Trends

Can Capitalism Afford a Conscience?

Can Capitalism Afford a Conscience?

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] At first glance, capitalism circa 2014 looks like a pretty soulless endeavor: massive piles of fast money, no wider context of conscience involved. Just look at how Hollywood’s depictions of finance guys have evolved. In 1946, in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the softhearted banker wins out. In 1987, we [...]


How Metrosexuality Has Made Over the Men of Connecticut

How Metrosexuality Has Made Over the Men of Connecticut

[Originally published by the Stamford Advocate.] Connecticut: birthplace of the metrosexual? Almost 11 years ago, when metrosexual was the hot new word on everyone’s lips—thanks largely to work my colleagues and I were doing at the ad agency that is now Havas; I’m CEO of Havas PR—it was a uniquely urban phenomenon. In time, it [...]


The Man Brand

The Man Brand

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 10 years since The New York Times’ Sunday Styles section ran its era-defining feature on the “coming out” of the metrosexual. In early 2004, the American Dialect Society named metrosexual its word of the year for 2003, but now the term is hardly [...]


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 [...]


Here’s Looking at You/Me/We in 2014

Here’s Looking at You/Me/We in 2014

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] What strikes you most about movies and TV shows from just a few years back? For me: the phones. Until about five years ago, most people had flip phones (mine was a T-Mobile special, very age-inappropriate, but it worked) and used them only occasionally, just for just talking and texting. Now [...]


Forget Orchid; Green Is My Color for an Entrepreneurial 2014

Forget Orchid; Green Is My Color for an Entrepreneurial 2014

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] Some days I have blue eyes; other days they are green. On New Year’s Eve they were green … with envy and with thoughts of how to finally hit the jackpot. As my partner, Jim, and I sat at NoLa in SoNo eating a NoLa-inspired meal (translation: an oyster [...]


Tinkering: The Übertrend of 2014

Happy New Year from Havas PR North America, which is forecasting 12 months filled with tinkering and hacking. As people struggle to deal with a whole stack of problems—from economic woes to environmental crises—somewhere out there, some smart people will be tinkering quietly with each one or boldly challenging the status quo. That from our [...]


What Will Branding Look Like In 2014?

What Will Branding Look Like In 2014?

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Among the trends that will reshape the U.S. and the world in 2014 and beyond—including guilt money, secession, hacking, even gut bacteria—one thread tying them all together is their strong implication for branding. Whether it’s personal, product, company or country branding, it all comes down to stories, those that marketers tell [...]


We’ll All Be Having a Hacking New Year

We’ll All Be Having a Hacking New Year

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] Even after two decades of successfully forecasting spot-on international trends for consumers and corporations, I didn’t see coming what I refer to as the Year of the Everyday Trendspotter (aka 2013). It’s so easy to do up-to-the-minute searches and publish in real time online that everybody from daddy bloggers [...]


We’re Digital—and Winners—at the Core

This week Havas PR was awarded four Bulldog Reporter Digital/Social PR Awards, backing up our company’s mission to be digital at the core and our emphasis on all things social. Our four honors: Gold, Best Online Employee Communications, TrendsU (the collaborative e-learning program based on trends and marketing that we developed for our global company); [...]



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 [...]


How Words Paint the Trends: New Words of 2013

How Words Paint the Trends: New Words of 2013

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Last week’s announcement of the newest additions to Oxford Dictionaries Online (the esteemed Oxford University Press’s free online dictionary) set media commentators and the social Web on fire. People smiled at their favorites, made fun of others, and began debating what it all says about our culture and the collective intelligence [...]


The Duchess, Kim Kardashian, and the New Trends and Mores Around Birth

The Duchess, Kim Kardashian, and the New Trends and Mores Around Birth

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] The summer of 2013 has been an especially fertile time for spotting currents and trends related to pregnancy, babies and birth. Two of the planet’s most strongly branded women, at diametrically opposed ends of the cultural spectrum—the reluctantly regal, much-admired commoner turned duchess Kate Middleton and the brashly outspoken, love-to-hate, famous-for-being-famous [...]


Mr. Bezos Goes to Washington

Mr. Bezos Goes to Washington

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] What would you do if you had a billion dollars? David Geffen invests in fine art. Larry Ellison races yachts. Sergey Brin develops synthetic meat. Richard Branson buys anything that qualifies as an absurd purchase. And Walt Disney is rumored to have underwritten his own cryogenic eternity. The rule of thumb [...]


Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: The End of Privacy and the New Era of Leaks

Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: The End of Privacy and the New Era of Leaks

This is the final column in a five-part series about how the news is being redefined by today’s real-time creative culture. In this series of posts, I’ve looked at the ways radical transparency, constant broadcasting, the new imperative of self-expression, crowdsourcing, and the idea of news as an ongoing process have shaped the trend of [...]


Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Video Redefining the Rules

Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Video Redefining the Rules

This is the fourth in a five-part series about how the news is being redefined by today’s real-time creative culture. I’ve been exploring the ways in which news and infotainment have been undergoing a massive reboot, with all their contours, definitions and formats changing. There’s no clearer example than video. It takes a lot less [...]



Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Radical Transparency, Constant Broadcasting and Blurring Genres

Trends Driving Real-Time Creativity: Radical Transparency, Constant Broadcasting and Blurring Genres

This is the second in a five-part series about how the news is being redefined by today’s real-time creative culture. As I wrote in my last post, we’re in the midst of a radical reboot of what news actually is. What constitutes news? Purely objective fact or something messier and more ambiguous? Is it a [...]


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 [...]


Austin Envy

Austin Envy

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] I’ve written a lot about how places make us and we make places—cities like San Antonio, Providence and Pittsburgh reinventing themselves and becoming newly trendy. But then there are those places that have been trendy for decades. Or rather, are just so plain cool that they transcend trendy. I’m thinking about [...]


The Many Reasons the Royal-to-Be Will Be Baby of the Decade

The Many Reasons the Royal-to-Be Will Be Baby of the Decade

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Kate Middleton’s due date is still a month or so away, and already the little royal-to-be has been the subject of more speculation, analysis, rumor and anticipation than just about every other person who was ever born—combined. The close, unending attention that has been paid ever since the royal wedding makes [...]


Our Latest Holmes Report and SABRE Honors

The Holmes Report has awarded Havas PR North America honorable mention for Midsize Agency of the Year, based on our annual Agency Report Card. This week, we await word about other Holmes honors for our finalists in its annual Gold SABRE awards program, which recognizes superior achievement in branding and reputation in North America: our [...]