LEGO nails it.

It’s from last Christmas but I could watch it every year (especially this year though).

I hate bottled water but…


This is so awesome. Well done Honda.



You still have the issue of the bottle but the product, the story, the execution, are all fantastic.


All you have to do now is bring the FCX Clarity to the US. And help us build a network of hydrogen filling stations.


Honda FCX Clarity

Honda FCX Clarity (Photo credit: Daniel Reversat)

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The Iron Price or the Blood Price?

A pop-up shop for The Walking Dead where you pay for your purchases – with your blood.  So awesome.


We’d love to think that people will donate blood out of the goodness of their heart, but often times it takes something else. Sometimes it’s public shaming. Or a local/national tragedy. Sometimes it’s money. Whatever it takes, it’s a good thing.


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How eBay is trying to fuck me

After 14 years as a loyal eBay fan, buyer, and seller, I’m pretty surprised at badly they’re trying to fuck me. So much for company loyalty. And once again, I’m reminded of how little companies understand about Customer Lifetime Value. Or how customer service is really marketing function (especially these days).

Here’s the story.

When I upgraded my phone I sold my iPhone 4S on eBay. People in foreign countries pay a lot for these old phones so they can jailbreak them and re-sell them. I’ve done this with every old phone I’ve ever had, and even sold phones for friends and relatives. Never had a problem.

So I sell the phone. The buyer pays for the cheapest shipping, USPS First Class International. No tracking. No delivery confirmation. Nothing. Apparently she’s a gambler.

Fast forward a month and she files a complaint with eBay saying the phone never arrived. eBay immediately sides with her, saying that since there is no tracking, she must be telling the truth. So they refund her money and send me the bill.

She has a 4 month, 4 purchase track record. I have a 14 year, unblemished track record with multiple dozens of positive comments in feedback. But they side with her.

I have receipts showing I shipped it, showing the customs declaration numbers, date of shipment, payment. But they side with her.

Now after several phone calls, emails, and lots of time spent on hold, they’re still telling me I have to pay them for the money they reimbursed her.

Well, good fucking luck with that.

First it was about the money, but now it’s about a principle. And when it comes to principle, I am a stubborn, stubborn man.

So you can get your $327 dollars eBay. When you pry it from my cold. dead. hands.


How to present to an ad agency.

If you work in advertising (and even more so on the media side), you have attended MANY vendor presentations. Sometimes they are from media companies who want to show you why you should be buying space on their sites, or partnering with them on content creation. Some are measurement companies, social dashboards, app developers, Facebook community managers, the list goes on and on.

I’ve sat through hundreds of these presentations and have brought many of my friends’ companies in to speak to my colleagues. So here, from my experience, are the best ways to present your company to a room full of advertising people (in no particular order).

  1. BRING FOOD (I know I said these were in no particular order, but this is the most important). Seriously. If you want harried, overworked ad people to come and listen to your pitch, the least you can do is feed us (or give us beer. Or both). Bonus points go to vendors who bring in interesting or unusual food. We eat a lot of pizza and sandwiches. My friend at OnSwipe once brought us Chinese food. That was a good day. 
  2. Bring examples. As much as we want to learn the ins and outs of how your platform, technology, app, service, etc is new and exciting and different, what we NEED to hear is how it’s being used. Not how you think people should use it – how are people actually using it. Tell us about other agencies that you have partnered with, what client bought in, and what they did with it.
  3. Show results. Like above, tell us what really happened! Too often vendors either present case studies that are so new and fresh they don’t have results, or they can’t/won’t share the results, or they don’t even have them because they are compartmentalized away from the broader marketing.
  4. Do your homework. Find out who our clients are ahead of time. If you know we work with Pizza Hut or Ford, come prepared with some ideas about how you would use your platform for those brands. If those teams are in the room they will appreciate the ideas.
  5. Get a sponsor. It’s always a better presentation when someone inside the company is helping to bring you in. They can round up their friends, tell people about the presentation, etc to help get a better attendance. They can also remind people about it later when they want to use your product/service.
  6. Be patient. It’s rare that a vendor comes in, shows off their stuff, and we have an immediate need for it. More likely, if you make a good impression we will remember your offering when we are concepting and then give you a frantic call about how we need your help right away.

What else? Anyone want to chime in with some other ways vendors can make good impressions on agencies (and don’t say give us free stuff like Xboxes or ski trips – that only happens at media agencies).

“Here’s $2 and a chance to win a vacation” – The most effective marketing you’ll see all day.

two dollars.JPG


This is what greeted me today as I left Back Bay Station on my way to work. A guy was handing out these envelopes to anyone who passed by announcing “Two free dollars and a chance to win a vacation.” I’m usually in the camp of people who would prefer to pepper spray anyone who attempts to talk to me, or hand me anything, on the street, but I figured, two bucks is two bucks.

And as you can see, it was a real two dollar bill. and a real chance to win a vacation (I didn’t win).

But ask me about the last banner ad I saw? NOTHING. The last banner ad (or “OLA” as us in the advertising world like to call them) that I can remember was a home page takeover of the NY Times, where the “I’m a Mac” and “I’m a PC” guy pulled a lever in a unit on the right-hand side, and it changed the headlines on the leader board banner at the top. And that was probably 2008.

Not only did I tweet and Facebook about this promotion, now I’m blogging about it. Well done TNT Vacations.

In order to find out if you won the vacation you need to enter your email address. How many address will they collect today? The guy handing out the envelopes had a big stack. And he had probably been there for a while already. Multiple that across a few cities and you have a nice email recruitment effort. A nice, CHEAP, recruitment effort. Even if only 1 in 10 people check to see if they have one, it’s still only a cost-per-acquisition of $20.

Compare that with average click through rates of .05% for display ads and it seems to me that you need to run A LOT of banners to get that same person to take action. Granted, there is no opportunity for storytelling here, no brand-building creative, they didn’t change my perception of TNT Vacations (although they did make me aware of it, so that’s pretty good).

I often wonder, when my clients tell me that want to spend millions of dollars on banner ads, whether or not it would be more effective to simply pass out money on a street corner.

If anyone from TNT Vacations (or their parent company Funjet Vacations) is reading this and want to get in touch and share some data, I’d love to see it.

Just so you know, banner ads used to be A LOT more effective:

BEHOLD: The First Banner Ad Ever – From 1994

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