Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Greek Fire Relief - If You Want to Give DIRECTLY to Those in Need

Understandably, after the mishandling of rescue efforts and recent history's disappointment at how relief agencies distribute funds, many of you might be weary to give without being able to know for certain who your help aided.

Since your good will should not be dampened by red-tape, I have an idea...

If you know somebody that has been directly affected, please e-mail with the affected person(s) name, village, degree of loss and immediate needs.

If you are looking to donate money or items directly to those affected, also e-mail with your name, location, donation in mind.

We will then match the needs with the donations and help create a closer link.

Please refer friends and family members with similar concerns to do the same so we can make sure all of our support gets to those in need in whichever way is possible.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Greek Fire Relief - Now is the Time to Help!

The past few days we've all watched in horror as cruel fires have ravaged our homeland. As we anxiously reach out to family and friends in hope that the effects are only material, many questions, frustrations and theories have come forth.

- Who is responsible for these fires?
- Why can't authorities be closer to areas of need?
- How can citizens be better equipped?
- How do we make sure this never happens again?

Now, the most important question to answer is...

How can we help?

1.) Contribute to the national fund created by the National Bank of Greece.
You can do this by directly access the account info or by donating via PayPal, which was quickly mobilized by DailyFrappe.

2.) Contribute to the Greek Red Cross. The Red Cross, or Erithros Stavros, quickly dispatched both volunteer rescuers and medical personnel throughout the country to aid efforts. In addition to monetary donations, click here for a list of specific items they need to provide to their teams on the ground.

3.) Reach out to your local AHEPA chapter, most of which are collecting items and money for care packages to be sent to the affected areas. Most Greek Orthodox churches in the U.S. can help direct you to the local AHEPA efforts, which will likely be aligned with the church.

4.) Join the "Plant Your Roots in Greece" campaign to help mother nature come back in full force. With as little as $10, you can help plant a tree. Of note, it is important re-plantation is done by professionals as only specific types of trees can survive and help the scorched land.

This, thankfully, is only a small sampling of the humanitarian help being organized. Additional fund-raising efforts will be posted here, as well as on DailyFrappe... so please check both sites!

Also, please contact me at to let me know about any activities you are organizing in support of this effort for more help in getting the word out. In addition to posting on this site, I am happy to extend information to other social networks and media.

And our efforts will not stop at aiding those affected, once that important task is accomplished we will unite again to help prevent this from happening again!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ridiculously Tasty Greek Yogurt's Smart Ads

Interesting piece about FAGE's (my fave!) new advertising efforts in the New York Times! The brand, which I'd previously seen referred to as the "Aston Martin of yogurts" in a past USA Today, is now placing itself alongside other known luxuries, such as Tourneau watches.
Not only is this great exposure for a healthy and tasty product that I've been raving about for nearly a decade, but this is also a great demonstration of the popularity Greek products can obtain when marketed well to a broader public.

Bravo FAGE!

The New York Times ~ August 1, 2007
Advertising: Campaign for a Yogurt Enlists Stylish Partners

The images are eye-catching, luscious and tactile: on the left-hand page of the magazine is an advertisement for a Tourneau watch, its elaborate silver face shown up-close and in striking detail.

On the mirror page, a bed of white yogurt reflects the grooves and indentations of the timepiece, as if the magazine had been slammed shut with the yogurt and the watch facing each other. At the bottom of the page is an image of an overturned spoon, filled with creamy yogurt, hanging above a container of Fage Total. “Ridiculously Thick Yogurt,” is the tagline.

Readers of magazines like New York, Los Angeles Confidential, and Ocean Drive (of Miami) may have paused at the images and perhaps wondered how the symbiotic campaigns for such disparate products came together. In another spread, an Honora pearl necklace and diamond earrings have left their spiral impression in the Fage yogurt.

As it turns out, the unorthodox Fage (pronounced “fah-yeh”) campaign was dreamed up by Ogilvy New York, part of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a subsidiary of WPP. Ogilvy New York conceived of not only the imagery but also the deal-making with both Honora and Tourneau, which are not Ogilvy clients. The agency approached both brands directly and worked with their in-house marketing departments on media placement and concept development, said Mark Tillinghast, group account director at Ogilvy.

