Broken Links That Tell ...


Here’s my second grab bag post of 2018, capturing vignettes that caught my attention, but don’t lend themselves to stand-alone posts.


Broken Links, an Opportunity

Most companies treat broken links as a functional challenge. The person has clicked to a wrong place (page doesn’t exist), bringing a 404 page to navigate the person back to safety.

Apple, a company that knows a thing or two about branding and the customer experience, offers the following 404 page.



It’s perfectly fine allowing the visitor to use the search function or go to the site map. But zero in on the line, “The page you’re looking for can’t be found.” Doesn’t exactly sound Apple-ish with a human touch.

The broken link can offer an opportunity to have some fun, showing that there’s a company with real people behind that 404 page. The publication AdAge does exactly that:



Even if you don’t get the inside joke — the photo depicts ex-WPP King Martin Sorrell who’s experienced trying times — the words sound human.

We take a similar approach with our own 404 page.



I suspect no other 404 page channels “The Wizard of Oz.”


Visual Storytelling with Pasta

Consider the last time you were at the grocery store and bought pasta.

All pasta packages look alike with the requisite picture of the pasta type on the box. This Italian pasta maker saw an opportunity to differentiate its packaging and brand.




Sponsored Content During Passover

I praised Maxwell House in a previous newsletter for a sponsored content campaign that has been the “afikoman” that keeps on giving. By sponsoring the Haggadah — the text that walks everyone through the Passover story and Seder ceremony — Maxwell House has enjoyed a seat at Passover dinner for 50+ years. Whoever came up with this idea deserves a plaque in the Sponsored Content Hall of Fame.

And the story gets better.

Marsha Collier tipped me off that Maxwell House this year offered a limited-edition Haggadah based on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the Amazon show that my wife and I have deemed must-see TV.


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