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Just Some Advertising Thoughts

I cannot help it.

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Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

This blog is about some of my rambling thoughts about advertising. I think this all started when I repeatedly kept seeing the same advertisement for pillows. It was driving me crazy.

It’s the ad where this couple…in their bathroom… notices the “My Pillow Guy”. I mean, come on. Why would it be acceptable to start an ad from the restroom. With a guy with “out of this world” hair coloring, staring at you from the mirror in your bathroom. Am I the only one who thinks this is a tremendously crazy idea. Seriously? I cannot stop typing about this! I do not want the “My Pillow Guy” in my bathroom. Get out!

Advertising is a funny thing. It gets into our mind. For instance, what comes to mind when I say it’s “finger lickin’ good”? You know!

In fact, here is a list of the most memorable slogans from the survey firm Survata . Can you finish them? I started us with the first most recognizable. I was going to put the answers at the bottom, but my copy and pasting skills…made it easier just to attach:

1. “Finger lickin’ good”, KFC 87.9%
2. “Every kiss begins with ___ “, Kay Jewelers 87.4%
3. “15 minutes could save you 15% or more”, Geico  82.3%
4. “Just do it”, Nike 82.3%
5. “Snap, Crackle, Pop”, Rice Krispies 79.5%
6. “You’re in good hands”, Allstate 78.2%
7. “Taste the rainbow”, Skittles 75.1%
8. “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”, M&Ms 73.2%
9. “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s ____ “, Maybelline 69.3%
10. “I’m lovin’ it”, McDonalds 68.9%
11. “____ is on your side”, Nationwide 68.8%
12. “They’re G-r-r-reat!”, Frosted Flakes 68.3%
13. “We have the meats”, Arby’s 67.8%
14. “The king of beers”, Budweiser 66.1%
15. “M’m! M’m! Good!”, Campbell’s 62.1%
16. “It gives you wings”, Red Bull 59.3%
17. “The happiest place on Earth”, Disney 58.7%
18. “The breakfast of champions”, Wheaties 57.1%
19. “Can you hear me now?”, Verizon 54.9%
20. “Taste so good, cats ask for it by name”, Meow Mix 53.9%
21. “Eat fresh”, Subway 52.4%
22. “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” FedEx 52.4%
23. “At the corner of happy and healthy”, Walgreens 51.5%
24. “Betcha can’t eat just one”, Lays 50.7%
25. “The snack that smiles back”, Goldfish 49.0%

These are slogans that are currently in use. There are a few on there that I do not ever remember hearing. The Goldfish slogan? Really? Is it wrong that I cannot stop myself when I start eating Goldfish. Are 5,000 goldfish too many in one seating?

I might have thrown in “When it rains it pours” but I suspect that has come and gone. I guess the slogan “Don’t marry King Henry VIII” is more advice than slogan?

I like the “advertising” Facebook post of my friend, Ken Price. He posted, “I want to be buried in a transparent casket. Good idea? Remains to be seen“. Hahahahahaha (I think that is hilarious)

We are always in search of new ideas for our advertisements. Ultimately, I always find us back to “We will come to you”. I guess that qualifies as our slogan! At least one of them.

And finally, this post makes me laugh. A roommate playing a prank. I guess this is “bad marketing”.

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Completely Distracted Blogging!

It’s Thursday and it’s one of those weeks! I feel like I should be able to solve the question of who turned donut holes into profit? Isn’t that turning a negative into a positive?

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How did that get there?

Something happened on my way to blogging.

Ok, I admit it. I started to blog and then I got sidetracked by trying to find pic o’ day… and this happened!

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And I understand this math!

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and this one seems like intellectual humor. I’m just saying!

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And that’s Our Thursday Blog!

 

 

STOP CALLING?

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Are you tired of getting phone calls from strange numbers. Or worse yet, now the calls are coming from phone numbers that look familiar. Telemarketers have taken their schemes to a whole new level of “fake” caller i.d. numbers. Sometimes I answer and sometimes I don’t. Each time it irritates me. I know the same thing is happening to you.

