Chad Ocho Cinco

1 09 2009

Ocho Cinco

If you could have chosen your own name, what would you want it to be?  Our first name tells people who we are and our last name tells the world where we came from.  The player formerly known as Chad Johnson legally changed his last name to “Ocho Cinco” during the 2008 preseason.  This move forced the league to change his jersey and properly honor the union of the number eight and the number five from which Chad was created.

Like most people, I wrote this stunt off as the usually humorous mixture of arrogance and stupidity.  However, I’m starting to think Chad might have been trying to help the world evolve.  Maybe we shouldn’t have to just walk around with the names we were given at birth.  Maybe we need to take his lead and go grab our little piece of individuality.  Too often we conform to norms just because that is the way things have always been.  Why not pick our own names?  We pick our own jobs, clothes, and cars – all designed to reflect something about who we are.  Is it really that crazy?

People like to pick out things for themselves and that is exactly why I’m NOT against giving gift cards.  They allow the person to get something that is perfectly customized to their preferences.  Gift cards get a bad rap for being thoughtless, but they can actually be sentimental or romantic.  Here are some suggestions on making a gift card more personal, but feel free to reach out to me offline if you need additional ideas.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

 

IDEAS TO PERSONALIZE A GIFT CARD 

  • Gift Card Hunt: Fill a big box with candy (M&Ms, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, etc) and have her hunt for the gift card.
  • Picture It: Put a romantic or sentimental picture directly on it.  Check out these Visa personalized gift cards.
  • Quirky Stores: A $50 gift card to an ice-cream parlor still seems like a fun and unique gift, whereas $50 at Macy’s seems more generic.
  • Entertain Me: Consider a Ticketmaster gift card.  This way you are giving the experience, but they get to pick which performance and/or dates work best for them.
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Peyton Manning

19 07 2009

Forget the stupid diet and just buy some bigger shirts!  Accepting a spreading waistline can be tough, but I hope those words from a Super Bowl champion have put your mind at ease.  Commercials and endorsements have become a part of the legacy of Peyton Manning.  Definitely not more than his on the field accomplishments because he is just amazing!  He is a three-time season MVP, a Super Bowl MVP, has been selected for nine Pro Bowls, and I could go on and on.  So don’t get me wrong, I am in no way judging Peyton for capitalizing on his success.  I’m just saying, the guy has done A LOT of commercials.  I actually like commercials, they help set my expectations from the companies that market to me.  Are they trying to be a part of a trend, a classic brand, make me think I’m cool, make me laugh?  

Setting expectations will always serve you well and this also applies to gifting.  I don’t care how great the robe you bought is, it is not going to be well received if the person was expecting a diamond ring.  In contrast, if you think you have an exceptional gift, you might want to create a little pre-gift excitement to get the most mileage out of your time, money, and effort.  Below are three gifting scenarios and ways you can give them an appropriate commercial.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.  Try these commercials at least a week before you give the gift (that will give them time to sink in). 

 

GIVING YOUR GIFT A COMMERCIAL

Scenario #1: Practical Gifts

Examples: Slippers, a new blender, some gloves, gift cards, etc.

Commercial: “I’m looking forward to celebrating your birthday and giving you a little gift I picked up.  It’s something I think you will use and I hope you will think of me when you do.” 

Message Delivered: This gift will be practical and probaly not romantic.  Still, this person wants to help you out and they want to have a place in your life.

 

Scenario #2: Most Other Gifts

Examples: Books, spa gifts, lingerie, a watch, etc.  These gifts are definitely nice and have some sentimental value, but it isn’t over the top.

Commercial: “I really hope you like your gift.  I never know which way to go, but I think you will like it.”

Message Delivered: This could go either way so don’t get your hopes up too high.  Still, they tried and they care if you like it.  (This commercial sets the expectations lower than the gift probably warrants and you can only go up from there.)

 

Scenario #3: Premium Gifts

Examples: Hard to give an example, but it’s when you’re pretty sure you knocked it out of the park.  This is not your everyday kind of gift.  It has a lot of sentimental value, is very thoughtful, is really personalized, and/or just very expensive. 

Super Bowl Commercial: I once had someone give me a super thoughtful gift.  Obviously they knew they had selected a real winner and decided to create extra gift excitement by providing clues that allowed me to try to guess the gift before it was given.  This was brilliant in two ways; it started the anticipation clock early which of course made receiving the actual gift more exciting.  It also was a “mini-gift” being able to find excitement and joy in analyzing the clues.  Tailor the number and difficulty of the clues to the level of suspense you think the recipient would enjoy.  (I like a lot of build-up so there were 12 clues and they were all really hard.)  I still think of this gift every time I see Heather Graham.  Her name was a clue that was supposedly going to lead me to the gift being monogrammed.  As you can see, the recipient is unlikely to actually guess the gift (unless you make the clues way too easy), but boy is it fun thinking about it. 

Message Delivered: They obviously think they have a great gift so you can feel free to start getting excited right now!  Yeah!