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Updated by Stan Phelps on Jan 13, 2021
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Pink Goldfish 2 Project

This list is for the upcoming book, Pink Goldfish 2 (co-authored by Stan Phelps and David Rendall), which will launch on November 2020. Pink is about differentiation by embracing flaws, instead of fixing them. We are looking for examples of brands embracing weirdness/flaws in business.

L.L. Bean Discontinues Lifetime Guarantee

In 1912, Leon Leonwood Bean founded L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine. The company, which operated in just one room, started out by selling just one product, the Maine Hunting Shoe, also known as “duck boots”, the rubber boots that keep feet dry and warm. Bean sent out a promotional mailer (no Internet in the early 1900’s) and sold his first 100 pairs of boots.

Even back in the beginning, Bean had a focus on customer service. So, when 90 out of the 100 pairs of boots were returned with a defect – the bottoms and tops separated – he immediately sent refunds, corrected the problem, and got back to promoting the boots again.

For more than 100 years, L.L. Bean has been known for selling quality outdoor products with an incredible focus on customer service, which included a lifetime guarantee.

Shawn Gorman, L.L. Bean’s Executive Chairman, wrote an open letter to customers about their guarantee.

A Letter to Our Customers,

Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years. Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales.

Based on these experiences, we have updated our policy. Customers will have one year after purchasing an item to return it, accompanied by proof of purchase. After one year, we will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way.

This update adds clarity to our policy and will only affect a small percentage of returns. It will also ensure we can continue to honor one of the best guarantees in retail, with no impact for the vast majority of our customers. To learn more, please view our full return policy at llbean.com.

L.L.Bean has stood for quality, service, trust, and getting people outdoors ever since my great-grandfather founded our company over 100 years ago - and that will never change. Thank you for being a loyal customer and we look forward to continuing to inspire and enable you to Be an Outsider.

Sincerely,
Shawn O. Gorman
L.L.Bean Executive Chairman

The Case of the Berlin Public Transport | by Rumen Manev | Medium

About 3 years ago, the BVG decided it needs to get on the social media train. (see what I did there?). They created their new Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and adopted the slogan “Weil wir dich lieben” (“Because we love you”). Immediately after that, they probably felt as if they’d opened Pandora’s box. Like any public service in every country on this planet, they were (and still are) the subject of constant critique and discontent from the people using it.

Bad tempered bus drivers, late trams, broken seats, dirty train carts and so on and so on. After all, a city’s public transport is a places where people feel quite miserable by default. It’s the place that you go to right after you’ve woken up from your comfy bed, it’s filled with all those other people you don’t know and don’t necessarily smell good and it’s supposed to bring you to your work. Then, after you finish work and you feel super tired from the bullshit you had to deal with all day, you’re supposed to get on it again so it can bring you home.

Just by existing, it’s already quite a shitty place to spend your time. All it takes is one grumpy driver for a person to snap. This built up pressure got released as soon as people had the means to communicate with the BVG. And their new slogan got people even more fired up. “Because we love you”? It’s as if the BVG was mocking them.
The challenging task of running all social media accounts, was given to Peter Wittkamp and Finn Kirchner, both previously working as writers for various comedy shows. They’re mission was to make people believe in the BVG slogan. Their approach? Unconditional self-irony.

The Berlin public transport is being used by more than a billion people per year. When things go wrong, they go wrong for a massive number of folks. A lot of the subway carts, as well as subway stations are old and need renovation. Bus drivers and conductors are often grumpy and if you’ve ever been to Berlin you can imagine what the subway looks like on Sunday mornings. These are all issues that the BVG cannot immediately fix.

So instead of ignoring what people were complaining about, especially the things that were beyond the power of the administration, the voices of the BVG started making jokes about it. Their idea was to create a brand around the chaotic, smelly, trashy environment that is the public transport system. It’s the perfect reflection of what the actual city is about. Berlin can be dirty, messy and rough, but this is exactly what grew to be its charm. In a way, the BVG perfectly captures what Berlin is about —sure, it has its issues, but that’s what makes it so special.

The BVG public voice is humorous and somewhat unapologetic. Apart from the cheerful posters, the its social profiles are very much active and people who address the BVG often get a response fairly quickly, albeit a response that usually makes a joke out of them.

Still, there are limits to what the BVG jokes about. Serious complaints are beyond the line of light-hearted responses. But as far as force majeure circumstances go, such as 5 minute delays, bad weather or someone puking on your shoes at the subway station — the BVG will push the limit to socially acceptable humour. And people will appreciate it.

We love you too, BVG

Berlin is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It’s a city of 4 million people, all trying to go about their day (or night) and make a good living. It’s a messy place that combines excessive freedoms with the security of German laws. People here feel safe doing whatever rocks their boat, without the fear of anyone judging them (except maybe if you’re wearing a suit). It’s the perfect place for a sarcastic, “no-fucks-given” public transport to thrive in.
And this is exactly the attitude it took to make people shift from complaining about ticket prices and dirty trains to sharing anecdotes with others online and adopting the Berlin public transport as one of the city’s most popular memes.

The BVG managed to turn the mass feelings of disdain for petty issues into warm shrugs and sighs that say “that’s just our good old BVG”. And that is a feat in itself.

One year later, what did we learn from Nike’s blockbuster Colin Kaepernick ad?

It all started with a tweet on the afternoon of September 3rd, 2018.
Kaboom. Not long after, the full commercial—timed to mark the start of the 2018/2019 NFL season and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the tagline “Just Do It”—lit up the cultural discourse like no ad had done in recent memory. People loved it. People hated it. People bought Nikes. People burned Nikes. People talked about it at home, at work, on the news. Everywhere.

