Write Stuff: ‘Cause that’s what poets do

Proof positive that I can write under pressure with many children under the age of six (no, they are not all mine). Before you click the link and read this week’s Write Stuff post, here is the backstory.

My wife and I invited a friend and her children to join us for a Bele Chere excursion. My children were very excited to have guests and were acting accordingly by running from one end of our small cottage to the other end while loudly proclaiming their enthusiasm. I started writing the piece around 11 AM amid the din of my progeny, and guests arrived around 11:30 AM for an early lunch before we headed to Bele Chere. With double the children the beautiful chaos did increase. By 12:30 PM I had posted this week’s column while everyone else ate lunch.

For more than I month I had been reading and pondering the essence of this piece but had not committed it to paper. Inspired by the lyrics from the Steve Brooks’ song Dead Poets Society (from his Purgatory Road album), I chose the title — “‘Cause that’s what poets do.” My outline for the piece was simple and I offered the question, “Why should I write poems if people are more interested in my activism?” Realizing the piece ended darker than I anticipated I added a sarcastic spin at the end àl a George Thorogood’s “One bourbon, one scotch, one beer.”

So here’s this week’s, ‘Cause that’s what poets do.

By the way, Bele Chere was a hoot! The kids enjoyed it because they all received balloons that they could fight over and the parents enjoyed it because the children were very tired from all the walking and went to bed early. And that is what parents do.

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Blind Date with Poetry

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe
Tonight, July 27, 6:30 PM.
free to the public.

Blind Date with Poetry with host Matt Moon and featuring poet is Michael White.

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Marketing campaign incentive and the power of suggestion

This ad pops up a lot when accessing my Hotmail account.

Advertising design has three golden rules that always work when selling products:
1 – beautiful women
2 – puppies
3 – cute babies

That’s the shortlist of golden rules. There are other rules to eye-catching ads like using colors red, black or yellow for maximun impact.

This ad gets one and a half (because the dog isn’t real). But, come on, who really wants to get a free pink stuffed dog with the purchase of Victoria’s Secret products.

Clearly this ad is not targeted toward my demographic. What am I going to do with a pink puppy? Maybe some of my female readers could enlighten me as to why this would be a good incentive to purchase Victoria’s Secret products.

However, when planning customer incentives, the marketing campaign director should have considered: Does this marketing incentive (a pink fluffy dog) fit the Victoria’s Secret demographic? A free pink fluffy dog might be a buyer incentive for FAO Schwarz customers.

According to this article, they are targeting a younger audience:

“We wanted to capture the spirit of the young with Pink,” said Anthony Hebron, spokesman for Victoria’s Secret

and further

“The Pink collection is an excellent idea because it caters to a different customer than the company’s core, slightly older shopper. The college crowd was sort of a white space for Victoria’s Secret that it needed to address…”

Do college coeds like pink fluffy dogs? Seriously, doesn’t a free pink fluffy dog incentive seem more like Victoria’s Secret is targeting a younger than college age demographic — like teens or tweens?

As a designer of ads and a father, this marketing concerns me a bit. I recently designed an ad for a local brewery that targets responsible adults. But I would not design beer ads that appeal to juveniles.

The visual power of suggestion is a very potent tool among art directors, graphic designers and marketers. It should be used effectively, efficiently and responsibly.

This is going to date me a bit, but the “Keep America Beautiful” public service campaign commercial starring Chief Iron Eyes Cody in the 70s challenged people to live responsibly by not polluting the landscape. Visually effective and efficient, it suggested that Americans consider not our own generation but the generations to follow. I need to remember this principle when designing ads or other materials. I hope I am not alone in trying to design responsibly.

It is official — d’licious magazine release party!

d’licious debut: magazine release party!
Saturday, August 5, 2006 from 7:00pm– until
Haywood Park Hotel Ballroom, 1 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
Contact: Cody Stokes at cody@dliciousmag.com

On Saturday August 5th D’licious Magazine will debut its premier issue as Asheville’s one and only food and beverage magazine. Come experience a taste of Asheville’s cuisine, entertainment, breweries and wineries from 7:00pm until after midnight at the Haywood Park Ballroom underneath the Haywood Park Hotel in the heart of downtown Asheville.

Participating will be: Belly of Buddha Catering, the Flying Frog Cafe, the Frog Bar and Deli, Biltmore Estate Stable Café, Thai Basil, Hannah Flannigans, Skully’s Signature Dine & Drink, Digable Pizza, Greenlife Grocery, Sweet Monkey Bakery & Catering, Clingman Ave. Coffee and Catering, Zuma Too: Chef Oso’s Culinary Passport, Haywood Road Market, Sclafani Distributors, the Biltmore Estate Winery, Hanover Park Winery, the French Broad Brewing Company, Highlands Brewery and the Pisgah Brewery.

Additional sponsors will be: The Westville Pub, Kabloom, 96.5 WOXL, and the Art of Microbrewing by Stephen Patrick Boland and Kevin Marino.

Entertainment for the evening will be: David Stevenson, Cabo Verde, Free Planet Radio and Jen and the Juice.

Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: The Haywood Park Hotel, The French Broad Brewery, Greenlife, Hannah Flannigans, Clingman Ave. Coffee and Catering, Skully’s Signature Dine & Drink, The Haywood Road Market, Orbit DVD and Diggin Art.

Come and support D’licious Magazine for its debut in Asheville.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Hors’ Doeuvres and beverages will be included in the ticket price.