Archive for the 'Cheerleading' Category


Gap commercial… What is the problem here?

In the last few days, the blog world has exploded in controversy with this new Gap holiday commercial. I saw it on TV last night and I thought there was cool dancing, there must be cheer leaders to pull that off, especially the girl who gets tossed 20 feet in the air at one point, nice sound stage to shoot on, good choreography. I also think the lyrics were fine…except that the Gap is showing its PC side. We have seen mostly PC holiday messages for years now.

But now there are groups (well, one actually: American Family Association – AFA) that are all bent out of shape because in the commercial’s lyrics say “You 86 the rules, you do what feels just right.”

I just dont understand the problem with the commercial. What do you think?

I have to run. I am attending a “Celebrate the coming of Winter with this Winter Welcome gathering” at Stapleton’s town center. Now that’s just another PC name for the lighting of the Christmas lights at my town center.  I hope people aren’t upset when they get there to find out Christmas won’t be mentioned anywhere. What a world we live in.

Here are the lyrics for the GAP commercial:
Two, Four, Six, Eight, now’s the time to liberate
Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanza, Go Solstice.
Go classic tree, go plastic tree, go plant a tree, go add a tree,
You 86 the rules, you do what feels just right.
Happy do whatever you wanukkah, and to all a cheery night.

Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, go whatever holiday you wanukkah.


Franchise Brand Management: The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders’ Way

Country Music Television is about to air, for the third season, a show called “Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team.” The title pretty well explains the plot of the reality show. Last fall I saw an episode that I will never forget. They cut one of the girls who made it to the training camp because her, err, derrier did not look good enough in the tiny little uniform.

At first I was shocked.

But then I thought about it.

Click here to view the 2009 promo

Click here to view the 2009 promo

The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (DCC) is a brand. A very well-know, well-crafted, well-managed brand. The coaches know that every detail of the brand is important. And let me remind you that for the DCC, their uniforms (and their kickline, of course) are key to the brand image. The uniforms are not forgiving. So in their effort to uphold the brand, I applaud the standards set and maintained by the decision makers in Dallas.

I recently had a conversation with a client about the importance of protecting their franchise’s brand. Over the last year, I have seen franchise owners breaking brand standards in both big and small ways. I have witnessed everything – skewed logos on Web sites, print ads out of sync with the national campaign, outdoor signage in  non-brand colors, franchise owners refusing to participate in a national campaigns and even non-corporate business cards. These brand-rogues are not OK. They are never OK.

Eroding the brand hurts your business. It hurts the ability of the national office to sell more franchises. And it hurts your reputation as a business owner. Protecting the brand in everything that consumers see or hear about your company is important to managing your reputation and building a strong position in your industry.

If you are a franchisee, I would like to remind you that you purchased a brand, not just a business model. Uphold your investment to the highest standards.

If you are a franchisor, I encourage you to begin slapping penalties and fees on franchises that break brand standards. It’s time to take back control of your image and your reputation.

I am currently working with someone that is the brand manager for a Fortune 500 company. Her job is to enforce the brand. She has this position because her company spent time and money in developing a brand that is powerful, makes a statement and that people recognize. I think all franchises should have an enforcer. Have your agency play this role if you don’t have the bandwidth internally to manage this. Because if you don’t have your brand integrity, you don’t have anything.


General Mills…to disclose or not to disclose?

General Mills is now using a blog-influencing campaign to encourage over 900 bloggers to try their products and blog about them. The network, MyBlogSpark, is distributing free product samples for the group to try.


Brandweek’s Brian Morrissey mentioned in his article that, “The company (General Mills) suggests bloggers inform readers they receive products for review, although that is not a requirement for participation in the program. It does not compensate the bloggers in any other way, according to David Witt, brand public relations manager for the company.”

Moving forward, I think corporations reaching out to influential bloggers is a good strategy. However, as we made clear in our previous post (CARNIVAL) it is vital that these bloggers clearly disclose the nature of their relationship with said corporation.

At the present time, General Mills does not have a policy like this in place. I feel they should require their members to disclose their relationship in order to participate in the network, instead of taking advantage of the FTC’s sluggishness in putting forth legislation that addresses this issue.

What are your thoughts on bloggers disclosing their relationships with corporations?


PR Stunts – Funny and Thrilling

Big bellies and big pom-poms


Courtesy of CBS

Apparently pretty girls in skin-tight spandex waving pom-poms is not enough eye candy at the Florida Marlins’ games. They’re recruiting a different kind of cheerleading squad – an all male, big-bellied one named the Marlins Manatees. I just have one thought on that, but I’m keeping it to myself! However, I have to give those guys credit. They have a lot of team pride and lots of guts (no pun intended) to get out on the field and dance for the fans. I sure couldn’t do it!



The sky is not the limit

Don’t be late for this dinner reservation or you’ll get left on the ground. Brussels-based communications agency Hakuna Matata and its partner, Benji Fun, helped Dolce La Hulpe Brussels Hotel, Resort & Conference Destination host a “Dinner in the Sky”. Guests dined 164 feet in the air! Now this is a pretty cool stunt. Can you imagine the safety codes needed to pull it off, though?


Whether I liked these or not, they must have worked because they made the news and got me talking. What do you think? Any fun PR stunts to share?

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