Posts Tagged 'JWT advertising agency'

2014 Marketing Hall of Fame — A Turning Point In Marketing

On Wednesday night, 5/28, we will be inducting 3 people in the 2014 Marketing Hall of Fame.


This marks a major turning point in marketing. The Age of Narrative Marketing is now ready for prime time.

It was 10 years ago that Ad Age mocked the very idea of narrative as a strategic framework, metaphors as the keys to compelling communications  and storytelling as the single most effective way to integrate digital and traditional media. The catalyst? A major talk by the CMO of McDonald’s revealing the secret for the company’s revitalization and leap in relevance, market share and stock prices — a new model for marketing, Brand Journalism, spearheaded by Larry Light.  Among the detractors were Al & Laura Ries were among the loudest detractors, “The notion that McDonald’s should abandon the positioning philosophy and instead adopt a brand journalism approach is lunacy.

  • Around the same time the ARF (advertising research foundation) was conducting a major industry study on the power of story being more effective than the traditional rational “proof point” or “reason-why”.
  • Gerald Zaltman was publishing widely on his research into the universal power of metaphor.
  • And 10 years ago I introduced the Narrative Branding model of marketing.
  • Douglas Holt of Harvard was demonstrating a model of “iconic” brands in which cultural storytelling was more important than the standard “positioning” or “USP” models.

Lunacy, heresy, whatever you want to call it, the reality is that narrative models of marketing are far more effective than traditional positioning. How far has marketing gone in the direction of narrative marketing?  When Liquid & Linked was revealed at Cannes it was received with awards.  More importantly, it is helping the company to achieve it’s aggressive marketing goals. And that is what is most important.

So join us on Wednesday as we are celebrating the brilliance of Beth Comstock of GE, Joe Tripodi of The Coca-Cola Company and Philip Kotler of Kellogg School of Marketing.  Each one of them has broken with the old traditional model of marketing.

  • The Coca-Cola Company’s model of Liquid & Linked is a prime example.
  • Beth Comstock has elevated the role of marketing within GE to create new markets.
  • And Philip Kotler is always at the forefront of where marketing is going, and particularly how marketing can promote positive social changes.

Another sign of the new age is that several years ago JWT, our host for Wednesday night, embraced Brand Journalism, created videos around their version of the approach, held panels at SxSW and did much to promote the new model.  The Commodore would be proud!

So come on Wednesday. Celebrate the Age of Narrative Marketing! Celebrate brilliance in marketing!



Last Thursday HSBC was giving you the opportunity to make yourself heard.  If you happened to be walking anywhere near Madison Square you were being invited to express yourself about preselected attributes.  

All you had to do was step up on a soapbox, hold up a sign and speak your mind.  JWT and LeadDog Marketing did the rest.  


Speak up America!

Speak up America!










The thought crossed my mind that I could use the opportunity to stand on a soapbox and explain to HSBC that the experience of their branches did not align with the cultural sensitivity of their ad campaign.  There is a lot they can do to improve and brand the HSBC experience.  Just look at what TD Bank (formerly Commerce) did with their brand experience.  At last, a place where  I could make myself heard on the key marketing topics of the day!  

Instead I nearly knocked over a sandwich board filled with fine print.  You’ll see how they start with the alarming statement “…you (i) understand that you will be engaging in activities that may involved risk of injury….”  It goes on to say in bold print “VOLUNTARILY ASSUME ALL RISK AND DANGER of personal injury (including death)…”  


The fine print...

The fine print...

Certainly a sign like that should give you fair warning.  It should be posted at the entrance before you actually go into the park.  That would give you the option of avoiding death at the hands of HSBC, JWT and Lead Dog Marketing.  In fact the sign was a good 15 feet into the park.  By the time I was reading it, I was already taking unreasonable risks into my own hands.

Wow, the agency business has gotten much rougher than the days when I was an SVP at J. Walter Thompson.  

Give me liberty or give me...residuals?

Give me liberty or give me...residuals?










And way, way, way down on the board buried in the fine print is the gotcha line.  It says that simply by walking in the Park you…

grant the right to Producers to utilize your image, likeness, actions, name, voice and statements in perpetuity in any live or recorded audio, video, or photographic display or any other transmission, exhibition, publication or reproduction made of, or at, this event without further authorization or compensation.”

Not only was I risking injury and death but I was also giving up the rights to my own name, likeness, etc. forever!  And in exchange I was getting no compensation at all.  None.  And I didn’t have to sign my name, I just had to walk into the park.

Of course any “unauthorized video recording is prohibited.”  

The final irony?  HSBC was asking people to talk about FREEDOM…


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose...

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose...

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 29 other subscribers