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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Top Five Ads for Super Bowls

5. “When I Grow Up …” (1999): A group of kids stare at the camera and declare their desire to “have a brown nose,” “be a yes man” and “claw my way up to middle management.”

What worked: Kids are cute, and even cuter when reciting lines such as, “When I grow up … I want to be forced into early retirement.” It was great brand recognition for the new company.

The results: Monster survived the dot-com implosion and despite a stock controversy in 2006 has become a prosperous company that employs close to 5,000 people worldwide.

4. Reebok “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker” (2003): To boost productivity, a CEO recruits a linebacker from Reebok to slam into a series of “Office Space”-style cubicle drones.

What worked: A series of brutal hits, punctuated by lines such as, “Break was over 15 minutes ago, Mitch!” made this the best Super Bowl ad of the last five years.

The results: Terry Tate got people talking about Reebok for something other than sweatshop controversies. The company provides shoes for all the major sports and hosts clothing lines for rappers Jay-Z and 50 Cent.

3. E*Trade “Monkey” (2000): Two dim-witted guys and a monkey clap to some cha-cha music in a garage, followed by the punch line: “Well we just wasted 2 million bucks. What are you doing with your money?”

What worked: Easily the cheapest ad of the year to produce, it was an instant classic —remaining self-deprecating about dot-com excess while lampooning the well-publicized cost of Super Bowl ad time.

The results: The marketing Gods have a way of punishing tech companies that blow too much money on flashy ads. (See: Or don’t. They haven’t been around since 2000.) E*Trade lost hundreds of millions of dollars in 2001 and 2002, and the company's shares — once trading at more than $60 — dropped below $3 in 2002. The company has since bounced back to profitability.

2. Coke “Mean Joe Greene” (1979): A kid offers his Coca-Cola to a battle-weary “Mean Joe” Greene — who softens up enough to toss his jersey as a reward.

What worked: A cute kid with a soft drink was the perfect foil for the surly Greene. Grown men still burst into tears when thinking about “Mean Joe” throwing that jersey.

The results: The ad became an instant pop culture classic, boosting Greene’s career. Among the offshoots was the inspiring “The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid” — perhaps the first hourlong TV movie in history to be based on a one-minute commercial.

1. Apple “1984” (1984): A jogger representing Apple throws a sledgehammer into a giant Big Brother image representing IBM — promising a populist shift in the future of personal computers.

What worked: With “Blade Runner” director Ridley Scott in charge, the ad generated more hype — and post-game water cooler talk — than any television commercial in history. Do you even remember who played in the Super Bowl in 1984? (L.A. Raiders and Washington.) You almost certainly remember the biggest Super Bowl ad of the year.

The results: The most storied Super Bowl ad of all time might have boosted sales of George Orwell books, hot red running shorts and sledgehammers. But it didn’t do much for the Macintosh — Apple continues to be the Reform Party of computer manufacturers. Maybe there was a storage locker filled with iPods behind that huge video screen?

Honorable mentions: Pepsi “Apartment 10G” (1987); Pepsi “Diner” (1995); Pepsi “Sucked in” (1995); Mountain Dew “Bad Cheetah” (2000); Budweiser “Magic Fridge” (2006).

Peter Hartlaub covers pop culture for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Team Alphabet Soup

Team Alphabet Soup, Information Experts Memo
To: S. McMullen, Production Team Leader, Incentives
Piggy Bank Marketing
From: Team Alphabet Soup, Information Experts

CC: C. No Trump Browne, VP NULL/ALT Hypothesis Department, IE
Link N. Chain, VP Marketing, Piggy Bank
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Subj: Piggy Bank Credit Card Incentive Plans

Re: Null and Alternate Hypothesis, and Related Reference Documents

Dear S. J. McMullen:
Please direct your attention to the following, and respond at your earliest convenience.
Use team and problem-solving skills to collaborate on a project.
We, in Team Alphabet Soup, have proceeded to collaborate on the project at hand, and have arrived at a starting point. Whether to rebate cash to your depositor’s Credit Card account as Incentive, for Clothing purchase, or for Online Purchase, Team Alphabet Soup has derived the following question:
“Is the customer more often apt to use their Piggy Bank Credit Card in the purchase of an online item, or to purchase an item in a clothing retail store, during the year?”
Formulate Null and Alternate Hypotheses for applications involving a single population mean, proportion, or variance.
Let µON = true mean Online Purchases, and,
µCL = true mean Clothing Stores Purchases.
Null Hypothesis: Ho: µON ≥ µ CL
Alternate Hypothesis: Ha: µON < µCL

Using the referenced data we conclude that the null hypothesis is that the “Online shopping is greater than or equal to the Clothing Store purchases.” Subsequently, our alternate hypothesis, is that the “Online Shopping is less than Clothing Store purchases.” We find that the alternate hypothesis is the burden of proof for the TAS investigation.
“The ultimate value of a formalized hypothesis is: it forces us to think about
what results we should look for in an experiment. In a formalized hypothesis, a
tentative relationship is stated.” (Class notes; 2006)

Thus: If the alternate hypothesis is accurate, then Piggy Bank should make a decision to use clothing retail as incentive for cash back purchases with their Credit Card.

