Back in the day, Ken Segall helped create Apple's Think Different campaign and helped name the iMac. More recently he worked on JC Penney's Yours Truly, commercial, before JCP ousted Ron Johnson as its CEO. He writes a sharp, entertaining blog called Ken Segall's Observatory, where he offers opinions on advertising and design geekery. His take on Ron Johnson's failure is interesting, as is this post on what it takes for an advertisement to stand out in a crowd. He calls attention to surprisingly decent ads from Microsoft and Dell, critiques terrible ads (from Microsoft and JC Penney and even Apple, and comments on whether skeuomorphism has its advantages. He's also fond of discussing product names. Give this one a skip if advertising gives you hives, but for those of you who're interested in things like this Segall's blog is especially choice stuff.
When Bill Ackman hand selected Ron Johnson as the new C.E.O. of JCPenney (previously) people took notice. However, after dismal fourth-quarter results, Bill Ackman had strong criticisms for Johnson, calling his tenure "very close to a disaster." Last night, JCP announced that Ron Johnson has been replaced by ex-CEO Myron Ullman.
Ron Johnson, who was responsible for Target and Apple's wildly successful retail chains, is now trying to reinvent the department store from the ground up as J. C. Penney's new CEO: divid[ing] stores into 100 shops that [...] will each be like its own small store. Surrounding the shops will be wide aisles that Johnson calls 'streets.' Along those pathways will be ice cream and coffee bars and wood tables with built-in iPad tablet computers that shoppers can use to surf online. But after quarter after quarter of heavy loss, some analysts think Johnson is destroying J. C. Penney. But they've predicted his failure before. More on Johnson's work with the Apple Store. Johnson himself on what he learned building the Apple Store.
Christmas and Toy Catalogs: 1942-1992 (Warning: heinousness inside). But wait, there's more vintage Christmas advertising.
Strap in, shut up and hold on. We're going back. No one under 30 will really get it...
War Games? J.C. Penney, eToys and KB Toys all sell this scary "Military Forward Command Post with Two 12" Military Action Figures", despite the efforts of these shocked consumers who call it an "atrocity". It does sort of look like GI Joes taking over Barbie's bombed-out Dream House... how real is too real?