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May 23, 2012
CandyBoxImages -

My wife got a five-dollar restaurant coupon, and in our house five-buck restaurant coupons get used.

The last twenty years has called for brilliant marketing strategists. But American marketing has responded by shallowly redefining its meaning.

Amy Walters /

I’m always fascinated by the different ways people earn their living and what people can be sold. 

The very best advice about advertising is: if you have something important to say, just say it. If you don't, sing it. So it distresses me when I see advertising that says nothing, for a brand that really has something to say. And in the case of JC Penny, I mean, literally nothing.

One of the hardest jobs consultants have is convincing companies to spend to keep existing customers, instead of putting everything into chasing new customers. 

Everybody knows brand names are important. And that picking a good name up front can save millions and years building brand awareness. But an office building name? 

Marty Haas /

If you Google duct tape, you’ll discover that there are eleven million, seven-hundred-thousand results.  For duct tape.  An industrial product.

Duct Tape was made first by Johnson and Johnson in nineteen-forty-two.  First use was to tape ammunition boxes during World War II because it was moisture-proof.   GIs also used it to repair guns, Jeeps, airplanes, almost everything.

EventImages21 /

Rolls-Royce has hired its first advertising agency in America.  The task for the agency is to create a new, younger image for the car that is a cliché for wealthy, old men with chauffeurs.  

The company believes its appeal to well-heeled, older buyers remains strong, but Rolls-Royce wants to capture younger, affluent drivers as well.  Word is that the agency is likely to utilize a lot of live, promotional events, as opposed to traditional media advertising.

When Companies Grow Up

Oct 19, 2011
Adrian Pingstone / WikiMedia Commons

Almost all companies start out doing one thing.  Terminix sold termite control.  Added pest control; now blows insulation.

Remember when Kraft meant cheese?  Now Kraft means everything from salad dressing to cigarettes.

FedEx, too, used to mean just one service: absolutely, positively overnight delivery service.  Now add trucking, office supplies, printing and I’m sure there’s more I don’t know about.

So now comes a new FedEx advertising campaign designed to "tell all the cool things we do to help people solve problems."