Several months back, I wrote a post about an article I read from a reporter on how annoyed he was that a huge percentage of news releases he came across used the word “excited” in their quotes. Evidently, Tim Tebow’s handlers haven’t been following Z2′s blog. Here’s an edited version of a press conference Tebow participated in earlier this week.

Clearly a case in which proper media training would have been beneficial. Or perhaps the media training was too good, telling Tebow to keep coming back to his point? Either way, something was off here.

March 30, 2012 · Posted by in pr  

Brand Overload!

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April wrote a post about her new favorite kind of Cheerios, and asked about putting a new spin on existing brands… but the curmudgeon in me wants to start my reply with “Well, when I was a kid…”

So I will.

(First, a disclaimer: I’m old. When I say “When I was a kid” I’m referring to the 1970s.)

So, when I was a kid, there was one kind of Oreo. There were not Oreo cookies filled with peanut butter, or orange creme for Halloween, or green stuff for St. Patrick’s Day, or dipped in fudge, or available in miniature sizes, or as an ice cream sandwich… We just ate plain old Oreo cookies and we survived. And it was good.

Oh sure, Oreo Double Stuf(f) came out in 1975, but it was one variation on the original, just with more… stuff.

But somewhere along the line, every product started to have all sorts of variations. Take the Ritz cracker. There was the plain old Ritz, and then Ritz Bits, and Rizt with cheese, and Ritz Sticks, and Ritz peanut butter and jelly. (Really!?)

Is it just the snack food industry that does this? If someone asks you for chips, do they want “regular” or cool ranch, or salt & vinegar, or jalapeño, or some other crazy flavor.

As of this post, I can view 47 different Oreo “products” available.

But is this all just the process of “extending the brand”? Are companies doing this sort of thing just to get more shelf space? To appeal to wider and more peculiar tastes? For publicity?

Oreo just had a birthday, and here at the office we had some sort of “Birthday Cake” Oreos and they were terrible. Well, I thought they were terrible, but as I said, I’m old. Maybe a kid would love them. (Especially a kid who loves cookies dipped in frosting and then rolled in sugar.)

Anyway, enjoy whatever weird flavored product you have in the name of extending a brand. :)

March 26, 2012 · Posted by in branding, marketing  

Ode to Cheerios

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A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a glorious new product at Pick ’n Save—Peanut Butter Cheerios. Previously I hadn’t been buying Cheerios because I thought the flavors were bland. But I just had to check out this new one. And let me tell you… ah-mazing. I was so happy with my new find that I’ve been eating them every day since. That was, until yesterday.

After work last night, I once again found myself scanning the cereal aisle for a box of my favorite new treat, and what do I discover? Drum roll, please… Dulce de Leche Cheerios! I could not believe my eyes. (Side note: I have a minor obsession with Dulce de Leche after last year’s trip to Puerto Rico in which I found myself eating it daily.) Needless to say, I’m in heaven.

Okay, enough discussion about breakfast cereal. What these recent findings reinforced for me is the importance of expanding upon a brand and its offerings. Yes, it is essential to stay true to your company and product, but in certain cases it is just as important to reinvent yourself from time-to-time. This will keep your current customers interested and draw potential customers back to your product. Now, what can you do to put a new spin on your brand?

March 23, 2012 · Posted by in branding, marketing  

Flying Around

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Every now and then here at Z2 we need to fly to some remote location, sometimes it’s for client meetings, and sometimes it’s for a location shoot. When we flew out to Arizona we actually bought a ticket for our RED ONE rather than check it. (You tend to do that when your camera costs more than your car.)

I’m no stranger to bringing cinema lenses or a matte box as my carry-on luggage, but I still try to be really careful with what I bring. (Last month I brought a tube of toothpaste that was a little to large, and the TSA did not appreciate that!

I’m on another flight next week, so I’ll be sure to check out The TSA Blog so I know what not to bring.

It’s amazing what people try to bring on a flight! Here’s a few of the crazy ones:

  • 1000 hits of ecstasy
  • 163 marine tropical fish
  • Real gun concealed as toy gun
  • Stun gun
  • Brass knuckles
  • Spear gun
  • Throwing stars
  • Cannon balls

And no… you really can’t take a hand grenade on the plane!

Safe travels, everyone!

March 19, 2012 · Posted by in misc  

Wave Intros

We’ve been working with the Milwaukee Wave since 2005, and in that time we’ve both grown quite a bit, and while this weekend will see them headed to the MISL Championship for the second year in a row (and going for their 6th championship since they started) we decided to look back and some of the video work we’ve created for them over the years…

It’s pretty crazy to think we started doing the game intros with a MiniDV camera in our old photo studio in 2005, and now we’re doing the intros with a RED ONE Digital Cinema Camera in our photo studio (which is now over 3 times larger.)

Enjoy the video, and hey, while you’re at it, let’s root for a win tonight and on Sunday, to make our Milwaukee Wave the MISL Champions once again!

March 16, 2012 · Posted by in video  

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