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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Blog spam. Welcome to the Responsible Marketing Hall of Shame.

Spam of any kind sucks. It especially sucks when you respond to it accidentally. That almost happened to me recently when a pesky blog spammer commented on a posting with this: Very interesting thoughts regarding Ad Age Trends for 2008: My take. But would you like to submit comments and backlinks on millions of blogs […]

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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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Responsible Marketing: Where have you seen it?

We know it when we see it, don’t we? Tide’s Loads of Hope. Dell’s Regeneration. Bold and brave creative that breaks through. Where have you seen Responsible Marketing? We’re all ears.

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Irresponsible marketing: Where have you seen it?

Poor casting. Bad design. Lack of planning. Greenwashing. Broken promises. Marketing to children. The list goes on and on. It’s too bad irresponsible marketing happens, but we can learn from others’ mistakes. Where have you seen irresponsible marketing? We’re all ears.

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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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Is Target half pregnant with their eco-messaging?

Whole Foods isn’t the only place offering reusable shopping bags. Seems you can get them everywhere now. In fact, Kroger’s Fred Meyer chain took out full page ads recently touting their new eco-friendly bags. Target gives 5% of their profits to charities, and until recently has done little to tout it other than a sign […]

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The one resolution marketers must keep (every year)

Every year, we receive a boat load of last minute inquiries as prospects (and a few clients) realize: a. They didn’t get everything done they wanted to b. They are getting ready to start the New Year without a plan c. They have unused budget they need to spend d. Some combination of the above […]

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The social and political ramifications of consumerism

My partner Eric Anderson recently shared a fascinating Bill Moyers interview he caught just before Christmas. In it, Moyers sits down with author and professor Benjamin Barber and discusses how capitalism creates too many goods that aren’t needed (and too few that are), and how children are targeted as consumers in a twenty-four hour marketplace. […]

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Multicultural marketing on the verge

Have you considered multicultural marketing yet? You should. Now. Seriously. Now. Soon, the minority will be the majority, but most marketers haven’t caught up yet. If you want to know why, read our Friends of Outsource Marketing article Are you serving the minority-majority? Why multicultural marketing matters more than ever. Marketers are starting to take […]

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Two trends you need to wrap your head around now

AdWeek released its Top 10 Trends of 2007 late last month. Trends included the explosion of social networking and its impact on privacy, increased mobility, the growth of the BRIC nations, online gaming, and how open systems are prevailing over closed ones. But two trends are of particular relevance to responsible marketing: It’s time to […]

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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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Tide offers “Loads of Hope” for natural disaster victims

Do you have an affinity to your laundry detergent? You might after you read this. After Hurricane Katrina and the recent California wildfires, Tide dispatched their CleanStart trucks to the scene to help. These mobile laundry facilities provided the families of these disasters with free laundry services when they needed it most. The CleanStart trucks […]

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Inspiration from unexpected places

Happy New Year! Finding the right topic for my New Year’s Day post was more difficult than I thought. Sure, I have hundreds of things bookmarked and find new things every day. And this time of year, there are plenty of worthy “2007 Marketing Year in Review,” “2008 Marketing Forecast,” and “Marketing Top 10 List […]

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Love it or hate it: The Thomas Kinkade marketing machine

  My partner, Bill Boyd, ABC, sent me an email I thought blogworthy. Here it is: Patrick, I spent time with two brands over the holidays. One carefully guards every aspect of its interactions with the public. This company can demand (and get) premium prices. There’s never any discounting, and no products that don’t convey […]

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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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Entertaining, but effective?

Ready for a little break from the barrage of holiday advertising? I am, and I like advertising. I was hoping I’d find a few holiday-themed ads to share, but then I realized, the most entertaining and memorable ad I’ve seen this season wasn’t a holiday ad at all. It was a Jack-in-the-Box ad, and I […]

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