Wednesday, October 31

Getting Gritty in Philly

Sports teams love their mascots, and truthfully most of them have been around for a very long time and have become a part of the legacy of their sports franchise. It's not often that you see a new mascot emerge.

Welcome Gritty...the official mascot of the Philadephia Flyers NHL team. Here's a bit on Gritty from the Flyers website:

His father was a "bully," so naturally he has some of those tendencies - talented but feisty, a fierce competitor, known for his agility given his size. He's loyal but mischievous; the ultimate Flyers fan who loves the orange and black, but is unwelcoming to anyone who opposes his team. Legend has it he earned the name "Gritty" for possessing an attitude so similar to the team he follows.
He claims that he's been around for a lot longer than we know it, and recent construction at the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout forcing him to show his face publicly for the first time. He has some oddities that are both humorous and strange. A number of times he's been caught eating snow straight from the Zamboni machine, and unbeknown to most, his love of hot dogs has been inflating the Flyers Dollar Dog Night consumption totals for years.
 That being said, there's no denying that he's one of our own.

That's Gritty. But is that Philly?

At first, social media acceptance was a bit slow but it seems that Gritty has now taken on a life of his own, and he's becoming a fan favorite. He's player #00 and his motto is "What the puck!" 

I have a feeling there will be a lot of Gritty costumes today in Philly, since today is Halloween after all! And I have a feeling that Gritty, or actually Gritty's team, will be making a fair amount of money on merchandise and ticket sales. That's the point, right? Well actually, it's to enhance the game experience...which does actually sell more tickets and stuff!

The question is ... Will Gritty get more gritty?
What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, October 30

Can Art Heal?

At this point in my career, I've worked across virtually every major healthcare therapeutic area and in almost all of those areas exercise has been a part the treatment regimen for patients. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and drug therapy has generally been the course to getting better, and brands have embraced that treatment regimen.

I've also personally felt like exercise can cure a lot of evils.

Well now, according to some, we can add art to the course of therapy as well.

Doctors in Montreal are now medically allowed to prescribe visits to the art museum as part of a prescription to health. Up to 50 visits a year for both patients and caregivers.

Makes perfect sense. We've long thought that artwork can be part of restorative "medicine" and I've seen many caregiving facilities and pharmaceutical brands incorporate some sort of art into their programs. But in my experience, I'm not sure I've ever seen doctors actually prescribe art. 

But I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of it, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing brands pick up a paint brush and join in! What's your experience? JIM.

Sunday, October 28

If You Don't Respond, Someone Will Respond For You

Last week was #PRovoke18, the annual global summit from The Holmes Report. I've been going every year, and every year I enjoy it more and more.

This year I participated on a panel discussion about "disinformation." Call it lies, call it fake news, call it anything but the truth...disinformation has had dramatic effects on our popular culture, our politics, our personal lives, and our businesses.

Holmes wrote a great article about my here to give it a read.

What are your thoughts about disinformation? What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, October 24

Starbucks First Signing Store in the US

This week Starbucks opened up its first US "signing store" in Washington DC...celebrating and making it easier for partially and fully deaf people to not only come enjoy a cup of coffee but to also find inclusive employment.

No detail is left out in this store, including artwork, uniforms, accessories and a "sign of the day."

The store was modeled after the first of its kind in Malaysia, and I'm betting we'll see more where this came from! And perhaps other types of stores that are inclusive to many other folks as well. And I bet we'll see other brands follow suit...that's what happens when you're a brand leader, and when you make attempts to be inclusive to all of your constituents. 

What's your experience? JIM.

PS - In NYC, I work right by a center that helps blind people learn how to navigate the city. I'm inspired every single day when I walk by on my way to work. I'd like to see a "Seeing Store" nearby!

Monday, October 22

Cannabis Rolling Papers in Canada

On the off chance that you didn't hear the big news...recreational marijuana is legal in Canada. Cannabis, as they officially call it.

While there have been several players vying for leadership, there are a few breakouts who seem to be capturing attention right from the start.

One is a company called Leaf Forward. To honor their launch, the brand introduced special rolling papers that have the Canadian declaration of legalized marijuana printed on them! Granted, it's small print but it's there. There to legally celebrate the legal enactment.

There's actually 152 pages, and you can read all of them in a pack!

Pretty clever. What's your experience? JIM

Friday, October 19

Selena Gomez x Puma

We've got another sneaker (or "trainer" as some would say) collab out there ... this time not with a sports star but with a singing sensation.

Yes indeed, Selena Gomez has partnered with Puma to bring a new women's line that "balances supporting your movements while complementing your style."


Not the first, not the last ... but in a sneaker culture why couldn't we have another? Exactly.
And BTW, there's athleisure too...

