Greatest Marketing Campaigns: Print

Note: All ad images sourced from 


Description: This image is one of a series of ads showing Burger King restaurants on fire.

Objectives: Draw attention to the flame grilled preparation of the Burger King burgers in an unexpected and memorable way.

Target Market: General audience. To make the connection to the “flame grilled” a consumer would need to have some prior experience or knowledge of Burger King.

Action: Remind consumers in an eye catching way that Burger King burgers are flame grilled, which they believe is a differentiator for them compared to their peers.

Value Proposition: No overt value proposition. The subtle message is a reminder of the flame grilled preparation of their burgers, which makes them taste better.



Description: A women in her kitchen putting her Altoids tins to good use. She has one tucked in her bosom (contents unknown) and three hanging on the wall containing her teeth, a phone number, and brass knuckles.

Objectives: Remind viewers in a fun and memorable way that in addition to buying their mints you are also getting a very useful tin. The mix of unlikely items combined with the star of this ad infer that anyone is a potential consumer of Altoids.

Target Market: General audience. Women in particular may connect with the tin tucked in her bosom, as this is the way some women carry phones, money, and other personal items when they don’t have a purse.

Action: Remind consumers in a humorous and memorable way that Altoids are the mints in the handy tin box. This ad features a loyal consumer with many boxes in the frame, implying they must be great.

Value Proposition: The ad features no overt mention of the mints, so a consumer without prior exposure might be inspired to find out what Altoids are. This ad centers on the usefulness and durability of the tins the product comes in, which both stand out on the shelf and offer the consumer a use afterwards.


Description: A close up of perfectly fried, crispy, crinkle-cut french fries with a single caption of “Pass the Heinz.”

Objectives: Remind readers that nothing goes better with freshly cooked fries than Heinz ketchup. Said definitively, as the brand name implies that there is no other kind of ketchup to pass.

Target Market: General audience. French fry eaters.

Action: Close up allows the viewer to see the moisture from the oil the fries were cooked in still shining, implying they are fresh and still hot. The first thing one does when presented with such a treat is to reach for the Heinz ketchup, which is the perfect compliment to french fries. Literally, “Pass the Heinz” and if you don’t have it, you better go buy some.

Value Proposition: Heinz ketchup is what you put on your french fries. It makes what is tasty even more delicious. It’s what you do.


Description: A child (presumably a child soldier) holding a gun. Caption reads, “gettyimages: The best and the worst photos”.

Objectives: Shock the viewer with a “worst photo” that most would find difficult or troubling to look at. Reminds viewers that you can find photos of everything at gettyimages, both positive and negative.

Target Market: Anyone with need of legally acquired photos, like those in advertising, bloggers, or business people preparing reports and presentations.

Action: Remind consumers that just about any image that they might need can be purchased for use at gettyimages.

Value Proposition: When you need an image, any kind of image, you can expect to quickly find what you are looking for at gettyimages.


Description: A man in traditional Arab dress raises an American flag in front of his suburban home. His daughters play in the background, one playing soccer and the other hula hooping. The hashtag “#WeAreAmerica” and the “love has no labels” logos are displayed in the corner.

Objectives: Remind viewer that Arab Americans are Americans too. They are just as patriotic as anyone from other ancestries. The idyllic home, kids playing, and hints of a picket fence reinforce traditional American dreams.

Target Market: General audience. In an time where people of Arab ancestry are being demonized, the ad serves as a reminder to those that may be receiving these messages that Arab Americans are just as American as they are.

Action: Remind viewers that most people are just trying to make a good life for their kids. Arab Americans are Americans, despite what some talking heads or politicians might say or tweet.

Value Proposition: Reinforce the patriotism and pursuit of the American dream of people from many backgrounds, including those of Arab decent.


Greatest Marketing Campaigns: Television

Check out the analysis below of five award winning television ads.

The Boys

Click image above to find the ad video.

Description: An ad that draws viewers in with stereotypical male experiences from the perspective of “the boys.”

Objectives: Cheeky way to connect to men based on common experiences and convey a punchline emphasizing how comfortable Bonds underwear are.

Target Market: Post-pubescent men. Alludes to professional men with board room reference.

Action: Buy Bonds underwear.

Value Proposition: Underwear so comfortable that “the boys” will thank you.


Rabbit Race

Click image above to find the ad video.

Description: A live sport event Easter 2015 of 10 competing rabbits during a commercial break. This was a multimedia customer engagement campaign designed to drive traffic for Media Markt, Germany’s largest electronics retailer.

Objectives: Increase Media Markt sales and engage customers in a unique way.

Target Market: Expressed intent is fun for the whole family. Special interest for kids/parents, gamblers, and rabbit lovers.

Action: Shop at Media Markt.

Value Proposition: If your rabbit wins, you get 50% of your money back.



Click image above to find the ad video.

Description: Ad shows father and daughter putting their completed U.S. Census form in the mail and their community applauding.

Objectives: Empowering families in the Asian community to complete the U.S. Census, communicate when to expect it in the main, and explain why filling it out is important for them.

Target Market: Asian families that speak Mandarin.

Action: Expect your census form in the mail and be sure to fill it out to make sure your community gets its share of government services.

Value Proposition: Your community will thank you for doing your small part to make sure they get their share of government services.

Ford Explorer - Wedding

Click image above to find the ad video.

Description: Kevin Hart crashes a wedding using the features of the 2011 Ford Explorer.

Objectives: Highlight the selling features of the 2011 Ford Explorer, especially terrain management.

Target Market: Special attention to the African American community, but appeals to a general car buying audience given the humor of Kevin Hart.

Action: Buy the 2011 Ford Explorer.

Value Proposition: The Ford Explorer is fun to drive and the terrain management feature makes it safe and easy to navigate any conditions.

Rosetta Stone ESL

Click image above to find the ad video.

Description: Commercial highlights a series of everyday interactions where Spanish speaking users of Rosetta Stone were able to feel more confident in their English language communication.

Objectives: Show many different kinds of people benefiting from the confidence they’ve gained learning English using Rosetta Stone.

Target Market: Spanish speaking population in a English dominated world.

Action: Order the free demo to try Rosetta Stone.

Value Proposition: If you are able to communicate in English more confidently, you will do better at work, be more engaged with your kid’s education, and more connected to your neighbors and community. Anyone can do it with Rosetta Stone.

Greatest Marketing Campaigns: Radio



Check out the analysis below of five award winning radio ads.

Radio Ad 1: I Am the Middle Bun

Middle Bun

Click the image above to listen to the radio ad.

Description: The experience of a Dreamer or second generation American of Latin heritage as it parallels the middle bun of a Big Mac, caught between two worlds.

Objectives: The primary objective is to sell more Big Macs. Secondarily, this ad says that McDonald’s understands their lived experience.

Target Market: Young, Latino/a, Spanglish-speaking, with a love of America and this cultural heritage.

Action: Buy a Big Mac. It will bring you simple joy.

Value Proposition: The Big Mac tastes good and mirrors your experience. Like life, if your sandwich isn’t messy you aren’t doing it right.

Radio Ad 2: Keep Farts Funny

Keep Farts Funny

Click the image above to listen to the radio ad.

Description: A sampling of various farts, calling attention to chronic flatulence as a possible symptom of colon cancer.

Objectives: Awareness of this symptom of colon cancer and to encourage colonoscopies for those over 50.

Target Market: General audience with special attention to adults 50 or older who are at greater risk of colon cancer.

Action: Be aware that chronic flatulence is a symptom of colon cancer. Get a colonoscopy if you are 50 or older.

Value Proposition: Keeping farts funny, making something that people are afraid of like a colonoscopy easier to talk about. Who doesn’t love a good fart joke?

Radio Ad 3: Kitty

Kitty Lottery

Click the image above to listen to the radio ad.

Description: Someone imitating the “meows” (badly) of a rich man’s deceased cat.

Objectives: Help people imagine how they would spend their money if they were to win the lottery. Sell lottery tickets.

