May 22, 2017

We live in challenging times. Everything is politicized. 


At the same time, we know that 87% of people purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about.So the question is – how do companies engage in a values-based conversation without alienating half of their customers or client-base? 


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February 07, 2017

Every year, brands get involved in politics during the Super Bowl. From 1984 to today, many of our most memorable ads have made a political statement. But predictably, those same ads generate a backlash. Stick to sports! Give me an escape, not a civics lesson! (Puppymonkeybaby, anyone?)

As this year proved again, though,“stick to sports” isn’t advice all brands want to take. So let’s say you’re a brand trying to make a political statement today. How do you create an ad that’s seen as relevant and impactful?


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September 09, 2016

m+p CEO Michael Maslansky joins Mornings with Maria to discuss why American Airlines’ new ad campaign is upsetting potential customers. When starting a conversation about easing the flying experience, what messaging is most effective to quell traveler frustration? Already disgruntled travelers may not be receptive to an instructional tone, and at what point should a company reconsider their language strategy?

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February 10, 2016

When it comes to building—or rebuilding—corporate and industry reputations, I hear three questions most often:  


1. How do we position ourselves as innovative?
2. How do we get credit for all the good we do?
3. How do we respond when our company faces controversy?


These questions are not easy to answer. In the post-trust era we live in, where the public is skeptical of every message from large companies, it’s easy to come off as irrelevant, insincere, or arrogant.


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February 02, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday.  It’s the best day of the year for fans of advertising everywhere!  So, how did this year’s ads stack up?  I think overall folks were surprised – and some were even disappointed – with the serious tone that this year’s ads took.  Instead of tears of laughter, we had real tears in our eyes. This year’s Super Bowl ads could have been sponsored by Kleenex.

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July 29, 2014

Natural lines are nothing new in cosmetics and personal care products.  But with its new commercial, Neutrogena Naturals has taken the conversation to a new level.  Standing behind an array of food products, spokeswoman Kristen Bell sweetly asks, “You read the labels on the foods you eat, but do you know what’s in your skin care?”


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February 04, 2014

What better opportunity for a brand to tell a story to America than Super Bowl Sunday?  Companies from across the country and around the globe reach deep into their pockets to talk to one hundred million viewers for a matter of seconds—all to the tune of $4 million.  So, how did they do?  Did they tell a good story?  Does anyone remember what it was?  Was it worth the millions of dollars they spent?

What follows is our take.  Our awards for this year’s Super Bowl Ad—The Superbowl XLVIII  Ad Mazzies—call out hits and misses when it comes to communicating with Americans.

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February 19, 2013

US Airways and American Airlines produced a full-page ad in both the New York Times and Washington Post last Friday to help tell their story about their intent to merge. Do the benefits of a customized message outweigh the risks of appearing duplicitous?   

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December 29, 2012

Ah, Cyber Monday.  The online shopping event of the year.  It’s the Superbowl.  The Oscars.  The World Series.  It’s what we’ve all been training…err… saving for.


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October 05, 2012

I like commerce as much as the next guy. Big fan of the economy. I’ve even been known to stop some poor kid from embarrassing his future self by lecturing his friends and relatives on the 5 pages of Marx or Nietzsche he just discovered in his freshman survey class (“The thing is, Scooter, a lot of people have actually thought about this before…”).

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