Essays at the intersection of marketing and life.
One of the big ideas that has drawn me to semiotics (the art of understanding cultural context, kidnapped by marketing in a bid to better understand ‘consumers’) is its core premise. Semiotics assert that the future is present in our world today, but is poorly distributed. This has acted as an ongoing incentive for me … Continue reading “Netflix reinvents TV – tomorrow happening today”
I grew up entranced by song. It was constantly on my mind and in my ear. At an early age I began to deconstruct melody, harmony and counterpoint. Of course, I did not perceive them in these terms. Rather, my ear simply heard, and could distinguish between, the many layers that make up a full … Continue reading “Consumer Change: books versus eBooks”
Having led a dissolute movie-life until my mid thirties, even I was surprised when I suddenly fell in love with cinema. In my teens and twenties, I was a positive laggard. To this day, I am both proud and ashamed to say that I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies, Rocky, Close … Continue reading “Learning marketing from storytellers”
In my thirties, I followed politics and read The Economist. Facts were my way of knowing the world. I always knew what was happening in Malawi – and not just that nation’s adoption policies for gap-toothed celebrities. In my forties, I find myself moving towards culture as a means of understanding the world, and why … Continue reading “Greatest Marketer Of All Time? Who it is may surprise you”
When I was a junior brand manager in France, I thought myself a local hero because I managed Bounty. Chocolate that is, not kitchen roll. Not only was the brand big news for the Gallic palette, it also had a very clear brand positioning which made life very easy. ‘Whatever the question is, the answer … Continue reading “Pricing is positioning”
Although every child tries it out, it’s pretty difficult to get a lie past your mammy. The child’s predicament is neatly reflected in one of my favourite studies in psychology where children were asked the simple question: who knows you best? Under the age of eleven, most children decided that it is Mum who knows … Continue reading “Seán Gallagher’s lie”
Sheryl Sandberg leaned forward, the eagerness-to-please emblazoned on her face at odds with her age, wisdom and – one imagines – her ego. It was not Charlie Rose, the interviewer opposite her, who inspired such transcendent attention. Rather, it was her co-interviewee, and twenty-seven year old employer. ‘Exactly’, she intoned, as Mark spoke of his … Continue reading “What if Zuckerberg isn’t always right?”