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Sorry for the serious drop in the frequency of our agency blog of late. However, it can be a not-enough-hours-in-the day challenge to generate content for yourself when you are also generating content for others. The old shoemaker’s kids going shoeless dilemma.

Several stories this week resonated in an intertwining way to touch nerves for me as someone in the creative business. The problem is that too many creatives don’t run their businesses as businesses (emporiums of wit and awesome graphics, maybe) and too many businesspeople who purchase creative services realize that and take advantage accordingly.

This Advertising Age article about a panel from a Mirren New Business Conference on agency compensation contained an all-too-familiar anecdote from one of the panelists, Christine Fruechte, CEO of the Colle & McVoy agency. She recounted about having gotten to the last round of a pitch, but losing to another agency because Colle & McVoy elected not to lower their fees in a race to the bottom. The winner of that race went out of business within a year of getting the business. Ironically, the client approached Colle & McVoy again and Ms. Fruechte got the account (and in a rare turnaround for this industry) plus even higher fees than what cost her the nod in the original pitch process.

That story made me feel smug about the agency side of the business for all of a few hours until reading an amusing interview with the Black Keys by Danny McBride in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly. In an especially ironic turnabout, it seems agencies have been blacklisting the Black Keys when it comes to licensing of their music. The reason is appalling — once the Black Keys and their infectiously memorable hook-loaded music became omnipresent on radio and music services, they had to go to court on multiple occasions to stop brands, agencies, and jingle houses from using obvious knockoff versions of their songs.

So, this is an especially galling case of pot, kettle, black. Creative shops have no business whining about clients not wanting to pay them for original creative when they turn around and borrow a popular sound or look from other creative artists but conveniently don’t pay them for it.

Fortunately, some brands are thinking in different ways. It was refreshing this week to see Adweek report on how Chipolte has figured out a new way to attract business by featuring original content from Real McCoy big name writers like Toni Morrison and Jonathan Safran Foer on the restaurant’s cups under the theme “Cultivating Thought.” Hell, I might even pay a little extra for something pithy or witty from a favorite writer while enjoying a taco meal. And that little extra multiplied by the business it brings in might more than compensate Chipolte, Toni Morrison and other featured writers, while building brand loyalty for the chain (and new readers for those writers). Hallelujah. A rare win-win in the creative compensation department.

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I’m in a strange place at the moment. I can’t seem to get away from mortality via daily reminders about cancer and its ability to crash through people’s lives like a wrecking ball.

The other week, my wife reminded me it was the 14th anniversary of my mother’s passing from pancreatic cancer. Thankfully, it was a very short three-month ride from diagnosis to the bitter end. Despite some chemo to relieve symptoms, my mother faded fast into jaundice and spreading disease. It was surreal to get the news and watch her deteriorate so quickly and completely.

Last week, my family attended a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society event at World Café Live, joining hundreds of others who will be participating in Light The Night walks this fall. I listened to two young women deliver inspiring talks — one who is soldiering on after losing her best friend (her brother) recently to leukemia and the other a strong but still shaken survivor who grappled with and beat lymphoma in her early 20s. These are tests that few of us could weather so strongly.

Yesterday, my youngest son, a leukemia survivor himself, went to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for his annual check-up. He spent a lot of time at CHOP from ages one through four and a half, adhering strictly to a proven regimen for beating the acute lymphoblastic form of the disease. He is now a healthy teenager. During his exam today, his nurse marveled at the strength of his heartbeat. Something in her voice suggested that she seldom gets to hear such positive reinforcement among the countless other patients she sees.

Since the beginning of the year, two good friends who work at the same Newton Associates client have battled very different kinds of cancer at the same time. Thankfully, both adhered strictly to their protocols, were determined to beat cancer, and are now through their treatment cycles with positive outcomes. It wasn’t easy for either one but their unflagging commitment to health carried them through tough times.

This summer has meant a cruel, cruel blow to my wife’s cousin, a Vietnam vet and a perpetually hard worker who had only months ago begun his retirement. He was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of melanoma of the sinuses, rare because it is typically linked to an industrial cause, in this case, exposure to Agent Orange. This news comes on the heels of treatment last year for prostate cancer. Weeks of chemo and radiation are taking their toll and he is now having to have his meals put in a blender because of the throat discomfort he is experiencing. He is toughing it out, too, but of all people doesn’t deserve any of this.

