Blog

June 2015 - PS Insights

BEST? NOT SO MUCH…

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A recent article in Bloomberg Business “Why signing your emails with ‘best’ is actually the worst” trashed the use of “best” as an email signoff. Many of us use the word in email and it certainly feels better and a whole lot more digitally contemporary than “Very truly yours” or “Sincerely.” We don’t know how “best” became the popular email signature. But we also don’t know why the author felt a need to take it on as a problem. Do you have a better way to signoff? Regards…and, thanks.

NOT SO SWEET

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Beware the power of a former ad man. Alex Bogusky has just created a disturbing spoof of the iconic Coca Cola Hilltop commercial for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The commercial showcases the powerful harm of sugar and soft drinks. It’s tough to watch, but makes its point powerfully because of the happy pervasiveness of the original. How do you mash-up pop culture to get extra firepower in your messaging?

SWIFT ACTION

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First Taylor Swift went after Spotify. Now, Apple. The blond crusader has made major impact defending artists’ rights to get paid by streaming music services. Certainly, she doesn’t need the money. But her letter “To Apple, Love Taylor” got immediate action by Apple to pay music artists during their 3-month free trial. How do you extend your position or platforms to create important social action?

“MOI?”

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Deniability is disappearing. In this age of metadata, security cameras and personal cameras in everyone’s pocket, the ability to say, “I didn’t” or “It wasn’t me,” is fast disappearing. Ultimately, we think this is a good thing—what’s your take?

MAKE ME LAUGH

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Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld have both announced they will no longer perform at colleges and universities. They are incensed with the comments from hyper-vigilant PC people in the audience. The Politically Correct Police claim comedians like Rock and Seinfeld are out of touch. But the other side of the debate is that good comedy, by its nature, is going to be Un-PC. It’s one way we’re all able to look at a debate with some sense of perspective. Do you think Millennials are overly sensitive—or showing us the right way to be?

WHAT IS “PRIVATE”?

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Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker has pundits predicting the end of that “news service.” They posted a video of him having sex, and the courts have refused to throw out the $100 million suit, saying that even a public figure like Hogan has the right to some privacy. All of us—not just celebrities—are being increasingly confronted with these random invasions of privacy. Whether in a news story or in someone else’s Facebook postings. How do you manage and keep control of your “private” self?

21st CENTURY HIEROGLYPHICS

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Adweek recently ran an article discussing the increasing prevalence of emoji and emoji hashtags in advertising and social media. It’s tough enough to gauge open and honest reactions to commercial communication; interpreting emojis adds another layer of obfuscation. As cited in the Adweek piece, is a smiling poo face good news or bad news?

CHALLENGE THE LEADER

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Body Armor has just taken on category leader Gatorade to stake a claim for authenticity and currency. By contrasting sports old and new and challenging a brand that owns over 75% of the category, this is probably a no-lose for them. Challenger brands have a lot of room to grow in categories that are dominated by a single player. How do you look for and drive those opportunities?

CREATIVITY vs INVENTION

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Helayne Spivak, former creative chief extraordinaire and director of the VCU Brandcenter was recently interviewed by Adweek on the subject of creativity vs. invention. She said, “Creative brainstorms can result in many different concepts and ideas that might never have existed in the universe before. However, until these ideas are put into action they remain just theories, creative though they may be. An invention is something that also never existed before, but as a product, a thing, it is immediately tangible. Creativity has led to many an invention.” We have often said a great idea is just that but doesn’t have much meaning if it never makes it to the marketplace and no one knows about it. What do you do to make sure your best ideas are activated?