It looks as if we’ll have a very black Friday this year, after all.

Christmas ShopingBy Mike Bawden

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas shopping season. I’m not certain this is good news, but Walmart is “vowing to have the loudest fourth quarter ever.” How? Well it plans to out-shout the competition by spending at least 50% more than their next-nearest competitor every single week this coming holiday season.

Yikes.

Continue reading It looks as if we’ll have a very black Friday this year, after all.

PR essentials

PR TypewriterBy Mike Bawden

It’s no secret that both public relations (PR) and advertising offer unique benefits when employed correctly. And, when working together, the two practices can build awareness, boost brand value and drive sales. Some of our most successful campaigns stem from a strong relationship between our PR team and advertising agency partners.

To contrast the two, PR earns media coverage through strategic outreach to journalists while advertising is a controlled message placed in paid-for space. Both practices work to influence the behavior of consumers by swaying opinion, calling consumers to action, etc., but the tactics used to gain results and meet goals couldn’t be more different.

Continue reading PR essentials

We’ve seen the enemy – and he kinda looks familiar.

Enemy PictureBy Mike Bawden

Sometimes your competition is not your competition. Competition comes from all quarters – and direct competition is, at times, the easiest to spot.  This article in Sales & Marketing Management points out that a customer’s own fear, unexpected alliances between frienemies and the fading relevance of your own value proposition are, at times, even larger obstacles to overcome.

This last point holds true for the marketing agencies employed to help fight the good fight as well as the clients who hire them.  McKinsey’s David Edelman points this out in this piece calling on marketers and agencies to re-think what they do and the way they do it.

Continue reading We’ve seen the enemy – and he kinda looks familiar.

Blipverts, hummingbirds and voices from marketing’s past

max_headroomBy Mike Bawden

Is this the birth of the “blipvert”? Years ago, Max Headroom introduced the concept of an entire commercial in a fraction of a second. Are Vine videos and other mobile ads finally leading us in that direction? P.J. Bednarski reports on the increase of click-throughs from mobile video ads versus similar ads on laptops and desktops.

Continue reading Blipverts, hummingbirds and voices from marketing’s past

Are taglines dead?

4fd40cf51By Mike Bawden

An article appearing in the September 9 edition of AdWeek (written by Denise Lee Yohn) suggested that taglines may be a thing of the past.  She points out that of the 100 “Most Influential Taglines Since 1948″ nearly 2/3rd’s of them ran before 1980.  Half of Forbes’ Best-Loved Advertising Taglines ran before 1975.

“There’s certainly evidence that taglines have diminished in importance. many of the most admired brands – Starbucks, Whole Foods, Lululemon, Nordstrom – don’t have them. Some brands whose taglines helped propel them to greatness no longer use them.”

Is the tagline the victim of the consumer’s ever-increasingly short attention span? Continue reading Are taglines dead?