Fun & Humor

Take a break for some fun and humor.

  1. Technology & Innovation
This cartoon is partly inspired by a classic quote attributed to David Ogilvy: “The trouble with market research is that people don’t think what they feel, they don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say.” That’s not to say that that market research isn’t important. But directly asking consumers what they […]
  1. Media & Marketing
In 1976, Tom Waits released his classic song “Step Right Up”, a hilarious rant on the state of advertising. It’s an anthem to all the bad marketing clichés of the time with lyrics about “year-end clearances” and “50% off” messages jockeying for attention. He closes with a line that inspired this cartoon:  “The large print […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
“We approach the integration of AI with a mixture of excitement and caution,” Kate Seymour, marketing director at CMYK, said recently.  She captured I think how many businesses are thinking about AI. She went on: “While we recognise the vast potential AI holds for enhancing our own marketing strategies and improving the services we offer […]
  1. CPG: Food
I’ve always been fascinated with how marketing teams make decisions, particularly how they try to tap into consumer insights. Any form of consumer research is an inexact science.  Focus group glass can distort insights like a fun house mirror.  It can easily be shaped by the team’s own biases and politics. Quotes can be cherry-picked […]
  1. Data & Insights
I recently met Jono Alderson, former head of SEO at Yoast, at Marketing Festival in Brno. He gave a fascinating talk on the state of content marketing. Several of his observations resonated with me, including the insularity of using the same search engine optimization checklists as everyone else as a starting point to create anything. […]
  1. Department: Nonfood
The quality of marketing leads is an age-old sales gripe, captured best by Glengarry Glen Ross, the classic 1984 David Mamet play turned 1992 movie. Salesman Shelley Levene is constantly complaining that the leads are “weak”, and the focus of the plot is the question of who stole the golden “Glengarry” leads. In B2B marketing, […]
  1. Department: Food
The future of search is ask.  The future of results is answer. I like how Carl Holden at Zellus Marketing described the shift in how we’re all going to be navigating the Internet: “Since the turn of the millennium, the verb “search” has dominated our interaction with the internet—inputting keywords into a box and sifting […]
  1. Corporate Strategy
One of my earliest cartoons (back in January 2003) showed a large gathering of people socializing at a Super Bowl party and a guy saying “Time to come back! The commercials are starting again!” The Super Bowl is the one time every year when ordinary people actively seek out advertising.  I found a reference to […]
  1. Department: Nonfood
“Our ‘Aha moments’ are literally quiet brain signals.” I like this observation from Dr. David Rock I came across in a NYT article on the impact of modern distractions. With modern work culture wired for always-on communication, finding the space and time for “Aha moments” is a challenge.  We have to be deliberate if we […]
  1. Media & Marketing
I recently stumbled across this observation on innovation from Ger Perdisatt of Microsoft: “Often, companies talk a good game about innovation, but when these aspirations bump up against the realpolitik of running corporate organizations, there is typically only one winner: the status quo.” The pressure of the status quo is strong.  Champions of innovation have […]
  1. Operations & Supply Chain
“Free Returns” has become the new “Free Shipping,” which is creating a massive logistical headache for retailers, particularly in the weeks after Christmas.   This year, shoppers in the US returned 14.5% of the items they purchased, valued at $743 billion.  That’s nearly double the return rates of pre-pandemic 2019.  One third of shoppers now […]
  1. CPG: HBC
I’ve been thinking lately about an observation from Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard: “Advertising has a bad reputation as a content crap trap …  “In this digital age we’re producing thousands of new ads, posts, tweets, every week, every month, every year. We eventually concluded all we were doing was adding to […]
  1. Department: Nonfood
We’re nearing the twenty-fifth anniversary of Seth Godin’s prescient book, Permission Marketing. Published in early 1999, Permission Marketing set the stage for modern marketing. Many of the marketing tools, channels, and technology have changed or evolved in the past quarter-century (although email has surprisingly remained a fixture), but the ideal of Permission Marketing is as […]
  1. Corporate Strategy
I’ve drawn a number of cartoons over the years on the evolving Chief Marketing Officer role, which is partly a proxy for the ever-changing job of marketing in general. Long gone are the days when CMOs were just in charge of “marketing comms” and marketing was dismissively described as “the coloring-in department.”  Today’s Chief Marketing […]
  1. Department: Beverage
One of the mythical holy grails of marketing is to be able to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.  Easier said than done. Despite all the focus on customer journeys, we’re still operating in the dark on what customers are actually looking for, much of the time.   Even […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
A recent survey from Funnel and Ravn Research found that 64% of marketers fear AI will replace their jobs in the next five years, and three in four worry that AI will impact their pay or value. Whether or not we’re feeling that fear ourselves, members of our teams likely are. That’s a key factor […]
  1. Channel: Mass
Kevin Jordan-Deen, SVP at Colgate-Palmolive, encouraged me last week to re-imagine and re-create a “Share of Wallet” cartoon I originally drew in 2009 during the “Great Recession”.   When I drew the original cartoon, I was GM for the recently launched Method brand in the UK.  Much of the recessionary marketing climate at the time […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
