Jonathan Salem Baskin

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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Seven Ways Twitter Is Ruining the Olympics

You may have heard that the 2012 London Games are the first “Social Olympics,” as if adding the word “social” to anything makes it different (I think adding “in between the sheets” at the end of a fortune pulled from a Chinese cookie is far more insightful).

So how exactly is Twitter changing the Olympics? I can see at least 7 ways it’s ruining the Games:

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The Post-Advertising Future

For all the talk over the past few years about consumers no longer believing what brands tell them, the shift in content and control away from marketers, and the prevailing power of social interaction as the mechanism for disseminating and using information…isn’t it odd that the only way social technology platforms think they can reliably make money is through advertising?

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Customer Service is Where Brands Meet Truth

A vast majority of American customers are dissatisfied with the service they get, according to a new survey, whether when they’re seeking help with a problem or even simply trying to buy something (80% of respondents said they’d abandoned a purchase process).

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PR is the Tail of a Crisis Dog

I read earlier this week that chicken foods giant Tyson had hired a PR firm (Fleishman-Hillard) to be its “agency of record” for crisis communication and corporate reputation. The article said it was uncommon to retain crisis help on an ongoing basis.

It’s also a misplaced focus of Tyson’s attention.

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Financial Services Don’t Get Social Media

Morgan Stanley is going to let 17,000 of its financial advisers use Twitter and LinkedIn, and Chase is running a promotion (I found it on Facebook) that lets small businesses compete for grant money. Both efforts reveal that these financial services brands don’t have a clue about how to use social media.

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