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THE LAST CRASH

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Doritos selected its final three commercials for its groundbreaking Crash the Super Bowl competition. All three will win either the big $1 million prize + or $100,000 each. And the “Sonogram” spot might do it. What we don’t understand is why is this the last Crash the Super Bowl for Doritos. The huge value they have received in free publicity has made this promotion a mega winner. What have you done to disrupt your category…and what will Doritos do next?

RESOLUTION? OR PERSONAL GOALS?

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Mark Zuckerberg set a rather ambitious goal for 2016. Little did we know that he sets a big personal objective for himself each year. This year the plan “is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work.” What is probably most impressive about his personal goals is to go public with them. What do you do to hold your feet to the fire in the quest to achieve ambitious personal goals?

THE DRAGON’S DEN

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Cheers from London, where The Dragon’s Den is the UK’s answer to Shark Tank. The same concept, the same pitches. Different set and different judges. Survivor came to us originally from the UK and Sweden. Homeland’s roots are from Israel. Dancing with the Stars now has versions all over the world. How do you scan the world for global ideas you can adopt and adapt for your business?

WORD OF THE YEAR

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As our language evolves, choosing the “word of the year” gets more and more entertaining. The Oxford English Dictionary went with “Emoji”NPR’s editors went with “Gig.” But our favorite was the American Dialect Society which has spotted the increasingly common usage of “They” as a gender-neutral pronoun. As in, “Phillip was concerned that they would be late for class.” Gulp. What language changes are starting to creep you out?

CORRECTNESS

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Paul has just spent nearly a month out of the country. He told Steve he was champing at the bit to come home. Steve incorrectly corrected him to say he was chomping at the bit. Shouldn’t Steve be right? Think Different was a great Apple campaign that was grammatically incorrect. When should vernacular and conventional wisdom trump the technically correct to communicate more powerfully or effectively?

NEED A LYFT?

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GM’s $500 million investment in ride sharing business Lyft portends a game changer in the automotive business. With ride-sharing a huge and growing business, fewer millennials getting drivers licenses and big dot-com businesses inventing self-driving cars, who buys cars when and why will likely continue a transformation in the automotive business. How are you looking into allied category businesses as a way to change your game and strengthen your bottom line?

TWEET, TWEET

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News is Twitter is preparing a variation on the 140 character limit that has been the heart, soul and original reason for being for the brand. Hmmm. There’s already a name for a Tweet that’s longer than 140 characters—it’s called a Blog. We understand that the economic model for Twitter has been a problem. But brevity is the soul of wisdom and are 10,000 character posts from Twitter really tweets?

CUSTOMER SERVICE

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It’s the small things that separate good customer service from great customer service. We were adding Buffer to our social media toolbox and inadvertently ordered the version for large corporations. We eMailed Buffer about the error and one of their CSR’s got back to us within an hour acknowledging our error and correcting the billing. Good customer service. But when we eMailed a “Thank you,” they went the extra distance. They asked us to let them know if the reversal showed up on our credit card and please let them know either way if it did or didn’t. It did. We replied. And they thanked us again. What little things do you do to separate good from great?

TOP TEN

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We were discussing media with a client CEO who was eager to reach consumers in America’s largest cities. And then he proceeded to rattle off a list of Rust Belt northern markets. When we politely corrected him, he was almost startled that in his years in the executive suite the top markets had shifted to the Sun Belt. “Atlanta? Houston? Really?” was his only response. How do you make sure you’re operating off the latest, most accurate data in your business?

THE RIGHT VOICE

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Most of the advertising we see is instantly forgettable. But occasionally, a marketer finds the right way to communicate to their target audience—and when they do, the results jump off the page. The new campaign for The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas shows provocative images of 20- and 30-somethings and the tagline, “Just The Right Amount of Wrong.” (Which they wisely trademarked, as well.) A perfect calling card for a Vegas property looking for well-heeled Millennials. And a good follow on to “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” How do you find a brand positioning that resonates, has staying power and can find its voice in multiple expressions?