Thursday, December 18

Electronic Holiday Cards

(this article also appears on Huffington Post -- click here if you prefer to read it there)

'Tis the season to exchange greetings...and for me it's one of the best parts of the celebration.

As the world has gone digital, so too have holiday greetings. And I'm okay with that, particularly in business. My inbox is flooded with electronic cards wishing us well, from colleagues I know well to those who I've just recently just met. It's a lot of fun to see what people can do creatively in the electronic business.

For work, the electronic greeting card makes a lot of sense...especially for those of us who travel or are not in the office all of the time.

But I have to admit that I feel very differently about the personal side of holiday greetings. I have to be honest and say that I don't really like electronic greetings from family and friends. Sure, I'll take them and I will open them and I am thankful to hear from everyone...but I don't enjoy them as much as the ones that I get to open in the snail mail.

Especially the ones that have pictures of the family.

Maybe I'm old fashioned that way. For years, I agonized and sweat-ed out the details to put together our holiday card with a picture of the kids. It was a lot of work getting the right photo, getting it printed, signing each one, addressing the envelopes, and yes licking the stamps.  Licking! I was so happy when I could switch to the self-adhesive variety.

Which is why I appreciated each and every card that I received as well. Especially the ones that were hand signed.

Now those days are over for me...the kids are grown up and they'd kill me if I asked them to do a holiday card. But that doesn't mean I don't want to receive and see the ones from my friends. Bring it on! 

I toiled for twenty years dishing those puppies out, and I want to see yours! The old fashioned way, if you are up for it.

I want to get paper cuts as I open the envelopes. I want to chuckle as I read your type-written year-end recaps.  And I want to marvel at how much your kids have grown in the past year.

Please don't send that to me electronically. They pile up in my inbox right along side the rest of my to-do list. Don't take that thrill of the mail box away from me.

It's the holidays! It's tradition!

And I guess it's now up to me to reinvent my holiday card, from the empty nest!

What's your experience?  JIM.

Wednesday, December 17

Kmart Holiday Advertising

I have to admit, Kmart has had some standout advertising the last couple of years, particularly during the holiday season.

I mean let's face it, they had us at "I shipped my pants."

Technically, I don't even think that was advertising but when the viral video went so viral, it translated over to broadcast.

I think the same thing happened with "Jingle Bells" for Joe Boxer for last year's holiday season.  That was a big hit ...

Sure, it came with a little controversy but I think that was the point.  Social media was jingling too.

The brand came back this year with a sequel.  Like most sequels though, it's not as good as the original.

IMHO it just doesn't stack up ... it doesn't have nearly the same combination of holiday naughty and nice.  In fact I wasn't even going to mention anything until I got a text (a series of texts actually) from my daughter at college.  All of her friends had been talking about yet another sequel, this one with "dancing pregnant ladies" and she persuaded me to write about it.

I do what I'm told.

True, I'm scratching my head on this one.  It's certainly part of the campaign, and it's certainly drawing a little attention.  And it's certainly communicating mobility and comfort, also part of the campaign.

But dancing pregnant women?  For the holiday?

I don't know ... you be the judge.

Entertainment?  Hype for hype sake?  Are you rushing off to put a pair under your tree?

What's your experience?  JIM

Tuesday, December 16

Facebook's Most Shareable Moments of 2014

I just love year-end lists ... and this one from Facebook is right there among the best.

It also, not so subtly, reinforces what the brand is all about ... sharing.

After all, if it isn't worth sharing then it just might not have happened!

Click here to look at the video, and to relive what we shared the most this year.

It's fabulous.  Happy Holidays.  What's your experience?  JIM.

Monday, December 15

So How Was Your Year?

It's the most frequently asked question around this time every year ... how was your year?

I answered that question in a post for Entrepreneur.

Click here if you'd like to give it a read.

Happy Holidays ... what's your experience?  JIM