April Fools’ Day can be a field day for marketers — with a few risks

Skeptics love April 1 — it’s the one day of the year when everyone approaches things with more skepticism. Marketers love it, too, as it’s an opportunity to push out creative ideas without the pesky restraints of, well, reality! Last week we all saw some jarring posts about prominent businesses, either too good or too…
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What chocolate-covered lies can teach about marketing

By now, half the world has heard about the chocolate dream that died last week in Glasgow, Scotland. Billed as an immersive event, “Willy’s Chocolate Experience” went viral for all the wrong reasons. We could examine the errors in planning, staffing, design, execution, logistics, ethics and price point that led to the fiasco. But we…
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AI writing tools do not (yet) include artificial common sense, accuracy or tact

One pitfall of new technology is people quickly come to rely on it to perform functions it simply doesn’t do. I recall the spellchecker gaffes decades ago, when optimistic writers assumed a document was error-free because they’d hit “spell check.” A book author was once very surprised when I found an embarrassing error — see,…
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Friends football supporter fans cheering with confetti watching soccer match event at stadium - Young people group with red t-shirts having excited fun on sport world championship concept

Vintage Marketing: “I’m going to Disneyland!”

As teams, fans and marketing executives gear up for the 2023 Super Bowl, I wanted to reflect upon an ad so ingrained and so beloved that we don’t even think of it as an ad. It’s an axiom, an answer you already know before the question is asked. Once the last play has been called…
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My most memorable cup of coffee

Recently, at a luncheon held by Bruce Merrin’s Celebrity Speakers Bureau, I had the honor of hearing former military intelligence officer and author Alex Manire discuss his time serving and his journey toward faith. As he began, he asked the audience if they could recall the best cup of coffee they’d ever had in their…
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Vintage marketing: You got chocolate in my peanut butter

Few ads encapsulate an idea so well that they became standalone metaphors. But when I hit upon a surprise great combination, I often quip, “Hey, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter!” And whoever I’m with quips back, “You got your peanut butter on my chocolate!” Picture this: two young, attractive people are walking…
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Logo legacies: Meatballs and worms in space!

Anyone who has ever created a logo — or worked on a team brainstorm to create branding or visual messaging, as we do here at Imagine — gains a finer appreciation for these distilled bits of corporate identity. Our modern world is peppered with them, and communications pros tend to notice nuances and choices made…
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The honor of doing meaningful work

Much has been written about the importance of finding meaning in one’s career. While a paycheck covers the necessities of life, money can only make someone slog away at an unfulfilling job for so long. Work in communications can span a broad spectrum, and we at Imagine have reflected from time to time how we…
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Trophy hooked by a fishing hook on white background.

Avoiding wolves in the award forest

There are awards we are all familiar with — the Oscars, the Emmys, the Pulitzer Prize — as well as awards that have become well known in their particular niche industry. Cartoonists know the Reuben is a coveted and longstanding award for excellence in the field of funny pictures. Some awards are very well-known in…
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