How to get a man’s attention

January 26, 2009

We all know the saying:  “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”,  but how do you get him to listen?

According to this British gravy mix commercial, the stomach route works pretty well then, too!



June 16, 2008

This week you’ll notice a theme in my posts. Today, as you’ve no doubt noticed, the topic is Strippin’.

Drop by tomorrow for Smokin’, Wednesday for Drinkin’ and Thursday for Fightin’. Combined, this week’s posts will have a lot in common with a Sudbury Saturday night.

Today’s post isn’t about how Diablo Cody’s screenplay for Juno has caused a spike in Sunny D and Tic Tac consumption (although I bet it has); this is a post about the latest advertising trend.

If you read People Magazine, the ad in the picture above may be familiar. For those of you who haven’t seen this ad, what you’re looking at is a new way to sample food flavours. Similar to a breath freshener strip, these compact little samples melt on your tongue and are supposed to deliver a true taste of the product they advertise.

According to a press release based on info published in Advertising Age, this ad doubled the purchase intent for Welch’s 100% Juice Grape Juice. Curious to see how the sample stood up to the real thing, our test kitchen crew tasted first the strips and then the juice.

Out of six tasters, the results were unanimous that the strip taste and the product taste were very different. The strips were sweet and redolent of grapes but lacked the tang that makes grape juice so appealing and quenching. In fact, we agreed that based on the strip test alone we likely wouldn’t buy this juice.

I also noted that while several of us took a glass of juice back to our offices, no one wanted a second strip for later or to share with a friend.

Have you tried a flavour strip ad? If so, what did you think?

Afraid of baking?

February 26, 2008

Betty Crocker circa 1996My entire life, I’ve been told by friends and acquaintances that I look like other people’s sisters, cousins and neighbours. But, I didn’t realize how truly average-looking I am until I was hired to be the spokesperson for Betty Crocker in Canada. I was attracted to working with the Betty team because I so often meet people who are freaked out by baking. My hope was that by getting them into the kitchen with mixes and tubs of frosting, they’d gain confidence and end up cooking more of all kinds of foods on a regular basis.

A few weeks after we made our agreement, I was in a meeting discussing how we could make videos that would teach people basic baking skills when one of the marketing folks came in with a copy of the current picture of the fictitious (yet much-loved!) Betty. Although this picture was developed in 1996 when I was only 30 years old, this person easily could be my older, slightly more conservative, sister.

What’s truly telling is how the latest incarnation of Betty came to be. Her picture is the product of a computer averaging exercise that blended the faces of women who embody the Betty Crocker core values. You know, qualities like valuing family, prioritizing sharing meals and stuff like that. Specifically, the designers scanned all of these women’s pictures, blended them together into a composite and created a picture of the quintessential Betty. In other words, she’s your average woman. Just like me!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy being average-looking. In fact, I think it has a lot to do with why I’m so often invited to be a TV guest. I look like so many people that almost everyone can relate to me. The happy result is that viewers can see themselves cooking the foods I demonstrate on air and cook more as a result. In a way, being average is my gift. Don’t buy it? Consider this: good ol’ average Betty Crocker is one of Ad Age magazine’s top 10 advertising icons.