Posts Tagged 'advertising'

Philip Kotler on the Marketing Hall of Fame

Did you know that chairman of the nominating committee for one of the first Marketing Hall of Fame inductions was Philip Kotler?  Yes, back in 1995, when he wrote,

The two most important assets of any company, brand value and people value, are unfortunately not on the books.

While brands have slowly made there way onto the financial reports, marketers are still not on the books as valued and valuable resources. While there are awards for campaigns or for short-term successes, e.g. “Marketing of the Year”, there is no recognition for the people who have made tremendous contributions to marketing overall, and over a number of years.

We are changing that.

This year the Marketing Hall of Fame is inducting 3 individuals who have shown their innovation, leadership, inspiration and success over time, and often across multiple disciplines. This year we are celebrating brilliance in marketing, by focusing on the people behind the brands.

Marketing Hall of Fame to the people who make outstanding contributions to the field of marketing and are inspiring and educating the next generation of marketers.

Today I was in touch with Philip Kotler about his past role in the Marketing Hall of Fame. Phil Kotler wrote to me,

I am glad to hear that you are reviving the Marketing Hall of Fame and centering it on awarding people.

And he is already putting in nominations. I invite you to do the same.

Now is the time. This link takes you to the place:




The Marketing Hall of Fame Is Now Open

There is a Nobel Prize for Economics. And a Nobel Prize for Literature. Why isn’t there a Nobel Prize for Marketing?

Welcome to the one, the only, the official Marketing Hall of Fame. Celebrate Brilliance in Marketing.



The Marketing Hall of Fame is where the Nobel Prize of Marketing lives. Produced by the NYAMA.

Stay tuned…more to follow…

4 X 4 in Times Square – or – Unpacked in the Packed Square

One of my secret vices is reading a book while walking down the street.  Now, since our offices are just off of Times Square, I reach a point where I just have to put down the book and look around me.  As anyone who has walked through Times Square lately can tell you, Samsung is launching the Samsung Galaxy S IV right there, tomorrow evening.

While I was admiring all of the digital billboards for the Galaxy S 4, I had to do a double take.

4 by 4?

4 by 4?

LG is engaged in their own guerrilla tactics.

In this case LG is probably wasting their money.  Their message is speaking to themselves, or to Samsung Mobile executives, but certainly not to the average person who just sees


It just fits in with all of the other “4” billboards wrapped around the neighborhood.

The 4 Corners of the Galaxy

The 4 Corners of the Galaxy

Honestly, I didn’t even realize that the LG billboard was trying to poke fun at Samsung until I looked at the photos later in the day.  “It will take more than 4 to equal one.”  With the visual emphasis on “4” LG is actually hurting their own cause.  Their spending is reinforcing the Samsung message.   Times Square is crowded visually, LG needs to have a better storyline to stand out.  There is no stopping power to their advertising.

Full disclosure, while Samsung is a client of Verse Group, we did not participate in this unpacked event.

Is The World Ready for TRUTH in Advertising? How About Next Week? How About $5,000?

It’s January.  Time to for you to enter the Clios, the One Show and the newest advertising competition of all… The Truth in Advertising Contest!

Sure, those statues and plaques from the other award shows are fun.  The awards dinners are fun.  But do you win $5,000?  Only The Truth in Advertising Contest gives the winner $5,000.

And remember, there’s only one place where you can find TRUTH in advertising.  And that’s in the novel by John Kenney.

You can order it today, but you’ll have to wait until next week for the Truth In Advertising.  That’s when it goes on sale.


Learn more at:

Food Truck Marketing

As readers of this blog know, I’ve been following the trend of gourmet food trucks opening up at the same time that restaurants are closing down.  This morning I discovered a new twist on the trend.  Food Magazine using a food truck for marketing purposes.  A perfect brand metaphor!

Food Truck Marketing

Yes, they are giving out hot chocolate, candy canes and other seasonally appropriate fare.  If you have a few minutes, you’ll see them on 23rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Food Truck Marketing


As you’ll see, this isn’t simply a marketing ploy.  There is a social responsibility initiative connected to the truck, benefiting Share Our Strength.

Food Truck Marketing CSR

I am all in favor of any form of marketing that gives out hot beverages on a cold day!  Maybe we can get Harvard Business Review to set up a truck on Wall Street to give out coffee and business advice…

Fact vs. Fiction – or – The Folks At AdAge Watch Too Much TV

I nearly choked on my diet coke this morning when I read the headline from Ad Age.  “Mad Men” Offers Lesson in Agency Branding”

This story arc has a lot to say about advertising, much of it not very positive. Whatever happens, that

challenge of creating a unique brand for the agency that Don wrestles with only a bit less than he wrestles

with the whiskey is something agencies still wrestle with, 45 years later.