I trade regular emails with a mutual good friend of my wife’s cousin, updating each other on his progress. This friend lost his wife a year ago. She had battled leukemia for an extended spell, but succumbed to a weakened heart. Her doctor had shared an ironic twist — that according to final lab results, she had beaten the leukemia she’d been fighting and was cancer-free when she died.

One of our all-time favorite clients at Newton was the CEO of a packaging company who had been recuperating for a year from a botched knee surgery. Just when he was bouncing back from the follow-up operation, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Like my own mother, he was gone in a very short time, leaving behind a lot of grief spread among a great many family members, friends, and colleagues.

If these stories don’t resonate enough, The New York Times recently ran an important series (part one, part two, and part three can be found here) on promising trends but with not always the best possible results in fighting cancer. The people profiled were carefully chosen to illustrate treatment pitfalls and the possibilities, as well as how none of us are immune from cancer’s threat.

I could keep going on (and you could call me excessively morbid), but my goal isn’t to make you feel bad. It is to make you angry — extremely angry — angry enough to take action against this incredible scourge. Since becoming involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I am aware of many others grappling with cancer; however, I am sure that you have your own stories of pain and loss involving family, friends, and neighbors affected by cancer.

Personally, my anger is fueled by seeing so many people I care about affected so adversely. Even if death is far less inevitable than it used to be, sometimes the treatment and its side effects are as harsh as the disease in terms of quality of life. Of course, if cancer is claiming even a single life, that’s too many if the person afflicted is you or a loved one.

It’s not as if a lot of the best minds in science (medical and pharmaceutical researchers aided by day-to-day practitioners) haven’t been tackling cancer in its multitude of forms for a very long time. And it’s not as if many committed people aren’t raising funds year after year. Truth is that significant progress toward a cure is made day in, day out. I know from my own son’s fight that common childhood leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) has been made beatable in just a few short decades. Still, I am feeling more, not less angry about cancer, because inevitably, it’s always personal.

Life is precious and fragile enough, and I didn’t just need a heavily-armed evil demon intent on playing God in a packed Colorado movie theatre to remind me. I don’t mean to digress, but this senseless massacre hammers home how capricious daily life and death instances can be. Shouldn’t each and every one of us be doing more in the larger fight to prevent, detect, and destroy cancer? What else could possibly be more important?

I encourage you to volunteer, even if it is only one Saturday a year, toward helping a cancer-focused charity. Raise funds, do support work at events, arrange to assist patients in need — choose something that fits your schedule and helps to advance the crushing of cancer. Here is my fundraising page for LLS and their annual Light The Night Walk. I encourage you to visit it to contribute (no gift in this fight is small or unappreciated) or to see how easy it is to become a Light The Night walker yourself. Or please investigate one of the countless other charities involved on behalf of specific cancers and see where you can begin to make a difference.

Let me tell you, anger is a terrific motivator. If one sick hateful ghoul with cancerous thoughts could achieve so much terror in Aurora, just think what so many of the rest of us can do on behalf of life and for loved ones and future generations.

 

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Just prior to heading to NYC for the weekend, I got an email from Mike Sisti with the following New York Times story link as possible blog fodder. I found it to be a pretty interesting example of why price wars, in this case between rival pizza parlors, have a tendency to cause pain for all involved.
A temporary race to the bottom can permanently harm multiple competitors and skew consumer perceptions about quality, service, and other differentiators. Being the low cost leader in any business is not necessarily the best position because customers are often left with the impression that corners must be cut in order to achieve the lowest of the lows.

Gray's Papaya is advertising 99 cent pizza.

Gray's Papaya is advertising 99 cent pizza.

While walking around the Village south of Washington Square yesterday, I saw evidence of the cutthroat battle between the non-chain pizza purveyors. I did not come across any 75 cent postings. Gray’s Papaya was glad to have a sign in the window advertising 99 cent slices. Then, I turned a corner and saw a remarkable commitment blending branding and pricing strategies. Between raw materials, cost of labor, rent, and other overhead and fluctuating variables, I am not sure I would ever name my business 99 Cent Fresh Pizza, but I’ll bet for the moment, things are working well.

When you're 99 Cent Fresh Pizza, you are committed to a pricing and branding strategy.

