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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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Word of mouth math: $2 bill + 1 sticker = awesome

On Monday, one of my colleagues handed me this: This particular colleague had lost a friendly bet the week before, so at first I thought I was receiving partial payment for said bet. Then I remembered that I’m still in negative territory—I owe her $88 (I bet $100 I’d have my book done by Halloween […]

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Skittles Twitter homepage: Responsible or not?

Skittles, the chewy, fruit-flavored candy from Mars, Inc. has jumped into social media in an innovative new way: They have coded their website so their navigation now floats over three of the most popular social media websites. Skittles.com is now nothing more than a navigation box floating over the Twitter search results for the term […]

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Is your company ready for “Facebook Friday?”

Over the last year, I’ve fallen into the habit of talking with companies about their use of social media, and one of the most polarizing discussion topics is how open a company should be in allowing employees to use social media sites. While some companies lock down all social sites, others encourage their use. So […]

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Hyperconnected teens: The staggering statistics

Much has been said about how connected Gen Y is. But I was shocked when I learned that teens with a cell phone average 2,272 text messages per month. That’s works out to over 73 messages per day, or 4.5 per hour assuming eight hours of sleep. This is compared to an average of 203 […]

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United’s feedback phone number to be grounded

In an era where companies are beginning to adopt and embrace social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogs to listen to and interact with their customers, United Airlines has decided to eliminate its customer complaint and complement phone lines this April. Claiming research concluded that “people who e-mail or write us are more satisfied […]

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Rude, crude and funny ads: Love ’em or hate ’em?

We all love to laugh, and when we find something genuinely funny, we love to share it. But humor is subjective and what’s funny to some is offensive to others. Case in point: One of the following ads was banned, the other wasn’t. View this video on YouTube View this video on YouTube I’ll admit, […]

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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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Is smoking bad for your business?

We all know smoking is bad for your health, but is it bad for your business, too? Here are three examples where, at the very least, the customer experience was damaged by a company’s lackadaisical smoking policies: Yesterday, two of my co-workers saw a cool bakery truck that caught their attention. The driver had on […]

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Make your marketing more shareable—pass it on

At a lunch meeting at the Cheesecake Factory yesterday, I was beginning to tell a client we wanted to help them develop ways to make their company, products and services more “shareable.” I know, it’s not a real word, but I use it a lot because it telegraphs the idea immediately. But yesterday, I never […]

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Decaf in the afternoon? Not at Starbucks

I had a Twilight Zone moment this afternoon at my local Starbucks when I ordered my decaf drip coffee and was told the Seattle-based coffee chain no longer brews decaf in the afternoons. You read that right: A coffee shop that doesn’t offer decaf in the afternoon—the largest coffee shop chain in the world, mind […]

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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 Buy.com, NewEgg.com and […]

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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 Saveology.com and powered by PeopleJam.com. 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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I’m lovin’ it? McDonald’s buys love; fesses up

With some fanfare, on December 23rd McDonald’s launched a new concept store in Japan called Quarter Pounder, a restaurant selling—you guessed it—only Quarter Pounders. Here’s an amateur video of the opening taken by a customer that was there: 15,000 people attended the store’s record-setting opening, but not all of them were there for the artery-clogging […]

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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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The evolution of church marketing

Believe in evolution? That’s your business. Let’s talk marketing—the evolution of church marketing. For obvious reasons, a lot more people will go to church today and tomorrow than usual. But religious institutions aren’t just looking for members in December. More and more churches are realizing that a good location and word-of-mouth alone won’t always fill […]

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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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No bull: Marketing lessons from the ER

We had to take my four year-old daughter to the emergency room yesterday. No, there wasn’t an accident—but a really bad cough turned for the worse and we needed medical advice, pronto. We took her to Swedish Hospital’s Issaquah ER and got exactly what we were looking for, and more. Though we’d never been to […]

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‘Talk to Frank’ talks frank to drug addicts

Talk to Frank is a drug addiction helpline and information site in the U.K. helping addicts, their families and friends. No, Frank is not a person. It’s “a way for you to get straight up advice and info about drugs. It’s the facts without the attitude” and the name certainly fits. The following three videos […]

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