Je Ne Sais Quois about Rabbits on Facebook

If you poll ten Americans in a supermarket or shopping center, I'd bet eight of those people think that rabbits are cute, but devoid of emotion and lack a certain “je ne sais quois”.  (That’s French for “I know not what it is that makes rabbits likable in the first place.”)

Now I like rabbits as much as the next typical minivan-driving, zumba-dancing, hard-working mom with a penchant for marshmallows. I identify with their persistence, kind nature, rhythmic movement, white fluffiness, and their ability to hop from task to task without complaining.  Admit it: you never hear rabbits complaining about feeding a big family, living in a dark, dirty hole, or being chased daily by predators like wolves or dogs.  Or having to have babies year after year.  They keep it to themselves. Until Facebook for Rabbits.

Fact: rabbits have lots of family and friends and meadow acquaintances.  I saw on the Discovery Channel once that they communicate via thumping their big spatula-shaped feet, much like I do when my kids are in the basement watching Star Wars and dinner is ready, and I’m wearing bunny slippers. (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.)  I bet rabbits never nag their little bunnies that dinner’s ready. Ever. Must be the feet.

Maybe rabbits don’t just thump their feet. They might... secretly, so as to not upset the universe and go all Orwellian on your behind… use Facebook For Rabbits.

Now sure, it might be hard to snap and upload a picture, given they don’t have thumb (drives) or wifi enabled laptops in the grassy meadows.  It might be hard to come up with an original username and password, given everyone’s last name is Bunny and wants their password to be HOP2IT.  But obstacles be gosh-darned, the rabbit community… all six bazillion of them and counting… could grow a little closer if they only used Facebook to find lost kin, bunny playmates, and even parental figures. They could connect in an authentic bunny way, finding each other and friending each other in ways that Darwin could never have anticipated.

Think of the fan page opportunities alone.  Starting with the most famous, Bugs Bunny, and moving into the rap posse from the UK, Benjamin Bunny, Peter “Rapper” Rabbit and his American friends DJ Energiza’ bunny wit' Thumper on the drums.  Roger Rabbit fan page for sidesplitting comic relief, and Harvey the imaginary rabbit for the classic film buffs. Velveteen and the cast of Watership Down for the literary types.  Representing Asian martial arts experts, Little Bunny Foo Foo; the foodie page featuring the Nesquik and Trix bunnies; existentialism with the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland; lessons learned by the agony of defeat of the hare from the fable “Tortoise and the Hare”, and even sarcastic quotes thanks to that preschool pleaser, Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh.  Who could resist the fan page from the rabbit with a whole holiday dedicated to his image molded in chocolate: the Easter Bunny.  That'd be a great fan page, with Facebook applications and “share this” gifting opportunities abound all year long.  (Instead of friends, you'd have "Peeps".)

Facebook for Rabbits. Think about the hare-raising implications.


The Bad News Bears, and Life Lessons from the Bleachers

My son is ten. He plays baseball. He's a great kid: smart, funny, empathetic, and even, dare I say, a bit of a ladies' man already. I am a natural "team mom" type: big on coming up with cheers, bribing my kid with cheeseburgers, making sure the little siblings aren't rolling in poison ivy. I've spent the last six spring seasons on the baseball field, and loving it.

Until my son ends up on the Bad News Bears-type team. All the stereotypes are covered. The yeller. The one who dances in the outfield. The frustrated natural athlete. The coaches who drew the short straws this season. The not-quite-comfortable-in-their growing-body kids. The nerd. The bookish ones.

But mostly there are tears, parents cajoling, yelling at the teen ump, and a dozen parents with arms slung over their growing kids' shoulders, baseball bag in hand, explaining at the end of each game that there's clear progress... better luck next time. The bleachers are filled with parents praying for just one hit... a walk... heck, even rain.

Life deals us a bad hand sometimes, doesn't it?

What I'm learning is that baseball imitates life. Life sucks sometimes. You end up working with the tattletale. The back-stabber. The playboy. The slacker. Your raise depends on the person who can't order lunch, forget about negotiate a deal.

Sometimes the pitches we are facing are wild... but sometimes they are not.

I'm learning to take each pitch as it comes... with grace and humor. Hey, the batter will knock it out of the park one of these games, and it will be the sweetest moment ever.


Kentucky Fried Madness!

I am proud to be a director and Boston affiliate of the PRConsultants Group, a network of senior-level PR pros who collaborate on clients like Blockbuster, 7-Eleven, and other global brands... all fun stuff, promoting DVD releases, Slurpees, prepaid phones, ice cream, that sort of thing. This winter, we launched a blog called PRCG Powerlines (check it out here) and try to update it regularly with news about our clients, industry news, and best practices.

Or worst practices, in the case of Yum Brands' Kentucky Fried Chicken's grilled chicken promo. Getting product placement and their "free 2-piece meal" promo on Oprah got feathers flying at KFC when demand bested supply, but also started a debate in marketing circles about how to execute promotions and handle the subsequent online/offline buzz... positive and negative.

Read my post about it on the blog and take a poll there... let us know whether you think the promo sizzled, simmered, or soured, whether or not you are a marketing guru yourself.