When you're 99 Cent Fresh Pizza, you are committed to a pricing and branding strategy.

In other restaurant news, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Mental? Why not Dental?), since July 2010, has decided to enter Zagat’s realm and is now requiring food establishments to prominently post letter grades received following most recent spot inspections (A, B, or C). At first glance, I noticed nothing but A’s around the Village and assumed it was not mandatory and only those getting top grades would post (however, all are required by law to post their grades). Soon thereafter I came across a posted B grade (lone cockroach spotted?). This is an unusual blending of carrots and sticks to get restaurants to clean up their kitchens. Most people if given the choice between an A or a B or even a C are not going to want to risk food poisoning and are going to opt for the top grade. Having been a dishwasher in a couple of kitchens early in my working life that were not always pristine, I can see where this regulatory approach has some merits and built in incentives to keep things more toward spotless than spotty.

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PA's Yuengling just attained America's Largest Brewer status.

PA's Yuengling just attained America's Largest Brewer status.

Congratulations to D.G. Yuengling & Son, who just officially became America’s largest brewer, moving ahead of Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams), according to Beer Marketer, as the largest U.S.-owned brewer that makes all its beer in the states. That sounds highly improbable for a family business and a beer sold almost exclusively in the East (and long concentrated in the Northeast), and especially to anyone who doesn’t follow beer industry brewings. However, all the national brands are now owned by foreign corporations and industry market share is greatly fragmented by smaller brands, microbrews, popular imports, and reduced consumption overall.

If you’ve never visited the hillside town of Pottsville, PA, the Yuengling brewery tour is a good reason to do so (the other is the fiction of John O’Hara, who wrote many a novel and short story about the town in its economic hey day as Gibbsville). The company now has a second brewery in Tampa.

This news should be a big deal for Pennsylvania, but it hasn’t registered to the extent it should. Perhaps that is because marketing isn’t what has propelled Yuengling to the top (hard to top the ad budgets of Budweiser, Miller, and Coors), but quality and persistence are. Yuengling Lager is a really good everyday beer that makes it consistently popular everywhere it is sold. This state has a proud brewing tradition and many brands historically associated with various localities: Philadelphia (Schmidt’s), Pittsburgh (Iron City), Rolling Rock (Latrobe). . .one of my favorite TV commercial memories from childhood when visiting relatives in Scranton was “Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee Gibbons”, the slogan of the Wilkes-Barre based Lion-Gibbons brewery.

Beyond state borders, I have always had a soft spot for Coors, because there was a time it attained cult status in the East when refrigerated transport for a time kept it mostly West of the Rockies. Later, when Newton Associates had the Graphic Packaging account, which had been a folding carton packaging unit of Coors, a lucky few (not myself included unfortunately) traveled to Golden to shoot a packaging plant video and got an exclusive Coors brewery tour. Another legendary beer of the time was Olympia from Washington state. Today, we help the O Bee Credit Union with PR — ironically, it began life as the credit union for employees of the Olympia brewery, which closed in 2003.

Happier, hoppier days at the Olympia brewery, which closed in 2003.

Happier, hoppier days at the Olympia brewery, which closed in 2003.

So, although many popular breweries and brands are gone. Yuengling’s rise is happy beer industry news locally. Fortunately, PA is also blessed with a resurgence of microbreweries such as Victory and Stoudts, as well as excellent brew pubs and beerhalls like Iron Hill and Brauhaus Schmitz. For all those Pennsylvanians who enjoy beer, the announcement of the Yuengling triumph is like Octoberfest in January.

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Penn State website is a good place for official announcements on the story.

Penn State website is a good place for official announcements on the story.

Somewhere a new PR text book is being written following early news of the worst collegiate sports, make that collegiate, scandal of all time. Who could have predicted that Penn State University and Joe Paterno could have gone from squeaky clean to skeevy in a matter of days. Heads have rolled, arrests have been made, investigations have been launched, and the rumor mill continues to churn. After what has already been divulged, pretty much nothing is out of the realm of possibility now.

Moment of unity at first PSU football game after the story broke.

Moment of unity at first PSU football game after the story broke.

Fewer and fewer people are leaping to the defense of Joe Paterno because of his apparent lack of action in this scandal, although one who is, NFL great Franco Harris, just lost his spokesperson gig with a western PA casino for his vocal support of JoePa.