Target Market: Anyone of lottery buying age. General appeal to a wide audience.

Action: Buy a lottery ticket.

Value Proposition: If the buyer wins the lottery, they will spend their money on much better things than this guy wasting his money on bad kitty imitations.

Radio Ad 4: Netflix Holiday Radio

Netflix Christmas

Click the image above to listen to the radio ad.

Description: Two different scenarios of relatives who are very different, but find common ground with a shared interest in a movie genre.

Objectives: Remind people of the tension that is often felt visiting relatives and how a good movie can offer some relief. Increase Netflix subscriptions.

Target Market: General appeal to a wide audience. Those with the means to afford a Netflix account and the technology on which to play it. Most people have awkward family relationships they navigate during the holidays.

Action: Subscribe to Netflix.

Value Proposition: Netflix creates opportunities to share experiences with family members who are very different from us.

Radio Ad 5: Wake Up

Sobe Wake Up

Click the image above to listen to the radio ad.

Description: Loud alarms and sirens played as advertisements between 1:00 and 5:00 am to help keep sleepy drivers awake.

Objectives: Call attention to waking up sleepy drivers to sell more Sobe Energy drinks.

Target Market: Anyone who is sleepy and needs to stay awake.

Action: Buy Sobe Energy drinks to help keep you awake.

Value Proposition: Drinking a Sobe Energy drink is a more desirable way to stay awake than unexpected loud alarms and sirens.

Week 8: The Importance of Giving Back

It brought me joy to reach the end of the book It’s a Jungle in There by Steven Schussler and find the final two chapters focused on PHILANTHROPY. Clearly this is a subject that I am passionate about (note my website is

I have always argued that profitability and philanthropy are not mutually exclusive. Many companies find it to be good business to contribute to the communities in which they operate, and increasingly customers are expecting that the organizations they do business with demonstrate social responsibility.

One of my favorite models of corporate responsibility was developed by Archie Carroll (1991) called The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Image result for corporate social responsibility legal ethical philanthropic

Economic Responsibilities – Carrol suggests that the obligation to be profitable is the foundation on which all of the rest of a business’ responsibilities rest. If a company isn’t profitable, it eventually ceases to exist.

Legal Responsibilities – Businesses must play by the rules of the game. This means that operating one’s business within the parameters of of the law is essential.

Ethical Responsibilities – Businesses must do what is right, just, and fair, even when doing so is not explicitly required by law.

Philanthropic Responsibilities – These expectations go beyond what is legal or ethical to more discretionary activities. Contributions to the community to improve the quality of life for the citizens where you do business makes for good corporate citizenship.

The expectations of millennials are raising the bar for companies, as 81% say they expect a public commitment to good corporate citizenship from the companies they choose to do business with (Faw, 2014). As a result, companies are increasingly incorporating their philanthropy into the fabric of the company and/or products. This can be good strategy, as customers feel like buying your product or service is both meeting their need and contributing to a greater good.

A positive approach to philanthropy is moving from a simple “do good” model to one that is strategically aligned to the places that your stakeholders care about. Companies that use a matching gift program to support employee engagement helps retention efforts. In this case, the company is effectively allowing their employees to direct where their giving dollars go.

A similar approach can be taken with customers, where one might choose to support causes that match with your customers’ values or even to improve the value of their purchase. A good example might be Tesla donating banks of charging stations to cities where they have a dealership. It is in their interest to ensure that their customers have convenient access to charging, but this doesn’t minimize that they could be selling those stations rather than giving them away.

In short, doing good is good for business in many ways. As we are successful, it is important that we recognize the ways we can give back to support our communities, customers and employees. When these stakeholders thrive, we thrive.


Faw, L. (2014). Millennials expect more than good products, services to win their loyalty.

Week 7: Help Others Achieve Their Goals

In chapter 22 of It’s a Jungle in There, Steven Schussler points out that helping others, even when there is no direct benefit to you, is good practice…and very well may pay dividends in the future.

