Thursday, June 28

Cartier and Oceans 8

The surprising star of the (now hit) new movie Oceans 8 isn't one of the amazing actresses in the historic lineup. Although they are amazing.

No, the surprise star is the brand Cartier...and it's (soon to be) historic necklaces/jewelry specifically created for the movie. Cartier is the official jeweler for the movie and it officially stole the show!

For the opening party, the jewelry was all on display at the Cartier mansion in New York. I should say the newly renovated Cartier mansion in New York!

There are movie-brand partnerships and then there are movie-brand partnerships that enhance the storyline. This one is historic.

What's your experience? JIM

This necklace is estimated to be worth $150million USD

Tuesday, June 26

IKEA Canada's DRAG Campaign

There are only a few more days left of Pride Month 2018, so I'm going to squeeze in one more brand campaign that is taking Pride to an entirely new level.

IKEA, from Canada.

I think this just may be my favorite campaign of the year so far, maybe even of all time. Be on the lookout for my annual year-end lists, because this is going to be on it!


The brand in Canada enlisted Toronto Drag Queens to take everyday IKEA items and turn them into fashion. Like shower curtains. Draperies. Etc.

I mean, how does it get any better or any more clever.

RuPaul's Drag Race must be dying of envy!

Makes me want to embrace the brand, that's for sure. What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, June 25

Audi Welcomes the Women of Saudi Arabia to the Driver's Seat

June 24, 2018 was a milestone day for Saudi Arabia...the government is now allowing women to drive. A long time coming with much anticipation, as we can all imagine.

Audi took this opportunity to celebrate the occasion with a short film. "Opening Doors," as they say....

Very smart for the brand to grab a connection to this moment...a major moment that women (and men) won't soon forget.

What's your experience.  JIM

Wells Fargo - Earning Back Your Trust

There have been a few brands on an apology tour as of late...trying to make amends for a series of events that caused consumers to rethink. To lose trust. To perhaps go elsewhere.

Facebook did a video about data privacy and getting back to why we ever joined Facebook in the beginning. Uber's new CEO released a video talking about how the company is moving forward.

And now Wells Fargo has released its own video, with its own plan for getting back to its brand and for moving forward. It plays heavy on its heritage with equal weight on the future.

Established 1852
Reestablished 2018

These brands aren't the first to try to fix their are some other classic apologies, as reported by AdWeek.

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, June 21

Pride Sneakers 2018

We are definitely living in a sneaker culture. And this is where the younger generations are influencing the older generations (like me) to weave sneakers into our every day wardrobes.

The creativity is hitting record highs, with sneakers from unlikely collaborations and for virutally any occasion.

Like the Converse Plays I just got for Father's Day that are Converse x Commes d Garcons.
Like Pride...from virtually every brand! So fun, so creative!

Here's just a collection of the 2018 collection. Where them with Pride! I for one have a pair of high top Converse!

It's almost like you're not a sneaker brand if you don't have a Pride collection!

Even the luxury brands are getting in the Pride game, like Gucci!

More, more, more!

Even the classics are coming back!

With Pride creativity at their core!

Which ones will you wear? What's your experience? JIM.

SMEG and DG #DGSicilyIsMyLove

In celebration of Italy, design brands SMEG and Dolce & Gabbana have gotten together to release a line of home appliances called Sicily is My Love. 

The design collaboration is an interesting one in that SMEG is known for high design kitchen while DG is known for high design runway. Bringing the two together is pretty high design. Since both brands are from Italy, it's pretty high Italian design!

This isn't the first time the brands have brought something interesting to the market. SMEG's signature fridge was the first to get the treatment last year.
It's a virtual feast for the eyes, for the kitchen. 

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, June 19

Nordstrom Men's Store in Manhattan

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of finally visiting the new Nordstrom Men's Store in Manhattan. The brand recently came to NYC, one of the last few markets left untouched until now. A bit surprising that the brand is just making its entry now, but then again with Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, and Barney's, there is plenty of well established NY competition.

At a time when everyone is saying that retail is dead, the place was alive and well. Filled with shoppers, and shoppers buying stuff!

But it's no wonder, from the moment we walked into the store we knew we would love it. All the merchandise was well displayed, and it ranged from very high end to much lower end. Valentino to Levi's. Literally something for everybody.

The live DJ made the entire space come to life, and we were instantly greeted and re-greeted and re-greeted the entire time. Each time with a big smile. No sales push, just a big smile. Each time. Over and over again. Am I repeating myself?

During the process, we were invited to a special event for Pride Month on Wednesday night which I think we might actually attend. We can't wait to go back.

And yes, we did make a purchase for sure. How could we not? The shopping experience was incredible. And it is now going to be one of our regular (if not favorite) shopping destinations.

