Tag Archives: Marketing

Napercise: Napping Your Way to Better Health!


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When it comes to our health, we’re always brainstorming unique ways to stay fit.  Various health trends sprout up each year that provide us a new way to be healthy.  From the most realistic fitness plans (crossfit gyms) to imaginations that just run wild (yoga with goats, which is a REAL thing!), these latest health trends motivate us to join the band wagon.  The wide range of health trends can become overwhelming for an active man like me.

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So many health trends spreading around, yet so little info on whether or not they will keep me fit.  I still ponder about whether a yoga class with goats is really going to help me de-stress from the real world.  It seems like there’s always some crazy health trend creeping right around the corner.  Just when I thought the health trends couldn’t be any more bizarre, I discovered a class that teaches…napercise.

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The newest health trend starting this year is napercise, a special class teaching weary adults how to nap.  UK gym David Lloyd Clubs is offering 1 hour ‘napercise’ classes that include a 15-minute stretch routine and 45 minutes of napping.  As participants gather into their beds, instructors will play some atmosphere music and drop the room’s temperature.   The health club is offering free trials and more than 100 people have already signed up.

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Image result for Sleep Deprivation

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Providing a ‘napercise’ class is a response to the alarming statistics revealed about sleep.  In this digital age, less adults are getting enough sleep each night.  Sleep deprivation can cause numerous chronic health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.  Other than physical problems, lack of sleep can take a serious toll on mental health.  Lacking that shuteye can cause mental impairments such as hallucinations, moodiness, depression, memory problems, cognitive dysfunction, and impaired brain activity.  These symptoms can damage work productivity as a whole, which leads to bad business in the end.

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As preposterous as this health trend sounds, it sounds like an interesting idea that could take off in America.  Many Americans suffer from serious sleep deprivation problems and this could be useful for lots of people.  This strange health trend would definitely work well in healthy-trending states like California.  I can already picture high-end ‘Napercise’ classes in Los Angeles where participants pay hundreds of dollars for one session.  Not only would it work in Los Angeles because of how health-trendy they are, but celebrities would also join in on the fun as well!

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This new health trend sounds absolutely crazy!  If the classes do make their way into Boston, then I would definitely have to give it a try.  I’m usually old school when it comes to staying healthy (eating fruits/vegetables, going to the gym 2-3 times a week) and napercise isn’t something I would really need.

Image result for Fountain of Youth

Image result for Fountain of Youth

Even though this may sound like a silly gimmick to some people, the main reason people are so motivated to try it out is to stay healthy.  Whether it is to stay fit or to look young, Americans are always searching for the pinnacle health trick.  It’s almost as if we are searching for the Fountain of Youth that will keep us young forever.  Our growing narcissism spreads like smog all around the atmosphere (especially in Los Angeles) and we look for the best products/services to love ourselves better.  This isn’t necessarily good or bad, but rather an interesting reflection of American society.  Trends like ‘Napercise’ arise because people search for the latest and greatest health fad that will keep them younger, fitter, and smarter.

For now, I’ll skip the ‘Napercise’ trial classes and get some good shuteye on my own bed.

Punting Thursday Night Games off the Airwaves


One of America’s popular sport during the fall/winter season is Football.  Families and friends gather around on Sunday night to watch their favorite team try to win.  Fantasy football fanatics are glued to their TV and laptop in the hopes of scoring more points in their league.  It’s one of America’s greatest pastimes when baseball season ends in October.

Football games used to air only on Sundays, but popular demands for the sport extended televised games for a few extra games.  Monday Night Football started in September 21, 1970 and became one of the highest-rated prime time programs, particularly among male viewers.  These Monday night games featured celebrity guests to “liven up” the games when it was starting.  NFL games have been airing on Thursdays for a decade now, but they could soon become a thing of the past.

The National Football League is considering ending, or at least limiting, Thursday Night Football. Their current contract with CBS and NBC runs through 2017, so certain changes to the negotiations could start in 2018.  Audiences have been tuning off from these Thursday night games because the two teams don’t have their A-game (literally!).  With both teams not giving it 100%, this leads to poor plays throughout the game and people will starting tuning out.

