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The Southwest Airlines Bikini Controversy

Remember a few years ago when a woman was thrown off of a Southwest Airlines plane because her outfit was too revealing? Imagine her surprise when Southwest launched the “SI One,” to promote Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition last month. The airline expected controversy, but probably didn’t expect how polarizing the image would be. A few […]

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On creativity, sidecar moments and marketing

I saw something I’ve never seen before on the way to work yesterday: A thin, jumpsuit-clad man with white hair and beard riding a 70’s-era motorcycle with a sidecar. Just the sight of him sent my imagination racing: Who was he? How old was he? What did he do? What was he like? Did he […]

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The Most and Least Responsible Super Bowl ads

Once again, the Super Bowl was indeed super, but how about the ads? A few ads brought sustained belly laughs, others brought groans. But which were responsible, and which weren’t? For review, visit my Super Bowl XVIII ads page. Cast up to five votes in following polls. If you’d like to weigh in on any […]

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Super Bowl XLIII ads

Here are all the ads from Super Bowl XLIII, all assembled on one page for your review. Review the ones you missed, then cast your vote for Most and Least Responsible Ads of Super Bowl XLIII. Enjoy. THE ADS Angels and Demons: Trailer Audi: Chase Bud Light: Meeting Bud Light: Swedish Budweiser: Clydesdales Stick Budweiser: […]

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Facebook disables BK’s Whopper Sacrifice app

Facebook “helps you connect and share with the people in your life.” But as anyone that has used the service knows, sometimes those connections can become, well, tenuous. Enter Burger King, who last week saw this as not a problem, but an opportunity to help Facebook users cull the unworthy using an un-friend app at […]

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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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Lose your job? Return your car.

As retailer desperation reaches a fever pitch and discount signs pop up everywhere, here’s something a little different: With Hyundai’s Assurance Program, if you lose your job, you can return your car to the dealership. Any automaker could have done this, but they haven’t—yet. And Hyundai did it first. Not only will this drive word […]

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Responsible or not? Using the dead to sell

On Christmas Day, John Lennon returned from the dead. Well, his image and voice were resurrected to help the One Laptop Per Child Foundation “OLPCF” and it’s raised a few eyebrows (and hackles). If you haven’t heard about the OLPCF, here’s a summary: It’s an education project, not a laptop project. Inexpensive, durable, networked laptops […]

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Three fun marketing videos for the holidays

Happy Holidays! Here are three entertaining holiday-themed marketing videos for your viewing pleasure: View Happy Christmas from AKQA on YouTube. View View Simon’s Sister’s Dog in “Fed Up” by the RSPCA on YouTube. View “Marketing Tips for Tough Times” by S. Claus on YouTube. Enjoy. Subscribe to this feed.

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Burger King Flame: Body spray of seduction

Burger King—fresh from a beating in the blogosphere for their Whopper Virgins campaign—has snapped back. They’re back on brand with the King and Burger King Flame, the “body spray of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat.” Yes, it’s real, but it’s sold out. Of course, it’s not about the body spray, it’s about creating […]

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Pepsi uses suicide to sell soda pop

One is the loneliest number, and since Pepsi Max only has one calorie, maybe that little calorie should just take its own life, right? The following three ads were created by BBDO in Düsseldorf, Germany: +enlarge +enlarge +enlarge Breaking through requires creative bravery. But did Pepsi take it too far by having a cartoon character […]

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The JCPenney Doghouse: Love it or hate it?

When I was a boy, a trip to JCPenney for school clothes was like a trip to hell. Their clothing was so—Penneys, and though I was able to persuade my parents to let me shop where the cool kids shopped when I got older, I still avoid the store today. I can’t tell you what […]

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I want a 404 goat. You should too.

The dreaded 404 Not Found message. Not quite the blue screen of death, but definitely unwelcome when you are trying to find something on the Internet. The 404 page isn’t something you are looking for—it’s a web page you typically receive when you land on a page that’s been deleted or removed. From a marketing […]

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Safeway has nuts

Does Safeway play it safe with their marketing? Usually. But here’s a can of almonds from the venerable grocer: “Have nuts? Have a party!” Safeway likes the phrase so much they’ve trademarked it. You know someone, somewhere at Safeway said “We can’t say that! What will our customers think?” Still, somehow this packaging was approved […]

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McDonald’s zags with new concept store

At a time when most companies are looking for ways to extend their brand to gain a greater share of the customer’s wallet, McDonalds has “secretly” introduced Quarter Pounder, a new concept store in Japan that sells only Quarter Pounders. That’s right, you can get a Quarter Pounder, or a Double Quarter Pounder, fries and […]

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Will the economy kill creativity?

Breaking through the clutter amid consumer cynicism and information overload requires creativity. Creativity comes in all forms. It can be beautiful, disturbing, fascinating, shocking, heartwarming, awe-inspiring, scary, fun—you get the point. We all know that creativity isn’t always easy to sell. Sometimes it’s the budget. Other times it’s inertia. But whatever it is, experiencing something […]

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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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Responsible or not? Shockvertising

Trendhunter did my homework for me today and compiled a four minute collection of shocking ads that will leave you asking the question, “How far is too far?” You won’t want to view this in front of small children or your boss. It features fake lesbians, phony murder scenes, employees getting punched in the face […]

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Outside the box? Hardly.

Color me cranky. Last week, I heard the phrase outside the box one too many times and now I need to vent. Don’t get me wrong, Responsible Marketing puts a premium on creativity. Without it, your marketing messages will never break through. I dislike “outside the box” because it’s a cliche. Cliches aren’t fresh, so […]

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