Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Play it loud. Bob James. "Farandole" Also great music (McCann) for a Buick ad. Also great music for a hip hop remix.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Scatterlings of Africa - Juluka

Some of my favorite world music. Scatterlings of Africa. Johnny Clegg. Juluka. Hope you like it.

Why I Like Barak Obama

I like Barak Obama, or Barry Obama as El Rushmo called him this morning, because he speaks well. But not only does he speak well. If you've ever been responsible for leading others in an endeavor or organization you'll recognize that the words used come from an inherent understanding and regular application of concepts such as Integrity, Accountability and Responsibility according to the John Maxwell School of Leadership Development. It is the best embracing a simple philosophy, "When you help other people get what they want, you get what you want." The implication being that Barak Obama will do the right thing when no one is looking. That reflects character. HC has simply yet to realize that there is no 'I' in team. BO is a team and consensus builder.

Calle & Company launches new smoking cessation plan.

Are you interested in quitting smoking? Forget all the patches. Forget all the plans. Quit smoking the way I quit smoking. Go out and try to run a quarter mile. You'll cough up a lung and "the burn" in your chest will certainly convince you that you are doing something you need to quit.

Obese? Stop suing people like McDonald's. The truth is, Americans simply no longer labor manually. Go out with a shovel and start shoveling sand, or digging holes. I found that several weekends of over turning 12 inches of earth in every garden in my yard not only stimulated a healthy appetite for "good food," it trimmed inches from my waistline, added strength and muscle definition and I slept a lot better at night too. A good physical workout cleared the mind and helped melt away worries and put them in perspective.

You have the power. Stop blaming other peole and stop looking for excuses. Get a checkup with your doctor and get to work.

Go Read Sanjay Dalal's The Innovation Index Blog

Sanjay Dalal's The Innovation Index Blog is a damn fine read. Sanjay Dalal is a product marketing leader and entrepreneur. I would add Sanjay to your blog roll today. http://creativityandinnovation.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 25, 2008

Initiative Wins Cadbury Schweppes $150M Media Account

And this time next year no one will still want to buy the company. There's no one there able to resuurect consumer demand for carbonated beverages and the company cancelled appointments with consultants identifying future consumption drivers in soft drinks, waters, teas and coffees.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

WhY aDveRtSinG Doesn't Work

Advertising doesn't work because once you've seen it, it's a rerun.

That's contrary to doctrine which states the greater the number of impressions the more successful you will become.


If you want to learn how to bridge the gap you know what to do. Drop me an email or leave a comment.

Best Tag Line or Sound Bite of the Day

Barak Obama on Hillary Clinton in an ad supporting his run in the South Carolina Primary.

"Hillary Clinton. She'll say anything and change nothing."

And isn't that the truth with politicians? They are chameleons. They've shaken enough hands to be able to mirror and relate to anyone - like door-to-door salesmen. They are sales people. They tell you what you want to hear. Or say nothing at all while making you laugh because they know that if they can get you to smile they're halfway to making a close. No one buys anything when they are not in a good mood. But Hillary wants to be President too much. She has lost the indifference that is a component of trustworthy character. There is to much "I" in her pitch which means she will find it difficult down the road to build relationships and consider others in her deliberations. That is not a leader. Read John Maxwell, Chapter on Leadership entitled "The Law of EF Hutton" on how to determine who the real leaders are in any group.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Vote for President - American Idol Style

I am tired of the way politicians run the way we elect a president. Wait, you thought you had a say in all this?!

I'm tired of the Obama/Clinton and bystanders dog and pony show. Meaningless drivel. Debates. Ha. It's like watching Judge Judy or The People's Court! Election debates, like advertising in America has fallen to the level of the people who watch it, which is why we click through it. You'd have to have a pretty simple mind, or a Family Guy/Simpson's mind to believe that the orchestrated "electiontainment" we view on TV actually constitutes meaningful discourse on which we make decisions. Back up. Remember. Americans don't make decisions. We don't make choices. We are not proactive. We are reactive, and let things like George Bush, Bill Clinton, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton happen to us. Like Zig Ziglar says. Americans don't make choices. "We get up everyday no closer to hitting goals we never set for ourselves in the first place." Then we protect the candidate we believe should be the next President. Get real. Voting for next President of the United States has become something akin to going door-to-door soliciting small B2B accounts for Staples or Office Depot. As soon as you walk in the receptionists say, "No thank you. The bosses like Office Depot and I know they don't want to change." What? You think all these guys woke up this morning with the first conscious thought on their mind being, "Today I am going to defend my current office supply company to the death.!?" They just don't like you. And our choice in candidates is not a choice. It is the lesser of two evils. They are not leaders and most of us pick a candidate based upon who we think will do the least additional harm. Leader of the free world. Not. Presidents should be picked under the criteria "Entertainer of the Year.

