Archive for 2008

Crank up the Justin, Hold the Barry

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Ha! The Daily Mail reports the obvious today –it turns out that Barry White sexy, deep thing is not music to a nursing Mama ears…in fact, the less masculine the voice, the better during times of lower fertility, especially breast feeding….

 I would be remiss not to mention that the alluring deep baritone is what researchers conclude gets women in “that family way” — in the first place. The article discusses recent findings that state the most “successful” hunter/gatherer maters have the lowest voices. This from the Daily Mail:

The study was conducted by anthropologist Dr Apicella, of Harvard University, Massachusetts, and psychologist Dr Feinberg, of McMaster University, Ontario.

They studied 88 members of the Hadza tribe of Tanzania, one of the last true hunter-gatherer cultures.

Their findings, published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, state: ‘Voice pitch may be an indicator of underlying mate quality in humans. Vocal attractiveness is correlated with body and facial attractiveness.

‘Voice pitch in men, due to its association with testosterone, may provide a signal of immunocompetence and genetic quality and dominance.

‘It is not surprising that women generally prefer men with more masculine or lower pitched voices.’

A study led by Dr Apicella last year found male Hadza hunter-gatherers who had low pitched voices sired more babies than their higher-pitched counterparts

Which then leads me to this — bring on the village. Seriously, bring on the women, the soft, kind, nurturing voices of experience and reason and keep those damn hunters away.

Translated to Forty Weeks speak — women yearn for the company and comfort of other women as pregnancy progresses into motherhood. They gather together, share information and are overall most open to each other’s wisdom, experience and advice during this time. This is why women gather in the the jungle of New York for Expectant Mother events at Big City Moms. Or in the urban sprawl of the big D, for the regular offerings of Metroplex Moms. Or why the Mom reviews and blogs such as MomTrends on the web are so well read (and regarded). This is also why, for example, the voice of Peg Moline at Fit Pregnancy resonates so well with her audience. Her voice (and by this I mean the entire publication’s editorial stance) is uniquely feminine — caring, authoritative, considerate and well delivered ( no pun intended).  This is the village!

Bottom line — this is where MOMFILTRATION comes into play — getting to the heart of the mater – connecting woman to woman during pregnancy and new motherhood. Gathring women together (virtural or otherwise) and opening the dialog. And this is where Forty Weeks shines. Messaging delivered by women to women in a voice that resonates with women.

 And while you are digesting the above – I am working on a new “music to latch by” mix now….any suggestions?

MAMANISTA

Monday, November 24th, 2008

I had the treat of spending a part of my Sunday on train with Lila, heading back from a perfect weekend in New York (thank you, thank you to the W, Union Square for, always, making it good to be Eloise – even at my age!!!!).  So the train means coffee and reading for hours on end. And Sunday means the NYT.

Safire’svote for  (concocted) new word of the year struck a real chord with me — Frugalista. According to New Oxford American Dictionary:

It is frugalista, defined as “a person who lives a frugal lifestyle but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes, buying secondhand, growing own produce, etc.” This could become the nom de guerre of the “recession warrior.”

Remind you of someone? Absolutely! This is the woman we speak to day in and day out — this is our market, our woman, our Mamaista! A woman who as significantly increased her expenses without (likely) increasing her means. Baby makes three (or four or more) and changes the economic landscape of a family forever. And so our Mamaista has been left to tackle this shift head on. She actively takes stock of her priorities, chooses where and how  to invest resources in her new life and baby based on a clear sense of self, family, community. She makes a little, trades a little, buys a little. And always keeps true to her ideals. Ultimately, she makes her way to the key essentials rather than the shinny objects.  She is not about the bling, the status or the name — she is about quality, investment and savvy. And of course, parenting her way  – surrounded by the values (and objects which reflect these values) she holds dear. She learns, edits and refines her world view on an hourly basis — fueled by a myriad of “villages” in which she raises baby.

