Jonathan Salem Baskin

AT&T's Breakout Strategy

With a carrier-agnostic iPhone coming to market later this summer, the conventional wisdom is that AT&T will lose customers (its phone coverage and iPhone service haven't been stellar) and a lot of profits (some say the iPhone has been not only its brightest but biggest single source of earnings).

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You've Got To Be Kidding

The markets tumbled, retirement savings dissolved, and home values evaporated as every principle and presumption about individual investing was called at least into question, and more likely to account. Now financial services firm Vanguard is promoting the answer: stop investing, and start Vanguarding.

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iPad Ads a Game Changer?

While technology has not been kind to traditional advertisers, next week's launch of Apple's iPad offers an immense opportunity. Big brand names like FedEx and Chase have bought much of the ad inventory for the next few months. I wonder if they're going to make proper use of it.

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Brands as Sausage Factories

Much has been said about the legislative process that yielded America's health bill this week, and most of the conversation has been about the opinions, expectations, and fears voiced in, well, the conversation. We've just had our first behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the government makes sausage, and we didn't like it one bit. Watching also impeded it getting made, or at least getting it made well.

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Deja Vu, All Over Again

So the Dow hit a bull-market high last Wednesday and gas costs more than $3/gallon. You know what comes next, don't you?

It's not a question of if but rather when we'll all be complaining about falling stocks and rising gas prices. We should be particularly aware of this inevitable reality since most of us are still smarting from the wounds we received over the past year or two.

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Squeaky Wheel Marketing

After Pepsi's announcement earlier this week that it would stop selling the full-leaded version of its soda pop in schools around the world, I was quoted in USAToday saying that I'm cynical about its purpose (the company doesn't really sell much in schools globally anyway) and doubtful of the connection to its sales strategy (so we should celebrate its retreat from selling sweet beverages by...buying more sweet beverages?).

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Marketing Can't Be Controlled by a Dashboard


n. A panel under the windshield of a vehicle, containing indicator dials, compartments, and sometimes control instruments.

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A Brand Too Far?

Mr. Clean is a car wash in Texas. Gerber sells baby life insurance. Caterpillar makes flashlights. I think the brand extension business is just a little crazy.

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Lost Number

Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 OS will not run any apps developed for its previous versions. It has put its proverbial foot in the sandy marketplace and said no to expectations that all versions of Windows run all the applications ever written for it, and traded "backward compatibility" for a "clean slate."

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In Recognition of Good Taste

"Good taste" is rarely used to describe great advertising, but Domino's is going to town with it.

It just announced that it has doubled its quarterly profits after telling its customers that it had fixed the taste of its pizzas. It didn't "improve" things or follow any other standard operating procedures of the marketing world; in fact, it violated some of the basic tenets of advertising, such as telling the truth.

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