|Original articles from Emory Brown.|
|Redefining Express Delivery: Amazon’s Amazing Drones|
Until a few days ago, when I thought about the word “drones” I had vast visions of violent air attacks in which hundreds or even thousands of people were killed or injured by death-dealing missiles. You know…the remote-control airplanes on kill steroids. However, Amazon, our favorite online retailer, is on the way...
|Imagine, Build, Create: BlackGirlsCode|
Some say that technology is the great equalizer, and in some communities around America you have kids who aren’t computer savvy or interested in the sciences at all. However, there is an organization located in San Francisco, California that’s dedicated to teaching young African American and Hispanic girls to become the next techies and leaders of tomorrow’s tech start-ups. Watch out, tech boys; your company may get trumped by a girl!
From gaming design to programming, little girls from various communities walk into an interactive world after school that is teaching them the inner workings of the technology that invigorates the world around them. Girls learn programming languages such as Scratch and Ruby on Rails as they set out to prove to the world that women of color can and will be a dominant force in the world of technology.
|Sometimes the Best Marketing Comes in a Yellow Book|
Leo Burnett once said that “the best ideas are deceptively simple.” And in a world of integrated marketing that allows us to engage with consumers at various touch points, it is easy to think that we’ve got all the bases covered when it comes to marketing business. Yet some things are tried and true and will always be a part of helping businesses grow in America.
|Being Late Is A Personal Brand Killer|
As a marketing professional that manages teams for agencies and for my own clients, I have witnessed an interesting trend among some young creatives that may be a sign of the times. Or maybe I have just been groomed to expect certain behavior from the industry. We hear marketers say that generations X and Y are the kids who are independent...
|Bringing Virtual Reality and Reality Together: Anki Cars|
When I was a kid I had a racecar track. My brother and I would create different tracks and race our two little cars around and around until someone won or one of our cars ran off the track. It was awesome! I can still remember those days, just playing for hours on end and never getting tired of it.
|The Revolution Will Be Televised: Revolt TV|
The shiny suit man is back at it again as he graces the world with another wonder of music joy…Revolt TV. We thought we loved Puffy for “Making The Band,” “Sean John,” and of course “Bad Boy,” but now he is trying to up his fan loyalty by creating a television network that is dedicated to music news...
|PayPal Beacon: The Days of Card Swiping Are Almost Over|
We've watched the evolution of money over history, from people carrying around small pouches of gold to silver coins to paper bills. And just when we thought we reached the pinnacle of trade with the credit card, innovation surprises us again.
|Disney Love & Care: 427 Part-timers Made Full-timers for Free Health Care|
Over the last week, we have witnessed some battles in government that have left baby pandas in the dark. Military families missing benefits. Conversations between politicians that were supposed to be top secret being taped to reveal their true intentions.
|The Importance of Delivering on Brand Promises|
Promise is a very important word in the world. Especially for brands…. it’s like a pinky swear on steroids. Customers are expecting the brands they trust to deliver on their brand promise. If a corporation says the new car you’re considering purchasing is going to run for 100,000 miles without the need of a tune-up you expect it to happen.
|Branding Masculinity to Hide Disgrace: Military Rapes|
Since the beginning of time there have been vicious acts during war, and during war men are at their ugliest. From murdering and destroying civilizations to turning entire cultures into slaves, we have seen the horror of wars. Yet, there has been a lethal secret that has been covered up for centuries by military officials and soldiers, and that is the raping of soldiers, male and female, by their fellow soldiers.
|Extreme Sports Gave Red Bull Wings To Extreme Profits|
Red Bull, the energy drink company, sold over five billion cans of Red Bull last year. Yes, the super drink that gives us the boost that keeps us up for days has figured out the magic formula to keep its fans running to the store to give themselves wings. Yet most of the people who consume Red Bull on a regular basis literally love...
|No Electric or Gas Payments for 10 Years? Now, That's a HOUZE!|
I used to think that Hyundai had the best warranty in America. Well, it still does when it comes to cars, but if you’re a homeowner and you’re looking for the deal of a lifetime, I recommend you talk to the guys at Advance Building Science Inc. They are revolutionizing the way homes are built in America, one lot at a time.