We should do away with the electoral college, primaries and caucus states as they bear little resembalence to the popular vote. Bush lost the popular vote. Instead, think more in terms of voting on American Idol. Lets just have the candidates perform over a sixteen episode season and America can text in the winners of each week's competition. Then again, would Taylor Hicks be better? Doughtry seemed to do OK. Let's call the show American President. Anyone in Hollywood want to help me produce the show with Simon Cowel as one of the judges? Who cares how old the voters are who text in. We have adults voting now and we pick crappy Presidents.

Monday, January 21, 2008

What comes after the iPhone

Do you want to give Steve Jobs your inner thoughts? It's a little bit more than user-generated input. Hypothetical reports out of Apple/Mac headquarters is that uber inventor Steve Jobs is at work on the iMind. Instead of talking into the phone you hold it to your forehead and it reads your thoughts. True or False?


Jack Loechner, writer from The Center for Media Research posted a research brief saying that rising gas prices are changing consumer habits. I live in a rather affluent community where some drivers continue to pay a premium to have gas station attendants pump the gas for you. One station posted a sign offering “PUMP YOUR OWN GAS CLASSES.”

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The 3 Innovations

I have been asked by a prestigious MBA School's professor to proof an advanced copy of his book. And while the author does an excellent job of describing the problems and symptoms, he like others are yet to tell you "how to do it."

There are three Innovations in Business.

1) Technological Innovation, typically patent driven, which is why companies grow in fits and starts and breakthroughs are fewer and farther between;

2) Product Design Innovation which more often than not is practiced simply by making the old look new - i.e. turning mops into Swiffers - which is easy to copy and does not sell an incrementally greater number of redesigned mops;

3) and the most underutilized and least understood Innovation

Perceptual Innovation® leading to Perceptual Monopolies® that enable companies to:

A) Leapfrog competitors with ideas that change thinking rather than changing things with expensive and risky capital technology investment;

B) Change consumer habits and practices;

C) Reverse the effects of mature product and category (or industry lifecycles - every company's challenge in fast track consumer packaged goods categories and automobiles);

D) And, if you're a company such as Starbucks, Chrysler, GM, Ford or Home Depot desperately in the need - turn mature earnings companies back into rapid growth businesses.

This all speaks to C-level execs who are the leaders in charge of innovation driving the growth of their company. It sure isn't Chuck in product design or Larry in manufacturing/R&D.

We have a process that will readily identify the Perceptual Monopolies® you desire, if you have a competition in you that does not want to see others (rivals and competitive brands) succeed - work that also enables you to point your company's future development of technologies in the proper direction.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Why ads don't work

You know. I had a new guy visit my site who just started his own blog. His name and site is http://danielhonigman.com/

I visited his site and found that his post dealt with an ad he saw and on which he speaks on why he wonders why the ads he sees don't work. I had to post him back....

No Danman10019. You're correct. Ads today have lost site of the goal of actually getting someone to get up and go do something. They are made more in the mold of, "if you throw enough shit against the glass some of it might stick."

There has been a dramatic abscence in "calls to action" or "reasons-for-being" in ads over the last 25 years, - the things that give ads traction - coincidentally coinciding with a decline of importance of "positioning" in the minds of marketers. Oh sure, Cadillac has a "positioning" - it lives in the luxury high price quadrant versus Chevy's family/value quadrant at GM. The only problem is that these "positionings" do nothing to drive breakthrough creative or innovative Perceptual Innovations or Perceptual Monopolies that cause consumers to get up and go spend their money with Cadillac versus the likes of a Lexus or Audi that instant. Just puting mid life good looking models getting out of Cadillacs with tag lines that say, "Life. Liberty and the Pursuit" just don't cut it motivationally. They have all the pieces - they know who their buyers are - the strivers, the alpha men and women - GM and its agencies just don't know how to put them together. Please delve into this subject further. You are on the right track. For more about the auto industry also visit Crubs & Fents at http://crubsandfents.wordpress.com
The ads you see are the way they are, because the people who make the ads have grown up in an environment where the ads they make are much like the ads they've seen. Same goes with their teachers in MBA schools. Therefore, they believe they are correct. As the saying goes, "average has gotten so bad that you can go to the head of the class just by showing up."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Disposable Car Hits The Streets

Now why couldn't General Motors do this? It wasn't very long ago that I proposed General Motors create this product using distribution via Costco and similar as part of a forward looking strategy assignment. It's what Al Ries would call a (dealership) category killer. At $2,500 who needs service? If it breaks or needs new tires, I'll just get another one. This one is a dealership killer. You don't need dealers to sell disposable cars - or what affluent Americans perceive as disposable cars.

Tata Motor's new $2,500 four-door subcompact — the world's cheapest car — may yield a transportation revolution with as great an impact as Henry Ford's Model T, which rolled off an assembly line one century ago.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Starbucks Slows Ship, Begins Return To Safer Harbor

MarketingPost's Marketing Daily reports on a slide that began with the introduction of Starbuck's "Milder Dimensions". Even the name was prophetic of the company's future performance. I hope Howard Schultz gets back to the basics of just being some things to some people instead of trying to be more things to all people to restore his brand's equity and consumer's allegiance. Like I always said, "If I's ever wanted Milder Dimensions I would have gone to the grocery store and gotten some Maxwell House." But I didn't. I went to Starbucks because I liked good, dark, strong coffee. If I smoked cigarettes, it would be the equivalent of a filterless Lucky Strike or Chesterfield.

