Friday, February 15

Lincoln Honors Lincoln

It's Presidents Day on Monday, 2/18, and lots of brands will be "celebrating" with weekend sales. But one brand in particular is taking the holiday a bit more seriously.

Lincoln. As in the car brand that bears President Lincoln's name.

The brand came out with this beautiful piece of film, honoring its name sake:

Timely, relevant, ownable...good branding. Also love how the film modernizes the icon. And I believe that it's the first time, in a real way, that the brand has tied itself to Mr. President, which to me makes a whole lot of sense. There's a lot of borrowed equity there, so why not use it.

Is there an opportunity to borrow equity for your brand? What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, February 14

New Zara Logo - It's the Kerning!


If you don't know the design term "kerning" yet then you will now ... it's the spacing between letters in a logo or design element.

The Spanish fashion retailer Zara is certainly showing us what kerning is all about in its new logo, the brand's first update since 2011.

Essentially, the letters are squeezed together and elongated. The "kerning" is reduced dramatically.

Drama! Designers the world over took to social media to weigh in, and many weren't so complementary. One in particular asked if the logo had been designed by AI robots!

A logo is always a tricky thing to update as it's soften met with upset at first and then we quickly get used to it and move on. This will likely be the same with the new Zara logo.

BTW, if you don't know this either ... Zara is a huge retailer worldwide with 2,200 stores in 96 countries! Huge!

What's your experience? JIM

Wednesday, February 13

#KillerSkin from Olay

Of all the categories that I've worked in, beauty remains my favorite. I can't even necessarily pinpoint why, but it's likely because it's the height of the emotional benefit and the perfect example of how marketing can make or break a brand. Certainly not the only category where this is true, but certainly one of the most fun...from a marketing standpoint, and also from a consumer standpoint where participants love to experiment with new products.

Also what makes it fun is that every once in awhile something comes along that breaks the cadence of the category, and we stand up and notice.

This recent spot from Olay during the Super Bowl certainly breaks the norm of the category, with humor and a unique way to not only show the functional benefit of the product, but the emotional side as well. Plus a great sense of humor.

Take a look at #KillerSkin:

Don't we all want #KillerSkin?!? Great use of celebrity too. Pretty clever in my book. Bet we're going to be seeing it online, in store, and at The Oscars!

What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, February 11

Gay Dads in AT&T Commercial

I'm hoping that this becomes more and more the dads in real life situations acting well, normal. No stereotypes, no excessive messaging, just parenting.

AT&T is running a new gotta check it out. Click here to read my article on Gays with Kids.

What's your experience? JIM

Positioning Wine

We don't see a lot of wine brands doing a lot of broadcast marketing ... I'm sure they rely on word of mouth, influencer, event, and certainly retail marketing to see bottles. But every once in awhile a little gem comes along, like this piece of advertising from the brand Yellow Tail.

Yellow Tail is one of the more active brands, and I particularly like their new positioning ..."Tastes Like Happy:"

I love, from a marketing perspective, how they've "positioned" Yellow Tail wine for how people feel in the moment, often with a glass of wine in their hands. It's not necessarily breakthrough stuff, but it is good and you don't often see wine "positioned" like other brands in other categories. I also like how they used their branding element to showcase the "moments."

In other wine news, three stars of the reality show Vanderpump Rules have come out with their own wine and have positioned themselves in the process.

Yes indeed, Stassi, Kristen, and Katie have branded themselves "The Witches of WeHo," and have launched a Pinto Grigio (available online) called "Basic Witch Potion #1." For those not in the loop, "Basic Witch" is a phrase from the show and "WeHo" stands for West Hollywood where the action happens in the show. 

The "Witches" aren't the first reality stars to come out with wine. It's been a long list including Ramona, Heather, Theresa, Brandi, and even Lisa Vanderpump herself. But this one has perhaps the most interesting positioning.

Who knew that you could position wine? Sure can! Any brand needs a good positioning in order to connect with their audience! 

What's your experience? JIM

Friday, February 8

Burger King with Andy Warhol at the Super Bowl

As we finish off the week that started with Super Bowl Sunday, I can't help myself but write one more post about one more piece of advertising. The one went largely unnoticed, much like some of the other hidden gems that I wrote about earlier this week.

But this little ditty deserves a post of its own. Not for its brilliance per se or its creativity. And certainly not for its high production value.

Just because it's cool. Burger King pulled vintage footage to re-run a spot featuring the legendary Andy Warhol eating a Whopper.

