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Smartie Pants Smart Meter Labels

June 2nd, 2009 by Chief Nut

I see our client, PaladinID, got picked up by Yahoo Finance today with their announcement of their new fade-resistant flexographic ink.  OK, OK, I can see your eyes rolling back in your head after reading a phrase like “fade-resistant flexographic ink!”  You’re probably saying to yourself, “what could possibly be less cool!”  Oh NO, mon frere, here’s why it is very cool …

The folks at PaladinID recently discovered that, due to an aging and unsupported line of printers, there was no answer to the burning question, “How can I create a durable, color, variable printing, barcode label for use outdoors that won’t fade in just a couple of years?”  I know I’ve personally asked myself that question at least twice this week (not).  But seriously, think about it — how many things do you see labeled outdoors!  Dana Ritchie, owner of PaladinID, saw the cool factor here and hired a chemist to solve this very problem.

They are now the ONLY producer of fade-resistant color inks for use in barcode labeling of the hot, Hot, HOT “Smart Meter” industry (if you’re not sure what that is, please Google it. You’ll be hearing a lot about it.  Pres. Obama is pushing hard for these things).  Other applications could be outdoor signage, outdoor tanks, electrical poles, gas cylinders, etc.  The list goes on and on.

How would YOU like to be the only producer in the world of a necessasary feature for a hot, up and coming product?  Can you say, “BIG DEAL?”  Seeee!  I told you it was cool, Mr. Smartie pants!  [Bravo, Dana!]

Tweet to Win!

May 9th, 2009 by Chief Nut

Pete Cashmore (big dog at Mashable.com) is giving away 5 free copies of the new book “Twitter Tips, Tricks and Tweets.” For a shot at one, post a tweet in reply to @mashable and be sure to add the hash tag #twittertip. Send off your best twitter tip and see if your twidbit rises to the top of the ranks. GOOD LUCK!  Here’s mine:

[@mashable #twittertip - Useqwitter.com ... the Twitter equivalent of being offered a breathmint. Use it to 'get a clue.']

Stick To Your Niche

April 14th, 2009 by Chief Nut

In recent months we’ve all seen Twitter start to act like Facebook and we’ve seen Facebook start to act like Twitter.  The danger here is that they’re both completely different services, serving completely different needs.  The best thing they should both do is stick to what they’re good at and be happy as the market leader in each of their respective niches.  And, if they were to publicly announce this I would vow to never stop using either service (and I’m sure I’d be among friends).

Here’s the point — find a niche, dominate it and STICK TO IT.  Changing with the winds of the market or, worse yet, chasing after the siren’s song of an untouched target audience is perilous … possibly even fatal! And in some cases it makes you look wishy-washy and silly.

While on a visit to Michigan recently I came across both of these signs.  The first a small interior decorating establishment and the other a mall retail clothing shop.  Both dove into their respective markets with enough vigor and commitment to have their niche in their name!  “Just Walls” and “Man Alive” respectively.  Take a look at their “add on” marketing signage to see if you think they might be going astray just a tad.

My committment to you?  Acorn Creative will never stop going nuts!

Going Mobile

March 31st, 2009 by Chief Nut

At a recent seminar I gave on the topic of Social Media, I made the comment that our daily tasks, networking, communication and work will be increasingly driven to our mobile devices. If you’ve been immersed in the world of SMS/texting you know what I mean. But even our more complex tasks like blogging will be performed on our phones.

Case in point; this post is my first from my iPhone … Sitting in a parking lot waiting for my sons to finish a Boy Scout meeting. Isn’t social media cool? Gotta go — I’ve got a Tweet to post now before I check out my FaceBook account!

World Wide Rave With Skittles

March 2nd, 2009 by Chief Nut

I got a copy of David Meerman Scott’s newest book World Wide Rave this past week and hunkered down to immerse myself in it over the weekend. I first heard David talk about his “Six Rules of the Rave” when he spoke at the New Media Marketing Summit so I was more than anxious to get all the skinny from the book in greater detail. David didn’t let us down with this much awaited follow up to his previous #1 seller, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR.”

As so often happens, you learn something new and then you can’t stop seeing ‘it’ everywhere.  I think you’ll find this to be the case with all of David’s writing.  On Saturday I read through most of the book, including rule #3, “Lose Control.”  Then today I read several re-tweets on the new Skittles Social Media web site strategy (Go to the Skittles candy web site to check it out.)

