Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Attention Kmart Shoppers: I Just Shipped My Pants!

By now you’ve probably seen the controversial Kmart commercial showcasing their shipping services. The company injected humorous wordplay into the ad whereby actors performing as Kmart shoppers say they shipped items in such a manner that it actually sounds like they did the unthinkable:
Standing in the store, a customer says, “I just shipped my pants!”
Another claims, “I just shipped my drawers.”
“I just shipped my nightie.”
And my favorite, “I just shipped my bed!”

The commercial went viral, getting 17 million hits on Youtube, which is every marketing team’s dream. But it also got bombarded with a lot of criticism due to its crass nature. Watch the “Shipped My Pants” commercial on Youtube and decide for yourself.

Really? I can ship my pants, right here, right now?

Really? I can ship my pants, right here, right now?

I’m not a Kmart shopper and have never noticed their marketing besides past obvious catchy slogans like “blue light special,” but the shipping commercial is one where I’ll stop, watch, laugh and remember and talk about it to others instead of fast forwarding through it on my DVR. It doesn’t make me want to shop there any more than I did before, but it has everyone talking about it, which is half the battle. And a good laugh never hurt anybody.

Kmart followed up the shipping campaign with a similar one: Big Gas Savings. Say that phrase fast over and over and it sounds like something else:
A woman in the ad says, “Sounds like you could use some big gas savings”
“Thirty cents a gallon, that’s a big gas discount,” says another.
A kid proclaims, “Dad, look at that big gas truck!”

Watch the big gas video here.

Kmart says, “Creativity is important in Kmart’s advertising to engage our members and share new information on promotions and initiatives. We believe that humor is a natural part of the strategy.”

What do you think – brilliant advertising or clean up on aisle 9 with marketing gone awry? What are some ways that community managers can include creativity and humor in apartment marketing? Can you think of any apartment advertising that was so funny you had to share or that it was so bold it crossed the line? Let us know in our comments section below.


Fa La La La La Apartment Romance

How many of us in the apartment industry have been victims of Romance Copy? Either we’ve slung it out there to seduce residents to rent with us or we’ve been the ones who have fallen for it. I know I can’t resist the word cottage when I’m looking for a place to live, and I conjure up all kinds of cute things in my mind, a cozy farmhouse near a lake, for example, but then I get to the site and realize their use of the word cottage really means a plain, tiny space. Creative, seductive words lure residents to imagine their lives nestled amongst the trees adjacent to a babbling brook. However, apartment marketing such as this doesn’t set us up for success, but only increases a resident’s disappointment when she arrives to find her high expectations of lounging by a sparkling pool replaced with the reality of a pool filled with murky water and debris.

On the other hand, if your apartment community really is fit for a Queen and residents will be tempted by secret closet space and find their paradise at their new place, then go ahead and spruce up your copy with flowery words. The article “Romance 101: How to Use Feminine Words That Sell” has tips to help you with resident temptation.

In the world of good apartment marketing, we use not only words, but also amenity photos to paint a picture of a place to call home. As the article “Real Estate Agents And The Art Of Seductive Home Staging” demonstrates, we get caught up in sexy imagery such as placing candles and wine near the bathtub or a big colorful bowl of fresh juicy fruit when in reality the residents who will dwell there snack on bologna sandwiches and Doritos.

wine bath

Another way we use staging to lure residents is by placing certain coveted objects in our photos. According to Curbed, the trend now is the strategically placed guitar. As a music lover, I would totally fall for that, especially if it were a banjo.


What strategically placed items in photos would you fall for or have you used as marketing strategy in your apartment community pictures? If you know of any other language or imagery tricks to trick residents, let Beyond Wine & Cheese Marketing know in our comments section here or on our facebook page.

What Attracted You And Kept You There?

