Thursday, May 26

Fun For The Whole Family

Good marketing is about good targeting...picking the right audience, getting to know them really well, and then connecting with them in their lives.

Good marketing means not being everything to everyone.

Which is why "fun for the whole family" doesn't apply.

Click here to read my latest article at Entrepreneur, where I explain why.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Wednesday, May 25

Dead Pool - Cancer Sucks

I finally got a chance to watch Dead Pool on a flight to Asia recently. Flight time is the only time I get to catch up on pop culture these days!

I'd been looking forward to seeing the movie mostly because it seemed like it was going to be different...not your typical action-adventure super-hero kinda movie. And Ryan Reynolds certainly seems to be in his sweet spot right now.

I was right.

But I had no idea how sophisticated the humor would be. Loved that part. But what struck me more than anything was the plot line around cancer, and surviving cancer, and dealing with the side effects of cancer. I didn't know any of that going in.

Cancer sucks. Almost all of us know this to be true because most of us have faced it personally either with our own bodies or those of a loved one. Cancer sucks. I've also worked on many an oncology drug/treatment in my professional life as well. Cancer sucks.

I was amazed how they treated the topic in an action-adventure super-hero movie. Not sure if it's the first time ever done, but it was done well IMHO. And it gave us another way to connect with the character and to have the movie resonate on some level to our own lives.

Even super-heroes have to deal with cancer.

Well done.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Tuesday, May 24

Pride in the US Young Lions

The U.S. delegation for the Cannes Young Lions contest is getting announced this week. How exciting! During the judging, I was amazed at the level of preparedness and presentation....and a few other things too.

So I wanted to capture my thoughts on our agency's blog...Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience?  JIM

Monday, May 23

The Evolution of Justin Beiber

Never really thought I'd be caught writing about Justin Beiber...but I do say that anything and everything can be a brand. Including Justin Beiber.

So here's an article from CNBC about Mr. Beiber, and the evolution of his brand. I helped contribute to the thinking, which was actually a lot of fun.

Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM.

Friday, May 20

Snickers Not Itself

I love when a brand doesn't take itself too seriously...and continues a successful campaign at the same time!

The integrated campaign "You're Not Yourself" from Snickers has been running for years now, to much fanfare and (I would assume) sales success. It's based on an insight that when you're hungry, you just don't act like yourself. Enter Snickers. And enter Betty White from back in the day (2010 to be exact).

The team is Moscow brought the campaign even closer to home, showing that even the brand itself can sometimes not be itself.  In three print ads, the Snickers bar looked like three competitive candy bars:  Mars, Bounty,  and Twix. "You are not you when you are hungry."

A nice twist and a little chuckle. And good branding in my book.

What's your experience? JIM

PS - Note that all four brands are owned by the same parent company. :)

Thursday, May 19

Brands Can Bring Back America

When I saw that Budweiser was changing its name to America for the summer, I got so inspired.

Calling all brands .... click here to read!

What's your experience?  JIM

Wednesday, May 18

Monday, May 16

Family Affairs

I was a guest on this amazing podcast called "Family Affairs" talking about my new book Out and About Dad. So much fun.

Click here to give it a listen.  JIM

Friday, May 13

Highs and Lows

Life can feel like a roller coaster...the key is to take the highs and the lows with moderation.

My latest on Entrepreneur.

What's your experience?  JIM

Tuesday, May 10

Blocking Politics on Social Media

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

When I read over the weekend that Facebook has been allegedly accused of blocking trending topics that are politically conservative, I shook my head. With all the craziness of this year's political campaigns, it would make sense that there would be drama on the social media front. "It's always something," I said to myself with no one around.

Social media is made for drama after all, right?!? With a new book out, I've seen it myself as I've put myself out there.

But as I thought about it more, isn't that what actually happens on social media just organically? Aren't we the cause of that ourselves?

Again, I shook my head but this time nodding a great big, "yes."

I basically get all of my news from social media feeds. I read the sound byte and if I want to bite then I click to get more information. Most of the time I just surf.

But the truth is that my "news" and information is all coming from sources that I have personally vetted. While my following is quite diverse, by definition they are all within a certain span of political views. They all lie within a range, and I have to admit that they all view socio-political issues somewhat similarly. Not across the board, but within a range. Even my "conservative" friends are pretty liberal when it comes to social issues.

But that's just me and my "friends."

Think about many posts have you seen that challenged people to unfriend them if they support Trump. Or Hillary. Or if they are pro-life or pro-choice. Or have a specific point of view on immigration. Or kale as a super food.

We weed out that which we don't agree with on our social channels. Or at least many of us do. We don't accept those who have radically different views than our own. All within a range, certainly, but some of our ranges are larger than others.

Let's face it...this is why so many family events are so painful. You have to listen to "Bob" go on and on about his opinions and you can't do much about it. You have to listen or leave or pick a fight, which gets the rest of the family all worked up.

Me, I grab a glass of wine.

So we curate our list of followers and friends on social media, so that we don't have to deal with "Bob." We follow who we want to follow. We read what we want to read. We gravitate towards what is familiar and comfortable.

So quite honestly I'm not sure we should accuse Facebook of screening anything...because we are already doing it for ourselves.

What's your experience?  JIM

Monday, May 9


The music festival Coachella is reaching new heights of success, and to think I remember the first year it was born. It's become not only a pop culture event, but it's also become a brand.

Gosh, I'm getting old.

But not as old as the newest version - Desert Trip - featuring classic artists like Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, The Who, Paul McCartney, and Pink Floyd. Now that's a lineup.

It's been coined "Oldchella." Indeed.

This year's marquis music festival saw 200,000 attendees and over $84million in revenue, more than any other music festival in the world. At 53, I was there, I contributed, and I probably doubled the average age.

And I may just check out this newest incarnation...they are "my generation" after all! I love when a great brand has line extensions. This one goes from from Millennial to Boomer and you just gotta love it.

What's your experience? JIM

Friday, May 6

I'm Still an Entrepreneur

After all these years in the business, and all the twists and turns (and a few twirls), I'm still an entrepreneur.

Click here to see what I mean at Entrepreneur.

What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, May 3

Honey Maid Continues ...

It's one thing to come up with a breakthrough campaign, one that really reflects and impacts pop culture. Honey Maid did that with its portrayal of "wholesome families" two years ago with "This is Wholesome." Other brands have done similar campaigns, although few as well as Honey Maid.

But it's another thing to continue that messaging and that campaign with greater and greater connectivity and impact. Very few brands are able to follow up and continue what they've started with a unique combination of continuity and consistency along with fresh approaches.

Honey Maid has done just that, again.

The brand has quietly been releasing video content about families, all kinds of families, and showing how family is all about love and support. It's a message that shouldn't ever get old, and Honey Maid is certainly proving it. So inspiring.

The brand tackles many family adoption:

Fear and prejudice:


And cultural norms:

I'm in awe. And as a marketer, I marvel at how the product is seamlessly woven into the context without appearing to be overt or "selling." Well done.

Love when a brand continues what it started.

What's your experience? JIM