This post smells like my navel

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Goop sells a $75 candle that smells like Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina. Paltrow and her perfumer came up with it. Look, I’m no prude. Bodies have smells, and smells generate emotions, some warm and touching. But that’s because the smell goes with the body. That’s why your girlfriend’s hands or your husband’s cuddle smell so good … Continued

The end of the No Name Restaurant

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There was once a seafood restaurant in Boston that had no name. It never marketed itself; the food did the talking. It lasted 102 years. Now it’s bankrupt and gone. When I first came to Boston in 1979, I lived in graduate student housing in Cambridge, a four-bedroom apartment with three other guys. The day … Continued

Beware marketing thought leaders bearing fashionable truths

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I just came back from a conference full of marketers. Marketing conferences challenge the mind — but not necessarily in the way that they should. There are the talks that are intended to inspire. They are about being true to yourself and your brand, or the power of outstanding customer experience to inspire people. They … Continued

You need Jay Baer’s “Talk Triggers” to make your business spread and grow

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There’s this book called Talk Triggers by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin. It has alpacas on the cover. And you should buy it, because it’s really useful. If you’re in an agency, or in marketing, you’ve probably heard clients say “We want to create something viral.” It’s practically a meme. And it’s insipid. You cannot … Continued

The digital clutter tax: how taxing marketing impressions would improve everything

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We tax things that are bad for society, like tobacco, alcohol, and gambling. Unfettered, undifferentiated internet advertising and marketing impressions are bad for our souls. Let’s tax them, too. Spam. Clutter. Noise. There is just too much of it. Raise your hand if your inbox is full of stupid, pointless, and undifferentiated offers. Say “aye” … Continued

Content marketing is good for your soul — and your company’s, too

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Content marketing is a way to drive traffic to your site, get leads, and generate business, right? Well, sure. But if that’s all it is, it’s just inside-out advertising. No, I think there’s more to it than that. I’m considering this as I prepare for three upcoming conferences. Starting tomorrow, May 2, I’ll be at … 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

Air France aims its new airline, Joon, at credulous millennials

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Air France announced a new subsidiary targeting millennials, Joon. It apparently believes that millennials will select an airline based on branding and style, unlike everyone else who buys on price, convenience, and a reduced chance of being assaulted. The resulting announcement is as airy as a fresh-baked Parisian croissant. The Joon announcement is breathless My … Continued