Category Archives: Promotion

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Never miss a promotional opportunity…

This is precious.

Raygun — which calls itself “The Greatest Store in the Universe” — is a grass-rooted shop in Des Moines’ East Village (mostly T-shirts lauding or laughing at all things Iowa). They sell shoes, too. Their customer service and marketing is consistently exceptional. And they never miss an opportunity to exploit any [wholly unplanned] promotional opportunity.

Gersh Kuntzman and the future of journalism

Gersh Kuntzman, a standout community editor, was running with a Flip before Al Gore invented the internet (I exaggerate, but so does Gersh — usually to good effect). Any reporter who completes the Graduate School of Journalism that he runs at The Brooklyn Paper can swim with confidence in the uncharted waters of New Media.

Gersh knows that media in the future will not mirror media’s past, and that journalists must adapt or die.

He was my editor when I sold The Brooklyn Paper to a division of NewsCorp in 2009, and he’s continued under the new management to good effect.

Here’s a double scoop sampler, fresh this week, of video a la Gersh

Want more? Here’s Gersh taking a dump for a storycovering snow on a budget; riding a new bike lane, and immodestly accepting the SNA’s Editor of the Year award (start video around 1:17).

Meanwhile, video is just one part of Gersh’s exposition. He’ll rarely pass up an opportunity to personalize a news story (for example, inserting caffeine suppositories; reporting each of the many times his bicycles were stolen, and covering the night he posed nude for an art class of hipsters).

• • •

Gersh would not suggest that he has all of the solutions to Old Media’s woes, and it’s not clear that his formula will pay off in the long run.

But the old prescriptions will no longer work: Readers won’t take the medicine old-line editors would like to continuing doling out, and staff-short newspapers will be unable to fill them in any event.

If newspapers are going to survive in print or online, they’ll need to adapt to the kind playful experimentation that Gersh can’t suppress.

UPDATE: Click to link to followup.

‘Fran and Jan’ in Portland

We can’t predict how the “Fran & Jan Show” will play once it rolls, but their clever promotional videos  portend a good start.

In video-1, Fran (Francine Raften) and Jan (Janna Lopez) are planning their show — should it be with or without sex (maybe you heard, sex sells!). Their consultant-guru reminds them it’s all about “building an audience, and then you can take them wherever you want to go.”

Fran loves the idea: “There’s a potential here to generate a heck of a lot of listeners.” Jan‘s not as certain: “The Fran & Jan Show is not about sex selling. We’re different. We don’t have to go the whole self-exploitation route to get a few people to talk about us.”

So, they thought about it. And sex … not so much.

Jan musters the courage to tell their consultant, “The Fran & Jan Show has to be smart, it has to represent who we are, it has to be funny and it has to be something that will give people reason to think about who we are.”

You think so? Here’s video-2—

The show, out of Portand, OR, is scheduled to debut on Thursday, Oct. 28, on the earth2world network.

Video3 connects with the planned debut just before Halloween—

Good luck, ladies!

Post revised 10/18/10 at 10:32 am

Over the top at AMNewYork [Video Podcast]

Running a front page ad or promotion is one thing (done right, it can be useful to readers and profitable to publishers). But for publishers to deliberately mislead their readers is something else.

Today’s AMNewYork, the free daily published by Newsday, does just that.

Here’s my say:

Write the future

If you haven’t yet seen this 3-minute Nike epic, watch it now.

Starring international soccer superstars Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, the video has broken the record for attracting the biggest viral audience in the first week of a campaign, with 7.8 million views, according to Ad Age. Ten days from launch, its YouTube count alone is about 10 million.

This is great stuff, which, after all, is its point.

Worst newspaper campaign, ever

Maybe not.

But this commercial proclaims itself the “Greatest ad campaign ever!” … and the NYS Press Association, whose own newspapers-are-great campaign is also anything but, concurs, urging its members to listen up.

This is a great spot — but does it sell us on newspapers, or illustrate why newspapers are beside the point?

Here’s one of the comments under YouTube’s post of this video:

The irony is I first read about this on Google Reader after some people I were following recommended it and I ended up watching it on a social media site.

And other:

Doesn’t this ad prove that social media work better than old fashioned regular print campaigns?

And this:

If print was the most powerful way to reach the target audience, why bother making a video about it? Seems like an effective, disruptive, viral video to me, that contradicts what it says at the end. It’s a clever ad for the agency as a “pattern interrupt” in this case.

For more comments, click here.