Coca-Cola Falls Flat Tackling Obesity

This past weekend my beloved New England Patriots, a team in the U.S. National Football League, lost in the conference championship game, falling one game short of the Super Bowl. I was devastated and inconsolable, and even as I write this I sadly consider what could have been.

Up until what ultimately became the Patriots’ final game, their season was fantastic. They won 12 out of 16 games and earned the second seed going into the playoffs. But against a motivated Baltimore Ravens team, the wheels came off and the Patriots were handily defeated, at home no less. I wholeheartedly expected the Patriots to at least make the Super Bowl, if not win it. I never expected this. 

I had a similar surprise as I watched Coca-Cola’s two-minute spot addressing the obesity problem, which is often blamed on the soda industry and high-fructose corn syrup. If you haven't seen it, take a look. 

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Is Twitter a Gold Mine for Character-Based Brand Storytelling?

This post originally appeared in our December '12 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

My wife has never seen the movie Goonies, released in 1985. That’s a shame. So many classic lines, and one of the most well known yet practically silent characters, Lotney Fratelli, better known to the masses as Sloth. 

The strong, silent type, Sloth had only three audible lines, but anyone who has seen the movie can recite his most famous one, “Sloth love Chunk!” 

For the more than two decades since the movie’s release, the only words Sloth muttered were those in his three lines. That is, until he joined Twitter.

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10 Marketing Lessons You Can’t Learn From Walmart

This post originally appeared in our November '12 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

I’m not ashamed to admit that one of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Maila complete rip-off of Sleepless in Seattle, even using the same lead actors (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). Ryan’s character runs a small independent bookshop in Manhattan, while Hanks’s character is opening a large retail bookstore with low prices (if only he’d known how technology would change the way we read) just down the block.

In the late 1990s, when the movie was made, this was a common story line. What were small businesses going to do when Borders, Walmart, Kmart and Target moved into town? How could they compete with rock-bottom prices and one-stop shopping?

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When is Manipulation in Advertising Okay?

Manipulation: the action of controlling someone in a clever or unscrupulous way.

It’s a touchy subject, but arguably advertising in its purest form is manipulation. Campaigns want to change behaviour or elicit a response. You can’t argue with that. 

But we’re not in the business of manipulation, are we? We’re in the business of moving and compelling people to engage with, share and advocate a brand or product.

We’re in the business of storytelling.

Meet documentary maker Ken Burns—a master of manipulation through the medium of storytelling. He’s the man behind titles such as The Civil War and Baseball. He argues a good point and one that has inspired this blog post.

Manipulation is present in every story whether we like it or not.

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Finding Tips for Social Success at the Bottom of a Wine Bottle

I stood in the hills of Le Plan de la Tour, in Provence, France, just a short drive from Saint-Maxime and 20-minute ferry to Saint-Tropez. I looked over the beautiful vineyard that sat just steps from the small cottage my wife and I were renting with another couple for a week last October. The air had the perfect morning chill that required only your most comfortable sweatshirt, but implied that the day would be beautiful and warm, as it seemed every day must be in such a beautiful place. I could only imagine the stories that each grape held about its journey from vine to glass.

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Fight Club, Cinderella, and What Storytelling Means for Brands

What does Cinderella have in common with Fight Club?

Lots, according to Jon King, Story Worldwide's Chief Storyteller. During the ‘Storytelling for Brands’ session at our London office last week, part of Social Media Week London, we shared Story’s brand-centred approach to narrative content.

We draw our inspiration from the most important study of storytelling ever done, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell. Campbell’s insights have influenced and guided the approach, which he called the hero’s journey and which is used in all forms of narrative, including classic films from Cinderella to Fight Club.

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Social Media Week London 2012: The Full Story

It’s time to get your Twit on and fire up your Facebook! Social Media Week London is back and it promises to be bigger and more collaborative than ever.

For those of you who don’t know, Social Media Week returns to London for it’s fourth consecutive year from 24th – 28th September 2012. Hosted by Chinwag, this year’s theme is Empowering Change Through Collaboration. Digital dons and social-savvy client-siders will reflect on the global impact of social media and its role as a catalyst in driving cultural, political, economic and social change.

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5 Tweetable Lessons Learned from Content Marketing World

This past week I had a front-row seat at the largest content-marketing conference in the world, aptly named Content Marketing World. Hosted by our friends at the Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing World was two full days of rubbing elbows with those in marketing (more than 1,000) who understand the value of using a coordinated array of media to engage consumers, deliver value and tell a brand’s story.

With speakers like Mark Schaefer (of Post-Advertising Summit fame), Jason Falls, Jay Baer, C.C. Chapman, Mitch Joel, Ann Handley and Jack Hanna (yes, that Jack Hanna), the conference armed me with a plethora of content-marketing tips to tweet to my followers.

Here are 5 nuggets of content-marketing knowledge and inspiration, short enough for you to tweet, that were imparted at Content Marketing World. 

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Post-Advertising Survival Guide Vol 5: Introduction to Social Media

Social media has emerged on the marketing landscape and quickly helped redefine how brands market to today’s always-connected consumer. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram have created two-way avenues of communication and media sharing between brands and their audiences. The possibilities seem endless, and many brands that have yet to embrace these tools are peering down off the edge of the diving board, ready to make a big splash. But it’s not that easy.

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7 Reasons Storytelling Is Important for Branded Content

Gutenberg invented the printing press around 1440. 
The first radio transmissions were in the early 1900s.
The television became commercially available less than a century ago. 
The Internet is not even old enough to have a drink (legally; at least not in the United States).
Facebook and Twitter are just out of diapers, and the next big marketing tool is still in the womb or possibly just a twinkle in its creator’s eye. 

When most people think about marketing, these are the tools they think of: print, radio, TV and the web. None of these, however, are ingrained in us as much as storytelling. We’ve been telling stories for thousands of years, but we don’t have to go back that far to understand storytelling’s powerful effect on our hearts and minds. Go back only as far as your childhood, when you begged your parents to read your favorite story—the one you already knew by heart—just one more time. Why did you do that? Why was it so important to hear that story?

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