I find myself hollering at a prerecorded voice, “I don’t need a new deal on my cable TV“. Do people still have cable? And what happened to all those lonely cable boxes? I seem to remember that someone suggested that you make cat beds out of them. That is a horrible idea!

I don’t need to hear about insurance or their concern about my car maintenance plan. And now I strangely receive calls… and no one is there. I have found myself repeatedly saying “Hello...Hello“.  What in the world? What is going on?

I remember hearing a warning not to answer phone callers who immediately ask, “Can you hear me?”. Supposedly, when the person would say “Yes“, their voice could be used for fraudulent credit card approvals. Come on!

So what can we do besides throwing our phones out and hollering real loudly. Or, hooking up the two Campbell Soup cans to string, to talk to each other. (Do you remember that?)

Let me attach two articles from USA Today that can better describe the problems as well as identify possible actions that you can take to protect yourself.

The first is titled The robocall battle continues at the FCC and the FTC. (Here)

The article reports that the Federal Communication Commission gets about 200,000 complaints about robocalls each year. In 2017, The Federal Trade Commission received 4.5 million complaints about unwanted calls. Now according to the agency, they get about 400,000 daily. Fraud from unwanted calls is reportedly costing about $9.5 billion annually.

The article goes on to discuss the actions being taken and the regulations that are being proposed, to track these callers and to stop them. The government also calls on consumers to notify the FTC and FCC about robocall complaints at ftc.gov/calls and fcc.gov/robocalls.

The FTC representative quoted in the article notes that “The FTC is publishing complaint data daily, which is helping in the fight. Companies are sharing information with each other to trace back illegal robocalls.” Also, both agencies have a Stop Illegal Robocalls Tech Expo scheduled for April 23 in Washington.

The second article:  How to stop those annoying endless robocalls to your smartphone (Here) gives ideas on what we can do personally.

Ideas include googling your phone number to see if it is being fraudulently used; add your number to the National Do Not Call list; use your phone settings to block numbers; and purchasing apps that assist in blocking and eliminating these calls.

The article is thought-provoking. (I find that so descriptive. Plus, apparently I am fascinated with random thoughts in quotes.)  The cost and applications are discussed.  I also have to show respect to the marketing idea of naming an app NoMoRobo!

And finally for Our Pic O’ Day:

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A Movie… Predicting Technology?

It’s Monday… is it time to refuel?

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I know… I am being crazy. I didn’t want to seem mean with that picture. I really can relate! In the past, I can remember “rewarding” myself with cake. (and maybe cheesecake too) And how can you be angry at cake?

Now… on to some smart stuff:

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OK, some real smart stuff.

Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is turning 50 years-old next month. (Wikipedia) It was the highest grossing movie of 1968. In 1991, it was described as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry

But how did the writer/director (Kubrick) and writer (Arthur C. Clarke) see into the future of technology and predict the iPad and flat screen televisions?

In the movie, there are flat screened tablet computers. Of course, this was long before there was any talk of flat-screened televisions. It did not make the final cut of the movie, but the original plan was to even include a touch screen. Here is a shot from the movie:

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These “tablet computers” were called “Newspads“. They looked portable in the movie, even though they were welded into the tables for special effect purposes.

So how did they do it? Kubrick and Clarke met with an MIT cognitive scientist, who was also an artificial intelligence pioneer. The artificial intelligence computer in the movie is named “HAL” which stood for “Heuristic Algorithmic”. That meeting, coupled with their own thoughts is part of the history of how they did it.

The Wikipedia attachment does more justice to the production and legacy of the movie. In fact, I was going to compare some of this technology to Facebook. Then, I read about how this movie was included in a recent lawsuit. (Wall Street Journal article that requires subscription, so not attached)

It is probably not surprising that the lawsuit involves Apple. The first iPad was released in 2010. Samsung released a sim­i­lar de­vice about a year later. Then, Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement.

Samsung’s defense to the lawsuit alleged that Apple did not invent the iPad. The proof was that the device was already in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Right in the pleadings! You did not invent what was shown in 1968.

