Politics

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 [...]


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 [...]


Mayor of New York, a Helluva Brand

Mayor of New York, a Helluva Brand

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani, Fiorello LaGuardia: The mayors of New York City have long been men with outsize personalities and strong personal brands. Not only have they had one of the most influential, highest-profile platforms in the nation, but they’ve also been strategic about positioning themselves and shaping the way others [...]


We Tackle Branding Every Week on Forbes.com

On Forbes.com’s CMO Network, @havaspr CEO Marian Salzman focuses on one of the most important issues today in business: personal branding. She has talked about it through the lens of the red carpet, political beliefs, reinvention, ideas conferences, even Hurricane Sandy. She has wondered if branding should begin at birth and whether readers align their [...]


Personal Branding Around Communities and Political Beliefs

Personal Branding Around Communities and Political Beliefs

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] I recently got a humorous pitch from a real estate agent in New Hampshire, where, he wrote in his email, “there is a theme-branding wave that is part capricious, part serious business.” At first his proposal made me giggle, but then I saw how it reflects the ways in which personal branding [...]


Rethinking Quality of Life

Rethinking Quality of Life

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] This is the eighth in a series of 14 posts expanding on Salzman’s forecasts for 2013 in her annual trends report, a program of global communications group Havas Worldwide. This year’s book, What’s Next? What to Expect in 2013, was published on 12/12/12 and is available at 120MBooks.com. Salzman [...]


An Affair to Forget: Today, Rebranding Becomes Him (Petraeus, Et Al)

An Affair to Forget: Today, Rebranding Becomes Him (Petraeus, Et Al)

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Years ago I wanted to write a book, Another Woman: From Cleopatra to Marla, but now that seems to take us only halfway through the evolution of the mistress. After Marla Maples, who secretly dated Donald Trump for two years in the ’80s while he was still married to Ivana (before [...]


The Winds of Change

Once upon a time, extreme weather was our trends prediction. Right now, we are watching Hurricane Sandy highlights causing the news to be recrafted. Presidential election? This week it’s all Frankenstorm, all the time.


Do People Make Places?

Do People Make Places?

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] In our ever more digitized and virtual world, the centers of power are shifting. It’s not about establishment capitals anymore but innovative up-and-comers, where a critical mass of creativity is bringing about rapid-fire change, along with a good quality of life and a sense of like-minded community. Some cities have been [...]


You Are the Company You Keep

You Are the Company You Keep

[Originally posted on Forbes.com.] Personal branding is the name of the game these days, and in our age of radical transparency it is informed not just by how you present yourself but also by the people you associate with. Just as product- and service-based brands have to choose their celebrity ambassadors carefully, individuals looking to [...]


Our Next Commander-in-Tweet

Our Next Commander-in-Tweet

Would I consider myself politically informed? Yes. Would I consider myself politically active? Sure. I have my opinions of the presidential candidates, and I’m always open to conversation and friendly debate surrounding the pros and cons of each. But what has really fascinated me this year is the evolution of social media and its role [...]


Let Me Put This in Perspective

Let Me Put This in Perspective

The first presidential debate is in two days, and I can’t wait … but not for the reasons you might think. I have long since resigned myself to the fact that I’ll probably not hear a straight answer, let alone any answer at all, to the questions that will be asked. The candidates have been [...]


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 [...]


Trendspotting: Debt Sealing

Personal finance will be an “incredibly important” factor for more than half the U.S. (six in 10) during November’s presidential elections. Perhaps that’s because Americans will need the help getting them out of hot water, as consumer borrowing skyrocketed in March—up by $21.4 billion—thanks to auto financing and those locking in low interest rates on [...]


Trendspotting: Paying Customers

U.S. companies are more commonly offering employees at least two health insurance options: traditional or consumer-directed. The latter lets employees pay their health bills from a pretax savings account. Known for their low premiums and high deductibles, consumer-directed plans have gone from niche to mainstream; in 2006, 4 percent of workers were signed on for [...]


Pinning Your Personal Brand on Self-Curation

Pinning Your Personal Brand on Self-Curation

Looking to boost your PBI (personal brand index) and secure that dream job or snag some new clients? Now that we’ve entered an age in which a solid personal brand strategy is as important as a lack of typos on your résumé, the name of the game is no longer self-promotion but self-curation. We live [...]


The Thrill of Immersion

The Thrill of Immersion

In about two hours, I will be wrapping up my first full workweek as an intern at Euro RSCG Worldwide PR. The exhaustion of being up at 5 a.m. every day that had been wearing on me all week is, minute by minute, being replaced by growing elation and excitement at the prospect of sleeping [...]


The All-New American Family

The All-New American Family

  [Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] I remember being blown away by “An American Family,” what was a compelling and unorthodox documentary miniseries when it was made back in 1973, which showed the world that the “typical” American family was anything but. Much time has passed since the Louds captivated our psyches (HBO recently [...]


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: Free to Be LGBT

When a researcher spent a year inside three British high schools to gather material for a book on masculinity, he found straight teenage boys who were physically affectionate and emotionally expressive. He was surprised to note that the boys had blacklisted the “That’s so gay” insult that remains popular Stateside and that British teens actually [...]


Trendspotting: Mystery Writers

When Republican candidate Rick Santorum was quizzed about a passage skewering “radical feminists” in his 2005 book, he admitted that the quote was “new to me” and suggested that his wife, Karen, had authored that portion, though she received no co-writing credit. This hiccup in Santorum’s campaign points not just to how common ghostwriting remains [...]


A Divided Union

A Divided Union

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] It was always a lofty idea, maybe too good to be true. As it was conceived, the European Union would unite a growing body of member states with a web of treaties and a single currency—a kind of dollar for the United States of Europe. This currency would be [...]


On Change

On Change

[Originally posted on the Huffington Post.] It has been 19 years this week since the first World Trade Center bombing (hello, world, they hate us) and almost 17 years since Oklahoma City exploded at the whim of an American terrorist. I remember that time that had us all fearful, but without the tools to understand [...]


Trendspotting: Lessons Learned

Charter schools and magnet schools in the U.S. have long been characterized by waiting lists and lotteries, but now defensive parents and politicos are part of this picture, too. What’s all the fuss about? Conceived in the 1990s, charter schools—schools held accountable to public bodies by a contract or charter—have met with resistance from some [...]