Archive: August 2010


Moes Takes: Communicating with Compelling Language III

Here’s my third crack at Moes Takes, which last ran in February. As a refresher, I worked with Rob Moes who was VP of marketing for Philips in the mid-1980s. During an interview at COMDEX, a reporter pressed Moes for projections on how many CD-ROM drives would be sold looking out five years. Rob responded …more

GE Video Transforms The Dull Into Corporate Storytelling

No one would mistake conducting an energy audit as a glamorous activity. That’s why GE’s approach to telling this story caught my attention. As part of its Ecomagination campaign, GE has conducted 200+ energy audits at its own facilities and at customer sites. But they don’t call them energy audits. Instead, the company packages the exercises as “Treasure Hunts.” Yes, it’s a …more

One Hint From These Men May Be the Turning Point In Your Life!

I know I said advertising gets narrative but this falls under the extreme category. Cruising through the May 1916 edition of Popular Mechanics, I came across the ad headline: One Hint From These Men May Be the Turning Point in your Life! Lest you feel a “carny” come-on, the copy strives to establish credibility from …more

Why Would The New York Times Pay Attention To A Funding Announcement

Even though the flow of venture capital has slowed to a trickle, the act of securing money still typically rates nothing more than a yawn. The media just doesn’t care about funding news. So why would The New York Times devote 1,064 words to a startup banking $48 million to design chips for computer servers? The funding news was …more

Storytelling And The Humble News Release

Everyone left the news release for dead years ago. Then Enron imploded, Sarbanes-Oxley arrived and the need for public disclosure resurrected this humble servant. That’s why you saw Berkshire scooping up Business Wire some years ago. It was a form of “forget mining for gold, let’s sell the pans and sluice boxes.” But not even …more

Dear Mr. Bezos, What’s the Story?

The letter to the customer posted on one’s website offers the perfect forum for storytelling. Because you’re in control. While I chastised Toyota for its customer letter addressing the recall, I also recognize the attorney factor during a crisis warrants a handicap. Which brings me to Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos. No question, Mr. …more