On Friday, Professor Scott Galloway released ProfG.ai, a “digital twin” trained on his writing and capable of answering questions in his voice.   That’s just one of many experiments with different models on how generative AI can impact the future of work.   A few weeks ago, BCG released the results of a fascinating Harvard-led […]
  1. Shopper & Customer
In 2005, A.G. Lafley, CEO of the world’s largest advertiser, Procter & Gamble, introduced the concept of “moments of truth” to the marketing world.  As he wrote in the P&G Annual Report that year: “The best brands consistently win two moments of truth. The first moment occurs at the store shelf, when a consumer decides […]
  1. CPG: Food
Marketers are the first to get bored by their own marketing.   Particularly when a new leader joins a brand team, there’s a common bias in marketing that what will drive growth is to change everything everywhere all at once.  Given the revolving door of many marketing roles, the cycle can repeat with each leadership […]
  1. CPG: HBC
At the Cannes Lions a few months ago, Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar and CFO Sachin Mehra gave a joint talk on the CMO/CFO relationship called “Happy Tension.”  Raja described the typical dynamic this way: “It’s shocking that less than 40% of the finance people think that marketers can make sound commercial decisions, leaving the remaining […]
  1. Department: Nonfood
Dwight D. Eisenhower reportedly prioritized his work life by classifying tasks as important or not important, and urgent or not urgent.  The resulting two-by-two graph became known as The Eisenhower Matrix and it influenced a lot of thinking in work productivity.  We generally spend far too much on work that is urgent but not important. […]
  1. Corporate Strategy
Net Promoter Score (NPS) turns 20 later this year.   What Bain consultant Fred Reichheld first introduced in a HBR article in December 2003 is now ubiquitous. The “how likely are you to recommend” question is asked endlessly after customer experiences, large and small.  The metric that this question generates is now tracked by two-thirds […]
  1. Data & Insights
I love the analogy of ChatGPT that Hubspot CTO Dharmesh Shah shared at the start of the year: “Netscape was to the Internet what ChatGPT is to Artificial Intelligence. “The Internet existed before Netscape. But the browser helped millions of mere mortals connect the dots on what could be done, and dream of what could […]
  1. Corporate Strategy
Nearly 10 years ago, I drew one of my most popular cartoons that showed a Peeping Tom looking through the window of a living room at a couple. One says, “Don’t worry, it’s only marketers collecting our personal data so they can create more relevant advertising for us.” Third-party cookies have been at the center […]
  1. Corporate Strategy
“In some organizations, just the expectations of CMOs are just so out of whack with the reality of what a CMO can really deliver on the timelines, and with the resources and with the headwinds that they have… “I think that in some organizations, you’re just being set up to fail, right?” Gartner analyst Chris […]
  1. Media & Marketing
Meta debuted their own version of Twitter a couple weeks ago called Threads.  The launch created a fire drill for many a marketing team, deciding whether to jump in and if so, in what way. Part of the alarm was caused by the record user growth of the app.  At 100 million users in five […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
I’ve drawn a few different cartoons over the years riffing on Geoffrey Moore’s 1991 classic, “Crossing the Chasm.”  I once had the opportunity to give him the original of one of these when we spoke at the same Silicon Valley conference. Given the faddish nature of conventional wisdom in marketing, I particularly appreciate models like […]
  1. Media & Marketing
“Price promotions are a drug. They are the crack cocaine of marketing. I hope we’ve seen an end to the senseless promotions that we’ve seen.” Les Binet, group head of effectiveness at adam&eveDDB, shared these thoughts at last year’s IPA’s Global Effectiveness conference.   Much of the spike in sales that brands see during a […]
  1. Media & Marketing
The WSJ had a great feature last week on Chipotle and the “Keithadilla.”  It was a fascinating case study on the state of innovation in the age of TikTok trends. In late 2022, a TikTok influencer named Keith Lee reinterpreted the Chipotle Quesadilla as an off-menu hack that included a DIY sauce combining Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette […]
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  1. ESG
  2. Data & Insights
  3. Operations & Supply Chain
Using event-driven architecture (EDA), retailers must link essential data at speed and scale throughout their ecosystems near and far to come to grips with now essential environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting in three key areas. 1. Dead Heading — Optimizing Transportation/Emissions on Every Journey When it comes to transportation within the retail sector, any […]
  1. Technology & Innovation
  2. Channel: Dollar/Value
  3. Channel: Ecommerce & Digital
  4. Channel: Grocery
  5. Department: Food
  6. Corporate Strategy
  7. Media & Marketing
  8. Shopper & Customer
  9. Technology & Innovation
  10. Trends & External Forces
  11. Retail Operations
  12. Merchandising
  13. Stores & Formats
It recently emerged that Amazon’s Just Walk Out offering is being dropped from Amazon Fresh stores. However, it’s not checkout-free tech that’s failing, it’s the fact that Amazon’s checkout free solution doesn’t work, especially in grocery retailers, argues Will Glaser, Founder and CEO at Grabango. In the dynamic grocery retail landscape, a transformative wave is […]

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