Thank you Neil deGrasse Tyson, the popular astrophysicist and head of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
He pointed out that the setting sun aligned with Manhattan’s street grid in May and July. So the sun sits perfectly between the buildings of every cross street.
And, yes, the name was inspired by Stonehenge.
At summer solstice, the sun rises and perfectly aligns with several of the Stonehenge stones.
- A design for Manhattan’s rectilinear grid was outlined in “The Commissioners’ Plan of 1811”. So straight streets and avenues intersect at right angles.
- Also, Manhattan’s street grid tilts 29-degrees. This approximates the island’s 29 degree angle east of true north. This tilt in the grid causes the setting sun to align with Manhattan’s cross streets.
- As a result, unlike Stonehenge, Manhattanhenge occurs before and after the June solstice in late May and early July.
Also bloggers and content marketers take note: Neil deGrasse Tyson keeps updating this story and its copyright!
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Tap into the power of your location and/or community. It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to support your brand and your community. Ideally, it helps a larger community interest as well.Neil deGrasse Tyson has popularized and made astrophysics more accessible to a wider audience. So naming Manhattanhenge works for his organization and its location in Manhattan.
For example, other organizations help their location and support the broader community.
To publicize the need to wear face masks during COVID to keep the city healthy, the New York Public Library dressed the lions at its main branch on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. (BTW, despite its older examples, this article on window dressing makes important points for retailers.)
Marketers, bloggers and writers:
Want to be a funny content creator like Steve Martin?
Martin creates a wide range of content from standup comedy to movies to books. And he learned from Carl Reiner, the gifted voice of comedy who died this past week.
While Carl Reiner may not be a household name now—no surprise since he was 98! His body of work included doing comedy on early television, writing comedy, and directing movies. (He also had small roles in some of these movies!)
But you’ve probably heard of some of his TV shows and movies, such as writing “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and directing Steve Martin in “The Jerk”. Check Google’s list in the visual below or in this New York Times roundup, “Carl Reiner: Where to Stream His Best Work.”
If you want to writing funny stuff or comedy, Reiner recommended:
“You have to imagine yourself as not somebody very special, but somebody very ordinary. If you imagine yourself as somebody really normal and if it makes you laugh, it’s going to make everybody laugh.”
According to Steve Martin:
“Carl Reiner taught me the model for how to make movies. “His interaction with people gave me a template of how to be better, nicer, how to lead with kindness.”
Carl’s most valuable contribution to the [The Jerk] was its emotional center, and I suspect it was those heart tugs that made the film a success.”
Marketers take note: Your content needs emotion to attract an audience.
BTW, Ann Handley learned to have a sense of humor from her dad:
“He loved his job and put his whole self and humor into it. I learned from him that ‘work’ should be fun.”
While Reiner joined Twitter in 2012 to keep up with his grandson, he used the platform to entertain and show his followers how to live. Reiner posted at least daily for a total of 6,500+ tweets to 390K followers.
Posted after his death, Reiner’s last tweet was a photo of him with his daughter Annie Reiner and his best friend Mel Brooks. I love that all 3 are wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts. #BLM.
In the Jewish tradition, people donate in memory of someone who has died. So, Reiner’s family posted a tweet to his account asking people to make a donation in his name to Black Lives Matter.
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Remain relevant and try new platforms. Reiner joined Twitter in 2012 and did his last interview via YouTube during the COVID lockdown.
- “Walk the talk” when it comes to your higher brand purpose. Reiner used his audience to speak out for people who needed a voice, namely immigrants and #BlackLivesMatter. Your brand should do the same!
According to his New York Times obituary (which itself is a BIG deal!)
“Mr. Reiner specialized in portraying the voice of sanity, a calm presence in a chaotic universe. But despite his claim to the contrary, he was never ‘just the straight man.’”
While at The Economist, I learned a lesson about obituaries.
To get input for advertisers for our new website design, I ran a market research survey of our online email subscribers. Using a Tiffany brand research company, we only showed the homepage and one other website page.
In addition to the quantitative responses, the survey yielded 125+ printed pages of reader response. Yes, this was the true amount of comments from survey takers and it is VERY uncommon to get that much response.But it was in line with the profile of an Economist reader.
What was the most common comment?
“What happened to The Obituaries?”
Lest you think that Economist newsletter readers were morbid. Obituaries were The Economist version of gossip like People Magazine.
- Know what type of content your audience wants and tailor it to meet their tastes. The Economist would never run a gossip column but their Obituaries was their opportunity to highlight people of interest to their audience.
Want to get up to speed with Voice Marketing?
Then join Project Voice 2020’s special online conference, Voice of Branding. THIS Wednesday, July 15, 2020 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm EDT!
Don’t have much time or attention?
My Voice Marketing Session is timed perfectly for your lunch break, I’m on from 1:35 PM to 1:55 PM (New York time).
Shout out to our new AMG readers: Olga, Julie, Prashant, Archita, Patricia, Kaijage, Aaiyn, Grace, Rodger, Ruth, Anthony, Akejelu, Driscoll, Orlando, Anna, Henry and Charlotte.
Thank you and welcome to the Actionable Marketing Community!
P.S.: Want Heidi Cohen to contribute a quote or other commentary to your next article, presentation, video, research and/or book? Then hit reply to this email and ask.
P.P.S: Have a friend who you think would enjoy reading the AMG Newsletter? Would you please do them a favor and forward this copy to them?
FEATURED ARTICLE: Storytelling and Content Marketing
Then this article will show you how. It shows you the 3 lessons Lin-Manuel Miranda used to create the award winning Hamilton.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Sonic Branding Definition
Do your brand’s unique sounds stand out from the non-stop noise and sounds people regularly hear?
Why do I ask?
Since increased ownership and use of voice-enabled devices means the audio elements of your brand must be consistently identifiable.
FEATURED ARTICLE: Proven Marketing Tactics
But More important than the participation of well known super smarties like Ann Handley and David Meerman Scott (#grateful):
This list includes accomplished thought leaders representing our diverse, inclusive community.
HEIDI COHEN AROUND THE WEB
► Interested in branding?
Then please join this conversation that I started on LinkedIn. It continues to attract new voices and comments on the topic.
After being on LinkedIn for 5+ days, it has attracted 2,500+ views from people that I engage and connect with. So it’s a good example of how to continue to get recognized on LinkedIn.
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