Benefits vs. Features

The benefit of TiVo, as originally communicated, was that consumers would never have to miss their favorite TV shows because this programmable device could record 140 hours of programming.  Guess what?  Everybody except those early adopters said, “I’ve already got a VCR.”  Even though VCRs are famously difficult to program,...

/ April 28, 2004

“Roots” too racy for TV today?

Janet Jackson. Howard Stern. And “Roots”? Yes, it’s possible that the TV miniseries of the 1970s could be flagged for indecency if it ran today, because it shows “topless African American women and childbirth in its opening scenes,” according to an item in this week's Television Week. Hopefully, this tide...

/ April 23, 2004

Wrong Skin Color + Average Record = Disappointing Sales

A recent story in the New York Daily News talks about the difficulty that singer Kelis has had in cracking the rock barrier. That is, listeners still don’t consider her a “rock” artist, even though she has many rock influences that show up in her music. I will not dismiss...

/ April 23, 2004

Welcome to The Spark!

The Spark explores the sometimes nutty, but always fascinating, relationship between Marketing, Brand-Building and Pop Culture. What happens when marketing plans, ideas and efforts meet the fluid reality of pop culture? Popular culture is the marketplace where consumers collectively manifest needs, desires, likes and dislikes. And, yes, figuring it all...

/ April 23, 2004