Check it out. Retail is alive and well at Nordstrom's Mens in Manhattan. What took you so long?

What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, June 18

Wawa's Secret Menu - June 2018

For the month of June, maybe for Pride Month but I'm not sure, Wawa has a special "secret" menu accessible through the instore kiosks. This isn't the first time that Wawa has done a secret menu, but it might just be its most colorful.

The centerpiece of the secret menu is a rainbow bagel...

And a rainbow selection of beverages...

If you're not familiar with the brand, Wawa is a chain of convenience stores based out of Philadelphia that serve the Atlantic region of the US. As someone who lived in Bucks County, PA for a number of years, Wawa was on my personal list of (almost) daily brands. I'm was a loyal fan at the time.

The secret menu makes loyalty even better...and more fun...and this time around certainly more colorful. Whether it's for Pride Month or not.

What's your experience? JIM.


The International House of Pancakes had a fun week last week.

In what could easily be the marketing stunt of the year, the brand changed its name from IHOP to IHOb...changing the "P" to a "b" to promote its new line of burgers.

It's generally always been marketing 101 to never mess with your brand name or logo, so changing to IHOb turned out to be a great way to attract attention. The brand did indeed got a lot of attention from fans and competitors alike.

Twitter was exploding! I can't tell you how many people wrote to me to see if it was fake news or a joke or a permanent name change. Lots of people were clicking in to see what's what, and the news coverage was everywhere.

IHOb is everything! The mystery of it all made it all that more newsworthy.

I do know one got a lot of people talking about IHOP. Or IHOb rather. Now we all know that you can get a good burger there too.

CNN reports that it is in fact a temporary promotion, but given its day-one success I'm going to bet that we'll be hearing about IHOb all summer long.

What's your experience? JIM.

Friday, June 15

Free Magnum Pride Bar

Magnum, as in the ice cream bar, is offering a limited edition Pride Bar in conjunction with GLAAD all during Pride Week in New York City (which is the last week in June 2018). And on Wednesday that week, the Pride Bars will be free! Well, actually, customers can get them for free OR donate the purchase price to GLAAD.

Well done. I know I say this a lot, but I just can't say it enough. We never saw this kind of brand support for Gay Pride back when I was young and coming out. I know it's just an ice cream bar, but it would have made a world of difference back in the day for me. And I know it makes a world of difference for people today.

So yes, it's an ice cream bar. And a pretty powerful one at that!

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, June 14

Dove Men+Care #DearFutureDads

In honor of Father's Day 2018, Dove Men+Care is showing that it cares about fathers once again. And this time the brand is putting more resources behind that care.

In a new film called #DearFutureDads, Dove Men+Care showcases various dads talking about the bonding experiences they've had with their children. It's touching and inspirational...and soothing all at the same time...

"I might need a second." 

Thank you Dove Men+Care for showing fathers of all types. We come in lots of forms, but we all universally share the love we have for our children and the need to spend time with them.

Of course we all know that "bonding" doesn't happen without time and commitment. So Dove Men+Care is putting resources together to champion Paternity Leave for fathers all over the country.

We already know that today's dad wants to be involved, and the brand's research confirmed this: close to 70% of dads are willing to change jobs to spend time with their children in the early weeks and months of their children's lives.

I, for one, changed my job when I needed to take care of my children. Back when my children were young, I too was a primary caregiver. It was nearly impossible to balance work with family, so I had to make a lot of changes. And there was no help role models, no resources, no inspiration, nothing.

Well now, clearly, there is a lot more of all of that. Dads want to be active parents, and it's awesome to see a brand helping to make that happen.

Thank you, Dove Men+Care. For this and all of your support for fathers. You do a lot and we appreciate it.

What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, June 13

Inspiration from the NYC Subway System

Sometimes inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of the NYC Subway System. I think they put up this sign for Pride Month, but honestly it applies any month to any body.

I for one love it. If you haven't yet done so, please read the fine print.

What's your experience? JIM

Monday, June 11

I Never Liked Father's Day

With Father's Day approaching, I started reflecting on my twenty-five-some years as a dad. Truthfully, I never liked celebrating this day called "Father's Day." It always made me uncomfortable. So I wrote down my thoughts for STAND magazine.

Click here to give it a read.  JIM

Saturday, June 9

New Mickey Mouse Ears for Pride

In honor of its annual Gay Days and for Pride Month, Disney just released a new version of its famous ears.  

I guess this makes Mickey Mouse the most inclusive mouse on the planet! Indeed!

Here's what I love about this, aside from the obvious: brand iconography shouldn't be in a museum. It should evolve and transform through time, taking on the consciousness of what's going on in the world. Brands should live in the moment, while leveraging their intense heritage. Disney and Mickey Mouse are doing just that!