Every day, another stunner. The Bob Costas interview with Jerry Sandusky left viewers feeling slimed. Friday, Michael Smerconish’s column in the Inquirer revealed that the university had six months to prepare for this coming storm . It continues to be hard to imagine how you could possibley put any kind of positive spin on charges of pedophilia and cover-ups. As evidenced already, words like “horseplay” don’t cut it.

Only two things have given me pause about  completely rushing to judgment about this debacle. One is the way certain high profile cases, from the Duke lacrosse scandal, to the Amirault day care kangaroo court saga, have turned out far differently than initially reported.

PSU students have created a support wall on campus.

PSU students have created a support wall on campus.

The other is the brilliant Akira Kurosawa film Rashomon, in which an incident involving rape and murder is told from four different perspectives, the attacker, the two victims, and a witness. The truth in this case (and every case), when told from different perspectives, can change like shifting sands.

This 1950 world cinema classic deserves regular screenings on the State College campus in the months ahead. It is important to remember that not all that is being reported now is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We owe it to the real victims, the crumbling Second Mile foundation, and every PSU student, faculty member, administrator, alumni, and alumna affected by this outrage.

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JesusHatesObama.com spot was rightly banned from this year's SuperBowl.

JesusHatesObama.com spot was rightly banned from this year's SuperBowl.

The big game isn’t even here yet, but some businesses are already leveraging the attention that the SuperBowl brings. Two advertisers have already gotten the boot from Fox Sports for spots too controversial for prime time. I’m sure neither business ever expected their commercials to air and are all too happy to be basking in the resulting “news” attention from being banished to viral YouTube heaven.

Here is a link to the story behind banned commercial number one — an online store that sells “humorous” novelty items. It was launched by a supposed conservative comedian. His site is called JesusHatesObama.com. The spot depicts bobblehead dolls of President Obama and Jesus, with the latter scowling at the former and the former mysteriously bobbling off a ledge into a glass of water.

HahahaNOT. This spot isn’t funny. It is just dumb. Last time I checked, Jesus never expressed hatred for anyone, even the moneychangers in the temple (they did piss him off, though). And while President Obama has a knack for pissing off conservatives, of which I count myself, this spot is not remotely humorous. It isn’t goofy. It is just lame.

I am not above a good “Jesus hates” joke, however, which is why when I saw this tee shirt in a window on South Street, I had to laugh and I had to snap a cellphone photo.

Some "Jesus hates" jokes are actually funny.

Some "Jesus hates" jokes are actually funny.

Not sure the exact reason for Fox’s decision, but they are entitled to make a decision based on their own broadcast standards. I am just glad this terrible idea for a web site and a political statement is not going to get any additional exposure during the SuperBowl.

Banned spot number two is troubling for a far different reason. Read all about it here. It is for a matchmaking (hooking up?) web site known as AshleyMadison.com. Its business model? Enabling those interested in extra-marital affairs to meet like-minded individuals. The site itself got a lot of negative publicity when it launched a few years ago. The fact that it is going strong enough to pay for a SuperBowl commercial is a sad sign of the times.

I remember seeing its founder interviewed on TV and explaining that his site is strictly business. He is filling a need and if he didn’t start AshleyMadison.com, someone else would. Great, can we expect him to follow up soon with HitsRUs.com for those who want to hire an assassin anonymously? The most recent example of this muddled thinking was PA Governor Ed Rendell going medieval on Leslie Stahl during a 60 Minutes interview about the state forging ahead with casino gambling. The governor was enraged that Stahl and her team just didn’t get it that PA residents with gambling problems were going to gamble regardless of whether the state was making money off their vice or not. So, PA might as well make up some of their revenue shortfalls. Right? Wrong.

One way to start righting wrongs is to stop creating additional wrongs. We’re sluicing down some slippery slopes, folks. Hats off to Fox for refusing to be party to either sorry spectacle.

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Everyone’s an art director. That’s a lesson Gap Inc. just learned the social media way in rolling out a new corporate logo via its Facebook page. If Gap was expecting everyone to just click the Like button, they received a rude surprise.
If you’re just catching up with the story, here is the Wall Street Journal’s reporting on it, already updated since the initial posting. Gap proudly introduced a new logo, then quickly rescinded it, following an avalanche of negative comments on Facebook and elsewhere.

