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Dave’s blog

Artificial Turf vs. Real Marketing

I just read The Marketing Rebellion – the Most Human Company Wins, by Mark Schaefer.  His premise, wonderfully brought forward, is that customers – not the business – drive successful marketing now, and increasingly will going forward.  I was struck (and entertained) by the extreme antithesis of that approach in the ad shown below.

I laughed at the irony in this ad: ARTIFICIAL TURF JUST GOT REAL.  It’s a cute headline, but it’s an example of a company that isn’t even aligning its own claims with its promises within one ad – how can this be putting the customer in a position to be the company’s marketing voice?  To me, companies that aren’t seeing the customer (and not advertising) their way to grow, create HUGE opportunities for those who build a business around what Schaefer calls “The Marketing Rebellion.”

The Comfort of Routine is Making Me Uncomfortable

My recent interview with Aaron Dignan, author of Brave New Work, made me think a lot about how routine really prevents progress… and how the grounding nature of routine messes with me. 

Here’s the example I’m thinking of: 

During the winter my family rents a 70’s throwback cabin near Hoosier pass.  It’s an amazing little gem stuck in a semi-remote area.  We go there every weekend for ten straight weeks to snowshoe, ski, entertain friends, drink beer, watch Netflix, read, and stare into a real wood fire.

At the end of the winter we always say, “that was great but I’m glad to be home for a weekend!”  During ten weekends of being gone, paperwork has piled up and the furnace filter needs changing.  Wanting to catch up is reasonable.  What I don’t like is that it feels comforting to be back in the routine of normal living.

I Sold You So

I got a courtesy call from a Dell salesman to follow-up on a $2,000 laptop I’d recently purchased.  He introduced himself, “Hi, this is Jim, the guy who sold you the laptop – how’s it going?”

Yuck.

I don’t want to talk to a guy who thinks he sold me something.  Jim should have called and said, “Hi, this is Jim, from Dell.  How’s that great laptop you chose treating you?”

I’m the customer.  Make me feel like the smart and successful part of the transaction.

Is easy creativity, “cheapened” creativity?

Andy Warhol created the famous Marilyn Monroe montage below.  It probably took him a while and I’m sure the original is worth millions.

I created this montage of my dog Ziggy in 20 minutes using a filter on my Pixel 2 phone and PowerPoint.

Has easy creativity “cheapened” creativity? 

No, I don’t think technology is narrowing the gap between real talent and tech-stimulated creativity.   Technology is enabling those of us not making a living as artists to be able to enjoy being creative without a steep learning curve.  “Ziggy Warhol” was fun to make, and now fun to write about.  I don’t think Andy Warhol, if alive, would feel threatened.

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