Thursday, August 30

Goodbye Neil Simon, and Thank You

There’s been so much news this week in marketing, politics, and pop culture that we all don’t quite know where to focus our attention. But I didn’t want the week to go by without honoring and mentioning someone that may have fallen off our radar:  Neil Simon.

Neil Simon!

Neil Simon, a New York City born and raised writer, passed away just recently. I simply must say something about him and the influence he’s had on me. Personally.

Thank you, Neil Simon. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Goodbye Girl. I was 14 years old when it came out. Neil Simon wrote it. 

First of all, it’s a New York story and at that time in my life all I could dream about was living and working in New York when I “grow up.”

Second of all, it’s a love story and at that point in my life I couldn’t even imagine my own love story but I was fascinated. That of course would come later, twists and turns and all.

But most of all, The Goodbye Girl is just an amazing story. It’s my first recollection of actually understanding that movies were stories…stories written by someone. The Goodbye Girl made me realize that someone somehow somewhere had taken out a blank piece of paper and wrote this movie. Wrote this story. A love story. A love story in NY. This someone was Neil Simon.

The Goodbye Girl was the first romantic comedy to hit the $100million mark in sales. Richard Dreyfuss won an Academy Award for Best Actor, the youngest male to do so at the time. And it had one of the best theme songs ever (by David Gates who both sang and wrote it...wrote it!)...

And then there's American Bandstand, but that's an entire different matter.

Neil Simon was the first “writer” I really thought about. Sure I’d read books, obviously, but somehow seeing a screenplay come to life on a movie screen made me realize what writing was all about.

Storytelling. Writing. Engaging an audience. Entertaining.

And while I never imagined (and still don’t) that I’d make a living out of writing, I did imagine that someday I would write. Something. Then in 2010, some 33 years later, I published my first marketing book, The Experience Effect. Merging my chosen professional life with an interest in writing.

Then in 2016, I published Out and About Dad which is my story about my life as a father…with all the twists, turns, and a few twirls. There were also two other marketing books in between and another on its way this fall. While I still don’t fancy myself a writer, I do fancy writing. And I fancy Neil Simon for putting it on my radar.

Thank you, Mr. Simon. I won’t say goodbye, just thank you. Thank you in particular for The Goodbye Girl.

What's your experience? JIM.

Papa John's Apology Video


It’s been a busy week, month, and year for brand Papa John’s. Wow! Just recently the former CEO launched his own website to, giving him a platform to further explain his POV on founding the company and until recently leading it.

According to him, he will always be Papa John.

Then, just this week, the (current) Papa John’s brand offered a counter point to his point by releasing a video on social media apologizing for its recent activities. The video simply strings together series after series of negative social posts from consumers…and apologizes for causing it all.

Seems the current leadership is working towards owning their own narrative that the former CEO isn't CEO anymore.

While I can’t seem to find the video on YouTube to connect it here (which is odd), the video is available to watch via Digg if you click for it here.

"Thank you for your anger, criticism, honesty. It is making us better."

Consumer feedback always makes a brand better. Brands who pay attention to it is even better. Brands who do something about it are the best!

And I personally also love seeing a brand being open and honest.

Papa John’s isn’t the latest to go on an apology tour…Uber, Facebook, and Wells Fargo have all beat it to the punch, shall we say. Hopefully they too are doing something about it. 

The question is, as posed in the video itself, whether this will bring some pretty angry consumers back to the brand. Brands who do something about it are more likely to get angry consumers back. And it all starts with being open and honest.

What do you think? What’s your experience? JIM

Tuesday, August 28

Serena Williams and Dad with Nike - WOW!

OMG, this new Nike video featuring Serena Williams and her dad is EVERYTHING!

Looking upon her major triumphs and also her roadblocks, it's amazing to see how her dad encouraged her every step of the way to go the entire way.

"It's only crazy until you do it. Just do it."

"This is you at the US Open. This is you."

So inspiring. Thank you Serena. Thank you dad. 3.9 million views in one day!

And a great followup to the #Catsuit from earlier this week.

And then, of course just when you thought it couldn't get any better...Serena debuts at the US Open (the one her dad prepared her to conquer) in an ensemble from her new line called Queen that is a collab between Nike and Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh.

What a week! That's called owning it! What's your experience? JIM.

Nike Defends Serena for the French Open

Even if you're not into sports or specifically into tennis, you've probably read by now that the French Open asked Serena not to wear her now signature catsuit to the tournament, citing their dress code.
While many cried foul (including icon Billie Jean King) and social media got a bit upset, Serena (to her credit) brushed it off by saying that she has a great relationship with the French Open and that she is happy to follow the rules.


Nike (to their credit), who makes the now famous catsuit, had something to say as well:

"You can take the superhero out of her costume, 
but you can never take away her superpowers. #justdoit"

Grace! Truth! One of a kind! On brand! What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, August 27

Budweiser x Jim Beam

Two adult beverage titans, one a brew master and one a distiller, have joined forces to create a brand new beer: Copper Lager.

Essentially, it's Budweiser beer that's been brewed with the wood from Jim Beam barrels...with a resulting larger alcohol level.

In a category like beer where the micro-brews have really taken over, it's now a requirement to constantly reinvent. Which is exactly what Budweiser is trying to do here, by leveraging the brand equity and proprietary process of another beloved brand (Jim Beam).

What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, August 23

Save Papa John's Pizza

Well it's been quite the tumultuous year for Papa John's Pizza. Wow. Thanks to a very vocal CEO who Founded the company and has frequently spoken on its behalf. He's spoken a lot on its behalf; on his behalf.

Many say that CEOs are now the face and the voice of the brand, and I would absolutely agree with that. And I would also say that CEOs should be purposeful and vocal. That is certainly true of the Papa John's CEO.

He recently fell out of favor with the organization and they asked him to step down. "Asked" is probably being polite. He wasn't happy.

As someone who hasn't been afraid to take a stand, this now former CEO launched a new website this week called where he explains himself and declares it a mistake that he is no longer the CEO.

Click here to take a look at it. The homepage states, very boldly, "I am Papa John." Indeed.

He is putting it out there, that's for sure. I guess it's for consumers (and other constituents) to decide where they sit on it all. And to potentially help to take further action?

What do you think? What's your experience? JIM.