Thursday, December 29

Kodak Understanding

Kodak recently released a "film" titled Understanding. It's described as a poignant portrayal of love and understanding and I would have to agree. It's shot entirely using Kodak equipment, and of course it features a Kodak camera but that's honestly not the point. The message is clear...Kodak understands our lives and wants to be a part of it.

Give it a watch:

Hits me on so many levels, both as a marketer and a human...and as a dad...and as a dad who has a dad like that.

Wow. Bravo!

What's your experience?  JIM

My Favorite Blog Posts of 2016

One more year-end favorite blog posts of 2016. Click here to read it on Huffington Post.

Happy New Year! What's your experience?  JIM

Friday, December 23

The Greatest Gift of All

I truly believe that the greatest gift of all is helping someone else.

For me, helping someone overcome a burden or struggle is where I try to be the most helpful. It's the entire reason why I wrote my book Out and About help people realize that they can jump over the roadblocks that come up in life and be happy and successful.

Whatever happy and successful means for any of us.

I recently received a Facebook message from a young man who reached out to tell me that my book helped him. That's also the greatest gift of all...having someone tell you that you've helped them. WOW!

His words really moved me, and completely reminded me why I wrote the book. In many ways, we need to be helping each other now more than ever!

Here's what he wrote to me:

Your story is really inspirational. As a young man who is struggling to confront his sexuality you have burned a tiny light of hope in my heart for building a family...Please be proud that you gave someone a little joy and comfort through your life. Stay blessed!

Thursday, December 22

Microsoft - Beauty in the World

This time of year I love clicking into holiday's one of the most wonderful parts of the most wonderful time of the year. And I love even more when friends send me links for videos to view.

I got several messages yesterday with links to this video message from Microsoft...beautiful.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to compare the effort nor the production value of that Microsoft work to the holiday card from our agency this year, but I couldn't help but notice the similarity in message...

Perhaps we are all inspired by the same spirit this year? Perhaps we were even inspired by this little ditty from so many years ago (recently remastered)...

Perhaps we can just all come together? What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, December 21

Agency Holiday Cards

Every year, virtually every agency creates a holiday card to send out to its clients and partners. And virtually every agency does them virtually now.

I guess in a way they replace the gifts we used to give to clients during the holidays, as procurement departments have taken gift-giving off the table. We used to spend hours and hours thinking through a cool gift to give our clients, one that would reflect the kind of agency we are and the kind of relationship we have with our clients. Now we spend those hours creating a holiday card instead.

Adweek did a roundup this week of a bunch of those said can click here to check them all out. It's kinda fun (for me anyway) to see the range of holiday greetings and the personalities of the agencies come shining through. Our agency, Cohn & Wolfe, made the roundup which I was also proud to see.

If you'd like to see our "card," you can also look at it here:

No matter the style of the message, I think the cards all have one thing in common...looking forward to celebrating in whatever form provides personal time to spend with family and friends. Happy Holidays to you all!

What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, December 20

National Geographic: Gender Revolution

National Geographic is making history with its first cover featuring a transgender woman, and a young girl at that. While the headline speaks to a broader topic about the "Gender Revolution," it's the subhead that speaks volumes:

"The best thing about being a girl is, now I don't have to pretend to be a boy."

The magazine has already taken some social media heat for its revolutionary cover, with people citing that this topic isn't in keeping with the magazine.

I couldn't disagree more, from a branding perspective and as a father and frankly as a human. I applaud the effort and am thankful for the bravery...both from the magazine and from its cover "model."

For those with questions and comments on the cover (and specifically why there were two versions)...the magazine posted responses here.  Just click to review. Very well thought out, IMHO.

What's your experience? JIM

P.S. - My publisher is running a special holiday promotion of Out and About Dad - BUY ONE, GIFT ONE FREE.  Click here!

Saturday, December 17

2016, Top Three

Right around this time of year we start to see all the year-end lists. It's just plain fun to think back on the year.

Before I do my annual best blog posts or biggest marketing moments lists, I thought I'd pick out just three moments this year that had an impact on me.

#2016Top3 if you will.

Biggest pic of the year - I knew when I saw Donald Trump on the side of the Empire State Building when he picked up Ohio that it was over. In Hunger Games style, it really was over.

Most moving performance of the year - goes to Kelly Clarkson and her performance during the last season of American Idol. I had never heard the song before but I figured it out as it rolled along. Wow, just wow!

And finally...

Most read blog post of the year - from me anyway - is the Open Letter I wrote to Barack Obama, from one dad to another. I just loved hearing everyone's reaction to it.

Click here to give it a read.

What a year! What's your experience?  JIM

P.S. - Through the end of the year my publisher is running a BUY ONE, GIFT ONE FREE promotion on my book Out and About Dad. Click here to check it out.

Friday, December 16

Set a Simple Goal for the Year

Every year, right around this time of year, I set a big time goal for next year.

To make sure I hit it in 2017, I documented it on Entrepreneur. Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM

P.S. - And if you'd like to read a new book in the new year, my publisher is running a special holiday promotion for Out and About Dad. BUY ONE, GIFT ONE FREE! Click here!

Wednesday, December 14

Nike: Are We Running Today?

