The mating habits of the comic strip dog

“Marmaduke is being cock-blocked.” ’nuff said.

McDonald’s and razor blades

A flashback to the 70s: a McDonald’s commercial promoting their line of breakfast foods, available in convenient styrofoam clamshell packaging. The premise is a father-son opportunity to bond, catered by McDonald’s. The payoff? With every breakfast, a free Gillette Good News twin blade disposable razor. (Youtube, of course) Specially added po-mo irony: the father is […]

Red eye now a good thing for in-store media measurement

Public relations types are not the only communications professionals torqued up about demonstrating value in an increasingly segmented media environment. In-store media has similar feelings of inadequacy.¬ Yesterday, research was released on new techniques to measure the reach of in-store marketing efforts, aisle by aisle. Backed by a consortium of companies (including Albertsons, Kroger, Walgreens […]

Soccer moms: the missing link in CGM?

“… Here‚Äôs a thought: Soccer moms could spark the future of wireless broadband video¬ and TV networks. …” (Reuters blog) The link between next generation handsets, commonly available wi-fi and personalized content, as outlined by Martin Varsavsky, an executive for Spanish company FON, at a Nokia launch event: “I‚Äôm surprised that YouTube has not gone […]

Getting to Maybe: complexity, relationships and social innovation

If you’re in Toronto and interested in social change, an upcoming book launch at the MaRS Discovery Centre may interest you. “… Many of us have a deep desire to make the world around us a better place. But we tend to think that great social change is the province of heroes ‚ÄĒ an intimidating […]

Long tail: your underdog product may be a loser

New research from Harvard on the applicability of the Long Tail to the video market – and some potentially disturbing results. If your product suffers from poor quality, poor buzz or a relative lack of public awareness, then you may be in trouble. From Superstars and Underdogs: An Examination of the Long Tail Phenomenon in […]

Third Monday Social Media Meetup Tonight

A reminder for Ottawa-bound communicators: tonight’s the inaugural Third Monday social media meetup – featuring Shel Israel. And one of these days I’ll make it to the Throng get-together in Toronto.

Second Life: the future of groceries?

Forget Peapod or Webvan: the real future of grocery shopping lies in the virtual experience available in Second Life. Or at least that’s the message¬ from a reader responding to the NYT’s “What features would you like to see in the supermarket of the¬ future?”:¬ ” … Virtual Reality at home shopping ‚Ķ program would […]

Gladwell and Levitt are available as TED downloads

Speaking of synthesizing themes (see previous post), two new talks from TED 2004 are available for download as video and audio: Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Levitt.

Davies: blogging killed the lunchtime seminar star

From Russell Davies, a comment that touches upon the headlong and quickening rush to develop a rep as a “social media guru”: ” … Blogging is doing to planning what television did to variety/music-hall. I’ve always thought that a planning career is very like a stand-up comedy career. You spend a couple of years getting […]

PR and Marketing students born in 1988 don’t know …

How do today’s public relations and marketing students differ from those of the past? Let me rip off a format pioneered by a mid-western professor (can’t find a link, sorry) and compare the media environment public relations and marketing students face today, compared with when I was an undergradute: PR and Marketing students born in […]

Marmite: A Questionable Application of Social Media

Marmite. You’ve seen it. And, as MarketingWeek reminds us, you either love it or hate it. The yeast extract is now available in a squeezy bottle, and is being supported by a marketing push encouraging British yeast afficionadoes to submit their pieces of “MarmArt” – art produced by squeezing Marmite onto a piece of toast […]

The nuts and bolts work of a social media practice

Do you want to know what a social media practice can do for a client – even a high flying blogger like Mark Evans? David Jones discusses some of the work F-H is doing for Mark’s podcast. Over at the client site, Mark asks his listeners/readers for advice on picking a logo on his own […]

Your client is onto your B.S.

A lot of clients really think their advertising agencies are blowing hot air to puff up their online qualifications: “… the real truth is that clients are becoming more and more adept at deconstructing this new digital jargon and working out whether theirs is an agency full of digital hotshots or simply hot air. Take […]

Clinton’s clippings include blog posts

Bill Clinton has blog posts included in his daily clippings package. Antony Mayfield points to a Guardian interview with the former President, and follows up with his own analysis about how social media might reach senior-level executives. From the Guardian: ” … Clinton told [a group of liberal bloggers] that over the past two years […]

Big conferences – as much personal marketing as face to face

Are big conferences worth the effort, the expense, the time? That’s a question posed by Scoble and repeated by Trevor Cook – and well discussed by commenters on both blogs. BTW- that’s a floor plan of the Jacob K. Javits center to the left. My first job in marketing was to help staff the Canada […]

Gnomic fame – mass hysteria, cats and dogs

What’s the price of fame -¬ if you’re a sculptor of gnomes? Creative Loafing Charlotte talks with Tom Clark, a former college professor and a longtime creator of over a thousand decorative and collector gnomes.¬ “…One loyal fan in California took Clark behind the scenes of a Lloyd Bridges movie as a favor for Clark […]

