Urban Outfitters Marketing Fail of the Year


Retail chain Urban Outfitters recently debuted a sweatshirt that was no ordinary sweatshirt. The $129 shirt was printed with the Kent State University logo and various holes surrounded by what looked like blood splatter. The obvious reference was to the deaths of four Kent State University students and the wounding of nine by nervous and unprepared soldiers from the Ohio National Guard during a protest in 1970. Granted, most

Mastering Media Is Knowing What Each Platform Does Best


Too many people use media randomly, with no real strategic vision. Perhaps a friend recommended local TV, or a board member suggested billboards, or a church youth director likes social media. All these platforms and others are important, but they question is: Why? While I could write many books on the subject, here’s a short list of what differentiates some of the major media platforms:

Does Your Advertising Betray You?

Happy Nerdy 60s Game Show Host Giving 2 Thumbs Up

Advertising and marketing are about promotion, and promotion is about making you, your organization, or product look interesting, enticing, and simply terrific. But far too often, we’re not as strategic about our advertising as we should be, and as a result, our feeble attempts at promotion end up backfiring. Sometimes it’s just not paying attention like this auto repair shop:

Four Reasons Your Brainstorming Sessions Aren’t Successful


After the previous post about why brainstorming doesn’t work for many people, I received a number of comments from people who like to do it, but don’t get good results.  If you’re a brainstorming person, and the method works for you, here are four keys that might make it more productive.  By bringing multiple perspectives to the table, your team gains insight you might never have considered, plus you’re adding years of experience to solving the creative problem. But most brainstorming sessions don’t yield much – or fail completely. If that’s your problem, here’s four key reasons you’re not getting more from your creative team:

Does Brainstorming Really Work?


Everyone talks about “brainstorming,” and for most of us, it’s a normal part of the creative process.  But for years, I’ve had my suspicions about brainstorming because honestly, it rarely works for me.  Keep in mind that I’m a writer, so sitting in an empty room with nothing but my laptop is pretty close to heaven.  But at the same time, I love being around people – especially when it comes to making projects happen.  But in the cold, hard light of day – when it comes to generating ideas, I get a lot more done by myself than with a team.  This short video captures why.  Take a look and then tell me about your creative approach, and whether brainstorming is the big deal it’s supposed to be:

Let’s Take the Poo to the Loo


You may have missed this timely statistic, but India has the highest ‘open defecation’ rate in the world. As the British Telegraph reports, “With 620 million people creating 65 million kilograms of open waste each day. Only half of its population use toilets at all.” To answer that challenge, UNICEF has launched a new campaign called “Let’s Take the Poo to the Loo” – or more formally, the “Poo To Loo Initiative.” As the Telegraph describes it:

ExFEARiential: The End of Branding?


Although this promo video from John St. Advertising Agency in Toronto is a parody, it points to the ridiculous extremes we’ve gone to when it comes to branding.   From a religious perspective, when I wrote my original book “Branding Faith” it was a dirty word inside church and ministry circles and the concept was rarely mentioned by pastors, leaders, or church members.  A number of years later when I updated and revised the book to “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media”, I noticed there are