CAPC Podcast #4: Hot Pockets, Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church, The Beats Music App

Listen here.Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we discuss a wide range of topics and provide the kind of perspectives you've grown to love from our stable of thoughtful, talented writers and editors. Please consider subscribing, enjoying, and reviewing the show, all of which you can do just a few clicks away in iTunes.Today, Editor-in-Chief Richard Clark is joined by Staff Writers Brad Williams and Nick Rynerson to discuss the mysteries of what goes inside the now-recalled Hot Pockets, S … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Branding Ourselves With Idolatry?

We live in a culture of brand, from Nike to Marvel to Star Wars, and many of us define ourselves by our choice of brands. But how natural is this? Artist/author Debbie Millman did a series of interviews asking this question to modern-day experts on branding in her book Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits. However, if you don't have time to read the whole book, check out Brain Picking's cream of the crop, to give you a taste of what the experts actually think. … [Read more...]

American Girl Dolls: Created In Whose Image?

Ilona Szwarc's new series of photographs titled "American Girls" features girls posing with their customized versions of the popular American Girl dolls. The portraits emphasize the integration of the dolls into the girls' everyday lives, play, and respective spaces. These dolls, made by Mattel, offer a host of personalization options in addition to the historically themed dolls that make the brand seem overtly educational. Girls can customize their dolls' looks, a feature emphasized in Szwarc’s … [Read more...]

Did Apple Really Just Screw Over iPad Owners?

Earlier this week, Apple held an event during which they announced several new and updated products, including a smaller iPad, thinner and sleeker iMacs, and a new high-end laptop. Needless to say, these announcements got plenty of people excited, including yours truly, as the months -- and even years -- of anticipation, rumors, and analysis come to a head and revealed a slew of lovely new products.But as Buzzfeed reports, there were some people who were disappointed, even angered by Apple's … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: You Are Your Brand

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Some of the best principles of communication are true truth—meaning, what works in business communications also works in personal communications. The more personal businesses make their communications, the easier it is for people to relate to them.That's why branding is necessary—it takes an inanimate object and gives it depth and personality that our humanness can relate to. … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Your Life as a PR Campaign

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Why is the use of social media so popular? It’s fun. It’s lighthearted. It offers a reprieve from life's heaviness.This is also why businesses are benefiting from social media. It provides a place for customers to interact casually with the brands they love, personifying them, integrating them.Although our personal updates are in-the-moment comments about the dailyness of life, f … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: What Your Facebook Likes Say about Jesus

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.What is it about that plucky, thumbs-up Like button? Facebook has taken a simple engagement tool and turned it into a marketer’s dream. With every click, we consumers are cataloging the businesses and brands we are partial to. And it’s so easy to do—just a click links us to something that charms us.However, our participation in this community-wide click-fest has given Facebook a stu … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: What the Christian Message Says to the Masses

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Branding strategy is all about precise target definition with custom messaging developed to reach that particular group of people. It works. That’s why most brands, companies, and organizations do it. But there is a danger in becoming ultra-focused on the specific preferences of the target while disregarding the preferences of the market at large.Case in point: Burger King.Seth S … [Read more...]

Marketing Our Families

If you're feeling somewhat cynical, you could probably argue that -- in this day and age of unceasing attempts by corporations to make their branding as ubiquitous as possible -- we are all walking billboards. As such, it shouldn't be all that surprising for people to try and make some money doing so. No doubt you've heard of individuals who have allowed themselves to be tattooed, permanently or otherwise, by corporations. And so enter the Billboard Family, a family that -- you guessed it -- has … [Read more...]

The Problem With the "What The *Bleep* Church"

Perhaps you saw this photo on Facebook or Twitter: a church had hung three brightly colored banners over its front door that read "Worship", "Teaching", and "Friends". When put together they created that most (in)famous of Internet acronyms.As someone who graduated with a degree in advertising, and whose day job is at a marketing firm, I'm probably more sensitive than most to marketing -- especially marketing that may be beyond the pale, or at the very least, embarrassing and even potentially … [Read more...]