“Eye-catching” spot got us to stop the fast forward

By: > February 23rd, 2009

I’m amazed at how my TV-viewing habits have changed over the years. Our first TiVo box opened up new life for us in a way that was more fulfilling than our current cable provider-issued DVR box, but that’s another story. We can now watch Survivor in 40 minutes instead of 1 hour. The Office in just over 20 minutes instead of 30. That’s a lot of extra minutes gained for housework, reading, or more realistically, surfing the web.

But what does this say about people who are supposed to watch TV for the commercials? We’re advertising agency owners, ferpetesake! However, the other night we spotted a commercial that was actually worth stopping for: the new H&R Block “Second Look” spot. The guy with one eye was too “eye-catching” to pass up.

Upon devoting 30 seconds of our lives to it, Bill and I agreed that it was great. Just what is needed these days to cut through the clutter of TV advertising. It’s not enough to sound intriguing, you must have intriguing visuals to get viewers to stop fast-forwarding.

What do you think about that spot? Disgusted like these folks? Or did it get your attention, too?

What’s next, text spam?

By: > January 15th, 2009 > One comment

I’m not a big text person, so when I received one the other day I was curious to find out who it was. It was AT&T texting me about American Idol Season 8. Funny, I didn’t ever remember signing up to receive text alerts from American Idol or AT&T. With economic pressures mounting look out for companies Spamming via text. Although some would argue that the AT&T message was not Spam because it was free, it did ruffle some feathers.

As an email marketer, I fight the uphill perception battle that Email marketing is Spam. I figured the best way to combat this perception is to learn about SPAM and try to help others understand what they can do to fight it.

What do we do with all of the junk we get? If your Spam filter isn’t catching everything these sites may help:

Spam information resources:

Federal Trade Commission


The Spamhaus Project




Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group

Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email

International Mail Consortium


Email Sender Provider Coalition

Conference on Email and Anti-Spam

Get Net Wise

Melon Stork

Spam Blockers or Services

Spam Assassin


Blue Bottle

Season with a reason

By: > December 23rd, 2008

Invitation to an Orange Open House

Join us for an Orange Open House at the offices of Serif Group and Inbox Orange to celebrate the first anniversary of Inbox Orange, an email marketing firm.  Please drop in and visit on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 from 4-7 p.m. We will enjoy catering by Corky’s, drinks, and networking—and don’t forget to grab a swag bag of goodies provided by our clients before you leave! Click here for a map and driving directions. 

One more thing …

In keeping with the Christmas spirit. If you live in the Lexington area the local Ronald McDonald House needs your help. As you may or may not have heard, the Ronald McDonald House had a flood in their house due to a leaking fire sprinkler system on Monday. As a result, many, many gifts collected for sick and hospitalized children were ruined.  If you would like to help the Ronald McDonald House out in this critical time of need, they have asked for folks to help the House with either gift cards to stores like Kroger and Wal Mart or to simply consider making a financial contribution. There was quite a bit of damage to the room they had the toys in and they will also need to replace some or all of their board room furniture.

If you would like to contact the Ronald McDonald House, you can contact Sarah Warner, Executive Director, at 859-266-8683 or e-mail her at [email protected]. Thanks to the folks from LYPA for this update.

Blogging me down. Social media and the new conundrum

By: > December 4th, 2008 > 2 comments

How does a busy person stay up to date with Facebook, blogging, Twittering (tweets) and discovering new media trends? I am not exactly sure, but I can tell you that is isn’t easy. Between working on Serif Group, Baby publictions and Inbox Orange projects and building my knowledge base about the ever-changing landscape of new-media marketing I find it difficult to even type this very blog update. I preach to others how blogging is a great way to reach your customers and become a ‘thought leader’ in your industry, but I can’t seem to follow my own advice. (See this article about blogging)

Last week I finally signed up for Myspace-though I have yet to make it mine. On Facebook my friend list grows, but my status updates don’t. I even have my status updates on Facebook linked to Twitter to make it easier. But, to this day, I have 28 followers on Twitter but only a total of 29 updates-EVER.

Not only is Myspace on hold, but so is Delicious and StumpleUpon. I’d even love to explore Ning a bit more, but can’t find the time to stay up on my Google Analytics & Adsense accounts let alone my Commision Junction account.

Work smarter is an option, but I’m looking for anyone with other ideas. Are you experiencing the same problem? Is it just that time of year? Let me know what you think. Which social media tools do you find not worth the effort? Which ones do you swear by?

Whenever I get some downtime I’ll finish reading the 4 books that I have lined up to read and then maybe, just maybe I’ll add some more contacts to LinkedIn.

Better Than Money Can Buy

By: > November 21st, 2008

We were so excited about having a story about us in last week’s issue of Business Lexington. We couldn’t believe it when we got our copy in the mail and saw that our photo was featured on the cover and the table of contents! Talking about exposure that money can’t buy. Bill and I are grateful for the opportunity to work and live in such a wonderful community. Thank you Smiley Pete Publishing, Kathie Stamps and Shaun Ring Photography. (BTW, the week before the story came out Shaun ran a very creative promotion using Twitter and Facebook which resulted in our professional photos. I highly recommend you check him out as his photography is just as outside-the-box as his marketing.)