Archive for August, 2009

It’s beginning to look alot like…

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

I saw my first Christmas ad last night.

My first reaction was that I musta done something stupid and slept through September and October…again. But, no. There is was. Let it be known that on August 26, with tempertures hitting over 100, the Christmas season began. (I remember when car salesmen used to have a “Christmas in July Sale” and dress like Santa Claus and stand in their parking lots, looking like the moe-rons.) But these guys were serious! There it was in all its green and red glory. Bells jingling. Kids riding down sleighs. Don’t ask me what it was for…it turned the channel.

My mind…and most of all, my pocketbook…isn’t ready ready for Christmas just yet.

It used to be that when Santa sleighed down the hill on a Norelco shaver to classic tune, “floating heads”, that the Christmas season had unofficially officially begun. Mom could break out the nick nacks and doo dads and start decorating the house. Now days, when I hear the Carol of the Bells and see the Lexus end of the year sale, I know Christmas is upon us. Korbel used to do the same to me…

Thinking back, the first big McDonald’s hit, Bob and I had wasn’t what we called a “reputation” ad. It was, in fact, a holiday promotion…for a peppermint sundae and egg nog shake. We shot the two spots in July up in Minneapolis with a wonderful crew from James Productions. The idea for the shake was simple, while out driving and looking at the Christmas lights with your family come into McDonald’s for a peppermint sundae. The other spot had to do with picking out a Christmas tree in the rain and slush and snow. McDonald’s loved them so much, they ran them for years. They were both very, very simple ideas that used the promotional ideas as the hero. (Funny side story: The director of photographer Julio Macat ended up getting the job as DP for Home Alone because director Chris Columbus and producer John Hughes loved the look of these commercials.)

CMO’s on more than one occasion have  asked me if a company can build a brand with a promotion. I have always said yes, and pointed to these two spots to prove that point. But little did I know that when we started that trend about 20 years ago…

Merry Christmas!

The Shack attack…

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I just spent an hour writing a blog. It was pretty doggone good, if I do say so myself. It was all about Radio Shack becoming “The Shack” and how I have been going to Radio Shack for over 40 years. Radio Shack is  where I bought  coax cable to run the speakers of my eight-track player to the backseat so I could get the full impact of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida on the back of my neck. Radio Shack is where I bought new speakers and weather band radios and police-band radios (don’t ask) and batteries and lots and lots of doodads. But not once, have I never heard anyone call Radio Shack, the Shack.

The guys at Butler Shine said old friends call Radio Shack..the Shack. I don’t. But, then again, I worked on McDonald’s for 16 years and never called it Mickey D’s. Mick and I were close I guess, but never that close. I go to Tom Thumb for groceries, but I don’t call it Tom’s or The Thumb. I like Trader Vic’s, but I don’t call it Vic’s.

My name is Jim Ferguson. I have been called Jim, Jimmy, Jim Ed, Jimbo, Jimmy the Geek, Ferg, Fergilicious, Pappy and Governor. But everyone calls me Ferg…friends and enemies.

A few minutes ago I hit the wrong button and erased my masterpiece of a blog. At that moment I came up with a new name for my computer…@*@TYN*)(!&%#$@^(!(^!!!