Friday, December 19

My Favorite Blog Posts of 2014

I wrote over 200 blog posts this year, and as the saying goes...I love each of my children equally!

As I reflect back on the year, there are a few topics that stand out as my favorite blog posts of the year.

10:  NYC Dads Group:  Such a great experience...more to come on this front!

9:  Come in Through the Front Door:  A lesson in perceptions and a lesson in priorities.

8:  Brands Defending Their Customers:  Brands show their human side and their humanity.

7:  Outdated "Gay" Terms:  We've come a long way, baby.

6:  Lessons Learned from Joan Rivers:  I still miss her.

5:  HelloFlo.  The brand example I've cited most this year.

4:  Lock the Back Door:  Life in the empty nest.

3:  #HowToDad:  Yup, they got it.

2:  Beauty is Earned.  Profound.

1:  A Tribute to Sophie:  Sigh.

All the ups and downs and everything in between.

Happy New Year!  What's your experience?  JIM

Top Marketing Moments of 2014

Marketing is a spectator sport, and there was a lot to see this year!

Here's my annual countdown of the top marketing moments of the year...a review of the brands that had us all talking, engaging, sharing, and hopefully buying.

10:  Share a Coke:  The promotion of the summer. Even I got a kick out of it when someone gave me a "Dad."

9:  Perfect Brackets:  Turned out to be a safe bet during March Madness.

8:  A Gay CEO:  Apple CEO comes out, and so does Apple.

7:  Jimmy Fallon:  It's all about the video, baby.

6:  Brands for Sale at P&G:  One man's trash is another man's treasure.

5:  The NFL and CoverGirl:  When one brand's crisis becomes another brand's problem too.

4:  Barbie in Sports Illustrated:  Yet another milestone for this brand icon.

3:  #LikeAGirl:  Putting a spotlight on gender perceptions.

2:  The Ice Bucket Challenge:  While I'll admit I didn't get it and I didn't do it, I'll also admit that I'm in the minority.

1:  The World Cup:  Has soccer finally made it in the US?

Anything you'd like to add? What's your experience?  JIM.

Geico Push It

We seem to be inundated with "sequels" in advertising lately...campaigns that flow from one to another, trying to borrow a winning formula from a previous execution.

But like I mentioned with the Kmart holiday work, sequels rarely match up to the original. And I'm afraid that's the case with the new Geico "Push It" campaign.

I've gotten a bunch of posts telling me, "I don't get it." I don't either.

It's sort of sad because Geico has built a (marketing) reputation for creating really engaging campaigns that extend beyond advertising, pushing into our pop culture. "Push It" doesn't do that I'm afraid.

People tell me that they don't know what it does. Well one thing, here we are talking about it.

Take a look:

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

Thursday, December 18

Electronic Holiday Cards

(this article also appears on Huffington Post -- click here if you prefer to read it there)

'Tis the season to exchange greetings...and for me it's one of the best parts of the celebration.

As the world has gone digital, so too have holiday greetings. And I'm okay with that, particularly in business. My inbox is flooded with electronic cards wishing us well, from colleagues I know well to those who I've just recently just met. It's a lot of fun to see what people can do creatively in the electronic business.

For work, the electronic greeting card makes a lot of sense...especially for those of us who travel or are not in the office all of the time.

But I have to admit that I feel very differently about the personal side of holiday greetings. I have to be honest and say that I don't really like electronic greetings from family and friends. Sure, I'll take them and I will open them and I am thankful to hear from everyone...but I don't enjoy them as much as the ones that I get to open in the snail mail.

Especially the ones that have pictures of the family.

Maybe I'm old fashioned that way. For years, I agonized and sweat-ed out the details to put together our holiday card with a picture of the kids. It was a lot of work getting the right photo, getting it printed, signing each one, addressing the envelopes, and yes licking the stamps.  Licking! I was so happy when I could switch to the self-adhesive variety.

Which is why I appreciated each and every card that I received as well. Especially the ones that were hand signed.

Now those days are over for me...the kids are grown up and they'd kill me if I asked them to do a holiday card. But that doesn't mean I don't want to receive and see the ones from my friends. Bring it on! 

I toiled for twenty years dishing those puppies out, and I want to see yours! The old fashioned way, if you are up for it.

I want to get paper cuts as I open the envelopes. I want to chuckle as I read your type-written year-end recaps.  And I want to marvel at how much your kids have grown in the past year.

Please don't send that to me electronically. They pile up in my inbox right along side the rest of my to-do list. Don't take that thrill of the mail box away from me.

It's the holidays! It's tradition!

And I guess it's now up to me to reinvent my holiday card, from the empty nest!

What's your experience?  JIM.