It is part of my nature to want to contribute to people and organizations whenever I see a way that I can add value. This is part of the reason that I’ve gotten involved in several boards of directors for organizations that I care about. A side benefit is that I get to connect with other people that care about things I’m passionate about and develop my own leadership experiences. Helping others can be both good for the soul, good for that person or organization, and also great for your resume.

The very heart of what I teach my students about networking is looking for ways that you can be helpful to someone else. So many people are intimidated by professional and personal networking because they perceive it as something focused more on asking for something for themselves. If they flip this around and instead think of these interactions as looking for ways to help them, the conversations get much easier.

Image result for networking defined

As Larry James of NetworkingHQ states in the image above, this doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to leave your own goals at the door. It is perfectly okay to be strategic about who you connect with and be intentional about reaching out to those that may be in a position to help you in the future. This does not mean that you expect something in return for your help, but it is human nature that if someone has been helpful to you then you are much more likely to be helpful to them when they need it.

Building rapport with people and demonstrating your skills, values, passion, and work ethic is an ongoing opportunity. Doing a great job gets noticed. Showing what you can do and making someone else’s life easier leaves an impact. Isn’t that what every manager wants when they hire someone to work for them? Please, make my job easier and make me look good!

Think about the skills that are most in demand in your industry. Look at job descriptions for jobs you’d like to have and identify gaps you need to fill in. Develop those skills and look for ways to gain experience using them that can add value to someone else. Search for organizations where people you’d like to work for gather and look for ways to get involved. Building relationships by helping people that you share common goals and interests with is the best way to position yourself to connect with professionals that might one day be in a position to help you. Be thoughtful about the unique contribution you can make and where you’d like to make it to have the greatest impact.

One word of caution: It is easy to get carried away helping others and neglect your own goals. Think about what your capacity is and don’t over-commit. The last thing you want to do is make a promise that you are ultimately unable to keep or offer to help and produce something that isn’t your best effort. That can leave a lasting impression in the other direction, which is definitely not the outcome you’re going for.

Week 6: “Never, never, never give up.”

Steven Schussler quotes Winston Churchill in his book It’s a Jungle in There in support of his assertion that successful entrepreneurs are persistent. What doesn’t get mentioned is that Churchill never said those exact words.

Image result for winston churchill never never never give up

Here’s what he actually said on October 21, 1941 when he visited Harrow School, his alma mater:

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.”

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter that Churchill is misquoted more often than not. The sentiment remains valid. What I appreciate, however, in the accurate quote, is that Churchill’s wisdom and ethical boundaries shine through. He infuses thoughts of honor and good sense in addition to the virtue of persistence.

Dogged determination without considering the human consequences is not virtuous. The end does not justify the means in every case, so congratulating ourselves when we accomplish our goals if the cost was crushing the people in our path is wrong. A true victory is won when goals are accomplished without harm, or better yet by elevating other people along the way.

Churchill also points to the use of “good sense” when applying persistence. I’m not 100% sure that Schussler would agree with Churchill on this point, given his propensity for applying the blood, sweat, and tears and off the wall approaches to his endeavors. When he shipped himself to a hiring manager in a barrel without air holes or turned his house into a functioning jungle it would be hard to argue that Schussler was practicing good sense. He has shown a preference for creativity and making a memorable impression over doing what most would consider good sense.

These differences are a great reminder to me that we all have to approach our businesses in our own way. It is our differences that make the world interesting, and if there were a “formula” for entrepreneurial success then there would be a lot more successful entrepreneurs. You have to be willing to push through the hard times to achieve your goals, but you also have to recognize when the right time is to take the lessons from one endeavor and move on to the next.



Week 5: Marketing Yourself to Market Your Business

As a senior leader within an organization, my experience has been that developing your personal brand adds value to your business. This is even more true for entrepreneurs, as they literally ARE their business. In It’s a Jungle in There, Schussler points out that when investors are considering a business, they are looking at both the viability of the idea as well as their impressions of the person or people leading the project.

