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Archive for November, 2008

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I was reading a recent article by Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY about the brands that Barack Obama and his family are associated with by using, wearing or consuming. If Barack happens to wear a type of trainer or eat a certain make of food this can mean amazing increases in awareness and sales of the associated brands. It also got me thinking what MIGHT BE the case for the Manx equivalent here on the island for potential Isle of Man branding opportunities. So here goes with a bit of light hearted fun with the first attempt.

 

 

President of the USA v The Chief Minister of the Isle of Man

1. Clothing/Suits

Barack Obama

Apparently he is a big fan of Hart Schaffner Marx suits — the Gold Trumpeter line, which is 97% worsted wool and 3% cashmere. The suits are made USA, sell for about $1,300 custom-made (his are) or less than $1,000 off-the-rack. Obama is said to have three gray and three navy blue. “He’s certainly generated a lot of interest,” says Hartmarx CEO Homi Patel.

Our Tony

I reckon he is a big fan of the Manx Tarten (well he should be!). Before Tynwald day and special government functions I expect you might find Tony in the Celtic Gold shop in Peel getting fitted out if he hasn’t got one hanging up in his wardrobe already! Before Tony was Chief Minister he would probably have been seen sporting a Browns Electrics polo shirt whilst either serving happy customers in his shop or rewiring a local Manx house or Castletown office. Definatley more exciting than the boring old suit worn by the US president – well in our Tony!

2. Snacks.

Obama

He likes to eat and snack healthy. He likes Planters Trail Mix: Nuts, Seeds and Raisins. Planters has White House links dating to former president (and peanut farmer) Carter, as a sponsor of the Plains, Ga., Peanut Festival, says Laurie Guzzinati, a Kraft Foods spokeswoman.

Our Tony

It has to be that Manx traditional dish of chips, cheese and gravy from either the Terrace Chippy or the Islander. It could even be a tasty Kipper Bap with Manx Kippers from Devereau’s with the fresh white bap from Ramsey Bakery. It sure beats nuts, grains and rabbit food and is much more in tune with the culture and heritage of the Isle of Man!

3. Sweets

Obama

The Obamas are said to eat Fran’s Chocolates, an artisan chocolate brand from Seattle. Barack prefers Fran’s Smoked Sea Salt Caramel in Milk Chocolate ($24 for a 16-piece box) whilst his wife Michelle prefers dark chocolate, says Sean Seedlock, Fran’s marketing chief.

Our Tony

Being a true manx man I reckon Tony likes the clean crisp taste of Manx Knobs and probably pops in to The Port Erin Gaslight & Aerated Waters Company shop in Castletown square to purchase a tin or two to suck on whilst in sitting in the House of Key’s. Other snacks he might like could include a whippy 99 from Davisons ice cream parlour in Peel, probably on a Sunday aftnoon when he has nothing exciting to do!

4. Drinks.

Obama

He is said to be a fan of Black Forest Berry Honest Tea. “It raises the profile of our brand and all organic products,” says Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea. “We’d love for it to be the official drink of the new administration.”

Our Tony

Having sold a few kettles in his time I would think Tony would be a real connoisseur of Manx Tea tea, so it would have to be the Fairy bridge blend or on special occasions the Glen Helen blend. When he is out socialising or winding down after a hard day leading the country I would expect him to have the odd pint of Okells bitter or even a crafty shot of ManX spirit if its been a particulary challenging week!

5. Transport & Vehicles

Obama

The Obama family owns a $34,000 Ford Escape hybrid. Ford is “delighted” the family chose the SUV, “but we won’t be out there actively promoting that,” says Ford spokesman Jay Ward. Once he is settled in to the White House he will of course be flying in Airforce One private jet to the US president.

Our Tony

I really don’t know what vehicle Tony might drive. I reckon something like a Jaguar or even a Peel car? When he has to travel off the island then I don’t think it stretches to a private jet so it could even be a cabin on the Isle of Man Steampacket’s flagship vessel the Ben My Chree.

6. Sports.

Obama

Barack Obama lovesbasketball. Adam Silver, deputy commissioner of the National Basketball Association, says he expects the baseball field on the White House south lawn will be replaced with a hoops court. “Maybe they will pass a law that makes basketball the nation’s official pastime.”

Our Tony

High speed motorcycle road racing would be pretty high up the agenda I reckon followed secondly by the Southern 100 road races around his home circuit of Billown. Football and supporting Castletown FC could also feature fairly high on the agenda?

So you see, there could be some real opportunities for local Manx brands to do well off the back of endorsements and product placement by the Isle of Man Chief Minister.

If anyone does really know what brands Tony wears or endorses or if Tony himself wants to let us know then I am sure we could come up with the real manx equivalent instead of just my take on things!

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Manx triskelion.

Image via Wikipedia

On Thursday night I was lucky enough to be invited to the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence 2008 thanks to the guys at Isle of Man Post.

I must admit the evening was very entertaining as the islands great and the good gathered at the Sefton Hotel and Villa Marina for pre-award drinks and a meal (which was surprisingly good too) before heading through into the fantastic Gaiety Theater for the evenings 18 awards.

The Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for excellence is in its third year now and was the brain child (I think) of Trudi Williamson of Isle of Man Newspapers and Professor Hugh Davidson as part of the islands rather over used not sure what it’s trying to be ‘Freedom to Flourish’ initiative.

The evening was a celebration of excellence in organisations and individuals within the Isle of Man community and it was great to see so many people being recognised for all their dedication and hard work.

The host for the evening was the very ,very, very, very funny and quick witted Graham Davies, with some other memorable moments coming from Anna Goldsmith and Geoff Corkishes Manx rendition of ‘Show me the way to Amirillo’ or was it Peel?

Some of the worthy winners on the night included Volunteer of the year which was awarded to Paula Lunt who has worked incredibly hard to set up Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation, after the death of her 25-year-old son Craig from an undetected heart defect in 2005.

Paul McCann was chosen as the Sefton Group’s Public Sector Person of the Year for his dedication as manager of the Noble’s Hospital neo-natal unit

The CMI Personality of the Year winner, was cyclist Mark Cavendish

The Nationwide International Business Person of the Year award winner was Microgaming boss Roger Raatgever.

The Britannia International award winner for Innovation and Independent Thinking went to CVI Optics Ltd, who manufacture high-energy laser optics and are based in Onchan.

The Island’s Aircraft Registry was the winner of the Collins Stewart Public Sector Achievement of the Year award.

Online Regional Travel rightly so won an award with the HSBC Award for Effective Use of Information Technology for their development of the world’s first global flight booking engine that can be used in mobile phones – a really cool product.

As I was a guest courtesy of Isle of Man Post Office, I better do my bit! The Isle of Man Post Office award for Marketing Effectiveness winner was the Isle of Man Creameries and it was good to see Findlay Macleod collect the award I think for the second year running?

There were also many many more great awards and a full list is avaialable on the Isle of Man Newspapers website.

The final award of the evening went to Robin Gibb for Life Time Acheivement, however his mimed rendition of Ellan Vannin was incredibly naff and the fact that he looked to be reading the words from an auto cue did make me ask a few questions albeit in my own head if not anybody elses!

All in all it was a great and memorable night though.

Probably got myself scrubbed of the guest list now for next year but hey I am a turtle and sometimes you have to stick your neck out!

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