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Responsible or not? Unilever

I’ve mentioned Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty that encourages self esteem for young girls. It’s smart, it zags when everyone else is zigging, and as the father of young daughter it makes me want to stand up and cheer. But of course, Responsible Marketing is never black and white. Dove’s parent company, Unilever, has been […]

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The Seven Keys to Responsible Marketing

Each month, we share marketing articles, links and information with the Friends of Outsource Marketing. This month, we added “podcast” to that list. My partner Bill Boyd has done quite a few podcasts for clients, and decided it was time to do one for us. Click play below to listen: [audio:] Can you help me […]

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A long walk for a short, dirty drink

If your tap went dry at home, what would you do? If you were forced to walk to the nearest source of water—a river, a stream, a pond—on foot, how far would you have to travel? And how would it make you feel—deep down—if you had to give your children dirty water to drink after […]

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Great marketing or an invasion of privacy?

Here are a few customer experiences you are probably familiar with: Your barista knows your drink. The service manager at the auto dealer greets you by name when you pull up. You buy groceries using your rewards card, then receive a coupon for products that directly compete with the products you’ve just purchased (or maybe […]

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The American male is an idiot

That’s what some major advertisers want you to think, according to a recent article in Ad Age. In Advertisers: Men are Not Idiots, Glenn Sacks and Richard Smaglick argure that advertisers often default to men as “irresponsible fathers and lazy, foolish husbands,” and that’s a bad decision. They cite a number of sources including a […]

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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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“You’re not good enough.” Now, sign here.

Sad, but true. So much of marketing is about creating fear, uncertainty and doubt (or F.U.D.). Why? Because it often works. Do we have to make our customers feel like they aren’t good enough? It seem like an impossible task, doesn’t it? Our role as marketers is to find needs and fill ’em. To do […]

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Can Responsible Marketing save baseball?

I love baseball. And I loved winning our home opener. But as a fan, I’m disappointed, frustrated, even embarrassed, about steroids in baseball. I saw Barry Bonds play in his quest for 756 versus the Cubs at Wrigley Field last year. I’ve never heard so many people yell so lustily (mostly “cheater,” “liar” and F-bombs). […]

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Responsible or not? Apple, Inc.

Image from Wired Magazine I was interviewed by MacNews last week for their article The iPhone and Social Networks: Fast Friends? Read it and you might think I’m an Apple fanboy. I’m not. Apple has introduced some game-changing, highly usable, extremely cool products. But the company has a less than sterling reputation regarding the way […]

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Ad guidelines: Do restrictions hamper creativity?

Would the Internet be a better place if the following types of online ads were inadmissable? Pop-ups and Pop-unders Ads with non-functioning drop-down menus, radio buttons, and text boxes Ads that contain fraudulent, deceptive or misleading statements or illustrations Attacks of personal nature Advertisements that are overly competitive or that refer abusively to the goods […]

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Responsible or not? Advertising that distracts

As a marketer, I get frustrated when I see poor targeting, flat creative, lack of personalization, and any number of things one might find wrong when armchair quarterbacking someone else’s work. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve caught myself saying, “If only they could have…” But I also get frustrated as a […]

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Update: Lipitor ads featuring Jarvik stunt double pulled

In Lipitor Pitchman Jarvik Rows Into the Sunset, The Wall Street Journal reports that after pressure from Congress, Pfizer is yanking their ads featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik rowing on a pristine lake, when in fact, a stunt double was used. Here’s my post from February 8th, Advertising stunt double lands Pfizer in the congressional crosshairs.

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Southwest Airlines looking for luv in all the right places

  You gotta love Southwest Airlines. Known as the “Luv Airline,” Southwest wears their heart on their sleeve, professing their affection for their employees, customers, planes and more on their blog. The blog includes a photo caption contest for Southwest employee dressed as cupid, a series of articles on the “next generation of customer service,” […]

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The best, worst and most responsible ads of Super Bowl XLII

The Super Bowl was indeed super this year. The ads? Not so much. The general consensus among the black-turtleneck-wearing ad types is it was a down year for Super Bowl advertising. Although my turtleneck is dark gray, I concur. The New York Giants weren’t the only winners. Advertisers saw their ads (good and bad) played […]

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Advertising stunt double lands Pfizer in the congressional crosshairs

I’m not a big fan of celebrity endorsements, mostly because they seldom work. But having the the inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart endorse Pfizer’s cholesterol drug Lipitor does. After all, if it’s good enough for the the guy that invented the artificial heart, it should be good enough for me, right? The New York […]

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It’s a man’s world. You just get to live in it, sweetheart.

I was leaving a restaurant in Issaquah (about 20 minutes East of Seattle) and this sign caught my eye: After a double take, I realized that, no, I hadn’t gone back to the 1950’s, and, yes, this sign was for real. Oh, the images this conjures… Honey, I’m home! I just got back from my […]

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SalesGenie Super Bowl advertising: Better or worse?

Last year, was selected by just about everyone with a heartbeat for having the least creative, cheesiest Super Bowl in like, forever. For your review: Yipes. That ad barely belonged on television, let alone the Super Bowl. But SalesGenie wasn’t in it for the branding, they were in it to drive their own sales, […]

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Responsible Super Bowl ads? You decide.

  The Super Bowl frenzy is over, but the analysis of the Super Bowl advertising has just begun. Millions are already viewing and voting on their favorites at YouTube Adblitz and MySpace. I’m interested in something a little different. I’ve taken the liberty to list just over twenty of the ads that are currently receiving […]

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Where have you seen advertising today?

My partners and I have been preaching and teaching about the effects of information overload for over a decade now. In speaking engagements, workshops and classes that I’ve instructed, I’ve often asked “Where have you seen advertising today? Here are a few places that have been mentioned: • Direct mail • TV • Radio • […]

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Jargon and buzzwords to avoid like the plague

Is it time to disintermediate mission-critical communities? Not until we embrace open-source infrastructures. To be message responsible, you have to respect your audience. That means speaking clearly in a human voice. Buzzwords dominate business communications and it’s a serious problem for anyone that wants to connect with their customers, colleagues and prospects. Problem is, buzzwords […]

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