Tuesday, February 28

#HoldTight from ANZ

Such a simple message...generally the best kind.

Right when much of this discussion is in our popular culture...generally the best time.


Coming from long-time LGBTQ Pride supporter ANZ, a major bank from Australia.

The same bank that for three years has celebrated Pride with GayTMs:

The same bank that changed its name last year to GayNZ by transforming its branches into iconic gay meccas.

Dubbed "the gayest bank in the world." But to me a great brand showing how it's been an active member of the community...generally the best support.

What's your experience? JIM

Monday, February 27

Happiness Starts with a Smile

This is a fun little video that makes a great point.

Lighten up.

From a brand that stands for happiness, Coca-Cola.

I dare you to not chuckle...

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, February 23

Play for the Person Next to You

One of the keynote speeches from the recent Dad 2.0 Summit really moved me with a refreshing perspective that in many ways I was already living. But it never hurts to get a reminder.

Play for the Person Next to You.

Thank you Charles Tillman!

I wrote about it for Entrepreneur...click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, February 22

#LoveHasNoLabels - The Pro Bowl Kiss Cam

Sports is such a huge part of our culture...it almost feels foolish putting that statement into print. And over the years, we've seen a more and more diverse audiences in attendance and in viewership for sporting events, with mega franchises even starting to recognize it. And celebrate it. And share it.

It's just not your grandfather's game anymore. Thankfully.

Which is why I love this new execution from The Ad Council as part of its #LoveHasNoLabels campaign. In it the organization tackles one of the long-standing norms of the game, the kiss cam. And it shows the diversity of our culture in the process. Showing that love has no boundaries, no limits, no prejudice.

During the Kiss Cam at this year's 2017 Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl!

Now here's a message I can get behind:

Just for reference, this isn't The Ad Council's first message of this kind. Here's the #LoveHasNoLabels execution from last year, equally as fabulous:

Public service at its finest. #LoveHasNoLabels also has a site worth visiting, worth sharing, worth supporting.

What's your experience? JIM

Monday, February 20

President's Choice - Share a Meal

This piece of film comes from Canadian grocery retailer Loblaws for its private label brand, President's Choice. It's nothing short of fab. As a city dweller, I'd love to give this a try. But I don't think I'm brave enough.

Layered with insights about diversity and mixing cultures and getting to know your neighbors...and how sharing a meal can bring us all together. It's worth a social share for sure.

Let me know what you think...

What's your experience? JIM

Friday, February 17

Trump Gets a GQ Makeover

There are some things that are just so clever, you can't help but smile...regardless of your political views.

In comes GQ, the benchmark men's fashion "voice" with a makeover of our new President, Donald Trump. I think it's fair to say that he's not exactly a fashion icon, nor claims to be. But you'll see in this video how a few simple tweaks could put him on the road to a runway. Perhaps.

Great branding and great timing for an iconic brand. GQ that is.

Give a look for yourself...

Gotta say, even if Trump didn't learn anything from this, I certainly did!

What's your experience?  JIM

Wednesday, February 15

Target and The Grammy Awards - It Takes Two

If you missed The Grammy Awards the other night, there's a piece of advertising you shouldn't miss. It's actually more of a collaboration than just advertising, but then again that's the sign of the times when it comes to marketing.

I'll let the work speak for itself.

So fun and so on brand for all the brands involved. A bit infectious actually, as any piece of marketing - or collaboration - should be.

Did you see it on The Grammy Awards? What's your experience?  JIM

Lessons Learned from Tom Brady and Super Bowl LI

Super Bowl LI gave us the game of a lifetime this year...with some very interesting lessons to be learned along the way.

Something I wrote about for Entrepreneur.

Click here to give it a read.  

What's your experience? JIM

Citizens of the World

I went to the Dad 2.0 Summit last weekend...and learned a ton.

Andrew McCarthy was a keynote speaker, and he talked about making our kids "citizens of the world" - which I just loved. Enough to write about it on Huffington Post! Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, February 14

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I just had one of the most incredible experiences of my life...incredible, partly, because it was a merging of both my personal and professional lives as a dad and as a marketer.

I attended and participated in the 6th Annual Dad 2.0 Summit. Ironically, it's the first time I've been able to go, yet I can't believe I've never made it before this year. I should have attended the first one and every one ever since. I intend to be there from here on out.

A lot of the dads who attended have already written about the camaraderie and the spirit we all shared over the course of the Summit. I too was overwhelmed by it all. Nothing like I've ever experienced before.

