Words

Effective outdoor advertising: the art of constraint

Alright, I’ll say it – this story on creating effective outdoor advertising is entirely self-serving. I’m writing it is because a partner and I are launching a new outdoor ad offering, putting ads on vending machines. These ads, by their nature, demand a disciplined, stripped back approach to stand out. Enough with the mea culpa

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Pushing past your comfort zone: my University of Adversity interview

My journey through the world of marketing has had its fair share of ups, downs, goods, bads and uglies. So when University of Adversity podcast host Lance Essihos dialled me up to relate my stories to his audience, I happily obliged. Our little chat covered a lot of ground. From getting my start as a

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Does your marketing need skunk works?

Every job becomes mundane and routine if you do it long enough – marketing is no exception. The problem is, marketing is about disruption. Standing out in a crowded field by zigging when everyone zags. In marketing, settling for the same-old-same-old is the kiss of death. Breaking out of lockstep, however, can be challenging –

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Diversity and inclusivity marketing? Advice from a sustainability veteran.

Diversity and inclusivity are very much in the marketing news. For a start, the UK just implemented a ruling banning ads that portray gender stereotypes – something I was invited on talk radio to discuss (you can check out the recording here). But it’s not just a UK thing. The recent Cannes ad festival was

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The best video introduction ever

A video introduction to a piece of thought leadership is a deceptively tricky thing to get right. Or so I discovered a few weeks ago. A client of mine was launching a series of educational modules aimed at school administrators and teachers. Each module needed a video introduction from the course founders. They approached me

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What’s in this coffee? The unlikely rise of McDonald’s brand brew.

The other day, I was strolling through Costco, and saw McDonald’s brand coffee pods on sale. I was amazed – not so long ago, I was working on the McDonald’s account as a creative director and writer, and the coffee was our Achilles’ Heel. How did they do it? I mean, people were now not

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Your most powerful marketing tool is the humble testimonial video

Nobody wants to buy what you’re pitching. It’s simple psychology. You’re making a pitch. Thus, you have a vested interest that makes your pitch partisan, and your audience cynical. But what happens when one consumer tells another your product really is that good? Money. In my opinion, nothing does the job better than simple testimonial

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The trouble with origin storytelling? The origin.

Storytelling is de rigueur in marketing today. And origin stories (those describing a founder’s or product’s origin and journey to success) are the most popular of the genre. There is an awesome power in stories, as anyone who has watched good business pitches can attest. As humans, we’re far better at remembering tales than facts.

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