M/A/R/C Research
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Archive for March, 2010

Let The Debate Begin. Is It “Late Show With David Letterman” Or “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno?”

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Both shows are on TV late night. The "Tonight Show with Jay leno" and "Late Show with David Letterman" feature a number of the same things:

  • Opening monologue
     
  • Guest interviews
     
  • Musical guest or a stand up routine

David Letterman has his top ten list and is located in NY, while Jay Leno does Jay Walking, headlines and is located in Hollywood. Clearly both Dave and Jay are professionals and are very good at what they do. They have mastered their craft and rarely stumble on TV. In fact, sometimes they even are so funny they crack themselves up.

  • Who do you like better?
     
  • Whose personality do you like better?
     
  • Who do you think is funnier?
     
  • If you are going to watch or TIVO only one which one is it?
     
  • Does anyone miss Conan?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Congrads You Now Have A Boat. What’s The Name?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I have never had a boat but if I did I wonder what I would name it. Would I pick a name based on my kids, an accomplishment, or a sports team? I’m not really sure.

Over the years there have been a number of boats on TV – The Love Boat, Orca was the boat in Jaws, The Olive was Popeye’s boat and of course there was the SS Minnow in Gilligan’s Island.

Based on boater registrations, here is a list of the most popular boats in 2009:

10. Comfortably Numb
9. Namaste
8. Serenity Now
7. Pegasus
6. On the Rocks
5. Bail Out
4. Jolly Roger
3. Lazy Daze
2. Seas the Day
1. Second Wind

That list probably gives you a little help in trying to figure out what you would name your boat.

If I had a boat, it would be based on one thing: the research industry. Because of that I would name my boat THANKS RESEARCH!

Your turn: 

  • What would you name your boat?
     
  • If you have a boat what is the name?
     
  • What do you think of the name of my boat?

 I look forward to reading your comments.

Friday Fun – How Many Of These 10 Things Did You Know?

Friday, March 26th, 2010

  1. For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t refreeze.
     
  2. To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out. 
     
  3. Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort
     
  4. Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on – no I haven’t done this!. 
     
  5. Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning. 
     
  6. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
     
  7. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness
     
  8. Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead.   The throbbing will go away.
     
  9. Don’t throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice= cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces. Left over wine? What’s that? :)
     
  10. To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief. 

Don’t laugh I only knew about number 7.

  • How many did you know about?
     
  • Do you know of other solutions for any of these problems?
     
  • Any other "did you know" things that you would like to share?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Who Is Your Favorite Past Or Present Hollywood Family?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I was watching the Academy Awards earlier this month and was looking at Alec Baldwin and thinking about his brothers Daniel, William and Stephen. What a family of actors. It gave me a chance to think about other Hollywood families and after thinking about it and doing a little research came up with a few:

Baldwin

Penn

Barrymore

Douglas

Bateman

Cusack 

I must admit I do like a few of these families. I really like Joan and John Cusack and I always liked Stephen Baldwin from his performance in The Usual Suspects. My favorite is hands down the Douglas family. I love Kirk and I also really, really like Michael. Both great actors!

  • Who is your favorite Hollywood family today and what about years ago?
     
  • Who do you think is the number one Hollywood family of all-time?

I look forward to reading your comments.

How Are You? Great! I Am Living And Learning!

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Whenever I go on a trip, I use Dallas Valet. I really like the service. It is reasonably priced and frankly makes my life a little easier. When I returned from a recent trip I said hello to the gentleman who had my car and asked him how he was – his response: "Living and learning!"  To me what a great and meaningful response. I paused for a minute and thought, ok what did I learn last week?  Here are a few things:

  • I learned that life is way too short and things can change very quickly. Whether it is someone close to you gets sick or loses their job or whatever it is but recently this learning has really been reinforced.
     
  • During one of our internal meetings I learned that not only do we have a solid team, we also really can and are making things happen. I guess I sort of always knew that but I really (for some reason) really noticed it during our officers meetings and looked around the room and saw everyone in a different light than I had in the past.

Ok your turn:

  • Are you living and learning?
     
  • What did you learn last week?

I look forward to your comments.

Attention Music Lovers: A Fun Friday Quick Quiz About Music

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Over the past year or so I have really come to appreciate and respect music a lot more. I am listening to the words, thinking about the meaning and have actually branched away from some of my favorites and am listening to new artists.

Please join me in a fun Friday quiz that lists musical artists and to see if you are a fan of their music or not. We have added a few more choices to make this quiz a little more fun. Enjoy! This will only take 2 minutes.

Click Here to take the quiz!

