Jonathan Salem Baskin

Questionable Sources

I can't claim to be qualified to dissect the behavior of venture capitalists (and I certainly don't mean to throw them all under the bus, as some of them number among my good, respected friends), but I wonder sometimes if marketers have been duped into believing in a social media liturgy that's actually a cover story for a concerted effort by technologists and their supporters to make money.

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Bright Lights Project: United Airlines

United and Continental airlines merged on October 1, 2010, claiming the same rationale of customer benefits and improved performance that are regularly used to excuse mergers in automobiles, pharmaceuticals, and every other industry.

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A Bubbling Crisis

Coke reportedly took more than 6% of its UK ad budget last year and put it into social media campaigns. Sales across Europe declined 1%, though its take-home sales in the UK were up 8.3% (Britain's best-selling brand, according to The Grocer magazine).

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Glowing Reviews

The news coming out of Japan couldn't be worse for the American nuclear industry. Manufacturers, suppliers, and electric utilities must be cringing with every headline, as the information includes science, statistics, and security...all subjects that your average consumer is fairly incapable of understanding (and certainly not via short blasts of news).

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Bright Lights Project: Volvo

I remember my parents' two Volvos in the early 70s; a little wagon and a 4-door "sports sedan" shaped like a child had drawn their outlines. Narrow rectangular boxes with another box attached on the middle for the cabin. They were cool and Yuppie before Yuppies knew who they were.

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The iPad of Air-Care

P&G's Febreze is about to announce that it has grown to annual sales of $1 billion of its Febreze brand in an "air-care" category that is down overall and in which its competitors' results are flat, at best. And it did it without have a single conversation with its customers via social media.

 

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Bright Lights Project: Levi's

If you're like me, you shoot the breeze with marketer friends (as well as friend friends and family) about brands, especially those that run ads that either float to the sky like poetry or crash like a gulp of overcooked pasta. I've decided to try to make these ideas available to those brands...sort of an open source medic service, teeing-up ideas from the crowd that are unqualified, probably impossible to do, and otherwise make perfect sense.

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No, No, Stop Tweeting Already!

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. If you are a regular dim bulber, you know what I'm going to say. My apologies, in advance, but this content thing has gotten waaaaaay out of hand. I don't blame the proponents of social theory. They're good salespeople, and they seem to believe what they're pitching; the fact that they're completely clueless isn't my beef. I say shame on marketers for being so gullible and lost for believing the BS.

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Your Best, Not Mine

I was somewhat entertained during parts of last night's 83rd Academy Awards show (promoted as "Oscar" this year), but far more struck by how irrelevant it has become. It used to matter much more, and fit into a broader continuum of community and engagement.

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New Media TOE

Many very smart and inspired individuals are working overtime to tell us that new technologies have made every preconceived notion or received truth of communications old. They describe a wildly complex New World that requires lots of strange words, convoluted reasoning, and counterintuitive approaches.

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