Nike just released a series of (hopefully) viral videos on the state of our popular culture with a simple message: put down the political commentary, set aside the celebrity obsessions, and take a break from social posts and just go running.

Are We Running Today?

I love it!

Perfect little social-video posts to remind us to take a break from the social-video posts and exercise. We all need a break!

Which is what I'm going to do right now. Once I finish posting this!

What's your experience?  JIM

PS - Get some exercise and then read a book! Special holiday BUY ONE, GIFT ONE FREE offer on Out and About Dad. Click here.

Tuesday, December 13

The Good Experiment from Breeze

You may not be familiar with it, but Breeze is a laundry detergent made by Unilever and sold throughout the world.

The brand tried a little social experiment recently to test moms' patience and perceptions of their children, as it relates to getting dirty. Something close to the brand's heart, and evidently close to mom's heart as well.

Here's a video that is going viral about it, called "The Good Experiment:"

Adorable...not just because there are cute little kids but because the brand also resisted the temptation to flood us with product features. Chances are we know how a laundry detergent gets clothes clean, so more importantly we want to get to know the brand and make an emotional connection. Breeze went for it.

What's your experience?  JIM

Monday, December 12

Michael Phelps - Second Act

There's a great article out about Michael Phelps at Adweek.

Adweek? Yes, Adweek.

The premise of the article is that Michael Phelps is entering the second act of his career. He's no longer a swimmer, but instead a working family man. A businessman with a family. An active dad balancing work and family responsibilities.

Just like so many of us.

I've personally always been a big fan, partly because we've all witnessed Michael grow up and I've long admired how he's taken responsibility for the highs and lows of his life. And he's had both, but he's always owned both. And now he's owning the next phase...fatherhood, but with a new career.

A pretty successful career, at that, which is very inspiring. But it's his take on fatherhood that is even more inspiring. He is making changes in his career so that he can be around for his baby.

Just like so many of us.

Here's just one of his latest moves, for Beats by Dr. Dre, along with an ensemble of others.

Way to go dad...looking forward to following you. And here's hoping others follow in your footsteps as well.

What's your experience? JIM

Friday, December 9

Permission to Fail -

I'm in the midst of learning something new...guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

I wrote about it this week at Entrepreneur.  Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience?  JIM

Thursday, December 8

Gilmore Girls Binge Candle

This is a pretty cool little promotion, tied to our popular culture and how we now consume entertainment.

To launch its new season "A Year in the Life," Gilmore Girls and Netflix are giving away "binge candles." You simply light the candle when you start the first episode, and as you binge watch all four "Seasons" in the "A Year in the Life," the candle perfectly burns through each 90-minute layer as you burn through the episodes. And each layer is scented to match the season.

Pretty clever, particularly if you're a "Gilmore Girl!"

Are you watching? Are you burning? What's your experience?  JIM

Wednesday, December 7

Trolls True Colors

I’ve been doing movie tie-in promotions for most of my career, so I have to admit that I have a soft spot for them. I just love seeing how a brand can tie its equity to the essence of a movie.

Johnson & Johnson Baby Products with Disney. Been there. Spider Man with Kellogg’s.  Done that.

Which is why I’ve been loving watching the roll out of merchandise tie-ins for the new movie Trolls. The film is all over the place from food to furnishings to clothing to accessories to beauty care.

And even paint. Yes, paint.

True Value Hardware is running a promotion for paint that’s been inspired by the True Colors of the Trolls movie. I’ve personally never noticed the paint selection at True Value, but perhaps I’ve misunderstood. And perhaps that's the point of this promotion: to raise awareness of the selection of quality paints at True Value. Score! This promotion is clever and creative, putting the brand squarely in the colorful world of coloring your world...helping them show their true colors if you will.

And I just love the retail display, captured by my smartphone.

What’s your experience?  JIM

PS - Just for fun, the True Colors theme song from the movie. Those of us who have been around long enough will recognize the lyric. A little something for everyone, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 6

AmazonGo Goes Retail!

I've been amazed by the progress that amazon has made in the retail world...on so many fronts.

Here's a post I wrote for Huffington Post. Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience?  JIM

Sunday, December 4

Pay Attention!

I wrote this article for Huffington Post, about this powerful piece of advertising called "Evan." You can read the article here, or just watch the film below.

The message is attention.

What's your experience? JIM

Friday, December 2

Brazil, and the World, Mourns

I've been in Brazil all week, visiting our agency's new office in Sao Paulo. I've been here many times the last couple of years, but there's been no trip quite like this. Not only have I been able to spend more time here than ever before, but I've also been a small part of the tragic loss of one of the country's futbol teams from this week's plane crash in Colombia.

It's been heart-breaking to hear about. A true tragedy.

It's also been heart-warming to see the sport's and the world's reaction to the tragedy as well.

Wednesday night, the night that would have been a game between two South American futbol rivals, turned into an international tribute of unity as two rival teams/countries came together in the stadium to mourn, in front of thousands and thousands of people who shared their grief. Grief that hits the world stage.

Which is exactly how the world should behave. Sure, we can be rivals and we can spare against each other. But eventually we should come together as well, especially during a tough time. During any time.

I'm honored to have been in this great country at this moment, and I share in the great loss.

What's your experience? JIM.