Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Brand the Decider

Our NYU masters program in PR and corporate communications publishes an occasional report. The current issue offers the official Brandsinger view on brand voice—reproduced here as a public service—and so that I don't have to write a separate blog tonight—and because it is mercifully brief.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Is spring a brand?

Let me be the first to lament the cruelties of springtime—still many days ahead of April, that notoriously cruelest month. The sudden, slight sting of the sun on your skin tells you that you are not ready. The lengthening of days—daylight suddenly sticks around forever—gives you more time to try to accomplish something but not the talent to do it.

What happened to winter? We count on winter to penetrate the cracks of our lives with a wicked wind. We expect endless weeks of zero degrees to toughen us for the months ahead. That's winter's job, its brand promise!

Yet the winter of 2011-2012 was like an avocado that never ripened, a lamp that gave off florescent white light, a shooting guard who went 0 for 10. Winter is supposed to grip you and fling you and blow in your face—til you beg for spring with all your might! Winter is supposed to make you plead for spring's candy-colored flowers and galling memories.

But not this winter. This past winter was a wheezing old man shoveling snow on your shoes with a spoon. Bug off, old timer.

So we're stuck with spring skipping toward us proudly, smiling with arms extended, tree-buds thrusting upwards with nothing to stop them.

Inside the cheerfulness and flinging off of winter clothes are memories of unmet dreams and the weight of should-have-dones. That's what spring promotes if you're not careful.

But we can manage it. Best response to the relentless onslaught of spring is to ease into it at your own pace—try to enjoy the birds—and then fight back with a defiant anticipation of the joys of summer.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mid-term bonus point

For those in my writing class at NYU: You get a bonus point on Monday's exam if you can figure out what Amtrak is trying to tell me in this message. Just post your answer here or add it to your answers on Monday evening. You may either try to explain the message in your own words or rewrite it to make its meaning clear.

Also, if you can can re-write this message in such a way as to make it more confusing, you get two points.