Category Archives: marketing

Steve Jobs Doesn’t Sell Steak…

… but he sure sells the sizzle! OK bad pun, but I am making a (I guess) serious point. I am referring to Apple’s glossy marketing and oh-so-cool design which is somewhat at odds with their longstanding hardware quality and performance issues … notably with overheating batteries. (You see … “sizzle” … “overheating batteries”? Oh whatever …)

burning mac

I have never owned a Mac (I do own other Apple products, notably an iPod) and personally never saw the allure, outside certain outward design features. I have friends who work at agencies who have them, and I have always been mystified by their smug attitude to “PC people”, and dewy-eyed devotion to their “Mac”.

What is it about Apple that does this? I confess I have intermittently admired Apple marketing: I can still remember first seeing “1984” for example and some of their Think Different offerings were outstanding. (Not so the new iPhone ads!)

think different

Three things really stand out for me: (1) That Steve Jobs recognized digital devices were about entertainment not technology (2) The way Apple Stores have been leveraged and (3) The Apple Community.

And it is point (3) which intersects with my own universe. Say what you like about quality, Apple were really pioneers in Social Media … and you have to give them their props for that (hey, I could almost forgive the terrible Mac v PC ads …)



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Filed under advertising, apple, macbook, marketing, socialmedia

The Advance Guard

Recently, Crayon escapees CC Chapman and Steve Coulson rolled out their new company “The Advance Guard”. Refreshingly, they didn’t launch on Second Life, and even better they didn’t use Joseph Jaffe as their writer.

advance guard

I don’t know much about the company (or even who the other tw0 romantic -looking figures are) apart from what I have read on Facebook; but actually the one simple (BS-free) paragraph pretty much says it all.

“The Advance Guard is a new company focused on using social media and emerging technology to create radical marketing programs. It’s led by award-winning Podcaster CC Chapman, and digital advertising veteran, Steve Coulson.”

Maybe CC learned from the mistakes at Crayon, and the Advance Guard launched efficiently on Facebook and then came straight out of the gate with a client. More than that – a live campaign, with their work for Verizon’s MyHome 2.0. Talk about “show me the money!”

There seems to be a huge gaping opportunity for a “Web 2.0” agency and I think the Advance Guard could be the guys to fill it.

advance guard

One question though … who are THESE guys?


Filed under advertising, cc-chapman, marketing, socialmedia

Crayon’s Joseph Jaffe gets slapped down by AdAge’s Jonah Bloom

Pick up your popcorn folks and grab a ringside seat … it’s gonna go down! (OK so its only two nerdy writer-types, but whatever…)

Last week three senior staff at Joseph Jaffe’s fledgling company Crayon announced they were leaving. (Steve Coulson, CC Chapman, Gerry Cohen). By my math that’s a third of the company…
crayon staff leave
Jaffe posted a somewhat – let’s say “authorized” version of events on the Crayon blog, along with the usual jargonized piffle that characterizes his prose style. Evidently AdAge’s Jonah Bloom (having entirely ignored Crayon’s launch fiasco last year, as most of us did – if we even noticed) saw this and wrote this article.

Advertising Age Jonah Bloom

I am sure Jonah won’t mind me reprinting it in its entirety in case you don’t want to leave this page(!)

Taken from Adages:

“Posted by Jonah Bloom on 09.10.07 @ 10:10 AM

Joseph Jaffe’s Crayon is up to something. Our best guess is that it’s called cutting your staff in half while making a play for whatever budgets marketers have assigned to word-of-mouth marketing. But why don’t you see if you can do better at deciphering his explanation on

We’d completely filled in the bullshit-bingo card before we got to the end of the second paragraph. Particularly enjoyable were the two references to companies being “living organisms.” (We imagine Ad Age is a Capuchin monkey, BBDO an octopus, etc.)

And then came paragraph three: “To achieve this objective, Crayon will focus its efforts on transforming prolific thought leadership and vision into cutting-edge, differentiated and prescriptive strategic solutions.”

Let us go through this slowly. Somewhere in there are thoughts, and they are leading to something. They are also thoughts that are very productive, hence we can call them prolific. And there’s also vision, although we’re not sure whether that’s prolific too. So we’ve got the ability to see and thoughts that lead stuff and are productive. But we presume it’s not stuff we want, because the new Crayon is, if we’re reading this correctly, promising to change that stuff into something else. Specifically into solutions. But not just any kind of solutions — solutions with sharp or serrated sides . . . . OK, we give up.

If Jaffe has fallen on hard times, he might want to consider applying for one of those big, corporate PR jobs where the key to success is saying and writing nothing, but employing so many unwieldy long sentences and so much repetition and jargon that no one ever guesses. Certainly this effort vaults him straight into the Spinmasters’ Hall of Bullshit.”

Yowch … I am looking forward to Jaffe’s response though…


Filed under adage, advertising, advertisingage, jaffe, josephjaffe, marketing, smackdown