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    So I am driving by Smith & Wollensky yesterday after picking up a couple of tickets for my wife and daughter to see Dora at the Chicago Theater on Saturday and I see the car below. I didn't give it a second thought as I saw that the light was missing from the pole next to the car and assumed it fell due to a gust of wind and destroyed the car.

    Low and behold, I check Facebook yesterday and learn that the car is owned by my good friend, Chef Hans, who is the head Chef at Smith and Wollensky and the damaged was caused by an apparent suicide victim. According to the Trib's Breaking News site, the jumper was a man in his 50's who jumped from the 28th floor of Marina Towers. 


    A carsits smashed outside Marina Towers after an apparent suicide jumper landed on it. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune)


    Pandora's New Ad Formats

     As I was listening to Pandora today I noticed two new ad formats for the first time. The first was a video ad that played as the application was loading and played for 10-15 seconds. The ad unit included a right rail ad along with an in-player ad. The second ad happened this afternoon and was a 20-30 second audio track promoting Just Answers which also had a right rail and in-player ad supporting the audi track. These two new formats make sense as most people probably don't pay attention to the ads if they are like me and only access the player when it prompts you and asks if you are still listening. I will be interested to see how successful Pandora's sales team will be at getting agency buy-in to these two new formats.


    Truth In 24

    NFL Films has done incredible work documenting what it is like to be on the playing field and sidelines of an NFL game for the past 45 years. Most people don't know that they also produce and direct a number of other outside projects. This film they created for Audi to document their quest to win their  fifth-consecutive  24 Hours at Le Mans. ESPN is airing the documentary and I can't wait to catch it. Here is the link to the website:


    Frustrated with Phone Trees?

    It is easy to become frustrated when calling support or customer service departments at most large companies. Well Fonolo has created a web based service that will help you make it easier and less frustrating for you. They are also waiting for approval from Apple on their Iphone application and have a Blackberry application in the works as well. Click here to learn more and sign up for their beta.


    Skiles, It's Marketing and You Need It!

    In case you didn't see this...the Milwaukee Bucks have banned players from using Twitter while on company time... see Don Walker's article via the Milwaukee Sentinel. Charlie Villanueva @CV31 sent out the following tweet at halftime during last Sunday's game..."In da locker room, snuck to post with my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up." Oh, and Villaneuva had 19 points and 7 rebounds in the Bucks 86-77 win over the Celtics.

    I enjoy the tweets from Shaq, some along with pic's while on the bus to a pre-game shoot around etc. Or Lance Armstrong's updates before and after rides. By embracing Titter and other social media tools it brings the fans closer to the athlete and if they are closer to the athlete most likely they will be closer to the team. This type of non-progressive thinking reminds me of some early conversations I had with team personnel as the internet emerged as a marketing tool for teams and leagues 10-12 years ago.

    So the team and their broadcasters ask the players to do pre-game, halftime and post game interviews on a nightly basis. In addition from time to time players are mic'd up to catch the nuances of what happens on the court. And don't get me started on what the players on the bench are doing during time-outs...videoboard races and dancers come to mind.

    God forbid that a player is savvy enough to use social media tools during halftime to get closer to the fans. If the Bucks were smart they would have publicized the fact that this was the first time an NBA player did this during an actual game and leverage the immediate buzz they would be receiving and utilize Charlie's popularity to help market the team...Villaneuva currently has 7,281 followers and had less than 4,500 a couple of days ago. I guess the Bucks already have enough fans and are sold out every game for the rest of the year along with a season ticket waiting list like the Packers? The Bucks have 981 followers to their Twiiter account, maybe Skiles should start posting tweets at halftime...