Jonathan Salem Baskin

The Real Mobile Opportunity

I was on a podcast panel a few weeks ago and we got to debate whether coupons were the killer app for mobile marketing. I said I didn’t think so, though the idea is certainly valid and lucrative The real mobile opportunity, however, makes coupons look like a Foursquare check-in.

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Elegant Goth Lolita

Earlier this month, a guest contributor to the blog Racialicious accused Victoria’s Secret of “fetishizing” Asian women because it packaged a mesh teddy with a matching fan, hair chopsticks, and faux geisha obi belt (pictured on an Anglo model). The predictable social coverage swarm ensued, and now the product has disappeared from the company’s site.

I can’t decide if I’m inspired or depressed by the news.

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From Empowerment to Abandonment

My networked, always-on life just hit a wall, and it has given me a chance to consider how quickly and completely digital experience can go from feelings of empowerment to feeling utterly abandoned.

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Why Not?

There are certain marketing tactics that drive me nuts, and one of them is using any excuse to capture attention. So I regularly rail against stunts like Old Spice’s viral videos, which I liken to purposeful car wrecks on the side of the purchase funnel road. Its latest — Muscle Music, which features a guy getting his muscles shocked as if his body were playing a song — has accrued 7 million views on Vimeo and almost a million on Facebook.

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When Marketers Give Up

Vermont’s tourism folks have decided to give up promoting their state to a rotating cadre of residents who’ll tweet whatever they please, following the broad outlines of Sweden’s experiment doing the same earlier this year. Social media evangelists praised both campaigns as “bold experiments” that recognized the immense potential of social interaction.

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Real Storytelling

Did you catch any of those AT&T ads during the Olympics in which a winning swimmer or runner time was actually in the spot like right after somebody won a race? It wasn’t that immediate (though I remember it so), but it was nevertheless an incredibly brilliant example of how the artifice and invention of marketers could produce stories that were as real as reality.

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The Campaign to Kill Advertising

It’s likely that $1 billion or more will be spent on advertising during the 2012 Presidential race, even though few experts believe it will do much to sway voters. What it will most certainly accomplish is to further erode the value and utility of advertising as a tool for communicating truth.

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Marketing's Revenge

Now that we’re starting to see the first class of major brand CMOs who embraced the inanity of non-marketing marketing via social media bite the dust, their former employers are acknowledging the fundamentals of smart marketing…albeit with new twists and technologies.

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I Want JC Penney to Succeed

JC Penney announced a no-sale strategy last year, along with an intention to replace sales with “everyday low prices” and a more respectful approach to its customers (instead of perpetuating the inane high pricing, constant discounts, and other detritus that have all but destroyed brick & mortar retailing).

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Ads As Absurdist Comedy

Two current TV commercials have me thinking that they were written by Samuel Beckett: Toyota’s “The Ex” spot for its Camry and Oscar Meyer’s “It’s Yes Food” hotdog ads make us wait far too long for a payoff that proves to be utterly disappointing…not to mention just a stupid violation of basic, tactical rules of 21st century advertising.

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