As a master in capturing the art of consumerism, this piece of film is crazy appropriate for the Super Bowl, arguably one of the year's peaks of consumerism.


How brilliantly creative of the brand! What's your experience? JIM

PS - In honor ...

Wednesday, February 6

Diet Coke on Board Delta Airlines

To be honest, I personally think this is kinda cute but apparently many folks on board didn't agree with me.

Diet Coke decided to get a bit cheeky with their cocktail napkins aboard Delta flights by inviting people to meet each other and trade phone numbers.

Many thought it was inappropriate. I actually thought it was a bit old-school in a good way, bringing back "back in the day" when we would actually meet people on flights. I've met many a future business colleague on flights. But that's me thinking about it from a non-dating perspective, which is not what I think others are thinking...hmmm.

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

Super Bowl 53 Advertising - The Responses

We're are witnessing a real, tangible "first" this year after the broadcast advertising of the Super Bowl commercials ... the responses are pouring in. Sure, we've seen viewers respond year after year and we've even seen some brands respond to each other on occasion (like Gillette's response to Schick above).

But never have we seen such a dynamic response to advertising from a big event like we are witnessing right now.

Immediately following Bud Light's spot declaring that their beer does not include corn syrup, the corn growers commented and asked to talk. Then on Tuesday, Miller Coors responded with their own story, via a full page ad in The New York Times. The brand called it a #corntroversy.

In case you missed it, here's the "corn syrup" Super Bowl spot from Bud Light:

In other disagreements, evidently the Hyundai "Elevator" spot caught the attention of a full-range of  "vegans" (not in a good way) when it referenced going to a vegan dinner party. Take a look:

PETA in particular released quite a direct statement as follows (picked up from The Washington Post):
“The trend of 2019 is taking the elevator UP to vegan dinner parties (and an Earth, heart, & animal-friendly lifestyle),” the organization said before attempting to hit Hyundai where it hurts:
“Instead of buying a car from people with outdated ideas, we suggest a vegan Smart car by Mercedes. Great mileage & acceleration, turns on a dime.”

And lest you think Maroon 5 itself isn't a brand, their responses post-halftime were quite smart as well. The band donated their fees to the Boys and Girls Club of America and Adam Levine's wife posted a picture of their daughters watching their dad on air. What a great way to shift the conversation. Who's going to pick on dad now?

As I said, I'm not sure we've ever seen this much direct response to television advertising before. And perhaps there's more to come ... it's only Wednesday morning!

What's your experience? JIM

Tuesday, February 5

Hidden Gems - Super Bowl 53 Advertising

The word on the street, in social media, and at the water cooler is that the Super Bowl advertising was a bit, shall we say, drab this year. I'll admit, much of it didn't live up to the occasion as I said yesterday. But there were a few winners, as I pointed out, that did capture our attention and got us all buzzing.

But there were also a few hidden gems that I'd like to point out, that perhaps went under your radar. Allow me to remind you of a few spots you may have forgotten.

Serena for Bumble. Right at the kickoff, Serena Williams let us know that women are in charge for this dating app where literally women are in charge! Note that Bumble has a new version where women can find a new best friend. "The world tells you to wait." Not anymore!

Devour Frozen Foods. I'm not saying that this is the most insightful or the best ad ever created, but it's pretty clever. Food porn is a social phenomenon, and I myself have been guilty of it. But who ever thought of frozen food porn? And who ever thought of Devour Frozen Foods? Well now we do. Here's the uncensored version...

Google Translate. The Super Bowl was a big night for tech companies, and of course Google was there. But I'm not sure anyone noticed this little ditty. 100 billion words are translated on Google a day, but the most translated ones give us hope.

And then there's this one from Google as well, honoring the 7% ... helping Veterans find their next job.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do. What's your experience? JIM

Monday, February 4

The Best of Super Bowl LIII Advertising

It seems like every year people complain about the Super Bowl advertising ... it's never creative enough, never entertaining enough, never enough. 

I, for one, never complain because I simply love the sport of watching it all. Watching and learning and then reapplying for my own work. Marketing is a spectator sport.

But I will say that this year did seem a bit drab. As a collective portfolio, the Super Bowl advertising lacked its game, lacked its passion, and lacked its spirit of the occasion. It honestly felt like just any other night of advertising. Most in my Twitter Party at #SuperBowlExp said much the same. And many felt like there were just one too many robots.

But having said that, it was still an enjoyable night with pockets of creativity, insight, reflection, and celebration.

