Donald Trump came to the White House with the lowest approval rating ever for an incoming president. From a branding perspective, things have not been getting better. On the 144th day of his presidency, Trump hit a 60% disapproval rating, giving him the dubious distinction of being the fastest to ever reach that mark (beating George H.W. Bush, who took 1,290 days to get there).

The result may be surprising to those who remember Trump as a master at cultivating his brand in business and entertainment, and perhaps expected that to translate to politics. There are just two problems with that reading of history.

First, while Trump demonstrated a certain genius for creating his brand as a businessman, it isn’t … Continue Reading

When marketers think about wearable technology, they might feel like the runner who has just crested a hill in a Fitbit commercial: winded, but energized. Winded, because wearables are emerging at a time when marketers have barely had a chance to catch their breath after getting up to speed on mobile (and before that, social, and before that, display advertising), but also energized, because of the great possibilities that wearable technology promises.

Of course, before advertisers can begin to think about marketing wearable technology, consumers have to embrace it, which brings us back to Fitbit. The household brand has been making its popular fitness trackers for nearly a decade, and launched its first global ad campaign in 2014 with Argonaut … Continue Reading

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Sports and marketing have come a long way since a young Pittsburgh Steelers fan offered Mean Joe Green a Coke in the classic 1979 television commercial. For one thing, the audience has changed. The oldest millennials were just being born in the late 70s, but now comprise one quarter of the U.S. population. Highly coveted by advertisers, millennials are often painted as fickle beasts. New data, however, challenges that notion. In fact, according to a pair of new studies, millennials are the most brand-loyal generation of all. This makes it all the more important for brands to get an early foothold with these prized consumers.

One entity helping brands pull off that difficult trick is Whistle Sports. This booming digital … Continue Reading

My colleague and friend, Andrea Levine, has been the Director of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council’s National Advertising Division (NAD) and Senior Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus for the past 20 years. It’s quite a title, and tenure, and as she prepares to move on to her next challenge, I asked her to share some of her experiences and wisdom.

Twenty years ago, I appeared at NAD’s offices armed with 7 years’ experience in the NYC court system defending poor people from the consequences of “trickle down” economics, a decade on the front lines of multi-state consumer protection advocacy as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, and a stint as Special Counsel for … Continue Reading

In the last few years, Intel’s advertising has become a lot less inward-focused. For decades, the company’s “Intel Inside” campaign directed consumers’ attention to the chips that Intel puts inside electronic devices. While that campaign (with its instantly recognizable bong-bong-bong jingle) helped make the company what it is today, Intel hasn’t been content to rest on its success. This is a company with innovation in its DNA, after all.

With new CMO Steve Fund at the helm, Intel has added an outward looking element to its Intel Inside message. The company’s latest marketing push is focused outward, highlighting the shuttle launches, solar-powered car races, animated dragons, high-tech garments, and other wonders that Intel technology brings to life. The initial video … Continue Reading

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but what about video? Whoever is behind the famous aphorism never crunched the numbers on video, but you’d have to think that the words-to-video conversion rate would be very large. After all, video advertisements are known to have tremendous advantages, even over those that use pictures. Video ads are more likely to be discovered (search engines love video content), shared (consumers share video at high rates), and acted upon (according to Amazon and eBay, video ads accompanying product descriptions increases the chance of a purchase by as much as 35%) than other formats. All of which helps explain why people are watching so much video these days.

According to data gathered by … Continue Reading

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but what about video? Whoever is behind the famous aphorism never crunched the numbers on video, but you’d have to think that the words-to-video conversion rate would be very large. After all, video advertisements are known to have tremendous advantages, even over those that use pictures. Video ads are more likely to be discovered (search engines love video content), shared (consumers share video at high rates), and acted upon (according to Amazon and eBay, video ads accompanying product descriptions increases the chance of a purchase by as much as 35%) than other formats. All of which helps explain why people are watching so much video these days.

According to data gathered by … Continue Reading

Winemaking is a timeless craft—or so you might think. If you do, one visit to a Jackson Family Wines facility powered by Tesla batteries and you’ll soon realize that wineries are certainly keeping up with the times.

One of the country’s largest family-owned wineries, Jackson Family Wines has been innovating in all kinds of ways as it carries on the family’s winemaking legacy (including production of the popular Kendall-Jackson brand). It has shown both foresight and ingenuity in adapting to climate change, which has begun to affect the California landscape on which the company grows its grapes. In some cases, it has implemented low-tech solutions that farmers of yore would recognize: using owls and falcons instead of pesticides to control … Continue Reading

Influencers – from bloggers, vloggers (video bloggers), YouTube stars and Instagram personalities – are truly the stars of social media, and brands are eager to harness their power and reach.

Millennials are estimated at having a purchasing power of $1.3 trillion, according to Social Media Week, and as social media continues to gain speed as one of millennials most coveted forms of currency, brands are taking notice. In order to best communicate with this growing demographic – whose attention span lasts a total of 8 seconds as reported by TIME Magazine – brands are heavily leaning on social media.

We are seeing these personalities being woven into brands’ advertising strategies, particularly in the form of sponsored content. More than … Continue Reading

There aren’t a lot of rules on the Internet. The World Wide Web is a wild west environment where the standard rules regarding sales tax, privacy, and decorum don’t apply. All of which makes it seem like a strange place for self-regulation. And yet, that’s the mission of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, the industry body that regulates advertising not only on traditional media such as print, TV, and radio, but also online.

Given how quickly advertising has expanded on Internet sites and social media, that’s not just a tricky job—it’s a very big one. This year, the Commissioner of the Federal Trade Association delivered a keynote at a summit hosted by one of ASRC’s constituent organizations (the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation … Continue Reading

When listeners turn on the radio these days—terrestrial, digital, or satellite—they can tune in to precisely the content they want to hear: country music, sports talk, alt rock, or whatever their tastes call for. What if radio worked the same way for advertisers? That is, what if brands could serve their messages to precisely the audiences they wanted to reach? Punk rockers, workout warriors, or commuters with a taste for political talk. Through advances in technology and data collection, we’re starting to find out.

The nation’s biggest radio and streaming services have been busy building out technology that allows advertisers to target audiences based on their musical tastes. Few pieces of data give advertisers greater insight into a consumer than … Continue Reading