Wednesday, November 28

Tide in a Box



It's been a long time since there's been this much buzz in the laundry detergent category...not to mention from the long-time industry leader Tide. A personal favorite of mine.

Tide in a box. Actually Tide in a bag in a box. With a easy-flow spout (my words).

Easy to use for sure. But also much easier to ship (probably much less damage I would imagine). And 60% less plastic. Completely e-commerce friendly.

Yes, it looks like wine in a box which many have quickly pointed out. But it couldn't be more clearly branded, and it's not the first spout ever in the category.

Easy to use, easy to ship, less plastic. Sold.

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, November 27

NYPL Black Friday Ad


With all the fury over Black Friday, this one little brand (at least for me) stuck out more than most.

New York Public Library! All Books Are Free!

Brilliant. Click here to take a look at the messaging on their homepage.

Smart marketing can come from surprising places!

What's your experience? JIM.

Saturday, November 24

New Holiday Advert - Love Is A Gift


Every year, with great fanfare and fan appreciation, the UK retailer John Lewis releases (what becomes) a beloved holiday advertisement. Or "advert" as they say in the UK. I recently wrote about the 2018 version; click here if you haven't seen it.

"It's tradition!" (a wink to a chapter in my book Out and About Dad)

In a great response, a young film maker in the UK decided to do his own version. He filmed it for 50 UK pounds, and titled it "Love is a Gift." I think it's far to say that he's had as much fan appreciation as John Lewis has gotten, maybe more due to the humble budget.

Fair warning, it's a tear jerker....


Merry Christmas indeed!

Fans are calling for John Lewis to hire this young man for next year's advert. Smart idea. His name is Phil Beastall and I think we may be hearing from him again.

What's your experience? JIM

Saturday, November 17

Why I Dreaded Parent/Teacher Conferences


I'm been having great fun this season seeing everyone's posts about their kids going back to school and enjoying fall festivities. There's one thing I don't miss though: parent/teacher conferences!

So I wrote a bit about why on Gays With Kids. Click here to give it a read.

Good luck this school year! What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, November 15

John Lewis & Partners - Holiday 2018


I'm here in London this week, and it's already quite festive...the halls are being decked! It's great fun!

If you know UK retailers, then you know that it's an annual tradition to release a holiday story to help capture and elevate the spirit of holiday gift giving. One tries to outdo the other, but meanwhile I find them all to be awesome. Awesome!

The first one I've seen this season is from retailer John Lewis & Partners, and that brand never disappoints! Here's the 2019 edition, with a special UK guest performer ...


"Some gifts are more than just a gift."

Indeed. What's your experience? JIM.

Love Has No Labels - Rising


The Ad Council has been running its (now famous) "Love Has No Labels" campaign for a few years now, and I'm all for it. The campaign seeks to promote awareness and inclusion of our differences, and to highlight and celebrate our diversity (my words).

You may remember this execution of the campaign from 2016 in celebration of the campaign's one year anniversary. It gets me every time:


The Ad Council just released the newest installment of "Love Has No Labels," and it couldn't be more timely as it asks the question...why does it take a natural disaster to bring us together? Fair point. Spot on.

The execution is actually a short film, but here's the trailer:


Love is the answer. Love is indeed blind. Love Has No Labels.

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, November 13

Advertising Week - Video of Our Session


We had an amazing experience at Advertising Week this year in New York. I've long been a supporter and a participant, but this year was something special as our first year as BCW.


In case you couldn't be there or in case you missed the live stream...here's our session on Pioneers and Innovators where I interviewed guests from Patagonia and Bank of America. Kinda fun, I have to say.


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

Monday, November 12

"No Matter What" from Calum Scott

Music heals. The song No Matter What from Calum Scott is a great example.

In his song, Calum Scott commemorates his journey of coming out...specifically with his parents.



I am so grateful that people like Calum Scott are sharing their stories in their own way. We all should share our own story, in our own way. Whatever way that is. The more public the better. The more it gets shared, the better.

I myself have shared my story, in my booked called Out and About Dad. In my book, I talk about how I wish there had been stories like this one from Calum when I was dealing with my own issues. Perhaps my journey would have been easier. I wrote my book in the hopes that others' can have an easier time as well.

Music heals. So does sharing our common experiences. So share yours too.

I ask of you...What's your experience? JIM

So please share! What's your experience? JIM.

Saturday, November 10

First Openly Gay Dad as Governor

Jared Polis, the new governor of Colorado
As the mid-term election results continue to roll in, we're seeing more and more stories of inspiration. It's been "a rainbow wave" as Van Jones says. We've seen more women, more color, more religions, more LGTBQ ... we've seen more diversity win elected posts than ever before. And, politics aside, it's inspiring.

I don't care what anyone says, it's inspiring. At least to me. And some of it hits quite at home, to be honest, so of course I would find it inspiring.

I'd like to point out one example: Jared Polis, the newly elected governor of Colorado. He's married to a man and he's a father of three. And he's the first openly gay dad to become a governor in the United States.