User-generated ads not the same as "Consumer-Creativity"

I went fishing and found good posts and new blogs with stimulating content today. The first was Jake Fields 2.0 and the blog of a company called Motive Interactive. Think I'll ad them to my blog roll. Jake posts about Al Gore delving into user generated ads. Most advertisers have tried this assuming that user generated ads are the same as what I market as "consumer creativity" However, as you well know, "when you assume, you make an ass of you and me."

When users create their own ads, or when marketers ask consumers questions so that marketers can create consumer ads - respondents and contributors (one in the same) can not respond beyond the scope of their current experience. As a result everone converges on the same position, merely saying the same things differently. So everything becomes a commodity, and boring, quickly. Impact nill though participation is high.

"Consumer-creativity" happens when you stimulate consumer minds with materials that cause them to first look at things in new ways beyond their experience. Then their answers hasten innovation, advancement and interest.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I am scared because election of any of the current presidential candidates will leave America leaderless. Clinton just wants the position so that she can say she was president - and succumbs to what John Maxwell calls "The Myth of Position"; Obama is nothing more than a Kennedy-esque charisma kid - no one knows how he'll react under real pressure - he might choke; Huckabee? Who wants an over sized Mr. Rogers for President - and that guitar playing pandering in NH!!??? McCain is probably the most poitically saavy but too much of a technocrat...but he most likely would keep the wheels on the bus...if only he could reduce the price of gas...and so on

Friday, January 04, 2008

Presidential Candidate Make Overs

With the 2008 Iowa caucus behind us it's obvious some candidates require an extreme makeover. Why? Because it is ashame that one would lose the election simply by sticking to the wrong positioning strategy.

For example, by sticking to a "competency" strategy, Hillary Clinton placed third. Why? Because no one believes any politician is "competent." The premise is not believable. Additionally, her post caucus speech was a disaster. Every person behind her on the podium looked like a geek and the lighting and colors were dead and washed out. Very poor, not vibrant or inspiring production values. Her mom looked like a troll and husband Bill just stood there with his mouth gaping open. She needs to find a better stage manager and a positioning "selling dimension" more resonant with voters. She needs to move to "self-sufficiency" if she's going to keep saying, "I, I, I" and move away from Bill and Politics to let the Hillary come through.

McCain just needs an extreme makeover. Sure the guy's competent, but the look is uninspiring. Grey hair, bad teeth, bad makeup, beady eyes and ill-fitting Jos E. Banks suits make him seem distant and not presedential. Get the grecian formula going a la Jay Leno (some grey adds distiction), dark earth tone mock turtle necks and leather jackets would place him more in the credible realm of fatherly FDR and Tiger Woods authenticity - a winner. Voice coaching to get the voice down and too speak more slowly - as if every word required more thought rather than seeming as if he's too ready (hence not trustworthy) with the answers.

And of course we have George Bush to thank for enabling almost anyone who speaks well in public, like Barack Obama, to gain our confidence. He's just good to listen to. I keep listening for him to slip into some Jesse Jackson over-pronounciations, but he always falls back just in time to keep it all Bryant Gumble correct with the slightest investment of Dr. Martin Luther King's passions - gotta keep it mainstream folks. He's as magnetic as Kennedy and I hope no one takes a shot at him. His post caucus staging was flawless compared to Hillary Clinton's. Close ups were good. Production values and staging were bright and the people behind him on the stage were bright, Chuck Norris no less. He's got the guys at Industrial Light and Magic in his corner for sure.

Huckabee just needs to keep up that genuine Arnold Palmer schtick. Less wife and living in a trailer stories though. Put a little Regan pizzazz in the punch. Be seen with the Trump.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Advertising is supposed to be about the signs of our times. But our times are so screwed up.

How to Cure 2007's Brand Hangover

No. The basics are not the most important marketing trend to pursue in 2008. Sticking to “the basics” is why McKinsey & Company reports that “despite solid balance sheets and healthy bottom lines the consumer packaged goods industry has lost much of its glow and executives within wonder where their growth will come from.”

Being “esoteric” is the most important trend to watch in 2008 according to Martin Calle, Chief Economic Strategist for new product and product positioning expert Calle & Company. “You have to get lost to find things that don’t want to be found - such as meaningful consumer insights that can turn mature earnings businesses back into rapid growth companies.” “Abstract Dimensioning is the thought and idea leadership process that can lead you to and sustain double and triple digit growth in mature commodity categories,” according to Martin Calle.

The definition of insanity in 2008 would be to continue doing the things you did, or planned to do in 2007 and expect different results.