Monthly Archives: July 2013

How advertising helped “kill” the handkerchief – great “retro” ads and lessons in persuasion

Do you love those retro ads?  I love the art work – and the persuasion techniques.

retro kleenex

Woo hoo – this tissue “meets you half way!” AND they come out one at a time. You prevent waste and  hence less waste – hence you save money!

Many (now) RETRO  ads are about things we take for granted these days – yet at the time these things  like Kleenex Tissues were considered revolutionary and  high tech and so full of customer benefits! Even the name sounded modern with the K and the X.

This post is linked to a previous post about a how earlier generations were brought up (and almost “indoctrinated”) into carrying handkerchiefs.

I remember carrying a hankie was part of your check list as you went off to school.

When you got to school you suffered “authorised ridicule” if you did NOT have a hankie – and you had to produce proof that you were carrying a hankie!

handkerchief fathers day gift

One reader from Australia in response to the post remembered how at school he and his classmates were “encouraged” to always remember to carry a handkerchief.

“the song we had to sing in the classroom (grade 2) during which we were required to produce our handkerchiefs and wave them in time with the song…it ended ‘unless I have my handkerchief, I’m, not, dressed’, and offenders had to stand on their chair!

It’s interesting – because while schools were “encouraging” kids to bring hankies – there were counter forces at work “encouraging” people to not use handkerchiefs – but instead to use tissues.

TBMMCW.001

As a big fan of Mad Men – I love “studying” the persuasion techniques of retro ads.  Mind you these ads pre-date the Mad Men TV show era.

I am not connected with Kleenex in any way! Or handkerchief manufacturers,

O.K.  – so how did advertising agencies sell the idea of the superiority of tissues over handkerchiefs?

kleenex cold

According to this ad (and many like it) – if you are not using kleenex you are putting a cold in your pocket! Ewwwww!!

With Kleenex you get rid of the cold when you get rid of the tissue.

I note the encouragement/suggestion to buy a box for every room in the house.

O.K. – but what if people argue: well why don’t I just use handkerchiefs and wash them?

Oh – here’s why!

kleenexAd don't wash hankies

Dramatic huh!?

I love the other advantages to tip the scale –

– daintier than handkerchiefs

– costs less than laundering

– applying and removing cosmetics

I hope you enjoyed this retro ad persuasion “analysis”. I love this stuff as it combines my “passion” for retro and my “profession” and a persuasion and presentation trainer and consultant.

I was brought up to be a handkerchief guy. I occasionally use tissues – but I always carry a hankie.

Maybe it was all that ridiculing at school that ingrained my behaviour! 🙂

Here’s a link to the earlier post about hankies:

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/as-a-kid-were-you-forced-to-always-carry-a-hankie-what-other-memories/

—————-

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

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How advertising helped “kill” the handkerchief – great “retro” ads and lessons in persuasion

Do you love those retro ads?  I love the art work – and the persuasion techniques.

retro kleenex

Woo hoo – this tissue “meets you half way!” AND they come out one at a time. You prevent waste and  hence less waste – hence you save money!

Many (now) RETRO  ads are about things we take for granted these days – yet at the time these things  like Kleenex Tissues were considered revolutionary and  high tech and so full of customer benefits! Even the name sounded modern with the K and the X.

This post is linked to a previous post about a how earlier generations were brought up (and almost “indoctrinated”) into carrying handkerchiefs.

I remember carrying a hankie was part of your check list as you went off to school.

When you got to school you suffered “authorised ridicule” if you did NOT have a hankie – and you had to produce proof that you were carrying a hankie!

handkerchief fathers day gift

One reader from Australia in response to the post remembered how at school he and his classmates were “encouraged” to always remember to carry a handkerchief.

“the song we had to sing in the classroom (grade 2) during which we were required to produce our handkerchiefs and wave them in time with the song…it ended ‘unless I have my handkerchief, I’m, not, dressed’, and offenders had to stand on their chair!

It’s interesting – because while schools were “encouraging” kids to bring hankies – there were counter forces at work “encouraging” people to not use handkerchiefs – but instead to use tissues.

TBMMCW.001

As a big fan of Mad Men – I love “studying” the persuasion techniques of retro ads.  Mind you these ads pre-date the Mad Men TV show era.

I am not connected with Kleenex in any way! Or handkerchief manufacturers,

O.K.  – so how did advertising agencies sell the idea of the superiority of tissues over handkerchiefs?

kleenex cold

According to this ad (and many like it) – if you are not using kleenex you are putting a cold in your pocket! Ewwwww!!

