Wednesday, September 17

CoverGirl, Intercepted

My social channels were buzzing all day yesterday with friends trying to make sure I saw what happened with CoverGirl and the NFL.

It was a cramped day, so truthfully I had no idea.   I clearly know what's going on with the NFL ... but with CoverGirl?  All of these messages were making me so anxious ... I had to find out what was going on.

Luckily, I was teaching my NYU class last night so I asked my students and they schooled me.

Turns out that the official NFL CoverGirl advertising had been intercepted (so to speak) to make a point.

As an official sponsor, Cover Girl had recently launched a new campaign targeting female football fans, of which there are many.  In fact many say that 50% of the football viewership is from women.

Given my friends' fascination, I would tend to believe that fact.

A sponsorship of the league makes total sense, but not necessarily when there are issues with domestic violence swirling around.

To make a point regarding the scandal that the NFL is currently facing, some protesters used the campaign and altered the messaging to put pressure on the NFL, and perhaps on the brands that sponsor it.

Issues aside, this is a great example of consumers hijacking a brand's message and forcing its hand.

CoverGirl responded appropriately, I have to say, with a statement and a statement.  The brand is not dropping its sponsorship, yet is using its power to encourage the NFL to take appropriate behavior.  A lesson learned in letting go, hanging on, taking responsibility, and having a point of view.  Well done.

Let's hope it all makes a difference, especially as we start to see other sponsors take a similar stand.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Monday, September 15


"So what did you do on your summer vacation?"

My answer is in this article I wrote for Huffington Post.

Click here if you'd like to hear about my work-cation!

What did you do?  What's your experience?  JIM

Sunday, September 14

#NYFW2014 - Fashion Week News

Last week was Fashion Week in New York and you could certainly feel the buzz in the air, without a doubt.  The restaurants were packed, taxis were all jammed, and the news was filled with notes of fashion.  It's one of the best weeks in New York.

E! was filming and reporting from the official events all week long, so all you had to do to keep up was click on the channel or the website.  For this week, E! became Fashion TV, although I must admit that I terribly miss Joan.

The hero of the week was Ralph Lauren, whose Vegas-style "4-D" extravaganza in Central Park (at 9:30pm Monday night) was a show-stopper for sure.

But not all of the news was tied to official Fashion Week events.

The show-stealer of the week was the appropriately named "Scarf Guy" who took over the social media buzz when we first saw him during the Apple brand announcement last week.  Having nothing to do with Fashion Week, he certainly made the fashion news around the country.

One brand that took away it's "brand" a few weeks back was still the talk of the town ... Abercrombie & Fitch.  They recently announced that the brand name will no longer appear so outwardly and dominantly on its clothing.  The announcement included "research" that their millennial consumers don't like overt branding, so the brand is merely addressing their customer's needs.  Many beg to differ:  it's the Abercrombie & Fitch brand that they don't want.

The over-exposed award goes to Kendall Jenner who is already managing to wear herself out.  She was everywhere during Fashion Week, and always in front of a camera.  While many says she's a beauty, many also say she'll be done before her time if she doesn't take it easy.

What a week!  Anything to report on your end?  What's your experience?  JIM.

Thursday, September 11


What's up with waffles?  WTW.

It seems like every time I turn around, there's another "restaurant" selling waffles ... premium waffles at that.

Ice cream shops, diners, Taco Bell, and even high end restaurants. Cafe Bene, new to New York, has a whole line dipped in different flavors.  Food trucks pull up in front of stores and office buildings, making homemade waffles on the spot.  Everyone is talking about Liege Waffles, and in fact some are even importing them from Belgium just so they can be totally authentic.

I was talking to a restaurateur the other day who just bought special waffle making machines from Europe that exclusively press the exclusive mix of Liege Waffles that they are importing.  She's invested a substantial amount of money, hoping people are going to come for miles to try her waffles.

Me, I'm waffling.  I make them at home for sure, but I wouldn't go out of my way for them.

And let me tell you, people are picky.  If the caramelized sugar isn't quite right, then they're not quite Liege Waffles.  Next.

Have waffles replaced the cupcake that replaced the donut that replaced the chocolate chip cookie?

Just maybe.  What's your experience?  JIM.