If only there had been these kinds of role models when I was raising my two children, not as a governor but as an openly gay man. It was hard, because there were very few of us around. It was hard, and I'm not ashamed to say it twice. I could have used some inspiration back in the day. And just like Jared, I got a lot of, shall we say, "comments."

But "comments" aside, I raised my two kids and they are happily and successfully pursuing their own lives now. I'm hoping that Jared inspires others like them, and also inspires other gay dads to find their own successes, raising their children and pursuing their careers.

Congratulations, Jared! And thank you.  What's your experience? JIM.

PS - Jared's win is also posted on Gays with Kids, if you'd like to read about him there.

Friday, November 9

Planters NUT-rition Recommended by Men's Health


When I discovered the Planters #SaveYourNuts campaign for #Movember the other day, I also came across this little product from the brand...NUT-rition. As in, nuts for nutrition. Clever.

One particular SKU from the product line stuck out at me: the one recommended by Men's Health magazine. It's a special combination of ingredients known to be useful to men's health. So Men's Health tagged it. With #SaveYourNuts on my mind, I immediately went there, but in actuality this product is for overall men's health, not just the #SaveYourNuts kind of men's health. I think Men's Health knows that.


It's a smart "partnership" of a known media authority recommending a product that fits perfectly well with its editorial content suited to the needs of its readership. It's roots are likely The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval from back in the day.


I'll buy it...you? What's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, November 7

Encouragement to #GoVote


"I voted" was the fashion statement of the day yesterday ... I was personally jealous that I didn't get to wear my sticker until after 8:00pm. The day was just too busy so I had to skip my normal 6:00am vote for 6:00pm and hence stood in a very long line. But that was ok, I was thrilled that there was even a line at all and even more thrilled that I too voiced my opinion.

Early accounts say that this year's mid-term elections voter turnout was a "high water mark." My personal experience confirms that. I'm thrilled to see that people care and that people are acknowledging that their vote counts.

We certainly had plenty of encouragement. The hashtags were active all day long.


Including Google's doodle...


Many many companies gave their employees the time they needed to go vote, including those who specifically joined #MakeTimeToVote, a movement led by Patagonia (who also closed shop for the day).



We saw brands all day long drop their own messaging for messages of support to go vote...


Even an unlikely brand like Steak-umm jumped in with this tweet: 

if for some strange reason
you need a frozen meat company on twitter
to tell you to vote in order to do so, then here: go vote


No matter which way or the other, the point is that people got out and voted. And lots of people, organizations, and brands were supporting our democracy in action.

#AndThatsThePoint. What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, November 6

Planters: #SaveYourNuts

It's Movember...the one time each year that men all around the world stop shaving to raise awareness for men's health issues. It's a movement that's been growing year over year over year, with lots of brands getting into the action.

This year, Planters (as in the nuts brand) has gotten involved with a campaign called #SaveYourNuts that urges men to do self-exams for early stage testicular cancer. Nothing new, necessarily, but definitely a message that needs to hit repeat over and over again.

Here's the brand's video, supporting the cause and educating men on how to self-exam:


Nothing else to say. What's your experience? JIM

Monday, November 5

Gillette: Your Best Never Comes Easy


This piece of storytelling from Gillette has been out for a few weeks now, launched just when the new NFL season was kicking-off. It's an inspiring father/son/son story about twin brothers who are teammates on the Seattle Seahawks. With a lot of dedication and a whole lotta love, they reached their goals despite extreme roadblocks.

Don't want to spoil the story...but it's clearly worth a view and worth a share.


Your Best Never Comes Easy...that's for sure. Thank you Gillette for bringing this motivational story about motivation to us all. Especially to us dads.

Way to go, dad! What's your experience? JIM.

CoverGirl "I Am What I Make Up"


When it comes to branding, it's all in the tagline...at least that's what some folks say. I'd be one of the folks, at least some of the time but not necessarily all of the time. Taglines aren't always the end-all-be-all, but they can be quite enlightening, motivating, differentiating, and inspiring.

Can I tell I like a good tagline? I love writing them even more!

I love the new tagline for CoverGirl: I Am What I Make Up.


It's the ultimate in self-expression, taking control, and achieving life's goals. I love it. Here's an inspirational video to go with it:


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

Friday, November 2

Beverage Packaging for the Holidays

Two beverage giants are out for the holidays this week.

First up, Starbucks.

The Starbucks holiday cup is a big deal every year, and it's oh so fun to see the new designs. Last year left many feeling cheated when the big cup was just plain 'ole red. I thought it was clever myself, sort of a twist of holiday minimalism in a way. This year it's red again but it's a permanent cup that can get reused over and over again throughout the holidays, with a discount every time it's used. And today Starbucks is giving them away for free. Happy (sustainable) Holidays!


And then we have Coca-Cola...we've seen this before and it's back again. The label on the bottle actually pulls into a ribbon and bow for the holidays. Happy (gift-giving) Holidays!


More, we want more! C'mon beverage brands, we want more! What's your experience? JIM.