The HOUZE is a zero-energy home that utilizes a combination of innovation and traditional energy methods to keep its owners from paying high electric and gas bills.
|If You Dig It, You Can Play Gig-It|
Watch out, world. Zynga may have taken a blow, but Facebook is still rocking with a new game called Play Gig-It. Yes; Farmville/Cityville players and Mafia Wars maniacs, there is something for the artist in all of us. The makers of this game know that we all want to rock a crowd at least once in our lifetime. But now us true Facebook Fanatics...
|Canva Designs: Alleviating Designer Headaches|
One thing I have to say about Silicon Valley is that you can start up an idea and if it’s catchy enough investors may throw a few hundred thousand your way. Over the span of my career, I’ve seen many start-ups with great ideas...
|BMW Has Gone Electric: Will Gas Become Extinct?|
For centuries now man has worked tirelessly to improve his ability to travel. From walking to taming wild horses. From swimming to building grand ships to navigate the sea. From being envious of the birds of the air to flying internationally. And of course we all know that man has an enduring love affair with cars.
|'Harvey' the Harvesting Robot|
Agriculture has always been an industry known for painstaking work and long hours. These very qualities have turned generations away from even considering doing work as farmers after they've received their educations. Even though there have been considerable breakthroughs in technology in the agricultural industry...
|Creating Hope One Step at a Time: Esko’s Bionic Skeleton|
When I was growing up, I used to love the show “The Six Million Dollar Man.” A dude that could run faster, jump higher, punch harder than any guy alive and it only cost the government six million dollars. By today’s prices, the U.S. got this guy for a steal. But as they say, sometimes movies are the fortune-tellers of what the world of technology will give birth to next, and now it’s time for Tony Stark to put his Iron Man suit down and pay homage to our real-life heroes at Esko Bionics...
|Is Hip-Hop Being Strangled By Radio?|
In the formative years of hip-hop, the music was free. It was an expression the trials and creativity of inner-city youths. Emcees and D.J.s graced the stage with style and everyone had a moment to shine in their own way. Today we are witnessing a control over the hip-hop genre that we marketing folk would say is “off-brand.” Somewhere, the art has lost some of its texture and depth...
|T-Mobile Has Taken Away the Pain for Financial Gain|
There was a time in cell phone history that buying a phone meant making a commitment to love, to cherish, and to stay with the phone until you were eligible for an upgrade. As consumers, we watched new phones come out and people with upgrade status get our “Beyoncé” on when it was time for our service providers...
|The Tablet: P.C. Destroyer?|
Who would have thought that this day would come? The day that the father of modern computers, the P.C., would be challenged by its sibling, the tablet. Yes, it's true that the tablet is slowly but surely working to dethrone dad. Yes, it’s happening, one tablet at a time. The tech in tablets and applications are rendering...
|Game Time Profits are Over: The NCAA May Have to Pay|
Video gamers and sports fans worldwide unite! Our beloved college sports teams are on the verge of making history as former NCAA player Ed O’Bannon champions the cause to have big college sports stars and players receive compensation for the their likenesses and names being used in the creation of video games, memorabilia, and even broadcast sports deals. As he said, “College athletes who generate revenue deserve a cut.” And I think he’s right. If you’re shooting the big shots, you deserve a big check. As a result of college athletes and their commitment to their teams, the NCAA has become a multi-billion dollar business.
|Is Instagram Going to Be Facebook's Mini-me?|
Technology evolves every day and every day some tech giant goes out into the market place and buys itself a little tech company they can groom and call their very own. Silicon Valley is the breeding place for these types of business deals and many companies come under the umbrella of tech behemoths to their betterment. Yet the most interesting tech adoption of late...
|The Brand Most Needed In African American Homes: 'Brand Dad'|
A few weeks prior to Father’s Day weekend, I took the time to reflect on some of the great leaders that have graced America’s consciousness with the depth of their understanding of life on the natural and spiritual planes; leaders such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass, and many more African American leaders who have contributed...
|Apple vs. Samsung: The Smartphone Wars|
Having competition has always been the thing that has kept the best businesses performing at the best levels. So when you have two tech firms boxing it out for market share in the real world, product innovations become awesome. People rave about the “Spartan Race;” an army of geeks working to out-geek another army of geeks is Clone Wars on steroids.
|Google Glass: The Ultimate Fashion Item for Nerds|
Well, it had to happen; it has been coming for some time now. The “Geek Squad” has destroyed the stereotype. This is the true “revenge of the nerds.” The one piece of fashion that epitomized the “Geek Culture” is now a demi-god. Glasses have evolved with the help of Google’s new product, Google Glass.
