This is why rap is – or may not be – hot

I’m loving the lyrical and logical breakdown of Mims’ This Is Why I’m Hot in the Village Voice.

Design hints in attractive packaging

Richard at Ace Jet 170 has found a novel way to punch up his observations about design type: his Uncommon Knowledge posts have just started up, but they’re presented using the catalog card generator set up by John Blyberg.

Media Relations in the Caribbean – Psych!

Wow. They really keep the local staff at arm’s length at Esso Jamaica: “A spokesperson at Esso said she was unable to comment at this time as the managing director was off the island. She said the managing director would return next week.” (Jamaica Gleaner) This was their response to a series of questions posed […]

Just a note about economic history, nothing to see here folks

Quite a while ago, I studied economic history as one of my specializations at university. I didn’t really have a head for quantitative analysis, or the patience to wait out the drudgery of statistical analysis on a Wintel 286, but I found it interesting. At the time, I had the feeling that economic history was […]

It’s about time the Anarchists got their shit together

A leaflet on a telephone pole. On many telephone poles downtown. “Building the Anarchist Movement” building a sustainable anarchist movement in Ottawa. About time that the Anarchists get organized.

Blogger relations and mommies

Blogger relations programs have moved a little farther up the hype cycle and are, as a result, running into some minor problems. Public relations agencies, old line marketers and word of mouth specialists have been at the game for about two years now, and niche markets have finally begun to overlap. Example one: I have […]

How about a reality check for bloggers and social media types?

As the social media monks, acolytes and proselytes run in ever tighter concentric circles chasing the tails of honesty, transparency and conversation, we need to pause and remember the greater world that surrounds our very small community. Take, for example, the billions of people who have very little exposure to modern consumer society. While we […]

Brand extension, guided by scientific findings

Do you remember the story of Ragu Pasta Sauce? How Howard Moskowitz‘ scientific experimentation helped the company expand its product line to over 30 different varieties? Malcolm Gladwell mentioned it in The Tipping Point (and here he discusses it at TED 2004) and elsewhere. Well, Moskowitz explains the history of sensory evaluation and experimentation as […]

When public affairs consultants go bad

How does an industry react to calls for change – like improved safety monitoring or increased regulatory oversight? More particular to public relations and public affairs types – are predictable rhetorical tactics rolled out in response to these sorts of challenges? Chris Hoofnagle prepared a paper on these tactics as part of his work as […]

Why don’t I get candy at the office?

And why don’t I get crate after crate of Cadbury’s creme eggs delivered to my office? Oh – because I work for the government. (cross-posted to my new blog, SoSaidThe.Organization, which is dedicated to government communications)

Man Laws: CP&B and Sammy Hagar

Crispin, Porter & Bogusky has quit the Miller account. “We just have fundamental differences over creative and strategy,” Alex Bogusky, chief creative officer at Crispin, said in a statement released this afternoon. “And although we made every attempt to find common ground, the process of multilayered approvals of creative and strategy has made doing work […]

Washington fashion advice for appearing on television

Boring. Boring. Boring. Boring. Oh – and Fox News would like you to wear a tie, please. this from The Hill newspaper: “Men have to get it right, too. They “can’t wear a suit that’s purple,” [Fox News’ Megyn Kelly] says, but a purple necktie or one with patterns is good. A blue shirt looks […]

In for a Penney, In for a Pound

Department stores can live and die by the quality of their back rooms: the change room, the bathroom, and the back office. Paul has pointed this out before. J.C. Penney’s is getting a lot of love for its vivacious new Saatchi ads. Of course, when you start with the bar set very low, anything at […]

Scenes outside a courtroom: Amiel Black vs. Sorrell

In London, WPP”s Sir Martin Sorrell is dragging his former country chief for Italy, Marco Benatti, into the dock for libel. In Chicago, Lord Crossharbour is being tried for fraud and racketeering. His wife, Lady Barbara Amiel Black, is along for the ride and moral support. One side is enjoying the spotlight. The other appears […]

Speaking the truth at Southwest

An airline is an extremely complex system developed to manage complex technology and effectively manage risk and, frequently, the human element can be lost in the machinery. Despite some recent problems, it’s evident that Southwest Airlines has taken a conscious approach to ensuring the lines of communication are reinforced within the system – both with […]

A bushel full of great communications visuals – and laughs

YOU MUST WATCH THIS VIDEO! Your life discussed, in a constant refrain, with plenty of sexy animated Venn diagrams. GO NOW. NOW! Le Grand Content is inspired by Pointer from talent imitates, genius steals. In the same theme (and from the comments at ti,gs) What Does Marcellus Wallace Look Like? PlanningLondonLifeStuff has four great […]

Pushy phone calls, SXSW, man purses and the latest webtrenz

Advocacy Calls vs. Push Polls (and DON’T call them push polls) from Stuart Rothenberg. “As I have argued every year for the past five and apparently will have to continue doing until I have taken my last breath, push polls are really advocacy calls aimed at thousands of recipients. They are like television or radio […]

Leading an examined life … is a real pain in the …

Even as the bleeding-edge johnny on the spots continue to preach transparency, responsiveness and honesty to any and all considering a corporate presence through any type of social media, it is useful to refer to similar experiences in the offline world. Like Yvon Chouinard and Patagonia, who have been reflecting customer needs and interests for […]

Summertime Pop Dos and Don’ts

It’s been above 5 degrees celcius for more than 24 hours now, we can see the brown grass under the snow, and there’s a hint of spring in the air. Where are my summertime pop hits? What’s the buzz? Who’s going to be the flash-in-the-pan sensation of 2007? Wave Babies. California Girls. When It’s Over. […]

Shout out to all the twitter haters, y’all!

