Greetings from the very humid streets of NYC, where we're busy reenacting the opening scene from Weekend at Bernie's:
July 4th has been great fun for us humans, though less so for our social media manager Charles the Dog, who spent most of the holiday huddled in a bathtub cursing whoever invented fireworks. It did make for some great content for his Instagram stories though.
Meanwhile, there's been a lot of interesting news from the world of advertising and media since we last graced your inbox, so let's get down to it:
The Power of a Punchline
The other day we were kicking it with LHC's official nephew, learning all about the details and intricacies of being a four-year-old, which it turns out mainly have to do with saying "Alexa play Uptown Funk" and a some movie called Sing. He also introduced us to his build-a-bear, whose name is Cocoa Rizzurp. "Why did you name him Cocoa Rizzurp," we asked, to which he astonishingly responded "Why ask why? Try Bud Dry".
If you don't remember, "Why ask why? Try Bud Dry" was a short-lived advertising tagline from a short-lived Budweiser product from some short-lived part of the early 90s -- and we must admit we were a little surprised at hearing it come from the mouth of a four-year-old.
But maybe we shouldn't have been? After all, if he had been quoting some pop song would we have been so shocked? And if we can remember the choruses from one hit wonders, why shouldn't we remember great advertising tag lines?
I think we often forget, in this age of ROI and digital measurement, that marketing is at it's heart about the use of storytelling to create a lasting impression. A catchy tag line is just like a catchy chorus in that sense -- it sticks in your brain whether you want it to or not. As the lines between "branded content" and "content" become ever more blurred, this is becoming ever more true -- some kid is probably quoting Hamburger Helper's mixtape as we speak. It's kind of a nice reminder, in our opinion, that the creative work we do can have an enduring impact. After all, it's not like "Uptown funk gonna give it to ya" is a particularly memorable slogan.
Other interesting stuff
1) Apple appears to be scheming on a plan to bundle news, video, music, anc cloud storage into a single subscription product. As a wiser (and balder) man than us once said: "There's only two ways to make money in business: One is to bundle, the other is unbundle." (Not to be confused with another wise man, Action Bronson, who said: "They tried to bag me for the blunt / I had the bundle by the grundle.)
2) AT&T bought AppNexus for a billion and a half bucks, as media merger mania (TM) continues apace. It's the latest foray into the telco world's quixotic attempts to build a digital advertising product that can compete with Facebook and Google. But anyway if anyone from AT&T or Verizon is reading this, LHC is available for acquisition at a very reasonable price.
3) Away, which makes very nice suitcases, has launched a very nice travel magazine. It's a great example of companies using classy print executions as a tactic to win over upmarket customers, and Away has done a really thoughtful job here (although they maybe could have stood to use a couple fewer fonts).
4) From Disrupted Advertising, via our wonderful intern Langa, here are 11 things marketers can learn from selfies. Some good ones include that brands can use personalization to connect to millennials, and that letting fans interact with a campaign can actually result in a better customer experience (not to mention better content). That said, our favorite takeway is that there is a thing called "Death by Selfie", which definitely says more about our particular brand of gallows humor than it does about the selfie as a art form and/or marketing tactic.
5) From Pace Communications (a content marketing OG), comes this unexpectedly touching story of one man's love for White Castle. See people, brands DO matter!
6) The AV Club, our most trusted source of for news, reports that the hot new music format is 3.5 inch floppy discs. It's mostly Vaporwave labels that are driving this new trend because of course it is.
7) And saving the best for last, please enjoy this unbelievable mashup of cartoon characters singing "Protect Ya Neck". It's a YouTube link so you have to click through, but we think you'll find it quite worth your while (our fave is Inspector Gadget as Inspectah Deck but you can judge for yourself). Sound on, obvi.
What we're listening to
Vaporwave on 3.5 inch floppy discs, duh. And if you, like possibly everyone else in the world, don't have a device for playing floppy discs, here's a great Spotify playlist: