Tag Archives: marketing

The Roy With The Thorn In His Side

Maybe the best career path to being a college basketball coach is through marketing. Follow me here. If you’re in marketing, you’re at least used to criticism and second guessing. Being the target of blame and derision. Unlike some coaches who shall remain nameless. Like Roy Williams. Continue reading


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Filed under Advertising & Marketing, Marketing best practices

How About a Stimulus Plan for Marketing?

U.S. businesses are sitting on unprecedented amounts of capital right now. In many sectors, business has generally come back enough to make a little money. Not enough to hire people again. And certainly not enough to spend some of it on marketing. Perish the thought! Continue reading


Filed under Advertising & Marketing, Marketing best practices, Non-profits, Social media & branding

Know When To Fold ‘Em

The sage Kenny Rogers was full of great advice. But none was better than “…know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” That bit of knowledge is crucial in nearly every aspect of life. Whether you’re gambling with men packing pistols, running a floundering NFL franchise or assembling a marketing plan. Continue reading

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Filed under Advertising & Marketing, Marketing best practices, Sports Marketing

Effective Marketing and Autism: More In Common Than You’d Think

At its heart, marketing is about communication. Autism, too, is about communication. But not just any communication. Because those around us with autism have enormous challenges with expressive and receptive language. So when you’re communicating with an individual with autism, it’s best to have a particular sense of focus and purpose. In fact, many of the lessons we can learn from those challenges would serve us well as marketers in any setting. Continue reading


Filed under Advertising & Marketing, Autism, Marketing best practices

A Hard Act To Follow

The follow-up is hard. Ask The Stone Roses. Their eponymous first lp released in 1989 was hailed by critics as an instant classic. It was a major force in the Madchester music scene that engulfed the U.K. and even made a splash in the U.S. in the early 90’s. So when they got ready to release their second record nearly five years later, anticipation was high. And the pressure was on. When it finally came out, it was almost universally panned by critics and ignored by the public. You could say they were asking for it by calling the record Second Coming. The band broke up two years later and all the promise was gone.

Following up great creative execution is hard, too. In a world where you’re only as good as your last whatever (TV spot, blog post, SXSW panel discussion), there is immense pressure to replicate the success of the last effort. And how do you do that? Change as little as possible and hope there’s still interest? Go in a completely different direction and risk alienation? Or the dreaded “c” word – compromise. What’s a top creative agency to do? Continue reading


Filed under Advertising & Marketing, Branding, Old Spice

Old Spice ad: Damn near perfect

I’ve worked on television commercials since the 80s, so I’m a tough audience. But I can say with near certainty that most of the commercials that make it to TV are just not very good. There are a million reasons why. Some legitimate (budget, timing, etc.) and some not (poor writing, bad execution, etc.).  But once in a while a spot comes along that just does everything right. The Old Spice commercial “I’m on a Horse” is one of those, for me at least. Here are five reasons why this one does it right:

1. Excellent execution. This is just done very well. The writing is crisp and funny, with just the right balance of  silly and deadpan delivery. The talent, Isaiah Mustafa is just wonderful. The right look, excellent delivery and the perfect presence to pull off the comedy of the writing and communicate its message. It’s engaging for the full thirty seconds, but has a wonderfully unpredictable and memorable payoff at the end. But most of all, they make a very difficult set of logistical challenges look simultaneously easy and fascinating. Continue reading


Filed under Advertising & Marketing, Branding, Old Spice, TV Commercials

Kenmore Rebranding – Risky Business

Betsy Owens, Kenmore vp and general manager, is saying all the right things. Reading this article in which Elaine Wong from Brandweek interviews Ms. Owens about Sears’ decision to rebrand Kenmore appliances, you can check them off as they are mentioned. She seems to recognize Kenmore’s iconic history as a great American brand – check. She understands the generational disconnect conundrum in which great brands from one generation can struggle to translate to younger buyers – check. And she acknowledges that this economy provides a tricky launch pad for a rebranding effort – check. However, the most salient question for me is, “How do you not wreck the brand you have now?”

Let’s face it. Rebranding is based on a grass-is-greener mentality. It goes something like this: our brand currently captures a market share equal to X. We feel that the difference between X and 100 percent market share is not addressed by our current brand identity. So, we feel it is worthwhile to change our brand identity in the hopes of capturing as much of that difference as possible. Continue reading


Filed under Branding, Kenmore, Population Trends, Sears