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Category Archives: Words and writing

Why Cadillac “Dare Greatly” campaign doesn’t

While many brands made a political statement with ads on the 2017 Super Bowl, Cadillac saved theirs for the (surprisingly non-political) Academy Awards telecast. “We are a nation divided. That’s what they tell us, right?” the ad begins. “But what they don’t tell you, what doesn’t make the news, is this: We carry each other forward.” […]

Super Bowl FSIs (2017 edition): it’s a home run! Oh, wait…

  It’s been a full two years since we checked in on the newspaper supplement coupons that appear the Sunday before the Super Bowl, wherein advertisers contort themselves to refer to the event without using the actual name, which is licensed and which license is heavily enforced. The world has gone through painful gyrations in […]

Lessons not learned in 2016

Brexit and Donald Trump’s election were, according to fivethirtyeight.com, well within the margin of error in polling predictions and so were shocking only because people were mentally and emotionally incapable of thinking these events would take place. This made me think of some experiences with focus groups and direct mail back in the days when […]

Attend a “Creative Town Hall Meeting” in Monday afternoon Ignition Session on October 17

Are you coming to the DMA’s annual conference in Los Angeles next week? Then make plans to attend my Ignition session, “The Devil in the Details,” at 4 pm on Monday the 17th. It promises to be a repeat of a highly successful and well-attended session last year in which creatives shared their pet peeves […]

Should you care about email marketing?

Somehow email marketing has become the red headed stepchild of promotion channels. It’s not as pervasive as Facebook, immediate as Twitter or insidious as native advertising. And it’s all too easy to take email for granted and put it on autopilot with a management tool like Eloqua or Pardot. So email gets short shrift in planning […]

Copywriters! Learn how to write your own creative brief!

Blurbage in an email from Writer’s Digest, selling a copywriting course from their partner AWAI: “Learn how to generate a professional Creative Brief, write headlines and tag lines that sell, apply emotional techniques to persuade an audience, find and secure work as a copywriter, and more in the Breaking Into Copywriting writing course.” As readers […]

Copywriters, the end is near

I was paying my quarterly visit to a client when the online marketing manager mentioned he needed quite a few SEO articles written. I asked if I could help. No need, he said, I’ll just order them on TextBroker for ten cents a word and run them through copycheck to be sure they weren’t plagiarized. […]

DMA &Then 2016… I’ll be back

I’ve been asked to repeat my Ignition session at this year’s annual Direct Marketing Association conference, which will take place in Los Angeles. My slot is Monday October 17, 4:00-4:45 PM. Titled (for legacy reasons too complex to go into here) “Devilish Details: Looking for an Advantage in Your Copy and Design”, it’s essentially an […]

Then and now: Planned Giving with the Salvation Army

25 years ago I wrote a planned giving direct mail program for the Salvation Army. I recently received the current rendition of the same ask, and it was fascinating to see what has changed and what hasn’t. I’ve reproduced the letters from the two packages, which contain the key message, and you can read them […]

Standing up to the Department of No

Not to get overly sentimental, but as a marketer you’re one of the good guys. By selling more products or services, you help create and maintain jobs. To the extent that they are of good quality, you may even be changing lives for the better by introducing people to your offerings. Suppose there was a […]

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