It was divisive because it jumped on America’s biggest fault lines—race, patriotism, sports, and business. But according to Nike founder Phil Knight, that was kind of the point. “It doesn’t matter how many people hate your brand as long as enough people love it,” Knight told Fast Company last year. “And as long as you have that attitude, you can’t be afraid of offending people. You can’t try and go down the middle of the road. You have to take a stand on something, which is ultimately I think why the Kaepernick ad worked.”

As a piece of marketing, it helped galvanize those who had been preaching the word “purpose” already for years. That in a post-2016 world, brands—and subsequently their advertising—can’t afford to be neutral.

Nike’s results seemed to have backed that up. Despite Fox News and parts of the social mediasphere predicting the Swoosh’s downfall, the company claimed $163 million in earned media, a $6 billion brand value increase, and a 31% boost in sales.

Anish Kapoor Owns the Rights to the Blackest Color Ever Made. So Another Artist Made His Own Superblack—and Now It’s ...

In the battle over artistic access to the world’s blackest blacks, Stuart Semple isn’t backing down. The British artist, who took exception to Anish Kapoor’s exclusive contract to use Vantablack, the world’s blackest black substance, just launched a Kickstarter to produce a super dark paint of his own—and it has now been fully funded.

Black 3.0 is “the blackest, the mattest paint in the known universe,” Semple said in the Kickstarter video for the new paint, which reportedly absorbs up to 99 percent of all light, compared to 99.96 percent for the original Vantablack. “It’s like a black hole or a void in a bottle.”

The Kickstarter funds will be used to employ a factory to produce Black 3.0 in bulk through pre-orders of the paint. “Unfortunately, this stuff is so advanced and way beyond what we can make here in our little studio,” Semple said. (His team of artists and paint makers currently works out of a studio in Dorset, on the south coast of England.)

As its name suggests, this is Semple’s third effort to create an ultra-black black. After soliciting input from the artistic community, he introduced the cherry-scented Black 2.0 in March 2017. He’s spent the past two years working to improve on that effort. Now, after a successful round of beta testing, which saw samples sent to 1,000 artists, Semple is ready to share his latest creation with the world—except Kapoor, of course.

The first paragraph of the Kickstarter’s “about” section makes this abundantly clear:

Important: By backing this project you confirm that you are not Anish Kapoor, you are in no way affiliated to Anish Kapoor, you are not backing this on behalf of Anish Kapoor or an associate of Anish Kapoor. To the best of your knowledge, information and belief this material will not make its way into the hands of Anish Kapoor.

Semple has been making his own pigments for personal use for the past 20 years. When he found out about Kapoor’s exclusive deal with Vantablack producers Surrey NanoSystems, Semple was outraged. It also occurred to him that he hadn’t been offering others the chance to experiment with his custom-made art supplies.

That’s when Semple started selling what he called “the world’s pinkest pink, available to anyone who wasn’t Kapoor.”

“I wanted to make a point about elitism and self-expression and the fact that everybody should be able to make art,” Semple said. But within weeks, “tragedy struck. Anish Kapoor got our pink! And he dipped his middle finger in it and put a picture on Instagram!”

Undeterred by Kapoor’s mockery of the product’s terms of service, Semple returned again with the most glittery glitter and color-changing Phaze “unicorn” paint, with the same use restrictions. (He’s also developed a compostable plant-based glitter as an environmentally friendly alternative to glitters made of microplastics.)

But even after the success of Black 2.0—more than 3,500 people have posted about it on Instagram under the hashtag #sharetheblack—Semple knew he could do more to eliminate the reflective quality that plagues traditional black pigments (think of how coal and charcoal are both slightly shiny, for instance).

As opposed to Vantablack’s “military nanotech-grade super NASA stuff,” said Semple, Black 3.0 is an acrylic paint that can be easily used in conjunction with traditional art materials. It’s based on a new Black Magick pigment that his team developed in the lab that is naturally matte. (Black 2.0 included a mattifier with a slight grey tint.)

“We’ve also managed to formulate a new acrylic polymer to hold the pigment, it’s special because it has more available bonds than any other acrylic polymer being used in paints. This means it can cling onto way more pigment,” reads the Kickstarter page, which also touts Black 3.0’s nano-mattifiers, which “flatten out the last bits of stray light without compromising color.”

Scientists have also taken steps to thwart Kapoor’s Vantablack monopoly. NanoLab, Inc., in Waltham, Massachusetts, unveiled a carbon nanotube black paint of its own, called Singularity Black, in August 2017.

As of press time, Semple had already raised $55,430, or an impressive 169 percent of his original $32,720 goal, which he hit after just 38 hours.

This restaurant charged a customer extra for asking a 'stupid question'

At Tom's Diner in Denver humor is one of the most popular items on the menu.

The 24-hour restaurant has been a local favorite for about 20 years but, until recently, few people outside the Mile-High City knew about the chain's side-splitting side offering.

About a week ago, a Reddit user posted a photo of a Tom's Diner receipt. Listed alongside an order of chicken tenders and mashed potatoes was a separate charge of 38 cents for "1 Stupid Question."

The post sparked a frenzy of inquiries on social media. Was the receipt a fake? Was this restaurant even real? And what, exactly, qualifies as a stupid question?

Long story short, the receipt is in fact real. And plenty of diners have been charged this miscellaneous fee over the years because "Stupid Question" is listed on the diner's side menu.

Of course, the popular restaurant doesn't hand out the cheeky menu item in a malicious manner. It's all in good fun, according to general manager Hunter Landry.
Landry, the nephew of Tom Messina (the "Tom" behind Tom's Diner), said that his uncle added the funny side option to the Denver diner's menu around 20 years ago (it opened in 1999) as a way to infuse a bit of fun into the work day. Staff are actually instructed never to charge people who actually ask an arguably stupid question — they're more so encouraged to add a charge on for lively tables.

