Social Science Night at the Science Museum of MN

 

Last night I attended the inaugural Social Science event at the Science Museum of Minnesota! I heard about the event via Twitter and went to the website to check it out. It seemed like a great event and I knew I wanted to attend!

The purpose of the evening, in my opinion, was to engage and entertain adults (21+) at the science museum. The museum was closed off to anyone under 21. We were able to explore the exhibits and different things the museum has to offer without children running around. They had drinks available at cash bars throughout as well as a couple of appetizers. The cafe was also open to purchase food.

I had a blast at the event. They had the option to see the King Tut exhibit, check out the omnitheater (both at additional cost), a photobooth, a DJ and dance floor and a “shadow pong” station!

For the first time of the event, I think it was a success! Everyone appeared to be having a great time. Occasional searches of #socialscience on Twitter showed what everyone was up to & tweeting about.

I think there are definite areas for improvement. The lines for everything were really long. I found that most of my evening was spent waiting in line. I didn’t MIND as I was socializing. I think next time they should have more stations. Since it was the first event, they may not have been able to rope in local food venues to cater and offer free samples. Now that the first event ended and went well, I think they could reach out to restaurants and show them how successful it was and any good restaurant would probably want to join!

It seems it will be a quarterly event, with each one themed after the current exhibit. Last night’s theme was “Party with the Pharohs”. The next one should be in late June and the outdoor patio will be open. I can’t wait to spend a summer night drinking some wine on the patio, overlooking the Mississippi River and downtown Saint Paul.

Social Media at the Science Museum of MN

The Science Museum of MN also does a great job with social media! They were interacting with those tweeting about the event and responding when people were asking when the next event was. On their website, they have the links to all of their different social media sites.

*note, I did not receive compensation for my personal review of the social science event. just wanted to share my experiences and spread the word!

Impressed.

I recently came across an article in Ad Age online regarding the Minneapolis-based program, The Brand Lab. {article here}

Background on The Brand Lab

Our Mission: To create opportunity in the marketing industry for students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. {info found here}

 

My backgroud and passion for creating better opportunities for inner-city high school students

As an alumni of an inner-city school (Arlington High School class of 2005), I was immediately drawn to this program when I read about it. In my experience, inner-city high schools tend to focus on graduating kids from high school and nothing beyond. There are usually additional programs that college-driven students need to get involved in to find the support they don’t get at home. For example, I come from a single-parent home and my single-parent is not college educated. The likelyhood of me even attending college was low, coupled with the fact that I was from the inner-city and attended a public school. I felt as though I had to jump through hoops and hurdles just to even THINK about college. Luckily, I was involved with Admission Possible, which is amazing program, and I was able to go start my college career off at St. Kate’s. But, I digress… back to the topic at hand!

By engaging these students, not only are we opening students up to the local advertising community but we are showing them first hand what it takes to create everything from start to finish of an ad campaign. These are things I did not learn until recently when I’ve taken college-level courses. These students have such a great advantage at their fingertips. They learn about The Media Mix, Ethics in Marketing and Advertising, Brands and Branding and Print/Radio/TV Spot Production, to name a few things. With experienced professionals at their side, the students will be able to dig deep into these topics and learn hands-on about marketing and advertising.

I am excited to say that I will be volunteering with The Brand Lab for this spring semester! I stepped up to the plate and emailed to see how I can get involved. I absolutely love marketing and advertising and am an advocate for young adults that need support and a mentor.

I will be sure to keep an update on the blog of this spring’s adventure with The Brand Lab.

Stay warm!

Leah

 

Who has time to slim slowly?

Don’t you wish you could take a pill or sip a drink instead of a meal and you could lose weight?

I saw this commercial last night and I was quite appalled.

The tagline, “who has time to slim slowly?”.

Weight is something I’ve always “battled” with. Up until the age of 18/19, I was able to eat whatever I wanted, never work out or exercise. Needless to say, from age 18 until now for me it’s been a constant weight gain. I made the decision recently that it had to stop. I had never tried any fad diets. I never once drank a slim fast drink instead of a meal. I like food. I like to eat. I like to cook.

I am not a nutritionist, in fact my only background in nutrition is an online course I took when I was 19 years old for a general education credit and being in Weight Watchers twice. The one thing I learned from that class and Weight Watchers was that if you want to lose weight, you need to do it slowly. If you lose 10 pounds in two weeks magically, something isn’t right.

Body image is a huge issue for most women my age. With eating disorders being a silent killer, I am disheartened to see that Slim Fast is promoting losing weight fast. Wouldn’t it be just as easy to become bulimic  or anorexic? To me, promoting “3 snacks, 2 shakes or meal bars and 1 balanced meal” is not healthy.

