Dustin Hoffman

By Lee Marc Stein Many of you will remember "Wag the Dog," that prescient 1997 film with Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. The plot revolves around diverting attention from a presidential sex scandal by fabricating a war. Direct marketing isn't as glamorous or funny as the movies. Sometimes we let the tail wag the dog, and the results can be sobering. In most cases, this tail wagging isn't planned; it simply results from lack of concentration on key strategic issues. And now let's head to the tales. 1) A food company that sells home delivery of gourmet meals actually lets

By Donna Baier Stein If you've seen "I [heart] Huckabees," you either loved or hated it. The movie talks mostly about consciousness as two "detectives" (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) help others figure out the meaning of life. Seems to me that conscious-ness is something we marketers need to expand in these interesting and challenging days. It's been a year since Yankelovich Partners President J.Walker Smith, while giving a speech entitled "The Vision of Home: Generational Lifestyle Value," identified a "Post Accumulation Marketplace" that "want(s) intangibles, experiences and service, but no 'stuff' left over." In addition to the "stuff" we're selling, we're creating a

You're David Oreck. You manufacture and sell the best, lightest, most rugged and efficient vacuum cleaner ever designed. It is in use by more than 50,000 hotels worldwide—from the elegant Windsor Court in New Orleans to the Holiday Inn in Seattle. It's a truly great product; every home and office in America should have one. Your message to the consumer: Take the Oreck challenge. Send for my Oreck-XL for a 15-day free trial. When it arrives, clean all your rugs and carpets with your current vacuum cleaner. Then go over them again with my Oreck-XL, look in the bag and

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