Topic: Our Forum

What's The Story Behind The Marketing Profs Birdie?

Posted by Chris Blackman on 1000 Points
Marketing Profs has a new feathered friend - a little blue bird at top left of each page.

So, what's the story behind the bird?

Is it a cheerful songster announcing the dawn of a new day, filled with wonder, excitement and hope?

Does it mean "watch the birdie"?

Or, is there a much more important and meaningful message about the birdie, that all marketers should know?

Pen a short story explaining the relevance of the chirping blue birdie. No more than 200 words, or thereabouts. Post it here. You could win points.
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  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Author
    Steve - I don't think anybody knows the story yet - it's waiting to be written by KHE members.

    I guess it could mean the early bird catches the worm. And you certainly answered fast!

    But no worms for you just yet! I'm looking for a more complex, "sticky" kind of story.

    It must be:
    1. Simple
    2. Surprising/Unexpected
    3. Contain something Concrete
    4. Credible
    5. Play to the Emotions
    6. Be easily recountable as a story - so it must be Memorable

  • Posted by telemoxie on Accepted
    Around my house, most birds are singing in the morning... maybe the bird is reminding us to start each day cheerfully, that as marketers, we need to be getting our message out in a pleasant basis and on a daily basis - and that visiting the MarketingProfs site should be a part of our morning routine.
  • Posted by BlueSage on Accepted
    Today, we woke up and found a blue bird on site.
    We scratched our heads wondering how it got there.

    In the office as we went about our day, we would catch the bird flying about. We wondered what type of bird he was. [we just assumed it was a 'he'].

    Someone had a bird book with different bird calls. We thought it looked like a Stellar Jay, however since we were in the East, that obviously couldn't be a Stellar Jay. We had to concentrate on birds that could only be found in the Eastern section of the US.

    So we looked at the Blue Jay and we thought that is what he looks like, a Blue Jay!

    In order to determine a name for him, we had to find out things about him. By now, this had become an office mascot and everyone was doing their part.

    Days passed. We continued to watch him as we went about our work.
    We discovered this Blue Jay eats not only insects and spiders, but they also eat frogs and lizards and can, in some cases, come to eat out of people's hands!

    This bird will mimic calls of other birds, particularly the red-shouldered hawk and even though many people do not like jays because of the belief they raid the nests of other birds, it has been found only 1% of blue jays do this. Other people don't like the noise they make, however the bird on our work site was not like that. His calls were different. More melodious.

    We found out one of the cool things about a Blue Jay is he will use pieces of paper as a tool to rake in food pellets from outside his cage.

    Some people believe a blue jay cuts through the clutter of things, however in our research we did not find this to be true.

    So we are ready to name him because we think we have enough information.
    Everyone put the name they liked in a hat. Someone would pull these names out and write them on the whiteboard. Then we would vote.

    What names were put in the hat?

  • Posted by Harry Hallman on Accepted
    Let's see the bird is chirping into nothing so is it an example of how our clients listen to us. Meaning they don't. JUST KIDDING.

    You know I think it is better we don't know what the bird means. It is better to have everyone think what it means on a personal level. There were lots of good suggestions so maybe it is all of them.
  • Posted on Accepted
    My haiku may be a little rusty, but I will definitely be under the 200-word limit.

    A little blue bird,
    Nothing more, just a logo,
    Don't overthink it.

  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Author
    Steve (Papadoc) - That's so true!

    Telemoxie - you've hit the nail on the head...

    Steve - I know the expression well. And you've identified the significance of the bird's oration well.

    Blue Sage - you've captured the moment of puzzlement perfectly.

    Harry, you're a cynic! But that's a great trait in a marketer.

    Kathy - as always, brilliant thoughts.

    Juliet, that's amazing. Have a great holiday.

    Skoobie - you're right. It's an Evangelist.

    Vermont PR Guy, Love the simplicity.