The importance of first impressions was reinforced for me recently during a presentation by stylist Lamond Hart of The House of Lamond. He and his colleague Sheena from Alpha Male Nail Care presented to MBA students on style, giving several very helpful tips to help them elevate their personal brand. One thing I was taught early on when preparing for a job interview, many people judge your attention to detail by how well you care for your nails and your shoes. It is no wonder that Mr. Hart partnered with a shoe shine business and nail technician when he opened his salon in Uptown Charlotte. Having these two services within his clothing boutique is genius! Not only do all three businesses benefit from the patrons of the others, all three business compliment the others to result in a well styled gentleman.

Another great take-away for me from this presentation was that professional does not have to be boring. The sock styles of Canadian Prime Minster, Justin Trudeau are a great example of this. He is always well dressed, but the pop of color found in his sock choices have shown that he has a bit of flair and personality. Mr. Hart suggested that a colorful pocket square or unique lapel pin can make a similar impact.

Career experts regularly point to the importance of a good hand shake and the first and last impression it can leave with those you meet. The balance of firm, but not bone crushing, is not easy for everyone to master. This is particularly true when you are nervous and your mind is on the pitch you are about to make. I recommend to my students that they actively practice their handshake and not take for granted that what they do naturally is fine. The feedback you receive on this tiny action could dramatically impact the impression you leave.

Schussler spends several pages in It’s a Jungle in There sharing the value of a unique and memorable business card. With companies like and Vista Print there is no reason to have boring, unprofessional business cards. Additionally, I strongly recommend that people leverage LinkedIn to connect with people after meeting them. Not only does a LinkedIn profile give you a lot more information about the person you’ve met, but it provides you a tidy way to keep your conversation going after the initial meeting. I use my LinkedIn as a database to help facilitate connections for others as well, but then doing so is part of the brand promise of my institution.

Lastly, I would submit that it is good advice to get involved in service to your industry or profession. Doing so is great for your personal brand, but it is also great for your business. As people know you and associate you with expertise in your field, your business is bound to benefit.

Can Your Customers Find You?

Customers won’t buy what they don’t know exists” says Steven Schussler in It’s a Jungle In There. While this sounds intuitive, I still find the “if you build it, they will come” mentality to be much more common. The expectation by many is that if you have a great product, of course people will be lining up to get it. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking (and worrying) about marketing in my professional role at Wake Forest University. Even though we offer the highest ranked part-time MBA program in North Carolina (according to U.S. News & World Report) people in Charlotte still don’t realize that we have a campus there. Wake Forest University is associated with Winston-Salem, where our main campus is located and where all of our undergraduate and full-time graduate programs are located. Needless to say, our market penetration in Winston-Salem is nearly 100%, since Winston-Salem is Wake Forest. Market awareness of our Charlotte MBA programs is typically about 30%. Part of this challenge is related to the fact that Charlotte has a growing “new professional” population, with lots of people relocating to Charlotte for work. Part of the challenge is also the lack of strategy for our marketing efforts.

Most of my energy recently has been focused on making sure we are appropriately utilizing digital marketing, or as most businesses call it…marketing. In the past, many companies have separated traditional marketing channels like print, television, and radio from digital channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and paid search on Google. Increasingly, digital marketing is just thought of as marketing, not an “extra” or “bolt on” item to the marketing strategy (Abramovich, 2017). The benefits of using digital platforms for marketing include that it can be very targeted to the types of customers you are looking to reach and analytics are available to track performance.

Roesler (2015), writing for Inc., reminds us the search engine optimization (SEO) is important for digital and offline businesses alike. First, 91% of Google search clicks are made on results found on the first page. This means if you’re on page 2, you almost never get seen. Even companies without websites (YIKES) can be found if they are registered with the various search engines. This can include customer reviews, phone numbers, and directions to your business. It can also point searchers to your social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, if that is primarily where you are promoting your product or service.

The moral of the story is that marketing is important and depending on your audience your digital presence may be the most important investment that you make.

Abramovich, G. (2017). Make The Shift From Digital Marketing To Marketing In A Digital World.
Roesler, P. (2015). 4 Reasons why SEO Matters to Business (Even Offline Business).

