Jul 27

A True Crossover Hit

Today’s guest RepMan is by Peppercommer Laura Bedrossian.

funny-pictrues-when-youre-trying-to-sleep-but-you-know-theres-a-rare-pokemon-outsideTwo weeks ago I downloaded Pokémon Go solely based on two facts: 1) I am familiar with the brand; 2) I was drawn to understand how it functioned after I saw a friend playing.

The  game has a lot to offer users.

Badges/awards? Yes—I love winning things.

An avatar that I can create to kind of look like me? Right on.

Augmented reality? AWESOME.

My 12-year-old self, who once thought it was a game I was too mature to play, would be incredibly sad to know that my 30+ self has fallen for the strange, yet incredibly fun, allure of this new app. The marketing and the appeal of the game clearly works—I downloaded the game and am now playing alongside hordes of others, making Pokémon Go the biggest mobile game in U.S. history.

But now that we’ve downloaded, what’s next? Niantic and Nintendo are doing what most gaming apps do—get audiences to download the game for free and then make the real cash with add-ons and upgrades. But with that said, my colleague and fellow Pokémon Go player—Adam Giambattista—pointed out that while they do have add-ons, they seem to be the only free game without ads and the game doesn’t force you to upgrade to be able to continue playing.

Another colleague and fellow player (Lia LoBello), made another good point regarding the game: Walking around the city I’ve seen everyone from men in suits to teenage girls playing the game. I think it’s amazing how it appeals to the masses–how many other games, really can say that?

And, Lia’s right. On top of getting people to walk around, they also make landmarks (sometimes quite randomly—like the “graffiti wall” near my Astoria apartment) stops where one can “power up.” So, you get to discover things you may have simply walked by had you not been paying the game.

On the flip side, there are certainly a fair amount of issues with the game (bugs, server issues, people getting robbed and tricked with following in-game lures, people getting hit by cars when they aren’t paying attention, people like me who aren’t quite sure what to do past collecting the characters—will someone tell me how I use the gym?), but that’s not stopping players.

Maybe I’m expecting too much from a mobile app, but to keep people like me engaged and playing, I want to see more and do more. Unfortunately, Nintendo just announced yesterday that the newest game add-on (a physical accessory), which should have been released today and would enhance the gaming experience, is being pushed back to September. This comes on the tail end of news that after a huge boost, Nintendo stocks are dropping. Ouch.

Despite this, Nintendo did a great job of reviving an older brand and making it relevant to new audiences. But, what it actually did more effectively is open the door for other games, apps, and even marketers/brands to use AR. We’ve seen the appetite that audiences have for this type of functionality and interactivity, and now there’s no going back.

But, back to me. Will I still be playing by the time the new updates come out? Eh, it’s a long wait and my Millennial attention span doesn’t have it in me. I may also be too busy playing with the revival of another old Nintendo brand—the re-released NES.

Then again, I still don’t have that Pikachu yet . . .

 

Jul 25

HAD ENOUGH OF SPORTS CLICHÉS?

Today’s guest post is by Peppercommer Matt Lester.

'Are we watching business news or sports news?'

‘Are we watching business news or sports news?’

If I had a Brazilian Real (currently trading at about 3.25 to the dollar) for every commercial in the world that leaned on sports clichés like crutches, I’d be living the sweet life on Trancoso beach by now. So, for Gillette, a former client from my McCann International days, to get and keep my attention with an Olympic spot that overflows with athletic clichés is pretty astonishing.

As with thousands of spots from the likes of Nike, Adidas and now Under Armour, we are, of course, being wowed with amazing photography of Olympic athletes acting Olympian — soccer player Neymar Jr. from Brazil, swimmer Ning Zetao from China, cyclist Andy Tennant from the U.K., and decathlete Ashton Eaton from the U.S. — and beautiful scenery from around the globe, all adeptly shot by Daniel Bouquet. We’re already familiar with the physical and mental pain athletes must endure. But the addition of emotionally charged footage depicting both athletes and family members alike making sacrifices is commendable, if not particularly extraordinary. Thanks to the direction of Karim Huu Do, who threw in a touch of magical realism – á la the film “Pan Labyrinth” – you now have a wonderful illustration of the extreme challenges of training on an Olympic level. In fact, you’ve got something special going on.

