Category: Media commentary
April 16th, 2013

On Character. And Weasels.

Dear Mainstream Media,

We can’t believe we have to tell you this, it appears we do.
When a disaster like the Boston Marathon bombing occurs, how you respond is a measure – the measure – of your character. From where we’re sitting, it appears that you have time to compile, review, edit and upload video from the scene, but you don’t have time to turn off the @&#^ing preroll commercials!? Seriously?

Face. Palm.

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February 6th, 2013

Superbowl Ad Recap: Less Talking Animal, More Oil-Drenched Cookie.

For those of you who were face-deep in the guac during the commercials, enjoy our biased topline summary. For those of you who missed the game entirely, be glad your face muscles got to relax rather than violently cringe while watching the 49ers try to defend the pass. Any pass. Eesh. The 34-minute blackout was more fun to watch than that shoulda-been-a-comeback final play. It’s ok, though, because GIANTS. And now a message from our sponsors.

The ones that made us laugh:

Oreo, “Whisper Fight”

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January 23rd, 2013

!@*#& Those Meddling Kids!

So you're saying you DON'T want to hear our brilliant manifestos?

Man. This medicine of ours is kinda bitter. Has an 80-proof kick, though. So, remember all those posts where we said, “have a sense of humor about yourself?” Yeah, that was great and all until we encountered AgencyWank Tumblr, “a collection of the wankiest slogans and text on ad/marketing agency websites,” and found ourselves on there not once but twice! Hoist on our own petard! Curses! But then we noticed six times the normal visits to our site, plus reblogs spreading the Mortar virus gospel throughout the land, and we remember, it could be worse.

"You gonna tell us who's a good boy, or should we take a little ride downtown?"

“You gonna tell us who’s a good boy, or should we take a little ride downtown?”


Just when we were about to take over the abandoned amusement park! We would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids.   Well, at least we got to say “hoist on our own petard.”



January 16th, 2013

The Kids, They Will Mess With Your Brand, Chapter 3.

We’ve said it before



…and we’ll probably say it again: The Kids, They Will Mess With Your Brand.

May we present to you the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer.


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November 26th, 2012

Honesty is Hard. It’s Also Mandatory.

We’ve been accused of taking too long to get to the point. ⬆ This is the point. ⬆ Read the post anyway.

So we’ve spoken before about brands and Radical Honesty. We’re going to speak about it again, as this is a lot for marketers to get used to. Remember, we’re the same people who used to go home and sleep like babies after a hard day of telling the world about Camels satisfying your T-zone. But so many nice folks sent us links to this Daniel Baylis article in Fast Company, that we figured we’d better pipe up once again.

It’s a good little article with a couple important takeaways. Like this one:

“The biggest misconception is that brand perfection is necessary before honesty is a valid brand strategy.”

That’s nice, right there. It reminds us that people, for the most part, want to like you. They’re not only looking for a reason to buy, they’ll even help you make your case. “But baby, we need that 75,000 BTU grill! For the children! Won’t you think of the children!?

This one, too:

“In a recent report on transparency in corporate reporting among the 105 largest publicly listed multinational companies, it’s surprising to see that oil companies such as BP and ExxonMobil (also far from perfect) rank much higher in transparency than popular tech companies such as Google and Apple. And in terms of integrity, public perception of Google and Apple continue to fluctuate. If I were a PR executive at these tech companies, my palms would be sweaty.”

Excellent point. Say what you want about BP and ExxonMobil – they’re evil, but they’re reasonably on the up-and-up about it. Meanwhile, Google and Apple, two brands that once possessed halos as bright as supernovaas, now battle it out to see who can embrace the dark side of the Force more quickly.

Our point? We go on and on about Conversation Marketing because we believe your brand is part of a conversation. Moreover, we think you ought to be a good conversationalist. You already have impeccable etiquette – we’ve seen your posture and your Latin declination – don’t forget to use it. Be honest about yourself – customers have highly-developed bullshit radar systems. Have a sense of humor about yourself – better to beat the world to the punch. In general, be someone you wouldn’t mind being stuck in the corner at a party with.

The big finish? This – Mr. Baylis spent a whole lot of column-inches full of words telling you the following: Be honest. Be nice.

Thanks for reading.