Liquid develops Super Bowl spot

February 10th, 2010

Watching the Super Bowl this year was a big deal for us at Liquid. We developed a 30-second TV spot for UGC Media, LLC – creators of that was featured on Super Bowl Sunday during the pre-game special on CBS.

The video wasn’t like your typical Super Bowl ad, or even like the standard commercial for that matter – it didn’t have any voices or funny themes but rather used a combination of sound and motion graphics to grab the viewers attention and convey their message. Steve Stith, CEO of UGC Media, LLC said, “Running our ad during the Super Bowl Kick-Off time slot not only gave us a bump in traffic – it also gave every person that contributed to the launch of a big bump in personal pride.” You can view the TV ad below.

Their unique Web site provides a way for talented individuals across the nation to be discovered by top entertainment business agents that can help them realize their talent potential but more importantly, their dreams. There are over 20 different categories that the users can submit their videos for judging to the site. The site is designed to have full scalability and accept a countless amount of video uploads.


Black Friday Fun

November 23rd, 2009

So less than a week to Black Friday, YAY! I’ve taken part in this madness a few times over the last 10 years and only woke up really early (or just didn’t go to bed) about three times – once just to go with a few people to hang out and twice to actually buy some things with family. Once + twice = thrice right?


This is prime people watching time, all types of people come out of the wood works and it’s great. I remember working in retail during this time of year and would eat it up but I would also get so pissed at the deal crazed shoppers coming in and messing up the store on that day and over the entire weekend. There was one year when I was working at Target and I actually saw a mom smack her kid across the face because she was crying and that obviously made things worse. Maybe she was crying because her you woke her up and the butt crack of dawn to go shopping. Oh the joys Black Friday brings to everyone.

Anywho, on to the advertising/marketing side of things. I love this year how Kohl’s deals were “leaked” and next thing you know other companies followed or were just beaten to the punch. Oh darn, someone accidentally pushed the publish button and their deals were accidentally sent out to be public facing. Many companies, big and small are extending their hours more so than usual to maximize their sales as much as possible. Some are actual even doing midnight madness types of promotions which could end up working but they are making their employees get upset because of the different and longer shits. At least they still have jobs, it’s not like they are being asked to work the whole day without a break. I’m sure there are some people out there who would work those hours rather than being unemployed.

I hope these companies and/or their agencies have done their home work and planned accordingly so they are successful. There definitely is the chance to get noticed because of the strategy used and achieve better sales than the competition.

I will enjoy sleeping in and spending time with my family at home, wondering why our Detroit Lions lost again and continue to be so horrible – not in crazy long lines or overcrowded stores.

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Super Bowl XLIV

September 18th, 2009

So football season is finally here. I’m very excited that Brett Favre has given us another year of gracing us with his presence and that my Detroit Lions have a chance to actually win a game this year. They’re not off to a good start but at least they have a pretty cool new logo and uniforms.

This is also the time of the year where discussions heat up about advertising during the Super Bowl. Ad spending is always at the top of the list when it comes to the Super Bowl, well at least for us marketers. Over the past four years the price of a 30 second spot has steadily increased –  $2.5 million in 2006, $2.6 million in 2007, $2.7 million in 2008 and $3 million for last year’s game. It is projected that this trend will not continue for Super Bowl XLIV. Despite the economic situation, an article on Ad Age says that CBS is reporting they are 70% sold out compared to 80% from last year at this time. I think that is pretty darn good considering the continued effects of the recession and how weird the market has been acting. It is also said that CBS is pushing pre-game broadcasts, more than likely to help offset some the unsold inventory and reduced prices.

I wonder who will be deemed the winner this time around and who will make waves in the news, a company trying to re-establish itself like General Motors or someone new coming from out in left field. Either way I hope the companies do their homework and give us nothing but awesomeness.

As Adam Sandler said repeatedly in an SNL game show skit called ‘Stand-Up & Win’ back in the day…Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?”

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Image vs. Experience

June 11th, 2009

My wife and I recently came back from our honeymoon. We went on a 6-day Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Freedom. What an awesome ship by the way – the food, staff and entertainment were great! The experience as a whole was amazing, but there were some things that stuck out in my mind probably because I work in advertising and marketing. They have to do with their brand image and how it doesn’t completely match up to the expected customer experience.

Carnival came out with their new ‘Fun Ship’ campaign a little bit ago consisting of such tactics as TV commercials and web ads. It positions themselves apart from the competition by focusing on how they provide fun all ages. One of their supporting taglines is ‘Fun for All / All for Fun’. I don’t know if they are too focused on the ‘fun’ aspect of their image and are forgetting about the smaller things but some of them seem to be slipping through the cracks. These small things can really affect how people will rate their overall experience. That can be bad for Carnival because they take their customer ratings pretty seriously. Anything less than an ‘exceeded expectation’ score is a failure in their minds.

Each evening you receive an itinerary called the ‘Carnival Capers’, along with a pretty sweet towel creature, outlining everything you will need to know for the next day of your trip (i.e. eating times, activities, on-board specials, etc). I kept finding mistakes with spelling, grammar, layout and some of the listed information. This may be a sign that they really need some on-board production artists and proofreaders. Those would be pretty sweet gigs, cruising the open seas and visiting some gorgeous places while working. Anyways, the majority of people might not have even noticed all of the mistakes like I did or they did and just didn’t care. In our line of work you usually always make an attempt to cover the ‘what ifs’ since people aren’t always 100% predictable.

You’d think that Carnival would want to continue the great customer experience by making sure everything from soup to nuts was presented to their customers in an acceptable manner. The mistakes really made the itineraries look cheap and like they were an afterthought. They are sort of your lifeline while aboard the ship if you want to take advantage of what is being offered. Another thing was the debarkation process, the how to de-board the ship if you will. The instructions they initially provided you during the briefing meeting the day before were a bit different from what was delivered to your stateroom later that evening. This caused confusion the morning you were to leave the ship. People really get antsy and frustrated on this morning. I just think that they need to have all of their plans more solidified especially since the company wants to exceed everyone’s expectations.

I’m pretty easy going so these issues really didn’t affect my experience but you could tell some of the issues really frustrated a lot of others.  I completely understand that vacations are supposed to be fun and relaxing but there are always certain things that come up. These things can really end up being a deal breaker for those who want to cruise again, that customer loyalty won’t be there. Especially since Carnival always wants to exceed every customer’s expectation, it just doesn’t add up for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely cruise with them again. I can’t get the melting chocolate cake desert out of my head. They have a good thing going and I just think they are missing out on a great opportunity to really come full circle with their overall customer experience.


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Image vs. Experience

Featured Post Image, Carnival Cruise Ship

“The experience as a whole was amazing, but there were some things that stuck out in my mind probably because I work in advertising and marketing. They have to do with their brand image and how it doesn’t completely match up to the expected customer experience.”

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