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SHIPOOPI! When bad ain’t so bad.

“Remember to honk when you drive by Vern Fonk.” If you live in Washington or Oregon you probably never thought you’d see that phrase here. Because while Vern Fonk offers commercial insurance, it’s known for its bargain basement advertising targeting tough-to-insure drivers—mostly on cable, often at night. Their brand is low budget in all ways. […]

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Super Bowl Advertising warm-up

Believe it or not, I used to actually require students in my Integrated Marketing Communications class the University of Washington to watch the Super Bowl…for the ads. In the coming weeks I’ll be touching on television advertising a little more than usual, and on February 3rd, I’ll conduct an anonymous poll listing all the main […]

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Business cards: Little billboards for everyone

I like to think of business cards as mini-billboards: you only have a second or two to make an impression. I believe strongly that: Most companies need to be significantly more creative with their business cards (and spend more on design and printing). Irresponsible? Think again. What’s the most powerful form of marketing? You got […]

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Can subliminal advertising be responsible?

We’ve all seen examples of subliminal advertising in print ads over the years. I use the word “seen” loosely, because usually you have to look pretty hard to find that suggestive image that’s supposed to burrow itself into your subconscious and get you to buy! buy! buy! Anyway, subliminal advertising on television is a whole […]

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Help define the buzzword marketers love (and I hate)

Each January, Interbrand shares its Best Global Brands 2007 report. They’ve been doing it for years, and they do a nice job of it. Back in 2002 we wrote an article for the Friends of Outsource Marketing entitled “The buzzword marketers love…and we hate.” Yes, the word I hated then was “branding.” I still do. […]

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Don’t you wish your company could slow down the Internet?

How would you like your customers to line up to hear you talk about your latest product updates? Well, Apple fans have done just that in person and online awaiting news of the company’s newest upgrades and offerings. The blogosphere has been buzzing for days, and today, twitter has sporadically been slowed to a crawl. […]

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What your marketing counsel should tell you—but won’t

I just re-read this article I wrote for Media, Inc. a few years ago thinking it needed an update. Oddly, it felt more relevant than ever. Take a gander, then share your thoughts by commenting below.

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Powerful ideas trump big budgets

My partner, Bill Boyd, ABC, sent me this video along with the following message: You don’t need a big budget in order to reach a huge audience. Just a powerful idea and a compelling way of presenting it. I couldn’t agree more. This video regarding global warming was created by a science teacher in rural […]

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The Green Effie Award: Call for entries now open

  In the advertising business, an Effie is the equivalent of an Academy Award. Started in 1968, the award goes to “client and agency teams who tackled a marketplace challenge with a big idea and knew exactly how to communicate their message to their customer.” Now there’s an award green marketers can aspire to: The […]

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Ad Age Trends for 2008: My take

Ad Age released their Trends to Watch in 2008 recently. Here’s a loose summary of the article with my comments in italics. MARKETERS HIT A ROUGH PATCH With growth slowing, fuel prices high and credit tight, marketers will struggle as consumers will reduce spending. This puts marketing responsibility at a premium. Now more than ever, […]

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I deserve a hot, juicy burger…and a cup of water

Last summer, I took my mom to Wendy’s for lunch with my kids. Believe it or not, it was the first time she’d been there. Hold the ‘heavy hitter’ and ‘great son’ comments — it was her idea. Anyway, after we sat down for our gourmet meal, there was a bit of a stir near […]

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