What’s interesting is that Thursday games weren’t a part of the NFL season until the post season race in November 2012 (when Obama was reelected for his 2nd term as president).  The first game that aired on Thursday was Thanksgiving night in 2005.  Thursday night games slowly became popular in 2012 and it started to take a serious toll on its players.

Seattle Seahawks corner-back Richard Sherman joined a number of NFL players who speaking out against Thursday Night Football.  He calls out the NFL for their hypocrisy about preaching player safety, yet sending their players into games with only four days of rest.  Sherman also tossed the complaint about playing on Thanksgiving night and having to miss a home-cooked meal with his family.  Former Houston Texans running back Adrian Foster accused the NFL of “putting every player on the football field in danger” when it came to Thursday games.

Viewership ratings have been decreasing during the 2016-2017 season, causing the NFL to look at what isn’t working with its viewers.  The NFL is faced with various options:  one of those is to eradicate Thursday Night Football completely.  Another option would be to start Thursday games at Thanksgiving and going until the season ends in January.  Decisions will need to be made in order to protect both the players health and approval rating from their audiences.

To better understand the major tolls Thursday night games take, let’s look at a typical scenario involving one NFL player.  We’ll go with Rob Gronkowski as our example (because of his awesome social media involvement!).  It’s Sunday and the Patriots play against Oakland Raiders.  The Patriots win 22-14 and their next game is on Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins.  After the game, Rob Gronkowski has exactly 4 days until his next game on Thursday.  This means that Rob would have about 96 hours to rest, eat, train, hydrate, and practice to get himself prepared for his next game.  Gronk may be a young spring chicken, but all those tackles will take a serious toll on both his physical/mental health.

So we seem to have an interesting marketing problem here.  We are seeing more football games than the past decades, yet the audiences are tuning out due to their sluggish performance.  Keep in mind that sports is a part of ENTERTAINMENT and the players PERFORM this sport every week in front of a live audience.  The ironic thing is that audiences are complaining that football isn’t what it used to be.  Other problems audiences see in football are harder tackles, more rules that dubbed the NFL the ‘no-fun-league’, players taking knees during the National Anthem, mediocre half-time shows, and more time broadcasting the game.  It seems as though the NFL is spurring up this razzle-dazzle concept to fluff up their programs, but the audience isn’t buying it at all.

Thursday Night Football is just flaming the fire of a branding nightmare the NFL has been facing the past few years.  This and the increase of Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (more on this exclusive subject later!) has caused serious issues among the NFL, it’s players, and their audiences.  What should the verdict be for Thursday Night Football?  Could we really do without football on Thursday?

Who knows what the future will hold for the NFL.  With more players suffering life-threatening injuries in football, the NFL really needs to think about the future of American Football the next 5-10 years.  If nothing gets sorted out, then football will become extinct in the near future.  This isn’t just about football games on Thursday nights; it’s about the teetering future of one of America’s greatest weekend pastimes.  Football helped shape America to what it is today and our country’s most important values could soon be punted off the field.

My Adventures at Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo


Boston’s Seaport Boulevard is always buzzing with entertaining events.  From concerts to conferences, Bostonians gather around the area to see what’s happening.  The Seaport Boulevard district has become an up and coming neighborhood for a while now (with condominiums priced at $2000-$3000 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment!).  Many of the conferences happen at the Seaport World Trade Center.

The Seaport World Trade Center is located in 200 Seaport Boulevard and provides a big arena space for conference events.  People from all around the country gather here to meet with other members of the community.  Whether it is a car show or an expo on the latest technology, audiences come together to see the latest trends.  This past weekend I went into the Seaport World Trade Center to attend the Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo.

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A friend of mine informed me about the Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo and I just had to check this event out.  The Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo is an event providing ideas for travel, snag special deals on passes, find new equipment, and making new friends that like to ski or snowboard as well.  All ski/snowboard enthusiasts gathered together to learn about the hottest trends in their favorite sport.  Here were some of my favorite highlights surrounding the event:

Western Region Mountains/Resorts

I have been skiing for a while and I have only been on the mountains on the east coast.  Some of the popular ski destinations I have been to were Loon, Gunstock, Waterville Valley, Ski Bradford and Cannon.  When I arrived to the event, I knew that I would run into familiar ski destinations that I have skied at before.  What I didn’t know was that there would be ski destinations from the west coast as well.