But what really got my attention was the choice of the track “Unstoppable,” written and sung by Sia, along with rapper Pusha T of Clips and percussionist Olodum, and how it complemented the masterful editing by Gary Knight of Cut & Run. Together this created a tension and a narrative that celebrates the craft of commercial film making at the highest level. Once again, clichés abound in Sia’s lyrics, but I was still pulled further and further in as the energy of the film direction, music and editing shifted gears and accelerated.

Gillette’s “The best a man can get” was launched in January 1989 during Super Bowl XXIII. I later launched the campaign in Poland, Russia and China, so I’m intimately familiar with the challenges of the brand in general and their global marketing in particular. Although the line has served them extremely well over the years, some may say it’s a bit long in the tooth. It seems that what Gillette’s agency, Grey, is attempting to do here is give the line a self-consciously 2016 spin by adding to it: “The best a man can get… isn’t always pretty”…”But always worth the chase.” An obvious trying to associate the brand, and its now antique tagline, with the modern and energizing Brazilian Olympics. However, it does beg the question, If the best a man can get is not pretty, what is it? I believe the spot was produced for Brazil, so I’m wondering if there is fault in the reverse translation from Portuguese. What I remember of the essence of the brand is that Gillette was supposed to make men look and feel, if not pretty, at least well groomed. So, yes, it is very well produced, so I’ll forgive the prescriptive shaving shots jammed into the visual narrative, even overlook the products duct-taped to the ending. But, I just can’t forgive changing the meaning of a still valuable and persuasive tagline to justify a million dollars’ worth of sports clichés.

Although seductive, impressive production values will carry you only so far, then you need to say something really smart. There’s an oft used phrase that comes to mind here, that it was, “a long run for a short slide.” Oops, there goes another sports cliché…

Jul 21

Bronx Bomber Backers Bottom Out on Brains

Dumb-and-Dumber-To-Harry-and-LloydA just-released survey that compares and contrasts the grammatical skills of Major League Baseball fans placed the New York Yankees’ faithful in the penultimate position among the 30 MLB teams.

Grammarly examined 3,000 comments posted to each MLB team’s blog to determine grammar and spelling mistakes, sentence structure and punctuation errors in each comment. They then calculated the average number of errors per 100 words.

As it turns out, Yankee fans committed more errors than W., Cheney and Rumsfeld did in deciding Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Miami Marlins’ fans topped Grammarly’s list, possessing the most would-be Hemingway, Dickens and Roth wanna-be’s in the Bigs.

Marlins’ fans averaged only 1.39 mistakes per 100 words (or, MPW, if you prefer). I’ll bet that’s far fewer mulligans than the Del Boca Vista octogenarians commit in their daily golf outings before they head to the ballpark.

Turning to the dark side, St. Louis Cardinals’ fans finished dead last with 2.2 MPW’s. Such abuse of the English language may explain why St. Louis fans routinely referred to the great Mets teams of the late 1980’s as “pond scum”.

I never quite understood what pond scum was, or why the term itself was derogatory but, based upon the survey findings, I’ll bet the Cardinals’ fans didn’t either.

So, how did my fellow Metropolitans’ fans fare? Let’s just say their writing skills eerily echoed the team’s offensive performance this season: They finished 23rd.

And, what of the cutting-edge technology hubs? Well, Seattle Mariners’ fans finished a respectable 11th.

But, Giants and A’s fans finished 14th and 21st, respectively (suggesting that perhaps the Silicon Valley doesn’t attract the best and brightest after all). Or, maybe Google, Apple and Yahoo employees work such long hours that they simply don’t have the time, or energy, to even contemplate posting their comments on the team websites.

he baseball fan results are fascinating to be sure. But, frankly I’d be much more interested in see Grammarly compare the writing skills of Trump and Clinton supporters.

Based upon The Donald’s daily misspellings, horrific sentence structure and overall abuse of the English language in his Tweets, I have to believe his followers are, well, following his lead.

Trump/Pence may be intent on making America great again, but how can they do so when the top guy on the ticket terrorizes the English language?

Grammarly: Your country needs you.

Do a quick analysis, and let us know how wide a gulf exists between the presidential candidates’ respective supporters. I’m guessing it would rival the Grand Canyon.

