One Mad Hit Juice Box. V’Nilla Cookies & Milk. Whip’d Strawberry. Carnival Crunch. Twirly Pop. Could these be new ice cream flavors from Ben & Jerry’s? Or Kellogg cereals? Nope. They are flavors of E-Juice, also known as smoke juice or E-liquid, a nicotine-based liquid used in electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers.
Les Moonves, the longtime CBS chairman and CEO, is out as the latest #MeToo casualty in the wake of sexual assault and abuse allegations detailed by The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow. Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Louis C.K., and Kevin Spacey - also gone, but not forgotten. As the list continues to grow, so does the outrage and price of keeping a sexual abuser on the payroll. Just consider the astoundingly low opening receipts of Spacey’s latest film release, Billionaire Boys Club: $126.00. Not $126 million, or thousand, but just 126 dollars. Less than the cost of a new pair of designer jeans. If you wondered how much Spacey (who denies the allegations) would suffer, you can now do the math.
The youngest crop of teenagers - known as Generation Z and born between 1996 and 2010 - represents perhaps one of the most complex and misunderstood customers in advertising history. A highly mobile, social media-fluent, and socially conscious generation of multitaskers, they are expected to account for 40% of all consumers by 2020 with the potential to wield billions in buying power, making them a larger and more diverse cohort than Baby Boomers or Millennials.
Summer was on sale again in May at Southwest Airlines, whose smiling pilots and flight attendants offered one-way fares as low as $49 as part of its annual, multi-platform "Transfarency" marketing campaign. For decades, Southwest Airlines led the nation’s domestic carriers as one of the most aggressive advertisers, with a $218MM advertising budget in 2015. Its front-facing public relations and brand strategy projected an image of the nation’s most consumer-friendly airline with a family-style employee culture. The investment paid off with good press and high returns.
Until it didn’t.
Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” remains a standout after more than 14 years. By deconstructing beauty norms at a time when few women considered themselves beautiful according to modern standards (in other words, skinny, young, and blemish-free), the personal care brand created what Ad Age considers the No. 1 campaign of the 21st century. A successful brand campaign such as this may look effortless, but it’s the product of skilled marketing expertise, good strategic judgement, and boundless creativity. But what about the campaigns that don’t meet these criteria?
Even as ethnic inequality, violence and racism (hello, Roseanne Barr!) continue to roil Ameria, the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice confronts a shameful era in our country’s past and provides a permanent place for reflection about the painful cost of treating people as less than human.
You can be forgiven for not knowing where exactly the U.S. stands on foreign trade on the day-to-day, with talk of everything from trade wars to truces. Yet the shifting economic climate poses a significant challenge to industries trying to market themselves at home and abroad - along with the creative agencies who support them.
If advertisers understood the importance of social media before, the protest marches and unprecedented string of teacher strikes provide even more confirmation of digital media’s critical role — when used well — in engaging an audience and shaping public discourse from the grassroots up. K-12 education is a particularly tricky industry for advertisers. It’s one of the two largest industries in the US - comparable with healthcare - accounting for 7.2% of the nations GDP and the largest employer in every state, but spends only a fraction on advertising compared to other industries, according to Forbes.
What does it take to be a woman at the helm of advertising? What role does gender play in the leadership and growth of creative agencies? I recently set out to answer these questions along with Katy Osborn, doc filmmaker and co-founder of Amelia Street Studio, in our first ever Facebook Live.