Refer to the attached tables: the total spending in clothing retail purchases for the year 2004 is $189 billion dollars. Concurrently, the e-commerce, online total retail purchases for 2004, is $71 billion dollars.

As one can see from both other statistical references, online shopping is increasing, at a rate of about 3% per quarter, with sudden bursts in the 4TH Quarters. Online shopping is about 2 to 3% of the total retail picture.

Team Alphabet Soup chose to put as the alternate hypothesis: Online Shopping is less than the Clothing Store purchases.

Next, using statistical analysis, Online Shopping is less than Clothing Store purchases, is the probable result of the final investigation. Team Alphabet Soup will probably find that the alternate hypothesis is not rejected, and reject the null hypothesis.

If Online purchases are less than the Clothing Store purchases, the Production Team at Piggy Bank can gauge their decision to give cash back when the consumer makes a purchase at a clothing store, as inducement to use the Piggy Bank Credit Card, as it will create greater frequency of draws on customers’ accounts.

If you have any questions please call us at Information Experts.

Respectfully yours,
Team Alphabet Soup

Att/notes_references_tables/ Pages 3-8
cc CB, LNC

_____________________________________Links/References/ Tables/ Notes
Ranked by Total Revenue through December 26, 2003
A recent census shows the following for online shopping:
Table 1. Popular Online Shopping Categories 2003 Holiday Projected Online
Category Revenue in Millions Year Over Year Growth
Apparel/Clothing $3,738 40%
Toys/Video games $2,197 33%
Consumer Electronics $2,044 2%
Computer Hardware/Peripherals $1,650 ----*
Video/DVD $1,619 46%
Source: Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen//Net Ratings eSpending Report, December 2003
Number of respondents = 9,517 online users
*Year-over-year percent growth unavailable for this category due to small sample size in 2002.
“Online retailers have enjoyed a fantastic season in 2003,” said Abha Bhagat, senior analyst
Nielsen//Net Ratings. “This is the third straight season of record growth, which indicates retailers are doing a much better job of appealing to customers through online channels as well as successfully integrating various channels to reach out to customers effectively.” (Nielsen Net ratings, 2004)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Team Pinpointing Applications: Mission to Vision -- Organizational Change

PISD Queens Middle School
By Patrick Darnell

Many of my classmates have had similar experiences to the following account:
“It was said through out the management ranks that I had a knack for getting my staff to perform well and even a better knack for dealing with guests, especially disgruntled or irate guests. I think my success was due to the fact that I tried very hard to listen to people and tried even harder to understand them in every way possible. This allowed me to get to the root of the problem and solve that problem effectively. Motivating my team depended on me understanding each one of them and how each one communicated and being able to communicate back to them on the same level (Stockwell, Daniel, September 8, 2006).”
The most successful teams I have had the joy of being a part of have, never had anything to do with monetary rewards. When I was between jobs I had the opportunity to cover middle school classes for a brilliant teacher, Mrs. Carte at Queens MS at Pasadena Independent School District, PISD, in Texas. She and husband were having their first baby. She wanted to leave her classes in good hands. What, who; me? At first I was unsure, but as Resource team leader at Queens, she picked me to cover the eight weeks.

Substitute pay is minimal. It turns out the experience with non-mainstream resource middle school students at their level is one of my milestones; major point of reference. Like my classmate Daniel Stockwell, above “I tried very hard in listening to students and teachers, and tried even harder to understand them in every way possible.” I suppose Mrs. Carte in her leadership role realized this upfront. I was able to combine a sense of trust and accomplishment in my communications with my new found peers and fledgling scholars. This was due as we soon learned that I was genuinely interested in knowing about each student, because I wanted my evaluations to be just what the doctor ordered.

I emphasize composed chaos that became our days together in school. Mrs. Carte had pre-determined that I would be successful in maintaining the delicate balance she had worked hard to develop. My intervention skills, that were not even part of my vocabulary at the time, supported the continued academics of the resource students. However, I often say to those who listen that I learned more from my variant youths than could I ever have taught them.