This Day Was Like No Other Day – My Flight Had To Make An Emergency Landing!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

As I woke up last week I thought it was just another day: waking up in a Marriott hotel, taking the shuttle to the airport, getting my boarding pass at 4:30am and going thru security so early that I was the only one in line. Well this day was like no other. Thirty seconds after our 6:00am takeoff the pilot come on and calmly said you may have felt that thump and noticed that we hit a flock of birds. As we were making a 90 degree turn to the left the pilot said we need to return to O’Hare right away.

As we landed I noticed that we were basically surrounded by fire trucks, emergency vehicles and other airport cars. We stopped on the runway as inspectors and engineers came on the plane to assess the damage.

After a short amount of time the engineers took the plane out of commission and they deboarded us and reboarded us about an hour later on a different plane.

I really don’t want to make this about was I scared or not or the thoughts that went thru my mind. What I will say is this happened so, so fast that it was over before I truly knew and could understand what was going on.

The real question is what are the lessons learned?

How can I put this into perspective?

When I look back on this, the pilot was VERY calm in an emergency situation. He made a decision very quickly (within 30 seconds) communicated what was going on, what was going to happen and then when we made a safe landing, effectively communicated to the engineers exactly what happened so the experts could decide (quickly) what to do with the plane and passengers.

To me that is the message – to me that is the lesson. 

  • Yes life is too short
     
  • Yes life can be taken away at a moment’s notice
     
  • Yes bad things can happen quickly
     
  • Yes you shouldn’t put off everything until next week
     
  • Yes you should tell your friends what they mean to you

The list can go on and on.

But to me it was really about communication. The way the pilot handled himself in a difficult situation was amazing. He was calm and kept everyone calm! What would have happened if he was frazzled when he made the announcement or decided what we should do. It would have been chaos and passengers could have gotten hurt. Thankfully no one was injured. Yes people were scared and decided not to get on the new flight–their choice and I respect that.

  • What do you think the message was?
     
  • What do you think I should have learned from this experience?
     
  • Has this ever happened to you?
     
  • If so what happened?

I really look forward to your comments

I Love This 30 Second Commercial – What About You?

Monday, March 15th, 2010

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I must admit I don’t watch a lot of commercials these days. With TiVo fast forwarding is very easy and if I am watching regular TV I will channel surf when a commercial comes on.

I must admit I like this commercial. It makes me chuckle all the time but more important I believe this commercial differentiates this company from the competition.

Most people don’t like the airlines these days. They don’t like how they are being nickel and dimed for everything. Eight dollars for an ugly, small blanket . . . do I need to say more?

  • This commercial directly goes after the competition
     
  • It clearly identifies a price difference between Southwest Airlines and other carriers
     
  • It highlights baggage carriers — which to me look like regular people who care about their job.

To Southwest Airlines I tip my cap and say "a job well done and money well spent!"

What do you think?

  • Do you like the commercial?
     
  • Do you think Southwest does a nice job with the message?
     
  • What other companies’ commercials do you currently like?

I look forward to your comments.

Guess What. The Year Is 19.45% Over!

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I am assuming that title got your attention and you probably thought to yourself that can’t be right! Merrill is crazy! No way is almost 20% of the year over! Trust me, it is and whatever you did or didn’t accomplish in the first 71 days of 2010 is in the history books.

For me the year is flying by. January was much better than I thought it would be and February was about what I thought it should be. The net is we are ahead of last year but still cautiously optimistic moving forward. From talking to clients research spending has freed up a little bit and more people are optimistic. Our proposal volume is heavy and clients appear to be making decisions on projects more quickly than in 2009.

  • What are you seeing?
     
  • How are you doing?
     
  • Is business better than you thought it would be?
     
  • How are you feeling about things?
     
  • Are you bringing in as many new clients as you thought you would?
     
  • Are you still pulling back your expenses?
     
  • Are you still watching your travel and marketing budget as closely as you did last year?

I look forward to reading your comments.

If You Could Only Watch Three TV Shows Every Week, What Would They Be?

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

I had lunch yesterday with AB and RW and during the discussion we talked about what TV shows you watch every week. The conversation led us to "If you could only watch three shows every week–not channels but shows–what would they be?"

I gave it a little time to pause and am almost embarrassed to say what my three shows are:

  1. The Office – I like the goofiness of the cast and especially the character that Steve Carell plays in Michael Scott. I love the dry sense of humor and the flow of the show.
     
  2. Survivor – I really enjoy the challenges, the competition and strategy of the game. I have been watching it for ten years and truly do enjoy the show.
     
  3. Deal or No Deal – I like Howie Mandel and the way he gets the contestants into the show. I also enjoy trying to figure out what the banker is going to offer prior to him offering it. Ok I will admit it I always liked math!

Not sure what it says about me that I picked these shows. Interesting that I picked a reality, comedy and game show!

Ok your turn.

  • What do you think of my choices?
     
  • What are the three shows you would watch every week?
     

I look forward to reading your comments.