"When we have a good fun table that engages with us or when they ask about the charge, it's always fun to add it on," Landry said.
The menu has sparked some comedic customers to ask intentionally stupid questions over the years in order to qualify for the charge. "Are there any dues for the turkey club sandwich?" is one. "Does the ice have any water in it?" is another of Landry's favorites.

The fee for asking a silly question has fluctuated over the years, but the reaction to it has almost always been met with laughter. "It was 48 cents at one point, but we didn't want to gauge people," Landry joked.

The Popeyes chicken sandwich might be even more popular the second time around as restaurants report long lines and s...

The Popeyes chicken sandwich might be even more popular the second time around.

Popeyes relaunched its wildly popular menu item on Sunday, following a nearly two-month hiatus. During its original run in August, the sandwich sold out only about two weeks after it had first become available.

Even with the hype surrounding the debut of the sandwich — namely the Twitter spat between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes that made the sandwich go viral — more people seem to have visited Popeyes stores the second time the sandwich has come around.

Foot-traffic tracker Placer.ai found that customer visits to Popeyes soared on opening day, at 299.3% above the baseline, exceeding the peaks of the original launch at 255.6% and 243% on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24, respectively.

"It is as crazy as last time if not more," said a shift leader in a Texas Popeyes who worked through the first iteration of the Chicken Sandwich Wars and said his location sold over 2,000 sandwiches the first night of the relaunch.

This employee said his store brought in over $12,500 on Sunday, a number he said is four times what his store makes on a typical Sunday. He added that it's the most he's seen during his two years at the chain. This employee asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

"We had a line outside before we even opened," the employee said. "Customers were outside before I was even at the store to open."

Popeyes did not confirm sales numbers with Business Insider but said that some locations experienced drive-thru lines down the street and in-store lines that went out the front door.

"We are grateful to our guests who waited in line to try the sandwich and shared their love for our food through social media," Popeyes said.

When the original sandwich debuted in August, Popeyes employees across the country said they were working on overdrive to fulfill orders.

"I was working like a slave in the back prepping the buns with pickles and the spicy mayo," one 18-year-old Popeyes crew member in Orange County, California, told Business Insider in August.

As of now, the sandwich is expected to be back for good. An employee in a franchised California Popeyes location told Business Insider that his distribution center was preparing for the hype of the chicken sandwich relaunch as far back as September.

'South Park' Banned From Chinese Internet After Critical Episode | Hollywood Reporter

After the "Band in China" episode mocked Hollywood for shaping its content to please the Chinese government, Beijing has responded by deleting all clips, episodes and discussions of the Comedy Central show.
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone probably saw this coming, and to their credit, simply didn't care.

The most recent episode of South Park, "Band in China," has been generating loads of media attention for its sharp critique of the way Hollywood tends to shape its content to avoid offending Chinese government censors in any way whatsoever.

Now, those very same government censors, in the real world, have lashed back at South Park by deleting virtually every clip, episode and online discussion of the show from Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages.

A cursory perusal through China's highly regulated internet landscape shows the animated series conspicuously absent everywhere it recently had a presence. A search of the Twitter-like social media service Weibo turns up not a single mention of South Park among the billions of past posts. On streaming service Youku, owned by internet giant Alibaba, all links to clips, episodes and even full seasons of the show are now dead.

And on Baidu's Tieba, China's largest online discussion platform, the threads and subthreads related to South Park are nonfunctional. If users manually type in the URL for what was formerly the South Park thread, a message appears saying that, "According to the relevant law and regulation, this section is temporarily not open."

The draconian response is par for the course for China's authoritarian government, which has even been known to aggressively censor Winnie the Pooh because some local internet users had affectionately taken to comparing Chinese president Xi Jinping to the character.

On Monday afternoon, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued a statement with a faux apology about the ban.

"Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts," the statement reads. "We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn't look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?"

South Park's "Band in China" episode featured a pair of storylines critical of China. One involves Randy getting caught attempting to sell weed in China and getting sent to a work camp similar to those Beijing has been using in Xinjiang Province to hold as many as a million Chinese Muslims for political indoctrination. (While he's at the work camp, Randy runs into an imprisoned Winnie the Pooh.)

A second plot follows Stan, Jimmy, Kenny and Butters forming a metal band, which becomes popular and attracts the attention of a manager who wants to make a film about them. But then the script keeps changing so that the film can safely be distributed in China.

"Now I know how Hollywood writers feel," Stan says at one point while a Chinese guard watches over him and alters his work as he writes the script. Several shots are taken at Disney, including a scene where Mickey Mouse shows up to make sure all his employees (other Marvel and Disney cartoon characters) play ball with the Chinese authorities.

Yelp-hating Botto Bistro keeps trolling Yelp, offers 50 percent discount for bad reviews - Inside Scoop SF

The humble Richmond restaurant made national headlines last year when it encouraged customers to leave negative Yelp reviews in a rather brilliant way to both subvert the popular, controversial user review site and garner publicity.

Chefs and co-owners Davide Cerretini and Michele Massimoare are sticking to their guns, too, claiming that since starting their campaign, they have “more and better customers.” As they write in their most recent newsletter, the increased business is “just further confirmation that unfortunately a vast number of Yelpers are a useless type of customer … Our[s] is an Idiot Free environment and we like to keep it that way.”

So yes, Botto Bistro is still locking horns with Yelp in the new year — and now they’re upping the ante:

The restaurant is offering a 50 percent discount to anyone who shows a screenshot of a negative, one-star Yelp review.

