Is There Room for Brands on Ello? You Bet

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Meet Ello, the anti-advertising social network and gated community for the cool kids. Ello has already exploded in popularity by offering an ad-free network and by allowing members to use made-up names instead of their real names (unlike Facebook, which requires the use of your real name to have a ...

What NFL CMO Dawn Hudson Can Learn from the NBA’s Comeback

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Photo source: guinnessworldrecords.com Dawn Hudson has a lot of work to do. As the NFL's newly appointed CMO, Hudson enters a maelstrom of controversy caused by the league's failure to deal with repugnant off-the-field behavior of high-profile players like Ray Rice. But the NFL is not the only big-time sports brand that has faced hard times. In the ...

Apple Pays Dearly for U2’s “Free” Music

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP Let's get something straight: U2 did not give away its new album, Songs of Innocence. To be sure, if you have iTunes, on September 9 you received a free copy (without asking for it) of Songs of Innocence. But Apple paid U2 an undisclosed amount ...

How an Album Cover Helped Unleash an Outlaw

Monday, September 8th, 2014

During the golden age of album-oriented rock, when a Led Zeppelin double album could sell a million copies before its ship date, country music was for rednecks who wore manure-crusted boots to bed -- or at least, that's what the recording industry believed. But in 1975, Willie Nelson released an album ...

Selling Elvis in the Age of Instagram

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Image source: Vegas.com Elvis never left the building after all. Seventeen years after his death, Elvis Presley remains one of the most lucrative names in show business. According to Forbes, he is the second wealthiest deceased celebrity, earning $55 million in 2013 through merchandising, licensing of his image, and his Graceland ...

How Acting in a Renaissance Faire Has Made Me a Better Executive

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Photo credit: Steven Bourelle This summer, I have been living two lives. During the week, I am CEO of David J. Deal Consulting, helping companies build their brands with content marketing. But during the weekends, I transform myself into Nicolas Wright, a vainglorious barrister who walks a fine line between good ...

How Old-Time Radio Flourishes in the Digital Era

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Photo Credit: Amanda Kulczewski If you had visited Chicago's Public House Theater on a recent June evening, you would have witnessed a most curious sight: a dozen actors and actresses adorned in 1940s-era suits, hats, and dresses gathered around microphones and performing an old-time radio comedy in front of a cheering crowd. ...

Designing the Unseen Details

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Superior design means getting little details right -- even the parts that no one can see. In his landmark biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson tells the story of Jobs's obsession to detail in the design of the breakthrough Apple II personal computer, down to the engineering of the power ...

How Four Teens Taught Brands a Real-Time Marketing Lesson

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

You have probably heard the story by now: a 16-year-old Omaha resident named Tom White is a media sensation thanks to an amateur photo of White grinning with Sir Paul McCartney and Warren Buffett. But Tom White and the three teenagers who helped him create the moment on the streets ...

New Report: Content Marketing Is “the Show Horse” of Customer Acquisition

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Content marketing is the show horse of customer acquisition and retention -- and second only to social media as a digital marketing spending priority among U.S. brands, according to my newly published report for Gigaom. The report, Workhorses and Dark Horses: Digital Tactics for Customer Acquisition, examines how companies use digital ...