Strange Talk And P&G Make Cheer More Cheerful

It must be the month of awesome laundry product campaigns. Hot on the heels of Tide’s confessions, Cheer has broken out the big guns by sponsoring the video for band Strange Talk’s single Climbing Walls.  But it’s not a deluge of product placement (we’re looking at you, Britney)—it’s a series of interactive pop-ups, where colorful items are highlighted and, once clicked on, bring the viewer to the brand’s Facebook page to enter giveaways for the clicked-upon items. Fun!

It’s also worth mentioning that this just may be the most Gen Y-targeted campaign for a Gen X product we’ve seen of late. Cheer detergent makes you think of immaculately-coiffed housewives laundering their children’s soccer-stained uniforms, not vibrant Passion-Pit-meets-Foster-the-People indie up-and-comers brimming with energy and amps. Not to mention surrounded by fantastic choreography, because there’s that, too.

Cheers to Cheer (forgive us, it was too easy) for walking the walk and imbuing their brand with the color and energy they offer to consumers. And, move fast – a new round of giveaways starts August 31st, 3pm EST.

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Women Are Responsible For This Year’s Hottest Brands.

Adage’s 2010 Hottest Brands list is out and from the brand names on the list, it just goes to show the power of the female consumer.

With moms 32% more likely to use smart phones than the national average, it’s no wonder the Droid is at the top of the list followed by Glee (we’re quite the gleeks over here at Just Ask a Woman) and our personal favorite, Groupon

We know the power of the female consumer, which is why we’re not surprised to see Old Spice on the list.  We fell in love with the new campaign targeting the female influencers in men’s lives.

We are also glad to see Dawn dish soap made the list.  Procter & Gamble has done well combining innovation, value messaging  and saving the environment – from recession to oil spills, this brand knows how to make women feel good and clean.

U by Kotex has done a fantastic job getting young women to feel more comfortable in what we like to call, the “pink ghetto” ( That aisle in the supermarket or drugstore that we quickly walk down or avoid altogether.)  We especially loved that the campaign poked fun at typical advertising in this category.  Breaking the cycle can be difficult for many brands. Companies can learn from their brave move.

And while there are quite a number of other brands that made the list that can link their success to women, Reebok’s EasyTone also has Katrin Ley, Head of Brand Strategy, Business Development and Women’s Sport Business, to thank for the growing toning category. They have sold 5 million pairs of EasyTone in the U.S.

And while My Pillow Pets and Silly Bandz have a much younger audience, we know who is laying out the money for these as well.

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A Green Tinted Catch 22

Half Truth: “I want to be as green as I can be.”
Whole Truth: “I’ll go green as long as it still tastes good, looks pretty and doesn’t cost more.”- What She’s Not Telling You

A recent article in the Times, “Cleaner for the Environment, Not for the Dishes”, explores negative consumer feedback on P&G’s new Cascade product line that follows new government regulations around the amount of phosphates allowed in dishwashing detergents. Often with environmentally friendly products there is confusion over price, effectiveness and the trade off. For example, if I don’t use one resource (harmful chemicals) and alter my routine by pre-washing my dishes, aren’t I then using more of another environmental resource (water) thereby hurting the environment in a different but equally bad way? It’s like a green Catch 22.

How can Cascade address this? Are there stats out there proving that pre-washing dishes uses less water than running your dishwasher twice? It’s time for green companies and products to address mass consumer concern in order to gain acceptance and market share.

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Her Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Last night Canadian skater Joannie Rochette placed third on the ice, but won the hearts of every woman watching. Her mom died of a heart attack just two days before, never to see her stunning performance. Despite the emotional turmoil, Rochette skated with every ounce of her strength. But to me, it all came down to the end of her performance, her face looking into the crowd, scanning the stands, knowing for the first time that the woman behind her, wasn’t there to see.

This blog is about marketing, so I could easily defer to a tribute to P & G for their beautifully done and prescient “Thanks, Mom” Olympics campaign. But this one is personal. 

For those lucky women who had a great relationship with their moms, there is nothing sadder than that first moment when she’s not there to cheer anymore. My friend Ellyn Spragins who’s written the terrific series of books, “Letters to my Younger Self”, told of the first time she was interviewed on TV after losing her mom. She told me how her mom’s was always the first call she’d get to tell her she did a great job. The silence was deafening.

I know that feeling. Three years ago, a month after I lost my mom, I was interviewed on GMA, ironically talking about a piece I’d written for MORE magazine about how daughters can cope with talking to their elderly parents about health and aging. I remember coming off the set and thinking that my mom, who always left the first voice message telling me she loved my dress or my answers, wasn’t there to call. As women, there’s a part of us who’s still the girl who needs to hear it from mom.  When your baby takes its first step, you get the promotion or get over a disappointment, you’ll want her to know.

Today is my mom’s birthday. And for Joannie and Ellyn and all the women who miss the one who applauded the loudest, I say this. She’s still watching and smiling. In her eyes, you’ll always win the gold.

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May 23, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

A look at an early production of WORK


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The God Box Goes Global!

“The God Box” has grown to include an app, audio book, philanthropic venture and solo show performed by Mary Lou across the US. Now The God Box Project goes global to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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