Not sure if any of the folks reading this blog live near a college or university that issues annual awards for the best marketing programs.
Here in Atlanta, Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business issues what they call the MAX Awards.
It would not surprise me if those of you located in the Atlanta had not heard of the MAX Awards.
To be honest, I am not a big follower either.
However, the MAX Awards and the 2013 nominees are featured in this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle. The pub even allocated an entire sectional insert dedicated to the nominees and background of the event.
Now I want to say right upfront before I go any further in this blog that the firms nominated are probably all staffed with genuinely good people and that they work hard doing their work.
Six Georgia companies are finalists.
They were selected by the Georgia State University Roundtable that according to the press release sent out by the college, “is comprised of senior marketing executives from top Atlanta companies.”
The release also goes on to say that “the MAX Awards program is considered the most prestigious marketing awards event in Georgia” and that the award “honors the best in new products, services and marketing innovations.”
When I first saw the front-page teaser in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, I thought there must be some astounding stories to read about in the insert section.
I could not wait to read about brands that were embracing those trends highlighted in the EXPERIENCE 2013 TRENDCAST Report like the reign of the Millennials, the rebirth of Americana, the rise of the Working Class and the anchoring of Kitchen-Central.
Shoot, there are probably some very innovative, truly “out-of-the-box,” internet and social media embracing brand stories that would make it to the final six.
Here are the six finalists:
· AirWatch and the AirWatchSecure Content Locker
· FLIR Integrated Systems and the Mobile Surveillance Capability
· The Georgia Conservancy and the Gamification-based Non-Profit Membership Drive
· Georgia-Pacific and the Brawny Paper Towel’s Wounded Warriors Project
· Kimberley-Clark and The Healthy Schools Project
· Southwire and the Southwire Engineering Academy
Bestill my heart.
If you visit the MAX Awards website, the home page features the MAX Award brand line “Never stop thinking.”
Note the left-brain nature of the brand line.
Guess “Never stop innovating” or “Never stop imagining” or “Never stop challenging” made it past that Atlanta senior marketing executive roundtable.
There is also a play off of the Best Buy logo and tag line that is re-scripted to read “Good Buy” with the tagline “Thank God they kept thinking.”
I am not making this up.
The speaker at the awards event might happen to be the best actress on stage. The speaker is Spanx new CEO Laurie Ann Goldman.
I have to give Ms. Goldman some due credit.
There was a news story in the WSJ about two weeks ago that Spanx is coming out (no pun intended!) with a new line of products for men.
A product line like that deserves an applause.
The reason why I showcase the MAX Awareds in the blog is because its a great illustration of the business marketplace innovation headset.
There are two television commercials have emerged in the last two weeks that I must admit, I find rather depressing.
One is for Fidelity Investments that Arnold Worldwide created.
For a while, Fidelity kind of abandoned the “green line follow it like a brainless Zombie” Arnold television ads.
But now… THEY ARE BACK.
The second one is almost a near rip-off of the “green line” campaign that I call the “Start line follow it like a brainless Zombie” television campaign.
Its CarMax's latest campaign series.
In fact, the one airing right now features one of the bride’s maids that leaves a wedding even before it starts and follows the line across the beach and down the streets until she arrives at a CarMax retail center.
My bet is that girl will remain single for most of her life.
A new Change Wave is unfortunately surfacing and I am afraid to say is likely here to stay.
There is a mindlessness that no longer is kept in the closet.
Conventional business leadership champions it.
The shallow suit stereotype of corporate marketing teams is not really much of a stereotype today.
The techie nerd of the past is hip and cool.
The MBA marketing executive nerd of today cannot claim the same fame of the techie nerd, but rather mirrors the brainless green-line Zombie being led down the Fidelity path of corporate BIG Business.
I am committed to staying optimistic and help client-partners view the glass as half full.
Because in reality it is.
Thanks to the showcase examples of the MAX Awards, we can see first hand why innovation and the courage to truly do is a mandate to drive brands forward.