The SpaceX Tesla and the military parade are both legit branding exercises

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Yesterday, we learned about two promotional stunts, one executed and one planned. Elon Musk launched a Tesla Roadster into solar orbit and word leaked that Donald Trump and the U.S. military were planning a massive military parade. These are both branding exercises. What do they say about the brands they reflect? Sports cars in space … 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

Venerable Tribune Publishing, now “tronc,” spews techno-drivel

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Yesterday, Tribune Publishing, purveyor of news since 1847, changed its name to “tronc” (short for “Tribune Online Content.”) It’s now a “content curation and monetization company” — a company that makes money from content, what we used to call a media company. Today, I deconstruct the rest of its attempt to use techno-drivel to misdirect our attention from its … Continued

All merger announcements are bullshit, Dell-EMC included

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The fantasy world of merger announcements bears no resemblance to the reality of mergers. Michael Dell’s post about the Dell-EMC merger is a fine example. Why do companies merge? There’s always language about “complementary skills and assets,” but that’s always bullshit. There is always language about “serving customers better” but that is also bullshit. Companies merge for … Continued

McDonald’s announcement of marketing hires isn’t very meaty

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Troubled McDonald’s announced a new chief marketing officer and PR head. While the press release is as bland as a Big Mac with no secret sauce, the media swallowed it whole anyway. Here’s the actual news: McDonald’s hired Robert Gibbs, former Obama press secretary, as EVP, Global Chief Communications Officer (that is, head of PR). It … Continued

SAP’s jargon-filled hybris press release: why bother?

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Why are you still doing press releases? And why are they so awful? In 20 years as an analyst, I received 10,000 press releases. I acted on four of them. But PR pros still craft releases and send them to wire services to clutter up everybody’s inboxes. They’re not just poorly read but poorly written, like this delete-provoking … Continued

Why there is so much bullshit: an analysis

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All day long we read on our various screens. This has vastly increased the demand for content, which comes to us through many channels. But those who create it have forgotten what good writing is. Think back to the world of 1980. The average consumer or businessperson at that time had no email, and there was no Internet. What … Continued