Advertising

A (Mostly) Optimistic Outlook for PR

A (Mostly) Optimistic Outlook for PR

[Originally published by O'Dwyer's.] When O’Dwyer’s asked me to write up my thoughts on the state of public relations trends and the challenges of managing a PR agency in 2014, my first response was, well, ambivalence. Why? In short, my outlook is both bleak and upbeat. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve [...]


The Super Bowl Ads That Should Have Run

The Super Bowl Ads That Should Have Run

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] I suspect 2014 will be one of the last years that Super Bowl commercials have the cultural power they do. As our consumption patterns move away from must-see TV and all-uniting cultural events toward streaming, digital, on-demand entertainment, there’s not much left that everyone is going to tune in to en [...]


Why We Created a Startup with Two 22-Year-Olds

Why We Created a Startup with Two 22-Year-Olds

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] I’ve been working in trendspotting, advertising and PR for about as many years as my new business associates have been walking the earth, and I couldn’t be more excited about working with them. As the CEO of Havas PR and a veteran of other big agencies, including JWT and [...]


Size Doesn’t Matter

There has been immense hoopla in the marketing communications business this weekend about the coming merger of two giants to make the world’s biggest whatever-it-will-be. And yet, says trendspotter Marian Salzman, CEO of @havaspr, small is the new big. Couple that with Rupert Murdoch’s sighting (he might still be under fire for the telephone ethics [...]


Trendspotting: LGB TV

With a recent study showing more gay characters on TV than ever before, it has become clear that America and Hollywood have begun to embrace a new kind of family, one that embraces the LGBT community. Programs like “Modern Family” and “The New Normal” have led the charge, depicting gay couples, as both their names [...]


Trendspotting: The “Real” Model

With an increasing backlash against the unrealistic portrayal of women, a new Girl Scout study shows that 81 percent of young girls say they prefer to see “real-size” models. Some media personalities have been pushing for the “real” look as well, such as the cast of “The Talk,” who decided to forsake makeup for the [...]


Trendspotting: Cracking the Code

With all the noise about mobile ads, it would be hard to blame you for just assuming print ads had died and gone to marketing heaven. But smartphone-interactive codes, specifically QR codes, have taken the traditional ad market by storm; more than 10 percent of ads in the top 100 magazines in the U.S. now [...]


Online Means No More Shopping to Die For

Online Means No More Shopping to Die For

No one used to love shopping in stores on Black Friday more than I did. It was a ritual that started with my mother on Thanksgiving morning, before the turkey and stuffing even made it into the oven. Getting the morning paper was like Christmas Day, with the anticipation of shopping. We’d map out our [...]


Trendspotting: Soda Wars

Liquid calories appear to affect the body—and the conscious—differently than solid ones; we’re less likely to make up for the calories consumed in a beverage by eliminating calories elsewhere in our diet. So it’s little wonder that, as consumption of sugary drinks has ballooned, many organizations have set out to see that drink sizes be [...]


Look Who’s Talking

Look Who's Talking

Fall is just around the corner and with it comes a whole new batch of talk shows, plus big changes to some of the old favorites. No doubt PR and advertising professionals are paying close attention to which will sink and which will swim. Evergreen darling “Live! with Kelly” is returning on Sept. 4 with [...]


Trendspotting: Paper the Town

The newspaper industry continues to face setback after setback. In one of the latest hits, the New Orleans Times-Picayune scaled back to just three print issues a week, making the Big Easy America’s most prominent city without a daily newspaper. Though most of us devote less than 10 percent of the time we spend on [...]


Trendspotting: Waste Not

In 2010, Americans alone used 38.6 billion glass bottles and 71.9 billion plastic bottles, recycling just 33 percent of the glass and 27 percent of the plastic. PepsiCo wants to increase the recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018 and is creating an incentive for its recycling push with bonus points rewarded to customers who [...]