Happy Pride! What's your experience? JIM.

Friday, June 8

What We Can Learn From Facebook

There's been a lot of a lot going on with Facebook lately. I always like to take these opportunities to see what we can learn. And as entrepreneurs and small business owners, there is a lot to be learned from Facebook.

So I wrote a piece for Entrepreneur here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, June 7

J&J - Living Your True Self

June is Pride Month, and I began the month with a post about Sephora including beauty classes for Transgender customers.


Then I explored new Fluide makeup for all gender expressions and new Flesh makeup from Revlon that features products for 40 skin tones.


And then yesterday, I wrote about Soul Cycle's new campaign that talks about how #AllSoulsWelcome.


I can't promise that I won't write about Pride marketing again, but today's post rounds out my fab five for Pride 2018. But we're going internal.

I write all the time about my time at Johnson & Johnson. I held my first marketing post there and I'm very proud of what I learned on my many assignments and from my many mentors. Many of my friends today are from my J&J days.


When I saw this link on LinkedIn from a former J&J colleague, I just had to click. The company's new website is featuring inspiring stories from J&J employees talking about their lives. Telling their personal stories. One of the first was from a gentleman talking about "living his true self."

In this post, Clark Musto talks about how he had the "backing of the entire company" when he transitioned from female to male.

Click here to read Clark's story.

I can't even begin to tell you the pride I feel as a J&J alum.

Now that's Leadership, Inclusion, and Pride! Thank you!

What's your personal story? What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, June 6

Soul Cycle -- All Souls Welcome

Soul Cycle launched a brand new campaign that's all about individuality, inclusion, and acceptance...and self-acceptance. Perfect timing on a number of fronts, not the least of which is Pride Month!

The campaign features six LGBTQ instructors being their best souls, delivered via hand-painted murals in major cities and via six inspirational videos.

I just love this quote ... "Free to be me, no matter what comes out."

Here's "Magnetic Soul:"

And here's "Misfit Soul:"

I love the branding and the messaging. What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, June 4

Revlon Flesh at Ulta

I'm on a roll this week, talking Pride Month and beauty products. So here's another one. 

In June, Revlon will launch a new prestige line of makeup call Flesh. The brand's 40 shades of foundation work across a diverse range of skin tones. Get it...Flesh?!?

Flesh was created by beauty guru Linda Wells who left her post at beauty magazine (voice of the industry) Allure and now works for Revlon. Flesh will sell exclusively at beauty retailer Ulta (key competitor to Sephora). But the exclusivity is only in the brand's pricing and distribution...the line is meant to include all skin tones. Totally inclusive. Something for everyone, you might say. Pride-like for Pride Month.

While probably not the first makeup of its kind, Flesh is pretty comprehensive in covering the range of skin tones and for that it's worth noting. 40 of them.

Noted. What's your experience? JIM.

PS - Revlon also announced the organization's first female CEO, Debra Perelman. She's got lots of tenure at the company, and she's tied to the ownership. Her intense experience and deep relationships should yield unprecedented ability to really get stuff done. It'll be great to see what she brings to the industry. I'm looking forward to that!

Sunday, June 3

Fluide Makeup

As a followup to my June 1st post about Sephora holding beauty classes for Transgender customers, today I'd like to highlight a new beauty brand called Fluide. It is Pride Month, after all!

As the brand says, "Come as you are. At Fluide, we design products that work for everyone - for all gender expressions and skin tones."

For a few years now, we've been seeing more and more makeup being marketed to men. Clinique, Estee Lauder, even Tom Ford. In fact the new brand Formen says that it's a brand "created for men by men." 

But Fluide is different. Yes, it's for men. And for women. And for anyone who wants to self-identify any way that they choose. All gender expressions. The range of products fit the bill and a percentage of sales support LGBTQ supporting organizations.

I say Bravo! And BTW, I love the name! What's your experience? JIM

Friday, June 1

Sephora Classes for Transgender Customers

Sephora, as in the beauty retailer, has long held beauty "how to" classes for women on a wide range of topics. As a leader in beauty, these kinds of classes are what you'd expect.

The brand's latest string of classes aren't necessarily what I would have expected, but I certainly applaud them coming from a leader like Sephora...a leader in beauty, in retailing, and in our collective pop culture. I leader that I can look up to.

Beauty classes for Transgender customers. "Classes for Confidence."

The brand says that "everybody has the right to feel beautiful." Transgender people do face different kinds of beauty issues, including factors that affect their skin. These classes offer real information to help people feel more confident and "more fearless" as the brand says.

I say, "Bravo!" That's leadership!

What's your experience? JIM