Want to buy a product online? Go to Cadaver.com. Wait, it’s
Cadabra.com. Shoot, I actually mean Amazon.com.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of online retail giant, Amazon.com, originally
wanted to call his company Cadabra. However, after some consumer
research, he discovered that Cadabra was too easily confused with
cadaver. As a result, he searched for a new name. He decided on Amazon
after the world’s largest river and because in an alphabetical list,
Amazon would be near the top, if not the top, of the list.
The Olympic games opened on July 27th 2012, eight days after July 19th
2012 or the beginning of Ramadan. Ramadan is the holiest month of the
Islamic calendar and many observe this month long holiday by fasting
from dawn to sunset. This disruption in eating will no doubt have an
effect on Muslim athletes but I wonder, how will it affect commercials
and marketing during the Olympics?
Since one of the food industry’s targets is fasting while watching the
games, any commercial showcasing food or drink will be that much more
effective. I know from personal experience that whenever I fast, the
first thought always on my mind is food. As a result, during these
fasting periods, I am very susceptible to food brands and any food
commercials. I can only imagine that my previous fasting experience is
similar to the millions of Muslims who are currently fasting.
The Olympic games are a marketing opportunity for every industry but
the 2012 London games are a special opportunity for the food and
beverage industries. As a result, expect to see an influx of food and
beverage commercials during the 2012 games.
Like most sodas, Pepsi originated as a drink in a drug store’s soda fountain. Pepsi’s birthplace was Caleb Bradham’s pharmacy in North Carolina. As a tribute to himself, Caleb called his creation, Brad’s drink. However, he later decided to rename the drink based on its ingredients: carbonated water, sugar, pepsin, vanilla, cola nuts and rare oils. Thus, Pepsi Cola, named after its two main ingredients, was born.
After living in New York City for a year, I have realized that
activists and organizations will protest almost anything. As a result,
I’m not surprised when PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals) decided to protest Mario, my favorite video character of all
One of Mario’s famous outfits, besides the Fire Flower uniform, is the
tanooki suit. This suit resembles a raccoon suit and gives Mario the
ability to fly and tail spin. This power up originally appeared in
1988, but after a few Mario games, it was phased out. It is only
recently finding its way back into the franchise. However, PETA is
claiming that by re-inserting the power up, the makers of Mario,
Nintendo, are condoning fur coats and animal cruelty. As part of the
protest, PETA created a flash game called Super Tanooki Skin where
gamers can chase down a bloodied figure strongly resembling Mario in
his Tanooki suit.
Although personally I think this campaign against Mario is a waste of
time and resources, it does represent a new trend. More and more
companies are getting their message out to the public by embedding
their dogma in flash games. The idea is that Internet users will play
the game and then pass the game along to their friends. Thus, the
message will spread virally.
The broadband and telecommunication company, Verizon, is actually a
combination of the Latin word for truth, veritas, and the English word
horizon. In this manner, the company, Verizon, sends its vision to
consumers; Verizon stands for truth and forward thinking within the
Also, the creation of Verizon shows two very common trends that are
used to create a company name or brand. One common method is to use a
foreign language. For example, Atari is from the Japanese language
while Volkswagen is from the German language. The second repeating
trend is to use a single word or phrase that describes the brand
message. For example, Google is derived from the word googol which is
a one with 100 zeros after it. This sends a message to the consumer
regarding the amount of information that is available through Google’s
Recently I was on the subway and as I normally do when I am alone on the subway, I started reading the overhead advertisements. One ad that was particularly interesting was the advertisement for NYC Consumer Affairs. It has a picture of an older man named Sal in a somewhat industrial setting. However, what was interesting to me was not really the message or what was in the foreground of the ad, but instead, the
interesting aspect was in the background.
Behind Sal, there is a stack of bottles. Although the bottles are blurred out, they are still recognizable as Zico Coconut Water bottles and Vita CoCo bottles. I immediately was outraged that there was such blatant product placement. I was sold out and tricked by these subway ads; I thought I was just reading a harmless ad about Consumer Affairs
when in actuality, I was subliminally being exposed to coconut water brands. I personally have nothing against coconut water or any of the brands that produce it (and in fact, this past weekend, I tried the Chocolate Zico Coconut water and it was quite good), but when I see any brand using subliminal advertising, I can’t help but think that
the brand is somehow malicious and sinister.
One man, Roy Raymond, felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed while shopping for lingerie for his wife that he was driven to change the system. As a result, he opened the first Victoria’s Secret in Palo Alto, California. Through the design of the store, specifically the layout and wood paneled walls, the store was supposed to create a comfortable environment for men to shop for lingerie. Regardless of how comfortable the store actually made men feel, the store was an automatic success and after a few years, he sold the brand for $1 million. The Victoria’s Secret stores, today, still have a similar layout and design as the original store, but the target audience has definitely shifted from men shopping for their wives or girlfriends to women shopping for themselves.
Google recently launched a worldwide initiative called Legalize Love where Google plans to form partnerships with pro LGBT companies and grass roots organizations, especially in countries that discriminate against homosexuals. It was originally launched in Poland and Singapore, two countries known for their strict policies against the LGBT community. A spokesperson claims that the initiative is not a political one but instead, a push for safer conditions for all individuals.
Today the Interns became full members of the office; we participated in, or rather competed in (and I would also add thoroughly enjoyed) our first “First Friday”. These “First Friday” events were created as part of Seiden’s move to become a more digitally focused agency. On the first Friday of every month or in this case, the second Thursday of the month, Pharyl (@pharyl) and Patrick (@patrykbot), Seiden’s specialists in all things that are digital and social media, plan an activity for the office which asks each and every participant to use social media. Each “First Friday” focuses on a particular aspect of social media; this way, the office learns the ins and outs of social media in a fun and creative way.
This “First Friday” challenge was focused around Twitter. The office was divided into groups of three and sent out into the surrounding area for a scavenger hunt. Each team had to take a picture and then tweet it (with a witty caption) to @SeidenNYC. Then, once that tweet was received, the next clue would be tweeted back. The pictures from the event can be seen on Seiden’s Pinterest page and the clues can be seen on our twitter page.
Although there was contention over who was the winner of the hunt (it was obviously my team), I would say that “First Friday” builds a community within the office. At the same time, it ensures that each member of the office learns how to use different forms of social media.
This “First Friday” was memorable and a success, (just like most Seiden interns) and I cannot wait for the next one.
Flash forward to 6 30 pm when I finally make it all the way back uptown to my summer housing. My phone rings and it is a call from my mother asking the classic question, “How was your first day?”
At first I try to describe the many different orientation packets and abbreviations that I had learned in those first eight hours but the conversation soon turns to descriptions of the office and the personalities of the people in the office. I talked about the personalities and mannerisms of my bosses, fellow interns and of course the company pet, Cooper. It dwells on me that this personality, or rather this ability to show off personality, was unique to advertising and of course, this specific combination of personalities is unique to Seiden. Where else can people create top quality work and simultaneously pet a dog? Where else can people plaster their cubicle or office with infographics or quotes from Ellen DeGeneres? Where else can people be in a brain-storm meeting and write down ideas on the conference room walls? At the moment, it’s just Seiden.
Seiden has a personality that makes it unique and I’m honored to be one part (at least temporarily) of the whole.