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You, Me, and the Medicis


Ever notice that people always thank “the Academy” when they win an Oscar?

I happen to know someone who is a member of the Academy — my brother Nathan. He created the technology for characters like Shrek, Dragon, Donkey, Kung Fu Panda, and many others at Dreamworks. A thoughtful observer of culture, art, and technology, he recently wrote something to me that got me thinking:

“The pace at which our culture is absorbing and building on new technology for artistic and cultural expression makes the Renaissance look like a knitting circle. And advertising is inseparable from that today, just as the great masters of the arts of the past depended on their benefactors.”

He’s right. We live in a time of dizzying change in journalism, art, and cultural expression, and of dizzying change in the advertising technologies that support and enable our means of expression. Continue reading “You, Me, and the Medicis” »

A School For Digital Marketers In The Era Of ‘Surveillance Capitalism’

This original appeared on Huffington Post.

Shortly before Christmas, I posted a short screed about the moral mess that digital marketers have gotten themselves in. In this new era of big content and fake news, we’ve lost our moral authority—if not just our moral compass—to counsel brands on what to do. Why? Because for years before the dark Fall of 2016, the ad tech industry had been already eroding trust among people on the Internet by finding more and more clever ways to stalk people. I asked if the time had come for a new Cluetrain Manifesto, the popular 1999 treatise that admonished marketers that a new day would soon arrive when the customer would be in control.

My question got an answer—from Doc Searls, one of the authors of the Cluetrain. But the answer was not what I expected. According to Doc, who is still fighting the good fight, the work of the first Cluetrain is not yet done. Continue reading “A School For Digital Marketers In The Era Of ‘Surveillance Capitalism’” »

Who Will Lead The Next Marketing Revolution?

In the last working week of 2016 — a year that will surely go down in infamy in the history of marketing and communications — my colleague Julie Ginches posted a well-received article on the “teachable moment” that the fake news crisis has created for marketing professionals. Toward the end of the article, she asks if in fact it’s time for the industry to pull itself together once again and write a professional code of conduct, as the authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto did at the dawn of Internet marketing. Reviewing a catalog of examples of marketers behaving badly, Julie wrote: Continue reading “Who Will Lead The Next Marketing Revolution?” »

A Short Story About Stories

“Conversation in verbal storytelling is alive and well today. But most media in the modern world is not in the oral tradition. We may have left a few things behind as we invented new media.” Continue reading “A Short Story About Stories” »

Media Agencies, Are PR Firms Eating Your Lunch?

Edelman recently hired a former Leo Burnett exec, Mark Renshaw, to lead its global brand practice, becoming one of the largest PR organizations that has begun creating paid content for general audiences rather than only focusing on securing editorial placements.

This is a big deal.

I know first-hand that the landscape is rapidly changing. I’ve seen a number of innovative agencies doing really cool things with paid media, including Weber Shandwick, Cohn & Wolfe, and Ketchum, and it’s a significant development. Continue reading “Media Agencies, Are PR Firms Eating Your Lunch?” »

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