But I was also overwhelmed by the depth of discussions. We dads tackled it all, above and beyond changing diapers and negotiating with teenagers. We confronted racism, politics, sex, homophobia, fake news, societal portrayals of fatherhood, marketing to dads, and yes, even how it's okay to be vulnerable. The display of vulnerability was so inspiring...this coming from a man who considers himself to be very vulnerable (perhaps ironically to many).

There was one keynote speech that will stick with me forever, with messaging that I simply must pass along from NFL superstar Charles Tillman, aka Peanut Tillman. Like all of us, he's faced many struggles in his life as a professional and as a father. Like all of us, he puts his family first despite having a successful career. Like all of us, he's a dad.

He talked a lot about getting comfortable being uncomfortable. I can relate. As a divorced, single, gay dad back from a time when none of that was acknowledged, discussed, or accepted, I had to get comfortable being uncomfortable. At school, at work, and in social settings I was alone. I was constantly, if not always, in uncomfortable situations often being the only dad around and certainly the only gay dad around.

I had to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

I had to push through the discomfort and stay focused on my family and career. I had to smile though my heart was aching, knowing what those around me were thinking and saying. I had to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Charles Tillman also talked about being your best on command. I can relate. As fathers, we've all been called to task in the moment. Medical emergencies, emotional crises, upheavals at work. It's how we behave in those moments that show our true character as a man, and as a father. When it counts, as dads, we perform. We come through. We protect our children. We'll do anything for our family, especially when the demands call for it.

These aren't just inspiring words from one dad. This is a way of life for so many of us. For all of us. The key is to thrive in those moments. It's important to hold your head up high when you're uncomfortable and to shine in those moments when you're needed most.

That's what it's like to be a dad.

Thanks to all the dads who do what they do, day in and day out.

What's your experience?  JIM

Friday, February 10

Lessons Learned from a Fake Bacon Shortage

Marketers have long used stunts to promote their brands, whether those stunts were real or fake. But the climate is changing and they don't all work anymore.

Here's an example of a fake bacon shortage - lots to be learned from that. Click here to read my article from Entrepreneur.

What's your experience? JIM.

#Smunday from Heinz

Let's face it, Mondays #$%&. It's the worst day of the week, by far. This coming from a man who loves his job!

And there's one Monday in particular that is particularly bad...the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday!

Think about it...we've just had a blast with our family and friends. We started the party early and it goes way past our normal "school night" bedtime. So Monday comes and we are already overtired, we're in a food coma, and perhaps we've been over-served. Just sayin'.

Which is the insight in the Super Bowl campaign from Heinz, a key Super Bowl party staple. While not an official sponsor and not an advertiser, the brand still figured out how to participate in the marketing mayhem of the big game...

...by announcing the worst day of the year: the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday. Smunday. It even sounds horrible. Smunday.

I think this campaign fell under the radar for most, but the company certainly put its money where its mouth is.  They didn't just say how bad Smunday is, they gave their employees the day off. And gave other folks a chance to sign a petition to make Smunday a national holiday so we can all have it off, at Smunday.org.

Makes sense, given how universal the sentiment. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest moments in our popular culture, so why not have the day after to recover? Studies show productivity is at the lowest point of the year that day anyway.

Clever, and on point. #Smunday.

What's your experience?  JIM

Inspired by The Year of the Rooster

Happy Chinese New Year! It's the Year of the Rooster and the most FAQ is "but what does that mean?"

Well there's a lot to be drawn from the Rooster, specifically the Fire Rooster this year. It's very inspiring!

Click here to read about it on Entrepreneur!

What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, February 7

The Cars of Super Bowl LI

The Super Bowl was loaded with car advertising this year...and every year. I thought it would be fun to single out the category and take a look at the best of the best.  Click here to read by article on Huffington Post.

What's your experience? JIM.

Sunday, February 5

Thursday, February 2

Dove - Alternative Facts

In the past week we've seen a lot of companies speak out against President Trump's immigration ban...many in spoken word and many in direct action. We are definitely going to see more and more brands use their collective equity to make strong statements...many directly and many indirectly.

Here's a great example, and a rather brave attempt, from Dove in the UK.  It's an ad that ran in The Times and The Guardian...and hit social media instantaneously.

It's not a direct assault, per se, but it hits hard on what's become the phrase of the year if not decade....alternative facts. It also hits hard on the brand's equity of simple and honest beauty care, making a clean statement about the brand's values at the same time. The message is clear.

See below. What's your experience? JIM