Week 3: Sweat the Small Stuff

This week’s post is focused on how critical attention to details is to maximize customer satisfaction and perceived quality of your product or service. It’s a Jungle in There author Steven Schussler points out attention to details results in the elevated customer service that can transform a casual patron into a loyal, lifelong customer. The impact that this attention to details can have when investors notice can be huge too.

My experience certainly reinforces the importance of sweating the small stuff. It is hard to know what detail will be the thing that connects with a prospective student considering our MBA. In the same way, you never know what missed detail might turn someone off. I’ve found one of the best ways to do more of what is working and fix the things that aren’t is to have a regular dialogue with prospective students. When you actively listen for the the good, bad, and ugly you can take your business higher and build fully satisfied and committed customers.

Schussler shares the famous reputation of Conrad Hilton and how burned out light bulbs signaled deeper issues in the performance of one of his properties. These small details really do matter, particularly before you’ve established a relationship with your customer. Working with a product that is high price only heightens the expectations of potential candidates, as they are looking for signals that the extra money they’ll spend will result in a greater value over the short-term and longer term.

One example of how we sweat the small stuff is our extended interview day. Each candidate receives a padfolio filled with supporting materials about our program printed in color that they get to keep, whether they are admitted or not. As candidates arrive, we take a photo of them standing with a life-sized Demon Deacon statue in our lobby. At lunch, each of them receives a color copy of their photo in a photo holder with our logo embossed in gold. We offer each person interviewing two formal interviews, sessions with career services and student services, and time with current students and alumni. Each part of this experience reinforces the prestige of the brand, competitiveness (exclusiveness) of admission, quality of the experience, depth our our relationships, and the intimate, personal experience of the program. We feed them lunch, have water in the interview rooms, validate their parking…the details go on and on.

No one in our market does anything even close to this, so when our candidates are considering multiple schools and compare their experiences the differences are very clear. These premium details are not things that everyone values, but for candidates who are looking for signals that a program is “the best” we stand head and shoulders above our competition. That is our goal and our brand promise.


Week 2: Risky Business

For the next 7 weeks I will explore the book It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring by Steven Schussler, the founder of the Rainforest Cafe. This week’s reflection will focus on the role of risk-taking.

I agree with Schussler’s assessment that risk-taking is an essential component for entrepreneurial success. It is a hard fact to accept that as many as 9 out of 10 startups will fail (Patel, 2015). This means that when you launch a new venture you have to believe that your idea is so strong that it will beat the odds and/or be comfortable with the strong possibility that you may experience several failures before you find success.

I think this is the primary reason that so many people with wonderful business or product ideas remain on the sidelines of the entrepreneurship game. The life and family responsibilities that so many of us shoulder make the risk of losing everything too great. The allure of a consistent paycheck and a comfortable life for ourselves and our families makes a corporate job a desirable choice.

Schussler himself failed at his first solo effort, a retail store selling restored nostalgia items called Juke Box Saturday Night. He lost his home, his company truck was repossessed, and he ended up living in a 9×12 foot office above a nightclub. Foreclosure and bankruptcy did not deter him, as he was able to take the failure of his first business and turned it into a chain of very successful nostalgia themed restaurants.

It is easy to see why those that are more risk averse might be drawn to the “side business” or “side hustle” approach. In these cases, the entrepreneur keeps his or her day job (and steady income) and builds the new business after work and on the weekends. Hull (2014) points out that there are two schools of thought on this. Some believe that to be successful you have to quit your job and put everything you have into your business. Others believe that you can start your business on the side and grow it slowly until it generates enough money that you can leave your full-time job.

For me, it is comforting to know that there are businesses that have been launched on the side and grown to profitability. As someone who is slightly more risk averse, it is hard for me to imagine quitting my job to start a new business even though this means that my business will have to grow more slowly. The trade-offs (for me) are just too great.



Hull, P. (2014). Tips to starting a business on the side.

Patel, N. (2015). 90% of startups fail: Here’s what you need to know about the 10 percent.