February 19, 2014

Capital One has always been a fun and friendly financial services firm.  They have been bold about it.  But now bold has gone to a whole new level.  They are brazen.

 

Lee Carter examines CapOne's blunders in a recent contract update that was sent out to customers, explaining where they went wrong, who's responsible, and what they should do about it.

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February 14, 2014

When we think about current policy debate in America, few issues have become as pervasive as the energy debate. And when you're dealing with something so relevant and so urgent, language matters.

 

That's why we were shocked to hear one particularly vocal U.S. senator, who shall remain nameless, coining an impressively meaningful phrase this week: "Energy Renaissance." Take a look at Lee Carter's analysis of how these words could reframe, or even win, the energy policy debate for those who know how to use them.

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February 11, 2014

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is set to make her first announcement to the House Financial Services Committee today. Lee Carter takes a look at what current expectations are for the new Chair's policies, and how the market will respond to the language she uses to describe them. 

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February 07, 2014

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong just announced that AOL will be cutting back on employee 401(k) plans due to "increased healthcare costs." By which he meant two "distressed babies" whose $2 million in medical bills are apparently responsible for the cutbacks.

 

Lee Carter examines this latest blunder and what it means for Armstrong's competence as a manager.

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February 06, 2014

No matter how sensible your message is, there's always a right and a wrong way to communicate it. And Vice President Biden's recent comparison of a NYC airport with a third world country is yet another example of the wrong way. 

 

Lee Carter takes a look at how and why Biden should rethink his language—and what he should have said instead.

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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 04, 2014

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics have caused an international outcry due to Russian politics and domestic policies, particularly concerning LGBT rights.  Communities around the world have called for boycotts, celebrities have refused to show their support, and now corporate sponsors are unsure about what it all could mean for their investments in the games.  

 

Back in New York, Lee Carter weighs in on how corporate sponsors should respond, and on what the Olympic games really mean for the international community at large.

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January 29, 2014

President Obama delivered his State of the Union to the House last night, repeatedly emphasizing five key ideas: action, opportunity, supporting the middle class, creating jobs, and restoring America. Sound familiar? For a Republican, maybe. Yet the responses to the President's GOP-friendly speech weren't too well received by Republican audiences. 

 

Lee Carter breaks down these five points from last night's address to see how different audiences on either side of the aisle responded. And her conclusion doesn't surprise us: as always, it's not what you say...it's what they hear.

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