a food/wine/marketing blog that is funny by accident, sarcastic on purpose.

Randomness

loving lomob.

My latest iphone app let’s me make my iphone images look amazing. I cannot even remember what my pictures looked like before I downloaded lo-mob.


first step for sunchips, giant leap for the industry.

You can only get Media Post articles if you subscribe to them, so I took an excerpt from SunChips Rolling Out Compostable Package written by Karl Greenberg that I read this morning about SunChips takes a huge step in the greening of product packaging.

sunchips-bSnack brand SunChips, a division of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay, likes its packaging to be ubiquitous on shelves — but on sidewalks, bushes, in trees or the random gutter? Not so much. The company is rolling out compostable, organic-based packaging bit by bit this year, with a fully compostable bag due out on Earth Day in 2010.

The marketing effort includes a 45-second ad showing a time lapse of the 100% biodegradable bag decomposing over 14 weeks. It will run once on “American Idol” on Tuesday — the day before Earth Day — followed by a home-page takeover on various social/video Web sites.  Print ads running in People will include samples of the new biodegradable material.  SunChips has also begun a national point-of-purchase effort in grocery stores this week with pamphlets containing swatches of the material — made of polylactic acid (trade name Ingeo) with instructions on how to compost it.

The campaign will be extended after Earth Day through a participation initiative via a partnership with National Geographic.  A digital campaign — centering on the video — will direct people to GreenEffect.com, where they can submit an account of steps they or their community groups are taking toward a sustainable lifestyle.

Out of all of the Earth Day promotions that I have been reading about, this one stands out the most for me.  SunChips seems to be taking this a step further than just talking the talk…. They are actually inventing a material that will revolutionize the way product packaging is made and putting the idea of composting out there.  Gone are the days that hippies and farmers are the only ones who compost their scrapes of food and now businesses like Whole Foods are setting up Composting Facilities around the United States.  I look forward to seeing this trend continue further than Whole Foods and my backyard (the picture below is a before shot of our garden).

garden


ben and jerry’s using facebook connect.

This new Facebook format has brought on a abundance of brands jumping into this social network to create Brand Pages… This has it’s positive and negative impacts.  The negative being that there are possibility too many choices of brands out there for Facebook users to become “fans” of.  The positive part of this is that the brands that put forth the extra effort will stand out.

Case in point: Ben and Jerry’s

This is a brand that I already have a deep connection with.  Phish food has been a part of some of my favorite college memories, eating a whole pint of it in the parking lot of Safeway or Vons with a friend when the occasional case of the munchies hit.

They have been one of the brands with the largest fan base since as far back as I started paying attention (almost a year and a half) and now you are able to participate with Ben and Jerry’s and Facebook on their own website.  With Facebook Connect you can post your favorite flavors on your Facebook Profile, letting all your friends know which flavors are your favorite.

fb-connectbenandjerrys

Why do this?  Well, it is all about your personal relationship with the brand.   The most memorable brands are the ones that people feel a personal connection with.   I will argue til I am blue in the face that Phish Food is the best flavor, and even though I do not have a personal preference of which winery truly has the best Pinot Noir, I have been known to get into arguments over which varietal of wine is the best and will go to any winery that makes a Pinot.

Which brands do you feel you have a “personal” connection with?


why you should hire a freelancer.

I was just recently asked by a winemaker friend of mine if I have any marketing agency recommendations for him.  After he told me he was looking for an agency to create a print ad, my first question to him was why he wanted an agency to do this for him when it would be much cheaper and faster to hire a freelance graphic artist to create an amazing print ad for him.

His reaction to my question was that he hadn’t thought about that and he wasn’t sure how to go about finding the right person to help him out.

This comment got me thinking about local photographer/creative director/social elite Todd Brilliant’s new project the Creative Job Agency and the large number of freelance creative people I know around the area.

The CREATIVE JOB AGENCY will position itself as “LinkedIn for Creatives,” only with a real-world social element that will help form and cement critical professional relationships.

What is great about this “agency” is that it allows like-minded creative people to network, online and offline to discuss work opportunities and possible collaborations.   It is a great opportunity to meet freelancers and build up your list of recommended graphic artists, website developers, pr people, etc.  What it doesn’t do is get the word out to other, non-creative businesses and people who might be looking for our services.  That is up to us.

My current side business (still in initial start up phase) is social media and public relations focused, which is not a discipline that local businesses usually think to use when budgeting their marketing dollars.   This means it is up to me to get out into the community to let them know that I am available to help them cheaply market their brands online.  I currently am doing this by networking with business owners and other creative people, linking businesses that might not need my services with other freelance people that can currently help them.

Other reasons a freelance PR/Marketing/Website person might be the best answer for you*

  1. Price –  Freelancers do not have the same overhead as agencies, which means it costs less for them to create
  2. Attention – More personal attention because they have less clients
  3. Localized services – Help keep freelancers in business and they will continue to live in Sonoma County and help out the economy instead of moving away to work at agencies in the big cities
  4. Talent -The lack of work  in agencies means that talented people (like me) are doing more side work

So before you go looking for a Sonoma County agency, ask yourself if you know anyone who might know a freelancer that could help you out.