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Ski resort employees flew into Boston from states such as Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, and Nevada.  Some of them have never been up to Boston until this weekend.  One vendor that caught my eye was Schweitzer, a mountain resort in Idaho.  I spoke to marketing & sales director Sean to get more insight about the place.

Sean informed me that the resort was in Sandpoint, a resort 45 miles below the Canadian border.  There are over 92 ski runs in the mountain, with a majority of the trails having an intermediate difficulty setting.  Truthfully I have never been to Idaho yet, but Sean told me that it’s a beautiful state of the western region.  I thanked Sean and wandered around to the next vendor area.

On to my left was a vendor for Jackson Hole in Wyoming.  One of my uncles heads to Jackson Hole for vacation every year, so I went over to talk with the employees.  I met with Andy Calder to get more information about the place.  Jackson Hole is a popular mountain resort with 133 trails to ski on.  It’s an incredible resort that also offers shops, restaurants, lodging, spas, and a booming nightlife.  This was one mountain that I will definitely have to check out if I am ever in Wyoming anytime soon!

Right nearby was a vendor for Crested Butte, a former coal mining town in Colorado.  Crested Butte transformed from being a coal mining town to becoming “the last great Colorado ski town”.  I talked with Heather Roberts, a leisure group sales manager, to gain more insight about skiing in Crested Butte.  Heather told me that Colorado is a beautiful state for skiing and Crested Butte doesn’t disappoint.  With snow falling almost every day, Crested Butte is one of many ski resorts in Colorado that opens for a longer season.  There are over 121 trails to ski on at Crested Butte and multiple restaurants to grab some grub after a long day of skiing.  After a nice talk with Heather about Colorado skiing, I headed off to another vendor for some more fun.

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Across from Crested Butte was a vendor for Telluride.  Telluride was another ski resort town in Colorado.  There were a rack of books about Telluride and I got to witness one of the most beautiful landscapes ever.  I couldn’t believe my eyes…it was row of colorful boxed buildings lined up to the mountain with a golden orange sunset blanketing the town.  This was truly a magnificent picture to look at.  It was then that I understood why people called it ‘Colorful Colorado’.  Looking at that picture in Boston made me tear up inside, wanting to grab my suitcase and head west to the Rocky Mountains.

About a few blocks away, I noticed this HUGE ski map with the sign ‘Big Sky Montana’ on top.  I just had to check out what was going on there.  It was there that I spoke to Dylan Hall, a national sales manager for Big Sky Resort.

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Dylan was talking about how Big Sky is the largest ski resort in America, with 5,800 acres of land dedicated to skiing. The huge map showcased all of the trail difficulties in the area.  Montana is one of many states I have not traveled to yet, but Dylan told me that it’s definitely worth the trip!  I thanked Dylan for his enthusiasm and headed off to another area.

Nearby was this huge snow-truck that was a part of Whisper Ridge BackCountry Resort.  Whisper Ridge is located in Utah, nestled deep in the Wasatch Mountains.  I spoke with Cort Lockwood, one of the owners/cat drivers of Whisper Ridge.  He informed me that Whisper Ridge is one of the best ski resorts in Utah.  Other than skiing, Whisper Ridge also offered Yurt lodgings for customers wanting to stay in Yurts.  Utah is definitely a state I need to check out in the future.

Mascots

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While wandering around the exhibit, I noticed some animal mascots roaming around to greet customers.  I made it my task to snap selfies with all of the mascots.  My first selfie was with a moose mascot.  Later I found out that the moose represented Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.  This moose, known as Amos, wore an arctic blue shirt and had a wide smile to keep customers happy.  Amos was not shy about getting into the selfie with me!

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Another cool mascot that I took a selfie with was a penguin that I ran into.  Penguins were my favorite animal as a kid, so I HAD to snap a selfie with this penguin!  It was a typical black & white penguin that wore a red scarf while wandering around the building.  Kudos to the awesome penguin roaming around!

