An “Emotional” State of Mind: My Thoughts About the State Farm Commercial, “An Empire State of Mind”

It’s common for insurance companies to use an emotional appeal in their advertising — after all, the purchasing decision for insurance is highly emotional — but has State Farm gone too far with their new ad?

Last month, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, I was watching 102 Minutes That Changed America on A&E when I first saw State Farm’s new commercial, “An Empire State of Mind.” It was touching, appealing and (especially after watching video footage of the September 11th attacks for the last hour) it invoked strong emotions that I’m not sure I could easily describe. It was a beautiful tribute and, at the time, I didn’t think much of it. However, as the days progressed I thought more about the video and I was torn. Was State Farm using the emotions of the September 11th attacks to build a positive perception for their company?

If you haven’t seen the video yet, I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this post.

This brought up all sort of questions in my mind about the ethics involved, as well as State Farm’s intentions. It has been days since, and I am still torn in my thoughts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with using emotional appeals in advertising. I’m just pointing out it feels a bit weird when an advertiser rides the ’emotional wave’ of an event, where thousands of people died.

With that being said, at the end of the day, State Farm and Spike Lee put together a touching tribute. They didn’t place too much focus on themselves and they got the community involved.

Let’s just hope their intentions were pure.

High-End Gift Ideas for Chinese Businessmen

A few weeks ago, one of our clients asked us to source and produce “high-end gifts” for their Chinese investors. Though this task may seem easy at first, this ended up being quite challenging — especially since some of the investors are Chinese dignitaries. After scouring the Internet for hours on end, I thought to myself, “it would be great if someone wrote a blog post about high-end gift ideas for Chinese business relations.” Since I was unable to find anything of the sort, I thought it would be nice to post some of our ideas, and hopefully this post will save someone hours of research. Continue reading High-End Gift Ideas for Chinese Businessmen

Four Trends in the Book Publishing Industry

Being the self-proclaimed nerd that I am, I have a strange fascination with IBISWorld and their industry reports. This last weekend I was doing some research into the book publishing industry for a project that I am working on with my good friend, S.M. Boyce. I found it fascinating the magnitude in which Internet and new technologies are helping, and hurting, the publishing industry.

The following are four trends in the book publishing industry that have emerged as a result of the Internet and other new technologies. Continue reading Four Trends in the Book Publishing Industry

First Post

Hello reader,

As you can tell by the title, this is my very first blog post. For the last few months I have been playing with the thought of developing a blog as a “personal branding” project – not to mention a good excuse to finally develop my HTML and CSS skills. Now the day has come where I can finally write a post and publish it on the almighty Interwebz.

I am very excited to unveil my site (though it is not fully complete) and begin writing about, well, who knows?  Though I don’t have a solid direction for this blog yet (I’m sure it will develop over time), I can tell you generally what I will be writing about. My hope is to use this blog as an outlet to discuss many topics in the business arena, specifically “best practices” in marketing and digital communication. I also hope to share stories about what is happening in both my personal and professional lives; as well as share things I learn along the way.

I believe life is full of learning experiences, I hope this blog gives me the opportunity to reflect on those experiences and become a better person (and writer) because of it.

– Ian