After eight weeks, I became a regular feature at Queens because the other teachers in the resource Department sought me to fill in when they had to be away. Big worries follow resource teachers day to day, because many of the students have very little between them and jail. A teacher being out is a concern; I had become part of the team by offering in some small way support, counseling, representation, personal touch, and sometimes bending of the rules.

The two year long experience led to many different spin-off activities. I want to mention a couple of them. One spin-off was that I found night work, just so I could continue subbing at PISD Queens MS, as part of the resource team. One semester another teacher Mr. Castro and the music teacher Mrs. Wester, and I got together a “Guitar Preservation” group of students. Mrs. Wester had twelve guitars sitting in a closet collecting dust to lend for practice. One hour after school on Thursday, we met to teach some guitar. Someone once said: Build it and they will come. Soon we had many resource students attending our lessons, keeping them off the streets at least that one hour on Thursday.

We faced a harsh ruling when we tried to organize a recital. Though the students were advancing in guitar, they were not advancing in the grades enough to be in a school-sponsored after school program. What a bummer.

After two years I moved to a new job and locale, and the students have been left to others. I sincerely think some of the kids became proficient in music, at least I hope so. If left to our interventions, we would have cut an album, in spite of the academic rules. There was some genuine talent potential in our students.

Was that Organization Development, OD?
Process Interventions are Organization Development, OD, skills that help groups or teams become more effective. Have you found others who have the underlying talents, but lack the skills to synthesize? Do you find in your journeys associates who generalize, but lack the ability to ask probing questions? Probing with query is similar to the “Socratic” method of teaching... that can be very useful in group/ team intervention. The following discussion helps to frame the concept of OD Interventions that can be experienced at any stage in life.

“Support,” through set-a-side surefire blocks of time for workers to participate, and be paid, with their daily specific duties covered, is paramount in sponsoring team intervention activities. Once a company sponsored continuum precedent is in place, workers will bend to the task of dueling in team intervention. Consider: “If the worker never feels confident that his job is not at stake, or being covered by others because he is being punished,” there can be no fruit borne from any interventions.
“Coaching and counseling” is keying personnel in the startup of the process of team intercessions. Without accessible coaches, shyness or white coat syndrome of most team members will impede the proceedings.

“Modeling” is an enormous mission to give the attendees. How in fact is the model to be made; what skills are needed; and to what degree of completion is the model to aspire? Yet, it is the most exciting part of team interventions. The modeling takes away the jitters of sitting around -- perceived as not doing anything. The shift is toward the adult passion of “hands on” learning. Many adults learn fast through experiences. “Knowledge of observations acquired through the senses rather than through abstract reasoning” in adult education most verifies the intervention vision. Targets, ideas, and deadlines in the future will become simpler hands-on modeling for the OD team intervention graduates (Brown, 2006).
Also, modeling can be the project that makes all the team members equal. Managers as involved team members no longer can order, or dictate and ride others. Like everyone in line at the Drivers Licensing DPS counter, each is equal. The Mayor, the Dog Catcher and the Tailor all have to stand in long queuing lines together getting their pictures taken. So it is when the model takes shape in team involvement time; each to each is equally important. At model inception spin-offs are birthed rapidly.

After the top three most important set ups are complete: Support, Coaching, and Modeling, then will the intervention begin to payoff? Team members might experience different sensations when certain issues come up, or when “satisfactory results are highlighted.” Constituents will learn about the sum total of experiences even when unsatisfactory items are suffered and abandoned. “Feedback” starts to spew forth, and individuals find harmony in performances. “Proportionate” solutions begin to emerge out of chaos, and the truer meanings of rules are illuminated, giving finality and later resolve when rules are re-visited (Brown, 2006).

“Agendas are prepared” to allow members of the team to confer, and concur on the mission. With the vision firmly in the minds, agendas depict the learners’ time to work through intervention missions in the lab. Similar to the experiences of my classmates, and my own journey into the unknown regions of me, reporting and discussing progress promotes a long term growth potential for the brave workers (Brown, 2006).
How, you may ask, can a series of tasks completed outside the regular work space be an experience that changes lives? I answer: Benefits for those who are exposed to intervention activities are nothing like “book learning.”

The ruling is in the affirmation, confirmations, and encouragement celebrated after completed tasks. To be exposed to, involved in, or affected by something could be the “most thrilling ride I have ever experienced.” For the less animated, or the less demonstrative: “You might experience a slight tingling sensation in your face; whichever, don't ignore the tingle.”