Wearable tech has been around for a little while.
|National Security or Not? The Sprint and Softbank Deal|
America has been a major player in the world of creating wealth in emerging markets for years. And most countries in most cases are open to development. For instance, the move McDonald’s made into China that introduced the Chinese to the power of the almighty fast burger and the “drive through.” Apple is also a big player in China and has recently been in sessions with Congress...
|Use Your Talents: Be an Awesome Creative|
Last night I was teaching my Thursday night class and for the opening I used a sermon I saw last week by minster T.D. Jakes, a world renowned-speaker and teacher of God’s word, to introduce my students to their very own greatness. The gifts that God has given them are the most unique gifts in the world and it makes them as special as anyone else God has made in this world.
|Breaking Barcodes: Is Japanese Tech Changing the Retail Game?|
Just when the world was getting over the amazement of QR codes, technology has smacked us in the face again with brilliance. Brain Corporation and the University of Hyogo in Japan have created a way to take customer service and sales tracking to a new level with the invention of the “Bakery Scan.”
|Polaroid Casts Its Spell on Smartphone Photography|
Since the 1970s, Polaroid has become a staple in the lives of its customers by giving them the opportunity to capture memories in an instant. All of us who are old enough to remember or have a family historian know the magic of a Polaroid instant camera.
|Kohler Reinvents the 'Porcelain God'|
Long gone are the days when people would throw the contents of their chamber pots out of the window and into the streets below. And believe me, we are all glad! For some time now, the modern toilet has served as a means of separating us human beings from the rest of the wild kingdom by assisting us with proper disposal methods for number 1 and number 2.
|Don’t Educate Her: The Marketing of Inhumanity|
Withholding education from select groups has been a way to deprive people of privilege for thousands of years. Powerful and educated men have wielded their knowledge as a weapon to dominate entire civilizations and violate humanity in unforgivable ways. Women have suffered at the brunt of this ideal for as long as it has existed. However troubling this might seem, some people in the world find the mistreatment of ladies to be culturally acceptable...
|Collective Genius: The Ultimate Creative Juice|
In the creative industry, people aren’t always celebrated as a team when it comes to the limelight. You know, the “Red Carpet” moment when the cameras and fans are praising “The One.” You know, like Neo from the Matrix…“The One.” However, in the world of creative, this is very far from the truth, like the opening dialogue in ‘Stars Wars.”
|Learning to Negotiate for 'Creative You'|
“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.” This is what the infinitely wise Forrest Gump said. The truth is, you never really do. No matter whom you are! Especially in business, because the cards can change at any time and opportunity comes knocking whenever she wants. Every day, negotiations are being made around the world between people, governments, and businesses.
|Is the “Sex Sells” Strategy in Overdrive When it Comes to Getting Attention?|
Once upon a time ago in an America far, far away, being caught in the “Buff” was a no-no. Yet today sexting, sex tapes, and paparazzi nudity attacks can change a personal brand in a matter of seconds, either elevating people to new heights or embarrassing people in ways they never thought were possible. Privacy arguments are being held every day when it comes to the Internet giants who have tons of people’s private information. However, when it comes to the world of entertainment and news...
|Now Your Little Ones Can Text and Call; You Pay Nothing at All … Apps are Amazing!|
Flabbergasted! Floored! Speechless! The kids of this generation have it made. I have to agree with the older kids from the Comcast commercials with the sentiment, “Why do they always get all the cool stuff?” We thought we were doing something big with the beepers when we were young. Now kids can call and text people without a real service plan using an app called Pinger.
|Great Things Happen When You’re a Weirdo|
Some of the greatest creative people in our history were consider to be weirdos; strange and sometimes considered to be outcasts that lived outside the lines of cultural and social acceptance by their peers and families. Shunned, ridiculed, and even exiled in some places in the world, these weirdos took the blows the world threw their way like a champ in a heavyweight bout and came out triumphant with ideas that changed the world.
|Labor Laws are Being Defeated with a Clever Brand Name|
Throughout American history we have seen stories of people fighting for their labors rights. From women to minorities to child workers, America has had to chastise entrepreneurs with lawsuits and new legislation to protect people. Unfortunately, we are going to have to call Lady Justice once again because the scales are unbalanced in the American workforce.
|Do Marketers and Media Professionals Need Moral Clauses?|
Ye without sin among you cast first…This is what Jesus said to the mob that wanted to stone a woman for committing adultery. And as we know, the mob had to find another unknowing victim to attack because Jesus put them on “The Spot” for acting as if they were above reproach. However, in the world of big marketing and media, we have brands throwing big stones at spokespeople all the time. Do we need a moral clause to help regulate our industry? Moral… hmmm! Is this what every entertainer or athlete or celebrity strives for?
