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Throwback Thursday-9 things you can do to keep 12/26 from being anticlimactic.

One of my early memories, from before I started school, so I must have been four years old, was my mother taking down Christmas decorations. It's a sad memory. It was early January. My dad had gone back to work (as a math teacher). My brother and sister had gone back to school. It was just mumsie and me. The house was sort of chilly and grey feeling. She put Christmas music on the record player. And methodically took down ornaments, wrapped them, and put them into the large cardboard carton where they lived. And she wept the whole time.…


There is always hope-win a Banksy print!

We're starting out the new year by sprinkling the love! We have two fine-art, mounted canvas prints of the Banksy installation, "There is always hope." And we're going to give them away. Maybe to you! At 5:00 on January 6, we are going to put all of the names of all of our Facebook friends and LinkedIn followers into a hat. Karen Kong will mix the names up, so that nobody can stack the deck. And Elizabeth Bordeaux (known for her prudence and forthrightness) will draw two names. If your name is drawn, we will contact you for shipping information.…


Throwback Thursday-Clydesdales.

Our offices used to be in the Markley Building, an old hardware store on South Main Street, Greenville, SC. At the time, I used to park in the Bowater parking garage. So, I would park my car, then walk the short path under the Main Street Bridge, up the steps, and just around the corner to our front door. One morning, it was foggy and chilly. Must have been about this time of year. As I walked toward the bridge, I heard this "clop, clop, clop" sound. It was one of those images that came to me in slow motion.…


Throwback Thursday-Peter comes home.

Back in the 1980s, I worked on the Taster's Choice coffee account. It was a good account. Good brand. Did pretty well. But Folgers always whipped TC and everyone else in the category. They had a simple formula: own the coffee occasions; go big with the budget. Christmas of 1988, they hit this homerun. The best part of Christmas is Peter coming home...and Folgers in your cup. We've talked a lot here about the mnemonic value of music. Well, here's a great example. No coffee pouring scenes anywhere near the beginning of the spot. No coffee cups. No logos. No…


7 words a copywriter should avoid.

Learning about good copy is easy. Mastering copywriting is hard. It's like the blues. And the ukulele. And Haiku. Much of the art of copywriting comes from decades of practice. Trial and error. This and that. Boom. Boom. Boom. Period. But there are some simple things. Like, these seven words you should avoid:1. That. As in "It was so cold, that our tongues stuck to the parking meters." In this case, the problem is not with the grammar. It's with the poetry. If you slow down my ears, my brain might get bored and walk away before you finish your…


Throwback Thursday-Walk across Antarctica!

Several years ago, we had the opportunity to work with the Girl Scouts of our region to promote some major events. One of these events involved the first woman ever to walk across Antarctica. Now, it's a little chilly this time of year. And it gets a little frosty walking across a parking lot to Publix. But just think about walking across an entire continent, where the daily highs are colder than it ever gets in North Carolina or South Carolina...or even Viginia or Kentucky. She used sleds and tents and lightweight portable heaters and cooking stuff. One tough lady,…


Throwback Thursdays-Hands-on Help

These were some of the coolest accountants we've ever encountered. They wore interesting clothes and were interested in interesting things. The partner in charge of marketing was a jazz sax player. The head of recruiting was a competitive swimmer in college. As we started working with them to define their differential advantage, some research revealed that they were prized by their clients for their ability to consult on business issues beyond accounting. They were smart folks who could talk to you about interesting and helpful things. They had a bit of a problem. They were located both in the mountains…


Branding in space-visual space.

When people think about branding, they usually think about a few of the most fundamental elements of branding-visual branding. But branding firms, advertising agencies, design firms, and freelancers often use branding as an opportunity to showcase their own visual skills, rather than focusing on the practical (if sometimes mundane) responsibility of creating brand imagery in the visual space that authentically and consistently expresses the brand character. In general, the visual space includes: - Color. They say a hawk can see something like 200 different shades of distinct color within what we would call "green." Inuit language has something like 100…


Throwback Thursday-"O-S-C-A-R"

Here's the story as it was told to us. One day, our friend Bobby Joe Jones was picking up his daughter at Brownies. He got there a little early, and was treated to a troop of little girls singing, "There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name, oh, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, and Bingo was his name, oh!" Bobby Joe was an art director|producer at the time for J. Walter Thompson. And J. Walter had been given the assignment to differentiate Oscar Meyer Bologna. Bobby Joe morphed the two ideas and the result was this Clio Hall…


Throwback Thursdays-The "demo."

In some cases, attitude is everything. When our friends at The Greenville News decided to launch their weekly news and information publication for Generation X, they needed to appeal to certain demographic characteristics.This is a demographic that tends to morph business, family, friends, leisure...all into one big thing. They are also a generation of shoppers. They like deals. And as the first generation of the Internet, they like (and are accustomed to receiving) FREE stuff. Particularly FREE content. And, it is a generation characterized by a passion for sarcasm. All of this worked together to form the self-effacing concept for…


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