Alec Baldwin…Right or Wrong?


Starbucks Holiday 2.0

Get ready for Starbucks Holiday 2.0. The brand is going big in social media this year, having learned that its consumers want to participate in a variety of ways. So Starbucks is pulling back from itsThanksgiving TV buys of the past two years to focus on where its customers already spend time online and drive them into stores.

Starbucks is spreading the love around, advertising on websites from to Meebo; partnering with Pandora to offer branded holiday playlists; and encouraging participation in social and owned media to get consumers in the holiday spirit.

The chain is continuing its partnership with Red, launched last Thanksgiving, by offering a free “All You Need Is Love” CD, with tracks from U2, John Legend and the Dave Matthews Band, when consumers spend $15. Additionally, Starbucks will give $1 to fight AIDS in Africa.

There are also a variety of holiday-themed “Red” products for which Starbucks will also make the $1 donation with a customer purchase. This represents a stepped-up version of last year’s offer, which was a five-cent donation made when consumers bought a holiday beverage such as a peppermint mocha.

Starbucks said it has learned that different people want to connect in different ways, so Starbucks is offering a variety of touch-points. Of their 5 million [fans] on Facebook, not everyone is going to want the same thing.

For instance, last year Starbucks encouraged consumers to stop in, buy a holiday beverage, take pictures of themselves inside Project Red’s logo parentheses, and upload their pictures to a Red holiday microsite. To make it easier, this year Starbucks is hosting a Flickr page where consumers can upload pictures of themselves with their holiday paraphernalia. They can also do so on Facebook, where fans can also send their friends red Starbucks cups.

The Starbucks shutterbugs are among the chain’s biggest fans, valuable evangelists for the brand who educate friends and family about what’s new at the chain.

For music lovers, Starbucks is partnering with Pandora in the hope that consumers will be thinking about Starbucks while listening to music, and perhaps will be more likely to pop by for a gingerbread latte. The branded playlist on the music site is designed to get consumers into the store to spend $15 and get the “Love” CD. Starbucks is paying Pandora for ad placement.

“New Moon” on Mobile

Summit Entertainment is partnering with AT&T to build excitement for the Nov. 20 release of the second film installment of its Twilight Saga franchise.

AT&T will host advance screenings of the film sequel “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”—including a special cast-member appearance—in Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas on Nov. 19. In addition, photo and video content, a mobile trivia game from RealArcade Mobile and ringtones are currently available via AT&T Share on Facebook and wireless handsets from AT&T. 

“AT&T has a rich history of aligning our brand with other industry leaders—from corporate America to sports to entertainment,” said Chris Schembri, vice president of media services at AT&T, Dallas, TX. “In addition, we are continuously looking for ways to better connect our consumers with our greatest asset—our network—in ways that are meaningful, exciting and easily accessible to them.

“We feel aligning ourselves with the Twilight Saga franchise allows us to accomplish both of these missions,” he said. “One of the great things about the Twilight Saga is that it appeals to a variety of target demographics for AT&T; tweens and teens, college students, young adults and beyond.” 

“In addition, it draws in both women and men with its unique storylines, action and romance themes.”

Through Nov. 12, moviegoers will have the opportunity to win one pair of tickets to an advance screening of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” in Atlanta, Chicago or Dallas on Thurs., Nov. 19 at 9:30 p.m., which will include a special appearance and question-and-answer session by a cast member from the film.

In This Economy, You Must Brand Yourself

I have blogged about this before especially now that so many of us are out of work, looking for employment or even looking for freelance business.

The concept of personal branding has been around for more than a decade, but the Internet and social networking have made it easier than ever to sell brand “you.”
fbook eye

The basic idea of personal branding is to promote yourself as having certain values, skills or expertise, your brand, so that if someone needs that expertise, they’ll come to you first.

While many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of marketing themselves as a commodity, others see it as part of the changing world of work.

