Monthly Archives: February 2010

Hooray for Negativity! (or, how wrongs can make a right)

We’ve all been told at one time or another (usually by some judge-y aunt) to stop being so negative. To look at the bright side. See the glass as half full. Admire the rings on the fist that’s punching you in the face. Well, I’m here to say that there’s a place for negativity—in business, in advertising, and in everyday life.

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How to create more “word of mouth.”

In today’s DVR-zapping world, it pays to create the kind of advertising that doesn’t look or feel like advertising. The kind of advertising that people actually seek out and participate in.

Who are you?

Your entire identity system—logo design, style guide, web site, review form, blog, environmental design, etc.—must be ruthlessly carved out of purpose. Otherwise, your audience will be as confused about your brand as we are about Roger Daltrey’s hair.

Here come the Have Nots.

The Miracle on Ice. Rudy. Last year’s 50-1 Kentucky Derby Winner, Mine That Bird. Rudolph, Hermie, and the Island of Misfit Toys. The Little Superstar. New Orleans. Cinderella. Avis. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a good underdog story, right? Underdogs capture our hearts, and give us hope. They make us believe the impossible is possible. They show us what it takes to win—like a simple 4th and 18 hook & ladder, a half-back pass, and a Statue of Liberty executed flawlessly. They make us think-we-can, think-we-can, even when everyone says: “No, really . . . you can’t. Especially not from Cleveland. So why doesn’t this translate to the business world?