• Service To Write Home About
    Customer service has become such a lost art that we are thankful when an organization stands behind its products with a minimum of fuss and voice jail. It's rare that a company not only exceeds our expectations but also does so with a personal touch that is more reminiscent of the days of correspondence written on fine stationery with fountains pens. Fittingly enough, Faber-Castell has proven to be one of those exceptions.
  • AT&T's 'Don't Text And Drive' Video Pulls No Punches
    "Nothing to 'LOL' about here....," a Facebook friend had written and, like a car wreck on the side of the road, I could not ignore the message that flashed across the TweetDeck app on my laptop. She'd linked to a video posted on a Facebook page called The Waking Circle, where the dire tone continued: "this is not easy to watch, but watch it. it will make you think before you start texting while driving. it will make you think before you get in a car with someone who is texting and driving. and, i hope -- it will make …
  • A Retail Culture That's Outside The Box
    Anytime I'd pass a Container Store, an old "Saturday Night Live" skit would pop into my head. You know the one I'm talking about, right? "The Scotch Boutique," wherein nothing but tape products of the "sticky" variety are sold by proprietor Fred Willard and his trusting, cheerful but increasingly skeptical staff. Or, as the case may be, not sold.
  • Alcohol And Sports Should Not Mix
    None of this year's 62 entries in the Marin Institute's "Free the Bowl" contest is anywhere near as slick as the five spots Anheuser-Busch InBev rolled out for three of its brands during last night's big game. But the messages are far more direct, if a lot less insidious, than those delivered to kids by alcohol-beverage advertisers game after game after game after game.
  • Things Will Change Faster Than You Think, But You'll Be Thinking Faster
    I went to a screening of "Transcendent Man: A Film About the Life and Ideas of Ray Kurzweil" last night not exactly sure what message I'd be bringing back to marketers except to point out that any of you who offer lifetime warranties might want to rethink your parameters.
  • The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth
    I possess one of the most priceless gifts that fortune bestows on a mortal: An excellent relationship with a trustworthy and competent auto mechanic. Just this Monday afternoon, I handed Phil Reid 10 crisp $100 bills with nary a whimper for work he'd done on my daughter's Toyota Solero, now with 107,000 miles on it.
  • The Curse Of Technological Inertia
    At first I thought that customer service reps at T-Mobile and GoDaddy.com ruined the story I was planning for this morning when they rendered exceptionally perceptive and patient help last night when I was attempting to set up the email account on my wife's new Android device. Almost, but not quite.
  • How Would You Influence People To 'Eat Less'?
    During the short question-and-answer period that followed the press conference announcing the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans in Washington, D.C., yesterday, a woman wanted to know why the guidelines don't directly suggest that people should eat less meat. That's what they seemed to be saying; why not say it directly?
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