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One last mascot I ran into was another moose.  This moose represented Waterville Valley resort in Waterville Valley, NH.  The moose wore a sky-blue T-shirt that said ‘LOVE’ on the front.  I can safely say that this moose LOVED skiing in NH!

Ski/Snowboard Equipment

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Other than ski resorts, a lot of the vendors provided special ski/snowboard equipment for riders.  Well-known snowboard company Burton had a vendor showcasing their snowboard equipment.  I spoke with Melissa Pennington about how I knew Burton through studying at Champlain College in Burlington, VT.  Burton’s headquarters was in Burlington, but I never got to enter their office while in college.  There were some decorative boards to look and Burton provided some great equipment for snowboarding.

Around the corner I spotted a camera company showing snowboard movies on TV.  It was there that I spoke with chief financial officer Matt Andon of Proshot.  Proshot provides special cases for the iPhone 6/6s/7 that are compatible with GoPro.  These housings are waterproof, durable, and shockproof for capturing your moment anywhere.  It was a unique idea that worked well with the GoPro Mounts.

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There were two big blocks of ice in another vendor.  I walked over to the ice blocks to see that it was part of Icebug, a footwear company specializing in shoes that work well with ice/snow.  These shoes stick to the ice and don’t cause you to slip so easily when taking walks on snowy climates.  It was definitely something I could use when walking through icy climates!

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In another vendor where rustic photos of ski destinations.  What really got me interested were the pictures depicting areas of Boston.  I compliment artist Rusty of Rusty & Ingrid Creative Company on his amazing artwork.  Rusty did a great job of utilizing Boston landmarks (John Hancock Building) as his subject with his rustic paintings.  These paintings were just incredible to look at!

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Colorado is also home to many companies that provide ski/snowboard equipment.  One company was Grass Sticks, a ski equipment company in Steamboat Springs.  Grass Sticks makes their ski poles out of bamboo because the material lasts well when skiing.  I spoke with Andrew about how cool the ski poles looked and he told me how good bamboo worked when constructing the poles.

Technology shapes the way we ski in the 21st century.  One interesting app that revolves around ski/snowboarding was Snoww.  Snoww is a social ski tracking app that helps track your skiing experience.  From the mountains you ski to what trails you run through, Snoww works to keep your ski/snowboard life organized.  This app also lets you connect with other skiiers/snowboarders to discuss what mountains you have been on.  It was an app that featured a combination of Fitbit, Facebook, and Tinder.  This is truly a unique app for the ski/snowboard bums that want to share their experience with their friends.

Sony’s Visually Appealing Patches for The Witness


Even after being released almost a year ago, the one game I am still playing is The WitnessThe Witness is a 3D open-world puzzle game released by Jonathan Blow; it was released for Steam and PS4 on January 26th.  With over 500+ puzzles scattered around the island, this game made me want to look harder for each puzzle in the area.  Hundreds of environmental puzzles are found within different sections of the island as well.

The Witness was released for the PS4 back in January and was released for the Xbox One on September 13th.  Even on the Xbox One, the gameplay has the exact same game format.  Playstation 4 Pro is set to release on November 10th and certain PS4 titles will be receiving patches that would supply enhanced support for the console.  No bonus puzzles have been announced within the downloadable content market yet, but a special patch will be offered for The Witness when the PS4 Pro hits the shelves later this month.

Jonathan Blow, creator of The Witness and Braid, announced that the game will provide two mode to choose from when playing the game on 4K display.  One option will allow the game to run at 60 frames per second at a resolution of 1440p that is upscaled to 4K.  Texts and user interface would still be rendered at 4K, but the game world will be rendered with 2x MSAA (multisample anti-aliasing) enabled.  Multisample anti-aliasing is a technique used in computer graphics for improving image quality.

Another option players could choose from is rendering everything in the game at 4K with 2x MSAA enabled.  Only drawback to the mode would be that the frame rate limits to 30 frames per second, but the improved resolution could make the game worthwhile for many players.  Other than the two modes to choose from, HDR (high-dynamic-range imaging) is also set to be supported on the PS4 Pro and the PlayStation 4.  Players will surely be seeing lots of visual improvements of the game once the PS4 Pro hits the stores next week.