Ring out the old new. Bring in the new. Bring back the old.

Ring out the old new. Bring in the new. Bring back the old.

Lots to talk about here. Our agency has branding and corporate identity conversations all the time with clients. Introducing a new or updated logo is always a dicey proposition. First, it is very expensive to replace all those stationery items, signs, packaging, product labels, vehicle wraps, sales literature, trade show exhibits, coffee mugs, videos, web content, Powerpoints, not to mention emotional attachments that customers and employees have with the old logo. Typically, it is not a minor undertaking for an established brand. We tend to not recommend such changes unless there is an acquisition or merger that dictates it, a problem in the marketplace that is hurting the brand, or another really compelling reason to reinvent the brand.
From the outside, none of those reasons seem to apply to Gap’s new logo. However, all of us are on the outside and not privy to what led to management’s decision to explore a new look and to the discussions that took place between Gap and its professional design agency. The key word here is professional, because once the new logo entered the realm of social media, everybody and his brother weighed in. Some of those having fun were other graphic designers, some were upset customers, but most of those stomping on the new mark were casual observers at the scene of the accident. The new logo is not ugly, but the reaction to it sure was.
I can empathize with the new Gap logo team, because we once explored a range of new product faceplate designs for a client, two were chosen, then those two were set up in the company’s lunchroom to be voted on by everyone from the President to the cafeteria staff. Good creative is not a democratic process. Design by committee usually ends in a Dilbert cartoon. Yikes!
What this really smacks of is a repeat of the New Coke introduction. Consumer reaction was swift and terrible. Old Coke made an instant reappearance. New Coke was poured down the drain. Is the new Gap logo an improvement over the old? That’s an entirely subjective question especially when most people see no good reason to change the old. Sometimes well-crafted market research points the way before change is undertaken so painful mistakes can be averted before they reach the marketplace.
If there is anything that customers want to change at nearly every retailer, it isn’t the logo. I suspect it is the customer service experience and finding ways to dramatically improve it.

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"Darkness on the Edge of Town" was Bruce Springsteen's Epic Follow-up to "Born To Run"

"Darkness on the Edge of Town" was Bruce Springsteen's Epic Follow-up to "Born To Run"

It isn’t often you find yourself transported to an earlier time in your life, but with the opportunity to view that period with the 20/20 hindsight of today. On Thursday night, I caught the HBO documentary, “The Promise,” about the making of Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” It was a fascinating snapshot about the many challenges of being an artist after fame and success have happened, changing life forever.
I remember vividly waiting and waiting and waiting for this dynamic follow-up to Bruce’s breakthrough “Born to Run,” which catapulted him simultaneously onto the covers of Time and Newsweek. I had been lucky enough to catch one of his legendary live marathons in Bucknell’s tiny Davis Gym. The exhilaration of a three-hour-plus E-Street Band show was everything that reviewers raved it was.
In the mean time, I had graduated college, spent the summer in Houston, moved back to Philadelphia, found my first job in advertising, moved to my first apartment, all the while thinking something was missing from my life — it was any hint of any sign of a follow-up record from my favorite artist.
“The Promise” sheds a whole new light on that period. The two-to-three year delay was explained in dovetailed interviews with Bruce, band members, and his manager at the time, Mike Appel. The post “Born to Run” contract that was signed gave Appel extraordinary creative control over Bruce’s future recordings. It was like an alternate pilot episode to “Who’s The Boss.” When the dust settled, legal proceedings ensued, restrictions kept Bruce out of the studio, bills racked up, and pressure mounted. The fame of the moment turned into questions whether Springsteen was a one-hit wonder.
Ironically, the opposite was taking place. Bruce and the band holed up in a farmhouse in Holmdel, writing and playing songs for month after month. Meanwhile, the suit dragged on and sounded every bit as nasty as Beatles vs. Capital-EMI and John Fogerty vs. Saul Van Zaentz. Eventually, a settlement was reached and today, Bruce and Mike Appel appear to be friends again, with both reflecting openly and honestly in the documentary. It really came down to creative control and it only ever makes sense for that control to reside with the artist.
The rest of the documentary tracked the painstaking process of making the new record, finding the right sounds and tone, and not killing each other over the course of a very long time in the studio. Incredibly, Bruce wrote over 70 songs during this period and spent months figuring out which puzzle pieces fit the picture he was carefully creating.
There were clips of Bruce and Steve Van Zandt playing “Talk to Me,” which Bruce later gave to Southside Johnny, of Patty Smith’s gratitude for Bruce handing off “Because The Night” to her, and of John Landau discussing that track and “Fire,” which Bruce shared with the Pointer Sisters. “The Promise,” the title of the documentary is a gem that the band polished for three months, but still Bruce left it off the record. He hints at influences that shaped the album, from the emergence of punk to his first taste of country in Hank Williams.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzS2Vug-esA&feature=related

