Sun Tzu, So You Don’t Have To

This new article in our Emerging Voices Series is made possible by the generous support of Adpulp’s patrons on Patreon. Please join us.   LONDON—When we think of The Art of War we think of a dusty, old, impregnable tome pored over by tweed-clad old men in dusty drawing rooms. Maybe it’s an accurate stereotype, […]

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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 […]

Influencers Tell One Story – Their Own

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Eric Alt and provided by Epica Press Club. The words are nails on a chalkboard: “It writes itself.” A phrase frequently punctuated with a laugh, the free and easy chuckle of someone who doesn’t have to go and do the writing. Someone who is content to […]

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How Do You See Her? When Do You See Her? Where Do You See Her?

Media is a false mirror. It’s false because it doesn’t show us who we are. It shows us who we are programmed to be. Media makers have a professional obligation to widen the lens. Advertisers often ask for people of color in their ads to showcase their awareness and sensitivity and to appeal to the […]

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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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The Energy Department Is Peddling Freedom Gas. Naturally, It Stinks.

Words are incredibly important, which explains why Republicans routinely reshape them and rob them of their true meaning. In the latest in a long line of national embarrassments, Energy Department officials are now attempting to rebrand natural gas as “freedom gas” as part of their effort to radically expand this industry’s global reach. The double […]

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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 Saturday Morning Marcom Mashup

I call Adpulp, “The Chronicle of Bright Ideas,” because I’m a collector and admirer of smart thinking and elegant doing. After a long week with my head inside a strategy deck, I’m now choosing to unwind on Saturday morning by reflecting more deeply on three articles in my cue. 1- “Brand First” Is the Wrong […]

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Canvas Shoes Are A Canvas for Creative Expression

I like when brands act as canvases for their customers to make meaning. To me, that’s how connections that lead to repeat transactions are made. Today, Vans is launching their latest brand campaign – Waffleheads – a series of videos about collectors, customizers and creatives that have truly turned Vans into a canvas for creative expression. These […]

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Harris for President in 2020: She Says, “Let’s Do This Together”

Senator Kamala Harris from California is a populist. She’s for the people. Harris is also from Oakland. America has never had a president from Oakland before. Oakland is no joke. It’s the blue-collar city by the Bay. The Indian-Jamaican-American Woman from Oakland Harris is smart, and her parents are smart. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was […]

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When Everyone’s An Expert and Every Open Tab Is A Lectern

Coaching and online education is big business. I can hardly open my browser today without seeing another ad from another self-made business guru ready to provide the mysterious answers that I need to solve my mundane business problems. Here’s what the machine served up today (via a sponsored post on Twitter): Master the Art of […]

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How Do You Sell the National Right-Wing Agenda? You Buy Up the Local TV Stations

Media literacy is one of the most important factors in our ability to remain free. When news is “fake” and science is junk, only the supreme leader has the truth. It sounds like dystopian fiction, but fiction has a funny way of showing us the truth. Before we dive into an examination of the widespread […]

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Don’t Be A Moron, Donny. The Dude’s Sweater Can Be Yours!

The Big Lebowski is a cult film from the Coen brothers that’s arguably more popular today than ever. Pendleton Wollen Mills, one of the Pacific Northwest’s original outdoor brands, is the lucky beneficiary of the film’s evergreen nature. Why? The Westerly, dude, that’s why! Jeff Bridges wore his own clothes for this role, and though […]

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Kia Offers Industry Influencers A Text Drive

To promote the launch of the Stinger GT, Kia, in partnership with INNOCEAN Worldwide, created an interactive book that mimics the performance of a true GT to share with 100 of the country’s most influential journalists and automotive-award jurors. The booklet, dubbed, “Text Drive,” featured eight chapters coordinating with the car’s 8-speed automatic transition and […]

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Nine Founders Rock BMW’s Hot Seat

Startup founders think big and act fast. BMW and their ad agency, KBS, understand the mindset, and chose to appeal directly to entrepreneurs with BMW Hot Lap Pitch, a high-speed spin on the classic elevator pitch. An elevator ride can be frightening for some, but these brave entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to VCs from […]

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Rated Red Is A Media Magnet for Millennials

Well made media is a mirror. Programming that truly connects on a meaningful level often does so because it reflects images of self. According to Campaign, Complex Networks realized that they could reach underserved segments of the online viewing market by showing “selves” that were more reflective, and therefore more relevant to the intended audience. […]

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3 Way Video Conference

Want the best possible access to your friends and colleagues? Consider video conferencing technology. CloudTweaks quotes Frost and Sullivan research about the expected market revenue for cloud based conferencing services and systems. By the time 2016 rolls in, the figure is estimated to hit $6.3 billion. That ties up with a whole lot of revenue. […]

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Gary Vee Rocks The Mic, Wins AdPulp’s International Humanitarian Award

The words we use are important. Words convey meaning.