With Kleenex you get rid of the cold when you get rid of the tissue.

I note the encouragement/suggestion to buy a box for every room in the house.

O.K. – but what if people argue: well why don’t I just use handkerchiefs and wash them?

Oh – here’s why!

kleenexAd don't wash hankies

Dramatic huh!?

I love the other advantages to tip the scale –

– daintier than handkerchiefs

– costs less than laundering

– applying and removing cosmetics

I hope you enjoyed this retro ad persuasion “analysis”. I love this stuff as it combines my “passion” for retro and my “profession” and a persuasion and presentation trainer and consultant.

I was brought up to be a handkerchief guy. I occasionally use tissues – but I always carry a hankie.

Maybe it was all that ridiculing at school that ingrained my behaviour! 🙂

Here’s a link to the earlier post about hankies:

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/as-a-kid-were-you-forced-to-always-carry-a-hankie-what-other-memories/

—————-

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

As a kid were you “forced” to always carry a hankie? What other memories?

“Here, take my handkerchief.

 Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief.” Rhett Butler: Gone With The Wind

gone-with-the-wind-movie

hankie1

 

 

Are you a fan of the humble hankie?

Were you were “taught” to always carry a hankie?

I’ve been thinking lots about hankies this week – partly because it’s winter and cold and flu season in Australia.

Also because I’ve been thinking about retro fashion as in one of my favourite shows Mad Men – and I’ve been thinking about the power of retro as businesses plan client gifts for Christmas.

Yes – I know that’s an interesting jumble of thoughts – but it all came out fine.

Please allow me to explain.

In a future post I will explain how advertising helped kill off the hankie and how the hankie is staging a stylish comeback.

In this post  -I’ll share some really cool views on the hankie from The Art of Manliness and reflections on how certain generations were “forced” to carry hankies.

This site is funny and informative:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/03/26/every-man-should-carry-a-handkerchief/

Handkerchief AOM

What memories do YOU have of hankies?

I always remember when going to primary school – having a hankie was an essential part of your checklist.

Sometimes your bus money or tuck shop money was tied in the corner.

I also remember the cruel and unusual punishment dealt out in class if you didn’t remember your hankie.

Offenders had to stand up while he rest of the class pointed at them and sang the “Piggy Sniffle” song. (I haven’t thought about that in decades – maybe I’d blocked out the painful memories!) I can’t remember the words – just the mocking faces and pointing fingers!

When did such a punishment stop in schools? Were you a victim of the cruel Piggy Sniffle punishment?

(I understand Piggy Sniffles also refers to swine flu in children)

handkerchief fathers day gift

Also a set of hankies was a standard Fathers Day gift! and still is for men of a certain vintage – probably once the young boys who were “forced” to carry handkerchiefs.

I also recall the satisfaction of being able to offer a nice clean handkerchief to others to help them. Maybe it was some deep desire to appear gallant like Rhett Butler as in the opening quote in this post.

I remember giving my handkerchief to crying women and to a male businessman stranger who had been sick in the street.  Probably still dragging him into work even though he was ill. I gave him my handkerchief to help him clean himself up.

If I was a single guy these days (and if I’d thought of it when I was single) – I’d have some cute message and my contact details on “give-away” handkerchiefs I’d hand to damsels in distress.

Probably I’d only get calls from dudes in distress I’d help.

TB hankie

I find the hankie also comes in handy on hot days – to wipe away the sweat  to look calm and collected for business meetings

Anyway, so many more ideas popping into my head for future posts – like the hankie as fashion statement and the hankie hat.

Gumbys hankies

Hadn’t thought about the hankie hat in decades either!

As the Art of Manliness explains – it’s important to note the difference between a handkerchief and a Mad Man style pocket square.

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

More amazing things about toast and toasters

In a previous post, I wrote about how a visit to a cool cafe adorned with retro toasters inspired me to ponder the importance of toasters and toast.

black toast

B toast 2

B toast sign

I was amazed to find that the toaster has also been used as a percussion instrument – and there is even a song about TOAST s you can enjoy here:

There is even a town in North Carolina called Toast

Toast town

When I travelled to Singapore, I was surprised to find a food chain that specialises in…you guess it!  TOAST.

Plus their range of popular spreads for toasts.Coming from a “toast” culture like Australia – toast is commonplace for me – but I can understand to other cultures toast can seem an “exotic” treat.

