Trends

The New Power of Millennial Hispanics

The New Power of Millennial Hispanics

[Originally posted on CNBC.com.] Politicians and pundits have long been talking about the new non-white majority in the United States, and especially about the growing numbers and clout of Hispanic-Americans. As of the 2011 census, around 52 million Americans called themselves Hispanic, about 17 percent of the population—but their influence is even greater. Whether first-generation [...]


Extreme Authenticity: You’d Better Know What the Symbols Mean

Extreme Authenticity: You’d Better Know What the Symbols Mean

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Authentic has long been one of the biggest buzzwords in marketing and branding, so much so that we’re tempted to tune it out. Is one true-to-its-roots, heritage, homespun, honest, artisanal company really different from the next when they’re all telling the same brand story? What’s true for companies is even more [...]


Why People Rule the World in 2014

Why People Rule the World in 2014

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] “For the first time in a long time, people are running the world.” That ad-campaign concept brief recently came over my email transom at Havas PR North America, where I’m CEO, and got me thinking. This isn’t a post to plug my colleagues at Havas, or their client PayPal, [...]


The Future of the American Mood: Hispanic Millennials in Border States

The Future of the American Mood: Hispanic Millennials in Border States

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] The new U.S. centers of gravity are California and Texas. Yes, they’re the top two states by population, with just over 38 million people in California and more than 26 million in Texas. But mass does not equal gravity. And yes, they have Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Dallas and [...]


What Will Holidays in the Next America Look Like?

What Will Holidays in the Next America Look Like?

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] As we pack up our picnic baskets and red, white and blue outfits from July 4th, I’ve been thinking about what holidays in the Next America will look like. Well-traveled Americans know what a blast holiday traditions can be in other countries, from Carnival in Brazil and Italy to the Day [...]


Gluten-Free: The Ultimate Clean Food Brand

Gluten-Free: The Ultimate Clean Food Brand

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] I wrote a few weeks ago about the branding of clean food. It’s a multimillion-dollar trend, with all sorts of cookbook authors, lifestyle gurus and restaurateurs getting rich off our feeding frenzy to follow righteous diets. Thanks in large part to savvy marketing—as well as a fair amount of sound nutritional [...]


Getting Warmer: San Antonio, San Diego, LA, Phoenix

Getting Warmer: San Antonio, San Diego, LA, Phoenix

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Everyone knows that the Southwest is warm this time of year, but today the region is hot. Its time has finally come. Millions of Hispanic-American families (whose ethnic/racial group makes up 17 percent of the U.S. population) are putting down roots there, and Latin millennials are putting the sex appeal, sassy [...]


Eyes Wide Open on the Next America

Eyes Wide Open on the Next America

[Originally posted on PRWeek.com.] If you want to understand the real action shaping what’s next in our dynamic nation, forget New York City. Sure, it’s still the economic and cultural powerhouse it has been for centuries, but it’s essentially a separate nation dancing to its own tune and watching its moves obsessively in the media [...]


The Power of Storytelling

This weekend we’re celebrating the inaugural Cannes Lions Health with the Havas Health team as it sponsors the festival’s Press Centre and presents the seminar “How the Story Is Changing: The Power of Narrative Medicine.” This event—which will discuss an area of healthcare that uses genuine contact with patients by physicians and nurses to lead [...]


Why Whole Professions Need to Be Rebranded

Why Whole Professions Need to Be Rebranded

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Some industries undertake big campaigns to reinstate pride in their job titles. Others seem to get redefined when the cool kids arrive or the main tasks in a job category become glorified—as with the whole audiovisual category. The nerds of the late 1970s have their revenge as the ultimate keepers of [...]


Graduates: Live Your Life, Not What Your Parents Want for You

Graduates: Live Your Life, Not What Your Parents Want for You

[Originally published by the Stamford Advocate.] Working on the Apple account in 1997, I had become one of the youngest globalists in the advertising business. My agency then, TBWA Worldwide, was hired to reclaim the company’s passion and dream, and my job was to watch, listen and, of course, “think different.” It was a great [...]


The Branding of Clean Food

The Branding of Clean Food

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] It doesn’t seem like that long ago that “clean” meant no grime on your counters or no dirt under your nails. Or perhaps no traces of drugs in your blood test or profanity on your PMRC-approved rock album. Now the word we most commonly hear associated with “clean” is “food.” Everyone—and [...]


The End of Stuff Envy

The End of Stuff Envy

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] “Shop till you drop.” “He who dies with the most toys wins.” “Greed is good.” Those credos seem as dated now as leg warmers and John Hughes films. They seem like relics not just from the ‘80s but also from an ancient civilization. It’s hard to believe that people said them [...]


Crash the Gates: The New Route to Success for Graduates and Everyone Else

Crash the Gates: The New Route to Success for Graduates and Everyone Else

[Originally posted on PRWeek.com.] The career path many of us grew up with—find a big company, get your foot in the door, play by the rules, work long and hard, climb patiently up the ladders, and make nice with all the gatekeepers—is crumbling. So why should graduates, or anyone else, waste time and energy following [...]


Is Pot-Related Marketing the Next Big Gold Rush?

Is Pot-Related Marketing the Next Big Gold Rush?

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] On the high holiday yesterday—4/20, that is—my friend and PR client Jason Hairston, the young entrepreneur behind the übersuccessful Nugget Spot in New York City, happily shared an article on Facebook. It was a Thrillist roundup of the city’s top 32 places to cure the holiday munchies. Turns out Hairston—whose deep-fried [...]


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 [...]