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
, 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.
posted by Rory Marinich
on May 3, 2013 -
*Santa* is a Concept, not an idea.
It's an Emotion, not a feeling. It's both Yesterday and Today. And it's Tomorrow as well. Santa winds infinite Possibilities around finite Limitations to evoke the essence of invention and the Odour of Nostalgia. It has the complexity of Simpleness and the Simplicity of complexitiveness. It begins with the Hiss of Power and ends with the Ah of Surprise. *Santa* is.
posted by creeky
on Dec 16, 2010 -
website is about advertising mistakes, such as the L in Staples, capitalized letters where they shouldn't be, and other things that could confuse kindergarten students.
posted by angry modem
on Aug 12, 2005 -
British bachelors beware.
Rachel Greenwald knows how to find a husband using
the techniques of Harvard Business School, and she's
bringing her methods to the UK. But it's not easy:
she advocates careful 'packaging', putting 10 to 20% of total income into
a separate 'find a husband' bank account,
cancelling newspaper subscriptions so they can be read in
public and getting a third party to contact unsuccessful dates for feedback.
There's one change for the UK though: here it's aimed at over-30s
instead of the over-35s. I always thought "the Rules" were too spontaneous.
posted by TheophileEscargot
on Sep 30, 2003 -
In the coming months a black spot will pop up everywhere...on store windows and newspaper boxes, on gas pumps and supermarket shelves. Open a magazine or newspaper - it's there. It's on TV. It stains the logos and smears the nerve centers of the world's biggest corporations.
posted by mapalm
on Jun 11, 2003 -
Operation Pretentious Platitude
One of the awful aspects of "Operation Iraqi Freedom"
is having to listen to this name used without irony.
"It all comes down to branding" ...
"Don't waste a public relations opportunity -- remember that the operation name is the first bullet in the war of images."
"Churchill ... warned specifically against using words that imply an "overconfident sentiment." He knew as well as anyone how history delights in throwing unforeseen ironies our way."
Here's a list of mostly recent real names.
But how about "Operation Rouge-wearing Caliph"?
"Operation Evangelical Fatwa"?
"Operation Expect No Mercy From Our Privet Bush"?
"Operation Overpriced Cannon"? "Operation Irate Economy"?
"Operation International-law-ignoring Manticore"?.
Try for yourself.
(Here's how it's done
posted by lathrop
on Mar 22, 2003 -
Beyond Benetton and Betty Crocker:
This Boston Globe article suggests a new age of multicultural marketing is upon us, with ethnically cagey Vin Diesel
at the forefront. Instead of "United Nations
"-style ads in which each actor is selected to represent a different group, the new style is towards ambiguity, as in the nonspecifically "ethnic" Barbies
, or more casual, offhanded reference to race, as in the "Whassup
?" Budweiser ads. Does this new "color-blindness" say anything about real social change, or is it just trendy hucksterism
Meanwhile, some very tired sexist chestnuts
continue to appear in ads: despite her full time job and gleaming SUV, Mom
still relies on classic brands
to keep house and make dinner, still solely her responsibilities in TV-land. What gives?
posted by serafinapekkala
on Jan 13, 2003 -
Naomi ('No Logo') Klein on Charlotte Beers' work to manage the US 'brand'. Sitting outside the US, a lot of what Klein says about external perception of the 'brand' (and of Beers' actions) seems quite believable to me, but I'd be interested in hearing an insider view.
Klein's assertion that "...America's problem is not with its brand-- which could scarcely be stronger--but with its product
" seems relatively solid, and if it is, it seems that Ms Beers' mission is all-but-impossible, or at the very least misdirected.
That said, the thrust of Klein's argument is the assertion that the US's values are basically incompatible with the whole idea of branding, and I'd suggest that the same could be said of many countries. I suppose the point here is that this specific exercise is rooted in the US's positioning of itself in the world at this point in time.
posted by jonpollard
on Mar 18, 2002 -
any movement you can dish out.
if you look underground, chances are cool hunters
will stop you in your tracks and ask to take your picture and learn about your ways. it sure feels good to be recognized. where do they go with your picture, you'd wonder, i mean you never hear from them again.
turns out these guys turn around and sell your image to corporations who turn around and mass market it. so much for cool.
posted by elle
on May 2, 2001 -
How you say
Duking it out with Accenture for the title of most disagreeable computer-generated faux-English corporate nomenclature de la semaine
, a company with the perfectly good name Productivity Works has gone and screwed it up by renaming itself isSound
. "Because the future
is listening," the homepage tells us. What it's listening to is all of us stammering to pronounce an unnatural string of letters. In related news, despite admitting it still works, isSound isShitcanning itsScreenReader, pwWebSpeak
posted by joeclark
on Jan 3, 2001 -