I read that Americans consumer 1.4 billion chicken wings over the weekend. We did our share at 20. And in the Pringles spot, we learned that there are 318,000 stacking combinations of the flavors. Might just have to try that. 

So now let's get to the ads! Here are a few of the standouts for me this year ...

The 100th Anniversary of the NFL: This celebration of the sport was indeed a fan favorite, topping the list as best ad of the night for many viewers. An ad basically for the game itself. Not my personal #1 because I tend to go for brand sponsors, but right up there. Pure football entertainment which is exactly what the fans want!

Most competitive ad goes to Bud Light No Corn Syrup: It's not easy creating an ad that crushes your competitors, but Bud Light brought the issue of corn syrup to the forefront with this entertaining piece in current Bud Light style (BTW the corn producers weren't happy on Twitter):

As usual, there were lots of car brands. But only one stood out for me and that is Hyundai with its Shopper Assurance: Jason Bateman delivered a compelling way to differentiate the buying process for Hyundai by equating it to a department store elevator. Going up!

Lots of folks liked the Verizon First Responders spot: this isn't the first time that the brand has honored first responders, as well they should. The link to being able to connect to them via mobile is clear as multiple bars. This year, however, the brand featured first responders who had saved NFL players and coaches. The team that wouldn't be here ...

For me, the pick of the night goes to Microsoft and the work its done for gamers with mobility issues: The tagline alone does it for me ... When everybody plays, we all win. The work has purpose, it pulls at your heart strings, and it makes us respect the brand (and gaming) a whole lot more. That's Super Bowl advertising doing its work. Here's the extended version:

All certainly good fodder for water cooler chatter today, as we sort through the game itself and all of the advertising.

What's your fav? What's your experience? JIM

Sunday, February 3

Pizza Hut Hut Hut

We've seen many a brand alter its brand name for a special occasion ... remember IHOb when it promoted its burgers?

Well today for Super Bowl Sunday, Pizza Hut is changing its name to Pizza Hut Hut Hut. Clever!

And its also putting a special emphasis on delivery! The first baby born after the kick off will receive pizza for a year and Super Bowl tickets. Fun!

Should make for a very exciting game, along with all of the other Super Bowl spots!

What's your experience? JIM.

Where Do You Stand

My colleagues at WPP Healthcare published a collection of articles that address "taboos" in brand marketing and communications. They asked me to contribute, which is such an honor. 

Here's the taboo I tackled: brands taking a stand on political/social issues.

Back in the day, we'd never have a brand take on a political or social issue, but times have changed. 

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, January 31

Microsoft and Jeep - Amazing Content for Super Bowl 53

The Super Bowl spots are pouring in, especially the extended versions online, and there are two that have BLOWN ME AWAY. So much so that I can't wait until Super Bowl Sunday to comment on them. So I'm not going to wait.

The first one is from Microsoft, focused on their new game controller that helps those with mobility issues to play more effectively. Because "when everybody plays, we all win."  Wow! Just love the purpose they've given to their brand efforts. Also, ever so subtly, promotes the benefits of gaming.

The other one is from Jeep, with what is perhaps one of the best pieces of film that I've ever seen. Sheer brilliance. Not a new storyline from Jeep which has been pretty consistent year to year with their Super Bowl messaging, but this is the best of the best IMHO! And you have to admire the subtle references to this American brand. And with One Republic singing, how can you go wrong?

I'm hoping that there's more to come for sure. But these two brands are setting the benchmark pretty high and elevating their brands in the process!

See you Sunday! What's your experience? JIM.

"Milk" Just Released a "Real" Campaign

The long and infamous "Got Milk?" campaign just released a new spot ... this time without celebrities but instead showcasing real moments with families. All kinds of families. Including gay dads!

So I wrote about it for Gays with Kids .... click here to give it a read.

What's your experience?  JIM

Wednesday, January 30

Verizon First Responders - The Team That Wouldn't Be Here

Just in time for the big Super Bowl ramp up, Verizon just launched a new video honoring first responders ... specifically first responders who have saved NFL players. 11 players and 1 coach, to be exact. I'm sure there are more, but these are the folks featured in this spot.

It's called "The Team That Wouldn't Be Here." Pretty cool and very inspiring. Give it a look:

It's not the first time that the brand has honored first responders, so my bet is that it's becoming a bit of a platform for the brand. Giving the brand a purpose and showing that it's part of a community is generally a good thing in my book. :)

What's your experience? JIM.

Monday, January 28

Avon Pulls Its Naked Proof Ad

After considerable backlash on social media, particularly from some very influential women, Avon apologized and pulled its advertising for Naked Proof.

