When in doubt, nothing wins people over like a good story. Playing the bard is a standby for good CEOs and, we think, great marketers.
That's one reason why we found Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman's The Elements of Persuasion so interesting. It doesn't just emphasize the importance of telling tales to persuade; it does so from a branding and sales perspective, without neglecting the importance of listening, and sharing plenty of relevant stories along the way.
It's also compact, easy to read, and orange. How do you beat orange?!
This is the first of a promotion by Crush, Toronto for Douglas Coupland's new novel The Gum Thief, "a story of love and looming apocalypse set in the aisles of an office supply store."
We're going to take a wild shot in the dark and say the innocuous office supply is Staples, because use of the word staples, the brand Staples and the object staples has hit us a few times. Of course, we could be totally wrong.
The spots cover three elements: protagonists Roger and Bethany, and The Glove Pond -- a novel inside the novel. Coupland narrates and each spot kind of makes us hate life, but in a funny way. We'd be receptive to reading the book, but mainly we feel compelled to sit around making staple animation. (See Bethany.)
- Even fashion models can sound intelligent. Especially when they steal their lines from an MIT professor.
- Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond and fans are angered because Karen Jankel, Bond's daughter gave the go ahead for the character to be used in a Marmite ad when it's well known Paddington likes marmalade.
- As more and more nudity becomes readily and freely available online, Playboy has decided to cut back paid circulation 13 percent to 2.6 million as well as offer more free content online.
Ahh. Here's what Profitable Marketing Communications aspired but failed to be because the authors were too busy trying to be memorable writers. Jason Burby and Shane Atchison make no such pretension.
Actionable Web Analytics reads more like a textbook than an indulgent marketing tourguide. Its lessons are practical, actionable, simply explained and well-illustrated.
Buy it. You don't even have to read it; if it's on your shelf, you'll actually seem smarter. We'll even overlook the fact that co-author Shane looks like a hipster.
What's a meatball sundae? It's the unfortunate result of two good ideas smashed together -- and the topic of Seth Godin's next book, which is generating much buzz on Hype Street at Advertising Week.
We couldn't go anywhere last night without hearing about it. Marketers describe Meatball Sundae as an invitation to approach web 2.0 as an opportunity to enliven company culture, even as passion begins to make way for bureaucracy.
Alternatively, Godin claims to see web 2.0 as a chance to "transform" the organization. Two sides of the same coin? Read about the book from the meatball-loving mouth itself.
If there's any category of marketer who has dramatically altered the way they market their product, it would be book publishers. Publishers have jumped head first into what online marketing has to offer. From using blog, to social networking sites to video to dedicated websites, the category has forever left behind its formerly staid marketing practices. Surely, they are not alone but they tend to stand out more so than others.
To market the book The Electric Church, a science fiction novel about eternal life via brain transplant into cyborg avatars (or something like that), has launched a BlogAd campaign and a site that takes you inside the church in a freaky sort of way. The creative includes interactive elements from the site. It's definitely simple but simple is more often than not all it takes to deliver a message.
We're firm believers in that if you're going to devote your life to something, even something as "banal" as advertising, you should commit. Let yourself go. Fall in love with it. Learn it inside and out.
After reading Adland over the weekend, we're thinking, here's a book that finally lets you do that.
It's really hard to find a book on advertising that doesn't come off as worshipful and jam-packed with debauched ad men and images of half-naked women, or overly critical and almost caustic. These are all attempts to simplify the profession and shove it into a box it doesn't really belong in.
We get a sense that author Mark Tungate has as much of a love/hate relationship with advertising as anybody. Without ignoring or embellishing those feelings, he examines the industry as a chartable landscape with a unique history.
- Calling AMC's Mad Men, Dr. Ernst Dichter's The Hidden Persuaders and current motivational research "mostly bullshit," George Parker manages to get himself into Advertising Age and promote his new book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders which, if his past book, MadScam, is any indication, won't be bullshit at all.
- Magazines and newspapers aren't doing anything wrong. It's just that the ads inside them all suck.
- Hyundai's new campaign leaves behind the brand name hoping to leave behind associated cheapness.
- Has anyone else noticed how "bloggy" Advertising Age is getting and how it's now OK to "print" words like fuck and bullshit? We just thought we'd wonder publicly a bit about that.
Here's a somewhat interesting read.
Young and Aitken's Profitable Marketing Communications encourages marketers to think about marketing the way Warren Buffett thinks about investing (yes, at some point they make that connection): as a quantifiable value-add, with a focus on targeting platforms as opposed to diversifying.
A few decent case studies (brands include Samsung and Unisys) are included, and emphasis is placed on measuring campaign ROI, which we hear lots about but don't see much of.
To get the most value for your buck you might want to skip straight to chapters 12 and 13 ("Leverage Your Employee Capital" and "Is Your Organization Marketing ROI-Fit?") which finally cuts the bull and gets into how you, too, can implement some of this advice.
The book concludes with "Happy investing," possibly its best instance of straightforward message delivery. In the end, it was a lot like reading Malcolm Gladwell, but not as funny, and Benjamin Graham, but not as informative.
Here's a jewel in TASCHEN's collection of pretty pictures to compile and push at a high premium. Advertising Now. Online is a compilation of internet ad efforts - mainly promotional websites - that have come to ornament the 'net in the last handful of years.
Featured campaigns include Burger King's infamous Subservient Chicken and Method's comeclean.com.