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The 7 Keys to Responsible Marketing in 2 Minutes

Want to know what Responsible Marketing is about but don’t have the time to read our white paper on the topic? Well, here’s “The 7 Keys to Responsible Marketing in 2 Minutes,” featuring the characters you’ve grown to love (or hate) in our Responsible Marketing web shorts. View on YouTube There ya go—with a video […]

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Responsible or not? Audi’s “Do Your Part”

It ain’t so easy being green. Unless, of course, you buy a clean diesel from Audi. That’s the message of this Audi A3 “Do Your Part” advert: I get the idea: Show you can be environmentally responsible without having to put yourself out. You can have it all. Here’s one point of view from @motorad666 […]

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Sex Sells: Just Ask Him.

In advertising, it’s the gospel truth: Sex sells. You’ve heard it a million times. So many times it’s gotta be true, right? Hell, even the Devil himself says it’s true in our second of seven Responsible Marketing web shorts, here: View on YouTube in HD Why not believe it? You just heard it from the […]

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Are we giving PSA’s a pass?

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about the following PSA warning of the dangers of texting while driving produced by the Gwent Police Department in the UK. View video on YouTube The nearly unbearable gritty realism of a head-on collision features heads snapping back and forth on impact, gushing blood, a child crying for […]

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Chocolate covered grasshoppers get people talking

Yesterday, I received a lumpy mailer from a company I’d never heard of. Normally I give unsolicited mail about the same amount of consideration you probably do—a few seconds. But since it was, well, lumpy, and delivered via FedEx I opened it. Here’s what I found: On one side, it says “Yes, these are real […]

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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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How tolerant is your marketing?

Do you respect all your audiences? Really? Are you sure? Watch the following ad, then answer the question again: Watch this video on YouTube So, now do you believe you respecting all of your audiences? This spot from Banco Provincia of Argentina was a real eye-opener for me. Respectful ads targeted to the gay and […]

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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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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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Comparitive advertising: Love it or hate it?

You’ve probably noticed there’s a lot more comparative advertising being done lately. Miller Lite v. Bud Light, Whopper v. Big Mac, Campbells v. Progresso and Dunkin’ Donuts (or McDonalds) v. Starbucks all immediately come to mind. Of course, the poster child for comparative advertising is Mac v. PC: View Mac v. PC on YouTube Is […]

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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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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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Is Whistler-Blackcomb email marketing responsible?

On Monday, I received a message from Whistler Blackcomb to inform me of the open dates for each of the mountains. I don’t recall signing up to receive these notifications, but I was there last season and might have provided my email address somewhere to someone. No matter. I didn’t mind receiving the message, and […]

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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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On marketing and honor on Veterans Day

Today we honor our veterans: Those that serve, those that have served and those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. How do most marketers honor this sacrifice? By commercializing it with Veterans Day sales, like this one: There’s nothing wrong with sales, especially in this economy. But with nary a mention of veterans […]

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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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The door to door salesman from hell

Yesterday, an office supplies salesperson from Quill darkened our doorstep at Outsource Marketing. It wasn’t pretty, and I asked my colleague to recap her experience for you. Here it is: He walked into an office building that says “No Soliciting” posted on the door. I walking out of Mary Kate’s office and Renee was following […]

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When do unsolicited messages become spam?

Yesterday, several members of my Outsource Marketing team received a solicitation via an email form that none of us wanted. I personally responded with a simple email: Don’t SPAM us with your … ‘opportunities’ anymore. Especially via our new business inquiries form. Thank you. This set off a nuclear reaction of emails: A curt message […]

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Responsible or not? Advertising adultery

Ashley Madison is a social networking/dating service—for married people. Although the company isn’t breaking any laws by helping facilitate adultery (soon they’ll have a money back guarantee if you don’t successfully have an affair), they aren’t breaking any laws. Still, their billboard only lasted three days in Times Square, an ad they produced for ESPN […]

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Bumvertising: Welcome to the Hall of Shame

Bumvertising is exactly what it sounds like: Advertising on the homeless. It started in 2005 when 22-year-old University of Washington grad Ben Rogovy was looking for a cheap way to promote another company he started. Here’s a quick overview: View this video on YouTube The Bumvertising debate has attracted local, national and even international media […]

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