Wednesday, August 31

Prada Marfa

I'll admit right up front that I'm about twelve years too late for this blog post, yet I still feel compelled to write it, because it's the perfect blend of luxury brand marketing with pop culture infusion.

I just recently learned of Prada Marfa, an "art installation" set up in 2005 to stylistically represent a Prada store, located in remote Marfa, Texas. Marfa is absolutely remote, but it's also a bit of an artist colony. A unique town unto itself, with this particular installation adding to the town's lure.

Prada Marfa was intended to literally sit on the landscape and never be touched, left only to disintegrate into the natural being of the area. That plan has changed a few times over the years  as vandals and graffiti artists have altered its state, prompting the artists to keep up its original integrity.

Although it's faced attempts to tear it down, it remains as a permanent art exhibit for those to observe and partake, with social media now at the center of its existence...certainly something not contemplated in 2005.

Queen Bey visits Prada Marfa

It's very cool to see a brand merged into an art form, in a way that's unique to this particular brand, and to this particular art colony. Through the windows viewers can see select Prada handbags and a series of left shoes, symbolic of the iconic brand itself. And it's very cool how it has endured through the years...not a lot does in our world.

It's quite brilliant, and I'm thrilled from both an art and marketing perspective that it has stood the test of time.

What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, August 29

Much Ado About Avocado Toast

I'm on a foodie roll lately, and it seems like every time I turn around, I see avocado toast on a menu. Or I'm at someone's house serving avocado toast. Or I'm making it at home.

What gives?

What gives is that it's delicious. And you can eat it just plain or you can add all sorts of other ingredients like pistachios or ricotta cheese or even bacon.

It's one of the simplest things to make in terms of both prep time and number of ingredients. It's just plain awesome.

Here are three avocado toast recipes worth trying (trust me, I know) from California Avocados...just click here. I have a feeling that this organization has been working overtime to make avocados more of a staple in our homes. I have a feeling their marketing is working. Well done, on all accounts.

Let me know which is your favorite? What's your experience? JIM

My Summer Saturday in Manhattan

We've been spending the weekends in New York this summer, to much delight.Here's a photo essay of our exploration this past Saturday, via Huffington Post.

Click here to give it a read/see.

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, August 25

Wearable Heartbeat Rings

There's been oh-so-much talk and buzz about wearable health technologies...from counting steps in exercise to monitoring sleep at night to checking your pulse for heart health. There are even wearables that help deal with pain. And oh-so-much more.

But here's a new wearable with an entire new health benefit...emotionally staying connected to the one you love.

The HB Ring.

Is it the first wearable with a truly emotional benefit that can also help your health and wellness?

The new HB Ring actually lets you feel the heartbeat of your partner/spouse/significant-other, assuming that you are both wearing the rings. Now I realize that you can send your heartbeat to another via the Apple watch, but these rings actually allow you to feel each others heartbeat in real time. Hence, the HB Ring. Hence, the true wearable innovation.

I'm not sure that this is for everyone, and in fact for me I think it would make me a bit paranoid TTYTT, but I can certainly see many a folk who would love it. As the brand says, the rings are for those who are really in love!


For me as a marketer, I just think it's cool to see wearable technologies take a completely emotional turn. And as a person, who's not into love?

What's your experience?  JIM.

Never The Crime, Always The Cover-Up

This whole issue with Ryan Lochte isn't new...and there's a lesson to be learned for marketers. Check out my post on Entrepreneur to see what I mean.

What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, August 23

Tracey Norman for Clairol - Born Beautiful

File this under "stories that go down in history." All kinds of history.

Tracey Norman was/is the first black transgender model. She modeled for Clairol (as in the hair color brand) back in the day (as in the 1970's) and now she's back for Clairol Nice'n Easy again.

Hair and hair color is what helped Tracey create her look, and she's back to tell her evolving story on behalf of the brand, once again. Back then she had to hide the true identity of her gender, but not anymore. Not anymore!

The brand's packaging featuring Tracey from those early day says, "Born
Beautiful." Indeed...can't make this up!

History in the history, fashion history, LGBT history, human history.

This makes me respect the brand on so many levels...Clairol is a true pioneer, making bold moves back then that it still sticks by today. Celebrating woman all along the way, all women all along the way.

This is called a brand that knows who it is and what it offers to its consumers. This is called a brand that both reflects and inspires our popular culture. This is a brand that deserves our support.

As a marketer I say, "Brilliant." As my daughter's father I say, "Way to go." And as human I say, "Thank you."

What's your experience? JIM.

Puma Suedes

I was on a New York subway the other morning and notice a transit campaign for a line of sneakers from Puma called Puma Suedes.

Suede. Smooth.

They had me at "suede." I used to love suede when I was younger. In fact when I think of Puma Sneakers, I think of suede, from back in the day.

What caught my attention more than anything else was the retro feel of the campaign, despite the fact that it features current style makers Kylie Jenner and the duo Rae Sremmurd. While they are all "in the day," they were able to pull off the "back-in-the-day" look. I'm not personal fans of the celebrities, but I do admire the look. They got my eye long enough to read more.

Totally makes me want a pair. In blue. And red. And black. What's your experience? JIM.

Saturday, August 20

The Good 'Ole Days of Back-To-School?

