Should a patient portal be an ad-free space? Should anything?

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I was surprised to get a promotional message in my doctor’s patient portal, mislabelled as “New Information in Your Chart.” It made me think about marketing, what it is, and where it belongs. Here’s how it looked: I like my doctor and I like my doctor’s practice, which I think is doing excellent work. I’m … Continued

That Andy Warhol Burger King ad was misguided and pathetic

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Perhaps you watched the Super Bowl yesterday. Perhaps, like me, you found the game, the halftime show, and the ads underwhelming. But what the heck was going on with that Andy Warhol ad for Burger King? Go ahead and waste 45 seconds watching it: If you had 45 seconds to put your brand in front … Continued

S4 Capital and Sir Martin Sorrell embrace the vagueness challenge

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Sir Martin Sorrell built WPP into an advertising powerhouse and then left under a cloud of allegations. Now he’s taking over a new venture called S4 Capital. It has something to do with advertising, but you’d never figure out what from the prospectus. Have a look at the cover. While it’s typical for a prospectus to … Continued

Creative agency jargon at J. Walter Thomson

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People leave companies and executives have to write statements. These statements must say everything and nothing at the same time. This is not the place for creativity, but try telling that to J. Walter Thomson. Matt Eastwood, Chief Creative Officer of the agency J. Walter Thomson, is out. They’re not replacing him. This creates a … Continued

Clueless and shallow in Palm Beach, Florida #ThePalmBeaches

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This advertisement for “The Palm Beaches” was the back cover of the Boston Globe Magazine on Sunday. It is a sign that we are losing our minds. Please, by all means, seek out great experiences. And it’s fine to post great experiences on social media. But if you are seeking out experiences for the purpose … Continued

SoFi delivers my favorite Black Friday advertisement ever

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My eyes glaze over when I see Black Friday advertising. The louder you shout, the more I shut it out. The commercialism sickens me, and I don’t give a crap about deals. That’s why this flyer made me grin so hard. Take a close look at the copy — it’s worth it.     Great … Continued

Pepsi delivers a clueless apology for a clueless ad

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Pepsi’s launched a poorly thought out, protest-themed commercial starring Kendall Jenner. Actual protesters protested the commercial, and Pepsi withdrew it. But Pepsi’s apology is as mild and clueless as its commercial — and demonstrates how advertisers had better steer clear of political minefields. The ad is set in a diverse street protest clearly based on Black Lives … Continued