Archive for January, 2010

Take A Sad Song And Make It Better: Apologize.

Take A Sad Song And Make It Better: Apologize.

(OK, so it doesn’t work for everybody.) In the space of roughly 3 minutes during Jay Leno’s 9:00 debut show on September 14, Kanye West effectively transformed himself from a leading candidate for my personal All-Time Celebrity Buffoon award to a guy I suddenly liked way more than I ever did before his Taylor Swift

HARE PEOPLE (note 1)

HARE PEOPLE (note 1)

Francis: On New Year’s Day, I found (carefully stored in a long-unused file drawer) a 1981 R.E.M. 45 RPM single—released on Hib Tone Records, and signed by the entire band. Bassist Mike Mills included a personal note to Martha: “Hi Martha — 404-546-0365”. Seeing as how I haven’t felt the need to play it in

Reductio Ad Absurdum

In January 2009, the Birmingham News reported that the Jefferson County Commission was seriously considering a sewer system Non User Fee—to be paid by residents, you guessed it, NOT on the system. In response, my good friend Tassos Touloupis authored the press release below. When it (shockingly) didn’t generate any coverage, I brought it to

QUOTATIONS

“Writing is easy. You just sit at your typewriter and concentrate until beads of blood form on your forehead.” —George Axelrod, 1922 – 2003 “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of Elements of Style. The first

Dome And Dumber, or Return To Larryland.

Dome And Dumber, or Return To Larryland.

There is a pivotal scene in the 1984 mockumentary classic “Spinal Tap”—the comic history of a band’s slow decline from second-rate psychedelic hucksters to fourth-rate thud-rock has-beens. The band’s members are discussing ideas for rebounding from yet another career low, when someone roars, “I’ve got it!—Let’s bring back ‘Stonehenge!!’” (an atrocious rock opera Spinal Tap

How Are You Taking Advantage Of The Economic Slowdown?

If you’ve been around the proverbial block before, you know the economy’s bound to get rolling again. Eventually. So what are you doing, in the meantime, to position your company for long-term growth? Here at the international corporate headquarters of Hare Communications, we’re revamping our brand. Starting with a new core messaging strategy. One that’s

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! (In Praise Of Billy Mays)

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! (In Praise Of Billy Mays)

Of the three celebrities who died last week (including Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon), the one I’m going to miss the most is Billy Mays—our generation’s greatest TV Pitchman. I make no apologies. As a glorified Snake Oil Salesman myself (as are, deep down, all ad-folk), the most obvious reason I admired him was that

Be Careful What You Wish For. (why music is really starting to suck)

PART ONE: PRELUDE I used to hate the major record labels. It all started when I read (years ago) that the average manufacturing and distribution cost of a CD—which listed in the $15.98 range at the time—was less than $2; a markup (after sales tax) of well over 800%. Couple that naked avarice with endless

What’s Your Brand Got To Do With Recruiting?

What’s Your Brand Got To Do With Recruiting?

Everything. (This column was written for Randall-Reilly‘s January, 2011  e-newsletter) Having served my first truck-firm client in the early 1990’s, I’m often surprised by how much companies will invest in their recruitment advertising budget, without first investing in clearly defining their core branding strategy. With the likelihood of CSA 2010’s cumulative point system forcing a

FMCSA Asleep At The Wheel?

FMCSA Asleep At The Wheel?

(This column was written for the November, 2010 issue of Randall-Reilly‘s RPM For Truckers magazine) Coping With The New HOS Rules. We’ve already used this space to point-out the one unintended consequence of CSA-2010’s points system that seems obvious to everyone except the FMCSA: Forcing companies to replace a lot of good veteran drivers with

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