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. 


4 Brands Winning Big in Social Media with Surprise and Delight

This past weekend I had the joy of throwing a surprise birthday party for my wife. And by joy I mean massive amounts of stress and that sick feeling in my stomach I get when I have to withhold the truth from my wife (which is infrequent, I swear!).

After I took her out for lunch and a spa treatment, we returned to the house, where the guests were huddling in the rear hallway. When we pulled into the driveway, my wife noticed that one of the trash barrels had been moved to the side porch (to make it easier to clean up after the party). Even though I begged her to take care of it later, she had to put the barrel back in its place. This would mean we’d enter from the side door, not the front door, as had been intended.


Food Truck Culture: Is There Room for National Chains?

Food truck fanatics, hold on to your tongues: Fast-food giants from Sizzler to Taco Bell to Jack in the Box to Applebee’s have fully functional food trucks parading down streets across America. Some just hope to capitalize on the current food truck trend, while others predate it. Should supporters of what some might call authentic food truck culture—the kind incubated in Portland, Oregon; Los Angeles; and other cities—be worried about these flirtations by the big-timers they already vie with every lunch hour?

An increasing number of quick-service restaurants are looking at the medium as more than just an agile promotional vehicle for products and locations—a view that could spell trouble for independents. 

But, instead of being considered a threat to the carefully cultivated culture’s longevity, could the increased presence of national brands (as documented by AdWeek) just be a harmless, but telling, aftereffect of a new marketing approach’s success?

One thing’s for sure: The wild success of certain food trucks is no fluke; it’s in no small part due to a breaking from the marketing conventions of larger chains in favor of a nimble, post-ad-approved approach. Mobile or brick-and-mortar, there’s plenty for businesses small and large to learn.


Taco Bell Harnesses Social Media to Squash Customer Beef

Few are naive enough to think that Taco Bell is authentic Mexican cuisine. But diners were recently surprised to discover that the restaurant chain's “seasoned beef” actually consists of only 35% beef, technically classifying it as something known as “taco meat filling.” Not sure what that means? No one is. In response to the massive social media outcry stirred up by the class-action lawsuit that brought the disqualified beef to light, Taco Bell started to “think outside the bun” itself, actually giving away the secret recipe. Bon appétit!

Flipping Out Over Pancake Day

Who doesn’t love free food? Brands like Taco Bell, 7-11, and Einstein Bros. have all created fake holidays to hawk free products. IHOP has also devoted a day to its signature dish for the past five years (National Pancake Day, February 25th), it’s partnered with Children’s Miracle Network to be more than a stunt: it’s a reason for celebration.