As if that wasn’t enough to renew the flame war, here are some pointed, and often-tongue-in-cheek, excerpts from the restaurant’s most recent newsletter (read the full version here):

We really want to apologize to the Yelpers. We did not realize that Yelp was created for humanitarian purposes. To help the less fortunate, the ones left behind. All these people with no real friends and tons of personal issues, living a sad and lonely life, unheard and uncared for… the ones sitting on the bench of the world, the invisible ones and the sometimes unfairly unwanted.

Finally they have Yelp! They can open the site and see Steve with 500 written reviews, wow, one hundred followers, double wow, complaining to the world that his pasta did not came with a garlic bread and have everyone clapping their hands…wow, you go boy! You tell them about that garlic bread!

Steve has no girlfriend, no job, no real friends, no chance…but hey he has 500 written reviews and an Elite badge from Yelp, that is priceless to him.

The trolling goes on:

We also realize that we have been really bad to these people by destroying their god and their beliefs.

Shame on us!

What are they going to do now? They just found out that their opinions are absolutely useless and their reviews are just like them…powerless. Their god is in trouble trying to cover his ass from the truth, and he is under attack by a bunch of ruthless Italian pizza makers.

And finally, a New Year’s resolution:

Let’s all get a new life this year – we are going to come back to making pizza and you, dear Yelpers, find a job, a hobby, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a boy toy, get laid somehow, or get a pet and see if you have a little bit of integrity left. We doubt it! And Steve may hit 1000 reviews, triple wow!

Poor Steve.

dbrand: A Social Media Master. In the modern world social media is an… | by Evan LaVigne | Medium

The way that dbrand markets themselves to the public is unique compared to many other social brands. They typically have quirks like referring to themselves as not human, as if the social page is ran by a robot. Their tone is very sassy and sometimes harsh to the general public. Somewhat similar to the way that Wendy’s social team responds to people on twitter.

Their humor is crass, and their marketing is sporadic yet their core fan base seems to thrive on the content. Exampled in the photos above show times when they increased all their products prices by 200% because a twitter poll they held had the Patriots winning the Super Bowl. If the polls prediction would’ve been correct all products would’ve been put half off. Also exampled above is them referring to their customers as humans, a dbrand trademark, and them promoting a skin for a phone that hasn’t been announced yet.

Brand Development Network International | BUD LIGHT ADVERTISING: IT’S A DILLY!

BUD LIGHT ADVERTISING: IT’S A DILLY!

King: “Barkeep, Bud Lights for everyone!”

Guest: “Actually, I prefer a nice mead.”

King: “Barkeep, Bud Lights for everyone and one mead.”

Guest: “Is it autumnal?”

King: “Barkeep, Bud Lights for everyone and one autumnal mead.”

Guest: “Is it malty and full-bodied because I like—–“

King: “Cancel that mead.”(Guest shackled in the stocks)

“Bud Light. For the Many, Not the Few.”

Here are some of the elements that, we think, make it a dilly:

It’s a seamless evolution from “Famous Among Friends”—to be even more drinker-inclusive. That notion of “famous” not only communicated the brand’s $6BB+ sales volume and its ultra-dominant share of the U.S. market, but it also spoke to the amazing popularity of the brand. Transitioning now to “For the Many, Not the Few” makes a similar, if more direct, statement about the brand’s wide-breadth of popularity. And the move from “Among Friends” to “The Many” implies that Bud Light is for just about anyone who enjoys good times and good beers with people, whether all those people be “best buds” or not.

It further defines and engages the psychographic segment that Bud Light owns—by poking good fun at a psychographic segment the brand has no interest in even including. In our January article, we took a shot at inferring a label for the Bud Light psychographic segment, as implied by the “Famous Among Friends” total campaign (TV + digital + promotion, and so on): we inferred these drinkers to be “Pack-Bonders, friends of many demographic specs who share in common their passion for good times with their true friends, and who want to keep building the bonds among them.” In light of what we’ve inferred as a further opening of Bud Light’s psychographic target, we might now alter our inferred psychographic label to something like “Good Times Belongers.” But whether this label is spot on or not, one thing is certain: Bud Light’s psychographics definitely exclude beer drinkers who view their beer choice akin to a fine wine choice. We might, in keeping with the humor of the campaign, call these drinkers “Picky Dilettantes” or even (given the places such drinkers are banished to in the ads—the stocks or the dungeon named “Pit of Misery”) “Banished Kill-Joys.” You could argue that, for Bud Light, the “enemy” isn’t the craft beers or other light beers; rather, it’s the goofy, overly picky beer sophisticate—a drinker, not a drink!

Among the three brands, only Bud Light now appears to be succeeding with psychographic target differentiation. Just as with “Famous Among Friends,” the new “For the Many, Not the Few” is a communication campaign much more about the drinker than the drink. Such a strategy, particularly among categories that are more about social interaction than product performance, andwhen directed against a volumetrically meaningful target in a “let’s not take ourselves too seriously” yet believable fashion, can make a lot more sense than the traditional “let’s tell our Beechwood-Aged/Cold-Filtered/Rocky Mountain Spring Water” product-driven strategy.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager - Blue Ridge Beverage

At Sam Adams, each year we travel to Germany to select the world’s best Heirloom aroma hops for our Boston Lager. Big Industrial beers are made with bittering hops purchased on the global commodity markets. While these provide a lot of bitter they do not have great aroma. Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Rich, flavorful, aromatic and brewed inefficiently since 1984.

