Sunday, August 24, 2008

Update: R-word on Project 96.1

I wrote McDonald's and asked them to pull their advertising from 96.1 because the station made fun of people with intellectual disabilities who can't always defend themselves. Unfortunately, I got a canned response from McDonald's saying they were sorry I was offended by their commerical (it wasn't even their commerical) and they base their decision to advertise on a particular station because of it's listener demographics. But for the last week, I haven't heard the "Retard Alert" on Project 96.1. It's usually on during the Giant Show in the morning. And I haven't been able to find it on their Web site.

Has anyone heard the "Retard Alert" on the show in the last week?

Special Olympics is campaigning against the use of the R-word. Check out the Web site here:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Advertisers should listen to the stations they use

Before buying radio ads for your company try to listen to the station first, instead of signing off after studying listener demographics.

96.1 in Atlanta has a "Retard Alert" segment.
Here in Atlanta, Project 96.1 has a morning radio show called Retard Alert where they blast obnoxious warning sounds and "Retard Alert" "Retard Alert." One morning, callers told the morning personalities about when they felt like a "R-word."

And after all the national protests of the movie Tropic Thunder, of how the movie portrays actors portraying people with mental and intellectual disabilities, 96.1 blatantly makes fun of people with intellectual disabilities. It seems that people with intellectual disabilities are among the last group to continue to be made fun of without repercussions.

Here are a few things the radio station should think about:
- People with intellectual disabilities also listen their music and station. Already many of 96.1 listeners were picked on in school and elsewhere, also in their adult lives with the word retard or hearing the word whispered behind their backs, and it's not over. There's still a popular radio station covering several counties surrounding Atlanta saying it again and making fun of them again. It's hurtful and not funny at all.
- People with intellectual disabilities are productive citizens in the Atlanta community that offer help to other groups and many work full-time jobs.
- They also go to restaurants, shops and malls and spend money that help build our economy. And they deserve to be treated with respect or dignity, just like you do.

Radio Shack, McDonald's and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
So far, I've found that Radio Shack, McDonald's and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse advertise on 96.1. I'll listen for more advertisers and will give you updates. They have aligned themselves with a radio station who indirectly attacks a group of people that can't always defend themselves. Do those companies feel the same way 96.1 does?

Show you care about your community and people with intellectual disabilities and don't frequent those places. And let the companies know and ask them to stop advertising on 96.1.

Make a guest comment to Ruth Chris's Steakhouse here.
Ask the marketing people by e-mailing:
Let McDonald's know here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

From me to you: Try Seasons 52

Warning: Business promotion follows: Where have I been? After so many fast food lunches of Taco Bell, McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Subway, Jersey Mikes etc., I saw the answer to my guilty hunger today: Seasons 52. This restaurant uses fresh ingredients and cooks in a way where nutrients aren't lost and just about each meal is under 435 calories. There is one outside of Atlanta near my work, in Buckhead, Orlando and probably other places. (The photo above is the one in Orlando, but looks similar to the one I visited today for a going away lunch for a great co-worker and friend Jasmine McGinnis.) Hours after lunch I'm still excited I know where this place is now.

These places are going to be everywhere.
I predict these restaurants are going to pop up everywhere. How often do you go to a restaurant where you don't have to worry about what you get, just pick something that looks good! You don't have to do the pros and cons unless you're allergic.

This place is awesome.
From looking at their awards page, they've already had great publicity by winning awards most recently for Best Business in Buckhead to Best New Restaurant. They say the word of mouth and peer to peer communication about a particular subject is the most powerful. And I liked this place so much I'd be tempted to take their brochures with me to places like Arden's Garden, REI, my Hot Atlanta Yoga Studio, my general practitioner's office -- anywhere people want to be healthy. Maybe they could send them coupons for free dinners there. (Taking a lesson from Brand Hijack.)They may not need the business though. (We had to make a reservation for lunch on a Tuesday.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

You've gotta read Brand Hijack.

I need to read it a few more times to really get the complex marketing discussion in Brand Hijack marketing without marketing (2005) by Alex Wipperfurt. But it'll be worth it. The book is a meaty explanation full of examples that explains how companies let the consumer define the brand and also how you can be successful if you take risks. It's complicated but Wipperfurt's style is humorous and easy to read. (And there's a great notes section in the back marked by chapters for reference.) Plus, Publishers Weekly, Wired News and Fast Company liked it too.

Here are a few interesting things I gleaned from the book:

  • Red Bull creators used a boycott and rumors (don't know if they were the squealers) of it being legal speed, from Bull's testicles and a magazine article calling it "liquid cocaine." And lucky for them, people talked to one another about the mystery and how it was a quick energy boost. Plus, at sometime or another everyone needs a pick-me-up, so it doesn't have a small audience.

  • P&G geniuses recruited dentists to sell the whitening kits in their offices. It also gave gift boxes to the Academy Award nominees. They marketed various groups especially the largest group of consumers: gay men, brides, teenage girls -- so they put up posters, and print ads with the "Smile Team"-- hunky men with beautiful teeth in predominantly gay neighborhoods. It sponsored film festivals and Pride Parades.

  • Find a social tribe and a narrow one to tap into your product. Those folks start trends. Dr. Martens marketed toward roadies, bouncers, working class people. Lots of things happened including the movie A Clockwork Orange featured a shoe that resembled Dr. Marten's and soon rebel types were wearing them and soon the ugly shoe became a star.

Here's a review of the book.