If you're a fan of either brand, what's not to love. Which is exactly the point. Collaborations are all about brands sharing fans to build more fans.

Who could you collaborate with? What's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, October 17

Maximalism in Decor

I've been reading quite a bit in the last few days about maximalism in home decor.

For years, the trend has been the exact opposite: in clear lines, soft colors, very little clutter.

Well I'm personally on the opposite end of the spectrum with maximalism...contrasting shapes, bright colors, and lots and lots of stuff. Some say "clutter," I say "stuff." My own eclectic collection of "stuff." If you've been to my office or home, then you know I'm telling it like it is!

It's easy to see how I got here, experiences across the ages. As we get older, some of us accumulate "stuff" from the years gone by. Mementos from trips, family pictures, favorite pieces of art, boxes and sculptures and figurines and lions and tigers and bears.

It's just a reflection of personal style and a life that's been lived. I see no problem with that! And in fact, it's all quite purposeful and organized. Nothing random at all about it. And btw, it's fun!

Just yesterday I honored Mr. Turk, the men's fashion designer who passed away over the weekend unexpectedly. He was a maximalist. I have a lot of his stuff too! Maximalism in fashion can be a thing too although when it comes to clothing I tend to think "one gimmick at a time."

What about you? Minimalist? Maximalist? What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, October 16

Virgin Atlantic's Pride Flight

Virgin Atlantic just started selling tickets for its first-ever "Pride Flight" scheduled for next year's World Pride event for the end of June 2019, marking the 50th Anniversary of Gay Pride.

PrideFlight is just one flight from Heathrow to Newark, and it features an all LGBTQ crew complete with (lots of) entertainment.

"Come get fabulous at 30,000 feet!"

It's truly a fabulous idea, and I'm betting one that we will start to see more and more of: themed flights to make the flying experience a shared experience. This one's for Gay Pride, but you can imagine many a destination themed flight being a blast....Carnaval, Disney, etc.

Great way to build an experience and an affinity for an airline.

What's your experience? JIM.

RIP Mr. Turk

One of my favorite fashion designers, Mr. Turk, just passed away at the very young age of 55 (my age, actually). His death was a result of a swimming accident he suffered over Labor Day weekend in Hawaii. Oh dear. You never know when live is going to take a turn.

Sending condolences to his family.

Jonathan Skow (aka Mr. Turk) is credited with defining Palm Springs men's style, and I personally have a collection that spans shirts, shorts, pants, jackets, and swimwear. I love his swimwear!

My husband and I bought a place in Palm Springs just a few years ago and we now call it home, in addition to New York. I can honestly say that one of the things I love about Palm Springs is the style, of which Mr. Turk is largely responsible.

I will truly miss him. His social feeds are so much fun and certainly inspiring from a fashion sense. We shop his store with great frequency. I certainly do hope that he lives on in his legacy, and that the fashion never stops.

RIP Mr. Turk. You are pretty amazing.

What's your experience? JIM.

PS - Jonathan Skow's wife, Trina Turk, created her fashion line first which is equally amazing for women. Hence the brand name, Mr. Turk. I hope that this tragedy doesn't slow her down. Sending hugs.

Friday, October 12

"Queen" by Nike x Serena Williams

Speaking of Virgil in my post yesterday about the Vuitton's designer work on LVMH luggage brand Rimowa...I've got another of his collaborations to talk about today. This one not quite so luxe, but still very deluxe!

I'm talking about the Queen Collection at Nike that features Virgil Abloh in collaboration for Serena Williams. Three titans in one mash up! If you missed it, the line debuted at the U.S. Open this year.

We saw the tennis tutu seen 'round the world at the U.S. Open for sure...

Well there's actually an entire collection to be seen...

The bag got me...

Fashion meets sports meets performance. Love it.

What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, October 11

Vuitton Propels Rimowa

You may not be readily familiar with the luxury luggage brand Rimowa, and you may not be aware that it is owed by LVMH (as in the company that owns Louis Vuitton). But I can tell you that it's on many a celebrity's A-list and on many other's wish-list.

I'm betting you soon will be hearing more and more, as LVMH puts the push behind Rimowa in an effort to propel it even more forward.

In the brand's quest to become more well known for its luxe, Rimowa has been collaborating with Vuitton designer du jour Vigil Abloh who is currently propelling Vuitton's men's line. His work is getting a lot of attention.

With refreshed design features and a tweaked logo, Vigil recently released a video talking about travel, with his Rimowa in tow (but of course). Take a look:

Earlier in the year, Rimowa also did a collaboration with New York skate brand Supreme, to much fanfare (fans literally gobbled it up!).

I'm betting we are going to see even more from this 120-year old brand who may just be hitting a new stride!

