Over a week ago, the social media world was buzzing about an incident at an Applebee’s restaurant in St. Louis.  Here’s what happened in a nutshell.  A patron at Applebee’s, who happened to be a local Pastor goes to dinner with a large group of people.  Applebee’s automatically adds 18% to large parties.  When the check comes, the Pastor stiffs waitress and writes an obnoxious message on the check saying “I give God 10%, why should I give you 18%?”

applebees check

The infamous Applebee’s check.

Another waitress sees the message on the check, takes a picture of it and posts it to Reddit.  Thus begins a social media firestorm leading to the firing of the waitress who posted the picture and making Applebees social media team pull all-nighters for several days.   Read More


After having some time to reflect on the Super Bowl advertising, I’ve come up with the Single Minded Proposition’s first annual list of the top 5 and bottom 5 Super Bowl ads. Here we go…

Top 5

1) Tide: In the spirit of full disclosure, I spent about 5 years working on advertising for the Tide brand. During that time, we did some nice advertising. But, the ad that Tide produced for the Super Bowl was just awesome. It was well produced, well acted, it had a great storyline and it was very, very funny. The tagline “No Stain is Sacred” is perfect. Unlike a lot of Super Bowl advertising, the ad actually tied back to a core product benefit. P&G is known for more conservative advertising that tries not to offend anyone. This ad actually showed a Ravens fan getting the upper hand over a 49ers fan. Interesting that the Ravens ended up winning the game. Well done Tide.


Read More

The Super Bowl Ad That Got Away

godaddy kiss

GoDaddy.com’s Super Bowl Ad “The Kiss”

I’m a big NFL fan.  And like everyone else in the country, I watched the Super Bowl last night.  Of course, my team, the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t even make the post-season this year.  So, I wasn’t emotionally invested in the game.

But, I always love watching the ads.  During the years I worked in the ad business, I never produced an ad that aired in the Super Bowl.  However, I did work on one ad that was supposed to run in the game.

It was back in 2006.  I was at Euro RSCG New York working on Advair, an asthma drug manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.  We were doing a campaign to promote asthma awareness and Jerome Bettis (also known as “The Bus) was our spokesperson.  At the time, Jerome was the running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers and it was his last season before retirement.  I had been pestering my clients that we had to run a Super Bowl ad featuring Jerome if the Steelers made it all the way.

I remember watching the AFC championship game that year.  The Steelers vs. the Colts.  The Colts were the favorite to win it all.  But, the Steelers pulled the upset.

So, I texted my client: “Jerome will be the star of the most watched event of the year. Should we buy a Super Bowl ad?”

It was really a joke.  I didn’t expect much.  But, he texted me back a few minutes later and said, “Let’s do it”. Read More

Earlier this week, I posted an article about the importance of looking beyond subject matter experts when hiring.  If you want new ideas, you can’t keep hiring the same kind of people.  For this next post, I’m featuring an article written by my friend and colleague from PGi, Liz McClellan.  Liz talks about the importance of looking beyond the pedigree and accessing the candidate’s fit for the company.  Big thanks to Liz for her contribution to the Single Minded Proposition blog. — jp


When Hiring, Look at the Whole Candidate, Warts and All

by Liz McClellan, VP of Field Marketing, PGi


Hiring these days has been challenging. You would think that with so many people out of work it would be easier, but I haven’t found that to be the case. In fact, I’ve found it harder lately to find good candidates.

On the one hand, you have many overqualified folks willing to take lower-paying jobs and eager to get back to work. But that doesn’t always work to your benefit. When I go through the recruiting process, ultimately I’m trying to achieve the right team mix. And while someone might have the right pedigree on paper, the fit within the team and company environment is most important.

In the “old days” we used to rely on written or verbal references to help us screen prospective employees. Now we Google prospects and check their Twitter feeds to make sure that they haven’t done or said anything that would prevent us from hiring them. Read More


Here are some things being said at this very moment in marketing departments all around the globe:

We need some new ideas.

We have to think out of the box.

We have to break the paradigm.

What got us here won’t get us where we want to be.

Sound familiar? You’ve probably heard someone say something like this. Or maybe you’ve even said it yourself. Seems there’s universal acknowledgement that the current state is never good enough. You have to continue to change, grow, adapt, innovate.

Recognizing the need for new ideas is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out what to do about it. Read More

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