Toast-Box singapore

I also pondered how different expressions have been inspired by toast:

Of course – there’s warm as toast 

I was familiar with expressions such as You’re Toast – as in you’re finished.

I didn’t know (until now)  extra slang meanings for  toast:

a toast is another name for a drunk

Also: That’s toast! – means that’s splendid or excellent.

For vintage Toaster fans there are calendars and even toaster art as you can enjoy with this link:

cal_toasters

http://www.toaster.org/toasterart/index.html

And here’s a link to the original toast post:

TOASTERS retro

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/why-you-shouldnt-take-your-toaster-for-granted/

Why you shouldn’t take your toaster for granted

Chances are YOU take your hard-working toaster for granted. Yes YOU!

black toast

I know I was guilty of toaster neglect and disrespect – until recently when I enjoyed a cool café in Sydney called Black Toast.

B toast 1

The café was decorated with lots of retro toasters as props and these props brought back so many warm and “toasty” memories.

As I looked at the prop toasters I heard other customers stop and look and react the same way I did:

Wow – I remember my grandmother had one of those!

 

So I started thinking about toasters and about how once they were once revolutionary designs that made our lives easier.

To simplify:

Before toasters – we toasted bread on a stick over a fire or in a metal frame in front of a fireplace.

Then we got the electric toaster – where we had to watch and operate it and  “change the toast”.

Then came the revolutionary pop-up toaster – you just put it in, the “magic” toaster popped up the toast when it reached the level of “toastiness” you required!

I love the retro ads – proclaiming the wonders of the new technological toaster – a real lady pleaser!

toasters R

And toasters became the cliché for wedding gifts – when you wanted to help a married couple on the way to domestic bliss.

Then the toaster became commonplace and taken for granted.

We forgot it about because it “took care of itself” – and didn’t need our attention except for the occasional crumb clean.

Maybe if it wasn’t so reliable and burned your toast – you’d pay it more attention.

It became a victim of it’s own efficiency!

Anyway, I am glad to see the toaster is pushing its way back into our attention – claiming back its place in our kitchens.

Look at the bold retro colours and retro designs. Hard to ignore!

TOASTERS retro

There are even novelty designs.

teapot toaster

In my toaster research I even found out that there is a toaster museum.

If you’re interested at the end of this post  are links to that museum and some design/retro articles.

B toast sign

I’m so glad that Black Toast café’s toaster props  – got me thinking about toasters in our lives.

B toast 2

The props reminded me of my grandmother’s old toaster where you had to change the toast.

… as a kid on a cold morning watching the heating coils (don’t know the technical name!) glow orange.

… OR  being woken up by the welcome smell of toast wafting into your room when you were still in bed

…how with one of the  revolutionary (pre-pop-up) toaster design – you opened and closed the side and the toast would slide and change sides for you.

Haven’t thought about this stuff in decades! Memories keep popping up!

What about you? What memories do toasters have for you?

Here are  those links I promised:

http://www.toaster.org/museum.html

http://www.bellemaison23.com/2008/10/retro-kitchen.html

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

Something I never thought I’d do – but I took a shine to the old-fashioned shoe shine stand

The other day I did something I never thought I’d do – but it ended up being fun. It was also the inspiration for I thought was a great idea for winning business and attention.

I was visiting Sydney passing through the  Strand Arcade and I saw one of those old-fashioned shoe shine stands – you know the ones you often see in old American movies.

TB shoe shine

It seemed to be a very “American” thing.

ShoeshineStand

Now, maybe it was my old-school Australian egalitarian spirit – but I always felt reluctant at getting someone else to shine my shoes while I just sat there. I felt guilty and uncomfortable at the idea.

It’s strange – I was OK with getting my shoes taken away and shined as part of a hotel service to prepare for some important business meeting – but the idea of me just sitting there like “Lord Muck” while someone was at my feet shining my shoes seemed “wrong to me”.

I’m not saying my view was right – I’m just being honest about how I felt.

Anyway, this day was different. I was wearing my favourite old Doc Marten shoes that I’d bought back in the 1980s  -and they could have used some “professional” shining attention. I love my Docs. They are more than just shoes!

TB docs

So I tried the shoe shine stand. My decision had nothing to do with the smiling young German girl who was shining the shoes. Honestly!

We chatted about how she actually liked her shoe shining job because it was no stress – “No Worries Mate” she joked.

