Leadership Conversations Challenges Us To Move Up If We’re Ready

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What does it take to be a leader in an advertising industry or marketing firm? As I’ve noted before, many great copywriters and art directors don’t make great creative directors. It’s a different set of skills. And sometimes, for the agency or the person, this discovery is made too late — either after a promotion […]

Predictive Analytics Shows How Marketers Are Using – And Loving – Big Data

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I recently wrote about Big Data and how creative people might get left behind in the great rush to mine the data for insights into consumer behavior. In Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die, author Eric Siegel takes a look at a broad spectrum of companies and organizations […]

StoryBranding Gives You A Process, Not A Magic Formula

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I’ve written recently about my skepticism of the worshippers of “brand storytelling” as the new Holy Grail of advertising. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jim Signorelli’s book StoryBranding: Creating Standout Brands Through the Power of Story.

Can Analog Thinking Shake Up Our Digital World?

If you’re a rock fan, I highly recommend you check out “Sound City,” a new documentary about a legendary LA recording studio that was all analog. No one denies the power of our new digital tools to make great music, but in the movie we hear musicians lament the brilliant imperfections of old-school recording methods. […]

Welcome to the Age of Social Media Rubbernecking

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I was working and in meetings early Monday when Burger King’s Twitter account got hacked. It was a problem for Burger King, for sure – plus a big headache. While the whole thing probably lasted a couple of hours, it spawned all sorts of breathless blog posts in reaction, with titles such as: “After Hack, […]

Sorry, But Brands Don’t Really Want To Fix Agencies

If you read Digiday every day, you’d be convinced that all advertising agencies are terribly dysfunctional and they’re pretty much screwed like dinosaurs. Which, as we all know, has a slight kernel of truth sometimes. But article after article aims to hoist agencies on their own petards. This article from Giselle Abramovich, entitled, “What Brands […]

Super Bowl Spots: Jeep Versus Dodge RAM And My Dual Reaction

Here’s the one and only question I’ve been pondering about last night’s Super Bowl TV spots: Why was I instantly smitten with the Dodge RAM “So God Made A Farmer” spot but thought the Jeep “Whole Again” soldier tribute spot was crass and exploitative? I’m speaking of my immediate, visceral reaction to both commercials, which […]

India Issues Its Men A Challenge Via The Newspaper

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Here’s a pretty direct newspaper ad that ran in the Times of India: The Huffington Post has more about the backstory on the ad: In the wake of a highly-publicized gang rape in which the 23-year-old female victim died from the injuries she sustained, the Indian newspaper printed an ad on January 22nd asking men […]

Brand Storytelling Is Just A Fancier Way Of Lying, Right?

Not long ago, I got an assignment for a technology company. They were an also-ran company in a crowded category, and they didn’t have a strong brand identity or any real unique benefits to tout. In a situation like that, there are basically two choices: concoct a story that may or many not be rooted […]

The Edge of Farming Looks At What Many Of Us Rarely See

Moving out here to Washington state last year, I’ve noticed that many local farmers have a higher profile than in other states, thanks to farm-to-table restaurants and farmers markets. But in general, I (and I suspect most city dwellers) have very little understanding of modern farming. Farming advocates are trying to change that, launching a […]