In the classic movie A Christmas Story, eight-year-old Ralphie pens a “theme” entitled “What I Want for Christmas.” He uses the class assignment to promote his cause in obtaining his all-consuming Christmas wish. “I want a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time,” he writes.
The older I get, the more I love this movie. The writer, Jean Shepherd, was one of the great American storytellers, an imaginative writer and actor. Not only did he write the script, but he also narrated the 1983 movie. I love how Ralphie is completely consumed by one Brand ( Daisy Airguns) and completely disappointed by another (Ovaltine). I often use A Christmas Story to highlight difference between Branding and Advertising. Branding is a process. Advertising is a tactic. Branding creates emotional attachments between buyers and companies. Advertising simply describes “features and benefits.”
Ralphie imagined that he was Red Ryder and tirelessly, relentlessly worked to to get the BB gun of his dreams. Despite liking “rich, chocolatey Ovaltine” Ralphie felt betrayed when his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring spells out “BESURETODRINKYOUROVALTINE.”
People love Brands. People loathe Advertising.
Monday, December 19 – I want Meredith to feel better
On Monday, Account Manager Meredith Mason recently took my advice to go out for lunch and not eat at her desk. In the process of walking to a nearby lunchspot, she was hit by a City of Richmond maintenance truck. She’s going to be just fine, but she spent a few days at home nursing the bumps, bruises, and a broken wrist. The driver was taking the corner too fast and hit her in the crosswalk in front of our building. If I was a betting man, I’d say taxes are going up soon for city-dwellers. Send Meredith a “get well soon” email > MeredithM@madisonmain.com
Tuesday, December 20 – I want to show you “The Lunch Bunch”
Sr. Graphic Designer Kaity Carr is getting lots of props from her colleagues and our clients at the Richmond City Health District. Kaity created a cast of characters that are designed to get Richmond Public School kids to eat healthier at school – and home. “The Lunch Bunch” will be appearing soon at a school cafeteria near you.
Wednesday, December 21 –I want to recommend Sycamore Vet to you
While we were meeting with our friends Cabell and Taryn, owners of S ycamore Vet Hospital at our place on Wednesday, my wife Sue was taking Gertie, our roly poly beagle, to their place to get checked out. Normally, she’s a sweet old hound, but on Wednesday she started nipping at the veterinarian, who smiled and took it all in stride. Bad dog, good vet. 🙂
Thursday, December 22 – I want to give you an update on Lucy Corr Foundation
Yesterday, I had the privilege of delivering cards, candies, and CASH to friends at the Lucy Corr Foundation. I have been astounded and humbled by the generosity of so many people these last few months.
RECAP: In late October, I learned that there were 50 residents at Lucy Corr Village who are alone in the world; they have outlived all of the their friends and don’t have family that can support them. The nurses and aides have done a great job over the years of brining in treats and hand-me-down clothes, but this year I thought we could do more. I started a GoFundMe, and collectively we raised more than $5,000 — our goal was $100 per resident to make a brighter Christmas. But that set in motion a chain of events that will warm your hearts:
- 69 people gave online, and a few more sent checks
- 50 bags of treats and 50 handwritten Christmas cards came form the Midlothian Leaders Club
- The Christmas Mother heard about this program, and gave a $1,000 grant to provide a Christmas party for the residents
- The Gideons brought large print bibles for every resident
- And volunteers showed up all month to visit with residents, shop for items, wrap presents, and distribute them
- Even a very busy Santa Claus came by yesterday, too
Friday, December 23 – I wanted to give everyone the day off, so I did.
“People spend money when and where they feel good.”
– Walt Disney