For Better or for Worse

For Better or for Worse

[Originally published in longer form on Stamford magazine’s website.] It’s as much a part of today’s office culture as mediocre coffee and birthday cupcakes from the nearest deli—and a whole lot more fun and useful for maintaining sanity. I’m talking about the work spouse, that person who is a sometime confidant, habitual significant partner and [...]


What’s Your Product?

What's Your Product?

Many of you reading this have worked in marketing, advertising or PR and have made a lifelong career out of building brands and selling products in many categories. But have you ever taken the time to think of what you have to offer the world as a product? Maybe it’s your ability to write great [...]


Facebook for Kids

Facebook for Kids

[Originally posted on Euro RSCG’s Social Life and Social Media blog.] This week, Facebook confirmed that it is developing parental control technology that will allow children under the age of 13 to use the site. My first question: What took it so long? Currently, those aged 13 and under are supposedly prohibited from creating a [...]


Here and Now

Here and Now

While anyone would argue that Generation Y’s potential is immeasurable, the reality is that the expectation of immediate results is something unique to my peers. Gratification now comes so easily with social media, smartphones and numerous other ways to access the Internet at virtually any time and place. (Ha. Virtually. Get it?). This “now” way [...]


Five Things to Think About as Facebook Goes Public

Five Things to Think About as Facebook Goes Public

[Originally posted on CNBC.com.] With the Facebook IPO looming and everybody watching, I’m wondering if the social network to end all social networks is going to live up to the hype. (Could anything live up to all this hype?) With big advertisers not convinced that Facebook is a good platform to propel brands forward and [...]


Trendspotting: Innocents Online

Isn’t everyone online these days?! Your grandma might have joined Facebook, but there are plenty more who haven’t, reminds a new Pew poll: Though 88 percent of Americans own a cellphone, one in five adults still does not use the Internet. Nicknamed “Internet innocents,” the people least likely to have Internet access include the elderly, [...]


Fearing Fear Itself

Fearing Fear Itself

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] In this election year, I’ve been on fear watch. Folks are fearful of everything from 2012 theories to GMOs to student loans taking over as the No. 1 source of pain for college grads everywhere. A few years ago, I talked at length about the cult of anger our [...]


The Value of Creativity

The Value of Creativity

As a PR professional, I know how crucial creativity is to success in business today. As a socially networked person (is there anybody out there who isn’t?), I’ve watched as network friends draw something, write something or video something. As a trendspotter, I’ve read at length Richard Florida’s thoughts on the importance of the creative [...]


Trendspotting: Gross Out

You’re aware, surely, of that super-creepy, toe-jam-colored creature who peddles Lamisil on TV commercials by burrowing beneath toenails to infect them with athlete’s foot? In our new age of disgusting, rather than scaring, consumers into action, the fungus as spokesperson is unsavory, but also a success story. That’s because advertisers who want to compel consumers [...]


Trendspotting: Follow the Reader

The concept of targeted advertising has taken a bit of a PR punch in the gut just lately. First, there was the story of the teenaged Target customer who was sent pregnancy-related offers before she’d told her family she was expecting. Target has admitted to tasking a statistician with making educated guesses about its shoppers—but [...]


Trendspotting: Better, Faster, Longer

Just when we think our criminally short attention spans have altered the advertising ecosystem forever, this happens: During the Super Bowl, Chrysler screened a much-buzzed-about two-minute ad starring Clint Eastwood; during the Grammys, Chipotle aired a two-minute-and-20-second animated commercial. Then, on one ordinary Sunday night, Cartier takes to three networks to unleash a three-and-a-half-minute ad [...]


Trendspotting: Buzz Words

Yes, it’s true—one of the earliest entries into social media has quietly been building in presence and influence: In the past five years, the number of existing blogs has more than quadrupled. Most bloggers are women, parents, college-educated, between the ages of 18-34 and active in social media. And a large majority of blog readers [...]