So where does Forty Weeks fit in here? Somewhere between consumer, media and manufacturer. We help to identify a Mamaista’s priorities (which means seeing past the obvious, taking time to dig deep and get to know what is really being considered and why), we lend our understanding to manufacturers who strive to fit in with these objectives and of course, offer our insights and commentary to the media when they too want to make sense of the market.

 So, the idea, as William Saffire shares, of a frugal but fashionable and healthy lifestyle is really what we have identified in our (newly named) Mamaista. She makes choices, as we all do and will — keeping  her key priorities clear and choosing quite wisely. And even in this time of struggle and change the song remains the same. We see her, we know her, we get her…and that is the Forty Weeks way!

Another Bravado Mama is Born!

Friday, November 21st, 2008

This just in! According to People.com,  Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Pete Wentz  gave birth to baby boy Bronx(pick a Borough, and borough) Mowgli Wentz on Thursday night. Bronx weighed 7 lbs., 11 oz., and was 20 1/2 inches long – and all are reported to be doing well.

 We welcome Ashley to the Bravado Mama club — we know she is well stocked with Bravado nursing bras (ONB to start, of course) and thanks to our fantastic team in LA will continue to have all the nursing support (and bras) she needs as she makes her amazing transition into motherhood!

We connect the dots between client, celebrity and cause…

Friday, November 14th, 2008

We are lucky — our clients care a great deal about all new and expectant mothers. And they allow us to guide them to partnerships and initiatives that make real impact in the world as a whole. The programs we develop come in many flavors and yet, one consistent theme always holds true – we help our clients bring their resources (both product and customer) to the table to help women in powerful ways. In this stellar example — we were able to bring Angie Harmon (and her huge heart) in as our partner in donating Bravado Bras  and resources (such as Breast Feeding with Bravado DVDs, informational content in English and in Spanish and other teaching tools) to the Children’s Institute, Inc in Los Angeles. Plus, Bravado created an added incentive which allows women to donate to CII through their purchase of Bravado products. The result is a powerful program that helps women and allows us all to contribute in a meaningful way. Take a look:

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PARTY GIRLS

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Two of my favorite people are getting together (with a whole bunch of other super cool people) in one fabulous store to celebrate one outstanding book this evening. Of course these two women are none other than my friends Shannon DiPadova of Due Maternity and Jenna McCarthy author of The Parent Trip. It will be fun night and I will miss them both (plus the booze and adorable nibbles, I will miss that too). Now, if any of you are even close to Santa Barbara this PM please go in my place, and tell the girls that I sent you! Here are the deets….And also just for fun a picture of Shannon and me from “back in the day”….sd-and-jb-pre-glam.jpgJulia Beck and Shannon DiPadova (long ago)

VOTE

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

enough said….

So you do PR, but not really?????????

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Forty Weeks is known best for our ground-breaking strategy. And with strategy comes tactics. And yes, yes – media placement (as well as celebrity seeding, “Momfiltration”, philanthropic partnerships, retail promotions, influencer outreach, etc.) is one of a long list of tools we employ along the way. We get that this is not what everyone else does. In fact, no one else does what we do with the level of experience, insight and industry connections that our incredible team (NY, LA and DC) does. Plus we absolutely adore doing what we do (this is obvious!). And this may just be why we are still doing it ten years in!!!

Lately, we have been getting a great deal of calls to help our friends and clients as an adjunct to their traditional PR efforts. Meaning, while they may still desire some decent amount of media hits, they realize that now is the time to evaluate and asses the state of their brands (and expenses too!!!). And while this central, strategic role is nothing new for Forty Weeks, we have noticed that as the economy is shifting, our role as a strategic advisor becomes more an more critical to the survival of brands (and the comfort of those at the helm).

