tom and Dick, were American singers, musicians, and comedians. In the 1960s, the brothers frequently appeared on television variety shows and recorded several popular albums of their live performances. They also had their own television variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Tom’s signature line was, “Mom always liked you best!” Dick, was the straight man in the act.

It’s your turn. What do you think? Are there more items our smartphones have replaced that I missed? Does Magnavox tagline, “Smart. Very Smart.” still work after all these years?