But, hey, I’m a Mets fan; so what do I know?

 

 

Jul 19

JB, JC and me

TMT-Blog-Class-ClownIf I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “Safe to assume you were the class clown in grammar and high school”, I’d now be a self-proclaimed billionaire running for our nation’s highest office.

Truth be told, though, I was anything BUT the class clown in my adolescent years. In fact, I was arguably the introvert’s introvert (whatever that means). The sea change came when the Northeastern University co-op program threw me into the deep into of the pool. (As a radio co-host and interviewer it was sink or swim.)

So, let’s fast forward 30 years.

I decided to add a one-time only, stand-up comedy performance to my bucket list. I enrolled in the American Comedy Institute, studied under the tutelage of professional comedians for four successive nights and made my debut at Stand-Up New York on Amsterdam Avenue.

The MC that night happened to be Clayton Fletcher. Clayton made the mistake of telling this now egomaniacal, extrovert’s extrovert that I had potential, and invited me to perform the very next weekend on his show.

Thanks to my success mastering comedy skills (stand-up, improv, sketch, and scripted) and incorporating them into my firm’s management development programs AND selling it to clients to help them help their introverts to overcome the fear of public speaking, my Inc. editor recently asked me to name my earliest influencers.

After thinking it through for a nanosecond, I immediately thought of two people (one of whom was, and is, a legend at my high school and the other who was, and is, one of the greatest improvisational comedians of all time).

Let’s begin with influencer number one.

I attended a public high school in northern New Jersey that, shall we say, never, ever gave the Phillips Exeter Academy a run for its money in terms of graduating the best, and brightest, leaders of the future.

We were nonetheless blessed with several, world-class intellects and wits.

John Barbetta (aka Johnny B) was one of them). In fact, JB was in a league of his own when it came to injecting incisive, witty, dry humor into the most banal classroom conversations imaginable.

JB literally made my Advanced History class a must-attend event just to watch him engage in laugh out loud funny, but incredibly insightful, repartee with our late, great teacher, Cleo Notarides.

While I was the class introvert, I was gifted then, as now, with better than average listening and observational skills. So, I not only went to school on JB’s M.O., but noticed two remarkable side effects;

1.) John’s commentary made the most attractive young women in class laugh out loud. One, in fact, leaned over to me and whispered, “Don’t you just love John?”

2.) The semi-literate jocks who attended the very same class also laughed out loud at John’s back-and-forth with Ms. Notarides. I doubt they understood most of what was being said but, if the great looking girls found it funny, then the jocks followed suit).

Bottom-line: John was the original crossover HS hero.

My other huge influence was Johnny Carson.

I made a point of watching every single Tonight Show. I didn’t zero in on Carson’s monologues, which oft-times bombed but, rather, his amazing ability to engage with every type of guest ranging from the brilliant (Carl Sagan) to the brain dead (Carol Wayne). Note to Millennial and Gen Z readers: Please Google each name for further information).

JC’s true genius, though, lay in his mastery of non-verbal communications. Look at this one example:

The rest, as they say, is history. But, truth be told, I never would have gotten to where I am today if I hadn’t keenly observed and learned from JB and JC.

And, that’s no joke.

 

 

Jul 18

Fencing out Spammers

spammerI’ve found the single, best way to stop spammers in their tracks, throw them a wicked Jake Arrieta-like curve ball and have them immediately delete you from their data base is to:

1.) Confirm your need for their services, however lame they may be, 2.) include two of your colleagues to not only escalate the immediacy of your need for the spammer’s totally unneeded product or service but, critically, validate said need, and, 3.) further whet the spammer’s appetite by encouraging my peers to provide personal, oft-times hilarious examples of how truly desperate we are.

Two end results almost always occur:  1.) The spammer eventually catches on, and laughs along with us. (Alternatively, she gets angrier than Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz for being labeled “Little” and “Lyin'”, respectively, by a certain schoolyard bully-type running for president.) and 2.) we’re deleted from the spammer’s spam list.

