September 4, 2007

Zen Garden Fertilizer

No single raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood.

February 15, 2007

Overselling The Package

You can't sell the value meal until you've sold the burger, and you can't sell the package of goods until you've sold the primary component.

Find the one thing that has the best shot at being bought by your potential clients. Sell it and then let it work. If it works for the client (and why would it not?), then you have already accomplished the majority of your marketing.

February 12, 2007

Rebel Without A Carpool Lane

Have you ever been driving on a highway when a police officer works his way into your little pod of traffic? Everyone slows down, afraid that they will be nabbed for doing exactly what they were doing when the officer was out of their eye sight (but not radar range, mind you).

Does the same thing happen when your boss walks into a meeting?

Both the officer and your boss are omnipresent. They both know you are repressing your instincts because of their presence. And most importantly, they both have the ability to hand you a little pink slip of paper that could cost you a lot of money.

Civil disobedience is a right, so bend (or break) a law or two under the watchful eye of the man. James Dean would do it.

February 6, 2007

How Many Wireless Routers Do You Have?

My dad loves the fact that he "borrows" the neighbor's wireless signal. He does not have a router at all.

Most people have one. It sits next to the cable modem and zings along with a high-speed internet connection.

I have three. One for the voice-over-IP phone system and one on each end of the house, linked together so I can wander around in my boxer shorts, laptop in tow, typing entries for this blog.

What does it all mean? Who knows, but there is probably some connection for your product or service in measuring things like this. Non-standard demographic, personality, or habitual data can mean a lot... if only you can find the right, strange, little niche and align it with your purpose.

February 5, 2007

"I'm A Bit Of A Whiz With These Things"

    Of all the things in the advertising business, nothing irks me more than having an ad or a piece of copy sent back to me by the client, re-written. Because inevitably, the result is a half-assed, watered-down, cliche-ridden mess.

    I don’t mean asking for changes such as modifying an odd word or sentence, adding appropriate technical info, or moving some paragraphs around. On the whole, those are OK. I’m talking about instances when the client looked at what I wrote, opened up a new Word document, and began re-typing.

    Clearly, it’s the one bugaboo that writers have to put up with more than art directors. Because clients can often ask for idiotic suggestions in designs or layouts, but they can’t whip out Quark or Photoshop and make it happen. Everyone, however, knows how to use a word processor.
Is the world moving toward more half-assed technological dexterity or are professionals going to look that much better in the face of increasing amateur incompetence?

February 2, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Boston Guerrilla Marketing Thing

Because it is ridiculous on so many levels and has to be mentioned, read about it here.

Did You Know That...

... materials engineers design and fabricate different types of textiles and elastics for use in socks based on the friction coefficients of the usual amount of hair present on an average leg?

No, you had no idea. And your customers could not care less about why their socks stay up, either, as long as they do - especially if they are warm and comfortable while they are staying there.

February 1, 2007

Stones And A Butterfly

Iron Butterfly released their first album in 1967. Not many people noticed. In 1968, however, their album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida became the first platinum album in music history, in large part due to the unconventional and revolutionary format of its eponymous single. By the end of 1970, they had released two more albums, neither of which achieved any level of commercial or critical success. That was the end of Iron Butterfly.

The Rolling Stones released their first album in 1964. Over the course of several more albums spanning the next four decades, they became one of the seminal bands in music history. Their latest album was released in September, 2006 and inaugurated with a concert in Boston, attended by a sold out crowd of 44,000 enthusiastic fans.

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but reinvention is the mother of longevity.

January 31, 2007


From AdRANTs...

"... go and rent a copy of 'The Hucksters' and check out the scene where Sydney Greenstreet as 'The Soap Baron' spits up a huge gob of phlegm on the boardroom table to show agency guy Clark Gable how you go about catching the consumers attention...." Read on...

What You See (Part 2)

A Caribbean legend tells of the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

The legend says that the indians on the island where Columbus landed could not see his ships approaching. They saw the ripples in the sea, far away, and were struck with wonder at why such disturbances were occurring in the water. After two or three days of these disturbances moving closer to shore, a shaman was finally able to see the ships. The shaman then went back to his people, described what he saw, and from then on, all of the indians on the island could see the ships.

No one could see the enormous Spanish clippers at first, the legend continues, because they had never seen such things before. They recognized the ripples in the sea because they knew and understood the water, but they had no way to conceptualize what was creating the disturbances because they had no previous associations of such things in their minds.

Once the indians had been told about the approaching ships by their shaman, and had the idea set into their minds, they could finally see the ships and would always recognize them as such.

January 30, 2007

What You See (Part 1)

When a camera takes in an image, it is objective and records what comes through its lens, without bias, not giving preference to one piece of information over another. The brown book sitting on the shelf is as important to the camera as the red fingernail raised toward the sky.

When the brain takes in an image, it receives 400,000,000,000 bits of information each second, but only processes 2,000 of those bits because the brain has a network of neurons that has been trained to use associations, both of objections and of familiarity, to sort information into quickly usable portions of fuel for decision making.

When watching a movie, is the focus on the streetlight in the background or the exploding truck in the foreground? The camera makes no separation between one bit of light and another, but the brain does.

January 29, 2007

Authentic Fake Picassos

A friend of Pablo Picasso recounts this story...

I was staying with Picasso in his studio. Every day, dealers would come by to authenticate paintings they were trying to sell. They would ask Picasso if the painting was real or a fake.

A dealer came by one day with a painting, Picasso glanced at it, and without hesitating said, "fake." Later that day, two more were identified as fakes.

The next day, a different dealer came by. Picasso hardly looked up. "Fake!" he bellowed.

After the dealer left, I couldn't help myself. "Picasso, why did you say that painting was a fake? I was here, in this studio, last year when I saw you paint it."

Picasso didn't hesitate. He turned to me and said, "I often paint fakes."