Creativity Roars Back at Cannes

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2018 has come to a close. The streets are empty but for locals and tourists, who can now get a seat in any restaurant, and the window-shaking beach music is absent, returning quiet tranquility to the nights. Yet even as the final stragglers pack to leave, there remains unfinished…

Continue Reading

Racist Content, Tasteless Comments, and Interfering Presidents are Not New in the Media World

A celebrity tweets a racist comment and her very successful show gets cancelled. Some 500 miles across the country, another celebrity, this one using her media channel-sponsored platform, calls the daughter of the U.S. President an expletive and gets her hand slapped. Interestingly, many considered one reaction or the other to be either overblown or…

Continue Reading

When Does Big Tech Become Something Else?

What makes a media company? Most recognize that BBC, NBC or Aljazeera are unabashed (or perhaps grandfathered in) media entities, while Facebook continues to reject the label and Amazon has yet to even face the “accusation.” I say “perhaps grandfathered” because who would want to be a media company today, facing regulation, when you could…

Continue Reading

Royal Wedding: Is Disruption By Love Possible?

Who doesn’t love a Royal Wedding? I mean really. All over the world people watch The Crown, Downton Abbey and The Queen. Full confession: I have always believed that if you scratch the surface of most Americans, (myself included) there is royal envy…and maybe just a little regret that we couldn’t work it out back…

Continue Reading

Customer First, Not Data

A true story…short…and one that points out the issues with so called targeting online. I say so-called because there is targeting and…there is targeting. Its easy to find me…yes…but why and with what is the real question. Once upon a time… My daughter and son-in-law went way for the weekend. The spa they stayed at…

Continue Reading

Are we wasting all of our infrastructure development?

Crossing the country and back, I passed through five really sad airports. All were dirty and rundown (although all were making efforts at renovation). Services were spotty; food was old school and unhealthy… and one even still utilized the people movers of the last century to take people between terminals. I won’t comment on security,…

Continue Reading

Does 2+2 Still Equal 4?

Can a border be closed off? Can a population be locked in or locked down? Seems that the topic is much in the news these days…all around the word. It got me thinking. Physical and political barriers—fences and road blocks—did used to keep people locked in…and locked up. Without going too far back in time,…

Continue Reading

What’s your relationship with Amazon: loyalty or convenience?

Amazon had yet another great earnings call, wowing the market with their growth. But these earnings have nothing to do with e-commerce, as MarketWatch explained: “E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc.’s earnings surge in the first quarter was largely due to major acceleration in its Amazon Web Services business, which is powering the bulk of Amazon profits…

Continue Reading

From Ribbons to Tees, the Power of Social Branding

On Friday, I met with a business acquaintance, an investment banker type, who was insisting that Brands were no longer important…as he pontificated from the depths of his brand-clad and covered self. On Saturday, I was in the local park with my granddaughter Goldy, when I noticed that she and half her friends had on…

Continue Reading

Are you real…or just authentic?

Create viral assets. Design experiential moments. Used in one sentence, or better, used as one ask, “I want an authentic experience that will go viral.” Raise your hand if you have been in a meeting where you have heard something similar. Hmmm…I thought so…I have too. These days, we hear a lot about the need…

Continue Reading

Should Drones Do More Than Deliver Pizza?

I don’t know about you…but frankly, it’s easy to fall into a funk and be depressed about today’s so-called Hi-Tech. So-called, because while there is a lot of real Hi-Tech out there somewhere, what we call and overvalue as such is really data sales, media, retail and transportation…with occasionally fraudulent biotech thrown in for good…

Continue Reading

A Luddite Might Lead the Way

Maybe it was the confluence of Passover and Easter, or perhaps it was the continuing news saga of Taliban atrocities, young African-Americans shot in the back, fleeing refuges, hate crimes all over the world juxtaposed to stories about what exactly is Alexa listening to and what is really happening with all that data being collected…

Continue Reading

What Makes a Brand Last 100 Years (Besides Herring)?

What would you do? If you were a 100+-year-old company in a dying category, surrounded by hip new offerings and critics, analysts and pundits who opined on the category in ways that made you wonder why you were in business…what would you do? You could declare, “Disruption,” “digital transformation,” “millennial focus,” “mobile first,” “VR/AR and…

Continue Reading

What Donald Trump Understands About Branding

If our marketing research was as off as political polling continues to be, then the Brandscape of the world would look significantly different. Companies would invest money in the wrong products and services, spending on meaningless messaging, squandering on irrelevant media, and generally wondering why the “wrong” Brands seemed to win. As I have written…

Continue Reading

What was Kodak thinking?

The PIVOT: a move made more famous by Digital/Internet startups than by sports stars. The agility, openness, hunger and passion to succeed (read: passion to make money) gave these tech entrepreneurs the impetus to switch direction and focus quickly…and most importantly, without ever looking back. Think about the companies who said they were ‘pure digital…

Continue Reading

Are ‘Purposeful Brands’ Defrauding You?

There was a time when Brands were like trusted family members. They lived in our homes, partnered in our lives, and were a fully intimate part of our daily routines. They sat on our breakfast tables, guarded our bathrooms, drove us to school and work, and protected us from illness. We trusted these Brands to…

Continue Reading