Jonathan Salem Baskin

Political Parties Are Archaic Social Media Platforms

Tuesday's election results are being consistently characterized as the result of "anti-DC, anti-establishment" anger. Two winners from opposite political parties, Joe Sestak and Rand Paul, were on TV Wednesday morning talking about the need for accountability from politicians and that voters are tired of being ignored.

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Surviving the Reign of Social Media

P&G's new Pampers Dry Max diapers are under siege from a grassroots social media campaign accusing the product of causing chemical burns. Two class action lawsuits have been filed in Ohio. The company has denied all claims, both legal and anecdotal. The marketing trades are covering it as an emerging case for "the power of the democratized web" and I'm sure it'll appear in every digital marketing agency pitch that gets peddled this summer.

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The Land of Lost Brands

Though I often like to riff on smart or silly marketing decisions, I'm more interested in the business strategy behind brands. In considering Dell and Starbucks, I'd have to say that both companies are utterly and somewhat similarly lost

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I Hate the Word "Content"

Calling the output of writers, musicians, moviemakers and even the artisans of branding's dark arts "content" is like referencing the substance of every meal "food," or labeling the specific events of human experience "life."

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For Want of a Switch

The Gulf Coast oil disaster is has already achieved horrors of epic dimensions -- 11 people are dead and a slick the size of Puerto Rico threatens to devastate ecologies and economies from Louisiana to Florida -- so talking about marketing right now seems somewhat irrelevant. But BP's branding plays a central role in both the run-up and aftermath of the crisis, so there's much to be learned from it.

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PowerPoint Makes Us Stupid

I read with a mixture of shock and smug satisfaction the recent New York Times story in which a Marine Corps general said “PowerPoint makes us stupid.” It turns out the popular presentation format has been messing up American war strategists just like it has confounded corporate planners. 

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Say Hello to Mass Media 2.0?

Reckitt Benckiser ("RB") made ad trade headlines last week when it announced a record-setting $40 million web video buy for 2010. What shocked everyone wasn't the dollar amount but rather that the company pretty much doesn't care where the ads run.

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How Low Can You Go?

Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary has announced his desire to remove all but one of the toilets on each of his planes, and install a coin-operated lock so passengers need to pay to use it. What's strange to me isn't how radically nutsy this idea might be. Rather, it's that nobody is terribly surprised.

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In with the Old, Out with the New

Twitter and MySpace each announced programs last week intended to make money by giving advertisers access to their users. The approaches couldn't be more different, and I think they raise more questions about the nature and hopes for monetizing social behavior than they answer.

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Facebook & Siebel: A Tale of Two Decades

Advanced technology. Ideas that promise to revolutionize the way businesses are run. Out with the old, in with the new. Not sure how it'll make any money? Mere details. Get going or risk getting left behind. Great riches will come to those with the guts to throw caution and experience to the wind. 

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