The Alex from Target marketing hoax was itself a marketing hoax, because everything on the Internet is a lie

Slate: What using a flip phone for a week says about technology and “coolness”

This morning I caught a tweet from Steve Neuman asking news anchor Jason DeRusha about customizing WCCO’s popular “4 Things to Know” segment specifically for his life. The 4 Things segment has run for years and is a quick-hits snapshot of the news of the day.

I jumped into the fray listing my errands for the day: post office, city hall, bank and parent teacher conferences.

An hour later, Jason posted personalized videos shot from the actual anchor desk at WCCO, with customized content and title cards for both Steve and me.

How would you feel to see your daily list of errands queued up with a professional broadcast news approach? Here’s the result:

WCCO 4 Things to Know Greg Swan

Greg Swan on WCCO 4 Things You Need to Know

Bob Collins at MPR almost immediately picked this up, citing Jason’s adorableness in turning around such witty and custom content so quickly.

What I think is most impressive is the fact these are posted on WCCO.com itself, with videos hosted on their video server, and all the standard advertising surround you would get with a “normal” story. These weren’t filmed with an iPhone or posted surreptitiously on YouTube. They were professional produced, titled and shared. This wasn’t an influencer campaign designed to draw clicks. But I’m driving clicks to it for the pure fact it’s so well done. Serendipity + quality content = attention.

This is just Jason doing what he does best: 1) Understand consumer culture and how social media works; 2) Understand how TV works; 3) Be clever; and 4) Knit those three together.

PS: I already hit the post office, bank and city hall. Parent teacher conferences aren’t until later tonight. I’ll let you know how that goes on the News at 10.

Excited to share our latest initiative to help brands tell their story and engage their audiences…

Per Eric Helgesen:

“It became clear there wasn’t a CMS leveraging best-in-class technology from the media world that was also tuned to the unique needs of brand-centric content operations, so we decided to address the gap ourselves by building Mediaco Publish.”

Weber Shandwick releases its own content management and publishing platform for clients.

Proud to work with such a smart team.

More here and here.

Not one artist’s album has gone platinum in 2014. Is it streaming, albums, the music or all three?

If you’re looking for evidence that the sales model is dead, here it is. If you’re a marginal band on the road surviving on $20 signed CDs, if you’re employing sales shenanigans as publicity to drive concert attendance, I’ve got no problem with that.

But if you’re decrying the death of sales as a vast conspiracy of the military industrial complex, I feel sorry for you. Things change.

Agitating for a return to the past based on the loss of some beneficial features in the future is futile in a world where we sacrifice the keyboards of our BlackBerries for apps on our Androids and iPhones.

Something is always lost in the march of progress.

You could lament the disappearance of vent windows in automobiles with the advent of air conditioning but you’d be fighting a losing battle because the exclusion of these small windows saved the manufacturers money and most people didn’t miss them, when was the last time you even thought of them?

So, so long platinum records. You were a construct of the classic rock era, when the music was so good everybody clamored to own it. Music was the iPhone of its day.

But this really isn’t news. Everything I’ve said above has been in plain sight for nearly half a decade. So if you’re complaining, if you’ve been caught flat-footed, I feel sorry for you. You’re behind the times. In the information age you know nothing. You run your operation on your heart instead of your head.

Then again, if you put your heart in your music we might want to listen to it.

All we want is some truth. From someone who can write, sing and play.

Sounds simple, it’s not”. — Bob Lefsetz

Ad Age: What to Do With the Content You’ve Just Made

“I love advertising because I love lying…

I just want to enjoy the commercial….

We know the product is going to stink. We know that because we live in the world, and we know that everything stinks. We all believe, ‘Hey, maybe this one won’t stink.’

We are a hopeful species. Stupid but hopeful.

But we’re happy in that moment between the commercial and the purchase.

And I think spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy.”

–Jerry Seinfeld, 55th Clio Awards

Watch it here.

via Jerry Seinfeld Gets Brutally Honest About Advertising in This Hilarious Speech at the Clios | Adweek.

I spend more time on Snapchat than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined.

Time for brands to step up their Snapchat strategy, well-defined ROI or not.

The analogy I’ve used for years is: Don’t build houses on rented land. But this one is way better…

“Brands will always have more control over owned spaces than rented ones,” Thomas said. “By and large, I view owned spaces as the farm and rented spaces as the market where you sell the crops—you can personalize your stall, but you can’t design the market.”

via Brand Publishers That Want to Own Their Data Are Ditching Facebook for Microsites | Adweek.

That’s not to say social isn’t important. It’s critical. But if you put all of your efforts into a platform you don’t own, you’re at the mercy of platform architects – and their prerogative to monetize, change algorithm or disrupt design.


Is disruption a myth? Is it a nice to have, a thing you’re supposed to do, or is it an innovative business driver? The Atlantic’s Justin Fox posits the question given the lack of significant market-changing technological leaps.

I tend to believe people are more entrepreneurial than ever, but are focusing that spirit within existing channels (namely online, in creating blogs/boards/etc, and through apps) or ways that can’t be directly measured (like the “innovative” way I fixed my rotting bathroom floor instead of calling a professional craftsman).

For brands and companies today, the bar shouldn’t be set as high as electricity and internal-combustion engines, as Fox notes below. Rather, I think self-disruption and diversification should be the cornerstone of every company looking to compete, grow and truly impact the world.

Key quotes from the piece:

But it’s also possible that a decades long accretion of regulation has come to weigh on new-business formation and growth; that for all the tales of Silicon Valley swashbuckling, most Americans have become more cautious and less entrepreneurial; or that—and this argument springs straight from Christensen’s keyboard—the pressures of the financial market and a preoccupation with corporate financial metrics have left most businesses “afraid to pursue what they see as risky innovations” and focused instead on cutting costs.

Still, some companies are pursuing risky innovations and disrupting established industries. Business publications are full of stories about them: Google and Uber and Amazon and Salesforce and Workday and many more. They just haven’t had a measurable impact on the overall economy yet. One group of economists says to give it a few years— the adoption of new technologies has always affected productivity in fits and starts, and the rise of smartphones and cloud computing and Big Data will show up in the numbers eventually. The other view is that today’s technological innovations pale in significance beside electricity and the internal combustion engine—they’ll have some positive impact, but growth will be slower than it used to be.

What these arguments share is the conviction that, however sick many of us may be of hearing about it, disruptive innovation is something we need more of, not less. We, in this case, means some abstract collection of current and future humans—not people with jobs that are about to get disrupted out of existence. The uneven dispersal of rewards from technological change is always a problem, and may be especially fraught this time around. But uneven progress still seems better than  no progress at all.

via The Disruption Myth – Justin Fox – The Atlantic.