Right now, I am looking for the words to convey how much I love this ass-kicking, fact-kicking session from Gary Vaynerchuk, head of Vayner Media.

In the video, a person asks Vaynerchuk how to meet “relevant people” at South By Southwest. Gary Vee rightly does the questioner and the larger world a great service by breaking down what’s wrong with the thinking that misinformed the question.

“When I hear people categorize others human beings as ‘relevant’ it makes want to vomit on myself,” he says.

Vaynerchuk is a humanist and it takes a humanist with brass balls to endow brands (and the company’s behind them) with the necessary degrees of humanity that will make them palatable to the real life people we sometimes refer to as consumers.

In a new article about sales on Medium, Vaynerchuk notes, “I pay attention to what people do and look for patterns. I think of conversion in an emotional more than an analytical way.”

In other words, sales and business is personal. At all levels, business is an exchange between people. It can be an equitable exchange or something less. When it’s something less, may today’s digitally-empowered consumers have mercy on your brand’s soul.

Vaynerchuk sees sales (and the taking care of customers that enables it) as art. A sale is something he creates and he believes in masterpieces. To get there, he uses leading questions “to reverse-engineer your needs and provide the insight that I could deliver on.”

At the heart of Gary Vee’s offering, and the reason for his charm and success, we do not find the social media tactic de jour. His message is about the fundamentals and the need for applying them in life and in business. Be a good person/business. Offer to help. And continually serve and grow your relationships.

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Content’s Role In Social Selling And Social Influence

Social selling is the focus of my new feature for The Content Strategist. I describe social selling in the article as the practice of leveraging social networks to enhance lead generation and boost conversions.

The point of the piece is to help determine content’s role in the sales process. We already know how content is the centerpiece of marketing campaigns, but how do sales teams leverage content to gain a competitive advantage?

For a good answer to this increasingly common question, I turned to Jill Rowley, social selling evangelist at Oracle.


“Content is the currency of the modern sales organization,” she says.

Rowley is currently busy educating 23,000 salespeople at Oracle on how to prospect and engage leads via social media channels. “The goal is to socially surround the buyer in a buyersphere of influence.”

We can make OPP (other people popular) by using OPC (other people’s content), she suggests.

I also spoke to a marketing director none too keen on the idea of using Twitter or Facebook for social selling.

Andy Tretiak, chief marketing officer for Sporting Kansas City, said, “We’ve put a large stake in brand and the last thing we want to do now is turn people off with the sales machine.”

Yet, clearly there is a time and place for social selling. For instance, if I turn to you now and suggest that you consider hiring Shawn, Dan, Wade or me to make ads for you, I am selling our services in this extremely content-rich environment of our own making.

And content’s role is clear here: it’s the price we pay to get on your radar and open doors to larger conversations.

Have you ever considered what the makers of AdPulp might help you achieve? Let me throw an idea your way. We research and write cogent articles everyday. You can hire us to do this for you or your clients.

After nine years on the AdPulp mic, one thing I have learned is the need to make a clear path from our offerings here to paid work. We continue to seek sponsors to fund the site, but the best way to support AdPulp is to work with us behind the scenes on a key project, or senior staffing need.

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Hotel In Australia Gives New Meaning To “Snap Happy”

Influencer marketing. Follower counts. Sponsored content.

These are just a few of the phrases we can use to describe a promotional offer from 1888, a boutique hotel in Sydney. Instagram users with more than 10,000 followers can stay one night for free.

8hotels on Instagram

Someone with 10K followers on Instagram has a ton of social influence. If they choose to stay at your hotel and say nice things about it (in words and pictures), the hotel just made a highly efficient and targeted ad buy for a one night comp. It’s a smooth move on the hotel’s part.

However, there are a few things I do not like about this offer. One is how exclusive it is. There are not that many people with five-digit follower counts on Instagram. Also, I don’t like follower counts as a metric. Follower counts can be gamed.

If I was advising the client here, I’d suggest a more inclusive approach that uncovers the best storytellers and then surprises them with an offer of a free night.

Hat tip: Adland

In related news: Levi’s is currently using Instagram as a centerpiece in its experiential marketing campaign, Station to Station, which is a “nomadic happening” by train that connects artists, musicians, and creative pioneers making their mark from New York to California.

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