“Waste Not, Want Not” Updated For Today’s Conscious Consumer

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Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Those three calls to action are well known throughout the culture thanks to the efforts made by environmental activists since 1970. Now, according to a story in Los Angeles Times, there’s an update for conscious consumers to consider: Reuse. Remake. Refrain. The article focuses on the “Reuse” and “Remake” aspects of the […]

“Momma’s Gotta Shop” Is Not An Idea, It’s A Customer Insight

Overstock.com - My Hero _30 - YouTube

Overstock.com is a price play, and we all know how enticing low prices can be. It’s nectar to the price-conscious shopper. Even so, I find the following commercial off-putting. Take a look: Momma’s gotta shop. Really? Well sure, if the family is to be housed, clothed, fed, transported to and fro and so on, then […]

Targeting Is Futile When Our Audience Is Everyone, Everywhere

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“Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one.” This little truism is especially true today. We’re all critics, even when we’re consumers at the same time. So can brands narrowly target an audience anymore, or will they hear about their marketing from everyone, regardless of whether they’re the target? Case in point: The recent Mountain Dew […]

Create Compelling Mobile Experiences, Or Facebook Falls Apart

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Remember when the call was put out to accelerate our processes and get up to Internet speed? I think we’ve done it, because today a huge company can emerge from a dorm room to become a major Silicon Valley-based player in just a handful of years. Said company–Facebook–can then go public (after which its officers […]

Upscale Homeless Are Fuel For Urban’s Fire

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You have to know your customer inside and out. That’s a given. It’s also important to refrain from projecting your own values, or the brand’s values, onto one’s idealized customers. People are complex, so reducing their behaviors and thus their identities into neat little packages, or target demos as the case may be, is a […]

Wealth Accumulates In Pockets

Here is an ad for Harvard University, not that Harvard needs ads. One reason, among many, that Harvard does not needs ads is numbers. The institution has all the numbers on its side. For example, The Atlantic looked at data that shows that 3,000 graduates of Harvard University are worth more than $30 million, and […]

Do We Need Some Nate Silvers In Advertising?

Political campaigns are marketing campaigns. And while Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight wasn’t working for a campaign, he was absolutely on the mark in his projections of the election results this year. Anyone who bet on him, as opposed to pundit predictions on TV, made the right move. Advertising is relying increasingly on data and microtargeting […]

The Perfect Gift For Any Art Director

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In New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman and author David Rees still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. According to his web site, the artisanal service is perfect for artists, writers, and standardized test takers. Shipped with their shavings and a “certificate of sharpening,” these extra-sharp pencils make wonderful gifts. Sure, it sounds […]

Generalizing About Generations Is Generally A Bad Idea

I once worked on a chain of auto repair shops. When our client came in for a strategy session, he seemed confused about the idea of targeting his message. “Well, I think we can narrow down our audience to men and women 18-49,” he confidently stated. Our strategist shot back, “Who own cars, right?” Needless […]

Orbitz Takes “Mac Versus PC” Campaign Literally, Serves Up Spendier Hotels To Mac Users

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Mac users spend on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, according to online travel site Orbitz. Furthermore, Mac users are 40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users, and when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to […]