Why That Dear Kate Underwear Ad Is Like Taking A Shit on the Sidewalk

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In defense of a recent campaign which featured women CEOs in their underwear, Dear Kate CEO Julie Sygiel said, "I think a lot of traditional lingerie photo shoots depict women as simply standing there looking sexy. They're not always in a position of power and control. In our photo shoots it's important to portray women who are active and ambitious. They're not just standing around waiting for things to happen."

What a load of crap. Yea, right, they're "not just standing around waiting for things to happen." No, Julie, they're sitting around in their underwear in a contrived situation waiting for a photographer to take a picture of them. If that's natural then I think I'll stand in front of my apartment and take a shit on the sidewalk.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-27-14    
Topic: Opinion



Here's How to Best Serve Brand Advocates (And Haters) Who Have 'Occupied' Your Brand

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Welcome to the social era where­ your brand has officially been Occupied. The relationship between your image and your values is increasingly determined by your brand advocates. The future of your brand is subject to your community and its perceived values.

You once controlled who appears in advertisements, but the rise of social media and user-generated content means that followers and fans often determine your brand¹s image without your consent. When people go onto your social media pages, they see followers that chose you, not the models and celebrities you selected. People also imagine that your social followers reflect the values of your brand.

So who belongs to your brand tribe? How do you guide the values of this community?

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by Steve Hall    Jul-24-14    
Topic: Opinion



Calvin Klein Has A Thing For Underage Girls. It's Latest: Kate Moss' Little Sister, Lottie

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I had a crush on a cute redhead named Lettie Roberts in junior high school. But that's not at all relevant to this piece other than the fact Lettie sounds like Lottie. Who's Lottie? Lottie is Kate Moss' 16-year-old younger sister who is currently featured in the latest Calvin Klein campaign, shot by Michael Avedon, grandson to Richard Avedon who shot another very young girl, 15-year-old Brooke Shields, for a 1981 Calvin Klein campaign.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-15-14    
Topic: Opinion



How This Ad Network You've Never Heard of Bootstrapped Itself to Multi-Million Dollar Success

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This guest article was written by Jay Gould, founder and CEO of Yashi Media, a 2014 Red Herring Top 100 Winner.

"It takes money to make money." You can bet that phrase originated with an investment banker, not an entrepreneur. If you're passionate about building a successful business, it's possible to do so with little or no capital--as long as you understand a few important concepts up front.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-23-14    
Topic: Opinion



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Why Brands (And Agencies) Are Wasting Money With These Big Social Media Deals

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Over the last few weeks, we heard that Facebook organic reach is approaching zero while their paid ad business is booming. On April 23, Facebook reported revenue of $2.5 billion for the first quarter of 2014, up 72% over the previous year. Advertising accounted for $2.27 billion of Q1 revenue. Now, it seems that Instagram and Pinterest want a piece of the paid advertising pie, and they're not afraid to charge a lot per slice.

However, social networks like Instagram and Pinterest will not succeed by trying to replicate the broadcasting advertising model. Broadcasting does not work in the Social Era, as numerous studies have shown. In fact, online social media ads are even more ignored than TV ads, according to Harris Interactive.

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by Steve Hall    May-28-14    
Topic: Opinion, Social



This Ad Exec Explains Why We Need to Get Our Faces Out of Our Phones Just As Much As Our Children Do

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Here's something a bit different. This contributed article is written by Valerie Woo, Executive Creative Director of The Woo. It's her take on the delicate balance between being both an advertiser whose constantly on the job and a dedicated mother and where the lines get drawn when it comes to technological connectivity.

As a parent, it's our joy to love our kids. But it's our job to prepare them for the world they will soon inherit. Today, that means raising a tech-savvy, socially-balanced individual equipped with a black belt in multitasking. Simple, right? Our kids have lived a "connected" life virtually since birth (baby's first Facebook status, anyone?), but a growing tide of us are yanking the tech blanky away and untethering kids from their devices.

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by Steve Hall    May-21-14    
Topic: Opinion



McDonald's New Mascot: Biggest Brand Fail Ever or Just Another Social Media Outcry From People With Way Too Much Time on Their Hands?

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It's almost becoming standard practice to trash the crap out of a brand for making even the slightest change to its brand. In some cases the changes are big and in some cases they are small but it seems as though every change is followed by an onslaught of social media outcry from people with nothing better to do than craft a witty Tweet that is then featured in the news which then causes the whole thing to spiral out of control.

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by Steve Hall    May-20-14    
Topic: Brands, Opinion



How To Use Email To Generate Leads and Revenue

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When it comes to online marketing, email is one of the most powerful tools you have. Social media might be the latest sexy medium, but when it comes to generating leads, nurturing customer relationships and providing long-term growth, email is still incredibly effective. It's easy to use, priced right and it works. Here's proof:

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by Steve Hall    May-12-14    
Topic: Opinion



Top Five Media Buying Mistakes - And How to Avoid Them

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When it's time to build your brand, promote your product, or rollout the next big thing, you'll need to engage in a media buying strategy. Whether you carefully plan a formal launch or dash off a back-of-the-envelope proposal and forge ahead immediately, everything will hinge on optimizing price and placement.

But how will you know if you're getting the best value for your dollar and reaching the largest number of potential customers? How can you avoid making a major media buying mistake? Here's a list that can help: A rundown of the top five media buying mistakes - and how to avoid them:

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by Steve Hall    Apr-21-14    
Topic: Opinion



5 Ways Brands (And Agencies) Can Avoid Looking Like Pompous Bufoons

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Movie critics are a tough bunch. They rarely, if ever, are impressed with "movie magic" such as computer-generated imagery and gee-whiz special effects. In their minds, if the script is weak, no amount of technical prowess will save the film.

So it is in the marketing world. Otherwise savvy executives are easily caught up in the "marketing magic" of social networks, online analytics, mobile services and the like. But without a strong plan for your brand in place, all the social campaigns, multi-dimensional database modeling, and mobile apps in the world won't accomplish your marketing goals.

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-14    
Topic: Opinion










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