So, reading from the initial spam down, here’s the Peppercomm Players latest creative effort, entitled, “Fencing Out Spammers” Enjoy:

From Corey:
Hi Steven
To quote Five Man Electrical Band, “Hay, what gives you the right?
To put up a fence to keep me out or keep mother nature in
If God was here, He’d tell you to your face, man, you’re some
kinda sinner”
Well, you are definitely some kinda sinner if you don’t use it for branding.  Fences are everywhere and many times they are not used to their full potential.
Fence Graphics, Dura Mesh – A great way to turn what is normally a boring looking security measure into a powerful branding tool. If you are not sure where to start, need some ideas, or just want to make some changes, give us a call.  800.790.7611.  We are BigSigns.com and are experts in making your projects come to life.  BIG is in our name and it is what we do with your brand.
We have the experience and knowledge to take your projects to the next level.
————————————————————————–
From: Steve Cody
Corey: Your note really struck a chord among all of us.
Dandy Stevenson, my assistant, was in a serious, long-term relationship with the lead singer of the Five Man Electrical Band and, indeed, is given credit by many rock historians as having been the inspiration for the song’s lyrics.
In addition to being a superb account manager, Samuel Bruno is our resident expert on all things religion-related, and could weigh-in as to whether, in fact, God would call someone who fenced out The Five Man Electrical Band or fenced in Mother Nature a sinner.
Lastly, and more to the point of your note, Ann Barlow represents a huge ag-chem company that has charged her with finding unique ways in which to break through the clutter (or, weeds in this case) and generate more brand awareness. I have to believe  fence graphics would be an ideal, and unexpected, way in which to reach ranchers and growers (note: the key messages would need to be differently worded in order to connect with each audience).
So, I’d appreciate your contacting Ann ASAP and, if the spirit (pun intended) should move you, to call or e-mail Dandy, who might provide you with further insight into the lyrics that you, in turn, could leverage to further strengthen your already powerful value proposition.
————————————————————————–
From: Ann Barlow
Think of the possibilities if Trump is elected and puts up his famous fence!! Our client could take over entire states of fencing!
————————————————————————–
From: Dandy Stevenson
Steve is correct and I have gone from being a little disturbed about my connection with Les, but I’ve learned to embrace the wild oats I sowed, and ate and smoked with my main man of five man.

Used to joke that he was 5 men in one. Actually, do you know he had six toes on both feet?

Well, he used to… during one especially crazy drug filled morning, I cut off both extra toes and mailed them to Berry Gordy. He had denied my dear Les’ plea for a session.
(And, actually, this toe incident was later inspiration for the toe dismemberment in the Big Lebowski.)

Corey, have I got stories.   How many toes do YOU have ?

——————————————————————–

Despite our best efforts to fence out the sign salesman, he actually believed us, and is passing along the “lead” to another salesman. C’est la vie.

That said, I do believe we’ve uncovered this spammer’s true calling in life: His whip-smart rhetoric in tandem with a razor-sharp analysis clearly qualifies him to be a delegate at this week’s Republican National Convention.

Jul 14

Marketing Ménage â Trois

Today’s guest post is by Peppercommer Matt Lester. 

Marketing101 InfidelityA depressed, single guy in search of something to upend the numbing dullness of his daily grind has his cute-girl-radar light up on a bus. A bored couple seeking a cure for their bedroom banality stumbles into a threesome at a party. After showing her indifference to her mate, a wife turns to a quickie fix on a business trip.

If these were the first few episodes of a hot cable TV series, it might have made some sense to me. But, since they are the new campaign for the dating (cheating) site Ashley Madison, I’m left perplexed.

Whether or not I think the site itself is morally bankrupt, I’m going to look at this purely through a marketing and advertising lens. This campaign is, in a word, confusing. Also, depressing. And not simply because it’s selling infidelity. It’s because everyone in the series comes across as smarmy, self-conscious and either guilty, complacent or simply without merit as a human being. OK, maybe it is because they’re selling infidelity.

Production values and performances aside, I have a serious strategic problem with these spots. They make me wonder, If I’m an adulterer that can easily bag a cute girl on a bus with just a creepy glance, stumble into group sex at any random house party, or meet another fantasy, one-night-stand on any given business trip, why do I need this site? Maybe it can be fixed by adding a V.O. at the end that says, “Since you’re not that guy (or girl), register with Ashley Madison to finally bring all your cheating fantasies to fruition”.