What the Skittles web team has done is created a set of div layers that float above a web page and those pages are served up as the content of the site.  This doesn’t sound too earth shattering until you realize that the links are to pages that OTHER people have created through social media sites … the content is NOT created by Skittles.  For example;

  • Photos of the product are served up by Flickr.com
  • Chat streams are served up by Twitter.com
  • Videos are served up by YouTube.com
  • Friends of Skittles, of course, congregate in FaceBook.com
  • Product history is served up by Wikipedia.com

Sadly, the Skittles legal team had their say by requiring users to enter their date of birth and that you know the content was not created by Mars Snackfood US, LLC.  The idea, however, still truly conforms to David’s rule #3.  Skittles has completely relinquished control of their web site content to the social masses.  They trust their brand can weather any negativity seen in these other networks and that the benefit of participating in the networks will FAR outweigh the risk.

BRAVO SKITTLES!  Your bravery makes you deserving of the Rave Wave you’re riding right now!

Creative 404 Pages … Acorn Style

February 10th, 2009 by Chief Nut

The folks over at MakeUseOf.com wrote a great post on how to create a great 404 page … you know, those pages you get when you type the wrong URL. These pages usually say something really boring like “Server Error 404 - Page Not Found” or something equally dry and mundane. But NO, it doesn’t need to be that way. Read their post to get ideas on how to jazz up your site’s 404s.

We especially like their Example #7 because it’s … well, simply hilarious. HEY, THAT’S OUR 404 PAGE!!!! TOOO FUNNY!

Hofstadter Must Have Been a Web Developer!

February 4th, 2009 by Chief Nut

Hofstadter’s Law …

“It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter’s Law into account.”

— Douglas Hofstadter: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, 1999, p.152

Sneaky, Linky, Spammy

February 4th, 2009 by Chief Nut

If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably already not only seen them but have taken measures to block, squash and delete them … the dreaded ‘comment spam’ message. But, like with all things nefarious, these tactics evolve not unlike a nasty strain of the ebola virus. A relatively new flavor of comment spam I’ve been getting many times daily is the “hey, very informative post” ploy. Here are just a few from the past couple of days;

  • As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you
  • Great post, while i as searching for blogs, i found yours on Yahoo , that was what i was looking for, great blog.
  • Great and Excellent article post, i was looking for this information on google while i found your info, definely i Digg your blog post ! Cheers , Collin - New York

Outwardly, these really aren’t that offensive except for a few points — hence this post;

  • The exact same comment is sent to multiple posts - grrr
  • The comment isn’t really engaging, informative or beneficial in any way to me or my readers
  • It just adds to the noise of the Internet.

My advice to you? …

  • Don’t fall into the same trap. Don’t spam via blog comments. Don’t spam at all.
  • Don’t add to the noise. There’s enough noise in the blogosphere as it is. If you have something to say, SAY IT, but please, please, please, consider the value of it.
  • View your comments on other people’s blogs as steps to a long-term relationship, NOT just a one-time passing comment to a stranger. Taking this view will serve you well in the long run.

If you have a comment on this post, please dive right in … with strong views, engaging opinions, ranting tirades, personalized support … ANYTHING but the spammy, generic crud I talked about above.

Brown Inspiration

January 19th, 2009 by Chief Nut

How do you get inspired if you need to create a brown web site? Well, the folks at Re-Encoded have put together a list of their top 30 picks for “inspirational brown web sites.” HEY, LOOK! … Acorn Creative’s site just happens to be on the list!! WOOO HOOO!

Tagline, slogan, motto - what’s the diff?

December 16th, 2008 by Content Crusader

Here are the definitions for each of these words from Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:

Tagline: A reiterated phrase identified with an individual, group, or product

Slogan: A brief attention-getting phrase used in advertising or promotion

Motto: A short expression of a guiding principle

Still confused?

A tagline is a phrase connected to either a company’s or a product’s brand. “We Try Harder” is the tagline for Avis and “Mmm, Mmm, Good” represents Campbell’s Soup. Each of these phrases tells you something about the company without speaking directly about their products or services.

A slogan is tied to a campaign. One of the latest campaign slogans is “Change We Need” used for Barack Obama’s presidential bid.  Another older and successful slogan is “He likes it! Hey Mikey!” used in the ad campaign for Life cereal.

Mottos express how a company describes itself. Macy’s department store motto is “Be everywhere, do everything, and never fail to astonish the customer”. It’s a description of how they feel they should do business.

Shrug these off as useless marketing nonsense? Well, see if you can you identify these taglines:  “I’m Lovin It” and “They’re Grrrreat!”? They provide instant recognition for the company (McDonalds) or product (Frosted Flakes) for which they are associated. They stick in the mind of consumers and have long-lasting value.

Hopefully this post provides some clarity. The impact of taglines, slogans and mottos is Grrrreat! They get a point across and provoke emotion. If you’re already considering writing a tagline, slogan or motto we suggest that you Just Do It!

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