It’s not that I’m a twitter hater. It’s that my friends are. They’re a very bad influence on me. At least that what’s my mom says. She won’t let them come over. I don’t have anyone to play on the Amiga anymore. [tags] twitter, twitter hater [/tags]

Who’s delivering the laughs to Ikea?

Don’t you find the Scandinavian trainee managers at Ikea slightly offputting? Seriously, those guys (and gals) need a joy buzzer. A serious drunken bender. Or for Ikea to introduce a conveniently priced, attractively packaged and cleanly designed series of personal “massage” products. Actually, now that I think about it, their quiet and determined demeanour reminds […]

Music weasels, Three’s Company and confronting old men

Sometimes the music industry can be, you know, a real sack of snakes. Jeff Vrabel, via Jefito. Trilling, by Catherine Ross. “Trilling recombines footage from the early 80s sitcom “Three’s Company” into a sequence of travelling gestural loops. Trumpeter Taylor Haskins collaborated on the audio track, creating a unique improvisational response to each clip.” I […]

Warhol on interview techniques … and the advent of porn

Hey. Aren’t you tired of writing the same boring, careful, formulaic sets of questions of answers? Have to prepare for an upcoming news conference? Better grind through a set of dirty Qs & As to steel the execs. Building a new web site? Better whip out some ready FAQs to lead the blind and unwilling. […]

The Bad Kind of Government Media Innovation

British Home Secretary John Reid is defending the government’s plan to crack down on illegal immigrants, including those who have overstayed their visa. One innovation to be implemented is sending reminders by text message to people who fail to renew their visa – or choose to ignore its expiry. “… The measures outlined include plans […]

Curling politicians, Ninjas, and Account Planners

Political criticism via YouTube – “In the Navy” recut to criticize Peter Debnam and the New South Wales Liberal party. Unattributed, but apparently produced by the National Union of Workers. Not nearly as funny as “Peter Debnam’s Crazy Civil Service Sale,” produced by the Public Service Association. Here’s a political scandal that could be branded […]

Quotes taken out of context

What are we talking about? Blogs? I present quotes taken out of context: “How do you think your work differs from traditional journalism? We’re taking the tools of journalism and applying them to people whom you wouldn’t normally apply them to — people who aren’t famous, people who aren’t powerful, people just like you and […]

Bloggers are wimps

Hey folks. Know what I’ve noticed? Bloggers are most likely to post a critical word or a sarcastic riposte under two conditions: a big company with a global brand identity a person or company far, far away from your keyboard. Either way, a blogger minimizes his/her chance of confrontation. Sure, there are plenty of exceptions. […]

Company blows air, not snow, in social media reaction

Social media (and apparently poor customer service) bites local company in the ass. Back in November, I wrote a positive post about the lawn signage put up by a local snowblowing company, Tony’s Snowblowing. (Pimp my (Snowblower) Ride). Judging from the negative comments piling up on that post, and elsewhere, the company has bitten off […]

Dunkin Donuts vs. Starbucks – a cultural battlefield

Dunkin vs. Starbucks. Coffee vs. Latte. Lee Dungarees vs. Seven for all Mankind. PC vs. Mac. HHG2G vs. Bill and Ted. Carhartt vs. Patagonia. NexTel vs. WiFi. The Boston Phoenix rolls out a very rough sociological analysis to explain the fierce appeal of Dunkin’ Donuts in the NorthEast U.S., and supports it with insightful and […]

Wal-mart wants to target “brand aspirationals,” among others

Aspirational. There’s a word you usually don’t hear Wal-Mart throwing around when referring to its client base. Sure, they’ve made attempts lately to market more upscale clothing – but didn’t Wal-Mart boot to the road one of the marketing execs charged with chasing this demographic? Apparently, a year of intensive research has helped the company […]

A new viral video for KFC

Let’s get back to how KFC is handling the rats in their kitchen crisis. Unfortunately, the rats footage has already been mashed up, and I have to warn you, there’s a fairly disturbing picture of the Colonel getting his face gnawed off. The videos prepared by the KFC executives are an honest first start. Still, […]

RatFest! Co-locating brands doesn’t pay off for Yum! Brands

Looks like Yum Brands is tackling the latest health crisis in its portfolio a little more seriously. First there was the spinach scare at Taco Bell, now a scurry of rats at a KFC/Taco Bell in Manhattan. KFC has a direct link to information on the situation in New York on its main web page. […]

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