Category Archives: Marketing

Folks, “social media” is not the answer. A “great idea” is, and always has been, the answer.

The ambulance-chasers at “Business Insider” ran an article a few days a go with the headline “VW make another brilliant SEO-based ad.” (View above and read the hyperbole below).

http://www.businessinsider.com/volkswagen-made-another-completely-awesome-seo-based-ad-2013-5

Couple of things:

–       it’s a nice idea. Not new (unless you’ve been in the business 5 minutes) and not really “brilliant”. (But well done for resisting “awesome”, dorks.)

–       it’s has NOTHING to do with SEO. It is not an SEO-based idea, at all. SEO works on leveraging an idea, through its properties. It is not an idea in and of itself…

It really is a neat idea. But I wish “journalists”/ bloggers would do some homework on what similar idea preceded this.

This one – for example:

Every Want Ad you’ll see in the advertising journals is looking for “digital specialists”, or for “Social media Gurus.”

Your brand has a big problem? Hey, get a Facebook page. Do some “social media.” Or, better still, do a “viral” campaign.

What ARE you nincompoops smoking? Seriously.

Continue reading Folks, “social media” is not the answer. A “great idea” is, and always has been, the answer.

What will it say on your Gravestone?

Have you ever stopped to consider why you’re on the earth?

What your function is? What you’re ‘meant’ to achieve.

What thing inside you, what burning ambition, what gift to the rest of us, what piece of learning, what advancement in a particular field you have to impart?

Whether you destined to be an utter failure (like a moronic Microsoft employee who after 20 years STILL hasn’t mastered any successful form of smell check) or a Zuckerberg, I find it hard to believe that we don’t all, somewhere in us, have an innate sense of what we can achieve.

Now, for sure, it may have been squashed, by parents or teachers or bosses, but if it doesn’t still live in you, at some point in time but most surely did. Whether plausible in conception or not, we humans dream.

And having a dream and being able to keep it alive and making it real, I believe, is the difference between success and failure – and, if you will, between emptiness and fulfilment.

Continue reading What will it say on your Gravestone?

Why failing is good

If you’re not attempting to be extraordinary, you’re an oxygen thief.

If you have the privilege of being paid by a company to create ideas (i.e. sit with your feet up on the desk, staring out the window, musing) then I believe you have an obligation to think big. To dream big.

To “take risks” with your thinking (at least at the early, conceptual stage) and to come up with ideas. Ideas that, maybe, no one has thought of before. Ideas that, again maybe, sound dumb.

Continue reading Why failing is good

The Gun Debate: Legislation vs Education

The wonderful thing about technology, like water, is that it will always find a way around obstacles.

A few weeks ago, we saw the world’s first gun, made almost entirely from pieces manufactured with a 3D printer, successfully fire a bullet. In technological terms, amazing.

But to the fearful left wing, yet more reason to hide under the bedclothes or whine incessantly. Or, worse, for the Whine House itself to introduce costly and totally ineffective legislation.

Do I believe gun owners and their guns should be registered? Absolutely.

Just like cars.

Continue reading The Gun Debate: Legislation vs Education

My thoughts on digital marketing

I thought I’d gotten an email from my friend Raafi Rivero today.

For three or four seconds, I thought “Great, wonder how he is?”

I opened the email. There’s a link. Maybe it’s to his new movie?

Nope.

It’s a link to some lame weight-loss program.

His email had been hacked and he’d “sent” me an email.

Now, let’s rewind and figure out what happened here.

Who benefitted, who lost and who paid dollars for this: Continue reading My thoughts on digital marketing

Just a coffee, please.

I have a number of addictions. One is coffee. Specifically Starbucks.

I am told there are “better” coffee shops. I am aware that a Grande Latte costs the same as a gallon of gas (though, relatively my coffee is looking cheaper and cheaper). But now I cannot even order a coffee at the end of a meal in a restaurant, such is my need for the Green Siren. I will leave, even a very nice expensive establishment, and go get my latte in a paper cup from Starbucks.

Why?

Because of what it represents. It’s my morning treat. My luxury. My ten minutes of solace. A pick-me up. A quite cogitate. I also buy the Starbucks “third space” idea. Not home. Not work. But the modern American equivalent of a British “pub” where you can wander in, alone or with others, chat, read the newspaper, check email and sip your beverage along with the like-minded.

Continue reading Just a coffee, please.

Don’t make excuses. Make great.

My friend Chris Kyme, who runs kymechow.com in Hong Kong, kindly invited me to the New York Festivals, to listen to some of the visiting speakers.

I found myself in one which, within five minutes, was driving me insane.

There were four women on the stage talking about how hard it is for women in advertising. And, why there are “so few women in creative departments.”

I think it may have been the most pointless talk I ever attended. A room full of ladies complaining about why more of them weren’t in creative.

I was aching to ask many questions. But I couldn’t think of polite ways of phrasing them and so – as I was merely a gatecrasher at this event – I quietly left. Then started to fume.

Continue reading Don’t make excuses. Make great.

Planned obsolescence

I have a good deal of respect for Mr Alfred P Sloan.

He rescued GM in the depression of the 1920’s.

He built the company into the largest corporation on the planet.

And he poured many millions of his own money into a philanthropic organization that still bears his name.

He did, however, a couple of less good things:

  1. He (allegedly) was pretty friendly with a small German guy with an attitude problem and a small mustache
  2. He invented “planned obsolescence”

Now, this concept (planned obsolescence) was pretty crucial to GM’s success and – from a business point of view – was a very smart thing to do.

In essence, prior to the mid 1930’s (and following Henry Ford’s edict – and made real by Karl Daimler and Gottlieb Benz) a car was to built to last.

And in the case of Daimler and Benz, last a very long time.

Ford’s motives were: “Replace everyone’s horse with a car.”

The Germans’: “Build the best engineered car.”

But GM’s was: “Don’t have last year’s model, have THIS year’s model.”

Epitomized by this great Doyle Dane VW ad “Auto Show” from 1970:

Continue reading Planned obsolescence