Saturday, January 21, 2012

Raketista, Walgreens Supports You

This post is brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.


Raketista, if you tell me right now that you managed to squeeze in a health benefit deal in your current contract, I will come right over, sing you praises, and throw lovely rose petals where you stand.
THAT is an amazing feat!  Freelancers don’t usually get regular employees’ perks, and that includes the most-coveted health benefit deal.

But since freelancers are still human –no matter how invincible and impervious to illness our clients seem to assume we are— there is also a wonderful thing called Walgreens.  And it has the best health benefit deal for us independent workhorses.

Up on RaketChicks’s Review Roster is America’s biggest pharmacy chain’s biggest offer: A special discount on annual membership for Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens!

Running mostly on stress and sleeplessness, we will get sick… and we will need this.

The deal:  For $5 a year, you can already get instant solo membership.  For $10 a year, you can even get a family membership that covers the entire brood you’re unconditionally breaking your back for.  This includes your spouse (in my case, that would be Kalakal Kid), your dependents 22 years old and younger (that would be Robot Boy and Hyper Boy), down to your pets (that would be Alpha the mini pinscher, Ziva the rottweiler, and Freddy the snake)!  From there, you can rest easy and receive discount prices on all your prescriptions.

Served on a silver platter are savings on more than 8,000 brand-name and all generic medications.  Discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers, and diabetic supplies.  Bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products and its photofinishing services.
Sold!  That’s just like getting a regular health benefit package –minus all the paperwork running back and forth Finance and HR.  :P

Raketista, Walgreens supports you.  So support them back by liking Walgreens on Facebook and following Walgreens on Twitter.  Stay updated with more deals, stay well despite more work.  Join the 2 million other members of Walgreens who know better and live better.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SOPA, SO GOOD?

In all honesty, SOPA's intentions are quite noble.  Piracy has always been a huge issue online, mostly affecting the music and movie industries --and I can understand how free downloads affect those businesses financially.  I empathize.  (*cough*... as if I've never downloaded a single mp3 ...*cough*).

So, yes, a move needs to be made.
But please, not with a shoddy, sweeping bill!

Really, SOPA?  One mere namedropped link or photo grab can make one guilty of copyright infringement?  Whatever happened to free knowledge, free speech, free will?  Will this be the end of Wikipedia, Google, YouTube, (insert your favorite info resource site here)?  What will become of the World Wide Web if it won't be wide at all?   Let me be the first to tell you that 'the World Narrow Web' just doesn't sing as smoothly when you say it.  Try it.

If this bill passes, then I guess that makes RaketChick a cold-blooded criminal, huh?  What with all the reviews I write and my opinionated fingers having no filter feature.  Well, geez Lady Warden, I do NOT look good in orange!  And horizontal stripes make me look fat!

But, wait!  I just read your mind.  You're asking, "But, RaketChick, what if someone steals one of your doodles and uses it for evil --are you cool with that?"  Imitation is the best form of flattery.  It's not like I posted all these online and then realized too late that ...GASP!... you mean everyone can see this???

Sadly, my Raket skills do not cover speaking and thinking in Legalese so I don't have a quick fix to this rant.  All I know is that the Internet is meant to be man's way of moving forward.  Walking backward to the Dark Ages, I don't know what's up with that.  Order is a good thing.  But maybe a little more brain-squeezing is in order, SOPA?

While it's still legal to do so, learn more about SOPA here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spoofsonian

In the old days, how do you know when your ad has finally reached Great Success status?

When it's finally spoofed by Bubble Gang!  Yep, that's how I've always measured it.

All the industry plaques and trophies and fanfare --those are just the flowery add-ons.  The true test of triumph is when your ad is being talked about like wildfire.  That means your ad has affected (and infected) people.  Your ad has become a virus (and has gone viral).  And the icing on the cake:  When you're finally spoofed.  Spoofing means you've earned your right in the common household.  It also means that your concept is so campaignable that anyone can pull it off and pull it out limitlessly.  Campaignability makes your idea a gem.

Nowadays, we can thank the net for that. 
A trendy example would be the 2012 DOT campaign.  An idea that's caught on, and how.

By Roland Benzon.
You see creatively clever parodies online.

By Creative Manila
As well as cleverly crazy lampoons.

There are also tasteless ones which I will not taint RaketChick with --but they're out there.  And the whole slew of satires only proves how successful the campaign has become.
It also shows how fun and creative the Filipino people really are.  Not just Bubble Gang, but the entire brood.  Our country --amidst all its problems-- IS indeed the Spoofsonian of humor and witty take-offs. (Yes, I made that up... and I'm proud, haha!)

