Hot Shots - Firey Little Rants On Marketing

Big brands and marketing experts make mistakes constantly. Millions are spent on lousy advertising ideas. Experts tell you branding isn’t for you. Hot Shots is here to have a few laughs at their expense, and reveal profitable marketing secrets in the process.
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Mar 13, 2018

There is a right way to get people interested and intrigued and motivated. And there's a way to not do it. And having just heard a way to not do it--creating a waste of the advertiser's money--it seemed like a good idea to look at a fundamental way to make a good advertising message happen. 

Mar 5, 2018

How does a small business brand represent itself as a good community member in its advertising without coming across as opportunistic or disingenuous? Even in the mighty and (mighty expensive) Super Bowl, there are commercials designed not to sell, but to make the brand look like a winner for the community, and Budweiser has offered a sterling example of how to make it happen using a simple story told well--and the example is scalable to any advertiser in any media. 

Feb 26, 2018

Is there anything quite as ridiculous as the Bud light "Dilly, Dilly" campaign? Methinks not. However, it's also a juggernaut, having entered into the zeitgeist--with its apex so far being the epic, production-intensive Super Bowl commercial. But the silliness belies some incredibly smart thinking from the top--and some useful takeaways for anyone who's in the position of making marketing decisions. 

Feb 19, 2018

Now that the dust has settled, we finally get around to talking about Super Bowl commercials--beginning with what may be the single quietest, most potent and sexy sales message in a typically unsexy style of advertising. It also comes with a takeaway that is utterly relevant to the no-budget, small-business advertiser. 

Feb 13, 2018

Would you be willing to put it all on the line and work without a net? Because that's what couple entrepreneurs do. They risk their careers and their marriages by going into business together. And at Slow Burn, we've decided to develop a podcast specifically about these people, telling their stories as inspiring tales of success (or caution, depending on who you are) in CoupleCo: Working With Your Spouse For Fun & Profit. Here, we talk about the first three couples profiled in interviews that are full of laughs and wisdom. 


Feb 5, 2018

In the wake of the Super Bowl, we here at the screed ignore the commercials for at least a week and allow the dust to settle. Instead, this week, we are telling the story of a friend who may or may not have had his work plagiarized by a state department of tourism, and how his story underscores the challenges faced by writer and non-writers alike when it comes to creating good advertising. 

Jan 29, 2018

During the last two weeks, in an effort to identify for a radio creative director how to find more affordable training for his creative staff, new info has been thrown into the mix that may have painted me into a corner--but also may have provided some unexpected benefits in the effort to explain how to create better radio copywriting. And again, this is important info not just for those in radio, but for anyone interested in creating better advertising. 

Jan 22, 2018

Last time, the podcast was titled, "They All Laughed When I Tried To Write Better Advertising..." It was the first part of an effort to address a professional creative director's query about how to create better, more effective advertising with his team. In pondering this follow up, we realize, we may have missed something: the beginning. What is it that is required of any good copywriter who wants to create better advertising--and we hate to say this, but it's not found at a seminar. 

Jan 15, 2018

In the first installment of answering listeners' big, burning questions about branding and marketing, we address a professional creative director's query about how to create better, more effective advertising with his team. Training has become expensive and hard to find. Well, we give him an answer--and suspect it's not exactly the one he was looking for...

Jan 8, 2018

On Christmas Eve, we lost a legend. And in his wake, we leaves a legacy of smart, funny advertising underpinned by an extraordinary degree of thought, intellect and a willingness to share. 

Jan 2, 2018

REPRISE FROM JANUARY 2017: A fan from Romania asks how to brand a business--and says that many people say small businesses should not brand at all, but do only direct marketing--which makes us CRAZY. We review what brand really is and give a case study of a solopreneur whose business exploded by branding. 

Dec 25, 2017

Ready to learn something interesting about small business in the middle of somewhere? On this Boxing Day, it seemed like a good idea to wish a Happy Boxing Day to any folks who celebrate it. But we have scant few readers and listeners who do celebrate it. However, in figuring out all this info, we learned something really interesting, small-business-wise, about a spot that might be considered the middle of nowhere...

Dec 18, 2017

Once again, a brilliant example of big-business brand advertising demonstrates the power of artful storytelling in a way that's useful and informative for the owner of a small-business brand. 

Dec 12, 2017

It's that time of the year when Best Of lists are being compiled, and advertising is no exception. And one of the year's "best" advertisements is a striking example for the small business owner. But...of what?

Dec 5, 2017

Yes, we're talking about beer branding this week, and a likely publicity stunt by a craft brewer that ostensibly drew the ire of a big mega brewery--and provides a few laughs and a couple of good lessons for the small business owner...

Nov 27, 2017

As we continued our Napa tour as part of the CoupleCo interviews, The Fabulous Honey Parker and I came across an interesting and dynamic couple who operate a brewery. And they produce extraordinary brews that you may never get to taste. And that's OK. It's your loss, yes. But their scarcity is one of the keys to their success as a brand...

Nov 14, 2017

Visiting the largely unscathed Napa Valley in the wake of the fires (and finding that it really is open for business), we had a chance to sit down with a couple who makes fabulous wine, whose business is a product of love and balance, and who demonstrates how the love for a business and the power of a cult brand can really make big things happen. 

Nov 7, 2017

Napa after the fires has provided none of the apocalyptic strife predicted by so many in the wake of the Bad News about big fires. But what it did offer us was an interesting and cautionary tale of two brands and now you can get everything else right--but if you get Thing One wrong, you're basically circling the drain.

Oct 30, 2017

The news media may not have as its goal the undermining of an entire region's brand and livelihood--but the 24-hour all-devastation news cycle can do it--and has done it again. We almost became victims of it ourselves until someone told us we needed to get there ASAP and bring our tourist dollars. 

Oct 24, 2017

Yes, it might sound crazy. but it's worth considering: What is your personal brand as a customer. And there may be no better place to examine the benefits of that than in the milieu of contemporary air travel. 

Oct 9, 2017

"Social media advertising doesn't work!" That's a ridiculous statement when you consider how many people DO make it work. What doesn't work is the same thing that doesn't work across all media platforms--including traditional advertising platforms. And the fixing it is very, very simple. Want to know how? 

Oct 3, 2017

Velcro has created a hilarious and valuable lesson not only in trademark law, but in the value of creating a movement--even a fake one--to build a brand and the tribe. 

Sep 25, 2017

We here at Slow Burn Marketing love a breakthrough brand. We didn't expect to find one providing relief for victims of hurricane Irma. But it's there, and it's doing "super good..."

Sep 18, 2017

Brand focus is a brilliant thing. We argue that it is essential. And, we are huge fans on intense, laser focus--especially when it comes to the restaurant business. Single-item restaurants are fascinating. But there's a Chinese fast-casual chain with 6,000 stores that has just opened their first store in the United States. It sounds like they're having a challenge. What can the small-business brand learn from seemingly simple mistakes being made by an enormous Chinese brand opening up the Southern California market?

Sep 11, 2017

The alleged creator of a hugely successful national promotional campaign died this week--or did he? He died--but was he the creator? Maybe he was ultimately in charge of it. But it doesn't really matter--because his tenure at a top broadcasting network is reflective of successes and failures at every level--and provides a cautionary tale you can take with you into profitable small-business branding.

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