Feschuk’s back on the interweb

In case you hadn’t noticed: Scott Feschuk has a new podcast/blog over at Macleans. The premise seems to be just like¬ Mike Bullard’s monologues – today’s news filtered¬ for any¬ hope of humour.¬

Lesson? The A Team is Not A Suitable Survey Option

Public relations is in for a right bollocking from Martin Waller of the Times (September 13): “I am in trouble for suggesting that PR industry practitioners, a coven of whom this week changed hands for a quarter of a billion dollars, may not be the most useful of our creative industries. Said “profession” yesterday spawned, […]

Aaron Spelling and the NY Fashion Week

The GoFugYourself girls have been providing commentary on the shows during NY Fashion week for New York magazine. An excerpt from the entry Heatherette: A Cracked-Out Homage to Aaron Spelling:¬ “Picture your high-school production of South Pacific, subtract half the clothes, add some cynical drag queens, and then do three shots of whiskey. Voil√ : […]

Natascha Kampusch – media management as part of crisis support

In Spiegel magazine, there¬ is a detailed and fascinating article about the team of lawyers, social workers and media advisors working with Natascha Kampusch – the Austrian girl held captive in a basement for over eight years. It deals with the many steps taken to manage her re-emergence into the world, and how her advisors […]

Condi and Peter … enjoying a choice cuppa Tims

Choice placement for a couple of Tim Hortons coffee cups – in the hands of Peter MacKay, the Foreign Minister, and Condi as they tour his parliamentary riding. The photo — and a salacious article — were found on the NYT’s splash page. How does the marketing team at Tims quantify this placement? ¬ ¬ […]

Adapting design for unique cultural and economic situations

How do Indian designers deal with the conflicting pressures of¬ competing with¬ international designers, incorporating or simply recognizing their cultural heritage, the Indian approach to a multi-cultural¬ and professional training in design, and a colonialist past? Steve Rigley talks about it in Eye. ” …Thrilling as it may seem to Mumbai‚Äôs new generation of shoppers, […]

No link between fashion stereotypes and eating disorders: industry

You’ve likely noticed that overly skinny and “unhealthy” models have been banned by the sponsors of a Madrid fashion show. The reaction from one spokesperson from the modelling industry is a little stunning, however:¬ “…[Cathy]¬ Gould [North America Director for modelling agency Elite] said fashion was not to blame for eating disorders that usually started […]

Another “it’s just like blogging” post – with H.S.T

Two points to be made about on-the-fly writing and publication from the early 1970s. First, from the NYT review of Hunter S. Thompson‘s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72: “…Perhaps whistlestop and jet-plane campaigning should be abandoned and the candidates should compete solely through the electronic media. …” In the interest of context […]

Customer Evangelism: A Shining Example from Ottawa

They say one unhappy customer will help poison ten prospective customers. What to think of John Peters then? A regular at an outlet of the local Works Gourmet Burger Bistro, Mr. Peters was so struck with their continuing good service that he bought a 1/32 ad praising the restaurant and staff. Printed in the restaurant […]

The average pressures on a PR counsellor

A riff on Kathy Sierra’s “Success” should not mean “Management”. Rather than focus on that element of a venn diagram that singles out the sweet spot between “what you WANT to do” and “what you ACTUALLY do,” I’ve diagrammed the PR skillz all practitioners posess, and then segmented that according to the demand for those […]

A note from the folks that read constituent mail

Given the new interest in astroturfing/public affairs/activist campaigns, I thought I’d refer you to some data from a survey of Congressional staffers, which I first discussed in April: “I understand the value, from the pespective of sheer quantity and physical impact, of organizing a petition or letter campaign. But what is the real effect of […]

Pesticola: a good scandal name rolls off the tongue

Know what every scandal needs to ensure longevity? A good nickname. Something that rolls off the tongue, reminds the consumer of the underlying issue, and draws a direct link to the product in question. A nickname like PESTICOLA. That’s a term finding some traction as a quick reference to the allegations that some Pepsi-Cola and […]

Stereotyping business publications: the Forbes edition

Some media criticism by Greg Allen: ” … It’s pure conjecture, of course, but I keep coming back to the contrast between the rough-n-tumble, masculine vocabulary the economists give themselves and the soft, illogical joygiving they ascribe to the Museum. Were Forbes to cover this story, they’d remind MoMA that she should just work on […]

Reach vs. Frequency: a consumer’s point of view

I’m working my way through What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds – a valuable book that’s already received some favourable attention. I’ll post about the book later, but wanted to note what Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart call “the dual diminishing returns.” When testing advertising campaigns, marketers can make […]

Stock Photos: The unintended messages embedded in marketing

Position the product. That’s the primary goal of any marketing brochure – especially the photos. Well, that and communicate the product benefits. Oh, and maybe push a consumer to action. I’d argue that this photo doesn’t accomplish any of those goals. Instead, it paints a sufficiently anodyne image that several unintended messages are emphasized: Is […]

Corporate rubberneckers in your blog stats?

What to think of the shadowy corporate presence lurking in your blog stats? I break my visitors into two categories: PR agencies conducting monitoring on behalf of clients, and coprorate employees swinging by for a look. The bots and filters deployed by the agencies make their appearance in the days after I post about national […]

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