Category: Bad Stuff

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3M Leans on Owned Media to Counter Punch

  Owned media at its best can provide a counter-balance to perceived injustices from the media and social channels. Organizations ranging from Google to Walmart to the Brookings Institution have depended on their blogs to deliver their point-of-view to blunt an attack. Now comes 3M, under fire last week (April 2) from President Trump who …more

Seven Stories: Tragedy

By Chris Owen, Director, UK . It’s time to explore the second of our seven basic plots: tragedy, where the protagonist is a hero with a major character flaw or a great mistake that is ultimately their undoing.   The age of Blockbuster Ah. The good old days. Walking into the local video rental store …more

Storytelling hammers the final nail in the coffin of Guy Fieri’s eatery

By Grace Hoffman, Editorial Assistant   It’s rare to read a restaurant review that is brutal, compelling and downright strange! Pete Wells dug in and made it happen … but how? The variety of tactics and his unwillingness to “go easy” on Guy Fieri’s restaurant is what makes this review rich material illustrating how storytelling …more

A Communications Train Wreck for the Ages

  I collect examples of dreadful communications. Every large company at some point drives off the communications road of common sense and ends up as a piñata on social media. When United Airlines baggage handlers “mishandled” a guitar back in 2008 and United refused to reimburse the passenger, the company had no clue that the …more

Advertising Gets This Storytelling Stuff

  Human beings gravitate to “train wrecks.” How else can you explain the popularity of “Breaking Bad”? Or people flocking to watch “Shrek”? Even though advertising has limited real estate — often 60 seconds of video or one static print page — the discipline finds a way to set the stage, surface the “bad stuff” …more

“Lou, You Know What Your Problem Is?”

Years ago we resigned a big brand account in the consumer electronics space. I think the statute of limitations has run out, 10+ years, so I can share the name. You’ve probably heard of them. Sony. At the time we supported their consumer electronics business in the U.S. handling their video camcorders, cameras and laptops. …more

What Happens When a PR Agency Chooses the “Wrong” Client?

The agency ends up in the New York Times with a bad look. That’s what happened to Edelman last week. The NYT devoted 29 1/8th inches — I counted using the hardcopy version — to Edelman landing a private prisons company called The GEO Group and then deciding to not move forward with the client. …more