Advertising In Vegas And Bail Bonds

So I’m watching Sunday Night Football – yes I have a severe food hangover – and I saw this awesome spot for Goodfellas Bail Bonds. Don’t know if they have an agency, but this is “brilliant”. I couldn’t catch all the lyrics though.

And their spot ran right before game start.

Timing is everything.

This spot is simply memorable - isn't that what we're going for in advertising?

If I get arrested for too many links per post, they’ll be my first phone call.

And speaking of advertising, if I see another Lexus Holiday spot I’m gonna need those guys.

By the way, should you be visiting my hometown and get caught doing something stupid (it happens), you should call Goodfellas. 

Where else can you get a Free Ride Home, a Free T-shirt, and a Free Hug? 

Goodfellas, in Vegas!

Success in a Recession

Can you gauge the economy by the success of a popcorn stand?

popcorn 1.JPG

I live in Las Vegas. Hit hard by the recession – and that turnaround the press talks about – well it’s really slow to appear.

So yesterday, as I was driving by a strip mall – which I have driven by hundreds of times – I decided to stop at the little intriguing shop I had seen on the sign. You know the kind of sign – listing the dozen or so shops that are…hopefully still open.

Well, there’s this shop, Popcorn Girl, listed. I thought – how can anyone make a living selling popcorn? Then a banner went up on the building over the shop – Now Open Sundays. What?

I checked it out. Amazing! It was super busy and filled with fresh popcorn in flavors I’ve never imagined. Like Loaded Baked Potato, Dill Pickle and Puppy Chow. Okay... Plus old fashioned candy – like Big Hunk, Bit ‘o Honey, and candy necklaces – the things I loved as a kid. 

Awesome friendly service, product tasting, all kinds of special sports-related and seasonal packaging. Just your basic wonderland of carbs. And did I say the aroma alone could sell the product? Oh, yeah, they also make killer fudge. Fresh, melt-in-your-mouth stuff.

Call me old fashioned – I bought caramel corn – that was still warm. You have no idea…

Where am I going with this?

Take a product that everyone can relate to, plan, put in the work, provide great customer service, and manage well.

And they opened a second location. You can succeed in a recession.

Check it out, order some popcorn.

Here’s an article about Popcorn Girl.

I'll be back to work tomorrow!

Open Space, Culture and Creating Collisions

I’ve said it before – I just don’t agree with this trend for an open office. It’s unproductive.

This article in Inc. Magazine, talks about Tony Hsieh and his comments on collisions, serendipity, or whatever. It’s a way to force people to interact with one-another by forcing them to enter, leave, or go to the bathroom by taking a different route past someone’s desk. Usually the desk of an individual with which they don’t have anything relevant to discuss – thus creating a collision that is, in my world, a disruption.

Or worse, a real annoyance. There’s got to be some balance here.

I don’t believe in collisions – you either have something to say to someone – or you don’t. Creating collisions it is like going to a Match.com mixer to find a date. That isn’t serendipity. It’s pre-meditated.

Although one comment in his article horrified me about Zappos – they lock all but one entrance, so they create collisions. I’m thinking that Mr. Hsieh made a misstatement. At least I hope so.

Anyway, serendipity is, in my book, a moment that cannot be contrived. Most people simply aren’t going to talk to one-another unless there is some compelling reason, like, “Wow Zach, that fedora really goes with those crocs.” 

At some point we just walk past a coworker, exchange ‘hi’s’ and head to the kitchen or kegerator.

I think the bottom line of what Mr. Hsieh is saying is – if you put people in close proximity to one-another, they will interact. Yep, I get that. And rebuilding our city core can create an awesome environment for serendipity. He wows me with what he has taken on.

I give him props for working to build another Austin or Portland, because I love them both - great creative cities. Heck, I grew up in Portland and I get it.

But please, unlock the doors and let me concentrate – because serendipity has occupied all the ‘quiet’ rooms.

Only in Vegas a Giant Heart

You gotta love it. We have a pyramid, volcano, the Eiffel Tower, gondolas, a pirate ship, awesome Chihuly installation – and a Giant Heart.

And that lovely, anatomically-correct muscle is finding its home inside the pyramid. Check out the slide show courtesy of the Las Vegas Review Journal, Photos by Jeff Scheid, all rights to the story and photos belong to the Las Vegas Review Journal.*

So imagine checking in for Superbowl®** Weekend and finding this Giant Heart in the way, keeping you from getting your game-day on. (There’s a copyrighted photo of a guy waiting to wheel his suitcase in for a weekend of fun – while he watches the 13-foot symbol of life and love pass by)

And of course, there was a posse – or rather a caravan (fitting for its final location inside a pyramid) – of ambulances that escorted that big 600-pound Giant Heart down the Strip.

Meh, L.A. had the Space Shuttle. Vegas has a spectacular Giant Heart. And we didn’t have to remove trees to get it down the road. All the better. We just know how to git ‘er done here.

I wonder if Dodge®*** will do a TV spot showing their awesome towing capabilities – of a giant heart. In Vegas.

You see, you just have to come here. It's all so...cool. That reminds me – Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Forget the chocolates and roses, and show your honey how much you love them with a trip to Vegas, and a in-person viewing of the Giant Heart. Now that speaks L.O.V.E. My bet is that it will be memorable.

Oh, by the way, the pyramid is called The Luxor. And the light at the top is the Brightest Spot On Earth. Yep, Vegas again.

*Okay, I give credit because first, I’m a good citizen (I always link-back to the original story), and second, because there was an outbreak of copyright lawsuits against bloggers who used the RJ’s stuff. I think that’s blown over, but to the guys at the RJ – I really love you – I mean it.

**Also, if you have ever done research into copyrights, trademarks, etc., you know what a pain it is to use the real name of anything, anywhere unless you have purchased rights. So I love the Big Game and used its actual name in my blog with a link to their very cool site. I love them too. Support your team!

***Overkill, perhaps, but credit to Dodge too. Maybe a new record for links on a blog.

I wonder if I should have credited the Space Shuttle…

The Big Game and Sports Betting

I live in Las Vegas, one of the four states* where you can legally bet on pro football – and a bunch of other things, for that matter.

There’s a lot about gambling that I simply don’t understand. I used to work in a casino and asked one of the guys in the sports book to explain a few basics to me, and as he rattled them off, all I could hear was distant…chirping. I just didn’t understand all the stuff you could bet on and the ways to bet, or why you would make one bet over another. And I actually got an A in statistics.

These guys can figure out higher-level stats in their heads faster than your TI84. They have no equals on Wall Street. The only betting I could figure out was signing my name on a square. That’s for me. Pure chance.

Now there are a lot of things you can bet on besides the Final Outcome. And that’s what makes betting more interesting – at least for me.

Like how long the Harbaugh brothers will hug after the game; how many times the game is referred to as the “HarBowl” during play (I’d like to see the stats on Twitter for that one); or what Team Logo the Harbaugh parents will wear to the Big Game. Can you imagine how they’ve had to balance the boys’ feelings all those years?

Okay, it just begs a question – if I’m betting on whether Alicia Keys will add a word to the National Anthem – is that sports betting? And if not, can someone in New Jersey bet on it?

Wow, more questions than answers.

By the way, I want you to be a Responsible Citizen. Do not gamble online if it is illegal in your state. Instead, come to Vegas where you can enjoy betting on (just about) anything without fear of breaking the law. (I am more about improving our economy than worrying about shameless plugs.)

But you better get on a plane now. And get that room booked. Oh heck, skip the room. Fly in / fly out. Who needs to sleep?

*Here’s the answer: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.