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When I grow up I want to be an old woman

That phrase isn’t only the name of a Michelle Shocked song, it’s the theme of a very good commercial.

Something got me on a meme of talking about marketing to women this week – including on today’s Hotseat Radio show, so I figure I may as well finish Friday that way.

Kaiser Permanente took Michelle’s song and created a wonderful piece of imagery around it – perhaps better than Michelle’s original video for the song.

The 1 minute video reminds me of my grandmothers, two amazing women that I miss very much. My paternal grandmother had breast cancer twice. Beat it both times. Strong woman. Never owned a car that had power brakes. Think about that for a minute:)

KP’s video takes a painful – or at least uncomfortable – experience (mammograms are not typically pain-free, even though they aren’t invasive) and turns it into something totally different.

Not just health care.

Long-time readers are no doubt wondering where the measurement is. How do we know this is effective? Note the URL. Yeah, it’s too small, but it’s there.

If they are tracking the markets where this appears, are they also sending an email or postcard to their patients to reference the commercial, perhaps point them at YouTube and get them in for a mammogram?

Hard to say, but that’s what should be happening.

The main reason I wanted you to see this was so you could absorb and ponder how they took a cold, sometimes painful (or at least uncomfortable), sterile procedure and turned a discussion about it into a warm, kinda-wow experience.

And how you can do the same if you have something of that nature that you sell – particularly if it is as important as a mammogram.


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Obama and Don K Infomercials: Breeding familiarity

The other night after the Obama infomercial, there was a 30 minute infomercial-style video by a local Chevy dealer in Whitefish (not the same dealer that Jim the birthday phone caller works for) on one of the cable channels here in the Flathead Valley.

While there were a few rough places, it was a nice, home-grown piece that introduced the staff, talked about their experience, educated you about their business and their staff.

It was similar in strategy to Obama’s infomercial – and several million dollars cheaper:)

A friendly, informal, not overproduced video like this was ideal for familiarizing you with things and people in their biz so that when you actually visit, you feel that deja-vu, I’ve been a customer before feeling – even if you aren’t.


Raising your comfort level simply by seeing places and faces you’ve seen before, and hearing voices you’ve heard before.

Don K’s place is informal, not stuffy. You expect humor and shooting from the hip – just like in the video – but always with a purpose.

One of the staff introduced a new guy as having 30 days of experience at the dealer, but 29 years in sales. They promoted him as having lots of knowledge about sales, which was one of the few trip ups in this piece. “Knowing a lot about sales” is absolutely NOT what people come to a car dealer for.

The finance guy was great. Talked about warranties and loans in a common sense, interesting fashion (hard to believe, isn’t it?) as well as a bunch of other stuff. He was very personable.

The service guy was a fish out of water. They probably should have found someone else in that department to talk as he just didn’t seem comfortable. Be sure the people you choose are right for the task. It just isn’t some folks’ cup of tea – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

No other dealer around here has bothered to do something like this.

I suspect this 30 minute infomercial (Don K’s) was bought as remainder time, which is time that gets used (like on the radio) when they don’t have ad space or programming sold already. You don’t have to buy 30 minutes worth of expensive prime TV time to get eyeballs.

I hope Don adds clips of the video to YouTube and puts them on his site. That’s what you should be doing as well.

Breed familiarity with your staff and your business. Video is but one tool to use for that purpose.

All you need is an outline for your message, a $50 webcam and YouTube. What are you waiting for?

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Flip Video: One person’s design is another’s ridiculous annoyance

Recently, I bought my son a Flip Ultra video recorder so he could easily take and send videos of my new granddaughter.

If you haven’t seen the Flip video recorder yet, it’s a nifty little device about 4″ tall, 2″ wide and less than an inch thick. Their newest model (which the store didn’t have) is even smaller and thinner.

It has a flip out USB port to attach to your computer and the device appears as a hard drive so you can simply drag and drop videos from it to your system. Easy as pie. In fact, it even automatically installs its little viewer software when you first plug it in.

For a $149 device, it works great.

2 button presses turn it on and start recording, 1 more stops it. It’d be great for recording business processes for training purposes in your business, as well as putting instructional or marketing (etc) videos on your website.

There are a few gotchas though, and one is pretty Flippin’ annoying.

First: when the software is first installed, it also installs muvee (a movie editing program). It doesn’t ask if it can install it, or if you need it, it assumes you do. I don’t and that was a minor annoyance. In 1998, installing unneeded software was standard behavior. This, however, is 2008.

Second: and this is the big one – the Flip people decided to use some mysterious video codec (3ivx) that isn’t part of Windows, and that Windows Media Player doesn’t know about.

Result: Taking and distributing videos just went from easy as pie to a royal PITA. Now you must convert them to flash (.swf) using some other software – and only on the machine where you installed the Flip, since it has the codec installed when you plug in the Flip recorder to your computer’s USB port.

Sorry folks, but this isn’t as simple as falling down. It’s a pain in the rump roast. There’s a reason why software uses common standards: so that stuff like this doesn’t happen. Proprietary codecs are so 1998.

Oddly enough, the 3ivx codec was recently included in Apple iMovie, so hey, 15% of the free world can play the videos for free. How’s that for a viral marketplace?

Your business lesson? Making it drop dead easy for your clients doesn’t stop at 50%. The premise of these cameras is easy videoing and sharing. They got it half right. Don’t make the same mistake with your products and services.

Use standards when issues like this can appear. Set standards everywhere else.