You would think that 51 Fridays in the red and one in the black isn’t the kind of “high” a retailer could get behind. Yet sacrificing margin for volume and getting myopic about shopper frenzy, most retailers once again placed all their bets on black last week because… hey, isn’t it the busiest shopping dayContinue reading “SUDDENLY RED FRIDAY: WHY RETAILERS ARE ADDICTED TO THE WRONG DAY.”


When a brand uses a marketing tactic so salacious, so outrageous, that the first thing you ask your self is “am I missing something”, you know that brand has pushed the boundaries too far. And so, today, Philadelphia’s Urban Outfitters is forced to apologize and defend itself in the face of an egregious miscalculation. ConsiderContinue reading “URBAN OUTFITTERS MISS THE TARGET AND STRIKE A NERVE.”

Marketing’s 94th Minute Goal

So if the U.S. World Cup team scores a goal to win a game 1-0 with five seconds left on the clock, how much is that goal worth? The easy answer, of course, is that whether it was scored with five seconds left on the clock or 89 minutes, its value remains the same: it’sContinue reading “Marketing’s 94th Minute Goal”

retail’s blood money

There’s something very scary that happens in retail every October. Something more frightening even than Amazon’s impending same day delivery platform. More menacing than the Dollar Store next door, or another dip into the consumer confidence pool. The scariest thing in retail is an $8 billion holiday that’s as misunderstood as the Frankenstein monster (fire….Continue reading “retail’s blood money”

advertising’s pathetic superbowl hangover

  The day after. Not a very good time for football fans or advertisers. But while you’ll remember the Packers for a while, and probably remember the Saints winning in 2010, you surely do not remember last year’s ads and by tomorow will forget the dogs serving beer, talking babies, and the rest of theContinue reading “advertising’s pathetic superbowl hangover”

those perfectly imperfect people in ads

  We all know the first rule of anything… learn when it’s time to break the rules. So here is one of advertising’s very first: Always represent the aspiration, the win, the way things could be if you only chose the advertiser’s product or service. It was advertising’s first copywriting superstar, Claude Hopkins, who ledContinue reading “those perfectly imperfect people in ads”

the sausage that sets up the marketing

Any way you slice it, it’s tightly controlled and brilliantly executed merchandising that sets up ROMI. And if you don’t like portuguese sausage (i.e. Liguica) as an example, then we can talk about RFID chips, or perhaps cavemen. But before we talk real meat, the lesson is that if you can build, engineer or otherwise invent aContinue reading “the sausage that sets up the marketing”

blackout: retailers stumbling in the dark on black friday

Black Friday is the second busiest shopping day of the year. A rite of shopping passage that generated $10.6B of retail sales in ’09, including $595MM of online sales (up 11.2% from ’08).  This particular November, the official opening of retail hunting season opens on Friday, November 26th, and once again it’ll be a showdownContinue reading “blackout: retailers stumbling in the dark on black friday”

the definitive definition of the big idea

Ideas are the so called currency of our time. Discover one, and you have an undisputed eye for talent. Develop one, and you’re a billionaire. Create one in marketing, and you’re an award-winning legend.  But while many have tried to define the big idea, I always default to Randall Rothenberg’s definition from what many consider to beContinue reading “the definitive definition of the big idea”

blank, you’re it

For sculptures, it’s a hunk of clay or block of stone. For dancers, it’s the human body. For architects, it’s the very land itself, which demands adherence to its shape and texture. But when it comes to the raw materials for advertising’s creative professionals, there are but two, and each is at once frightening andContinue reading “blank, you’re it”