Hmmm.  A TV show about a fictional advertising agency 45 years ago has a lot of negative things to say about advertising…today?  Now let me see if I have this right.  Agencies today are going to watch fictional TV shows and learn how to be better agencies.  Or is it that they’ll learn about the benefits of AA?


Mad Age

Mad Age

You guys over at MadAge are watching way too much TV.  You might as well tell us to all follow the great example set by Darrin Stephens from Bewitched.

The Sweet Streets of NYC


Joyride...the name says it all


Sure, the sidewalks of New York City have a reputation for being dirty hard places.  Mean Streets, as Martin Scorsese titled them.  But they do have a lighter side.  As the song goes, “we can trip the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York.”

If you are thinking global and acting local, then street-level marketing is the place to be.  Feet on the street are hyperlocal.  These entrepreneurs are reinventing the street vendor, creating a new category of post-modernist, post-graduate art installations masquerading as high concept food trucks.

To show the sweeter side of NYC, I’ve compiled a few photos of this new breed of food vendors you’ll encounter clogging up the city streets and crowding the walkways.


A Van named Leeuwen



Who's your edamame?



Caution: I brake for cupcakes



A neat treat!



Street smarts


Not quite what people usually mean by a sidewalk cafe…

Different is different – or – The Spy vs. Spy Skool of Branding

You can hardly sleep through a marketing lecture without hearing the word “differentiation” so many times that it begins to seep into your daydreams.

The language of differentiation — giving your product a point of difference that customers will value — has become so pervasive that it is taken as a categorical imperative…With all due apologies to Immanuel Kant.

In theory, differentiation is a lovely idea.  But in reality is highly ephemeral.  From the stand-point of a physical product anything can be copied — quickly and cheaply (particularly if you don’t have to invest in coming up with the idea in the first place).  Well, not everything. For instance, a patented formulation stands a good chance of holding off the hordes of imitators for a good while — at least in North America and Europe.  But that aside, just about any product point of differentiation you can imagine can be quickly copied.

What happens next is the true danger of differentiation.  I call it the Self-Referential Hermetic School of Tautological Reflexology.  In other words, spending more time looking at what your competitor is doing in response to what you are doing and what you will do in response to that.

Example: About 5  years ago I was meeting with the marketing executives of Movilnet, a wireless phone company in Venezuela.  They were positively gleeful as they showed me a new commercial.  The commercial was making fun of their competitor, Telecel.  Why all of the joy and glee in the room?  Because they knew the ad would be taken as an insult by the head of marketing at Telcel.  Millions of dollars in media spending to insult the competitor — without a thought to attracting customers.

I wish that anecdote was a one time case but I have seen it repeatedly around the world.  Looking at the other guy instead of focusing on being yourself and your connection to the consumer. Well, it’s rather like the old Mad Magazine feature, Spy Vs. Spy. It bears little connection to the world of consumers.

Spy vs Spy

Spy vs Spy

Click here to see Differentiation In Action!

Focus on what you have most control over.  And that is the resources and direction of your company.  Real differentiation comes from self-awareness and creating your own path to the future.

Effie evidence

One of the lovely things about the Effies is getting your photograph as one of the winners.  You can link to the photo finish here or at the NYAMA.ORG

Proof positive that I was actually at the Effies.  It’s one of the few photographs of me in a tux, so I shall treasure it.  I’m the fellow third from the left, in case you don’t recognize me when I’m not wearing sneakers!

Evening at the Effies

Evening at the Effies

Off to the Effies

Last night was the annual Effies award dinner, so I dug out my tux and put on a bowtie.  On my way over to Cipriani I was wondering why I don’t wear these to client meetings.  It’s fun to dress up.

The place was packed, the event sold out.  More than 750 people attended and many others were unable to buy tickets in the first place.

I also saw the Effies from a completely new perspective.  In the past I had been one of the ad agency people sitting at a table wondering if we won bronze, silver or gold.  The tension was gone this year since I was attending in my role as a board member of the NYAMA.  That made the whole evening more enjoyable.

One friend asked me, “So what does ‘effie’ stand for?

Advertising effectiveness, I explained.  To which he responded, “It must have been a short evening since advertising is less and less effective.”

So here’s the list of winners, in case you missed it last night.

2010 Effie Winners

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