About a year ago, crisis had found the brand like a tenacious private dick overpaid by a divorce lawyer in a shiny suit. A hacking group outed a large part of their clientele by posting a database of all their site users. Not a good thing for a brand so reliant on anonymity and discretion. Now add the discovery that the lonely guys talking affairs on the site’s chat lines were actually being counter-flattered by fembots. A cheater being accepted, and not judged by another cheater, has a modicum of solace. Not being judged by a robot is the equivalent of not being judged by a tuba.

According to Fast Company, the new CEO, Rob Segal, who is responsible for these new ads, says they are meant to celebrate “excited moments that exist outside of monogamy and everyday monotony… that moment when you first see someone that excites you.” Rob goes on to say that they are “tasteful” and “respectful” and “a little more elegant.” Perhaps a little more elegant than their old campaign, “Life’s Short. Have an Affair.” That was flat-footed, to be sure, but it didn’t shy away from the brand purpose – the ick-factor that separated them from other dating sites. This new campaign seems to be so taciturn about their differentiator – to the point that there is no differentiator at all.

This brand celebrates promiscuity, encourages us to bend, even ignore the traditional bonds and rules of matrimony, not to mention, the heart. Shouldn’t they be the ones to just go for it, celebrate openness, sexual adventurousness, worldliness. That it’s, OK. That, yes, life is short, so indulge yourself.

Now tell that to your spouse when you get busted.

Jul 12

Is Wall Street Aiding and Abetting Childhood obesity?

obesity-b1
The recent announcement that Twinkies, the late, great brand best known for its ungodly amount of empty calories, would be issuing an IPO sure caught this blogger by surprise.

It seems that two private equity firms saw the potential in revitalizing the iconic brand and now believe they’ll make an absolute killing when the IPO occurs.

Ironically, at almost the precise moment that the planned IPO was announced, The New York Times Science Section published an article headlined: “The fight against obesity begins early”.

In a nutshell, the Times article detailed the findings of two new research studies that linked a high body mass index in children to an increased risk of developing colon cancer and suffering an early stroke as adults.

One would think such findings might give pause to the masters of the universe on Wall Street, especially considering the backlash against “Big Food” and the role it plays in fattening up America and helping our health care costs to skyrocket.

Au contraire. As you’ll read in the Fortune piece, the new owners of the company that will be selling Twinkies along with Ding-Dongs and other artery clogging goodies, are positively bullish about the retro brand’s growth potential.  Childhood obesity be damned.

And, that’s so sad.

It seems the expression “Greed is good” is not only alive and well, but expanding faster than the waistlines of kids who already inhale too much crap (and will now be able to add Twinkies to mom’s shopping list).

As the cartoon character, Pogo, famously said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

 

Jul 06

Well, that’s a horse of a different color

crispusI’m surprised there hasn’t been more media discourse (Right and Left) about a highly controversial opinion piece published in the July 4th NY Times, headlined: “A Declaration of Fear.”

In the piece, Robert G. Parkinson, an assistant professor of history at Binghamton University and author of: “The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution,” posits the view that the Declaration of Independence was not the document we believe it is. Rather, he says it was “…more about racial fear and exclusion as it was about inalienable rights.”

Parkinson says historians have judged the historic document on its famous preamble rather than the 27 accusations against Britain’s King George that follow it.

He says the 27th, and final, accusation is the most salient to his discussion. It reads: “He (George III) has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

Parkinson says, “In the context of the 18th century, ‘domestic insurrections’ refers to rebellious slaves.”

In fact, Jefferson fully intended to include an extended attack in the Declaration against King George for forcing slavery on unwitting colonists. Alas, other members of the Continental Congress cut out all references to slavery as “piratical warfare” and an “assemblage of horrors” and left only the sentiment that King George was “now exciting those very people to rise in arms against us.”

Had Jefferson’s original words stood, says Parkinson, “The Declaration could have been what we yearn for it to be, a statement of universal rights, but it wasn’t.”

That 27th argument in the document was critical because, says Parkinson, in the first 15 months of the revolution, reports about the role African-Americans and Native-Americans would play in the coming conflict were THE most widely discussed news (my emphasis, not his). And, British officials did use armed African-Americans and Native-Americans to quell the revolution.

Rather than advocating for equal rights for all men, Parkinson says Adams, Franklin and Jefferson used every incident to promote their views, and whip up a very real frenzy of fear that armed African-Americans and Native-Americans would become heavily involved in fighting the Colonists.

