February 2015 - PS Insights


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Paul’s wife used to joke that one day maybe Amazon would be so successful they would open a store. That day has come. Amazon@Purdue is the first of who knows how many stores Amazon may open. Like the UPS and FedEx stores before it, it seems pretty smart to extend end to end consumer interface for ready brand access. How many touch points do you activate to meet your customers in their lives


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SNL just had its 40th anniversary lovefest. What struck us as interesting is the advertising creative directors who selected the 13 best SNL commercials of all time.  Great parodies have their genius in understanding the source material they mock. These commercials are funny because they demonstrate an understanding of advertising form, content, writing, acting and product. Do you “go to school on parody” to make your serious ventures better?


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Alison Williams was recently put in the tough spot of defending her dad, Brian Williams. In so doing she called him a “truthful man.” This whole episode has been extremely awkward for fans, colleagues and celebrities to talk about his truth indiscretion. Psychologists say that we all lie and actually lie a lot. They even talk about good lies and bad lies. Obviously, lies that subvert public trust don’t make the category of good lies. Do you lie? When? How? Why? And do you try to ensure your lies are on the better side of the ledger?


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We have just witnessed the Super Bowl of film – the Oscars. The Academy Awards give out Oscars for all kinds of accomplishments surrounding movies. One of the awards is for best original song. You can check out as many as you like here. Almost none ever make it to the Grammys. Few are memorable. So, why is this a thing?


Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments posted a series of tweets from story artist Emma Coats. They’re 22 guidelines she learned about storytelling from when she worked at Pixar. They’re simple. Insightful. Incisive. And can guide you in building anything from a global marketing plan to your resume. How do you keep your (potential) customers engaged and interested?


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To mark the 80th anniversary of the French version of Monopoly, Hasbro has packed 80 sets with real cash! 80 lucky buyers will open their set and find 20,580 euros ($24,000) inside. The stunt got global coverage—and for $2 million, Hasbro has garnered a huge amount of free publicity (not to mention a boost in French sales of the game). How big do you think when it comes to promotional opportunities?


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The big winner in the Super Bowl was….heart! Starting with the highly-voted Budweiser lost puppy spot, earnestness, love and family connections ruled the day. A far cry from the comedy, coarse innuendos and burlesque of past years. Are advertisers finding their hearts…and, ours? Are you?


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Non-profits battle for scarce dollars and for messaging that will break through. And when the cause doesn’t have a high profile (such as Mollie’s Fund), they’re sometimes willing to go to extremes to build awareness. This spot promoting the dangers of tanning salons goes right to the edge. When and how do you think scare tactics are effective in cause-related marketing?


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Valentine’s day is the classic Hallmark holiday. And they just broke a campaign (hit “see all interviews here”) that shines a new light on the brand. How would you say “I love you” without using the word love? It’s a simple conceit filmed beautifully with a wide range of couples in a Dove Real Beauty authentic kind of way. What do you do to update your brand image and still stay true to it?