The upset was essentially over the headline: "Dimples are cute on your face but not on your thighs"

Good call to apologize and act swiftly. Lesson learned here is to do market research on your messaging to make sure it resonates rather than alienates. The brand may in fact have done just that and still thought it was ok, but I still always like to try to learn from these kinds of issues. 

Marketing is a spectator sport, so we should learn from each other!

What's your experience? JIM.

Starbucks Van - Details Matter

This picture of a Starbucks van with the door open has been making the social media rounds as of late, and for good reason ... it's a good chuckle. 

But for a brand marketer like me, it makes me break out into a cold sweat because it reminds me of how important the small details are in marketing. What should be a good branding moment can quickly and easily turn into a brand #Fail. In a New York minute!

I'm taking this viral photo as inspiration to remember that the details matter, and that there is no detail too small to sweat through when it comes to brand marketing.

Details matter! What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, January 24

KFC Gravy Candle

Love the smell of a good dinner cooking up in the kitchen? Love the smell of gravy in particular? Love the smell of KFC gravy? What say what?!?

If the answer is yes to "all of the above" then you'll think it's super smart to enter the KFC contest to win a limited-edition gravy candle, branded KFC.

You heard that right ... a candle that smells like gravy. KFC gravy...gravy that's cooking up in the kitchen.

It's all just a part of KFChill ... a growing list of brand assets that can help consumers, well, chill. One item in the collection is a soothing soundtrack of chicken getting fried in a deep fryer. Super chill.

A clear example of a brand extending beyond its core offering, creating a more holistic experience for its consumers, tied to what it's all about.

What's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, January 23

Kia & Budweiser - Super Bowl?

It's Super Bowl advertising season, and I've already established that many a brand is deciding to skip broadcast and do something outside of The Big Game. 

Despite being a annual advertiser, Skittles is doing a Broadway Show this time around, for example!

Another big advertiser, Kia, is also putting their Super Bowl money into another vehicle ... scholarships for those "Great Unknowns" out there. The brand is offering money to fund people's ambitions, using dollars that what would have gone into a celebrity spokesperson and giving it to every day people instead. That could potentially be a lot of money! Here's a piece of film about it, called "What If":

Meanwhile, another regular advertiser is continuing with its own "celebrity" ... Budweiser and its famous Clydesdales. Have no fear, this beloved Super Bowl tradition will be back this year! No skipping out for Bud. But this time, the famous horses will be touting the fact that the brand uses 100% renewable energy. "Celebrities" with a purpose, you might say.

Well played. And lots more to come. What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, January 22

SJP Recreates Carrie Bradshaw for Stella

Ah, there's that familiar music, the city sidewalk, the water in the gutter ... yes, it's Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City.

Only this time it's Sarah Jessica Parker recreating the character for brand Stella Artois, with a cute little piece of content supporting the brand's initiative for clean water.

I'm betting there will be more content coming, and I'm betting we'll see Carrie in the Super Bowl.

Mega-fans are going to love it, which is clearly the objective. Leveraging one strong base to build another. It just might work ... I can't help but wonder!

What's your experience? JIM

Monday, January 21

Skittles at the Superbowl?

Now that we know what teams will actually be playing at The Superbowl this year, the annual hype for all of the advertising will certainly start to kick in. I, for one, can't wait! I love it every single year.

Sure, the traditional :30 and :60 spots are fun to debate, but it's the off-broadcast activity that is often even more interesting. And we are starting to be able to count on brand Skittles to give us some good off-broadcast fodder.

Last year, Skittles didn't run a spot during the game but instead produced a full production piece of advertising for just one person (who won a contest) to see it. It's never seen the light of day except for one person! Lots of hype.

This year the brand again announced that it won't be advertising during the game, but will instead put on a thirty-minute (as opposed to :30) Broadway Show in Times Square staring Michael C. Hall with a full team of Broadway-experienced writers, directors, and producers. Tickets have already gone on sale! Lots of hype.

Can you just see the social content coming out of all of this!?!

We'll be talking lots more about Super Bowl advertising and of course once again tweeting from #SuperBowlExp. Join!

What's your experience? JIM.

Sunday, January 20

Gay Dads on the Cover of Parents Magazine

Parents Magazine just featured its first same-sex couple on the cover of its magazine. Gay dads! I literally never thought I'd see the day. So I wrote about it for Gays with Kids. Click here to give it a read.

