Time Travel

When I was in high school our science teacher explained to us that some radio and TV signals pass right through our atmosphere and travel through space forever. He told us that if we had a spaceship that could catch up to those signals we could listen to radio and TV signals sent out 10, 20 – 30 years ago. Given I was young and he was old – I thought he was full of shit. Now I’m old (er) and know a bit more. Just enough to be dangerous. Last night I found this clip on YouTube and traveled back in time. 38 years ago I would put this record on, turn off the lights, crawl into bed with my headphones on and feel the pain. It’s moments like this that I just love being alive today!

Oh Arizona


Many years ago I was the Media Director on the Petro-Canada advertising account during their ‘acquisition’ period. The folks who worked at PC thought they’d died and gone to heaven because they were working for a Crown Corporation in the petroleum category that was gobbling up as many off-short competitors as it could. The theory went like this: more gas stations = more gas pumps = more customers = more revenue = more advertising  = more sales = more promotions and greater salaries for top executives.  For the most part the model worked. Until a service station owner in Huntsville, ON. declined to raise his prices because he believed his prices were high enough and he didn’t want to alienate his loyal customer base. When he refused to raise his prices, Petro-Canada locked his pumps. The story went National overnight making radio, TV and Newspaper headlines. The volume of free prime-time media set the Petro-Canada brand back by a few years because the story validated suspicions and rumors (that the P.C. P.R. department had ignored).

I hadn’t thought of that story for a long time. But when the Arizona tragedy hit the news I thought about it and the good folks in Arizona a lot.  I thought about all the people who work for Arizona business development associations and Arizona tourist boards. I wondered how much time and footing they had lost overnight because of the foolish act of one man.

Lee Oskar – Before the rain

A little moment of goodness from me to you - care of Mr. Lee Oskar. Enjoy!





This morning I installed a new toilet seat in my mother’s bathroom. When I unpacked it I saw this. It’s not quite like registering your electronic goods to trigger your warranty coverage or auto-updates. The makers of this toilet seat are hoping you’ll want to participate in future research projects with Bemis Manufacturing Company.

I give full marks to the marketing department for this consumer research initiative: knowledge is power.

I give NO marks to the copywriter because just a few more words would have provided some context, improved message comprehension and increased sign-ups.

Reality Check

I spend a lot of time working with my clients and assistants – helping them understand the art and science of marketing. With some clients it’s loads of fun. With others, it’s like having a root canal done. EVERYTHING is SO very serious and painfully important. Like a misplaced ‘pixel’ on a website is going to cause a global decline in sales or something. ‘Social’ is going the same way. Suddenly ‘conversations’ need to be framed in communication briefs, strategies and tactics. What happened to flow and genuine sharing – not B.S. ‘friending’.

This is a reality check from my niece. I love it because it made me laugh and reminded me not to take myself – or others so seriously! After all – it’s just a (digital) dog and pony show. No one gets hurt and no one really dies.

On Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 Heidi wrote:

Had a few moments between loads of laundry and went on your website. I discovered your blog.

What a treat! Just wanted to let you know I’ll be going back for more next time I do laundry! :)”