6 Ways Marketers Can React in Real Time to Social Media Search Results
November 17, 2010

Many fans happily used four-letter words on Twitter to describe how excited they were to be able to buy Activision's "Call of Duty: Black Ops" on its release date, Nov. 9. While the bawdy vocabulary points to the fact that a brand can't control exactly how it's portrayed in social media, it also points to how a proactive approach can aid in positive perceptions before a marketer needs to worry about real-time social media posts in search results.

Canoe Lands 4 Network Partners
May 19, 2010

Ahead of the launch of its first interactive TV application, Canoe Ventures has lined up four major programming partners in Comcast Networks, Discovery Communications, NBC Universal and Rainbow Media.

Archive Observations: Where the Boys ... Aren't
March 19, 2009

Gender-specific vacations are not exactly new to direct mail—for example, golf trip packages heavily target men. But two offers received by the Archive in December for the first time promote "girlcations." Tour operator Overseas Adventure Travel (Archive code #501-172254-0812) mailed a 5-1/2" x 8-1/4" invitation-style offer for a women's "Only Get Together." The event, with two East Coast locations, is intended to preview the launch of women's-only trips (based on surveys and feedback from female travelers).

“Sicko” — Did Michael Moore Get It Right?
December 20, 2007

Michael Moore made a splash with his documentary, “Sicko,” about the disarray of the American health care system. Three weeks ago, an American woman executive in her early sixties—let’s call her Joyce—needed to see a doctor fairly late at night in the little town of Füssen, Germany. My wife, Peggy, and I went with her to the emergency room of the local hospital. It turned out that earlier in the year, Joyce had the very same symptoms during a business trip to the Midwest and went to the emergency room of one of the biggest hospitals in Omaha. The comparison of how Joyce

Deal Killers
March 27, 2007

I despise the 8,000 pound Philadelphia gorilla known as Comcast. I signed up for DirecTV and the guy is coming to install it today. But picture this: On my HBO Channel, a crawl runs across the bottom of my screen with the following message: ACTION IS REQUIRED ON YOUR PART to continue to receive HBO. As of March 28, you will no longer be able to view HBO without a digital cable box. Please contact Comcast at 1-800-COMCAST to get a digital cable box. This message—in very large type—runs continually 24/7 during the programming and totally destroys the viewing experience. I called 1-800-COMCAST to

When Bad Ideas Fly—II
January 11, 2007

The 139-word Bloomberg News release—that Pinnacle Entertainment is selling shares for casino funding—ends on a sour note. Pinnacle lost out in its bid for a slot machine parlor in Philadelphia to the proprietors of the largest casino complex in the world, Foxwoods, which is owned and operated by Connecticut’s Mashantucket Pequot tribe. The new Foxwoods Casino—slot machines only—that won the license, will be sited on the west bank of the Delaware River, roughly 1-1/2 miles from our 1817 row house in South Philadelphia. My neighbor, novelist-actor Steve Zettler, wrote a letter to The Philadelphia Inquirer that oozed sanctimony. “It goes beyond the obvious

Are People Reading What You Write?
September 19, 2006

Jill Goldsmith’s 27-word lead is classic Variety—slightly outrageous and an attention-grabber—and looked too good to miss, especially since we’re considering ditching Comcast for DirecTV. A good headline and lead will get a reader into a story or a memo, e-mail, white paper, book, story, report, blog or letter. The problem most of us have is losing the reader along the way. I’m delighted to welcome an old friend and long-time colleague, Bob Scott, as a guest columnist. Since the 1950s, Bob has been using Robert Gunning’s formula for helping writers make their prose clearer, more coherent and comprehensible. This is a piece you may well want

Eye on Envelopes: 5 Trends to Watch
August 9, 2006

Self-mailers—with their eye-catching formats, flashy designs, and nearly unlimited size, dimension, and finishing options—may get a good deal of the creative attention, but for most direct mailers, envelopes are the real go-to format. In the first half of 2006, some 65 percent of all efforts received by the Who’s Mailing What! Archive arrived in an envelope. In 2005 that number was a similar 64.2 percent, and in 2004, an only slightly lower 63 percent. With numbers like this, it’s easy to see why envelope creative, while perhaps not as exciting as its self-mailing cousin, is an important discipline to watch. Not only do mailers need

Editor’s Notebook: World War Web
August 9, 2006

A largely quiet battle over the future of the Internet has been playing out on Capitol Hill and, appropriately enough, on the Web for much of this year. Recently, the House struck down proposals for what one side of the fight calls “Net neutrality,” or the premise that the companies that provide Internet access should not be able to create tiered pricing or any other type of preferential treatment. As of press time, leading Senators Ron Wyden, Olympia Snowe and others were standing tough to block a telecommunications bill that does not include Net neutrality protections. While this sounds like a straightforward argument—why should