Blog

Check out my weekly posts about communications, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, etc. 

What’s Worth Doing 80 Times a Day on Vacation?

What’s Worth Doing 80 Times a Day on Vacation?

How refreshing were the holidays for you? Does getting away from it all also include your phone? That’s increasingly hard to do. A recent AP story reported that some hotels are now trying to help out by either banning phones from certain spots (like the pool), or by...

Would You Send Christmas Cards to Strangers?

Would You Send Christmas Cards to Strangers?

The reciprocity norm is fundamental in marketing. The concept goes that we’ll repay a perceived kindness. That’s one reason why companies offer free samples or rewards. Or why charities sometimes include giveaways in a fundraising solicitation. More than that, the...

Keep Your Thoughts and Prayers

Keep Your Thoughts and Prayers

December brings all sorts of year-end awards. One that I look forward to is the Word of the Year. That’s a real thing, which a few dictionairies name. It’s the word that somehow sums up what was happening in 2018. Oxford just named "toxic" as the winner. Toxic saw a...

Would You Pay $500 for $19.99 Sneakers?

Would You Pay $500 for $19.99 Sneakers?

How much would you pay for shoes from a swanky boutique? That’s what Payless, the discount footwear retailer, wanted to test in a recent marketing stunt. The results have made for a viral video. In Los Angeles, Payless opened a pop-up store called Palessi, created a...

How to Fight the Negativity Instinct

How to Fight the Negativity Instinct

You ever have an urge to get into a time machine? Where would you go back to? A tip: avoid 536 AD. A team of scientists and other researchers combed through history. That year, they just announced, may have been the worst to be alive. In a study published earlier this...

Can You Name the Highest-Earning Media Franchise Ever?

Can You Name the Highest-Earning Media Franchise Ever?

With American Thanksgiving upon us, Hollywood starts releasing what it hopes will be the holiday season blockbusters. Last week saw the debut of the Fantastic Beasts sequel, and this week brings Creed II and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Yet the biggest hit movies pale...

Voice Lessons: 7 Ways to be Heard

Voice Lessons: 7 Ways to be Heard

Do you cringe when you hear an audio or see a video of you speaking? You’re not alone. People often wonder why that voice sounds so different than the voice they usually hear when they’re speaking. Dr. Yale Cohen, director of the Hearing Sciences Center at the...

Where Else Can You Save on Swedish Meatballs and a Sofa?

Where Else Can You Save on Swedish Meatballs and a Sofa?

Do you associate Ikea with value? That’s ingrained by more than just the good prices on the Liatorp sideboards, Bjustra tables or Billy bookcases. Just head to the bistro or restaurant. The other day at Ikea, I had two veggie dogs for 75 cents each, plus a drink...

Will Invading Martians Really Corrupt Young Minds?

Will Invading Martians Really Corrupt Young Minds?

In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was inundated by feedback from people furious about what they saw as deceitful media content. “I hope you will lawfully prevent such broadcasts in the future and, if possible, severely discipline all...

Do Brands Memorialize or Trivialize Tragedies?

Do Brands Memorialize or Trivialize Tragedies?

A few weeks ago in upstate New York a limousine crashed and killed 20 people. Among them were newlyweds and four sisters. What if I told you that another local limo company was now offering a deluxe package. People could reserve the same type of vehicle, and travel...