Sam­sung’s movie defense included photos attached to their answer, as well as YouTube links from the film.  The judge ul­ti­mately ruled that the photos and links were in­ad­mis­si­ble as ev­i­dence. But, this just added to the mystique of the movie and Kubrick’s vision of the future of technology.

I have always been fascinated with Steve Job’s determination about that lawsuit:

I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this.” —Steve Jobs to Walter Isaacson, March 2010.

Here is more information on what happened in the lawsuit. (here) How about that?

And for pic o’ day, I searched for a “smart picture and we ended up with… more smart pups:

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Happy Too!

I always like to start Our Monday Blog with some positivity. This pic o’ qualifies as reaching goals. Right?

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While driving down the road recently, I saw a billboard advertisement for a grocery store chain that simply said, “Groceries Delivered“. That seems to meet a need, but it also is becoming more popular. Perhaps the aggressiveness of Amazon is causing everyone to step up their game in the grocery business.

I remember being one of the first law firms to advertise “We will come to you“. I had noticed a trend of several new potential clients failing to show up for their appointments at the office. I learned that once someone had crashed their car, it made it very difficult to come to our office. Missing the appointment made total sense. I had to come up with a solution… going to their home on their time.

Which brings me to the thought of how to step up our service now? What message or new service could I advertise.

I love the positivity of my father-in-law. When someone asks him for help, he regularly responds with, “Happy Too“. Be willing and ready to help! If I could convey that in all of our ads… then I have maintained our true hopeful message. If someone needs our help… I hope that they feel our response of “Happy Too”!

 

And finally, for our pic o’ day, I think many of us relate to this as we sit in that chair!

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When To Settle!

I missed blogging yesterday. So, let’s start with some food thought… move to the legal part of the blog (which you are probably thinking  is highly unusual) … and on to some “exercise”. A real plan!!!

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It takes two to tango is a phrase from a 1952 song that has become synonymous with cooperation. President Ronald Reagan used it when discussing Russian and American relations during a 1982 presidential press conference. I have heard it applied to the negotiations during lawsuits.

If one party does not want to settle, it makes it nearly impossible to resolve a case. When a client asks me early in the case whether I think their case will settle, I sometimes mention the Two to Tango analogy. However, the “want to settle” may get influenced, if the assigned judge in the case tells the parties that “you better get this settled“.

I have seen corporations like Walmart and Food Lion take the corporate approach that “you can file suit against us, but be prepared to go to court because we don’t settle cases“. Ultimately, their yearly financial data will tell them if that policy makes financial sense in handling lawsuits. And that can lead to a change in corporate policy.

There are some lawyers that will not take cases against corporations with a no settlement policy, They know that they will have to file suit. And that’s what these companies count on in coming up with that claim policy. On the flipside, not settling cases can lead to significant defense costs and large jury verdicts. That is the corporate balance to weigh.

Yesterday, USA Today had a story (here) titled Trump golf club settles suit from former members seeking refunds. President Trump has previously said that he does not like to settle lawsuits and prefers to fight them. But in this case, he has settled with former members at his golf course in Florida.

The original lawsuit had been brought by golfers who previously purchased memberships at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Course, before Trump bought it in 2012. The golfers sued, claiming that he failed to return their previously refundable deposits that ranged from $35,000 to $210,000, after the ownership change.

According to court documents, Trump National Golf Club agreed to pay nearly $5.44 million to the members who were part of a class action. After legal fees, each of the plaintiffs will end up with about 71% of the refunds they sought, according to the ruling.

When I saw this article, it reminded me of a case that I handled long ago against Food Lion. My client had received about $4000 in chiropractic care, as a result of a fall in one of their grocery stores. Because Food Lion’s strategy was to never pay (at that time), we went to trial in Norfolk Federal Court.

Magistrate William Prince (a former defense lawyer before he went on the federal bench) did not think much of my claim, and dismissed it at the end of the two day trial. He did not let the jury return a verdict after sitting for the entire case. As an energetic crazy young lawyer, I was truly ticked off with the dismissal of the case… and appealed to the 4th Circuit.

At the conclusion of the appellate argument, it was clear from the questions of the panel that the justices were going to rule for my client, and all indications seemed to point to a return of the case back to the trial level, solely on the issue of damages.

One of my great memories from of all my years of trial work includes this case. That’s because, on the way out of the appellate court room that day, the defense attorney turned to me and said, “This is one case that Food Lion should have settled long ago“.

Soon thereafter, I received a call from that lawyer that led to a very satisfying settlement for my client. We caused a change in corporate policy… at least for that day!

 

And finally, in the introduction I promised something about exercise. This counts… right?

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Close the App Loophole

There are some things worthy of being consumed. Fortunately, the Virginia legislature is still turning its attention to distracted driving. Because drivers do more than text.

The Virginia Lawyers Weekly blog just reminded me that in Virginia, it is still legal for drivers to view apps on their phones like Facebook or Twitter, while they are driving. But the Virginia legislature is paying attention.

Del. Christopher Collins, R-Winchester has introduced House Bill 181 to broaden the existing distracted driving law. It would make it a violation of the law for any use of a cell phone while driving. It would also remove a defense. Currently if a police officer wants to cite you for texting and driving, you could presumably just say that “No, I was just checking my Facebook“.

As Delegate Collins explained,  “This law goes after those individuals who are staring at their phone to the point that it diverts their attention from driving along the road“.

As noted in the blog, Janet Brooking, executive director of Drive Smart Virginia, has indicated that her organization supports the bill.  She explains, “If the bill doesn’t pass, people are going to continue to die,” She referenced that there had been an 11 percent increase in traffic fatalities in the past year in Virginia.

This bill is really about saving lives and changing behavior,” she said. “This is an issue that has to be addressed.

On its face you are probably thinking, “This sounds like a good idea”. Here’s the opposing side according to the blog,

Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D-Richmond, spoke in opposition to the bill on the House floor. He said that while he agreed with the bill in theory, he felt it was written ambiguously and could be used as a precedent for bad acting officers to pull over and harass people, particularly people of color.

My heart goes out to every family who has had to deal with a fatality because of a distracted driving accident,” Bourne said. “But equally important and valuable are those drivers who after a pre-textual stop had a fatal encounter with a bad actor who was charged and responsible for keeping our community safe.

He has introduced a different bill to stop distracting driving, that would make it so that police could only pull people with phones…if they are driving recklessly. I guess his reasoning is a “cause and effect bill“.

So there are two sides of the issue. I am glad that no one is trying to introduce No driving with a coffee cup in hand! Just sayin’!

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And for pic o’ day, all I can say is Hahahahahahahaha!

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Advice From Past and Present

I expect to get an immediate reaction from you! From 1950. “Tips to Look after your husband“.

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I knew that you would have an emotional reaction! Remember, this is what some were thinking in 1950. I don’t expect that these wives really felt like they were “living”.

It’s all about advice. I say that because I keep getting emails that give me all kinds of advice on shopping, “lawyering” and financial ideas. Plus, there are emails trying to get me all riled up politically. And I haven’t even mentioned Facebook posts.

I guess it all comes down to knowing who you should listen to. Like maybe Lincoln should have gotten this advice from an elementary school kid:

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Now that would have been good advice!

Or maybe even good cooking advice!

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This is on my mind, because it is about this time of year, that we decide on what seminars lawyers from the firm should attend for the year. There are all kinds of ways “to do it better”. I just think that you have to stop and really think whether these “experts” have the right way of doing things.

Think about it. In life, who should we listen to?  Don’t you think that sometimes common sense just rules the day. You know what is the right. It’s that inner voice. That’s the advice that we should listen and apply!  And just as the ending of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” ends with…and that has made all the difference!

And for pic o’ day, this picture just strikes a familiar chord with me:

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Positivity Over Negativity. (Plus Barney Fife!)

In the world of strange facts, dolphins sleep with one eye open. That doesn’t seem like good rest! Maybe there are just some things that are not meant to be seen!

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This is really a blog about negativity… and then positivity.

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I read over the weekend that Lindsay Vonn had announced that she would not be attending the White House as a winning Olympic athlete. Then, in her first event, she failed to medal in the downhill Super G and dropped to sixth in the standings. (ESPN)  That’s when an avalanche of negativity hit her online.

Because of her previous political statement, she received tons of hate tweets. (USA Today) Such tweets as “You got what you deserved”, and “One loss down and only two more to go”. 

One USA teammate was sickened by the negativity directed at Vonn. She tweeted,  “It’s gross. I have been mistakenly getting her hate mail for weeks!”

A lot of times when I read a news article online, I find myself scrolling to the bottom of the article to read the comments. Even on tragic stories, you can find some of the meanest comments attached to the article. Sometimes it involves an attempt at bad humor, and other times just a remark about how the person deserved it.

Several years ago, one of my friends lost his mother in a car accident. There was a news article in the local paper that even included a picture of the her car that was in the crash. The story reported how she had been killed on impact. I was so saddened by the story and my friend’s loss. But sure enough, at the bottom of the article there were negative comments that included one that basically said, “She got what she deserved. Old people shouldn’t be driving anyway“.

The Vonn story is a reminder that there are people who think that their disagreement means that there is license to be mean. You can’t change the anger in society. You can only control your own thinking and how you treat others. Just typing that makes me feel like I need to post something right now, just to make me smile.

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I read that Vonn story while drinking coffee on Sunday morning. Then, during the Sunday morning church service, the minister included Psalms 103 in his message, and remarked that he thought that it was the most positive passage in the Bible. (Here)

 

The Psalm includes such verses as  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” and “Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul“.  Reading it made me feel positive. Being grounded in what is important and not to be influenced by the negativity of others. And then… I felt so positive!

Sure, some days it can feel like this… Right?

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But other days it’s really the positive!

 

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My Presidents Day Confusion

Is it possible to describe a Chrysanthemum? Are yoga pants made for working out or going to Starbucks? I felt that kind of confusion when I decided to write about Presidents Day.

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I thought I would just casually mention this Monday holiday. Then, as I researched it, I realized that it is one of the more curious Federal holidays. That it’s real purpose includes partly to allow Federal employees to be take a long lunch today, because it is meant to truly be their holiday. So maybe they will also be able to enjoy their Tarragon Chicken Salad for lunch at some local restaurant, instead of being at the office.

I am not even sure if it should be written as President’s Day, Presidents’ Day or simply without the possessive apostrophe.

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Are we observing George Washington’s Birthday, which has been legislatively moved to more convenient Mondays as of 1971. You might think we’re celebrating the combined birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Or, are we honoring the memory of all U.S. presidents past and present? Or are you still back on the thought of a Tarragon Chicken Salad?

After reading the Wikipedia page for President’s Day, I realized that I should have really called it Washington’s Birthday. If you click on the attachment, you will see that various states recognize this day by different names. Although, my reading comprehension got a little fuzzy when the descriptions also started using the term colloquially.

Here is the brief highlights of this day. In 1879, by an act of Congress, George Washington’s actual birthday became a Federal holiday. Then, in 1971, the Federal holiday was officially shifted to the third Monday of February. Nixon specifically wanted all Federal employees to have a longer weekend.

Federally, it is still called officially Washington’s Birthday. Which is why there is no right or wrong spelling for Presidents Day.

Of course, advertisements for washers and dryers, or cars, or clothes might still have a talking Thomas Jefferson thrown in there. And, many people believe that this is a day to honor all presidents. History.com gives a great summary of the history of the day.

Most of us who are at work today are getting bombarded with sales emails for Presidents’ Day. But at least it served as a reason to remind kids, in the days leading up to this holiday, to be taught about the accomplishments of Presidents. And especially Washington and Lincoln.

It is going to be a great Monday!

And finally, Our Pic o’day must remain Presidential thematic… right?

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