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3 Reasons to Break the Rules of Advertising

Busting down barriers and breaking the rules may not work so well if you’re a doctor or lawyer.  So welcome to the world of advertising and creative production, the perfect place for people who don’t care for or play by the rules. High quality, authenticity, and wickedly unorthodox content is achieved by pushing toward, and through, the edges of what has already come before.  

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Breaking Taboos in Advertising: Censorship Need Not Apply

In our quest to be advertising pioneers, we always want to push that envelope, toe that line, blaze that trail, all while being truthful and honest in order to get our brand message across.  So how taboo does content really need to be in order to get people talking, to raise eyebrows, and invoke change?

Marketers and creatives alike have found that being unapologetically honest - a perfect ingredient for being, and breaking, taboo - is not only good for change, but also good for business. It sells more products and creates a base of loyal brand advocates. More importantly, they get the conversation going about important, human topics such as menstruation, sexual activity, erectile dysfunction, and race that have otherwise been seen as inappropriate or just plain scary to talk about.

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Diverse and Inclusive Advertising in the Wake of Blackface

One could be forgiven, or at least, definitely understood, if they awoke in recent weeks from a 100 year coma and thought not a lot had changed.

It’s appalling that in 2019, especially February, which is the month we celebrate and honor black Americans for their culture, contributions, and creative endeavors, that the news has been smattered with story after story about blackface. From elected politicians to high-fashion sweaters, it seems as though we can’t flip on a news station or scroll through a news site without seeing a case of blackface.

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Southwest learns the hard way: For a brand with ‘heart’, quality matters, too.

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.

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9 Ad Campaign Fails from Years Past (and lessons learned along the way)

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?

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The Virtual Revolution Goes Mobile

If you’re in marketing, the augmented and virtual reality experience may seem a bit old hat by now.  But the virtual revolution is taking a new shape - thanks to the ever transforming capabilities of our mobile devices.  

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Experiential Art & Advertising: How blurry is the line that separates them?

Experiential art connects viewers to one another and to the work itself in ways that surround, captivate and fascinate - producing experiences that are anything but ordinary.  It was only a matter of time before the advertising industry jumped on board.  “I believe art is a bottomless pit to be used for experiential inspiration. It allows advertisers and brands to behave badly or strangely and with a shrug of the shoulders say 'it's art',” explains Campaign.  For art purists, that may be an uncomfortable line of thought.  For agency executives, it’s a line of thought that works.  

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