As I see everyone get ready for the back-to-school season, I can't help but miss those days. But not everything about them...'s my account from Gays With Kids.  Click here.

Good luck in this new school year!

What's your experience?  JIM

Friday, August 19

Brazil Open Tennis Dogs

All eyes are on Brazil at the moment with the Olympics.

I thought it would be fun to take a break from the Games (and the drama) and recall a moment earlier in the year in Brazil that brought a smile to my face.

The Brazil Tennis Open.

Instead of using ball boys or ball girls to retrieve the tennis balls that have gone out of play, the folks at the Brazil Open decided to use dogs instead. Specifically shelter dogs to generate attention for adoption. Specifically shelter dogs who were abandoned on the streets and rescued in Sao Paulo.

Great opportunity to take a pop culture moment and put it to good use. Very good use.

Brilliant. And fun. And light hearted. And for a great cause.

Love it. What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, August 17

I Make Decisions

"So What Do You Do?" It's an almost instant question when you meet someone new.

How do you answer that when you're in marketing? I tried to solve that dilemma in a post on Entrepreneur. Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, August 15

I'm So Tired

"I'm so tired," is right up there among the most used phrases on a daily basis. Probably in any language.

I explored this on here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM

I Don't Want to Go Back

Here's a blog post I wrote for this amazing site called They asked for my perspective as a gay dad back in the day. So I gave it to them...and I don't ever want to go back to that time again!

Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, August 3

Branding Lessons from the Presidential Conventions

This Presidential election has made for quite the season. While I don't want to focus on the politics, I do think it's been very insightful from a branding perspective. Yes, you heard that right...from a branding perspective.

So I wrote something for EntrepreneurClick here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM.

Stacking Cheerios - Dads

I'm admittedly a little late to the party on this one, but I still just have to comment on the stacking Cheerios phenomenon we've been witnessing with dads all across the country.


It was started by one little 'ole dad who was just goofing around, but it sparked the playfulness and gaming-ness of dads...and our desire to document it all.

Here's what I love about it.

First of all, it's brought dads together in a full, playful way. You can't beat that as we all struggle to get through busy days of balancing work and family to take care of our kids. Secondly, for Cheerios, you can't buy or fabricate publicity like that even when as marketers we try! It was totally organic, not tied to anything at all, but just a fun interaction with the brand. Started by a dad, not by the brand.

Would have been fun tied to a charity, I suppose, but not everything in life has to have a big reason to exist...sometimes it can just be a bonding experience. In this case, between a bunch of dads and a brand that's a part of their lives.

Cheerios! What's your experience?

PS - Even Obama took the #CheeriosChallenge...

Tuesday, August 2

Actors as Brands

Those of you who know me know that I do a lot of writing. And I absolutely love when one of my pieces ends up in an unexpected place, potentially motivating an unexpected person.

Sure, I talk a lot about big brands and big brand marketing. Their work is often big, impactful, and motivating...which is why I always say that we can learn a lot from them. Marketing is a spectator sport!

But I'm also a believer that almost anything and anyone can be a brand too. We are all brands, looking to accomplish goals in all aspects of our life. We are particularly a brand when navigating our career.

Well evidently I sold one person on this argument, someone who is an actor. He sees himself as a brand, and is trying to find a unique positioning for himself. I say, "Well done."

Click here to read what he has to say.

Yes, actors are brands too, and not just in Kardashian style. Actors have to serve up themselves and their talents to get roles. They have to "sell" themselves to get "buyers" to buy into their talents. The better they position themselves and the better they manage their careers, arguably the more successful they will be. This one actor sees that he has to become more and more specific about the "kind' of actor he is in order to position himself for more roles. Music to my marketing ears!

In essence, in many ways actors are small business owners...owning their business and their brand. Some aren't so small!

In many ways we are all brands and in thinking about ourselves that way we just might be more successful.

Ask yourself...what's your experience? JIM

PS - In my book, The Personal Experience Effect, I outline the steps in developing your own brand. Check it out if you are interested.

Monday, August 1

A Twenty Year Reboot

I went and saw my very first Star Trek movie this weekend, and I have to say that I really liked it. I guess you could say that I'm a late bloomer!

I felt persuaded to go not only because it was a rainy day and we didn't have much to do, but also because the movie has been in my social media feed constantly over the last few weeks. I finally broke down and said, "Okay, Okay,  I'll go!"

An odd feeling came over me as I was walking out of the theater and thinking about the nostalgic parts of the film and its plot. I'm pretty sure it was basically the same story and character lines as the original and the original remakes. Hence the fan following. Did I just watch the latest installment or did I see one from twenty years ago? I'm not sure!

But it's not just Star Trek. So much of our pop culture in the last few months has been nostalgia from a previous era. It's like it's the '90's (and some early '00s) all over again.

Pokemon. Donald Trump. The Clintons. Michael Phelps in the Olympics. We were just talking at work about it...we are witnessing reboots of the classics from twenty years ago. People were standing in line overnight this weekend to buy the new Harry Potter book. What year is it again?!? 2016?!?

My kids were babies back then, but now they are millennial young adults consuming this rebooted "stuff" like they're brand new concepts. Because they are brand new again. Chelsea Clinton is 36 and she has two babies!?!

It's enough to make this baby boomer's head spin.

What's your experience? JIM