Show Highlight

Past Episodes

  • Thursday February 16, 2017


    Small Move, Big Gain: An Encore Presentation

    This episode explores how small moves can result in huge business gains. While much of the business world spends its time looking for the big idea, many companies enjoy massive results with tiny moves and subtle tweaks. We’ll look at how a hit movie that was turned down by every studio in town was finally sold thanks to a small change in the way it was pitched, how Obama used a small tactic to beat John McCain, and how broccoli made a small move to become popular during the infamous OJ Simpson trial.

    Posted: Feb 16, 2017 12:00 AM ET
    Last Updated: Feb 17, 2017 10:04 AM ET
    Listen 27:32
  • Thursday February 09, 2017

    Heart Attack Grill

    Lead Balloons: When Negative Brand Names Work

    This week, we analyze brand names that should never have worked. While most companies strive for positive names, others succeed with negative ones. Names that suggest the opposite of what the company is offering, or even risk offending the very customers it hopes to attract. We'll look at a band named after one of the biggest air disasters of the 20th century, a restaurant that proudly tries to clog its customers' arteries (and has on occasion) and a rental car company that promises junkers. It's a fine line between memorable and detrimental.

    Posted: Feb 09, 2017 12:00 AM ET
    Last Updated: Feb 10, 2017 12:20 AM ET
    Listen 27:32
  • Wednesday February 01, 2017

    Super Bowl LI

    Judgment Day: Super Bowl Advertising

    This week, we take a look at the biggest day of the year for the advertising industry: The Super Bowl. The only sporting event where viewers pay as much attention to the commercials as they do the game. We'll analyze a tiny but ambitious brand that bet its entire marketing budget on one single Super Bowl commercial, a website that created a purposefully banned ad to generate free buzz and a company that created the most famous Super Bowl commercial of all time one year, then aired another the next that was such a flop, they sent the ad agency packing. That's why they call it "Judgment Day" - because careers and accounts hang in the balance on Super Bowl Sunday.

    Posted: Feb 01, 2017 6:27 PM ET
    Last Updated: Feb 02, 2017 12:13 AM ET
    Listen 27:32
  • Thursday January 26, 2017

    Tiffany box

    What A Difference A Difference Makes: Standing Out In The Marketplace

    This week, we look at brands that separate themselves from the herd. In the world of marketing, standing out is the most critical thing a company can do. Having a distinct personality gives shoppers a reason to remember a brand and a reason to buy. We'll analyze a wrestler who used a delicate flower to intimidate his opponents, a single eyepatch that gave one company a $28M bump in sales and a motorcycle brand that succeeded by taking the fun out of the ride.

    Posted: Jan 26, 2017 3:51 PM ET
    Last Updated: Jan 26, 2017 11:05 AM ET
  • Wednesday January 18, 2017

    Target Canada

    Passport Revoked: When Brands Fail Internationally

    In this episode, we explore why some big brands fail when they attempt to expand internationally. It’s always interesting when massive companies with marketing firepower move into a new country and end up packing up their tents and going back home. Sometimes those companies succeed in other countries, but one just trips them up. We’ll look at how Home Depot and eBay originally struck out in China, why Germany didn’t take well to Walmart and we’ll dive deep into the real reasons Target failed in Canada. Amazing success stories at home, failures abroad. Hope you’ll join us.

    Posted: Jan 18, 2017 9:19 PM ET
    Last Updated: Jan 19, 2017 10:55 AM ET
  • Thursday January 12, 2017

    Ken Bone

    Unforeseen Circumstances: How Companies Are Affected By Chance

    This episode explores what happens to brands when a completely unexpected event occurs. Most companies tightly control every aspect of a brand - but occasionally, an unforeseen circumstance rears its head. And it’s always interesting to see how the company reacts and what happen to their business as a result. We’ll look at what happened to Ford Broncos after the OJ Simpson slow-speed car chase, what happened to Red Lobster after Beyonce gave it a sexy callout in a song, and what happened to James Bond when JFK gave the books a ringing endorsement. The Podcast for this show was recorded at the first ever live performance of Under The Influence at the Hot Docs Podfest. We do a Q&A with the record after. It was fun.

    Posted: Jan 12, 2017 12:00 AM ET
    Last Updated: Jan 15, 2017 11:21 PM ET