Friday, December 30, 2011

Mega-JLo-mania, and Other Cautionary Tales of 2011 Celebrity Spokespeople

Taking a quick look back at the last 12 months in national advertising, it’s clear that 2011 was another year dominated by celebrity endorsers – with widely varying success rates.

Fiat’s use of Jennifer Lopez to support a new car launch seems to be backfiring. Nobody’s buying the ol’ “Jenny from the block” routine:

Go Daddy has bigger problems on its hands right now than its terrible commercials featuring Danica Patrick, but spots like this aren’t helping:

In 2012, big brands everywhere are likely to keep trotting out familiar faces from screens, fields and courts. But before our big-budget marketing brethren shell out the cash to those who don’t need it, maybe they should take note of these and countless other less-than-celebratory results.

Then again, sometimes a celebrity spot works pretty well, like some we've seen recently here in Old Milwaukee ...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Party Gift-Wrapping Rodeo Wrap-Up

Office holiday parties are a fine opportunity to promote teamwork and togetherness. This year, we decided to take the camaraderie of our annual yuletide shindig to a new level – by mixing a charitable ingredient into the usual recipe of food and fun.

In the spirit of giving, we channeled our holiday cheer toward a toy drive for the Journey House of Milwaukee, an organization that provides education, employment, neighborhood revitalization and other programs on Milwaukee’s near south side.

We collected a variety of new, unused toys for kids served by Journey House. And to make sure we emphasized the “fun” pillar of our core values, we incorporated a wrapping contest (not be confused with “rapping contest” – maybe next year?).

We are proud to announce that this past Saturday, Santa himself handed out 25 presents worth almost $400 to children from the community from SH (among many others from the generous Milwaukee community).

Check out photos from the holiday festivities on our Facebook page.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Travel Diaries: Personal and Professional Networking in Madrid

Despite what you may be reading about the Eurozone crisis, not everyone’s in panic mode. For example, PowerAxle, our IPREX public relations partner in Madrid, seems to be on the up and up.

I had the opportunity to tour PowerAxle’s offices and meet Mayte Gonz├ílez-Gil (at right), CEO of PowerAxle, during a return trip to Spain, where I lived for four years until late 2009.

In an old apartment in the center of the city, PowerAxle’s work environment reminded me a lot of ours here in Milwaukee. It’s an open office that allows for constant communication and collaboration. Some of those efforts are put towards clients such as AXA, the French insurance company, Chicco, the Italian baby care brand and Scania, the Swedish automotive company. Working primarily in the B2C sector, PowerAxle specializes in market research reports (many of which are used by various ministries of the Spanish government) as well as brochures and other collateral material.

We had a chance to sit down for la comida, a typical 2 p.m. Spanish lunch (which ended around 4 p.m.) at a lovely place near Plaza Olavide called La Huerta del Duque. We ordered some cheese and ham to start and shared an amazing rice dish (similar to paella) and talked about everything from business to politics to life. We found common ground on what our companies are doing in the digital space and also talked shop in terms of copy writing, design and billing.

Mayte mentioned to me they were looking for a new hire, which I passed on to my friend Juan, who was looking for a job. He’s starting there this week.

It just goes to show there’s nothing stronger than a good network, whether on a global level like IPREX or a simpler level like two friends. So keep up the networking on whatever scale and wherever that may be.