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Adventures in Marketing

How the Kmart Stole Christmas

KmartLayaway

Not so fast…

It’s actually not so hard out there for a retailer during the holidays.

Doorbusters; great sales; everyone rushing to get their children that last special gift to cram under the tree (if that’s your thing). It shouldn’t be a problem to spend some money — even if you have to use the luxury of layaway.

It’s a great invention that allows people to save up, use a store savings account, and buy those really big gifts. That is, unless the store decides to cancel layaway and then keep your cash.

Attention all Kmart shoppers: We have a serious issue. Read more

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Taken 3 Uses LinkedIn to Endorse a Winner’s ‘Particular Set of Skills’

liam neeson linkedin

Typically, the more sequels a movie gets, the more it evokes images of suckage and cash grabs.

Noted franchises like Jaws, Resident Evil, Friday the 13th, and Scream come to mind when considering the carbon copies of movies that should have just tapped out after one or two. This brings us to Liam Neeson’s Taken series.

If you have seen the movie, you know that he plays a man with “a particular set of skills.” Understanding the plight of bad sequels, there needed to be a great stunt to get people interested. And then someone thought of a LinkedIn endorsement by Liam Neeson.

We’re suddenly interested in this movie now!  Read more

Beard Baubles Are Sold Out, But You Can Still Wear ‘Christmas on Your Face’ For Charity

635538892045561108-BB3-hiresWith only days until Christmas, many have already lit their trees, decked their halls, and donned hideously awesome holiday sweaters, so they may be under the misguided impression that they simply have nothing left to decorate. There may, however, be one long-neglected potential canvas left to adorn with holiday sparkle; what about the beards?

As you may have heard, ad agency Grey London heard the cries of barren beards everywhere and responded with a solution that is not only undeniably decorative, but — in keeping with the holiday spirit — highly charitable.

Enter: Beard Baubles.

Read more

STUDY: 84% of Vegans Return to Being Meatheads

vegetarian bacon

Just when herbivores — be they vegan or vegetarian — thought they had all this good mojo going into the holidays and didn’t have to make that hapless “I’ll start dieting” resolution, comes some bad news and buyer’s remorse.

According to the Humane Research Council, more than 84 percent of all veggie lovers relapse to the tune of a steak dinner. And then, Che Green, executive director of the HRC, provides the Captain Obvious moment of 2014:

“It’s obviously a negative for animals.”

Good one, Che.

Read more

The 12 Days of Christmas Will Be a Little More Expensive This Year

Holiday-SpendingHey look! It’s the ghosts of Christmas past, paster, and pastest.

What’s really perplexing is that while these cats are long gone, their products continue to cost us more and more money with each passing Christmas even after accounting for inflation! Whatever the reason, it happens — and this year is no question.

The company delivering the bad news is PNC Wealth Management, which has embraced its role as the provider of America’s annual financial blues.

So, if you are in the market for a partridge in a pear tree, you may want to shift gears and consider something in the fig tree family…

Read more

Netflix CEO Predicts the Death of TV by 2030

netflix tv

Many PR people don’t pay attention to national TV ratings, but at Mediabistro it’s part of our job description.

Even those who don’t track Nielsen numbers know that people aren’t watching as much basic cable as they used to because of more channels, more options, more annoyances, and a lack of compelling programs.

Check out the Emmys next time to see how many statues HBO, Showtime and AMC win…and if you’ve seen “House of Cards“ or “Orange is the New Black,” then you know why Netflix is now a powerful player in this conversation.

OK, but the company’s CEO Reed Hastings just predicted that TV as we know it will be dead by 2030.

Agreed?

Read more

The Force ‘Awakens’ a Whole New Realm of Movie Publicity

Star Wars 7Marvel does it. DC Comics is learning it. Star Trek did it. But there is no movie series in history that has created the kind of hype as the Star Wars saga.

The year was 1977, and some “stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerfherder” named George Lucas came up with the odd idea to begin hyping a movie months before it hit theaters.

At the time, observers considered the three-month-long teaser period even more ambitious than the movie itself, but the film did okay — it’s still number six all time on the top-grossing flick list.

That teaser campaign created a new model for publicizing movies…one closely followed by Lucas’ successor, J.J. Abrams.

Read more

How PR Tried to Take Away ‘Black Friday’

you have to fight So here I am, wrapped in my Santa Snuggie with a Turkey hat, going in and out of a gravy-induced coma while beset by media coverage of “Black Friday.”

The mayhem. The carnage. The humanity.

I thought this day of delirium had to do with getting stores “in the black,” but then I stumbled upon a Big Friday fact that I didn’t know:

PR tried to kill it…or at least spruce up its reputation a bit.

Read more

Prince Is Not Thankful for His Online Fans

prince-1-selfie

Talk about a “controversy” making people “delirious.”

In the record span of two months, the enigmatic-genius-symbol currently known as Prince did the unthinkable — he gave his fans what they wanted and then took it all away…along with his entire video collection online.

And then he drove away in his Little Red Corvette and made all the doves cry.

Read more

Blackberry Thinks Your iPhone is Worth $550

apple-iphone-6-blackberry-passport

Quick Quiz: How many people in your office use a Blackberry?

The answer to that question illustrates the problem the brand has experienced for the better part of a decade.

Blackberry has struggled to maintain its market share while both Android and Apple technology get to enjoy the spoils of their own success. Enter CEO John S. Chen, who thinks his marketing budget would be best spent paying for your existing phone.

Interested?

Read more

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