“Darkness on the Edge of Town” is a terrific ode to the difficult transformation from youth to adulthood. The toll that blue collar work exacts. The respect for his father but the desire to never follow in his footsteps. The longing for a better life amidst the many forces that stand in your way. Bruce Springsteen won that fight when he held his ground back in 1978. Now, I find myself waiting again, but looking forward to hearing those 60-odd tracks that didn’t make the record, many of which will be released on a multi-disc set, including live tracks, the documentary, and related content on November 16.

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Sign of the Times: Will Market for Food

Sign of the Times: Will Market for Food

The harsh economic reality is that during this prolonged economic downturn, most companies are spending as little as absolutely possible on marketing. Chief marketing officers are under intense pressure to show measurable results on marketing dollars allocated. Companies are willing to spend on technology, such as marketing automation systems, if it enables them to track and tweak every program in every marketing channel. Meanwhile, media spending is way down. A lot of good people have been cut loose and are on the street. There is constant grumbling about sales numbers.
What is missing, besides funding of marketing, is any anticipation of, or excitement over, a great idea. With everyone thinking small and smaller, we are all losing sight of the big picture and transformative thinking. When everyone is fearful of losing their job, there isn’t a long line of managers waiting to take a chance on something that doesn’t resemble wallpaper to blend into.
Standing out is what marketing used to be all about, before the appearance of one-size-fits-all templates. Today, I heard a radio spot for the UPS Store promoting their easy 1-2-3 marketing materials (instant brochures, business cards, etc.). UPS does terrific branding, marketing, and ads for its own global delivery services. Why are they trying to sell the opposite (cookie cutter answers) to Main Street businesses?
Great branding and advertising can make a huge difference. People anticipate the Super Bowl every year as much for the Super Bowl ads as for the football game. Why not make coming up with a Super Bowl level idea a daily pursuit instead of just a one-and-done event. There is nothing exciting about current economic numbers and I suspect the bean counters are running out of ways to cut costs and make them more palatable. Those who understand the value of superior marketing, then support and fund it will be the ones coming out ahead when the economy improves.

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Spiderman

Spiderman

When I first discovered the Marvel-ous world of comic books as a youth (I’ve since come to appreciate DC properties in their own right), I got sucked in by some great storytelling (the art was cheesy, but would get better and attract premier illustrators) about superheroes with human problems. Spiderman was also Peter Parker, the high school nerd who got bullied. Iron Man was Tony Stark, a millionaire industrialist with a drinking problem. Daredevil was an attorney, who also happened to be blind.
Little did I know at the time that comics books would grow from a small publishing business target-marketing kids and young adults into a mega-entertainment industry encompassing print, digital, graphic novels, major Hollywood movies and TV shows, theme park rides, video games, toys and collectibles, licensed products, and major consumer/trade shows.
The ads that supported comics used to look like this.

Sea Monkeys any one?

Sea Monkeys any one?

Now, sponsors like Butterfinger take hospitality suites at ComiCon.

ComiCon 2010

ComiCon 2010

It took a few decades, plus the emergence of extra-special special effects and CGI that led to big-budget summer movie-making and comic book character franchise launches, to totally transform comic books into a cultural phenomenon. Now, that time reading 25 cent comics under a backyard tree seems like a galaxy far, far away.
How did it happen? It began with great content. Content that stood the test of time. Content that got reprinted and repurposed. Content that inspired new generations of writers and artists and filmmakers to offer their take on beloved characters.
Marketing content is different than entertainment content. But right now there are too many companies who settle for commoditized solutions that all blend together. Trust an imaginative writer, a gifted artist, a talented filmmaker to tell the story of your company. Give prospects and customers a reason to get excited about the products and services they buy from you. Take a page or two from Stan Lee, visionary. Content will always be king.

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