F*%king brilliant

This is what they meant when they said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”


Ad Guy to the rescue!

It’s not a bird. It’s not a plane. It’s… Ad Guy.

[I particularly enjoy their approach to making copies. Thanks, “Marc with a C.”]

“We write ads… or people DIE!”

I hate to give away possibly the best line Jack Nicholson has ever uttered in his annoyingly long career… but the Genius has had it up her nipples in bad news and gloomy coverage of foreclosures, layoffs and whatnot.

Okay, so the economy is in the crapper. And? Must we spend all day obsessing over the past or the future while vehemently ignoring the present?

How about we all just hug?


A good laugh then?

Allow me to offer up these light-hearted jabs at everyone’s favorite industry:

Not a ‘Few Good Men’ fan? Okay, how about Charlie Brown [who incidentally turns out to be quite the ladies’ man]:

There, now don’t you feel better?

How to Ruin a Great Concept in 3 Easy Steps

Before you start, make sure you’ve nailed down your Great Concept. Like so:


Now, for the ruining!







VOILA! You are now the proud creator of total sh*t!

Why does this have to happen? Is it “too many cooks in the kitchen” syndrome (a.k.a. Design by committee)? Blindness? Tourette’s?

Don’t get me wrong—I understand the pressure to include key information and squeeze every drop out of every piece of marketing collateral.

But ultimately…at what cost?

“After all the statistics and calculations
are formulated the one element that breathes
life into marketing is good design.”
-Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Chairman & CEO of Apple, Inc.



(PS. The above concept & graphics were pulled from this presentation by wpchilds. Worth a look!)

Now that’s what I call “Truth in Advertising”


Isn’t that refreshing? 🙂

Recession? What recession?

Recently, my pal @MarketerBlog drew my attention to this post which suggested that brands that INCREASE their marketing/ad spending during a recession stand to gain a SUBSTANTIAL competitive advantage.

Skeptical? Of course you are. Still—take a moment to consider these tasty data points (from Innovating through a Recession by Professor Andrew J. Razeghi at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University):

  • Increasing advertising spending during economic expansion often yields no improvement in market share, because 80% of your competitors are also increasing their spending.
  • Businesses that maintained or increased their advertising spend during recession averaged higher sales growth during the following three years
  • Within four years, the businesses that maintained or increased their advertising spend during that recession experienced a 256% growth in sales over those that had cut back on advertising
  • A decade later, aggressive recession advertisers increased market share 2½ times the average for all businesses during the post-recession

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It’s your basic, “Buy Low, Sell High!” strategy. Nothing new here. The problem aint that we don’t know better… it’s that we’re too busy behaving like lemmings to do what we know is right.

Hell, even the guys at The Economist are preaching a “spend more on advertising” strategy. Granted, they might just be hurting for sales… Still, they make some pretty compelling points in this well-designed, cleverly-executed pitch (worth a read, I promise):

My take-away message? Getting through this ‘recession thang’ is a bit like driving through a blizzard. When you hit a patch of ice, instinctively, you want to turn your wheels AWAY from the direction of the skid. DON’T. Even though your knuckles are turning white and every cell in your body is screaming “TURN AWAY!!!!! AWAYYYYYYY, YOU IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Turn IN to the skid—or kiss your sweet, scared ass goodbye.

A double dose of Genius

While the term “Web 2.0” has become rather cliche, it’s ugly step-children, Marketing 2.0, PR 2.0, Branding 2.0, Advertising 2.0, and (Dear God) Business 2.0 are just beginning to see their days in the sun.

Unfortunately, there’s a gigantic gap between coining a term and embodying it—and thus we hear a lot of talk and see very few results on any of the above fronts (though the Genius does her best to chronicle those rare gems that do).

Today’s Bonafide Genius Awards go—for better or worse—to two shining examples in the “talk” category. (It seems my search for examples of “results” this week has been fruitless.) Clever, pointed, entertaining, and spot-on in their articulation of the industry cross-roads that smart marketing pros are responding to, they’re shining examples of how dull, cliche terms get a new shine when someone puts a little Genius into their message.

Congrats to Openhere for The Break Up and Paul Isakson of space150 for What’s Next in Marketing & Advertising.

Advertising 2.0 Genius (a.k.a. “The Break-Up”)

Marketing 2.0 Strategy (a.k.a. “What’s Next in Marketing & Advertising”)

P.S. A good number of you (the smarter ones, that is) have already seen these, but for the rest of you… watch and learn.