What's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, October 10

HQ Trivia Host Joins Chase

If you're not familiar with HQ Trivia, it's a "new" trivia game that runs twice a day via an app. Literally hundreds of thousands of players engage for each session, with the winners splitting the prize fund. It's quite the sensation.

As a result, the comedian turned host, Scott Rogowsky, has become a bit of a phenom particularly among the Gen Z (college aged) crowd (those born between the years 1996 - 2010). These are the kids who saw their parents get destroyed in the Great Recession (yeah, I was there too!), so of course they'd take a turn at winning some cash. They are a generation unique unto themselves, and they are just hitting stride in terms of their purchasing power.

So where am I going here?

Well it turns out that Chase (as in the bank) hired Scott Rogowsky to appear in a series of digital and ATM messages, targeting Gen Z. Including a fun little stunt:

Now of course you would have no idea who this gentleman is if you don't play HQ, but I think that's the point...targeting. Clever targeting. Clever targeting amongst a group of people making their financial choices for the first time.

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, October 9

Marco Marco at NYFW

Fashion designer Marco Marco created a first at this year's September Fashion Week in New York using all transgender models in the brand's runway show.

There were designs for men and women, including swimwear - all in celebration of and inspiration for the transgender community (and really all communities if you ask me). While there have certainly been transgender models at Fashion Week before, this is the first time that the entire cast at one show has all personally identified as transgender. Breaking barriers.

Pretty amazing. And so inspiring, showing that fashion can help us progress. Well actually, any industry can help us progress if done so consciously and purposefully.

What's your experience?  JIM.

Sunday, October 7

Taco Bell - National Taco Day

Last Thursday (10/4/18) was National Taco Day, a big day for taco lovers everywhere! If you didn't know already, every 10/4 is National Taco Day.

Taco Bell, of course, had every reason to celebrate and the brand did just that with this very creative campaign:

Love how they used another industry's equity to promote their own! The brand also set up a dedicated site for the holiday. Click here to see that.

If you're wondering how this all got started (c'mon, I know you are!), then watch this classic video from Taco Bell:

Ring a bell for a taco. A Taco Bell!

Here's a link to all the brands that celebrated!

Did you celebrate? What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, October 4

Boy de Chanel

For as long as I've been doing marketing for beauty products, we've been trying to engage men. First it was shave care, then skin care, and now cosmetics. It's been a long journey to say the least, but we're now starting to see it take shape. Not just for shave and skin, but for makeup too. Yes indeed, makeup for men is starting to move from being just a micro-niche to an emerging trend to a (dare I say) on-coming mainstay. Starting.

Why do I say this? Because makeup icon Chanel just launched its first line of makeup for men! When the big guns come into a category, then that's a signal that it's an entirely new sub-segment.

Boy de Chanel.

Love the name. Love the's a statement from the brand: "Beauty is not a matter of gender, it is a matter of style." I love that.

The best part about it all is seeing the cultural evolution. And I'm a personal lover of self-expression for everyone. Why wouldn't that include men? And makeup for men.

What's your experience? JIM.

Lionel Richie for TD Ameritrade

OK, so this is just plain fun. If you're an 80's music fan, then you'll get it. This spot originally aired during this year's Super Bowl, but I've recently been seeing it all over the place digitally (including the video screens in the elevators at work).

Lionel Richie for TD Ameritrade...

And BTW, the message does get through.

If you're yearning for the original, here goes...

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, October 2

It's Advertising Week!

As we enter our now 15th year of Advertising Week in NY, I have to admit that I'm like a kid at Christmas. I love Advertising Week. I was there the very first year, and I try to make it every year if I'm able. I'm always willing, but not always able due to travel schedules.

"Advertising Week" has gladly gone beyond just advertising agencies. All of us in the industry are in "advertising" or "marketing" or "communications" of some sort. Just one of the many reasons why Advertising Week has grown in such scale now.

This is a special year for me as we introduce our newly formed BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) agency publicly to the world.

Yesterday, in particular, was a big day for us. We hosted the first ever live twitter party for Advertising Week, which was great fun. We then conducted a session called "Pioneers and Innovators" where we celebrated some of the industry's best work including two guests from Bank of America and Patagonia.

Among other campaigns, we talked about "Love Has No Labels" from Bank of America:

We also spoke about how Patagonia has long supported the preservation of public lands and waters:

And then we sponsored the opening night concert with Dillon Francis. Didn't know his work, but my son certainly did. Now I do too and I'm a big fan.

Most of our New York team was in attendance at the party (it was packed!), and we held concurrent live stream access of our "Pioneers" session and held local parties at our other offices around the US. And there's more to come worldwide.

What a way to celebrate! What a week! What's your experience? JIM.