Professor David James is director of the school of growth, innovation and enterprise at Henley School of Business, in England. says “We’re in an age when corporate businesses don’t care for you as an individual any more — you’re just an employee number.

“They will outsource you, insource you, relocate you, and de-locate you in whatever way they think suitable. Therefore you have to look after number one, and personal branding is really important.”

So how can we go about creating our own personal brand? James says the first step is to be clear about our strengths and our core values. Our brand identity needs to be a clear message of who we are and what we have to offer.

Give your “brand” a short and long-term plan of where you want it to be, what job you want to have, and how you want people to perceive you.

Think about the people who can help get you where you want to be — they are your target audience. In the same way that a conventional brand markets itself to a certain demographic, you need to advertise your brand to your target audience.

“If you have a view that others want to hear, think about where your target audience goes for information and what media they consume, and then get your message to them,” James advises..

The Internet has made it easier than ever to reach out to your target audience. Blogging and social networking are powerful and readily accessible ways to promote yourself.

Dan Schawbel the author of “Me 2.0,” a book about personal branding says blogging has been crucial to building his own personal brand.
“Blogging is extremely important, but it’s very hard to be successful now because there are so many blogs.”

“To stand out you have to figure out your niche by doing research online and finding somewhere in the marketplace that isn’t completely saturated.”

As for the content of your blog, that depends on what you want to be known for, but Schawbel says you should be passionate about your subject matter and have expertise in the area, or no one will want to read what you have to say.

The next stage is to get a high search-engine ranking for the area you’ve made your niche, so that whenever anyone searches the Internet for that subject, your name comes up.

To that end, name your blog with your own name and your specialist area. Join in conversations about your subject on other blogs, always using your full name, your brand name.

Write articles for other Web sites and join social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, using them to build useful contacts and reflect your brand.

If all that strikes you as simply blowing your own trumpet, then you’d be right. “In a sense, it is shameless self publicity,” James claims.

Tell you children, If you work hard enough to make yourself good at what you do, then you have to tell people about it. Take command of the situation, know what you’re good at and shout it from the rafters.

Six Social Fashion Sites Worth a Look

This time of year with NewYork’s Fashion Week upon us is the perfect opportunity for designers to dynamically and creatively encourage and join the consumers in a discussion. Fashion fans are chomping at the bit for content from their favorite designers — which is why fashion sites are thriving. Fashion sites and indie fashion bloggers may not have the fashion critics’ pulpit (yet), but they are creating the future of the monthly glossy, and the future of the fashion Marcom system.

Step one is listening and engaging with your customers via social media channels, step two is to create social shopping opportunities and provide easy paths to purchase via social media channels. While designers may be apprehensive in giving up control, social media tools are actually launching pads for designers to strengthen their customer base and ultimately, grow their sales.

Here are six social fashion sites that every marketer worth her Prada handbag should be familiar with:


Shopflick combines videos and shopping to create a truly unique online fashion and shopping experience and social community. The site draws from a strong network of indie and up and coming designers to provide shoppers the ability to find cutting edge, unique items and to helps brand touch base and engage with current and new customers through branded online stores, video commerce widgets and much more.

Us Trendy

UsTrendy is a place where designers can post their portfolios, fans can judge them and then each season a collection is chosen using the most popular styles. Its tag line is, “…today’s inspiration… tomorrow’s trend…” UsTrendy produces the popular clothes and hosts events. They provide interaction and showcasing opportunities to designers, artists, models and fans through galleries, industry exposure, events and social networking connections. The site is a mash-up of and

stylecaster StyleCaster

StyleCaster is looking to become the future site of online fashion through optimized fashion advice that is targeted to each user. This is the Amazon of fashion sites, where with every click they get to know you personal preference and taste, thereby giving you educated advice and marketing. This site is a mash-up of social network, editorial content and shopping and has just been given 4 million in funding.