    Shelley, great gory details. In war there is unavoidable collateral damage - and it even extends to a webcast.

  • Posted on Accepted
    Dear chris,

    I think the idea of having a bird as a logo can perhaps be understood by answering one question:

    what is everyone trying to do in this forum?(i.e: what is the goal of its members? do they have a specific goal in the first place???)

    Here, a persons problem/query becomes every one else's problem/query: all of us try to solve the problem collaboratively: none of us are bothered about status, money,gains etc etc...: the typical things which drive us in a workplace....
    the best part is that even if someone needs help related to his business-(which means benefits, gains go only to the person asking the question): evryone tries to help him out and everyone is free to put forforth his/her views. There is no hierarchy. Would this happen in a typical work place?? do people voluntarily come forward, spend time to sit and write out solutions for our problems???

    ever seen a birds flying bak home in the evening? they are a very flexible, self organized group...any bird can just join and it instantly becomes a part of the strings attached...

    so in my view the bird represents :
    1) help without profit motive
    2)collaboration for solving a problem
    3) self-organized way of group effort: (as in : no one tells u or me to answer a particular question or not answer another: its what one finds interesting..and at any point of time, the group of people participating in answering a query become a part of that group....)........


  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Author

    Nice analogy. That, and Shelley's story, reminds me of this one:

    A bird was flying south for Winter, but he had left it too late and was frozen solid in a storm. Having assumed the aerodynamic properties of a small, tired housebrick, he plummeted from the sky into a pasture of cows.

    The biggest, fattest cow had just left a giant steaming cow pat there, and the bird landed right in the middle of it with a loud "plop"! At first he was almost sick, until he realised the warm cow poo was thawing him out!

    He started singing out for joy as the ice melted. A cat that was nearby heard the cries, walked over, saw the bird and ate it.

    There are three morals to this story:

    1. Not everyone who gets you into the poo is your enemy

    2. Not everyone who gets you out of the poo is your friend

    3. If you are in the poo, warm and happy, keep your mouth shut

    But I'm sure that's not the story of our little blue birdie... Any more suggestions?


  • Posted on Accepted
    The bird represents a few things/sayings:
    1) A little birdie told me
    2) Singing like a bird (sharing our secrets)
    3) Chirping like a bird

    I would hope it doesnt represent
    Bird Brains!
  • Posted by steven.alker on Accepted
    Dear Chris

    The Blue Jays are half of The Moody Blues, which was a better occupation for Justin Hayward than doing War of the Worlds. No connection there, I guess. They are also a Toronto Baseball Team with a very annoying website on which you can’t turn off the sound!

    Ah – as we’re all into poetry, I’ve got it. A First World War poem attributed Robert Frost (Attributed because it was put together from scraps of his writings by one of the students from the University of Virginia)

    War Thoughts at Home

    On the back side of the house
    Where it wears no paint to the weather
    And so shows most its age,
    Suddenly blue jays rage
    And flash in blue feather.

    It is late in an afternoon
    More grey with snow to fall
    Than white with fallen snow
    When it is blue jay and crow
    Or no bird at all.

    So someone heeds from within
    This flurry of bird war,
    And rising from her chair
    A little bent over with care
    Not to scatter on the floor

    The sewing in her lap
    Comes to the window to see.
    At sight of her dim face
    The birds all cease for a space
    And cling close in a tree.

    And one says to the rest
    "We must just watch our chance
    And escape one by one--
    Though the fight is no more done
    Than the war is in France."

    Than the war is in France!
    She thinks of a winter camp
    Where soldiers for France are made.
    She draws down the window shade
    And it glows with an early lamp.

    On that old side of the house
    The uneven sheds stretch back
    Shed behind shed in train
    Like cars that long have lain
    Dead on a side track.

    I’m afraid that my favourite poet, T. S. Eliot never wrote about Blue Jays, but by a weird coincidence, Johns Hopkins University have sponsored the largest complete collection of Eliot’s prose, ever compiled. Their lacrosse team is called ----Wait for it------The Blue Jays.