Do you remember your first apartment? As a young student, I was super excited about my first apartment in Athens, Georgia, while attending the University of Georgia. Sure, anything was an upgrade from my existing living situation at Creswell dorms where we survived 90-degree weather without air conditioning and the boys a floor above us peeing on the tin roof outside our window. But more than that, I loved my first apartment for appealing to the student in me, who I was at the time. Are you appealing to the variety of your residents, young students and seniors and families alike?

Do Your Residents Live, Laugh, Love?

Do Your Residents Live, Laugh, Love?

As with most students, money was tight, so I shared my first college home with four other girls at Riverbend Apartments. You know, the kind of situation where you’re fighting over the bathroom, who is being too loud at night, and who ate each other’s leftovers in the fridge. Even with sharing rent with so many others, I held two jobs, sold textbooks for drinking money and ate ramen noodles daily. Thus, what I appreciated about Riverbend Apartments were the rental discounts they offered on occasion, as well as the amenities and location that allowed for a quick getaway from squabbling roommates.

First, location was key. The apartments were close to campus so that I could walk to classes daily, which really helped me make that early morning 7:55am class on time after a night of partying. Speaking of which, the apartments were stumbling distance to bars and music venues, so no drinking and driving here. And going to enjoy music in such a music town like Athens, Georgia was a requirement for a proper college education that is still serving me well as an adult now who’s active in the live music Seattle scene. The apartments were also adjacent to all kinds of restaurants, which saved me from eating cheap boxes of mac & cheese every night and made it easier for the food delivery guys during our late-night study sessions.

In the hot Georgia summers, having an apartment pool was one of life’s best pleasures. Back then, ignorant of the sins of sunshine, we’d oil up and lay out all day long on the weekends. But these days, having an amenity like a pool is great for everyone. It’s a nice way to cool off, get exercise and relax, for singles and seniors and families alike.

Although the apartments didn’t have a workout room, they did us one even better – it was located walking distance to a real bona fide gym with discount/free memberships for residents, so I got my aerobics groove on daily.

So thank you, Riverbend Apartments, for providing me with a great first home where I could live, laugh and love my way through college.

What kind of incentives are you offering for students, seniors, families, and singles? Are you appealing to all of your residents offering something for everyone? Let us know what you’re doing by sending us an email to

Raise Your Glass In A Toast

Today we celebrate eight years in business. Beyond Wine & Cheese Marketing is truly one of those ideas that started on the back of a napkin (a cocktail napkin, by the way) that grew into a small, boot-strapped company with heart. Although our milestones have been many, we celebrate original customers who have grown with us and remain partners in our success today.

As we toast our 4/04/2004 birthday, we renew our vows to the mission of Beyond Wine & Cheese Marketing:

We believe in clouds. Rainy days in Seattle and software that’s stored in the sky. We believe marketing works when it’s beyond expectations and too clever to be forgotten. No dinosaurs roam here. Cute is not cute and sophistication is savvy. We believe in professional, not free. Consistent is repeatable, easy. Branding is a state of mind rather than standard fonts and pantone colors. We believe work should be fun. Martinis need an olive. And every office is better with a dog, or two. Technology is King and anything less than instant is too long. Jeans inspire creative thought and an easy chair is more comfortable than a desk. We believe laughter and banter is more important than titles on business cards. We believe every day is a chance to explore the edges. Never play in the middle. And your coffee is only as good as your beans. Beyond Wine & Cheese Marketing. We make apartment marketing that doesn’t suck.

If Maintenance Affects Retention, How do You Package It?

On my way to lunch today, my eyes gravitated towards a magnificent figure. This man was tanned, with glowing skin, sculpted biceps, rippling abs…. but, much to my dismay, also two dimensional and stuck to the side of a car.

Man Car

Oh, hey there, Handsome!

While Handsome and I won’t have a future together anytime soon, he did highlight a unique (and shirtless) ploy to promote Basic Home Maintenance. But honestly, who looks like that?

