Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I like print. It is a great medium, saddled by some dumb working practices and negative perceptions in a digital era. Anyway, I came across the ad for Showtime series, Dexter. Nice job creatively, as well as in reaching the up-scale audience they must be looking for. The fake cover, and the advertorial spread with it are not new, but that does not make them bad. Good use of the medium. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jet Blue Carbon Fund

A nice move by Jet Blue. You can use a calculator on a partner site to work out the carbon cost of your trip, and then make a contribution to cover that cost through a carbon off-set. I like the opt-in nature of this. Jet Blue are not hiding from their business being a polluter, but nor are they shaming anyone or forcing the issue. If you care, here is something you can do about it. The airline is also taking part in other green programs. Smart thinking and something you expect and welcome from the Jet Blue brand.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

King of Media

An interesting piece on the decline of Howard Stern within pop-culture since he shifted his show to satellite radio. The article does a fine job in explaining how his much smaller audience has resulted in smaller guests coming on the show, and his sidelining of influence. 

There  interesting things here for me is relevancy. For Stern, his message and style have not changed, but his audience has. So he is no less relevant personally, apart from he now clearly is less relevant to society. For Pop-culture brands you have to conect with a scale. Without tapping a nerve and combining it with enough volume of people, you become just another voice in the babble.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Whopper Bar

Burger King has done a great job of distinguishing their brand from McDonalds and the other fast food chains. I love the risks that they have taken, and investments in trying new things. This idea is another good example of a brand finding new ways to connect with customers. Interesting to see how it does - and extra points for taking a stab.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Quicksilver cool

I love this effort by Quicksilver, the So Cal surf brand. In a nutshell, they have taken over a loft space for a year, and got 6 up-and-coming women in different creative disciplines to live together. You can visit the site here to learn more

I like the many tentacles this has. It appeals and seems progressive for women, (who buy a lot of Quicksilver clothes I imagine). It gives Quicksilver a halo of social responsibility - giving something back to the community. It has 6 artists, each now with the Qucksilver backing, which probably means that at least one, if not all, will get more coverage and have a chance to be noticed. In terms of cost, free rent is simply not that much. Less than a few print pages in Teen Vogue. And if they are smart, they will be able to create a series of interviews, events and content all getting in front of the right people. 

And ultimately,  it is just plain cool and interesting, exactly where Quicksilver needs to be.

Magazine death

This week the American Magazine conference is taking place in San Francisco, just down the road from where I work. I have a free pass to attend, but I am choosing not to. Partly this is because I am crazy busy, and giving up a whole day seems impossible. However, more significantly, it is because I looked over the schedule of events and simply was not interested. 

Don't get me wrong, I love magazines and I think they can be a powerful ad medium, but I feel like I know everything there is to know. That sounds very arrogant, and perhaps what I really mean is there simply does not seem much opportunity for a game changing learning experience. Print is what it is. And this seems to be why magazines are struggling to connect with clients and with  media people. They feel old, are certainly cluttered and often expensive. So maybe next year, but I would not bet on it.  

Saturday, October 4, 2008


It shocks me how bad a marketeer Microsoft is. Literally, hundreds of millions of dollars spent every year and there is not a single quality campaign, line or thought to remember. I know that sounds harsh, but really, the more money you spend, the more you deserve to be judged closely. 

The latest effort, Live without Walls is, supposedly, based upon the strategic thought that Apple runs a closed software system, and Windows is open. Really? This is the similar logic that John Mcain uses when he runs ads claiming Obama supports sex education for pre-schoolers. It may be true technically, but it is bullshit all the same - and people know it. The smarts of Apple system is that it works seamlessly. There may indeed be walls, but it does not feel like it. The fact that Zune does not work across the suite of other MS programs highlights the con job MS is pulling.  And it will not work. Another $100M wasted I fear.

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