In spite of the rapid growth in digital advertising, people still say traditional media influences them the most. In a recent surveys by Clutch and Marketing Charts (December 2017), TV wins the “most trusted and most influential media award. Clutch-Advertising-Trust-and-Influence-Dec2017

Although this may seem surprising considering the ad buzz world, even though social media made some rapid increases in recent years, TV and print have remained constant in trust levels. Trust and purchase influence go hand in hand, but trust is really the key to powerful marketing messaging.

This does not mean you should abandon your digital efforts, but it does mean that a strong media mix is still key to successful marketing.

Will advertising continue to work? It is interesting “older adults” are more skeptical of advertising than younger counterparts. Surprisingly, Millennials were more likely to say advertising “influenced” their purchases.


The executive director of the Pantone Color Institute states that we are “living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination.” And that is why the color Ultra Violet was selected as the Pantone Color of the Year for 2018. 2018 Color of the Year

As brand consultants, we are often asked what are the “hot colors.” The problem is that color evokes reactions that may be different from one person to the next (8% of men have color vision deficiency and less than 1% of women).  Yet color is a key to branding — and consistency of color is almost more important than the actual color itself.

Purple is “complex and contemplative,” according to the Color Institute. “Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now…purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality and artistic brilliance.”


For me, purple is the color that balances red and blue. Blue is a cool, calm color (think hospitals) and red is energy and alertness (think Red Bull or CNN). Purple is the blend. And when I see it, I think of Prince. Purple Rain.

The Color Institute summed it up best with, “the color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a high ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. It is a color to inspire connections.

Here are past Pantone Colors of the Year from the Pantone website.

Colors of the year 2010-2017


Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I read Dr. King’s speech and I was struck by the simple construction and complex pacing. It is a work of art. Dr. King was a master at communications and we can learn so much studying his words. We can learn so much about branding, yes, but also so much about how we should approach life.Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial

In my research, I found out that retired basketball coach George Raveling (who coached at the University of Iowa from 1983-1986) has the original speech locked away for safekeeping. Raveling stood next to Dr. King 55 years ago as a bodyguard and was handed the original typewritten speech at the end.

The entire speech is 17 minutes long. Enjoy this excerpt:

“…I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today…”


Happy Holidays

Holiday Background with Winter Landscape and Reindeer

Well, this is it. One thing I’ve learned blogging for so many years, is that this process is similar to running a broadcast network. The are ups and downs of viewership and readership. thinking and results feedback

The week leading up to the holiday break is the lowest of the year–and 8-year trend. In fact the week leading up to any holiday is considerably lower.

It makes anecdotal sense, but it is nice to have the data to back it up. I could, like the networks, run reruns during this time. But instead, I’m going to go quiet and give my fingers and brain a rest.

We’ll do some same old new thinking in 2018.

Thank you for reading. Happy Holidays.

This has been the year of news. Or should I say fake news? It’s hard to separate the fake from the truth. If you’ve had children, I do believe you can separate fake news from sourced and vetted news–you can hear it in the tone and read the eyes. chartoftheday_5067_main_news_source_by_generation_n

Fake or not, news is changing. As you can see in this chart, there is a generational divide in where consumers get their news. Print has taken the largest hit, and the future readership looks a bit bleak.

The chart is from a study done by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. It has some other interesting findings on our news consumption. Here are some highlights:

  • 29% of people avoid news completely, saying it negatively impacts their mood
  • Nearly 40% of people trust news media
  • However, 53% trust the media they use
  • Half of Amazon Echo users use the device to source news
  • 46% of smartphone users read news in bed; 32% read news in the bathroom; 42% in public transit
  • 16% pay for online news

The news world is shifting. I hope democracy can survive. Democracy needs a free and independent press. It is part of the First Amendment–a good reminder to us all as we contemplate what news is true and what news is fake.  And what is news anyway?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Today, you are reading my 800th blog. It’s been more than eight years of finding marketing morsels to feed to the “hungry beast” (which is my blog). 8th silver anniversary logo

If you have a television background you understand the “hungry beast.” It consumes content at an alarming rate. And when the newscast is done or the ads have run, they are all off to the universe of space. But right after each show or newscast is completed, the clock starts on the next one. The beast tummy growls.

If I put all the blogs in a book, it would take approximately 13 hours to read. I’ve been blessed with an industry that is full of change and innovation. The topic easily fills the weekly need.

So thank you for reading. I appreciate the support, ideas and feedback. Here’s to the next 100 and another interesting year in marketing. Together, we’ll keep the hungry beast at bay.