|From Making Head-Bangers to Selling Head-Bangers|
Now in the days of old in the land of hip-hop, a hip-hop mogul’s dream was to own a label, get a fashion line, and maybe a part in a hit movie or a starring role in a sitcom. Well, that was the days of old.
|From Tablets to Tables: The New Way to PC|
Just when we thought the world of computers was getting smaller and thinner, CES 2013 introduced the world to a regal idea. Table PCs! Not tablet. Table! Like kitchen table. We’re talking about 27-inch to 40-inch screens that you can play the video game version of tabletop hockey on. Awesome, the puck doesn’t fly off the table! Brilliance brought to us once again by...
|Beware, Painkillers: The 'Black Mamba' is Coming to Kill the Pain|
Now, I’ve heard that in the jungles of certain places in the world you can find a cure for anything…cancers, inflammations, headaches, stalkers! You name it, and a natural medicine practitioner can pull something out of the ground or off a tree to cure your aliment. However, no one ever told me anything about deadly snakes like the “Black Mamba” being the new thing in painkillers.
|Cash for Cuddle Buddies |
In certain places in the world, "cuddling season" is the time when winter sets in and you’re looking for someone to brave those cold winter nights with. Cuddling is a very warm and intimate expression that almost allows you to feel the actual warmth of someone’s soul. Comforting, loving, and beautiful, "cuddle buddies" can take the cares of your day away in a matter of minutes and in Tokyo, Japan you can pay to lay with a beautiful woman and experience the warmth of her affection. Watch out, "cat ranches," mama may have been right…guys are buying the cow and ain’t getting the milk.
|Above and Beyond Thinking for a New Year |
“Baby New Year” is here, and just like the beauty of seeing a new life come into the world…the New Year is the perfect time to rethink our outlook on how our work will affect our families, consumers, and clients. We’re all used to the usual business goals that are outlined in our projections as they relate to profits or R.O.M.I., but 2013 and every New Year is a great time to be thinking about going above...
|The Gift of Being Cool: Give it Away Every Day|
Sometimes the best thing we can do in the world is just be cool. Kind. Considerate. Down to earth. Humble. It’s an amazing experience. It creates bonds. It creates friends. And for brands and the people who develop their marketing communications programs...
|Youth Branding: The Danger of Influence|
I watched a TED video the other day on TED youth by a great poet named Lemon Andersen. His piece was called “Please Don’t Take My Jordans.” He exploded on stage with his story of how a young man planned to hunt down and rob another young person for his Jordans because he didn’t have the money to buy a pair. The performance was riveting.
|Watch Out, Big Brother! Any Dummy Can Be a Spy|
For years we have been afraid that personal privacy will be taken away from us at the wink of an eye by the almighty “Big Brother." The movie “Enemy of the State” reinforced this idea by showcasing what “Big Brother” really can do when he’s after you. Fortunately for consumers, the government isn’t ready to invade their shopping habits as viciously as the retailers...
|Looking for a Creative Outlet? Tap into Taproot|
We’ve all hit the wall of boredom when it comes to being a creative. I call it an “ad overdose” as an advertiser and I’m sure that every creative on this planet from car engineers to interior designers has a name for their creative boredom. Yet there’s an organization for us marketing folks to share our skills with the world in order to help people who are working on the grassroots side of community empowerment. This organization is called Taproot.
I’ve been a Taproot volunteer for several months and I love it.
|How Brands Could Help Us All Win on Black Friday|
On Wednesday, November 21, 2012, people across America were doing more than stuffing their turkeys; they were planning their strategies to get the best deals on “Black Friday." Outdoorsmen camped outside stores days ahead of time. Families turned into Special Forces units with objectives to infiltrate various ticket lines to capture the all-valuable number that would ensure they'd receive the products they’d come for.
|Profit Design: The Design Degree Assembly Line|
Scene One: A young adult is sitting on the couch watching television and suddenly a commercial comes on. The announcer speaks, “Earn 45,000 dollars a year or more as a graphic designer.” Images of creativity fill the screen with great working conditions and perks. The young person becomes smitten and declares in that moment, “I’m going to live the good life. I’m going to become a designer.” This person enrolls in school and then comes the day of truth: a portfolio show in which this kid doesn’t realize he or she doesn’t have a chance of becoming a designer.
|Brand Demand: The Destruction of Tigers for Tiger Bone Wine|
"Supply and demand" has always seemed to be a simple economic theory. A certain market required a product and a manufacturer made it. Simple, sweet, to the point, and easy to carry out from a business standpoint as it relates to creating commerce. Unfortunately, we have two types of markets in the world. One is the market we all function in day-to-day.
|'By the Way' Branding and the Rise of 'Medical' Marijuana|
Have you ever watched a pharma commercial? I know you have! We all watch them. Viagra commercials are hilarious. We see the older guy who once had a problem in his lower region suddenly become a bedroom rock star! Yet, after this moment of triumph is over, suddenly comes the reality...side effects. These often dangerous and in some cases inhumane side effects can cause additional health problems to consumers.
