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Business Cards: The Forgotten Powerhouse of Marketing

In our digital age most people forget that a business card is still a significant marketing tool. Why spend money on a business card if you can exchange contact info on your iPhone? Because your business card is tangible. It conveys your brand personality. It may be the first impression your customer sees of your […]

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Add positioning to your menu—and hold the carbs

I wrote this years ago. While my eating habits have changed, my opinion on the subject has not. Enjoy. – – – I miss lunch most days. When I do, I usually end up gnawing on a low-carb Atkins bar—much to the amusement of my colleagues (yes, I’m one of those people). So, when I […]

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15 things we learned in 15 years – the hard way

  To commemorate Outsource Marketing’s 15th Anniversary, last fall we decided it might be fun—and a little cathartic—to think about the things we’ve learned since 1997. We’ve learned a lot, but narrowed it to the following list, in no particular order: “Safe” is dangerous. Safe is invisible amid info glut. Safe fails. Creative must be […]

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You cannot bore people into buying your product.

One of my favorite quotes of all time. ‘Nuff said.

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Fiat 500L - The Motherhood Rap

Fiat’s gangsta “motherhood” rap. Responsible or not?

MPG this, mid-size luxury car that. So many car companies are content with aerial footage of their product ripping through the curves. Ooh. Exciting. This ain’t the case with Fiat’s ad for the 500L. With a clever play on the word motherhood, FiatUK just dropped this bomb on ‘yo punk asses’: Being strategically responsible doesn’t mean you […]

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Lessons in creativity from Mr. Rogers

Clients rely on us to bring our best creative ideas to everything we do. In marketing, it’s essential. Here’s a little inspiration for you, from of all people, Mr. Rogers. When I was a kid, I loved Mr. Rogers. I actually wrote him a letter, and he wrote me back – personally. I love him […]

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God is in the details

More evidence that the days of boring church marketing are long gone: Mars Hill Church, based here in the Northwest. We thought we’d peek under the covers of their website to see if we could discover who coded the site, and look at what we found: If you’ve never fiddled with HTML, this won’t mean […]

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Dollar Shave Club viral video

Do we hate Dollar Shave Club’s viral video?

This being the Responsible Marketing Blog, you might think a video with an F-Bomb in it might attract our ire, right? Wrong. Watch this: There are plenty of things we don’t like: Racism. Bigotry. Violence. Corporate greed run amok. Comic sans. But boring marketing is irresponsible, and boring Dollar Shave Club is not. This is f**king brilliant. […]

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Responsible or not? CIT’s college recruiting video

College advertising is usually so, well, meh. Not so with this ad entitled “It’s a Snap” from filmmakers Henry & Aaron, done with full creative license for their alma mater, Western Australia’s Central Institute of Technology. The video has gone viral, leaving some to say it has changed the face of college recruitment advertising. So, […]

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Tums Corn Dog Carnie ad

Tums commercials gone wrong

In commercials, funny is money. So is sex. So when combined, sexually suggestive, funny commercials are usually bank. And the more sophomoric the humor, the more I usually like them. But these new spots for Tums antacid are just wrong — specifically these three: Inappropriately suggestive is funny when it makes sense, and is relevant […]

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Motivation? Try purpose instead of money

The carrot or the stick? Neither. Research has shown that for knowledge workers, using money as an incentive actually hurts performance. You read that right. If you want your team to really shine, give them a purpose: View on YouTube We’ve been talking about the marketing benefits of adding purpose to an organization since the […]

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How to get a job for $6

View on YouTube You don’t need the biggest budget to succeed at marketing. The biggest budget doesn’t guarantee success. No, you need the best ideas. The best ideas win. What do you think? Subscribe to this feed.

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Don’t ignore “Ignore Everybody”

In Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, Hugh MacLeod shares his 40 keys to creativity with straight talk and no apologies. There are no silver bullets, and instead he talks about refreshingly honest things like the fact that selling is harder than it looks, you have to put in the hours and you […]

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Publishing is dead. Long live publishing.

Here’s a nifty little video regarding the state of the publishing industry. Hang tight—there’s a twist about half way through. View on YouTube I know. This execution has been done before, but it’s still pretty clever and the message is the right one. There’s been plenty of talk about the eminent death of the publishing […]

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Don’t cut corners on creativity

I’ve said it a million times: It takes creativity to break through the clutter. Here’s an ad that does just that: View on YouTube 2009 was rough year, and a lot of companies have dramatically cut their marketing budgets. A lot of brand advertising budget has been moved to sales promotion. You gotta do what […]

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Evian’s hip-hop roller babies: Responsible or not?

By now, you’ve probably heard about Evian‘s new “live young” campaign featuring the roller babies. You haven’t? Well, now you are in the know: There’s a lot to like here: It’s fun, unique, the CGI was done well and who doesn’t love Rapper’s Delight? It’s the type of video you can hardly resist hitting the […]

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Is Burger King’s “Square Butts” ad responsible?

Last night, a friend from high school sent me this question via Facebook: Can you explain why ANYONE (let alone Burger King) would think it a good idea to adapt “I like Big Butts” to market a children’s meal? Here’s the ad in question: Extended version This is one of the classic Responsible Marketing questions […]

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Finally, a real iPhone killer…or is it?

Forget the Google G1 phone—the amazing Pomegranate phone is the first phone that, on the surface, looks like a real iPhone killer. If you think the features are over the top, you’ll be shocked when you click on the “release date” button in the upper right hand corner. So, what do you think? Subscribe to […]

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Make it fun, get people talking—and sell more

Not every business is struggling amid the economic downturn. Discounters, companies that help people save money, banko attorneys and the repo man aren’t the only businesses thriving. Cheerful products that provide a respite from the real world are selling. Products like the Oh Snap! Cheese Board and Cutter and The Bubble Calendar are selling well, […]

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A Lost Generation of creatives? I think not.

My colleague Martin always says, “when you have a great concept, the design doesn’t have to work so hard.” Keep that in mind when you view The Lost Generation, a video that has now been viewed nearly 5 million times on YouTube. The design is minimal—the concept and clever copy carry the day. The first […]

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