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Tag Archives: Saratoga

Salvation Army shows the perils of localized donor mail

I gave a fair-sized gift to my local Salvation Army this past holiday season, and was happy to do so. (I wanted a particularly enthusiastic bell ringer to get credit, so I found out his name, wrote it on the check, and dropped it off at the local center.) Inevitably, this has spawned a series […]

Why Words Matter… in bank marketing

A regional bank has invested in an image campaign, and the results are visible in the window of their local branch. Unfortunately, the copywriter has a tin ear. Let’s take a look at three sequential pieces of signage to see what I mean. “We strive to make banking simple.” Making something simple is a benefit, […]

Serotta Bicycles and the “quality of time”

Last month I got a tour of Serotta Bicycles, a world-renowned high-end facility located in my little town of Saratoga Springs, New York. These bikes cost from $4800 to over $28,000—and that’s just the frame. But the painstaking details make it seem worthwhile—from a machining process that can take a stock titanium tube and give […]

What happens when your viral video doesn’t go viral?

You put your heart and soul and best marketing smarts into a YouTube video campaign expecting it will go viral and quickly spread across the globe. And… not all that much happens. That’s disheartening but a useful object lesson. In my little town of Saratoga Springs, NY, the Chamber of Commerce decided to make a […]

Copywriting 101: Saratoga Chips

A local company is marketing a boutique potato chip in Saratoga Springs, NY, where that salty snack was invented in 1853. The chips are made with high quality potatoes and taste delicious. They are charmingly packaged in a replica of the “takeaway” box from the 1870s. The company is well regarded and family owned. And […]

Regional differences, revisited

In an earlier post I talked about regional differences as demonstrated by the way people talk about food on social media. Here is another example. These two gas station price signs are directly opposite each other on Route 50 in Ballston Spa NY, just north of the Highway 67 intersection. Hess is selling regular for […]

On the floor at Fancy Food Show 2011

The Fancy Food Show was jam-packed at San Francisco’s Moscone Center…. good news for business but making it difficult to navigate during a truncated visit this week. Here are some highlights: Trending up: cured meats, especially Serrano and Parma hams. I remember when it was a rare treat to get a slice of one of […]

Terra Madre Day celebrated by Saratoga Slow Food

Yesterday was the local observance of Slow Food’s Terra Madre (Mother Earth) Day, sponsored and beautifully organized and presented in the kitchens and dining room of Schenectady County Community College chef and Saratoga chapter president Rocco Verrigni. I sat in on a mega panel discussion followed by a mega tasting of fare prepared by rising […]

Wall Street Journal won’t deliver on customer service

Residents of Saratoga Springs, NY have been noticeably more clueless over the last two months because of delivery problems with the Wall Street Journal.  Apparently there is some kind of turf war among carriers. So every morning I go online to, sign in with my account number and login, and report the missed delivery. […]

Chevrolet shoots self in crankcase, creates badvertising instant classic

You can’t make this stuff up. The VP, I mean Vice President of Marketing at GM, I mean General Motors, has asked all employees to stop calling Chevy by that casual name and refer to it by the formal “Chevrolet” henceforth. The request presumably extends to the brand’s new agency, Goodby Silverstein, but hopefully did […]

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