What's your experience? JIM

Thursday, January 17

Fiji Celebrity Photobombing

Sure, everyone is talking about the new Gillette short film this week ... but the Gillette brand isn't totally monopolizing brand commentary this week. A story from the Golden Globes continues to create buzz day after day, and it's causing a bit of drama.

Evidently Fiji Water was some sort of a sponsor of the Golden Globes, with brand ambassadors carrying around trays of bottled water for guests on the red carpet. Makes sense!

One brand ambassador was particularly (and some say purposefully) aggressive in her stance as she was seen continually photo-bombing celebs on the red carpet. What a way to get your money's worth out of sponsorship dollars! Clever, actually!

A few folks were quite annoyed, stating that they weren't paid influencers so they won't take a photo with the brand in the background. Hence the continued buzz. Oh!

Lesson learned? Truth is that many a brand has tried to maximize its sponsorship money or avoid sponsorship investment through guerrilla marketing tactics. This isn't the first. Just take a look at Beats or Nike at the Olympics. This little stunt is perhaps one of the most obviously intrusive, which may be the source of the negativity. Perhaps a little more subtlety goes a long way? Something to think about! But look at us here all talking about it!

How do you feel about the photobombing? What's your experience? JIM

PS - Here's an update. Seems our photobomber did indeed make quite the scene ... and she'll soon be acting out scenes on the daytime soap "Bold and the Beautiful"!

Wednesday, January 16

Chic-fil-A Cole Slaw Recipe

Chick-fil-A just recently announced that it's beloved cole slaw (such an odd couple of words when you really look at it) won't be on the menu much passed mid-January 2019 (oh the horror!).

So what's a brand to do to keep its loyal customers happy? Publish the recipe! Smart move!

Going to try making it at home? What's your experience? JIM

PS - I can't personally vouch for it because I've never actually had it myself!

Chick-fil-A Cole Slaw(Makes 6-8 servings)
  • 4 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 bags (10 oz bags) find shredded cabbage, chopped to 1/8 inch
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots

Baby Shark

This one is just plain fun, and sometimes we just have to acknowledge things that are just plain fun.

Back in the day when my kids were young, the character Barney (and his show) was all the rage with kids. And his song became quite infectious, almost overnight:

Well there's a new sensation in town who is making quite the same kind of waves as Barney did back in the day. Who, you might ask ... Baby Shark!

Fun, right? Infectious, right? Can't help yourself but sing along, right?

What's your experience? JIM.

Tuesday, January 15

Gillette - The Best a Man Can Get

A tagline can be a powerful part of a brand's communication, letting its consumers know what it offers emotionally. And when a tagline stands the test of time, then you can tell that it must be pretty powerful.

Nike, "Just Do It." L'Oreal, You're Worth It." BMW, "The Ultimate Driving Machine."

Gillette, "The Best a Man Can Get."

Gillette's brand tagline has stood the test of time; I mean it's been around for as long as I can remember (and that's a long time!). 30 years to be exact! It's a powerful statement of excellence and achievement. It's the best a man can get. It's about all of us being the best we can be ... as professionals, family members, and friends.

But truth be told, a tagline shouldn't be a museum piece. A tagline shouldn't merely stand still in the test of time, because it must evolve and grow as the brand's consumers evolve and grow and as our collective culture evolves and grows.

Look at what Nike has done with "Just Do It!"

Well now the Gillette brand is turning its tagline on its heals, evolving and growing and giving it some consciousness. The brand is asking us to be "the best we can get" with a short film that addresses the #MeTooMovement, bullying, role models, and many societal issues that have recently come to the forefront of consciousness. I'll let the film speak for itself.

I'll let you decide for yourself (as well you should) about how this makes you feel. As you can imagine, the social response has been mixed. Not everyone agrees with the messaging and many feel like this is not a brand's place to make these kinds of statements. Many others have embraced it for its purpose. It's hitting the media circuit now.

I for one think it's brave for a brand to take a stand, and I for one believe that a brand should be conscious of its surroundings and should be conscious of popular sentiment. Once conscious, the brand can then decide whether or not to participate in that discussion/sentiment. Clearly, Gillette has decided to participate with "is this the best we can get?" And I'm sure the folks there knew there would be differing opinions yet still decided to take a stand. That's brand consciousness and bravery.

As part of the campaign, Gillette is also giving back with donations to organizations that are “designed to inspire, educate and help men of all ages achieve their personal 'best' and become role models for the next generation.” Check out

The Best a Man Can Get --- The Best a Man Can Be.