Consumers looking to purchase the hardware may be primarily interested in games that run with the demanding PlayStation VR content, but enhancing performance on older games would be an attractive selling point as well.  Tweaking the graphics to make them look better would make the game that much more appealing, targeting audiences that have played The Witness and those that haven’t.  Sony is updating the visuals for certain PS4 titles as their unique selling point to their audiences.  Popular titles like The Witness will continue to sell more with the updates installed in the PS4 Pro.

I really enjoy playing The Witness and it’s great that Sony will be providing some interesting patches for the game.  Kudos to Sony for their smart idea of utilizing enhanced visual interactions as their unique selling point for the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro.  Games don’t always have to provide hidden downloadable content in order to draw in more audiences.  Little things like improving the graphics of the games would make it that much more enjoyable to play.  In the end, it was a smart unique selling point of utilizing improved graphics as a patch for people to collect in order to progress their PlayStation 4 Pro experience.

Fall Favorite: Pumpkin-Spiced Ale with Cinnamon-Sugar Coated Rim


Last month I went to Breakaway for the PRSSA ‘Painting Under the Influence’ event.  This was my first time going into the restaurant, so naturally I was curious about what food and drinks they had there.  Breakaway served the typical pub food like burgers, pizza, pasta, chicken tenders, and other good things to eat for dinner.  The restaurant also provided some interesting craft beers to choose from for your meal.

One drink item on the menu that stood out to me was a ‘pumpkin-spiced beer with sugar rim’.  Reading the order made me curious to try it out, so I ordered the drink with Shipyard Ale before heading to the paint room.  As I sat down towards my easel, I had some sips of what would be the BEST thing I ever tasted that night.  Drinking Shipyard Ale is one thing, but this drink order was AMAZING.  I didn’t know which part I liked better: the Shipyard Ale itself or the light-brown cinnamon sugar that was coated on the glass.

Now I’m sure this drink order has been out for a while, but this was the first time that I tasted this masterpiece.  Here’s how the order works: you order a pumpkin-spiced ale (whether it be Shipyard Ale or Sam Adams Oktoberfest).  The waiter/waitress will ask if you want the sugar-coated rims, which is what you are looking for with the order.  Only thing left is to take a sip and enjoy the cinnamon-sugar coat on your favorite pumpkin-spiced beers.

I love drinking pumpkin-spiced ales during the fall, but this simple idea raised the bar even further.  This is one of those simple marketing techniques that is cheap and would be popular among customers.  It involves one of the most basic ingredients (cinnamon sugar) and makes the drink taste that much better.  Honestly, I would compare this awesome technique to providing whipped cream and a cherry on top of a hot-fudge Sundae.  Even though I am not a kid anymore, I would still enjoy some desert with my beer.  Other restaurants I have been to that provide this option were Renzo’s in Revere Beach and the Porthole Restaurant on the Lynnway.

If you go into a restaurant that provides this amazing option, I HIGHLY recommend getting it.  Drinking pumpkin-spiced ales with cinnamon sugar coated rim is a sugary experience that you will never forget.  All cinnamon lovers should drive over to the nearest pub/restaurant for this tasty brew order.  While we have a month and a half left of fall, I would love for this drink to be available for the winter (I just love it THAT much!).

This was an amazing drink order I just had to rave about for everyone.  Not only is the order delicious, but it’s an excellent way for promoting pumpkin-spiced ales within the food/beverage industry.  Little things like coating glasses with cinnamon sugar are what will drive more customers into your restaurant/bar.  People usually order Margarita with sugar-coated rims, but this idea would target audiences that love pumpkin-spiced ales.

If I were a customer at a restaurant that served this option, I would definitely come back to the place.  Excellent customer service is always great, but the cinnamon-sugar coated rims go the extra mile in terms of creativity.  I now have a new favorite thing I look forward to in the fall: pumpkin-spiced ale with cinnamon-sugar coated rim.