What I’m thinking about today:

1.Kids getting ‘tattooed’
2Johnny Manziel
3.YouTube, your home for product reviews

1. Do your kids have a food allergy? Does it terrify you? What do you think about these tattoos from Safety Tat? They allow you to label your kid with what they’re allergic to.

We’ve been lucky enough to avoid this so far but I do have some friends who experienced a food allergy reaction firsthand. It sounds like a very scary moment—one that you want to avoid, especially if you’re not there. Hence, the tattoo.

I don’t know if I can answer the question ‘would I want this for my kid?’ because of that fact. As the article points out there are dog tags and bracelets that are options as well, which I might be more open to only because I don’t know how I would feel about ‘labeling’ my kid. The article points out that some people aren’t a fan because of bullying—apparently kids get teased or bullied for food allergies? What the heck. It must be tough to be a kid today. What else do kids get teased for, not shopping at JC Penney?

2. Johnny Underpaid. I don’t know if you caught this back in January but according to Texas A&M University Johnny Manziel generated $37M worth of media exposure during the 2012 college football season.

Manziel will get 0% of that. Yes, he has a scholarship, but according to a study referenced in this article, he will probably end up owing money on a ‘full scholarship’ that’s not quite full.

Manziel, it would seem, is a victim of copyright infringement. His brand, his likeness, his name…hell, Manziel himself is all up for grabs when it comes to what TAMU is allowed to do. And as unfair as that seems, Manziel, his dad, Uncle Nate and any elite college football player that comes behind him are aware of this. All they can do is invest the time and effort to build their brand the right way, hope NFL teams buy the hype and sell out when it’s completely legal to do so.

I wish I could say if I was in Manziel’s situation I would take the safe road. I would avoid the temptation to easily, literally cash in on my name. But I don’t know if I could. After all, it would be MY name. I should be free to do whatever I want with it.  I can’t help but think of the Kramer/Peterman stories episode of Seinfeld where Peterman buys Kramer’s stories for a book…and as a result Kramer can’t tell them anymore.

Speaking of Johnny Autograph, isn’t it a joke that the NCAA suspended him for a half against Rice? What a joke. Did anyone think, for a second, that the NCAA would suspend someone like Manziel on a suspicion? Re-read my first paragraph. Look at how much money this guy is worth. But to suspend him for a half against a team like Rice…for a trumped up charge…I can’t even look you in the eye, NCAA.

3. YouTube is where it’s at, when it comes to product research. This article in AdWeek talks about how more consumers are going to YouTube over Amazon for product research before they buy. The article points to the volume of the product being used, reviewed, experience, built, applied, eaten, etc.

I’ve never thought about consumer research that way—but I should. We’re so dependent on visual content today why wouldn’t I think that people want to watch it being used v. reading about how it’s been used?

For me this points, yet again, to the importance of a brand having their own YouTube channel that creates an opportunity to collect, reference these videos as well as react to them. In addition, brands that pursue this strategy have a greater opportunity to own search terms as well. As marketers we are working in a period where the conversations are being had with or without the brand. Consumers aren’t waiting to engage a brand—the brand needs to engage the consumer.