Also, shining shoes was  a pleasant change from her professional “office” job back in Germany. She said she liked talking to people too.

shoe shine 2

The experience reminded me of how many business execs also enjoy going to an old-school barber – as a break from the pressure of your usual business demands. There is something relaxing and calming about the ritual. You have an excuse to just sit and chat. Also some people just like “looking sharp” with shiny shoes.

I love this inventive production-line shoe shine approach in this retro ad:

shoe_shine_merry_go_round

As I was getting my shoes shined, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea! – what a great way to get the attention of business people you wanted to talk to about business.

You could get some professional shoe shiners to be at an event you host. Business people get their shoes shined and while you have their attention for the 5 or so minutes the shine takes – you can deliver your brief and natural sounding pitch.

You could even use old-school display boards (Mad Men style) rather than the PowerPoint presentations people see far too many of.

madmen pitch

I later researched this Prince Consort Shoe Shine Stand and I found out that they already DO offer a special corporate service service where they can attend your booth or space at an event or trade shows.

It’s apparently a good way to get people to visit an exhibit and (just as I thought) you have people’s attention for a few minutes.

I wonder what the equivalent experience would be for female execs and decision makers. 

If you have any ideas – please add in the comments section.

Do women’s shoes need “attention” of any kind? Fixing scuffs etc?

What about an executive foot massage – for males and females?

——————-

PC shoe shine

I am not in any way connected with the Prince Consort’s Shoe Shine Service – but I am more than happy to give them a plug.

I like it when there’s a triple bottom line – or in this case a triple bottom shine.

1. Business people get their shoes shined.

2. The people who book the shoe shiners get business exec’s attention

3. Shoe shiners get work

Trade_Show_shine

I no longer think that it is “un-Australian” to get your shoes shined at a shoe shine stand. I do however think it’s all about how you treat the shoe shiner – with respect as a person providing a service. I’ll get off my soap box (or shoe shine stand) now!

I found the experience to be actually enjoyable – and it can be good business with a triple bottom shine!

————–

I use the expression Triple Bottom Line generally to describe ventures where their are win-win-win situations taking into account extra dimensions rather than just profits.

John Elkington, “Towards the Sustainable Corporation: Win-Win-Win Business Strategies for Sustainable Development,” California Management Review 36, no. 2 (1994): 90–100.

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If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

What memories do you have of Doc Martens?

What memories do you get from Doc Martens?

Giant-British-Dr-Martens--006

Many people associate the famous boots and shoes with Punks and Skinheads – yet the iconic “Docs” were part of the lives of so many other groups and subcultures.

The Clash

Doc Martens bring back so many memories for me – accompanied by a soundtrack of the music of The Clash and early Elvis Costello.

Docs also remind me of thinking I was so cool and indie seeing indie movies in the 80s  at the great old Valhalla cinema in Glebe, in Sydney.  Movies like A Clockwork Orange.

I must say it took me a while to be able to afford a pair of Docs – but I definitely got my wearing value out of them!

logo drmarten

doc martens shoes

I’m back in Glebe this week – wearing the same Docs I wore back in the the 80s – but these days I’m on a family vacation and piggy-backing my daughter – past the old Valhalla Cinema that now seems so gentrified and non-edgy.

valhalla

T piggy back C

Docs seem to last forever. I had the shoes rather than the boots. I loved them and I still do. I still have an ox blood pair somewhere I will have to find.

I was chatting with  parent friends in the park today as we watched our kids playing.

One mum  said how she was a massive Doc Martens fan too and “lived in them”!

Another mum piped up: “I loved my Docs. I always wore them with my 501s!”

Then my wife adds: “I wore mine with my favourite tartan skirt!”

I wonder if our kids knew how cool their parents were back in their Doc days!

You may be familiar with the Docs history and legend – and how some of the earliest customers of Docs were housewives and postmen.

I love other trivia like how the brand so associated with Britain was originally from Germany and designed by a German army doctor Klaus Marten – with the umlaut over the A in Marten.

TB docs

I also think it is fortunate that the shoes were not named after another doctor – a friend of Klaus Marten who is credited with really helping the Doc get a strong “foothold” in the shoe business.

That doctor’s name: Herbert Funck

Imagine if they were called Doc Funcks!

I thought it was interesting how in the first decade of Docs – 80 % of customers were women over 40.

So that’s a good excuse – even if you are now a more mature and responsible parent – it’s OK to dig out your Docs and wear them.

T + C piggy back

If you’re interested – here’s a link to an entertaining UK article about the history of Docs!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/oct/31/dr-martens-at-50

Giant-British-Dr-Martens--006

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony