Brands Pause to Acknowledge the American Melee and Register Their Sadness

Exceptional brands create culture, but most brands reflect culture. Reflecting the culture since mid-March has been a creative challenge, given that millions of people are stuck at home and fearful for their health and economic well being. To make matters much worse, one week ago today, a Minneapolis cop was caught on video murdering a […]

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David Aaker on the Power of Stories to Shape the Discussion Around Brands

Tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki’s new podcast, “Remarkable People,” continues to bring interesting authorities to the fore. This week’s episode features professor, author, and consultant, David Aaker, “the godfather of branding.” Aaker is a professor emeritus of the Haas School of Business of UC Berkley, the vice-chairman of a marketing and branding firm called Prophet, and […]

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“People That Know, Know BDO.” Is That So?

“People That Know, Know BDO.” Thanks to the rhyme, it’s an easy line to say and recall. That doesn’t mean it’s a good line. A good line would tell us more about the “people that know,” and we’d know what BDO is and does, as well. Because acronyms are practically unknowable, a business that uses […]

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It’s the Perfect Time for A New Humility

Humble. That’s for the other guy. Marketing communications is about making bold moves and persuasive creative that builds brand value. Marcom is about shining a bright light on the one reason why the product or service in question matters. For years, the best brand communicators deftly approached the problem with wit and charm. The worst […]

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Chaco Retrofits Factory Operations, Is Now Sewing and Donating Protective Masks

Chaco, the outdoor lifestyle footwear brand, has shifted the focus of its Michigan-based ReChaco factory and mobile factory bus from sandal repairs and product customization to the production of face masks and other critical protective equipment needed by healthcare and other first responders working through the COVID-19 pandemic. After Michigan issued a statewide stay at […]

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To Survive the Adpocalypse, Run All the Scenarios and Act with Humility

People who make advertising their profession are often optimistic and idealistic. I think this is a great way to be, as long as it doesn’t cloud your vision. There is a time for optimism and a time for realistic assessments of reality. And pandemic or no, clouded thinking mixed with delusions of grandeur are bad […]

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Two COVID-19 Responses, One Good

People are getting sick from COVID-19. The disease is spreading fast, the death toll is on the rise, and people all over the Earth are “sheltering in place.” It’s a scary, difficult situation for everyone, but thankfully some people and some companies have immense resources, which they’re willing to use for the public good. “Coca-Cola […]

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Brand Reputations Are Inextricably Tied To A Firm’s Operational Realities

Brand reputation is always on the line. Each and every day anything can (and does) happen to ding the brand. Sometimes the ding is more than a ding, it’s a gong. Today, the gongs are banging from coast-to-coast as the retail sector is annihilated by the spread of COVID-19. There Is No Safety Net for […]

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She Walks In Beauty, Like the Night

It’s hard to see details in the dark. But it’s not as hard when you’re equipped with the discreet low-light capabilities of Leica SL camera using M lenses. Shots spoke to director Barney Cokeliss about his evocative nocturnal journey set to Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty,” and scored by Finnish composer, Anne? Kulonen. We […]

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Did You Know That Bon Appétit Has 4.61M Subscribers on YouTube?

People love food-focused programming. Yet, many food brands rely on TV to carry their messages, which is an expensive way to build an audience of buyers. San Antonio-based grocer H-E-B, one of the nation’s largest family-owned businesses with 350 stores throughout Texas and northeast Mexico run lots of TV commercials but only has 32K subscribers […]

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How’s The Job Search Going?

When you’re in the middle of a job search, people can be so helpful. A friend or family member might innocently and genuinely offer, “Hey, have you tried Indeed?” For the job seeker, it’s the kind of question that can make one want to sink deep into a tub. “Yes, thanks friend. My resume is […]

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Media Expert, Simon Peel, Helps Get Adidas on the Right Page

Why do you continue to go to marketing conferences? Are they worth the cost, the travel hassles, and the time away from the office? For people interested in marketing effectiveness, the answer last week was yes. Marketing Week, Campaign, and Footwear News are all carrying the story of how Adidas overinvested in digital marketing and […]

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Learning To Use the Software You Need on the Job Is High-Value Education

Students need a break today, and not at McDonald’s. The financial burdens that come with tuition, textbooks, room and board, laptops and mobile phones, clothes, etc. can be overwhelming. Plus, there’s the all the coursework, reading, writing, and attending class to do, on top of family and work obligations. Making sure you have all the […]

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Celebrity Cruises Wants To “Feed Your Head”

How many classic rock songs can one generation of creative directors tap? The Rolling Stones’ catalog is available for commercial purposes, along with Bob Dylan’s and so many more. Now, in its newest spot, Celebrity Cruises goes back 52 years in time to LSD-dipped San Francisco. I admit that travel can be exotic, but it […]

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Dick’s Sporting Goods Destroyed Its Inventory of AR-15s

Assault weapons are for soldiers. This is not another decision being handed down by a hapless and corrupt government. And it’s not a debate. It’s action being taken by conscious CEOs like Ed Stack of Dick’s Sporting Goods. According to the local CBS station in Pittsburgh, it was just after the Sandy Hook attack that […]

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Houston Rockets GM Tweets His Support for Student Protestors in Hong Kong (BIG MISTAKE)

According to Foreign Policy, “an American business with a global footprint, one that prides itself on supporting freedom of speech in America, recently became an arm of Chinese censorship.” Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted his way into a shitstorm—by supporting democracy. Morey has since deleted the Tweet proclaiming to “stand […]

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Sports Illustrated Not Going to the Bloggers

Meredith Corporation unloaded Sports Illustrated for a mere $110 million last May. Marketing and brand development company Authentic Brands Group was the buyer. Authentic Brands, which owns licensing rights to companies like Juicy Couture and celebrities like Muhammad Ali, has zero experience running a media company. Given their need for help, the new owner of […]

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Comscore Charged with Fraud by SEC

Do you trust your data? Do you trust your data provider? Do you trust that someone on your team will parse the data that you do trust into common sense insights that can be acted upon? People say data is more valuable than gold. People also say all that glitters is not gold. I once […]

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Boots on the Ground: Timberland To Help Plant 50 Million Trees

Brand purpose has plenty of detractors inside the ad industry. For example, Simon White, chief strategy officer at FCB West argues: “When brands advertise their favorite social cause, instead of meeting consumers’ goals, the advertising becomes irrelevant, ineffective and annoying.” White adds, “When it comes to advertising, don’t start with your why, start with theirs.” […]

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Today’s Clumsy Rookie Is Tomorrow’s Skilled Worker

Labor Day weekend is almost here. Carhartt, America’s premium workwear brand since 1889, will close all retail stores, the corporate office, and U.S. manufacturing and distribution facilities on Labor Day to honor its employees and pay tribute to the country’s hardest working people. Tony Ambroza, Chief Brand Officer at Carhartt, said, “We are committed to […]

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