“It was actually very easy,” Arturo Gigante, the senior art director on the campaign, said of persuading the brands to join the campaign. “They immediately recognized that it was a simple and fun way to incorporate their brands with Fage and appeal to a similar viewership, where one wasn’t competing with the other.”

Ralph Orssini, the president of Honora, acknowledged some initial concern about dunking his fine jewelry in yogurt for an ad. “At first I had to really be explained what the concept was,” he said, adding that he soon realized that the creative campaign could speak to a younger generation.

He also said that he saw similarities between the products: Honora pearls have the highest nacre content of pearls on the market, Mr. Orssini said, “so in essence, we sell ridiculously thick cultured pearls, and they sell ridiculously thick cultured yogurt.”

For Tourneau, the pairing seemed to underscore the sybaritic image that the brand tries to project, plus the physical qualities of the product. “In terms of luxury, the shape of the watch in the yogurt lends itself perfectly in ways a handbag or pair of shoes wouldn’t,” said Andrew Block, Tourneau’s executive vice president. “It’s all about making you stop to think,” he said, because “nobody has seen anything like this before.”

Besides the print campaign — which began last month and will run through the end of the year — Ogilvy is also handing out samples of Fage Total this summer on the Hamptons Luxury Liner bus and two Hamptons Citarella stores, in conjunction with Hamptons Magazine, which also features the ads.

Ogilvy is also hoping to sign up more partners for similar treatment with Fage, but it isn’t ready to announce any specific deals.

Antonios Maridakis, the executive vice president of Fage USA, said that the dissonance of the images is what makes them so striking to readers. “They may go back and take a minute to put two and two together, and that is what makes it more impactful and memorable,” he said.
Traditionally, yogurt marketing depicts the product as healthy, creamy and fruity, and usually features a fit young woman indulging in a spoonful or an energetic child grabbing a cup on the go. Luxury goods are conspicuously absent.

“Tourneau and Honora are known for making premium, beautiful products, and we thought that combination would show people we see ourselves up there — upscale and high end,” Mr. Maridakis said.

Since bringing its products to market in America in 2000, Fage, based in Greece, has cultivated a devoted following in urban markets, where Total yogurt is sold in high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods, Wild Oats and Trader Joe’s.

While most yogurt sells for about 89 cents a cup, Fage Total is sold for as much as $2 more. But that seems to only add to its allure.

We saw it take off tremendously,” said Tim Sperry, a retail consultant for natural and organic food manufacturers and a former buyer for Whole Foods. He added that in terms of sales, Fage was one of the top 10 yogurts at the supermarket and remains a dominant player within the specialty foods channel. “They really paved the way for European-style yogurts to break out of the traditional yogurt category,” Mr. Sperry said.

While major players like Dannon and Yoplait dominate the $3 billion yogurt industry, according to Nielsen Strategic Planner, denser, creamier Greek, French and other European-style yogurts are growing in popularity, according to Chris Crocker, a spokesman for the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. And over the last year, yogurts with a “natural” claim on the package label grew more than 10 percent, selling more than $266 million, according to Nielsen.

Fage manufactures its yogurt in Greece, importing it daily into the United States, but it plans to open a manufacturing plant in New York in 2008 because of growing consumer demand here, Mr. Maridakis said. While most yogurts use only one liter of milk, Fage Total yogurt uses about three liters, and employs a patented straining process to give it a dense, creamy texture, he said.

Perhaps that is why the Ogilvy creative team chose to use the yogurt to produce the campaign’s images, rather than rendering them on a computer. “We knew we would get better realism and texture from pressing the jewelry into the actual product,” said Mr. Gigante of Ogilvy, adding, “but the Tourneau watch was not returned, let me tell you that much.”

Greek Army Video Hits Famous Celeb Blog

In months past, you've probably heard about some videos posted on YouTube by our fair fantaroi. Well, in an amusing turn of events, one of sillier of these videos were linked to by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.

The video itself shows a group of Greek soldiers lining up to goof off and dance to Madonna's "Time Goes By (So Slowly)".

While the dance sure is funny, what made me really laugh was the diversity of the comments, which ranged from:
- Surprised and amused (by those that enjoyed the fact that these guys weren't taking themselves seriously), to
- Bigoted (thanks to those that consider Greek-style something other than infused with oregano, feta and olive oil), and of course
- Belligerent (thanks to the ongoing Greco-Turkish YouTube standoffs).

See for yourself!


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