Meet Li Ziqi, A Bohemian Chic Capitalist from the Mountains of Sichuan Province

Meet Li Ziqi. The 29-year-old is one of China’s biggest social media stars. She has 22 million followers on the microblogging site Weibo, 34 million on Douyin, and another 8.3 million on YouTube (which is banned in China). Ziqi lives in the village of northwestern Pingwu, Mianyang City, Sichuan Province, China. She began posting rustic-chic […]

Laura Desmond Meets with Advertising Students at UT, Learns Why They Block Ads

Stan Talks is a library of short videos produced by the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. This new talk, released last month, features Laura Desmond, founder and CEO of Eagle Vista Partners in Chicago. Desmond is intent on building […]

3 Steps to Brand Marketing Success: Consider, Believe, and Buy

I can’t recall how many articles I’ve published here about the power of content marketing, a.k.a. brand storytelling. So many. Because the need is ever great, here’s another… When good fortune is on your side, and you have a well-made ad campaign (backed by sufficient media dollars to reach a multitude of desirable audiences in […]

The Ramen Looks Amazing in New Culinary Arts Campaign from P.F. Chang’s

Restaurant advertising is often created with the intent to create appetite appeal. To achieve this, the quality of photography and videography is critical. This new ad campaign from P.F. Chang’s, care of The Richard Group, uses powerful visual storytelling to take viewers on an epicurean adventure that is meant to entice the senses while revealing […]

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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This Land Is for Johnnie Walker Drinkers

Where do brands fit into the larger cultural landscape today? It’s a question that some brand managers and ad agency partners would rather not answer. At the other end of the pole, there is Diageo’s Johnnie Walker, which has a definitive answer to the non-rhetorical question. Let’s watch and listen… The spot was created by […]

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Content Kings and the Never Contented: A Modern Fable in Reruns

Gary Vee. The guy manages to get our attention. Furthermore, he manages to get paid for the attention he gathers. Gary Vee had my both attention and my respect when he was the wine guy blowing up the business of wine reviews on YouTube. Since that time, he’s moved into the ad world. My world. […]

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Chief Communications Officers Are Movin’ On Up

In the agency business, the CCO is the Chief Creative Officer. On the client-side, the CCO is the Chief Communications Officer. The Chief Communications Officer is not the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), but the roles are intertwined. Or they were. According to PR Week, modern CCOs are now tasked with brand management in addition to […]

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Go Ahead, Rip the Bandages Off Your Digital Daydreams

It’s #FlashbackFriday. Let’s return in time to August 31, 1997. On this day, Tom Peters’ article, “The Brand Called You” was published in FastCompany. Peters is a famous consultant, speaker, and writer. Nevertheless, the thinking in his seminal piece has not aged well. Let’s have a look: …You’re not defined by your job title and […]

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Wear Vans And Do It Yourself

There is no uniform in punk rock, but there are favorite footwear brands, Dr. Marten, Fluevogs, and Vans among them. Vans is introducing its latest brand campaign, “The Spirit of DIY,” featuring ambassadors of DIY culture from around the world who are making things happen and influencing the communities around them. No rules and unapologetic […]

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Are You Prepared for South By Southwest?

I first made my way to South By Southwest in March of 2003. The conference, the city of Austin, and the creative industries have all changed considerably since then. It was just 16.5 years ago, but in our accelerated, digitally-disrupted world things happen fast. To make my point even clearer, when I first attended South […]

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Might As Well Travel The Elegant Way (In An Airstream)

Airstream sends me their email newsletter once per week. It’s called “Rivet.” As a way to keep me interested in Airstream products and the RVing lifestyle, Rivet points me to a batch of recommended articles on the Airstream blog. The Airstream blog is a great way to showcase customer testimonials. One RV enthusiast featured on […]

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“I Am An Angler” Is A Powerful Call To Action

Fishing is one of my favorite recreational activities. Leaving the land and my screens behind to focus purely on the water and the fish in it is a physical and mental reprieve. For me and millions of people who love to fish, fishing is good medicine. Take Me Fishing TakeMeFishing.org, the website from Recreational Boating […]

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How To Succeed on LinkedIn, According to Kathy Hepinstall Parks

Satire is salve for the witty. Novelist, Creative Director and Freelance Copywriter, Kathy Hepinstall Parks, is witty. This is how she rolls on LinkedIn: Sure, LinkedIn is laughable at times; yet, millions of professionals, a.k.a. thought workers, rely on it. Chances are good you’ll head over there in a few clicks to seek a job […]

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Redirection Is The New Black

Redirection is the new black. According to Patrick Berlinquette, founder of the search engine marketing consulting firm Berlin SEM, Google conducted an experiment in meant to confront online radicalization. While the intent was benign, the methods of this digital madness are available to all. With redirection, marketers swerve your monetizable desperation. But we can also […]

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Heads Up, Here Comes Uncommon Path from REI

The great outdoors is where we go to face the elements and welcome the grandeur of nature into our lives. If we are fortunate, we return with stories that nourish us for years to come. “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover […]

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When Mary Meeker Speaks, Astute Marketers Listen

Money talks. But what does money say? That’s what people pay thousands of dollars to find out by attending elite conferences and/or annual shareholder meetings. Witness… Hot Takes from the Arizona Desert Bond Capital founder and former Kleiner Perkins general partner Mary Meeker delivered her Internet Trends Report for 2019 at Vox/Recode’s Code Conference at […]

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The Future of Paid Content: Same As It Ever Was?

Eight years ago, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of marketing pros in Boston about the future of paid content. I was invited to speak by my friend and former colleague, Sloane Kelley, one of the founders of Geekend, an annual gathering now in its 11th year. I had an audio recording […]

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Tough Women with Super Soft Skin

Do you have three minutes to spare for another inspiring story from a brand? Only you can answer that. What I can say is this: Curious human beings have an infinite capacity for compelling stories. In fact, when the story is truly great and promoted properly, people gladly wait in line and fork over hard-earned […]

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The Need for Better, Faster, and Cheaper Branded Content Continues Unabated

Heineken is the latest in a long line of brands moving creative production to in-house teams. Campaign US reports that the Dutch beer maker is busy building an in-house content hub at its American headquarters in White Plains, New York. View this post on Instagram Start your weekend with an instant spark(le). #OpenYourWorld A post […]

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