Tom Hanks

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Even pessimistic marketing thought leaders believe more than 100 million viewers caught the Super Bowl ads. For marketers like SunTrust Banks and Mercedes-Benz, it’s been the best place to announce initiatives that can then live on other marketing channels.

Influencers brands need to know are ones who could help them with their marketing. But the others they must learn about are the ones who are so influential, they could damage their brands with a single post on social media. That’s why Digital Third Coast studied the latter and found 24 such influencers.

Movie critics operate above their pay grade May 23, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 40 IN THE NEWS Has The Da Vinci Code had any good reviews? Stodgy, grim, ponderous. Dreary, droning, dull-witted. Hammy, stilted, solemn, talky, wooden, bloated, plodding, deathly dull, dreary. Or did I do "dreary" already? Forget the Christian right—it's that shadowy global organisation, the Critical Establishment, that has lifted its cassock and dumped unceremoniously on Ron Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. — Jonathan Gibbs, The Guardian (UK), May 19, 2006 At a direct marketing conference in Orlando I was having lunch with my Norwegian clients and

The Rip-off vs. a Ripping Good Time March 16, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 21 IN THE NEWS Resort Fees: Hotel Rate May Not Include All the Charges Hotel resort fees are making a comeback. With the decline in the lodging industry after 9/11, the fees, which cover everything from the use of a pool to housekeeping tips, began to vanish—if not from hotels' policies, then from guests' bills. A polite complaint was usually all it took to have a fee waived. No longer. —Christopher Elliott, The New York Times, March 12, 2006 When Don Jackson and I sat down at his kitchen

By Mark Hallen While a direct marketing copywriter need not pose a threat to Meryl Streep or Tom Hanks, the ability to do some role-playing can be very helpful in creating successful communications. Of course you should learn as much as you can about the product or service that you're selling. But it can be just as important, if not more so, to know as much as you can about the person you're selling to. You need to put yourself in his shoes, not to mention his mind and his mailbox. This goes way beyond knowing basic demographics. It means knowing what your

By Brian Howard In uncertain times, companies can't afford to waste money doing things the wrong way. Inefficiency, bad testing, simplistic segmentation and all-around sloppy application of direct mail principles can team up to make your black ink run red. In theory, you should always strive to use best practices, but when the economy is booming, there's a lot more wiggle room in the bottom line. But spotting where your mailing can be tightened up isn't necessarily the easiest of tasks, especially from inside your own organization. To quote Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) in "A League Of Their Own": "It's

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