Oct 13

Hey Chuck, I have a question for you: what’s with placing an ad in the bottom of airport security bins?

October 13 - charles-schwab-talk-to-chuck I've seen some really stupid, wasteful ads in my day, but Charles Schwab may have set a new low. They've placed their 'Ask Chuck' ads in the bottom of those ugly bins in which you place your shoes, watches and blackberries before walking through the TSA security checkpoint at airports.

What marketing genius came up with this media buy? 'Hey Joe, I've got it! Let's reach consumers when they're already royally pissed off, uptight and anxious. We'll place our 'Ask Chuck' ads in the bottom of airport security bins. Talk about marketing in unexpected ways! This is brilliant!'

I don't know about you, but personal finance and investment strategy are just about the last things on my mind when I'm battling the horror show that is modern-day travel. Do the fine folks at Charles Schwab actually think I'll wake up one day and say, 'Hey, I have $1,000 to invest. And, I distinctly remember seeing that Charles Schwab ad in the security bin while a TSA agent was patting me down at Newark. By George, I'll invest it with them!'

So, in the spirit of the overarching 'Ask Chuck' advertising campaign being run by the Charles Schwab Company, I thought I'd ask Chuck a simple question: 'What were you thinking, man?’

May 08

Cody curse becomes a verb

Business travel has become so bad that everyone is ‘Cody Cursed.’ In fact, friends and family alike nowPlane
use the once ‘inner circle-only’ catch phrase to describe their most recent business trip from hell (i.e. ‘I’ve been Cody Cursed on my way to Denver. We have an indefinite delay.’ Or ‘Sure enough, the plane landed on time, but I was Cody Cursed with a no-show limo driver.’).

I’m less-than-thrilled to report that I’ve been Cody Cursed once again. My return flight from O’Hare two nights ago was early (‘That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. We should be in Newark a full 30 minutes early tonight,’ bellowed our effervescent captain). But, once we were on the ground, bingo, the good ol’ curse kicked in again (‘Ah, ladies and gentlemen, Captain Stanley Kowalski here. As I said, we did arrive early but, unfortunately, there’s no gate for us. As a result, we’ll taxi on over to an open area and wait. So, sit back, relax and as soon as we have an update, well I’ll be right back in touch.’). Piss off.

Thirty minutes later and we’re still sitting. At least, I can feel some comfort in the knowledge that, along with Kleenex and Xerox, the Cody Curse has become a generic term. A ‘Murphy’s Law’ in the air, if you will.  And, that’s a good thing (except, that is, when you’re caught in the middle of one).