*Sorry to agencies I have previously had worked for or will work for in the future.  I am not discounting the work that any Agency does, but during economic hardships, I think that freelance work is the better choice, especially for smaller businesses.


rainy days, fast cars and memories.

I am just sitting in Palette Art cafe, enjoying their free wifi and drinking a soy mocha.  Not much to say, but I feel like writing (and trying not to over think the proposal that I need to write).

The song “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman just started playing which instantly brings a rush of nostalgic happiness.  This one song can sum up my entire high school life.  The memory of after school in 9th grade with my group of girlfriends is still a strong image that will always stay with me.  Back in the day before the internet, itunes and right when CD’s were becoming the norm; we would sit in front of the stereo and call into our favorite “Top 40” radio station to request “Fast Car” everyday, sometimes even several times each night.  We would all giggle profusely when our voice would come on the radio requesting the song, usually forgetting to attempt to tape the song because we were also singing and dancing at the top of our lungs to the poetic words.

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere

Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove

Even though the song is about a couple wanting to move INTO the suburbs, the lyrics of the song seemed to also fit with what we saw as our teenage girl, middle class, suburban angst.  We just wanted to get away from the redundancies of life.  Our parents, siblings, heartbreak, homework. We wanted to “finally see what it means to be living.”  We wanted to “be someone, be someone, be someone.”

us

Unfortunately – We were only fourteen.  Only two years to go until we could proudly state our independence and freedom, until we could legally get in a fast car and drive away…

Fourteen years later, anytime I hear this song in my car, I turn up the radio full blast and sing at the top of my lungs.  I don’t feel the same angst as I once did, but it is still nice to get away sometimes.  Driving and singing at the top of my lungs still does it for me.


that’s what she said.

I really just wanted pay my respect to “That’s what she said day.” I have nothing else to say.  Oh. Wait, The Office rules!


wine country events coming up.

After a very warm and dry January, we finally are getting some rain in Sonoma County.  Usually during this brief rainy season, us Northern Californians tend to hibernate a bit.  So while there have been a few events going on, I haven’t really been to to much of them.  Maybe because of the economy, maybe the rain, maybe nothing has really caught my eye.

Whatever my reasoning, there are a few things I am looking forward to as we move onto early Spring (it always feels as if Spring starts early here).

This past Wednesday I visited  Napa for a presentation given by Paul Mabray of Vintank, a new Wine Marketing Think Tank.  Here he discussed their introductory project, a social media report about the state of the online wine industry.  I am looking forward to seeing the study when it comes out at the end of the month (okay, this may not be a physical event YET, but it is social media — so it is an event in my eyes).

Mr. Healdsburg is one of the best annual events in our little town.  The event is at the Raven Theater on Saturday February 28th (yes, one week from today).

Start Time: 8pm, doors 7pm
Adults: $25 advance, $30 door – 21 and older only!

Guys from all ages, occupations and popularity participate in a beauty pageant to win the title of Mr. Healdsburg.   It is a great event that the whole town gets a little kooky for.   Be warned – the bars tend to have huge crowds of people after the show!  This year will also be the first that my friend, Samantha Vega, DJ at 101.7  The Fox, will be hosting.

Barn Diva, an amazing restaurant and cocktail lounge just started up Healdsburg’s only dance scene.  Every Friday night (if everyone is behaved) they will be pushing back the tables and playing some great music.  Perfect place to dance, eat some late night food and enjoy great drink specials with your friends.  When it gets a bit warmer and dryer,  they have a gorgeous back patio that will provide more room to play.

barndiva-027

Here is a shot of the bar taken from last week’s event.  As you can see, my Twisted rubber chicken is always around.

Now onto the event that in my eyes seems to trumpet over all — Yes it is the Annual Barrel Tasting weekend here in Healdsburg.  For two, count them, TWO whole weekends in March, visitor’s and locals alike will be able to visit all the wineries in Dry Creek, Alexander Valley and the Russian River valley and try samples of wine, straight out of the barrels.

This give wineries the advantage of selling their wines before they are even released.  Though the wine fairly ever tastes the same six months later — It is a great way to get to know the people who make the wine and have some fun.

Okay, before this post gets too long and you get bored with me (like that is even a possibility) I will say  that this event is March 7-8 & 14-15 from 11 am – 4 pm each day.  The price is $20 PER weekend.

Online tickets will be sold January 23 through March 1 for $20 per person.  At the door, the price will be $30 per person.

Since this is one of my favorite events — Be on the lookout for a few more postings before, possibly during and definitely after the event.

I will also be visiting San Fransisco for two social media events at the end of March — The Wine 2.0 and Web 2.0 Expo’s are ironically (or intentionally) planned at the same time.