As a result, the framers of the declaration wrote the words that clearly stated “…some people belong as proper Americans and other do not.” Those words have marked American history ever since, he says.

In closing his argument, Parkinson said that the many African-Americans and Indians who DID support the revolution were no match against the idea that they were all merciless savages and domestic insurrectionists.

So, he says, Americans have operated from the very beginning on the assumption that blacks and Indians don’t belong in this republic.

Talk about revisionist history (as well as timely commentary on what we’re reading, hearing and seeing every day)! It occurs to me that Parkinson’s words strike at the very heart of our continuing seismic divides.

That said, I never would have guessed the Declaration of Independence laid the framework for the very real hate and fear that permeates America today.

In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever again view the image and reputation of the Declaration of Independence quite the same.

How about you?

 

 

Jul 05

Be worried. Be very, very worried.

stupid-peopleI have some very good news for you oft-maligned Millennials. You, and your cohorts, come across as a combination of Einstein, Edison and Marie Curie all rolled into one after witnessing a most disturbing video survey that tested the current events knowledge of Gen Z students at Texas Tech University (home of the Red Raiders, BTW).

You’re about to witness a video that will dumbfound you. In fact, you’ll be beyond shocked by the dumbed down intellectual prowess of Gen Z students attending the university (Note: These Gen Zers are NOT Phys. Ed. majors. As you’ll hear, each is pursuing a serious major that, upon graduation, will position them to one day land a position of power (god forbid).

But, before you recoil in disgust from the video, I first want to share some pertinent Gen Z vs. Millennial statistics for your consideration (Note: Anyone born after the year 1995 is considered a member of Gen Z. Millennials were born between the years 1980-1995).

So, some quick comparisons between the two competing generations, courtesy of some firm named A. Decco, whose professionals interviewed some 1,001 seniors at various colleges and universities. FYI, A. Decco’s tagline is, “Better work. Better Life.” After witnessing the video, though, I suggest A. Decco precede their first two calls to action with “Better Education”. There’s no way the current group of Gen Zers will achieve either of the other two life goals without the first.

Anyway, both generations’ top priorities are:

  • Landing their first job (Here’s hoping the Zers leave this video at home when they sit down for that first interview.)
  • Both aspire to be financially stable (31 percent of Millennials and 28 percent of GenZers, respectively)
  • And, here’s the kicker (which is hard to argue): More than a third of Gen Zers feel their college hasn’t done a good job preparing them for the future. (Lord knows if I toiled for one of Texas Tech’s competitors, I would simply show this video over and over at recruiting fairs and tell parents, “Hey, we’re beyond mediocre, but we’re not this bad. If you’re going to choose to mortgage your kids’ future and go deeply into debt, at least choose a marginal school like ours whose students might have some remote shot at future success.”).

Anyway, enough suspense.

Kick back, click the link and take a look at the young men and women who will one day soon be leading America (click here to watch).

Oh, and if the Donald (and/or his crack campaign team) have a chance to view it, they might want to amend their rallying cry to read, “Let’s make America semi-literate again.”

 

Jun 29

Beating a Dead Horse

I’m a huge proponent of lifelong learning and believe one can never learn enough about any given subject under the sun.

But, when does endless repetition of the same central guidelines undercut the stimulus-response an otherwise well-intentioned author is hoping to attain?

I call your attention to exhibit A: This recent post from career.im.

The headline reads: “10 things you must not do in an interview.”

I hate to say this, but even a high school freshman already knows such beyond-basic suggestions as:

  1. Don’t show up late
  2. Don’t act desperate
  3. Don’t be unprepared (a rather awkward phrasing to be sure).

I’ll spare you from the seven other tips but, suffice it to say, they’re beyond basic. So, when does repeating the same old, same old go from being helpful to, frankly, becoming rather insulting?

I think I speak on behalf of all potential job-seekers when I say they yearn for insights that will improve their interviewing skills and enhance their chances of landing a dream job. But, in my opinion, the career.im material belongs in a kindergarten primer rather than on a frequently visited website. I also think it speaks volumes about their image, reputation and stab in the dark at industry leadership.

Repeating age-old mantras is the antithesis of thought leadership.