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With all of our marketing textbooks, classes and degrees, and our guru books, blogs and seminars, how is it that our marketing efforts so often miss the mark?  Certainly it’s not because we don’t know what to do. It really has more to do with the lessons omitted. Specifically: How to identify and overcome the ever-present forces that can hijack your plan.

Have you ever compromised a plan in the name of team work? Adjusted critical elements or language to satisfy a vocal, yet misinformed co-worker? Or even made changes in advance to please the CEO? Personal agendas, office politics and fear of innovation can reduce any of us to willing accomplices. Leaving us owning and being accountable to watered down plans.

Be prepared for the doubters. Overcome their objections with conviction, confidence and determination to keep your plans on track.

by Dwayne Fry Brand Futurist/Commander Strategic Ops


Like most 15-year-olds, my daughter is totally connected. Text and Facebook are her lifelines, or so I thought.  In spring, around the time of the pending Facebook IPO, I noticed a conspicuous absence in her Facebook activity. With a busy school and activity schedule I thought it nothing more than a function of available time.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. She and her friends have simply discovered social platforms that better fit the way they live – mobile. Instagram…take a picture, share it, 20 minutes later there are 65 “likes.” Pretty apt name. Twitter…group conversations and connections to peer group topics.  Pinterest…personal expression of self as individuals. What words can’t capture. Beautiful boards. Very revealing.
That’s the holy trinity for now. Along with ever-present text. This new world of social media supports her, not vice versa. And yes there is still some Facebook activity. But for her generation it is no longer the sun. Look around for yourself. There may be a world beyond Facebook. So far, I like what I see.

And now for the science. Two articles that prompted this post. The first is about Instagram:  The second is about Pinterest:  Both articles reinforce the utility of these relatively new offerings.

by Dwayne Fry Brand Futurist/Commander Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: courtesy of, Has Facebook started its inevitable decline?


Up to now, everything here has been about change. Well, in the spirit of this blog, it’s now time for a big change. I’d like to write about the opposite of change – that is, not doing anything. Or, should I say, sticking to what you believe in, in spite of what everyone (pointed-headed experts included) tells you.

For years, everyone said Apple computer would die if they didn’t start selling to enterprise. For every consumer who buys a computer, the enterprise buys 50, they said.

Yet change didn’t come. Apple kept producing devices that consumers loved, enterprise be damned.

Last week out comes an article that says that the Federal Government is relying on Blackberry devices less and less because, among other reasons, employees love their computers/smart phones at home, and hate their ones at work, and are asking for Apple products at work instead. Companies are smart to realize that when they give their employees a choice, they’re happier.

So I guess the moral is that if you stick to what you believe in, eventually others will change.

by Patrick Miranda Brand Futurist The Republik Sergeant Creative Ops

Photo Credit: © Apple Inc.


While browsing Advertising Age, I came across an article that reminded me a bit too much of a certain George Orwell novel.

BMW Germany has recently developed a “flash projection” technology that temporarily forces viewers to see the BMW logo burned on the inside of their eyelids after watching a BMW ad. Although there is no logo visible during the actual ad, a voice asks the audience to close their eyes after they witness a blinding flash, similar to that of a photograph. If they close their eyes, as they are told, the viewer would see “BMW” imprinted on the inside of their eyes.

The flash projection project apparently “leaves a lasting impression,” but I think that’s just a nice way to put it. A more honest way would be to say that it forces one. True, the flash is harmless physically- but ethically? Usually, if a consumer does not approve of what they see on a screen, they are welcome to change the channel or close their eyes to it. But what happens when this is no longer an option? Are we pushing the bounds of morality by forcing people to see this logo? Or is this what brands need to do now in order to break away from the clutter?

Perhaps I am being oversensitive. For many people see this new “flash projection” technique as an innovative way to grab attention and allow consumers to actively engage with the brand. After all, “BMW” only appears on your eyelids for a second. And it’s really no different from conventional advertising, except for the fact that it takes away your free will. But really, who needs that?

I guess the moral of this story is keep your eyes wide open, because if you aren’t safe in your own head, you aren’t safe anywhere.

make up your own mind:

by Francis George Brand Futurist the Republik Commander Creative Ops


I’ve long held the belief that all advertising isn’t competing against other advertising. It’s competing against anything else the consumer would rather be looking at.

Which, in this case, is the rear end of a 5’9″ mini-skirt-wearing Frau.

In a brilliant move, Mercedes tells the story (now that they have our complete undivided attention. At least the men’s) of how they use eye-tracking software to track which parts of an automobile’s exterior catches a test subject’s eye. And, perhaps gratuitously, to see if the software is working, they test it on the rear end of a 5’9″ blonde. And yes, the software is working. Men stare at the woman’s hips first, next her butt, which they say is to test for child-bearing potential.

It’s actually a fascinating video. Mercedes found out that consumers stare at the roofline, headline, taillights, in that order. It’s quite an amusing way to spend 10 minutes with a brand. Also way more interesting than an ad, or TV spot. Mercedes has figured out that in order to get us to think about their brand, they have to fascinate us.

Not interrupt us. View the spot and read more here

by Miles Cartwright Brand Futurist The Republik Sergeant Creative Ops


In efforts to combat flagging luxury car sales, Mercedes has decided to flag a different aspect of their brand: Safety.


What’s next, Volvo’s going to counter their slipping sales with a new campaign featuring their performance?

I suppose their reasoning is that people already know M-B makes great luxury cars, so they wanted to tout something else.

Let me tell you something. The reason everyone knows M-B makes the best luxury cars is because their advertising has reinforced it all these years. Keep this up, and people won’t even know what M-B stands for. Luxury? Safety? Low monthly payments?

Remember, once you have your brand message, don’t depart from it! Even though you’ve spend years hammering it out, and you’re sick of it, the consumer is not. And when you change brand messages, trust me, consumers won’t remember your old one, and your original investment is lost. Does anyone remember McDonald’s tagline before “I’m lovin’ it?” Thank you.

Watch the TV commercial

by Robert Shaw West Brand Futurist The Republik Companies Chairman/CEO

Photo Credit:
Mercedes Crash Test for Breast Cancer Campaign – © Mercedes Benz