I welcome the conversation coming from a brand, or from anyone for that matter. As a professional, family member, and friend, I also strive to be better. And as a father, by the way. I also believe that we should all be (positive) role models for the generations to come! Including the generation we are raising right now.

What's your experience? JIM.

PS - A bit of an update: after just three days, the film has reached over 16 million views on YouTube, has been the #1 trending video on Twitter, has hit almost every media outlet (US), and I'm told that several schools have been showing it in class. 

Sunday, January 13

Pantene's New Hair Model Is One Year Old

At the ripe old age of one, this has to be the youngest hair model on record. Pantene just signed on baby model Chanco in Japan to represent the brand. And boy, I mean girl, does she have a head of hair! And a huge social following.

#HairWeGo is right!

What's your experience? JIM.

Friday, January 11

Cubesats Create Giant Ads in the Sky

Here's a new word for 2019: cubesats. Cubesats are small satellites that orbit the earth, performing certain functions like research for example. Because they're small, presumably they are easy to get up there into space in multiples. Cubesats.

Well it didn't take long for marketing to figure out how to use cubesats too. In Russia, a few brands have been using them to create ads/logos in the sky to look like constellations. Brands like McDonald's and KFC for example.

Intrusive I know. But when used at the right time, could have pretty interesting applications.

What's your experience? JIM.

Thursday, January 10

Mastercard Drops Its Name

Starbucks dropped its "Coffee," and Dunkin' dropped its "Donuts." Strategic business decisions.

And now along the likes of Apple's apple and Nike's swoosh, Mastercard has dropped its name from its logo to now be nameless. Strategic business decision?

Let's face it, there aren't many logos that are recognizable without a word and Mastercard's logo is recognizable. And ownable. So why not be bold and be a leader and be unique?

Turns out there's an even bigger strategic reason for the name drop ... the company is repositioning itself as a "digital payment company" and the "card" in Mastercard is a bit, well, old school.

Well now it makes perfect sense to me. It's not just a logo's much bigger...something only a leader would be able to do.

What's your experience? JIM.

Wednesday, January 9

Kendall for Proactiv

Many of us in business live (and die) by a simple premise: under promise and over deliver.

Under promise and over deliver. When it comes to marketing, we are all better off by over delivering on what we tell people we will do. It makes for a successful brand. Never disappoints.

We saw a good example with Kendall Jenner and Proactiv this week, at least according to the social media reaction to her brand activity.

It all started with a big promise from Kendall's mom, Kris Jenner, who sent out a post over the weekend announcing a soon-to-come announcement from Kendall where she will showcase her struggles and her vulnerabilities to the world like never before.

Whoa. Seemed like it was going to be something big. Or at least that's how social media read it.

Turns it that the announcement is that Kendall is the latest spokesperson for Proactiv, because she too has suffered from acne.

Now acne is no small issue, I can tell you that from personal experience and from years of marketing many an acne brand. Acne is a big personal struggle and it makes anyone extremely vulnerable. It's a big deal and it's a big deal that one of the biggest models in the world is talking about her personal struggle with it.

The problem is that Kendall isn't the first to speak out about acne and she's not the first spokesperson for Proactiv. Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Adam Levine, etc etc. So the drama of this particular announcement from Proactiv didn't live up to the expectation that was set. According to social media's reaction, it didn't live up to Kris's promise.

Despite the true severity of acne, the promise was bigger than the delivery. A good lesson learned for us all in marketing.

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

Tuesday, January 8

LVMH Hotels Adds Hotels to the Luxury Experience

While there are other brands that also define the space, LVMH and its brands are luxury. Louis Vuitton, Dior, Moet ... these brands define luxury every season.

Well the LVMH portfolio is about to add hotels and hospitality to its luxury roster, with an acquisition that will significantly give it impactful presence in the industry (beyond the few properties it already has including Bulgari Hotels).

Yes, LVMH is set to acquire The Belmond Hotel Group which owns several luxury properties including Cipriani in Venice (have you been there ... lux).

According to LVMH, "The future of luxury goods is in luxury experiences." Indeed.

What's your experience? JIM.

Sunday, January 6

Changing Tables in Men's Restrooms

Progress! Grass-roots progress! 

New York State is now requiring men's public restrooms to have a changing table! For years, dads have been saying that it's almost impossible to change their baby's diaper in a public facility. Thanks to some legislation written by a gay-dad Senator from New York, that's no longer an issue in New York. 

The photo above went viral last year, with many more to follow, showing the real (and ridiculous) struggle.

Thank you New York! Hopefully other states will follow!  Bravo!

What's your experience? JIM