However, it’s not really the fact that drugs have side effects; all of our classic household medications, such as aspirins or cold medicines, can wield death-dealing blows if they aren’t administered correctly. The overlay for the underlay lies in the fact that pharma spots sell people hope...
|Camera Phone Chaos!|
The invention of the mobile phone was a feat in itself. This device allows people to roam the earth and have conversations with their loved ones and friends in a matter of seconds, regardless of where they were in the world. I remember when the world thought beepers were the hottest thing since sliced bread. Now, with the evolution of video recording phones, we are witnessing a new kind of motion film revolution: Camera phone chaos.
|Did the Way She Was Portrayed Stop Her from Getting Paid?|
It’s funny when you think about the fact that in 2009, we the people of the United States had to pass a law to ensure that women are receiving equal pay, considering that women have been a dynamic force in this country since WWII. Which, by the way, for those that didn’t know—these ladies were building airplanes, tanks, and a whole lot of things that kept our boys on the front lines in tip-top fighting shape to ensure they made it home safely.
|Changing the World of Branding to Do Good|
We can change the world of branding with visions to do good!
“My people will perish without a vision…” I always loved this bible verse because it sheds light on the power of having foresight for your life, family, and business. It’s paramount because who have we seen in this lifetime that didn’t have a vision for success?
Walt Disney had a vision to become an animator. Thereafter, his vision grew into becoming one of the best full-feature animated movie storytellers. From there he created an organization that has become a powerhouse in the world of entertainment, and all this came from the vision of a little mouse that was the captain of steamboat! Amazing!
|Where Are Super-brands Born? |
So what’s a super-brand? Is it some product, service or person developed in a top secret lab through an alliance of the world's top scientists? Is it a person born with superhuman powers that gives him or her abilities to give life to ideas that harness wealth at will? Let us think about it for a second... o.k. that’s enough here’s a short list:
- Oprah is a super-brand
- Sean Puffy Combs is a super-brand
- Apple is a super-brand
- Wal-Mart is a super-brand
|Branded Hate: Is Hip-Hop Content A Message of Life Or Death?|
Once upon a time there was a culture called Hip-Hop. It was vibrant, exciting, and breathed life into the masses of youngsters across America and the world as it broke down barriers and opened doors to the paths of success for many artists from the days of Funk Master Flash to the antics of Kanye West. Hip-Hop has served as a vehicle of opportunity for brands and artists alike.
|Helping Out the Little Guys Can Reap Big Rewards|
A wise man once said that “all come out of small." When you think about it, what really comes into the world big? You’re a kid before you’re a teen. You’re a teen before you’re an adult. So on and so forth. So when looking for your next big client, why don’t you think small?
Nike was once small! McDonald’s was once small! Walmart was once a small organization.
|The Big! The Good! The Bad!: Political Bashing|
Well, it’s that time again...time to hear the pre-show before we go to the polls and cast our vote for the best man to win the ultimate prize: four years to be known as the President of the United States of America.
However, the most disturbing thing about the political bout that we watch take place over a series of weeks is that advertising and social media are like ironclad boxing gloves in which millions of blows are delivered in a matter of seconds, sending the opinion polls rallying in any direction at any given time. This in turn makes for great claims about who’s the good guy.
|All-Star Creative Leaders Aren't Afraid to Coach All-Star Creatives|
When one makes the transition into the ACD or CD position you know you are moving up the food chain, which can be a joyous time in your career. Yet, as time moves on, the big salary, super cool man cave, or, for you ladies, the entire home, kids, and other responsibilities can oftentimes make a person very territorial in regards to the management of ideas that may give tremendous light to their subordinates. We all know that there are different agency styles when it comes to producing creative work and creative chemistry.
|Our Service and Our American Dream|
Marketing is and always will be a service-driven industry. As the old adage goes, we are in the business of building businesses, and for the most part, over the years, we’ve become pretty good at it. Yet, we still have an opportunity to grow and expand in what we call service.
This service is a deeper connection to consumers, a deeper connection to clients, and a deeper commitment to bringing substance back to American business and to this business art form that is adored by clients and agencies alike. It’s bigger than a social marketing program. This service is being in the business of creating and serving new American business.