I honestly believe that the easiest way to lose weight is simple:

Eat GOOD food and move more.

Since mid-November (coming up on 7 weeks) I am down 10 pounds. What did I do? Honestly? I joined the gym. I did 45 minutes of cardio 3x a week. I tried to eat before 8pm. I ate oatmeal for breakfast. Replaced a calorie-loaded vanilla white chocolate mocha from Caribou with a cold press iced coffee.

When you start moving more, your body craves better food, at least in my experience. I never really ate BAD, just… too much. I don’t allow myself to become upset if I really want some cake from Cafe Latte. In fact, I will go get the cake. But I’ll save half for the next day or split it with my roommate.

vodka + red bull = delish

OH, and liquor. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) consuming (cough) 5+ drinks per week in one night on the town doesn’t promote weight loss.

This ad campaign may help Slim Fast reach their goals: sales of the product. But I do not feel it is promoting a healthy way to lose weight. And if that is their ultimate goal, don’t you think that they should promote losing weight the healthy way? Does this boil down to ethics in marketing?

**I did check out the website for “the new Slim Fast” and in very fine print in the bottom they state that it is not healthy to lose more than 2lbs per week (which is what I’ve always been told). I am glad that is posted but at the same time I was seeking that out.

Marketing Strategy of Saint Paul Home Realty

 

  

 

 I have a strong love for the City of Saint Paul, as evidenced by my general love of the city, desire to get involved with things and fear of the suburbs. I’m a die-hard city girl, but not just any city. Saint Paul! STP! The 651! It’s amazing, we have a nice downtown that is quiet after 5pm, the river, the beautiful Cathedral, Grand Avenue, Summit Avenue, many parks and wonderful neighborhoods! 

Saint Paul Home Realty is a full service realtor. Just from browsing the website, you can connect (@stphr on Twitter,  Saint Paul Home Realty on Facebook). In today’s world of constant connectivity and desire to get information online, the website seems to be the most effective tool of marketing under their belt. You can check out specific neighborhoods for listings and a description of each neighborhood along with it’s statistics (did you know the average home size in Como is 1435 square feet?). You can read their blog and find out some juicy neighborhood realty or new restaurant gossip before it hits the media. You can even win $1,000 just by entering the monthly sweepstakes! 

Based on my research, I found that Saint Paul Home Realty does the majority of their marketing online. I asked Bud Kleppe via Twitter, how do you market your company? He responded and said 90% online and 10% direct marketing to other realtors or prospective clients. He also indicated that he shys away from print advertising because he finds it expensive and ineffective.

Speaking on behalf of the majority of my generation and age group (20 – 25 years old), I do 85% of my research to purchase things online. When the time comes for me to buy my super cute house in Como or my awesome loft downtown (wowza, check that place out!), I know I’ll spend hours scouring the MLS looking for everything I want. The fact the Saint Paul Home Realty does the majority of their marketing online is a great and effective way to reach potentional buyers.

Baby Carrots Get A New Groove!

 

Bolthouse Farms released information about the industry’s first-ever marketing campaign for baby carrots. Apparently, they’re going to be dispensing baby carrots in “Doritos-like bags”, in school vending machines. The CEO of Bolthouse Farms, Jeff Dunn, says that it “takes a page out of the junk food playbook and applies it to baby carrots.”

According to a website created by the ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky , on September 7, 2010, the WORLD’S FIRST EVER BABY CARROTS COMMERICAL will hit airwaves near you. They’re working to create a brand and the main slogan is going to be “Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food”.

The website (www.babycarrots.com) is interesting and very interactive. I spent some time checking it out and trying to figure out some information, such as: who is the target market? what media outlets are being used?

Not only can you actually print out a ‘bag’ to put on your own carrots, but you can use the social network, Twitter, to Tweet about it to your friends. You can follow them on Twitter at @babycarrots.  You can download an application for your iPhone, “The World’s First Crunch-Powered Video Game.”  And, COMING SOON, you can become a fan on Facebook. They’ll be rolling out their television ads this Fall. I didn’t see anything about print media, however I can imagine some sort of advertising in a magazine, a billboard or the like.

As far as the target market, just viewing the website, considering the media used and keeping in mind how they’ll be distributed I’m thinking they’re targeting towards children to teens and young adults.

I honestly think that it’s a great idea. Society, especially children and young adults, are so overexposed to junk food. I love snacking on baby carrots in the afternoon while I’m at work and if we can get anyone to choose a healthy snack over a salty snack, it is one tiny step for the health food industry.

My only question is: do they come with ranch to dip in?