This is one business card a card scanner will not accept!

The clever folks at Arigatou Co. in Japan are pushing a new laser technology utilizing a new CO-2, high grade engraver that can etch 700 characters per second on hard surfaced organic foods …. peanuts, beans, rice, pasta … with astonishingly sharp results.

The product line, Taberu Me, translates in English to “Eat Me” … not the most politically correct message for a client.

Drop 150 engraved peanuts, shell and all, into a glass canister for $50. It’s a small price for a very unique, eye-catching branding message. When you consider the cost of sending a tired bottle of wine or bubbly, the cost is downright cheap.

Alternatively, you can stay in the US and go to the M&M site where you can custom print your message on everyone’s favorite chocolate.

Line up those gift lists for any upcoming holiday!


Art. It takes many forms. From a small child’s interpretation of a dream or a memory to the street artist and graffiti master or to the masters that hang in our museums. It can be a painting or the graceful lines of bridge or a skyscraper. The click of a camera or the plating of a meal.

What follows are several creative interpretations of art designed to fit a very common advertising vehicle ….the bag.

The photos speak for themselves, often making a statement or just tickling our fancy.

Against Foie Gras

The necklace is the handle. Genius !!
Anything placed in the bad is "hugged"

An event can also be created as an art form. Christo's gates in Central Park or the "freezing" of several hundred commuters in Grand Central Station as in this video....generating over 4.5 million views on YouTube in just two weeks!!


In the race for the presidential nominations, issues of healthcare, our economy and the Iraq war have overshadowed the importance of our environment. And while these issues have a significant impact on our lives today, the lives of generations to come will be impacted by the environment like no other.

The resiliency of our planet has survived eons of time without man. Nature saw to that. Our existence on this planet represents but the mere blink of an eye when measured in time. And in that blink, we have managed to upset the natural course of the planet's evolution. Man cannot cleanse the air we breath, replenish the nutrients we rob from our soil, or turn the nurturing sun's rays on and off. We use our oceans as garbage dumps even as we harvest its bounty.

Marketers have begun, in a small but important way, to focus on the benefits of cause marketing, in many cases developing programs that benefit the environment as they generate "feel good" points for their brands. Those efforts often create a loyal marketing base from which CRM programs and brand dreams are made of.

For those marketers that want to extend the reach of their Green initiatives, association with cause campaigns driven by viral marketing can help. One such "extender" that offers a donation to plant a tree for a simple sign-up for a Green Newsletter is
The offering is extended through Datran Media which is, in turn, building a base of consumers with a Green interest.

There is no cost to the consumer.


The swirling controversy over a Target ad in Times Square suggesting a young woman making a snow angel over a Target logo borders on the absurd. That is, of course, if your focus is on the ad.

Is the ad suggestive? Does the image whose logo sits as a “target” on a suggestive snow-angel pose offend you? Was it intentional?

Times Square Ad

The ad is as suggestive as the little minds that believe it was an intentional and subliminally contrived effort on the ad agency’s part to do ….what?

The real issue here is not the ad … it’s the response Target gave to the blogger that suggested it was inappropriate.

“Unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with nontraditional media outlets … This practice is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest.”

Is this company so far behind the digital times that it believes its own dribble that the internet is a “nontraditional media outlet”? If their intent was to start a viral backlash on a communications policy that responds with “we don’t care”, then it deserves the viral flogging …. and the loss of revenue from a good number of their “core guests”.


About a year ago I commented on the absurdity of Second Life as a marketing tool for consumer awareness and lift. Spending money in this virtual world was primarily driven by digital enthusiasts eager to play in a “cool” environment. Many clients took the bait and, without a strategic plan to form a knowledge base, saw no redemption.

Not so oddly, many agencies without a hint of remorse for flushing away significant marketing dollars, played up Second Life as the place to be seen and not heard (there is no audio synced with the experience).

What does Second Life look like today? The demographics are somewhat homogeneous with skews to lower income strata with an 18-44 age break. Gender is almost divided equally male/female. Typically, residents have an affinity to gaming sites, which provide an easier (and more accountable) marketing path for those advertisers looking to reach young gamers.

Here’s the kicker …. With all the hype the average number of unique visitors per day totals a "stunning" 8,500, or 255,000 uniques per month (December 2007). Hardly a maelstrom of consumer purchasing power.

Not all is lost, however. The single most compelling reason to play in this virtual reality is ROI. Not in the traditional sense, but in the Return On Intelligence. The residents of Second Life are the innovators and risk takers that should compel us to provide them with the platforms from which we can learn. They are the digital pioneers that will signal the next wave of digital standards. And marketers that ignore the benefit of intelligence gathering and its application to marketing endeavors will be the biggest losers.

The bottom line: Budget, plan strategically and above all, understand that Second Life is not about the numbers, but about the ability to learn and apply.