About Boston Beer Company
IN 1984, JIM KOCH DISCOVERED HIS GREAT-GREAT GRANDFATHER'S RECIPE FOR LOUIS KOCH LAGER IN HIS FATHER'S ATTIC.
bio-inset-jimcases.png

Looking to follow his family’s passion for brewing, Jim brewed the recipe in his kitchen with the hopes of challenging the status quo in the American beer industry. He started by introducing American drinkers to craft-brewed beers that were full-flavored, balanced, and complex, and brewed with quality ingredients. Pleased with his brew, Jim started The Boston Beer Company with his co-founder and first employee, Rhonda Kallman. In those first months, Jim walked bar-to-bar with a briefcase full of beer that he called Samuel Adams Boston Lager, in recognition of one of our nation's great founding fathers, a revolutionary man of independent mind and spirit. Boston Lager soon became a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution, making its public debut in Boston on Patriot's Day in April 1985. Six weeks after its introduction, Boston Lager was selected as "The Best Beer in America" in The Great American Beer Festival's Consumer Preference Poll, which became an award Samuel Adams Boston Lager went on to win an unprecedented four times.

Pink Panther, color carry considerable value in Owens Corning marketing efforts | Toledo Blade

Owens Corning has been “in the pink” for nearly 57 years. The insulation and building-products company uses the color in its insulation products and the Pink Panther cartoon character has been featured in the company’s advertising for about 33 years.

The color is considered such an asset that it was registered as an OC trademark for insulation and the company carries the value of PINK (and its other trademarks and trade names) on its balance sheet, said Paul Smith, vice president of marketing for OC’s buildings materials business.

Company leaders at the Toledo company won’t place a specific numerical value on PINK or the Pink Panther cartoon, but OC paid a hefty price to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in 2007 for exclusive rights to continue using the Pink Panther character in the marketing of its products for another 15 years.

“It’s difficult to measure the value of PINK and the panther to the company, but it is significant,” said BJ Fisher, director of strategic services for FLS Group, a Toledo-based marketing company.

For years, Owens Corning has used the color pink and the Pink Panther as a way to distinguish its insulation products from other companies. It was a “brilliant move,” Mr. Fisher said.

The challenge with building material products is that they are all very similar, he said. The Pink Panther sets the company apart and ties its products to a cartoon character who is well-known and well-loved by adults, Mr. Fisher said.

That idea of differentiating its products was the driving force behind adding the pink color to the insulation, said Joe Doherty, a former vice president of marketing communication.

“The old [yellow] product was not very good because of the process,” said Mr. Doherty who left the company in 1991.

A group of researchers was conducting trials on a new manufacturing process at the Newark, Ohio, plant in 1957. Red dye was used in part to distinguish the new insulation from other kinds of insulation.

Mr. Doherty said the pink color gave the Owens Corning sales team a way to show customers that the new insulation was different and better.

“I don’t think we ever realized the power of pink in the marketplace. It was about differentiating with customers. Then we realized we had something different on our hands — it was the color,” he said.

About 25 years later, the company again turned to pink to distinguish its attic and wall insulation from the competition.

In 1980, the Pink Panther cartoon character brought the color to life in OC television commercials that also featured the signature musical score composed by Henry Mancini for the Pink Panther movie franchise.

Within a decade of adopting the furry mascot, company surveys showed that shoppers preferred OC’s PINK insulation by a ratio of five to one over the closest competition.

By the end of the 1990s the edge grew to sevenfold.

The Pink Panther also helped alleviate confusion about who makes what products.

It helped people associate Owens Corning with the Pink Panther and pink insulation, instead of kitchen products originally made by the Corning glass company.

Today, the Panther is still a major part of the company’s brand and stars in television and Internet advertising, on billboards, and in print ads, said Mr. Smith, the vice president of marketing.

The company logo with the Pink Panther on it is also now used in packaging on other products like roofing shingles, he said.

“We are fortunate. We have a trademark color that is up there with Coke red,” Mr. Smith said.

About Piggly Wiggly Stores

Piggly Wiggly, America's first true self-service grocery store, was founded in Memphis, Tenn. in 1916 by Clarence Saunders.

The History of Piggly Wiggly
Piggly Wiggly®, America's first true self-service grocery store, was founded in Memphis, Tenn. in 1916 by Clarence Saunders. In grocery stores of that time, shoppers presented their orders to clerks who gathered the goods from the store shelves. He developed a way for shoppers to serve themselves.

Saunders’ first store opened September 6, 1916 at 79 Jefferson Street in Memphis. Operating under the unusual name Piggly Wiggly, it was unlike any other grocery store of that time. There were shopping baskets, open shelves and no clerks to shop for the customer – all unheard of!

Piggly Wiggly's introduction of self-service grocery shopping truly revolutionized the grocery industry. In fact, many of the conveniences and services that American shoppers now enjoy were introduced first by Piggly Wiggly®.

Piggly Wiggly was the FIRST to…

provide checkout stands.
price mark every item in the store.
give shoppers more for their food dollar through high volume/low profit margin retailing.
feature a full line of nationally advertised brands.
use refrigerated cases to keep produce fresher longer.
put employees in uniforms for cleaner, more sanitary food handling.
design and use patented fixtures and equipment throughout the store.
franchise independent grocers to operate under the self-service method of food merchandising.
Piggly Wiggly Corporation, established by Saunders when he opened the first store in Memphis, secured the self-service format and issued franchises to hundreds of grocery retailers for the operation of Piggly Wiggly stores.

Today there are more than 600 Piggly Wiggly stores serving communities in 17 states. All Piggly Wiggly stores are independently owned and operated, and are located primarily throughout the Southeast and as far north as Wisconsin.

We continue to pride ourselves on quality customer service, and to this day, still carry groceries out for our customers, giving them full service. An act that is virtually unheard of in this day in time.

Imperfect Foods sells 'ugly produce' that would otherwise go to waste — it also currently offers airplane snacks amid...

What is Imperfect Foods?
I got the title because I excitedly worked the San Francisco-based grocery delivery service into every conversation possible. The concept — seasonal, cosmetically imperfect produce delivered to your house at affordable prices, as part of a larger mission of reducing food waste — intrigued me, so I tried my first box and became hooked right away.

The quality of the produce was great and everything always tasted delicious. I didn't have to wait on the very unreliable buses in Berkeley to take me to and from the grocery store, and the total bill was reasonable even on a student budget.

Plus, little ol' me felt like I was saving these poor fruits and vegetables from being thrown away and wasted, helping the bottom lines of local farmers and producers.

Since its inception, Imperfect Foods has expanded its offerings to include grains like rice and quinoa, dairy like eggs and milk, and canned goods. Amid current travel restrictions due to the novel coronavirus, it also has airline snacks like Biscoff cookies normally handed out on Delta flights and cheese and snack boxes usually available on JetBlue flights.

A ski resort used a 1-star review in its (brilliant) ads, so now I’m inspired | by Luke Trayser | Words for Life | Me...

Backstory:
Snowbird is a resort in Utah known for its difficult slopes. After some bro named Greg from L.A. gave them a 1-star review because the mountain was mean to him, they created a print advertisement starring his review.

So! Here are your helpful reminders, my friend.

Helpful reminder #1: Cut the clutter.
Look at how simple the design is in that ad. A gorgeous photo is allowed to be the star of the show while the URL, phone number and logo are buried in the footer. Greg’s review is the ONLY piece of copy in the entire thing. It’s incredibly ballsy and brilliant.

Helpful reminder #2: Embrace the negative.
Snowbird knows they have a tough mountain. It’s kind of their thing. The weakness Greg documented in his review is actually one of the main positives of the entire resort, so they decided to have some fun with it.
And speaking of negatives, let’s talk self-deprecation for a second. It’s so hard to do well. Too much or too little of it is a massive turnoff. Somehow, this ad manages to be self-deprecating, humble and thoroughly confident all at once. It’s a remarkable balancing act. Ads like this don’t happen often, but when they do, they spark the same reaction in all of us: “I have to find out more about these guys.”

Helpful reminder #3: Cherish your adventurous clients.
Do you know how many marketing directors either A) kill your 1-star testimonial idea instantly, or B) drown it with hundreds of additional words? Because the answer is all of them. They all do it.
If you’re a creative who’s actually worth your paycheck, you have 1-star ideas all the time. Problem is, they’re often murdered by a committee who eventually just shouts “HEY MORON PLEASE BUY THIS AND BY THE WAY HAVE WE TOLD YOU HOW MUCH WE CARE ABOUT YOU” to their audience.
Snowbird knows their voice, they know their market and they knew an ad like this would resonate. So they ran with it.

The Hottest Hair Color of the Moment is...Gray - WSJ

Silver tresses, both dyed and natural, are trending among pop stars and CEOs alike. But is this a passing fad or a true revolution in our outdated notions of women’s beauty? Plus: How the dyeing game is different for guys.

I thought I found my first gray hair yesterday, and I got so excited,” said 30-year-old Larkin Brown. Um, OK. When I confronted my own first grays a few years back, I was less “excited” and more “existentially panicked.” But attitudes toward gray are shifting. As a researcher and in-house stylist for the San Francisco visual-discovery engine Pinterest, Ms. Brown has recently been submerged in photos of women of all ages flaunting hair that is assertively and fashionably gray. Younger women are dyeing their locks in shades from slate to titanium, and those who are naturally fading are embracing their color.

Carlsberg 'probably not' best beer in world despite long-running slogan, brewer admits | The Independent

After 40 years of advertising its lager as "Probably the best beer in the world", Danish brewer Carlsberg has confessed that the famous slogan may not be true.

Reacting to falling sales and increasingly harsh comments from drinkers about the taste of its beer, Carlsberg has launched a new recipe along with a more honest approach to marketing.

The campaign declares: “Probably not the best beer in the world. So we've changed it.”

“Somewhere along the line, we lost our way. We focused on brewing quantity, not quality. We became one of the cheapest, not the best.”

As part of the new ad campaign Carlsberg is sharing negative comments about the old beer including, "Carlsberg tastes like stale breadsticks" and another comparing it to “drinking the bathwater your nan died in”.
In an apparent bid to appeal to drinkers now used to a wide range of craft beer options, Carlsberg is now calling its flagship product a "Danish pilsner", rather than a lager. It has the same alcohol content of 3.8 per cent but a “crisper, fuller flavour”, according to the company.

Bars and pubs will also replace the tall, thin Carlsberg lager glasses with a shorter stemmed glass.

Carlsberg UK's vice president of marketing, Liam Newton, said: “Drinkers' interest in mainstream lager has waned because, though the world has moved on, the mainstream category hasn't.

“At Carlsberg UK, we lost our way. We focused on brewing quantity, not quality; we became one of the cheapest, not the best.”

Why are the Carolina Hurricanes calling themselves a 'bunch of jerks'? | WJLA

When the Capitals take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you will likely see plenty of references to the latter as “jerks.”

There’s a reason for that.

It all started when Don Cherry – the 85-year-old Canadian ice hockey commentator known for wearing attention-seeking suits – ripped the Hurricanes in mid-February for their creative post-game celebrations, calling the team a “bunch of jerks” for doing just that.

From that point, the Hurricanes quickly took on the moniker as something of a badge of honor. By the next day, they started promoting shirts with “Bunch of Jerks” written on the front and their team logo beneath it.

About — Cool Shit

Blowing up

We’re a team of nonconformists making larger-than-life inflatable sculptures, event props, and thought-provoking production concepts under the artist name "Cool Shit".
It started with Lionel Richie’s head. Since then, we’ve been to Coachella, Art Basel (a few times), popped-up in East London and even exhibited in Australia. Our creations are quickly reaching as far as the Internet.
As a studio, we’ve worked hard to make a name for ourselves and our clients. But as artists, we just want to wake up everyone’s inner child with absurdly memorable tongue-in-cheek experiences.

15 Surprising Cheesecake Factory Facts | Eat This Not That

The Cheesecake Factory is known for its massive menu, which comprises of 21 pages and more than 250 items.

Manufacturer Big Ass Fans Dares to Innovate—and Wins Big | Epicor

This is a story about extraordinary innovation. About how a small commercial manufacturing company in Lexington, Kentucky transformed into an international industry leader by making daring decisions. When they adopted their provocative name, it was a spark that ignited a fire. Innovation followed by growth, followed by more innovation. Now, they use data driven manufacturing as a standard way to operate. See how Big Ass Fans transformed manufacturing fans into high-tech solutions for customers.

Well, It’s What Customers Asked For
In 2000, the company operated under the less remarkable name HVLS Fan Company. “After fielding phone calls for years from customers asking if we’re the ones that sold ‘big ass fans,’ we decided to rename the company,” explains Director of IT, Chad Hurley. “It just took off like a rocket.”

Along with the attention-grabbing name, the company logo features the rear end of a donkey. It’s a daring and playful mascot that promotes a big brand name. When they first created promotion trinkets, namely a foam donkey, office mayhem ensued. Hurley explains, “In the early days, we spent most of our time engaged in foam donkey wars.” Laughing, he adds, “The sales floor often looked like a cloud of flying foam donkeys.”

Rapid Growth
Fans and foam donkeys aside, Big Ass Fans is growing at a rapid clip. “In 2019, things vastly accelerated and will continue to accelerate,” says Hurley. Since they were founded 20 years ago, sales and warehousing operations have expanded to Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Big Ass Fans also earned 11 consecutive rankings on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies. Revenue is increasing on average at 39% annually. Yet another impressive achievement is their customer list. It includes more than 70% of Fortune 500® companies.

‘Meth. We’re on it.’ South Dakota spent $1.4M on these bizarre ads - National | Globalnews.ca

South Dakotans are on meth. Just ask them.

The state government has launched a new drug-prevention campaign, but the name of that campaign raises one poignant question: What were they on when they came up with it?

The campaign’s new website bears the unfortunate web address of OnMeth.com, and its new slogan is equally confusing.
The slogan reads: “Meth. We’re on it.” (That’s a trademarked slogan, by the way, so don’t even try to steal it.)
The website itself features plenty of useful information for meth users seeking treatment. The site also touts a new hotline for immediate assistance, as well as a text line. All you have to do is send the message “ONMETH” for help.

“South Dakota has a problem. There isn’t a single solution because meth is widespread,” the site says. “But we can approach it from different angles, so it doesn’t take over counties, towns, neighbourhoods. Let’s work together. Meth. We’re on it.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem offers a more straightforward message about the crisis in a video clip included on the site.

“This is our problem, and together we need to get on it,” she says. “Let’s get meth out of South Dakota.”
In its proposal, the ad agency says its tagline will encourage “all South Dakotans to take an active role in keeping their state a great place to live,” the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

Gov. Noem defended the campaign in a tweet on Monday, amid viral criticism over the message.

“We’re starting the conversation,” she tweeted. “It. Is. Working.”

The online reaction has been fierce and cutting.
Gov. Noem specifically wanted a slogan that would stand out, according to Laurie Gill, South Dakota’s secretary of the Department of Social Services.

“We are looking for a way that would cause the citizens to stop, pay attention and understand that we do have a meth issue and that there are resources available,” Gill told the New York Times.

When asked, several police officers refused to talk about South Dakota’s prevention campaign. However, one officer did give it the thumbs-up in an interview with the Associated Press.

“Some will suggest it was a bad idea, some will say it’s sheer brilliance,” Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said. “In 24 hours, that campaign has raised awareness of meth more than we’ve been able to do in the last several years.”

How Fearless Content Marketing Pays off for Reebok, Merriam-Webster + Shinesty

For Shinesty’s Co-founder and CMO, Jens Nicolaysen, the fact that only three percent of consumers are ready to make a purchase at any given time (in any given market) is always top of mind. Apply that to a brand that sells the world’s most outlandish collection of clothing, and up goes the bar.

His team loves entertaining, not selling their audience. But the goal is still to drive sales, no matter how wild the content. While products make their way into a lot of Shinesty’s messaging, Nicolaysen explains that the company’s growth is attributable to going completely against convention and not shoving coupons down peoples’ throats.

But we don’t all need “foot condoms” (i.e. crazy party socks) every day. So how does a novelty brand stay relevant all year round?

The key is to create an irreplicable experience through content, that not only keeps consumers engaged, but also allows you to charge a premium. For Shinesty, its tone and voice is a huge point of differentiation that protects them from being cannibalized by other fast-moving innovators.

“It’s hard to copy the emotion you create in people,” said Nicolaysen. “If you’re not pissing people off, you’re going to land in the middle. The middle is where brands go to die.”

Ninety percent of brands talk to consumers the same way about the same things, according to Nicolaysen. Shinesty risks polarizing a segment of its audience, but the worst case scenario is standing out – which, for them, is a worthwhile risk that beats losing out to price.

