February, 2015

Hillary Clinton Tries Rebranding Herself. Again.



Hot on the heels of reports that Hillary Clinton has recruited a team of consumer marketing specialists to “help imagine Hillary 5.0,” a February 25 column by American Enterprise Institute fellow Jonah Goldberg suggests that in and of itself that act has already branded her.

“As she readies her second presidential campaign, Clinton has recruited consumer marketing specialists onto her team of trusted political advisers,” Philip Rucker and Anne Gearan report in the Washington Post, “to help imagine Hillary 5.0 — the rebranding of a first lady turned senator turned failed presidential candidate turned secretary of state turned likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.”

After a complicated tenure as first lady, Clinton reinvented herself as a potholes-and-pork senator from her adopted state of New York. Then she ran for president as a tough woman in the mold of Margaret Thatcher. Failing that, she had a careful run as the country’s top diplomat under Obama that allies believe raised her stature.

Perhaps her most significant rebranding came in 2000, when she became a popular elected official in her own right after her husband’s Monica Lewinsky scandal and after a controversial tenure as first lady. Clinton was ridiculed as a dilettante and a carpetbagger…

In 2008, however, Clinton’s rebranding went badly, starting with a misreading of the zeitgeist that had her stressing her ­commander-in-chief qualifications when the public preferred Obama’s promise of hope and change.

Clinton’s marketing specialists include Wendy Clark, on unpaid leave as Coca-Cola’s North American president of carbonated beverage brands and strategic planning, and Roy Spence, co-founder of the Texas advertising agency GSD&M, best known for its work on Southwest Airlines and Double Tree Hotels.

In addition to helping imagine ways to make a figure who, Goldberg notes, “has been on the public stage for nearly four decades,” come across as something new and different, these marketing experts are pondering other issues on which the fate of the nation hinges. One such issue will be “the design of the ‘H’ in her future campaign logo.” Don’t laugh. Look what a previous candidate did with the design of his “O.” Read more →

According To Someone Very Smart, Cadillac’s New Marketing Plan Is Insane


Even to physicists, Einstein’s best-known theory, the Theory of Relativity, is extremely complicated to state, much less explain. His lesser-known theory, the Theory of Insanity, is so simple it can be stated in just 13 self-explanatory words: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This makes Cadillac’s latest marketing plan insane, according to a February 16 Advertising Age report.

In a $12 billion, multi-year capital expansion plan, Cadillac division president Johan de Nysschen is going to extend the line of Cadillac models. Downward. With “[a] small crossover SUV and an entry-level car priced below the Cadillac ATS.”

De Nysschen may not know this, since he’s been on the job only five months, but Cadillac tried this kind of line extension twice before. Neither time worked. Read more →

Are You Sabotaging Your Own Email Blasts?


Too many marketers are blasting emails at the wrong time, a February 13 Center for Media Research email brief reported (link unavailable). As a TrackMaven analysis of email traffic put it, “the majority of marketers are drawing from the same email marketing playbook.” As a result, they create their own problem, because the most popular times for blasting create traffic jams on the information superhighway. So any one email is far more likely to get lost, unnoticed, unopened and unclicked, among all the online noise. No wonder that “email open rates are hovering around 20 percent and click rates in the low 3 percent range on average.”

After sampling over 93,000 emails from over 2,000 mailing lists, TrackMaven found that more are sent between 11 AM and Noon on Thursdays. But emails from more patient marketers, who were willing to wait a few hours until 2 to 5 PM the same day, were far more effective. But timing’s only one way marketers are undermining their own email blasts. Another way is being in the wrong product or service category. Read more → Exposes Users’ Sensitive Personal Data

obama-big-brother and the 16 state Obamacare exchanges may still be clunky at signing up people for health insurance, but they’re just great at exposing their sensitive personal user data. According to a February 5 Advertising Age report, Big Brother isn’t just watching – he’s blabbing. And to advertisers, no less.

“People visiting, Colorado’s ConnectForHealthCO, California’s CoveredCA or NYStateofHealth lately might get more than information on health insurance plans,” warns Kate Kaye. “They might get ads on Facebook or just about anywhere else they’re traveling online, based on the fact that they visited the health sites.”

The second week of this year, from January 7 through 14, there were some 52 outside data tracking systems installed and active on, observed Ghostery, a firm that evaluates how many tracking technologies are on websites and where the information they track goes in real-time. Then, the federal Center s for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sprang into action – enhancing the encryption on’s Window Shopping calculator and limiting the amount of private information flowing to third parties for analytics and advertising. But limiting isn’t quite the same as eliminating. By the week of January 24 through 29, that flow of sensitive data had been limited to the mere trickle of 25 trackers, including Twitter Advertising, RocketFuel,, Facebook, and Google-owned Doubleclick. Feel better now? Read more →

Budweiser Was All For Craft Beers Before It Turned Against Them


It’s very fitting that this year’s Super Bowl game was the day before Groundhog Day, because the Budweiser beer “Brewed the Hard Way” Senator Kerry Secretary of State Nomination Hearingcommercial that debuted in it was in as much of a time freeze as the classic movie’s characters. As a February 1 Advertising Age report describes the spot, it “takes shots” at them gol-derned, newfangled “fruity craft beers” and “brings back [an] old tagline” in the process.

Harking back to the good old days of yore before 1988, when one out of every four beers consumed in the US was a Bud and sales by volume were more than triple today’s, the commercial packs an amazing number of superannuated beer-advertising cliches into 60 seconds. Read more →