Sense of Fashion

Sense of Fashion is the marketplace for upstart fashion designers, fashion lovers and sellers. It has an eBay-like capability for people to sell their fashion, shop or interact in their social network. Fans can show off their individual styles, favorite brands or even do e-commerce. Their goal is to connect designers with the very people who may inspire them, to also provide a platform for users to show off and sell their merchandise.


Est.Today is a fashion site for tweens that gives young girls the ability to design, display and purchase their own clothes. With personal creativity being the most stylish accessory this season, and now that young girls are paving the way for many new trends today according to a recent article in British Elle, this site capitalizes a the younger generations need for individual creativity.

Style Hop

StyleHop combines fashion and gaming to provide users with a fun rating system to decide on the popularity of branded styles. It incorporates yelp-like functionality to provide viewers information on popular sweaters and shoes for certain cities. Brands are given visibility though outfits, and users are able to comment on each picture with the ability to share the pictures on their other networks.


McCartney will play in concert tonight one minute walk from my temporary digs in Atlanta. My client gave me a ticket and I am so pleased to go.
I last saw him with the Beatles in 1965 on August 18th when my dad against all odds got the wild idea to get us tickets and drive 5 hours (no Interstate highway in those days) to get us to the show also in Atlanta. A real tribute to him as most parents in those days frowned on the Fab Four.
beatles 1965 afc_01sm
beatles_ 1965 0818 bus Atlanta
This is the 40th anniversary of so many great things, Woodstock, the Moon walk and so on…so in keeping with the celebration (although this is the 44th anniversary to see Paul) I will walk the 20 meters to the concert!

Here is the set list a great mix of Beatles, solo and Wings hits…I will write more after the show.
Snapshot 2009-08-16 01-25-54
Talk about inflation!!! The ticket was $5.50, I saw District 9 last night for $10.50. This ticket was $84.50.

Japan Fashion and Diesel Jeans “Aliens”

Diesel “aliens” have set up 120 stores in 80 countries. They believe that their showpiece is their Japan flagship store, a three storey, and 640 square meter house of fun in Tokyo’s fashionable Harajuku.

Diesel already has several stores in Japan but a walk through the Harajuku premises is like visiting another world. The store manager, a young man sporting a pink topknot and little else in the hair department, greets you before bounding off to check a display, his cell phone permanently stuck to his ear.

Soon you are wandering around in an environment in which fashion, architecture and design blend together. Customers are served free drinks at the third floor cafe; PCs and CD players are set up for your enjoyment, whether you buy anything or not.

Rosso comes to Japan two or three times a year, seldom staying longer than 48 hours. When he is not working, he is out snowboarding, playing soccer or drinking with his staff and family. During a recent whirlwind trip to Tokyo, Rosso sat down with Japan Today editor Chris Betros to discuss the Diesel universe.

What do you think of Japanese fashions?

I think they’re great. I like how Japanese pick up fashion trends and then take them to the extreme. You don’t see that anywhere else in the world.

Where do your clothing engineers get their ideas?

We’re a global product, so we draw on every culture. Each one of our designers is provided with funding for at least two research expeditions to go anywhere in the world. When they come back, we all get together and take some things from Japan, France, America or wherever.
I like to think of Diesel as a giant tree whose roots are Italian with different branches representing various countries. We started off selling jeans. Now we are selling a way of life.

And what’s that?

You should turn your back on the style dictators and forecasters and let your own tastes lead you. Sampling, mixing and style surfing are the best ways to go.

Do young Japanese like the same outfits as their counterparts overseas?

Kids are the same all over the world. Up until about ten or even five years ago, that wasn’t always the case. But today, Japanese kids like the same fashions, supermodels, film stars and sports superstars as anywhere else.

An important point is that Diesel’s target is as Rosso calls them, kids…18 to 24.

If we are to have a future in Japan we must target youth…if we are perceived to be the brand for older Japanese trying to remain hip we will be rejected. In a yearly research survey conducted by Infoplan called Japan Insights it is apparent in their findings that middle-aged men and women aspire downward to younger fashion trendsetters.