Involvement in something over time such as active participation and contribution in an activity, exposure to events, or attention of people over a period of time, leads to an increase in knowledge and skill. “Knowledge of” then leads to “skill” of something gained from being “involved in and exposed to” interventions over a period of time.

Stockwell, Daniel: Organizational Change HRM450-0603B-03, September 8, 2006, Phase 3 Discussion Board

Brown, D and Harvey, D (2006) an experiential approach to organizational development, 7th edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ; Pearson/ Prentice Hall

Darnell, Patrick (2006) personal experiences at school, 1990-2006

Friday, January 19, 2007

Grieving is a Project

It is difficult to express the price we pay to experiment with fate. In regard to our own lives many of us expose self to dangers that we would never allow our own siblings or children to experience. All told, when the frosty wintry ice and slush melts away, and the remembrance of all those winters is embedded in the rationale of our minds; the questions perch upon our lips like flakes of snow. Did we come this far despite our selfish ways, and self-destructive notions?

And we answer self, "I'm still here."

Then we may turn to greater-than-we-are amplifications, bigger-than-life generalizations, although it still rings out in the final wash: "Truth is beyond a doubt stranger than fiction."

I am in a state of grieving. At first I did not remember that somewhere I had heard humans naturally succumb to grieving, until I was rocked by my friend's passing away. At first denying it all, I became then angry, today I am more bargaining than yesterday. Letting slip some duties and getting behind, I asked Jesus to handle some of the toil on my agenda, while promising that I will hold down the other parts as best I can. And with no clue how that propels me forward I know; isn't it obvious that my friend's death is only indicator to the real unspeakable dangers, and the answers are as fleeting as respiration, and as distant as Neptune?

I may be as typical a human as any, after all, with all the frailty, and dangers lurking, just outside my bubble of self-regard that "everything is going to be okay." However this day my heart beats in unusual rhythms, hurriedly when I lay to rest, slowly when I try to work.

Imposing as it is, grieving is a project that must be factored, measured and managed just like all risk management. How else to carry on, without doubt, to our engagements and enterprises? Occurrence of grieving is a real risk, implicit and natural as stones and mortar, that all must chance for the privilege of life. PD

Monday, January 08, 2007

Richard C. Capotosto

Richard C. Capotosto, age 88, of Holland, passed away at home on Sunday, December 17, 2006.

He is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife of 60 years, Mary C. Capotosto of Holland; his children, Donald (Sally) Capotosto of South Bend, Iowa, Delores Ann Cates of Holland, Mich., John (Marlene) Capotosto of Saugatuck, Mich., Richard J. Capotosto of Zeeland, Mich.; and eleven grandchildren; his sisters, Josephine Rich, Rosemary (Bernie) White of Akron, Ohio; his brother, Marion (Connie) Capotosto of Toledo, Ohio; his sister-in-law, Cecilia Capotosto of Akron, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews.

Dick Capotosto was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, served overseas for four years in the North African and Italian campaigns during World War II and lovingly provided for his family through a long career in the graphic arts and printing business.

A memorial service will be held on January 6, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church, 77 West 32nd Street in Holland, Mich. Arrangements by Dykstra Life Story Funeral Homes, Inc., Mulder chapel.

Mr. and Mrs. Capotosto by Pat Darnell

Mr. and Mrs. Capotosto took me in when they didn’t have to. I was very green when I became their houseguest in 1979. Rick, the junior, and I were college mates and he thought we should try our fortune in Chicago. Roger’s Park was as foreign a place could be to me an ignoble innocent from Houston. I soon got the most valuable education a post-collegiate will ever receive, the Capotosto tour of Chicago.

From the day I arrived, the Capotostos gracefully extended their generosity and special influence on me. When I think back the past 35 years, I am often returning in my memories of my sojourn to the north. The memories are always high-resolution memories of Ohio Street, City Products, Rush Street, Howard Street, Des Plaines, Gas Light lounge, Union League, Chicago architecture and other incorporated thoughts. You see, one has to be checked-out for color to be anywhere near Dick Capotosto. All of the colorful moments and laughter, and sincerity came from my association with the entire Capotosto clan, led by Dick and Mary.

