Mixed Signals: Christmas Rage Available at Kohl's (Rebecca) Black Friday

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Holiday advertising has been increasing over the past few weeks as stores gear up for our country’s infamous mega-shopping day, Black Friday. One store's advertising, however, may have just destroyed its Black Friday rush.Kohl's Department Stores released a TV spot promoting its Black Friday midnight opening by tweaking a song that got plenty of press this past year. Just when you … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: When Your Free Will Infringes upon Mine

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Dread. That’s the emotion I experienced in high school driver’s ed. The students in the first class spoke of The Video being shown that day. With actual footage of brutal and bloody car crashes, the video was meant to scare us young drivers into driving safely and soberly. I remember dreading the class and wishing I could skip it. I went to class, but I closed my eyes as much as poss … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Creative Lessons from a Thermostat

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Have you seen the new thermostat that’s taking the marketplace by storm? It’s called Nest.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QCJ1PnVlzIEPretty nifty, eh? Nest is a start-up company whose founders hail from Apple. The thermostat’s ease of use and sleek aesthetic form an intricate and complex system, reminiscent of Apple product design (a recent Nest blog po … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: The American Heritage Dictionary Says Words Still Matter

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.It’s been said that actions speak louder than words. Our words fall flat when our actions aren’t aligned with the tongue. But that doesn’t mean words have no value. Our deeds fall just as flat when our words do not support and define the work of the hands.A new campaign for the launch of the fifth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary (AHD) stresses the power of words to defi … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: The Power of Selective Storytelling

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Crafting a marketing message is all about crafting a story—preferably for consumers this story will be true and told in a captivating way.The difficult thing about story development for a marketing platform is that time and space are limited. Writers need to determine which elements and facts make for the most compelling piece. Some facts are highlighted while others are dow … [Read more...]

Reading Through “Half the Church,” Part 4: A Blessed Alliance

Carolyn Custis James looks at the brokenness and suffering in this world and sees a solution: The Body of Christ. She calls every one of God’s image bearers to become active in taking God’s love to a world in need. In particular, she speaks to women in her book Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women, encouraging them to gain a global perspective for how their gifts can be the means through which God delivers help, healing, and hope.I’ve already written about three themes of … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Seeking Some Quiet in the Media Storm

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Years ago when I was working with my church’s youth group, the youth leaders challenged the students to a week-long media fast. We were all in it together, leaders and students alike—no entertainment via TV, movies, video games, iPods, or the Internet. The goal? To create some quiet in our lives so that we would have more time for God and more mental space to hear what He was sayin … [Read more...]

Reading Through “Half the Church,” Part 3: Putting Women in Their Place

Women have struggled throughout history to understand what womanhood means. The struggle doesn’t dissipate for Christian women. In fact, the struggle may actually heighten for God’s daughters as they attempt to align their lives to the measure of Scripture. Author Carolyn Custis James tackles this struggle head-on in her book Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women.Here in the third of a four-post review (also see Part 1 and Part 2), I want to highlight how James unpacks the … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Cigna Calls Out to the True You

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Whenever I think back to my junior high days, I get sort of squeamish. I was a girl so afraid of being left out that I tried to be like the crowd rather than chance drawing negative attention. Although that may have prevented some potential rejection, it also set up a pattern of living life as less-than myself.For me, the maturation process—into adulthood as well as into a Christ fo … [Read more...]

Reading Through "Half the Church," Part 2: Image Bearing Basics

Welcome to the second installment of my review covering Carolyn Custis James’s Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women. In this four-part review, I’m tackling a few of the main themes and threads of this book. Obviously, four posts will not cover every aspect of a 200-page work. My hope is that you will want to dig into this thought-provoking book on your own.In Part 1 of this series, I highlighted the concern James raises that the gospel of the West has been run through a gr … [Read more...]


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