• Who We Were Through The Lens Of TV Commercials
    When people talk about the Sixties from a pop-cultural perspective, they generally point to such influences as the Beatles/Rolling Stones (which, for some reason, has become a rivalry akin to the Yankees/Red Sox), Twiggy and Andy Warhol. Or, in certain decidedly diametric quarters, explorers such as John Glenn or Timothy Leary.
  • Kenneth Cole: Up From The Streets And Into Cyberspace
    The founder of Kenneth Cole, who goes by the same name, is fond of saying that "today is not a dress rehearsal." Recent years have driven home that harsh reality as the company has tightened its belt by laying off staff, reallocating marketing dollars, reducing inventory, renegotiating rents and closing eight unprofitable stores. Yesterday it announced that its flagship store in Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan would be one of an additional nine "underperforming" full-price stores to close in coming months.
  • What Does 'Live Positively' Mean To You?
    Quick, and no Googling or Binging before you answer, please. When you see "Live Positively" or "livepositively.com," what comes to mind?
  • When The Chips Are Down, Partner With A Celebrity Chef
    If you'd told me in September 2007, when I was co-founding Tower Ridge Poker Cronies, that I would someday put out Blue Ginger Multi-Grain Brown Rice Chips with Black Sesame & Sea Salt instead of something like Lay's (sumptuously salty) Classic potato chips or Wise's (delightfully greasy) as one of the evening's featured snacks, as I did last week at our regular convocation of mirth and games that bear little resemblance to real poker, I would have asked you what frou-frou universe you played cards in. But there I was, serving them up along with the Kirkland …
  • Be Careful To What You Aspire
    I woke up Sunday morning at the ungodly hour that I do when I'm writing this column with an unlikely vision in my head. I was attaching a pearl necklace around a woman's neck. She was beaming. "What's the headline here?" I asked. "The Smile of Acquisition," I told myself before wisely rolling over. But I've been mulling the state of the luxury market ever since.
  • The Challenge Of Engaging Online Advertising
    If you've not looked at the 30-minute video in which Chris Anderson, curator of the TED conference ("Ideas Worth Spreading"), lays out the rationale for his organization's "Ads Worth Spreading Challenge," I urge you to do so. First, if you're in the business, it will boost your self-esteem. As someone who is "building intangible value," Anderson will tell you about halfway through, you are in "an heroic business."
  • Is White Out?
    I knew stainless had become the new black which had become the new harvest gold/avocado green/burnt orange some time ago -- and throw in the errant red appliance whydoncha -- but when did white go out of fashion? I espied this mini-trend-in-the-making while re-reporting yesterday's news about RVs and minivans but felt it deserved more than a throwaway line.
  • RVs And Minivans Reposition To Stay Afloat
    Tempus not only fugits, it also has the tendency to reverse the fortunes of high-flying products with supersonic speed. Take the Concorde, for instance, which that old nemesis of breakthrough ideas, ROI, eventually did.
  • Nothing Gets Between Me And My Cheap Dungarees
    I need to clear up two mysteries: One of long standing, the other from Sunday night, when I saw a TV commercial for Pajama Jeans, followed by an effusive pitch in a Daily Cents ("cool products, hot topics") email yesterday.
  • What's Your Strategy If Info Leaks?
    Two stories about WikiLeaks and big corporations in the New York Times yesterday serve as yet another cautionary tale about communications strategy to anyone conducting business today. One examines the extraordinary lengths Bank of America is going to to defend itself in the event that Julian Assange's threat to "take down" a major U.S. bank with a hard-drive full of compromising information indeed is directed at it, as has been widely assumed.
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