Friday, February 27

2D SWOT Analysis

I've been writing a continuing series of articles at Entrepreneur about how to write an annual marketing plan.

This week is about the classic SWOT analysis...with a twist.

Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, February 26

Dodge Wisdom

My daughter sent me a text the other day, asking if I'd seen the new commercial from Dodge that features the people over 100 years old. She's a senior at Penn State and I'm a lucky dad because she actually pays attention to what I do for a living!

"Yes," I replied, "it's from the Super Bowl." Truthfully, I had forgotten about it and never even covered it in any of my Super Bowl recaps. I guess it fell under the radar for me.

But not for her, and it took me a bit by surprise.

I would have assumed that the spot was attempting to reach an older demographic. Perhaps not centurions, but certainly the younger baby boomers and Gen Xers. I think I may have been wrong.

I think perhaps the spot was targeting Millennials. We know they respect those that came before them, and have a much smaller generation gap then those older. I've experienced that myself with my two millennial children.

Perhaps the "wisdom" being extolled in the copy is for the newest generation to enter the workforce and hit the roads. Perhaps this was aimed at them.


100 years of #DodgeWisdom. Indeed.

What do you think? What's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, February 25

Fashion Statements from the Oscars


Let's face it...the Oscars are just as much about the fashion as they are about the awards. Many a trend has been launched at the Oscars.

I'm not sure that there was much new this year, but there were certainly a few "looks" that got cemented into pop culture that I think we'll see for a few fashion seasons to come. And just a few weeks after Fashion Week here in NY, it's fun to see the looks in action.

Statement necklaces. This is not the first night we've seen big, chunky neck-wear...but Cate and Scarlet made wearing them a trend that will hang around.


Short hair. Thank you, Julie Andrews, for making short hair forever chic, inspiring those after you to model the look.


The red dress. The red carpet must have been seeing red this year...it was the color of the season. Very Hollywood.


The tuxedo. With multiple costume changes, Neil Patrick Harris ushered in the dual-color, dual-texture tuxedo. I went out and bought a pair of tuxedo pants myself after seeing his combinations.


No rocket surgery here. Just a solidification of what we've already been seeing. Conservative? Maybe. Wearable? Definitively.

What's your experience? JIM.


Tuesday, February 24

Oscar Night Acceptance Speeches




For the last several years, and maybe even my entire adult life, I've been complaining about acceptance speeches at awards ceremonies...particularly the Oscars.

The winners are huge pop culture icons, snagging the award of their lifetime...with a global platform for three minutes to actually say something important.

To be honest, most of the time the winners drone on and on trying to thank everyone on their mental list. The really awful ones actually pull out a folded piece of paper. C'mon, you're are actors...you know what to do when you are in the spotlight.

Sure, there have been some highlights through the years. Like Tom Hanks when he won for Philadelphia, bringing overnight empathy to the AIDS crisis when very few were acknowledging it. Last year, Jared Leto stole the show early in the night with his moving acceptance speech honoring both his mom and the transgender population. Very few followed suit.

Which is why when Patricia Arquette spoke about wage equality when she won Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood, I wasn't holding my breathe for any more inspiration. She said it well, I will say that, and completely understood the power she possessed for those three minutes. But I thought that might be it.

It turns out that she set a trend.

We finally finally finally had a number of acceptance speeches that tackled cultural issues that we are facing. Finally the acceptance speeches reflected us and what we are all going through, collectively.

Like when John Legend and Common won for their song from Selma. They didn't waste their time thanking all of the musicians...I'm sure that they've already done that. They took the stage and sent us a message about justice and equality. Unbelievably articulate and inspiring.

Then we got a surprise from Graham Moore, when he won for Best Screenplay. He bravely admitted that he had once attempted suicide, and encouraged us all to "stay weird." Look how far he has come...look how far any of us have come. Brave indeed.

I just knew in my heart of hearts that Julianne Moore would win for Best Actress...it was her turn IMHO. While her speech did get admittedly jumbled, she spoke brilliantly about understanding Alzheimer's disease, as portrayed by her role in Still Alice. A very misunderstood disease that needs a little more understanding. Ok, a lot more understanding but it's time like these that propel us forward. Thank you.

So sure, the opening number from NPH was fantastic and the musical numbers were breathtaking (not a dry eye in the house after Legend/Common), but it was the string of acceptance speeches that left me inspired.

Just as they should. What's your experience? JIM.