Now that's a cooler way to get your ad some nationwide attention.  Aim to be spoofed!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Don't Bite Back

I promised myself I would never dabble in controversial crap.  But this latest bit about the Department of Tourism's new campaign is just tempting me to bits!
Plus... it gives us Raketistas a post-ad launch life lesson:  How To Properly Handle Criticism.

Every Adman should expect this.  Creativity is subjective.  You can never please everyone.  And, you live in a country where people feed off cynicism as a way of surviving day-to-day physical and emotional exhaustion.
Remember the Charisse and Jinkee Pacquiao alleged Photoshopped magazine covers?  No difference.  Where there is unbelievable good, there will always be a devil's advocate.  Where there is an Optimist Prime, there will always be a Negatron and all that.

Come on!  If you thought a big launch (such as a DOT campaign) will yield nothing but roses and rainbows, you must still be sleeping with your Care Bears stuffed toy.
You should expect action!  Nothing less!

So when cheap shots and non-informed BS get flung at you left and right (mostly from social media which has long empowered all Filipinos to be highly opinionated and verbal) minutes after breakdate, how is it best to respond?
Defend your work ONCE --in the smartest, but most casual, light-hearted manner.  Then, relax and watch the show.  When you know you've done great work that will sell, there's really no need to be defensive and combative.  There's no need to 'beat them at their own game' because you're leagues ahead of that.  You already have the vision while all they have is a comment box.  If you fight back for every insult, then that makes you just as negative and unsure as they are.  That makes you just as transparent as a pothole-pocked bad campaign.

Watch them bark.  Don't bite back.  Believe me, it's more FUN that way.

To wrap it up, remember this, Raketistas.  When you're launching something big, expect big reaction --good and bad.
Then expect yourself to rise the bigger man.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Package

I've done CEs upon CEs for simple solo projects to projects that involve suppliers and partners.  From low-budget requirements to high-budgeted bloody ones.  After 2 years of it, I can safely say I can coast through one costing bid to another with the greatest of ease --even when drafting costs is about the most alien thing I thought I would ever do.

The hardest for me, really, is costing my personal professional package.
When a client plans to take you on his pay roll (as a Consultant or as a part time creative or even as a regular employee), you're not only setting a price to your services, but to yourself.  And it's never easy to peg a price tag on your own person.  It's not just your performance or your output.  It's your probable future and how bright you want to make it.

Nobody likes surprises when it comes to money--not you, not your client, not your future employer.
I'm still grasping at straws on this one, but the most I can suggest is that you...
  • Do heavy research on your client before biting the bullet.  Get an inkling on his employment budget.  The last thing you want is to shoot too low (and be accepted and then feel robbed down the line) or shoot too high (and not be accepted at all).
  • Be clear on your expected responsibilities.  Gauge time versus effort versus compensation.  I do a cost-per-9 to 5 kind of thing.
  • Research online on rate cards of your same job description.  You could be using an old market value.  Be trendy and competitive.
  • Push for perks to solidify some kind of security or stability without going overboard.
  • Don't be desperate!  Give yourself some importance.  Make your future employer realize and respect your worth because you ARE worth it. 
  • Then again, don't be greedy.  Be open to further acceptable negotiations. 
  • Document the whole negotiation process.  Demand for a formal contract.  Everything must be in black and white, signed in blood, and sealed with a lipstick mark (oh wait, those are red).
  • Lastly, don't quit your other rakets.  That's just stupid.  Ever heard of discreet multitasking?  Learn it.
It's a hit or miss.  I'm not exactly proud of how some of my packages turn out.  But you can do better.  The trick is not just to be wiser, but to be clever.  Good luck!  I know I need it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Raketista Resolutions, 2012

I don't do New Year's Resolutions.  I'm more of a go-with-the-flow, happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care kind of person.  Translation:  I haven't an iota where the hell I plan to take my life.

But, 2012 --being the so-called year when the world is scheduled to be reduced to space rubble-- has inspired me to finally (final... pun... hehe) make a shortlist of some broad stroke promises I will most probably not keep.  However, I am hoping that by publicly announcing them like this, it might just push me to fulfill at least... er... 30% of the list before the year (or... life as we know it... haha!) ends.  I'm not being cheap with that figure.  I'm being realistic.  I know myself that bad.

I'm quite positive I've already bagged the 'insane' part so that's a good 5% done.  WHEW!

Ooohkaaay, enough sarcasm.  The truth is, I do plan to make a big thing out of my freelancing career this year.  Just because I feel it's time for some real big changes now.  The safety lock has officially come undone.
I was a wimp and a hermit in 2010.  I became stronger, bolder, smarter, and happier in 2011.  For 2012, I'm more than fueled to take on a brand new crazy, bumpy ride.
Hope you Raketistas are getting that pumped up personal vibe, too.

Hear that, 2012?  I'm ready to party (like it's the end of the world... wahaha!)!