Brand Identity: Walk Your Talk

Never confuse your logo with your identity. A brand is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers,” according to the American Marketing Association. A brand’s identity, however, is the sum of attributes, values, purpose, strengths, and passions. A brand’s … Continued

Own Your Mark!

To trademark a thing is to attempt to make it timeless – and defensible. Trademarks, however, weren’t always around. For millennia, no one truly owned what they made. The Parliament of England passed the first trademark law in 1266 under the reign of Henry III, requiring all bakers to use a distinctive mark for the … Continued

When it comes to taglines, “JUST DO IT.”

David Ogilvy, the 20th century King of Pithy, wrote, “You can’t bore people into buying your product.” Wherever there is competition, there will be a need for brands to rise above the noise. Advertising, if nothing else, is the craft of fending off consumer boredom – logos, spokespersons (or spokesducks), and jingles, are all in … Continued

Samsung Invites You To #DoWhatYouCant

Samsung’s “Ostrich” commercial is a well-crafted metaphor, aimed squarely at inviting the hesitant, technology-timid consumer to embrace the Next Big Thing in home entertainment technology: Virtual Reality. The genius of the ad lies in its message, one that speaks to a common fear of the imagined isolation of the VR experience, and flips it. Samsung … Continued

What I learned about advertising by teaching it.

Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Last year, I was asked to teach an advertising course at a local university. I was excited for the chance to share what I know about the business and was also anxious to hearing students’ fresh perspectives. In particular, I was curious about the impact of technology on their … Continued

Mad Men comes to Seton Hall University

  One of the original Mad Men, Bernie Zlotnick (seated), was a guest speaker at John Hynes’ advertising class at Seton Hall University. Bernie worked for Young & Rubicam back in the Mad Men days and was part of the group who inspired the Mad Men TV series. He showed the students some of his … Continued


On 01 March 2016, coinciding with the opening of the Met Breuer in the former Whitney Museum on Madison Avenue, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art launched a sweeping change to the museum’s venerable brand identity. In announcing the change in February, the museum’s board described its rationale: Throughout its 146-year history, The Metropolitan Museum of … Continued