Tuesday, January 16

Brita's New Year, New You!

This isn't the first collaboration between Stephen Curry (of the Golden State Warriors) and Brita (the water filtration brand), as part of its "Make Every Drop Amazing" campaign. In fact, it debuted a few  years ago with this little piece of work...among other things:

"Make every drop amazing," indeed.

Well this time around in the spirit of New Year's resolutions, Stephen Curry is back with YouTube sensation Rudy Mancuso to spread the word again. It's pretty inspiring...New Year, New You:

"You are what you drink!" And that is for sure! Happy New Year!

What's your experience? JIM

H&M’s Hoodie Ad Ignites Outrage

At first I wasn't going to write about this debacle because I honestly didn't want to give it any ink. It troubled me so much that I literally didn't even want to write about it. I kept going back and forth in my mind on how it could have happened, if it was done purposefully, or if it was a mistake made by someone who just had no idea that it was offensive.

I kept asking myself, “But how could something like THIS happen?”

If you don't know the details, the fashion retailer H&M ran an ad in the UK with this image:

Social media lit up almost instantly, and H&M quickly apologized and pulled the ad. Their response was quite quick and gracious, but in no way explained the whats or the whys. 

Why I have ultimately decided to write about this is what has been continually happening as the anger continues to mount against H&M. Racks of clothing have been turned over and protestors have gathered in front of the stores in massive amounts. So much so that in South Africa, the company had to close all of its stores. And in what is becoming a bit more common, politics and the government are voicing their views...the Opposition Party has made this issue one of their major statements. 

Governments affecting brands and vice versa. People voicing their views and holding brands accountable. The effects of a brand’s marketing having negative impact on the brand's business.

This is what happens now if a brand isn't extremely careful and conscious of its actions. And we all need to learn from it.

And we have to keep asking, “But how could THIS happen?” We need to learn from it so that it doesn’t happen again.

What's your experience? JIM

Monday, January 15

My Thoughts from CES 2018

(this post also appears on HuffPost - click here to read it there)

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas finished up on Friday and although I didn’t attend this year (I’ve been many years prior), I did follow it on my social feeds and the news. It’s always super exciting to see what’s developing in tech that we know will have profound impact on our lives.

Of course “Home” was the battle ground between Amazon and Google, each fighting for attention with their voice-activated systems. Not sure who won, except for all of us who benefit from the innovations.

Cars were also another battle ground, but what I found even more interesting was the non-auto applications of driver-less operations. Like retail. We saw what is likely the first driver-less mobile store. Brilliant. And driver-less scooters, bikes, and other types of non-auto transport.

Of course wearables have been the talk of CES for a few years now, I even introduced one a couple of years ago at CES for one of our clients. But this year we saw a turn of the tides IMO. Wearables are becoming less “all in one” and more compartmentalized for specific issues. The Apple Watch isn’t necessarily going to do it all. But specific wearables for specific issues, particularly in health seem to be a trend. And it seems like the cure to the opioid crisis might come in the form of Augmented Reality rather than in another pill.

While it might seem small, the biggest innovation I read about involves getting rid of all our wires. Sure we’ve all got wireless ear buds now, but we’re still contending with charging wires and cords. If you travel like I do, then you know that cord and charger management is a big time suck. And they’re a pain in the neck to pack. And carry. Now while we’re not there yet, this year’s CES gave us hope that being totally wireless is in our very near future. Soon we’ll be able to pack up our cords and toss them. How on earth will Apple replace that revenue stream?

What’s my overall impression of CES this year? Beside seer excitement for the technology that’s continually improving our lives, I think I realized (once again) that every company and every brand is really a tech brand even if it doesn’t appear to be that way on the surface. Technology has invaded every aspect of our lives and any brand who’s looking to connect with consumers need to use technology to do so, and needs to use technology to continually improve its offering. Every brand is a tech brand!

What did you see or read about from CES? What’s your experience? JIM

Friday, January 12

New Diet Coke Packaging

Someone’s starting the new year off with a bang...actually one massively iconic brand is starting the this new year off with a BAM!

Diet Coke. BAM! This has to be the biggest change to Diet Coke since its inception decades ago.

I’m old enough to remember Diet Coke coming into play...DIET? WHAT? It almost instantly made what was then the cool brand TaB seem so...yesterday. And TaB was also from Coca Cola. If you’re too young to remember TaB (cap B and all), here’s a link to a history lesson.

Through the years we've seen many changes to Diet Coke, most pretty subtle in the scheme of things especially when compared to what's going on now on the brand. With a fresh start for 2018 though, Diet Coke just launched its most radical packaging change ever (to my eye any way).


Sleek new, taller (skinnier) packaging ala Red Bull. Colorful graphic design ala, I don't know, the current look in beverage design with a rainbow like Skittles. Makes for a very contemporary look, and NOT very Diet Coke. Very not DIET! With a new lineup of new flavor combinations that make what feels like a buffet of Diet Coke that doesn't seem very Diet Coke at all.


And if what I've read about it is accurate, that's exactly the point. Beverage sales in this portion of the beverage category have not exactly been growing, while other parts have. Younger consumers are going elsewhere, so of course Diet Coke is going to try to reinvent to bring them back.

But don't worry, if you simply just can't live without the traditional can...you can still get that shape too. I would imagine this makes for tricky merchandising on the store shelf and refrigerator case, but alas that's what change brings.

Funny how when you just look at the original flavor in contrast with the original can shape, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. But lined up with all the flavors and BAM! you have a big change.

As a big brand fan I'm in. As a marketer, I love to see continual reinvention and this is a pretty big one. It'll be interesting to see how it plays in the marketplace.

What's your experience? JIM.