Mark Grimm

 

Be Valentine’s Day Star: Flowers Wilt, Notes Last

Valentine’s Day is a great chance to show what that special person means to you. Christmas has presents for the kids. Thanksgiving is consumed with food and family gatherings. Valentine’s Day is “show time” for lovers. Make the most of it.

ValentineDayTry something different this year. Write a personal note that is both specific and revealing. If you need a hand getting started, maybe this will help:

1- Jot down the things you love most about your partner. Make a list.
2- Think of specific examples that reflect those traits
3- Locate a photo or two that represents the examples
4- Create a brief outline that tells this special story
5- Start writing

You don’t have to be Hemingway. A little editing here, a little polishing there, and you will have something that will be memorable.

You have the time. How much of it have you spent on social media lately? Give it a break for a moment and pause for something that matters a lot.

Flowers last a week. Candy is loaded with fat. The right note can be an enduring treasure. Go for it!

The writer runs a communications business and has the good fortune of having the best wife and daughter any man could hope for.

Super Bowl Ads: What Worked, What Didn’t?

Puppies still work. Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad on the lost puppy became the top-rated commercial, according to USA Today’s Ad Meter, a survey of 6,700 consumers.

Many advertisers went the “pulling the heart strings” route this year. It made breaking through the clutter that much harder. And is there is a lot of clutter. I counted 108 ads between the game’s kick-off and final gun, including promos and billboard ads.

The clutter and fierce competition make it difficult to recoup the $4.5 million price tag for a :30 spot. Advertisers pay a premium for the spots, it ‘s like buying a stock when it is high, and count on online views to help mitigate the costs.

The NFL went halfway with its PSA on domestic violence. The 30-second spot it aired was not nearly as gripping as the 60-second spot shown online. Given its awful domestic violence record, it should have aired the 60, especially considering it had five promos for Blacklist, its upcoming program.

Fiat’s “blue pill” ad got a lot of traction, it was funny and made  a simple point. I also liked the Pete Rose “In the Hall” ad — a clever, good natured poke at a controversy.

Many ads made it difficult to know what the product was until the end. Some car dealers were the worst offenders. The Go Daddy ad, a last-minute substitute for a cancelled ad on a puppy mill, was flat, a sharp break with its bombastic rep.

In the end, every advertiser should be asking the same question, is this the best possible use of $4.5 million? Something to ponder while they are pumping their chests over a Super Bowl ad.

The writer, a former TV news anchor, runs a communication and training business.