Shinesty knows how to grab attention, including MTV’s. That’s right, the guys that brought you “Teen Mom” recently aired a six-part “docu-comedy” on the company’s path to winning new customers. In it, you’ll see that Shinesty really pours its personality into everything, from the order confirmation and tracking text, to the handwritten notes in packages.

Planet Fitness Celebrates Body Positivity With 'Dad Bod' Study | Complex

Planet Fitness commissioned a national study that shows men and women are increasingly attracted to dad bods—which, as they note, "comes in all shapes and sizes." The gym released its findings ahead of Father's Day to celebrate the dad bod and all body types in between.

"Nearly four in five among both women and men (78 percent) believe a 'dad bod' is a sign of a man who is confident in his own skin," the study reads. Additionally, 65 percent of Americans said they find men with dad bods attractive, up from 57 percent the year before.

In addition to calculating how attracted men and women are to the type of physique, Planet Fitness also recorded how body positivity movements are making men feel more comfortable in their bodies. "Men who say their 'dad bod' has improved their life this year claim their body type has helped them accept themselves (48 percent) or made them less concerned with their appearance (47 percent)," the study found.

Although the dad bod describes one particular physique, the study is meant to celebrate body positivity, and encourage men to feel comfortable in their own skin and support others in doing the same.

“As home of the Judgement Free Zone, we’re proud to offer a comfortable environment for all of our members, regardless of body type,” Jamie Medeiros, Vice President of Marketing at Planet Fitness, said. “This Father’s Day, Planet Fitness is challenging everyone, and not just dads, to be comfortable in their own skin and accept others for who they are.”

Jay Milton, one of the organizers of the inaugural “Run for the Rest of Us race”in Boerne, Tex., wants to make sure of one thing: the air quotes.

Everything about this “race” screams air quotes, in the best ways possible. This event, an affectionate parody of road races everywhere, begins at 11 a.m. Central time Saturday in the town of about 10,000 outside San Antonio and is billed as a 0.5K. Like those air quotes, that decimal is awfully important. This an un-race, a nonevent, a thing for people who like to have a good time and don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s a “race” that will cover 546 yards, running from brewpub to brewpub and, because it’s important to have a sustenance station, there will be a spot to grab coffee, eat a doughnut and maybe smoke a cigarette.

Did we mention free beer? Like, good craft beer and not swill?

The course begins with a free pint at the Dodging Duck Brewhaus at one end of a linear city park in Boerne (pronounced “Bernie”) and ends with another free pint at Cibolo Creek Brewery at the other end. There, organizers write on Facebook, participants can “relive the experience, brag to our friends, compare times, and take selfies to post on social media “I DID IT!!! I AM A FINISHER!!!”

Fun is the whole idea; this is not the race to run if you’re thinking about Boston in 2019. “There’s a lot of us who don’t really have an interest in running a 5K, but think the idea is fun and the community is kind of fun. We just don’t want to put forth the effort,” Milton said with a laugh. “This whole thing is just supposed to be fun.”

The idea took off like a bolt, probably unlike most of the participants in this “race,” and the 225 spots, available for a $25 entry fee, quickly were snapped up. Because the event has gotten a lot of national attention, Milton said they could have had at least 500 entrants “if not 1,000.” That would have stressed the brewpubs, though. Milton and his friends focused on finding a charity that worked locally and settled on Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that supplies weekend meals to children who might otherwise go hungry.

There will also be a VIP entry level. For an extra $25, folks can choose not to run, riding instead in one organizer’s restored 1963 VW bus. That organizer also happens to play the bagpipes and will help kick things off Saturday with a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Another organizer, who is a keyboardist, will play the “Chariots of Fire” theme.

And of course there will be participation awards, medals — or “woods,” as Milton says — that are crafted by another organizer. “This is 2018,” Milton said. “Of course, everyone gets a participation trophy because what would their parents think?”

VIPs, of course, get larger medals because, as the race organizers say on Facebook, they “are more important!” As Milton said, “that’s another one of those things that we all laughed the hardest about, being able to buy your way out of doing anything. That’s really 2018.” The “woods” will eventually have a ribbon attached and, as Milton helpfully points out, “you can remove it and turn it into a coaster!”

Other goodies (we had you at free beer, we know) besides the “wood,” include a T-shirt and a deeply ironic 0.5K oval sticker to proudly affix to your vehicle. The race is being held on Cinco de Mayo, a date that was chosen “as an accident” because it was a good spot on the city’s busy calendar, and “you don’t want to have a race in Texas in the summer,” Milton said. That goes for a “race,” too. There also happens to be a quilting festival that day.

The “race,” organizers say, is going to be an annual event, and its “sanctioning body,” SLACR (the Society for Lazy and Carefree Runners), will have no official timekeeper for it. “If we timed it, then we would have to have ‘winners,’ and because this is 2018, some people might have their self-esteem bruised if they didn’t win,” Milton said. “So without timing, everyone can legitimately claim, ‘I am the winner!’ ”

  • Stan Phelps is a Forbes Contributor, IBM Futurist, and TEDx Speaker. His keynotes and workshops offered at PurpleGoldfish.com focus on how to create meaningful differentiation to win the hearts of both employees and customers. He’s the best-selling author of: Purple Goldfish -12 Ways to Win Customers and Influence Word of Mouth, Green Goldfish - Beyond Dollars: 15 Ways to Drive Employee Engagement, Golden Goldfish - The Vital Few, Blue Goldfish - Using Technology, Data, and Analytics to Drive Both Profits and Prophets, Purple Goldfish Service Edition - The 12 Ways Hotels, Restaurants and Airlines Win the Right Customers, and Red Goldfish - Motivating Sales & Loyalty With Shared Passion and Purpose. Connect with me at stan@purplegoldfish.com or +1.919.360.4702.

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