BLOG HOME> Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hey – they discovered a new galaxy.

Galaxy_FullSizeThanks, NASA. I know what you’re thinking though. Oh, they found another galaxy…Big deal. And you’re right. It is a big deal! A whole ‘nother 719-planet cosmic swirl. Gently butted up against our solar system. You know what that means? There could be a bunch of other “Earths”.  Which also means your brand could exist in an alternate universe. Or galaxy. And they may be growing faster than you. Don’t freak. Luckily, your galaxy has a Spyglass. So what we’re saying is, you still have a chance.

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#TGIF

Hey, it’s Friday! And the Spy Team couldn’t be happier, especially with the latest onslaught of inclement weather. It is only in these cold, dark weeks of Minnesota winter that we truly learn to appreciate our lovely back patio and beautiful Loring Park around the corner. However, we did manage to brave the frigid temps for a meet and greet at SiP Coffeebar with the minds behind Eyeo Festival, a collaboration of creatives across all mediums who band together to create extraordinary art installations. What a cool space, huh?

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Praise the ad gods – “Got Milk?” slogan is retiring!

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At least for the MilkPEP (no it’s not the Milk Peeps, it stands for the Milk Production Education Program – duh!). Let’s hope this also slows down every rip-off creative out there who used the hackneyed tag to promote everything from bail bonds to insurance, kale to schnauzers. It stands as the epitome of a go-to creative idea for the uncreative. Got ____? Works for everything, right? Wrong! The bludgeoning has been epic and the celebrity milk-staches many. But alas, all things must come to an end. And we thank you.

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Rule 40: Why some sponsors who help foot the bill for Olympians have to go quiet during the Olympics

Pepsi_FullSizeNever knew this. Only the Official Sponsors get the limelight for the duration of the games. It’s called “Rule 40” and it forbids athletes from promoting many of the brands that got them there. For Shaun White that means no logos for Target, Oakley or Red Bull. Not only that, these sponsors can’t use him, or any other Olympic athlete, in their advertising while the Olympics are in play. That also means Pepsi is a no show in Sochi, because Coca Cola is the official sponsor. Only Visa cards work at ATMs. And no Nike or Head branding for Bode Miller. When it comes to branding, the IOC rules with an iron fist. Even an athlete’s face has to be blurred on any website of a non-official sponsor during the games. It’s crazy brand control that the athletes and brands follow to the letter. Wow. One tight ship that leaves athletes with tight lips when it comes to calling out their non-official brand benefactors.

Also, a quick list of Olympic athletes that reap the most from their Olympic sponsors. Note: this does not include professional hockey players on Team USA.

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Free Internet for all! Take that, Comcast mega merger!

Outernet_FullSizeSomeone has a big plan to level the playing field for the Internet world with a little somethin’ somethin’ called Outernet. Looks legitimate and there is no doubt it will change the game. It’s funny, because the minute I saw the Comcast/Time Warner merger announced I couldn’t help but think about the similarities to the telecom implosion. Not so long ago big telecom made big bucks, gobbled up the competition with its massive liquid assets and then exited stage left. Another victim of evolving technology and altered patterns of media consumption. Before you knew it the money went into a whole new set of pockets, and more than a few millionaires bit the dust. Life lesson #1: nothing lasts forever. We may stand on the shoulders of giants, but even the giants have the potential to turn to dust before you can say “husker du.” You never know when the next big thing will displace the incumbent. Today, it’s happening faster than ever. Another good reason to always be thinking about what’s next for your brand. And to wonder when Comcast, as we know it, might be going down.

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Condoms for endangered species? Happy Valentine’s Day!

ES_Condoms_FPWC_Center_for_Biological_Diversity.JPGThe most interesting thing about marketing is where it pops up. Every aspect of daily life is another opportunity to get your message out. Take the Center for Biological Diversity, for example. After St. Paul, MN was selected as the Best Romantic Getaway in North America by USA Today, the CBD decided to launch a condom giveaway campaign to build awareness around its efforts to promote sustainable biodiversity there. Just goes to show you, if you don’t see a good marketing opportunity, you are just not looking hard enough.

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Why Norway is curling its way into the collective brand consciousness with a fashion sweep.

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No offense, but most brands, people and places aren’t all that exciting most of time. It’s business as usual. And that’s the perfect time to shake things up! Take the Norway Curling Team. New outfits are making all the difference. At this year’s 2014 Sochi Olympics they put themselves smack dab on the radar of our collective news consciousness with something as simple as some eye-popping apparel. Proving once again, that sometimes to build awareness and get people talking, the best thing you can do is reupholster the furniture. Change things up. Innovate and self-celebrate. Show some swagger. Shake the bag of Scrabble letters, hope for a Q and then know what to do with it. Every brand can use a shot in the arm. At the very least, a fresh approach is a reason for your people to get excited about what makes you different. Don’t worry, you can always go back to business casual. And if the bottom line gets a boost, you might even get a bonus to buy some fancy pants of your own. Heck, you might even strike gold.

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Four for Lincoln: A birthday tribute to honest Abe in advertising

Happy Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday day! Born February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky our 16th president stands as an icon of honesty and a hero of emancipation. As everyone knows, he died an untimely death at the age of 56. What you may not know is that besides being the first US president with a beard, he used his stovepipe hat as a filing cabinet. Inside it you would often find mail, his bankbook and important papers. Apparently he didn’t like sitting on his wallet. Little did he know he’d become a go-to resource for thousands of advertising ideas across the decades. Here’s a small sample of some of Abe’s most interesting advertising work. I’m sure he would be, um, well, surprised.

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Hump Day Treat

Wednesday is that day you need a little something extra to get you to Friday; a hump day treat, if you will. This week’s treat for Spyglass is  remembering last Friday’s cozy team brainstorm/lunch featuring two things we love – Corona and chili! AND it’s above freezing today in Minneapolis.

It will be Friday before we know it. IMG_2996

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The Big Sausage Myth

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