Blog Archives

The Good Side of “This Call May Be Monitored…”

Lesson for the future: any time I am in a customer service dispute involving an oral promise, I need to remember that *I* can ask them to go back and listen to the original call. The worst they can say is no.

Posted in Advertising, Business Ethics, Consumer Issues, Customer Service as Marketing, Shel's Personal Life, Transparency vs. Secrecy Tagged with: , , ,

Is Your Advertising or Marketing Working AGAINST You?

I received a fund appeal from a climate-change nonprofit asking for money to put this ad on the air. I was so appalled that I sent this letter: [Subject] THIS AD WILL DO THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE WANT Re:

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copywriting, Demographics/Psychographics, Eco-friendly, Environment, Green Marketing, language, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies, Marketing Trends/News, Politics, propaganda, Psychology Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Wrong Personalization Assumptions Can Sabotage a Sale

The video assumes that:
Everyone wants a big house in the suburbs, with a big yard and a big garage
Everyone is white and Christian and heterosexual
Anyone would call a Portland, Oregon phone number to buy a house in Massachusetts

Posted in Advertising, Demographics/Psychographics, localism/locavore, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies, Technology Tagged with: , , , , ,

How do You Know When Advertising Claims are Real?

makes part of my living writing (non-hypey, fact-based but emotionally driven) marketing copy for green businesses, I can tell you that not all copywriters take the time to thoroughly understand the products they’re hired to write about. I would want to see independent verification of all these claims

Posted in Abundance and Prosperity, Advertising, Business Ethics, Energy & Sustainability, Green Business, Greenwashing, language, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies, propaganda Tagged with: , , , , ,

What I Told the Democrats, and Why

Remember: you are in someone’s email box because of the recipient’s good graces. Don’t abuse the relationship or overstay your welcome. If you annoy, you don’t get read, and eventually

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copywriting, language, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies, Politics, propaganda, Psychology, Shel's Personal Life Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Will Budweiser’s Gamble Pay Off?

makes Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way” Superbowl ad so surprising, almost shocking. The football-adoring working-class male Bud drinker (a big part of their audience) is one of the demographics most likely to have voted for DT.

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Demographics/Psychographics, language, Marketing Trends/News, Psychology, Social and Economic Justice Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

How Much Should You Spend on Marketing?

It’s hard to even wrap my brain around the idea of spending more on marketing than on innovation, product development, manufacturing, distribution, etc., combined. Yes, of course, we’re all in business to sell something, and marketing helps us do that. But we also have to have something worth selling.

Posted in Advertising, Business-general, General Commentary, Innovation, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies Tagged with: , ,

Why I’ve Boycotted My Neighborhood Theater Since 1969

We had a long and extended bad interaction with them that culminated in a phone call, “you have 24 hours to get your car out of our lot—and by the way, the engine is in pieces in the trunk.”

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Customer Service as Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Marketing Techniques and Philosophies, Marketing Trends/News, Shel's Personal Life Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Candy-Coated Popcorn, Peanuts—and WHAT?!?

From a branding point of view, I think it’s a huge error. Cracker Jack’s whole brand is built around nostalgia, Americana, baseball, and that unforgettable jingle.

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Demographics/Psychographics, Diversity, General Commentary, Marketing Trends/News, Shel's Personal Life Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

China and Westernization/Modernization

One of the West’s more obvious exports to China is status consciousness…In Shanghai, I saw a Ferrari, three Porsches, numerous Audis and Mercedes, a few Range Rovers, and several other luxury/sports cars I couldn’t identify.

Posted in Abundance and Prosperity, Advertising, Demographics/Psychographics, Energy & Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, poverty, Psychology, travel Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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