By Rex Hammock, CEO

In 1957, unemployed magazine editor Vance Packard spent two months writing a book about advertising titled The Hidden Persuaders. He was not an expert in advertising, and much of the content of the book came from interviews and the writings of others.

The book is primarily remembered today for its mention of a concept that would come to be known as subliminal advertising. This technique was supposed to increase sales during movies by flashing messages like “Eat popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola” on the screen at a speed so fast they couldn’t consciously be seen. Advertising experts dismissed the book and the concept of subliminal advertising—but the public loved it and bought 3 million copies.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal explored the current state of internet influencers. Spoiler alert: The article isn’t gung-ho about the “influencer economy” in which they say, “billions are being paid to social media personalities to pitch products riddled with deceit.” However, the article accepts the reality that, at least for the near future, influence marketing is going to be a part of the digital and social media marketing pallet.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

Since the earliest days of using the term “content marketing,” there has been confusion and debate over what the phrase means. In an article for the Content Marketing Institute, author Michael Brenner explains that one reason for the confusion is that “using content for marketing” and “creating content” mean different things.

 

“Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch” was a classic advertising slogan of the Don Draper era. Featuring a smiling model with a black eye, the grammatically incorrect Tareyton print ads ran from 1963 until the early 1980s. (Cigarette advertising on TV ended in 1971.) On its surface, the slogan was a clever way to encourage loyalty to the Tareyton brand. Yet beneath the surface, it was an insidious and not-so-subtle rallying cry for smokers to ignore the evidence linking smoking to cancer that started mounting in earnest with the 1964 Surgeon General’s report.

In the 55 years since the report was issued, the percentage of Americans who smoke has fallen from 42% in 1964 to 14% today. But nearly 34 million Americans still smoke, apparently willing to fight to the death than switch.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

If you google “the lost art of storytelling,” you’ll find link after link of people longing for a bygone time when there were great storytellers. “We’ve lost the ability to tell stories well,” they lament. We lost it in a time and place called the good ol’ days, they mourn.

In reality, we are living in a golden age of storytelling. Never have there been more stories, more ways to tell stories, more outlets for sharing stories or more fans of storytelling.

farmers insurance
By Rex Hammock, CEO

The term “campaign” is used in many ways, in various contexts.

A political campaign is the process candidates must successfully follow to be elected to a public office. A military campaign is a series of battles that are part of a larger war. An advertising campaign is a coordinated series of advertisements, typically using several media channels, that are tied together with a complementary style and personality. Each type of campaign reflects a recurring commitment, discipline and multi-pronged approach to success.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

Unlike most large corporations and industry associations that commission research to show how much their customers love their products, Google and other internet advertising networks have done something radical: They’ve used research to make the seemingly obvious assertion that “the online ad experience has sometimes fallen short of consumers’ expectations.” The result? Users react by adding ad-blocking extensions to their browsers.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

Google Trends is a clever tool that tracks user interest in search terms. The trends can be measured in increments of time ranging from a few hours up to 15 years.

Google Trends can also serve as a reminder that technology and marketing buzzwords have life cycles of popularity similar to the fads and fashions in any industry.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

The term “influencer” is one of those internet-era buzzwords that consumer-focused marketers use in the way business-to-business marketers use the term “thought leaders.”

In reality, these individuals have always existed. The newness of their influence is the way many have discovered how to circumvent the traditional gateways of media and celebrity.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

Does your company host webinars or an annual conference? How often do you publish digital media like newsletters, how-tos or user manuals?

Do you have a YouTube channel or do you make explainer videos devoted to teaching your customers or members how to best use your company’s products and services?