Waiting To Get Hit Isn’t An Option: An Ode To Risk Takers In Marketing


Manifestos
Not a best practice. (Photo by Albert Yau via Wikimedia Commons.)

Not a best practice. (Photo by Albert Yau via Wikimedia Commons.)

I was the world’s worst little league baseball player.

I’ve always had the hand-eye coordination of a sponge, so I couldn’t hit and I couldn’t catch. (Too bad this study on baseball science wasn’t around then.) I didn’t even like baseball — watching people stand around and spit didn’t meet my standards of entertainment. And yet I joined my junior high team simply because all my friends were doing it.

Sounds like a drug, right? Or social media… (You see where this is heading.) keep reading

The Walking Dead: The Only Thing Missing Is Fear Itself


Media Review
Sign on "The Walking Dead" writers' room.

Like millions of Americans, I love the adrenaline-fueled rush of a good scare … provided it comes via a screen. (I don’t think most of us plan to explore the jungles of the Congo on our own anytime soon.)

Unfortunately, most American horror movies and TV shows indulge more in torture and gore than actual chills and thrills. Or they resort to “Boo!” tactics (loud noises and things jumping out of the darkness), which make me jump but not break into goosebumps. They’re just not fundamentally scary. That’s why I found myself mostly immune to the series “American Horror” (think “torture porn meets the CW”) and even last year’s acclaimed ghost flick, “The Conjuring.”

My latest quest for chills is binge-watching “The Walking Dead” (yes, I’m a very late adopter). And while I do find much of it entertaining, after just 1 1/2 seasons, I’m wondering whether it’s worth surviving, or whether I should opt out. Here are some of the issues that have haunted me… keep reading

I dig my American Express card. Really. It enables me to buy pallets of cat litter at Costco, which won’t accept any credit card except AmEx. It extends warranties, so when my MacBook fried after the initial warranty expired (how predictable), AmEx paid for the repair. And when it comes to online security, I trust no card more than AmEx.

So why’d they have to go treat me like a 13-year-old? keep reading

Intro by Freddy J. Nager: I read too many academic journal articles — the literary equivalent of cold oatmeal. Chew on this excerpt:

“Many of these concepts come directly from a semiotic discursive territory —see, for example, the long tradition of semiotic reflections on “intertextuality” (Bakhtin, 1968, 1981; Todorov, 1981) or “multimodality” (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2001; Ventola, Cassil & Kaltenbacher, 2004) — while concepts like “transmedial worlds” are very close to it. In this semantic reflection on TS, the “intertext” concept — another complex expression widely discussed in semiotics and media studies (Agger, 1999) — will not be considered in order to focus on “multimodality.”

keep reading

Don’t Believe a Word (of Mouth): Black Milk’s 100% Deceptive Case Study


Case Studies
Shopify stupefies.

“How to Build a Multi-Million Dollar Ecommerce Business
With $0 Marketing Budget”

No, that’s not the subject line of an email in your spam box. That’s the actual headline of a “case study” on Black Milk Clothing, as published on the Shopify blog. keep reading

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Guy Who’s Extremely Allergic To Snake Oil

Snake Oil

Today he’s a “guru” who speaks at social media conferences.

“Snake oil” originally described the fake medicine that con men sold across 19th century America. The worthless ointments and lotions supposedly cured everything from basic pains to baldness, when the only thing they consistently cured was “heavy wallet syndrome.” Scientific American describes how these faux experts worked:

 “…the ‘doctor’ was aided by a shill in the crowd who would, at the appropriate moment, call out that this medicament, ointment or tincture had solved his woes. Once the unsuspecting public had purchased the con artists’ wares, both would quickly depart before the townspeople discovered the worthlessness of the claims…”

Sound familiar? keep reading

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Guy Who Questions the Answers

So authentic and transparent, right?

So authentic and transparent, right? Well, at least transparent…

Haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been neck-deep in grading papers and writing proposals. Not sure which is more painful. I can’t wait to get back to actual teaching and creating, but every party has its clean-up duty.

That said, a recent class discussion brought up one of my core tenets: the need to question everything in the market… keep reading

After years of robbing trains, he decided he was ready to become an online entrepreneur.

After years of robbing trains, he decided he was ready to become an online entrepreneur.

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of the one and only Atomic Tango LLC (at least for now)

There was nothing to set off my usually hypersensitive B.S. detector.

The email landed in my business inbox with the subject line, “Confirm: About “atomictango” registration.” I didn’t recognize the sender’s name, Gerry Gu from p-xi.org, but emails from strangers are common in business, so I opened it and the message seemed friendly enough… keep reading

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Writer Who Loves To Read

And unto the Gods the art directors did offer the copywriter's first born...

And unto the Gods the art directors did offer the copywriter’s first born…

“The most important factor in selecting type is its readability. Type should be clear, easy on the eye, friendly, and inviting. Style is important — the choice of font is one of many elements that contributes to the image conveyed by the ad — but readability always comes first. Always… Never do anything to make the copy difficult to read. Type should be set in black against a clear white background – not a tint, not white on black, not in color.” – Robert Bly, The Copywriter’s Handbook

“In a recent issue of a magazine I found 47 advertisements with the copy set in reverse — white type on a black background. It is almost impossible to read.” – David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising

I love art directors….

  • I love them as vivacious characters who live and breathe creativity.
  • I love how they can turn my pedestrian ideas into mouthwatering cornea candy.
  • And I love commiserating with them over drinks about all the conservative clients who want to bore the world into a coma.

I just wish they always loved words as much as I do… keep reading

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + No Relation To Right Said Fred

Inbound-Permission Marketing Office

Call Me… Maybe… Not: After waiting all day for the phone to ring, the inbound-permission marketers realize that they hadn’t given anyone their number.

Inbound and permission marketers must be the sexiest people on earth.

(Mis)led by their guru Seth Godin, they abhor ads and other marketing promos that “interrupt” consumers. Rather, they simply build websites and social media profiles, then passively wait for customers to find them and give them “permission” to do marketing. Makes you all hot and bothered just thinking about it, huh? keep reading

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