We have been as of late leading more and more strategy sessions with our clients. In these one or two day summits, we come in and spend very concentrated, focused time on individual brands. Our analysis of  brands is nothing groundbreaking (we work with a  traditional SWOT model which we have  modified to be more lifestyle and psychographically targeted in the data we cull and react to). And our summary process hones in on distribution, philanthropic partnerships, alliances, extensions and other aspects of immediate growth and brand clarity (as well as exit strategies). We keep the notion of running a lean and profitable organization, while at the same time establishing and maintainng strong positioning at the forefront of our process.

Does it work? Well, here is an example of how we did what we do (and a peak at the results as well)…want to know more – ask us (or better yet, the client!!!!!!)… 

Over the past 18 months, we were fortunate enough to have spent a great deal of time and energy working with our client, desinger and friend (and soon to be MAMA!!!)  Jennie Lynn Johanson on the expansion of her brand – The Bumble Collection. I would say we are as proud as can be with the results! The reality and profitability of her brand has shifted dramatically. With our help she was able to identify her true brand positioning and manufacture and distribute according to a very specific road-map we developed.  The Bumble Collection (formerly Bumble Bags) now features three distinct lines. In addition to Buzz (an amazingly adorable and affordable bag), The Bumble collection now features  a top of the line offering called Honey. Talk about a sweet outcome!  Celebrity Baby Blog reviewed the bag and like so many who have seen the bag (the reception at ABC was incredible), loved it!

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Waiter, There’s a fly in my soup…

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

groverblues.jpgOK, I am dating myself (I come from the pre-Elmo age back when imaginary friend-friendly TV was de rigueur ). And the “fly in my soup” skit featuring Grover from Sesame Street was one of my all-time favorites. That adorably blue Grover tried so hard and never quite got it right…

70’s nostalgia aside, I was checking out one of my favorite OT places on the Web, Chowhound – looking for a place  for us (that is wonderful Bob and me) to dine with Alice and Steve on Saturday night (see it always comes back to food and friends!), when I stumbled upon this thread posted by a person ISO breastfeeding friendly restaurants in Toronto.

So great – you love food, you are breast feeding and turning to your foodie friends (and Toronto is a great food town!) for a little help. Chowhound is just the place to go, I agree! You don’t get any specific suggestions but rather a few supportive comments about giving breastfeeding in a restaurant a go…and what happens next? Well, a board moderator shows up to “control” the conversation….OMG – I have been totally attacked on Chowhound (for being an obvious rich person traveling in the Rockies during winter holiday last year – and how did they know – well, it turns out that I “exposed myself” By listing Lupa  and Tabla  as two of my favs in NYC and that killed my rap and made the locals in Beaver Creek turn on me for my past sins and then for having lunch at Spago at the Ritz) and there was no moderator there to protect me. But mention breast, breast feeding, or exposed nipple and all bets are off – they are ready, willing and able to moderate that thread good and dead….

BTW, moderator at Chowhound – you own Urban Baby(your purchased it from my friends John and Susan Maloney a few years back)– how about a little strategic synergy and service (you have managed to put yourself all over the Urban Baby site, no?) and actually allow women to help each other? Just a thought….

  

BOO!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

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Saturday Night’s Alright…

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Celebrity Baby Blog reports that Amy Poehler and Will Arnett’s baby boy Archie (full name Archibald William Emerson Arnett) was born on SATURDAY October 25 in New York City. Seth Myers annouced on air that she was having her baby during SNL’s Weekend Update.

Amy was beyond funny this week — her Moosed up Rap was a highlight and really she never lost her groove. And, loosing her (she had already announced she was moving on) will be a big hit for SNL. Though knowing her as we do (in that public, I don’t you know but assume and pretend I do kind of way) I imagine a lot more Mama humor is about to make it’s way into the universe. Let’s all stay in tuned.

 In the meantime, Amy — what you do you and Will need? How can we help? Strollers (have you seen the new Teutonia???), nursing bras, diaper bags, advice — just let me know — we’ve got the goods!

 Welcome Archie!