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Amazon begins initiative to reduce packaging

Great packaging can be the difference between success and failure for some products. As marketers, it’s our responsibility to make sure the products we are marketing are packaged in a way that merchandises well, is easy to display, and showcases its best features on the shelf—especially when stacked up against the competition. Creative packaging reinforces […]

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Marketing lessons from Barack Obama

Whether you are red or blue, you can’t deny Barack Obama’s marketing prowess. Here are a few lessons every organization should consider when they are seeking ‘votes’ from prospects: Develop strategies based on consumer insights. The Obama campaign clearly understood where America was hurting most, and developed strategies in response. Build an organization that can […]

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Three fun videos that prove less is more

Here are three entertaining videos that illustrate why, when it comes to communications—whether it’s copy, design, color or imagery—simplicity rules: The Process shows what happens when corporate marketers tackle a simple problem: With apologies to our smart friends at Microsoft who know better, here’s a video called “Microsoft designs the iPod package”: “Make my Logo […]

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Bite-sized Friday: Smart, smarter, smartest

____________ SMART An embeddable collection of Fortune 500 logos, tagged with words like “logotype”, “symbol” and “acronym” to make it helpful to sort through different variations and approaches to design. A useful tool for creative inspiration and competitive intel: ____________ SMARTER In Brainy Brand Names Where They’re Least Expected, Stuart Elliott of the New York […]

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Is PETA’s use of nudity going too far?

Whether you support their cause or not, it’s impossible to ignore PETA. Their undercover investigations and campaigns are orchestrated across all media—advertising, PR, events, and social media are all a part of the mix—and most are integrated quite well. The way they get attention is always controversial, and they’ve taken on some of the titans […]

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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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Apple responds to censorship challenge

Last week, Gawker reported that Apple had censored the cigarette from the Mad Men page on iTunes (see above). For a split second, I thought it was a good thing. I don’t smoke and couldn’t have been happier when Washington State’s Clean Indoor Air Act took effect. But then I realized just how wrong taking […]

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The Etymology of Responsible Marketing, by Tim Girvin

Tim Girvin and I go back. Way back. Okay, not that far back. We were on the advisory board of a before-its-time start-up six or seven years ago, then reconnected through social media recently. Tim’s firm, Girvin, is known in design circles for its work on identity programs for over 350 motion pictures such as […]

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Archie Bunker as pitchman? Almost.

Would you like someone that makes “tasteless jokes about sex, AIDS, religion and bodily functions, purposely offending just about every group of people you could name” to represent your product? How about a character that have “been criticized for everything from anti-Semitism and sexism to homophobia and overall disgustingness?” Sounds like Archie Bunker, the bombastic […]

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Re-positioning requires more than words alone

Few brands ever truly reach the Holy Grail of marketing: Positioning so universal that the brand literally owns a word or phrase in the mind of the consumer. What pops into your mind when I say Starbucks. . . Volvo . . . Geek Squad? That word or phrase represents that brand’s positioning to the […]

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Brand Tags reveals what people really think about brands

When speaking, I often do free association with brands, asking the audience to shout out any word or phrase that comes to mind when I name a brand. While most brands own a few words, in my experience, only one brand has delivered consistently: Volvo. When I say it, the words “safety” or “safe” are […]

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I’ll take “responsibility” for $14

Ask a room full of people to shout out the single word that comes to mind when you say “Volvo,” 90% will say “safety.” Owning a meaningful word or phrase in the mind of the consumer is the holy grail of marketing, I’d say. To own a word is expensive and time consuming, isn’t it? […]

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Good things come in small packages

Earlier this year, I asked you to Help define the buzzword marketers love (and I hate). Yep, that buzzword was (and remains) the word “branding.” Enter The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design by Marty Neumeier. The first thing you notice, the book is perhaps the shortest 200 pages […]

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Love it or hate it? Heineken’s “Share the Good”

With the title “Share the Good,” Heineken’s new campaign sounds promising. But it’s not about Katrina relief, reducing the company’s carbon footprint or feeding hungry children. Nope. It’s all about the beer, and sharing your Heineken with a stranger. While the ad is visually interesting and the art direction is quite good, something isn’t quite […]

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Swirly goodness? Pinkberry not all good

I like Pinkberry‘s marketing. The chain of frozen confection stores based in New York and California speak in an engaging, human voice. Their branding is clean and simple, and they know that less is more. But Pinkberry’s founder claimed less when there was more — more additives and more calories, to be precise. And that, […]

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Life flows better with Visa, especially if you are buck naked

Visa Europe is rolling out its new “Life flows better with Visa” campaign today. Here’s their first ad: Think it would fly in America? Via MarketingWeek UK

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Your agency is not your brand

Does your website have a link on the bottom giving credit to the web developer? Do your email blasts include a big logo with a link taking your readers to your email marketing company’s promotional page? Why? You’ve paid good money to have your website designed, then your web developer uses it to promote their […]

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Should I drink a Guinness today?

St. Patrick’s Day on a Monday? Blasphemy! When in Dublin a few years ago, I visited the Guinness Storehouse and was most impressed by the section dedicated to their advertising archive, most of the second floor. “Guinness is good for you” was a claim made in the company’s adverts after market research revealed people felt […]

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