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Show this video to the social media resistors in your company

  If you’ve ever done a speech on social media, or tried to sell your company why you should embrace engagement you’ve seen it: The negative Nelly or Nelson that’s so afraid of what someone might say they throw ice on the fire — or worse, successfully kibosh the whole program. My response is typically something […]

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Responsible or not? Nike resurrects Earl Woods

Just in time for Tiger Woods’ return to golf at The Masters, Nike has released the following ad featuring the voice of Tiger’s deceased father, Earl: Here’s what Earl is saying: Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find […]

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Marketing puffery never pays

Seems we’ve been up to our eyeballs in positioning and message strategy work at Outsource Marketing lately. Of course, positioning should be the cornerstone of all your marketing communications—without meaningful differentiation, you’ve got nothin’, after all. But your positioning has to be more than simply unique and matter to your prospects. It has to be […]

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How Ford made me reconsider my auto buying habits

I’ve owned dozens of cars, and like a lot of people, most have been Japanese or German. So when I turned in my leased Honda and started the hunt for a new hybrid, I drove the Toyota Prius, Camry and Highlander Hybrids, the new Honda Insight and a Lexus RX 400h. The Prius felt underpowered […]

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Skittles Twitter homepage: Responsible or not?

Skittles, the chewy, fruit-flavored candy from Mars, Inc. has jumped into social media in an innovative new way: They have coded their website so their navigation now floats over three of the most popular social media websites. is now nothing more than a navigation box floating over the Twitter search results for the term […]

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Is Belkin’s apology for astroturfing enough?

First, what’s “astroturfing?” Roughly, it’s when formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seek to create the impression of spontaneous “grassroots” behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.* On Friday, The Daily Background Blog revealed that a Belkin employee was doing just that: Paying 65 cents for perfect reviews on, and […]

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If you can’t beat ’em, sponsor ’em

With nearly 109,650,000 views-to-date, Judson Laipply‘s Evolution of Dance is the most popular video in YouTube history. He’s back with the official sequel, Evolution of Dance 2—this time presented by and powered by I’d never heard of PeopleJam or Saveology before today. My bet is you never have, either. Considering most viral videos […]

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I’m lovin’ it? McDonald’s buys love; fesses up

With some fanfare, on December 23rd McDonald’s launched a new concept store in Japan called Quarter Pounder, a restaurant selling—you guessed it—only Quarter Pounders. Here’s an amateur video of the opening taken by a customer that was there: 15,000 people attended the store’s record-setting opening, but not all of them were there for the artery-clogging […]

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Tobacco in an irresponsible marketing death spiral

This week, tobacco companies were dealt a blow when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing lawsuits to proceed under state law for deceptive advertising of “light” cigarettes. Tobacco companies are now in what I call an irresponsible marketing death spiral: The proliferation of traditional and social media have created millions of professional […]

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Motrin feels the pain of a social media mommy mob

You might have heard about the recent uproar over a new Motrin ad targeting mothers. If you have already formed an opinion on the topic, skip the video below. Otherwise, take a look, and try to be as objective as possible. View this video on YouTube The response Paul Banas estimated that in 48 hours […]

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To blog or not to blog?

Blogs help humanize companies, improve authenticity, create valuable feedback loops and may help drive significant traffic to your company website. So it’s no wonder one of questions I’m most often asked is, “should my company consider blogging?” After asking a few questions, I’m able to give a definitive “yes” or “no” answer, but I’ve never […]

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Are you looking for love in all the wrong places?

I wish people didn’t call it “new media” anymore. It’s just media. But unlike television, radio and print, this media is created by you, me, your co-workers—maybe even your mom. It’s a conversation that brings you closer to the customer than ever before at a time when recent research has shown that 86% of consumers […]

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Can’t buy me love: Paid conversation seeding

Authenticity is the marketing buzzword du jour, and for good reason: There’s a huge trust gap between marketers and consumers and the more “real” you can be, the better. So, is the following Responsible Marketing? Top Quality & Affordable Forum Population Paid forum posting is about providing your forum, blog or community a jumpstart, by […]

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Responsible Marketing is marketing without an *

We don’t trust anyone anymore. It seems the great politicians, celebrities, corporate titans and athletes have all let us down one way or another. And while part of our psyche seems to revel in watching the demise of greatness, there’s also a part of us that hurts a little. Where have all the good ones […]

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OMFG: Responsible or not?

For the uninitiated: OMG = “Oh my God.” OMFG = The same, plus a strategically placed F-bomb. First time I saw these ads, I wanted to write about it here, but I couldn’t seem to find the CW’s justification for taking “OMG,”—a phrase that already puts some people on edge—and plusing it with the “F” […]

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History’s worst viral campaign, or best?

Above are two of four videos that were uploaded to YouTube two weeks ago proving that the radiation from cell phones is strong enough to actually pop corn. Or not. As it turns out, it’s a hoax—a viral marketing ploy by Cardo Systems, a maker of cell phone earpieces and headsets. They’ve gained worldwide attention […]

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Keep it simple, smarty.

Last week, I spoke at the Northwest Career Colleges Federation Annual Convention about Responsible Marketing. It was the third time I’d spoken to the group, and quite frankly I was surprised I was invited back. You see, I’ve prattled on about how poor advertising is in the education category. So often, education marketing falls into […]

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I’ve got some Cheetos. Let’s go vandalize something!

Are you ready to join the Orange Underground? You know, a place where you can cause a little mischief (RAoC – Random Acts of Cheetos) then upload your videos to YouTube and become rich (in Cheetos) and famous (on Comedy Central)? Here are a few of the professionally produced ads from the Orange Underground campaign: […]

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A burrito the size of a baby! No? Then show me your tortilla machine.

One of the best places for Mexican food in Seattle is Gorditos, on 85th in Greenwood. Their burritos are ridiculously huge, modestly priced and delicious. When I say huge, I mean a regular is big enough for two—a large would serve a small family. Here’s a photo and caption from a 2006 restaurant review in […]

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Marketing lessons from Dixie’s BBQ

One of my favorite quotes of late is “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable,” credited to Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad at the Ad Age Idea Conference. I doubt Gene Porter from Dixie’s BBQ in Bellevue, WA has an advertising budget, nor does he need one. A few Outsource Marketing team […]

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