From personal experience I can confirm that average maintenance technicians almost never resemble tool belt models that just strolled off the runway and into my apartment. If they did, I would “accidentally” drop things down the drain at least three times a week. But that’s all beside the point. Let’s save misguided residents from potential heartache and devastation when Mr. Fixit looks a less like runway material and more like this:

Mr. Fixit

Hey, Goodlookin'. What’s crackin'?

Apartment maintenance teams deserve a round of applause for technical skills, customer service and responsiveness to work orders. So, if we know professional services can attract, retain, and renew apartment residents when presented to customers through a strategic marketing angle how are you promoting maintenance-free living? Beyond Wine & Cheese Marketing develops innovative, fun, and fully-clothed themes to help multifamily apartment communities highlight the best assets of their maintenance teams.

Typos Make Life More Creative, In Joy.

I admit it. I’m a girl that can’t read a restaurant menu without stumbling over typos.  My problem dates back to college when Journalism 101 instilled radar in my brain for misplaced letters. It’s not always a gift. More often than not I can be totally immersed in a new book when a typo jumps out at me and breaks the spell of a good storyline. Who was the copy editor and can he refund the $24.00 I just shelled out for the hardback copy?

Imagine what it must be like for people searching for a soul mate on Internet dating websites. I shudder to think of the thousands of typos, misspelled words and grammatical errors sprinkled throughout online personal profiles. There are certain times, like when looking for a spouse, that Spell Check is essential or the results can be a deal breaker.

Just Marryed

We can only hope it was the best man who decorated the car, and not the groom.

Internet profiles, Craigslist ads … there is a perception that words written online are less important because we move along quickly to the next thing. It’s okay to spell things incorrectly because it’s not permanent, right? “It’s only temporary,” you may say to yourself, forgetting that written words on the internet can live forever.

Then or Than, who cares?

One of my favorite forms of entertainment is to watch for typos in Facebook status posts. Within mere seconds your clever wit can be reduced to an embarrassing faux pas. It’s almost as if friends are poised, keyboards at the ready, to catch you in a moment of grammatical weakness so they can unleash their wrath.

There, Their and They're

There, Their and They're -- why do we need three ways to say the same thing?

Beyond Wine & Cheese Marketing can’t help you spell everything correctly in Facebook status updates, but our software features Spell Check to make sure multifamily brochures, newsletters, Craigslist ads and apartment marketing collateral are always typo free. Be careful out there.

Witness The World’s Most Bedazzled Toilet

This summer I’m embarking on a project to remodel my bathroom. Although functional, there is a 1970’s vibe that leaves me feeling less than proud to show off this space. I’m fairly certain the drab aesthetics contribute to my dread of climbing out of bed every morning to start the daily shower routine.

The bath project starts with one goal: Fit an antique claw-foot tub within the 8′ x 8′ square room. I want the unexpected “Wow!” when someone slides open the pocket door and finds a stunning white porcelain beauty. Let’s face it, there are only so many things you can do with a sink, toilet and tub. And, unless it’s gilded in gold, the proverbial throne is not a stunning architectural structure. Sure, I want to feel like a princess while soaking in my new tub but eventual resale value is the real motivation for bedazzling the bathroom. After all, what else is there in this room that can produce an enticing real-estate photo that sets your bathroom above the standard, luring prospects to make a purchase or sign a lease?

Swarovski Toilet

You put crystals where?

Have you noticed how many apartment bathrooms show up in brochures and get a featured spot in Craigslist online ads? At Beyond Wine & Cheese Marketing, we’ve never seen a photo of a bathroom that elicits a “Wow!” while flipping through housing for rent ads.  Actually, most apartment bathroom photos make us wonder why the standard oak cabinet and a colorful shower curtain are the best features you want to show a prospect. Yep, that’s a toilet. If it’s not bedazzled or gilded in gold is it your best foot forward in a photo gallery?

Show us your gilded toilet at No More Homemade Flyers.

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