Monday, November 27, 2006

Easter Turducken and Personal Jesus Toast

Warning: Do not follow these links if you have important work to do.

If you've never heard of turducken, it's a southern US Thanksgiving tradition (photocredit: I've never tried it but K and J went for dinner last week and said it was yummy. Basically it's three stuffed birds stuffed in each other: chicken in a duck in a turkey, with variations of cornbread stuffing, sausage stuffing and shrimp stuffing.

But what do you do for Easter? Easter turducken.

And if you missed the bidding on Jesus toast on eBay? Make your own personal Jesus toast. I bet the same method could be used to make squishycow toast. Or scowturducken? Hmmm.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Latest spam technique: using sender address

One of the things I love about gmail is that, okay 2 things: a) great spam filter; b) it shows the sender and beginning of the message in your list of inbox messages. Which alerted me to a new spammer technique (new to me at least), using the recipient name to make the email look like it was a reply or forward based on email I had sent.

Sigh. I hate spam, I think it's a leech on society. I still am in grudging awe over it's sneaky inventiveness. Why are some obviously smart and creative people not putting their great brains to better use?

“I can’t judge good direct marketing; it judges me.”

So sayeth Denny Hatch of Business Commensense. If he says his mentor forgot more than he'll ever know, what hope have I?

One of my pet peeves is the number of people doing DM with little knowledge of what makes for good DM creative. Unfortunately it's not always the pretty stuff. Hatch's column today talks about awards and how they are rarely a real indicator of the best (as in results), which are usually long copy format letters not very pretty. If you like a little wisdom with your marketing news, I highly recommend subscribing.

What's interesting is how that format has been adapted by folks selling internet marketin services, numerology, online courses, booklets, etc. Those long copy web pages that go on and on forever. I would love to test that format on a more, uh, standard product. Just for fun. Hmm.

CaseCamp Gets a Second Life in Crayonville -- Coming December 14

If you haven't been to CaseCamp I highly recommend it. It's a fun, interactive sharing of online marketing -- and you never know who will end up on the final presenter list!

The December 14th event saves me a trip in to Toronto. But the event is limited to 40 participants who also have to have a Second Life avatar... and there is a lottery for who will actually be able to join in. Hmmm... not the most user friendly. Hopefully this is just for the first event. If I'm in I'll post asap. (Unlike my findings from DMA and CMA DMC which I will still do over the next week.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy 10th Reel Asian Film Festival!

I had the pleasure of helping Reel Asian with their email campaigns the previous four years. Unfortunately I couldn't continue this year. And while it's always hard seeing people can really do without you, what I love is that they've not only taken on doing their campaigns themselves, but expanded to include a myspace presence and a blog!

It's really tough being a small filmfest to do it all well, and Reel Asian has always been extremely well organized and well supported by the film community and the very diverse Asian community in the GTA, delivering one of the best festivals of the year. This looks like an incredible lineup, they've really outdone themselves for their 10th birthday. I'm so disappointed to see SunDance winner Journey From the Fall is already sold out (but hopefully this means it will be released).

Opening Night is always a lot of fun, followed by the opening night party. This year's opening film sees the return of Patrick Tam to the director's chair after 17 years (widely regarded as teacher as well as editor for Wong Kar-Wai), with the acclaimed After This Our Exile. (I still have my promo email writer hat on... sigh...)

Best wishes Deanna, Grace and the team!! And hope to see everyone at the film fest!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Toronto Marketing Geek Dinner II

I'm on my way home from the Marketing Geek Dinner II. It's rounded out some recent thinking on social media and the need for human beings to connect. Many years ago when I was a wide-eyed lass learning the DM trade, I had an instructor for a Direct Mail class (no, Virginia there was no email marketing; yes, I'm dating myself). This wise veteran (Mike McCormick) instructed us, “put a human being on it”, “don't chop bodies”, “people are interested in people”. These are maxims I carry today, to personalize, find the human story, connect with your audience, and have a real person behind your communication --and while you're at it "put a face on it."

The Geek dinners and YouTube are about putting a face on our connections, because humans are visual beings and pack animals (as Cesar would say). The meetup over dinner is an ancient ritual that no proliferation of social media can replace. Although, that gets me thinking it would be a worthy experiment. A group Skype dinner... Hmm... Can you imagine the introductions – 'hey you, we haven't met, open your chat window for a virtual handshake.' 'This is Andrew, the search guru. This is Ed, another PR blogger...You know Mitch, yes, we're just waiting for his v-cast to come out.'

So.. who else was there? Michael of course, Goody, Mirabel, Dave, Sean, Susan, Michelle, Sandy, Chris, Lorraine, Kathryn, Steve, Sulemaan and others I have still to meet at the next dinner. Thanks for organizing Mitch and Michael!