So, this morning with very mixed emotions, I write to the family. I am governed in the thoughts and memories of Dick and his ways, as much as I am influenced by my own father. I cherish all the success that comes to others from their association with him. Mr. Capotosto is always going to be the dean of my school of hard knocks.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

For love of Tights

From: compostholestoy
Subject: Re: [MooPig Wisdom] From Swayze with Shove
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 2:00 PM
think Patrick Swayze only played football 'cause he liked wearing the tight pants. Everything you said made sense about his career and what he should have been doing instead. But, he was no doubt led around by the nose by an informed agent, who, by the way, made P.S. a multi-millionaire who doesn't remember you or Lamar or your sister. And that's his loss..........!
Worst movie is any Dan Akroid or Chevy Chase movie or any re-make of a sixties TV show.
Zeeland, Michigan

Piggy Bank wants to issue a Credit Card

Welcome Compadres, Confidantes, and Co-conspirators:
I have some questions; I hope you have an answer. Too bad we can’t make it a symposium. I suppose, this is as close to “philosophy-in-the-streets” we can get for now. I am sending my bit-strate from The Brazos Valley, Bryan, TX. Here we make an industry of watching the grass grow.(footnote)

I have confidence in you, my national networking peer-tormentor group:

1. Piggy Bank (PB) is entering a final stage of decision making. “Credit Card Incentives” is the key word.
Is it safe to say sampling a “Cluster” can be effective, even if from a cluster of businesses that are similar in their offerings? I.e.: Credit Card companies, Holding Companies, or, Multi-National Merchandisers? Or, do I have to limit my research to the population cluster of PB patrons?

2. Is this an example of “Simple Random Sample:” Throw darts?
For example: Is the event “Curling” in the Winter Olympics an example of “Simple Random Sampling?”

Typical Incentives: products in malls and get points, like airline mileage points
...use the credit card and get a dividend return each quarter
...order family plan of four or more cards, and receive discounts one product and get another half off
...give your cards to homeless people and receive good kharma

3. If the truth on a segment of “Incentive” is intangible, can the statistician table it, and call it inconclusive? Because really: How do the statistics spell the truth, if Piggy Bank is paying the consultation fee? If PB wants something to be true, how is speculation wiped from the equation? Is speculation truly the second oldest profession?

4. Where does, my, the consultant’s, liabilities begin and end? As the client comes up with a new test idea for incentive, I have recommended a different, unique, fact-gathering strategy each time.
Does this confuse the client, and force an undesirable situation, where he lets me make the final decision for him?

___________________ _____________________
(footnote) In my opinion the two strangest random occurrences in Central Texas in 2006... Reported as “Other news from Central Texas: Report from the Middle Feb 14, 2006”
First: Shooting
I guess the event yesterday gives new meaning to “pepper spray.” Re: the D. Cheney shooting incident, is it random or set up? Controlled experimentation or a survey at the mall? ...could Yesterday have origin in the mystery about this indelicate date in history? The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre “Eve,” and be foretold in the Torah code?

Second: Helicopters overhead and cellular signal fade
We live in Bryan, twin to College Station, where the Fighting Aggie's reside at Texas A and M. The Geo Bush, Sr., Presidential Library is here. Additionally, the Geo W Ranch is only 20 minutes away, as the crow flies. The President’s three Navy helicopters just passed overhead, on the way to the ranch. You know the ranch… We call that “AREA 52.” ...Don’t worry, the preceding is only a test: to check if Big Brother really is listening. I'm looking for free publicity... only if!

At the top are the tools of the survey we will need for proper management of the case for credit cards. PERT, and Gantt charts.

That’s all from here, Brazos Valley, where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and the children are all above average. Yours, PD

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

More Perspectives: As for me and my house...

From: d2r2

I have been closely involved with this operation since the git-go.

Truly, the only thing more lonesome than the video in storage is, possibly, the book the movie was based on sitting on a shelf.

I had to sort thru the tapes and discs many times, while in storage, and they were sirens singing to me. Sometimes I would grab up great quantities and stack them carefully to re-box and take somewhere. Then I would snap back to reality and put them back. Sometimes I would take out one here and one there, to watch later with great interest to discover what all the talk was about. Some of those are on shelves in my house. I also picked up my all time favorites, and there are many.
"Predator", no words, just action.
Even the Mom mentioned likes this one. "The Incredibles", says it all. "Easy Rider", My Generation.
"Life As A House", Fatherhood dissected.

Movies are American, like Jazz.
We live our movies and they tell our stories. American is the teeming masses of the world in a coast-to-coast-to-coast-to-coast landscape of purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain. Home of the brave and land of the free. I drive around a 100 mile loop called Beltway 8 and see every church in the world showcased by its faithful congregation, operating and worshipping with no strings attached. The people get tired and discouraged with leadership and they, how mundane, vote them out of office.

Movies are made about life, the universe and everything.

I'm cinematically yours, Dave

December 29, 2006 6:03:00 PM CST

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