    What a strange forum this place can be!

    Steve Alker

  • Posted by SteveByrneMarketing on Accepted
    As one of the Steve's, I have to agree with Steve Papadoc. The Bird image was introduced with the tagline ... pass it on. Obviously the chirping is the metaphor for passing it on.

    While other stories (and some darn good ones) can serve to enhance/support this branding, the core story remains our forum's job is to pass along smart thinking about marketing.

  • Posted on Accepted
    The logo is either (1) an expression of the product or (2) an expression of the desired audience or (3) an expression of the site leaders.

    If the logo is an expression of the product:
    It’s a metaphor for a free exchange of ideas and advice in a controlled environment that encourages communication and growth. The nest is big enough for all of us to incubate ideas and cultivate them. Analogous to laying eggs and watching them hatch.

    If the logo is an expression of the desired audience:
    An abstract look at the bird shows that it is made up of the following:
    An “x” to mark the spot – (this site the place where lasting treasures can be found)
    A conical megaphone (identifying how this is the place where we can all be heard)

    If the logo is an expression of the site leaders:
    Clearly it’s an iconic graphic to illustrate a complex and ritualistic mating dance of a rare bird often associated with a Freudian study on our desire to engage others through a romantic expression of our best inner self.

    I have a dry sense of humor, so maybe the tongue and cheek aspects of this post wont ring through. I’m certain the story of the bird isn’t mine, but I’m looking forward to answer.

    Justin McCullough
  • Posted on Accepted
    Confucius says,
    with regard to the bird,
    “There is only one”.

    Think about that for a while… Depressing, uplifting, spiritual, and enlightening…

    Justin McCullough
    (Couldn’t help but post one more. I’ll stop now.)

  • Posted by steven.alker on Accepted
    The tongue in cheek works just fine for me. Your dismemberment of our new Logo (Or should that be disease of “Deconstruction” which as infested so many English and Arts departments in the last 10 years?) reminded me of our National Telecoms company which went from a State Monopoly to a Private success in the 1880’s by Lord Tebbit and the new Conservative government..

    Its new logo was the “Prancing Piper”:
    But the most apt description, given all the money the managers made with their share options was: “Self Satisfied Fat Git Blowing His Own Trumpet”


    Steve Alker

  • Posted by RobertaE on Accepted
    When I see the bird it represents Marketing Profs to be:

    People openly sharing without hesitation

    Paying it forward with excellence

    Sharing your story of efficiency and consistency (smart thinking) which brought the best results to your businesses or situations

    Allowing others' to gain by your experiences

    All being done with professionalism

    More important to get your story out there and offer your expertise than it is to keep the information to yourself

    There is more than enough abundance for everyone

    Have a great night

  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Author
    Ann Handley said:

    "That "cutting through the clutter" bit is partly why we chose a bird—specifically, a blue jay—as our logo. Birds have many characteristics that we think align with MarketingProfs on a metaphorical, if not actual, level: rising early and getting the worm first, flocking together in a community, and maintaining views at both a 50,000-thousand-foot and ground level. But Jays also have a way of making their presence known—of cutting through the clutter, so to speak, and making themselves central to the action."

    So, that's the official line. And many of you picked the right kind of bird, too. Well done. Thank you all.

    This thread it's race has run.


  • Posted by mgoodman on Member
    I’m not sure why there’s any question about the selection of the blue jay as the symbol or mascot for MarketingProfs. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say in describing the behavior of blue jays:

    The Blue Jay is generally aggressive toward other birds, which it will chase from feeders or other food sources. … The Blue Jay is known to be a raider of other bird's nests. It may steal eggs, chicks, and nests.

    That describes professional marketers, right?
  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Author

    You make it sound so mercenary. We're just all doing the best we can with what we've got, right?

    Besides, it's been a long while since I stole anybody else's chick.


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