Dr. Diane Hamilton's Blog

2010 Advertising Successes and Failures

As the year comes to an end, many marketing departments are looking back at the year’s results to see if their plans were successful.  With the new year and the Super Bowl just around the corner, advertisers are analyzing what worked and what didn’t. 

One of my favorite ad campaigns was the Old Spice Guy.   I also enjoyed the Snickers Betty White ad.  The Wall Street Journal had a nice article about “The Best and the Busts” advertisements from 2010.  This article mentioned the Old Spice and Betty White ads.  I was curious as to the success of Old Spice specifically, as that was a product I had previously associated with older men and drug stores. According to their article, “Since February, the initial video has drawn over 25 million views on YouTube.  More important for Procter & Gamble, the Old Spice brand saw sales double from mid-June to mid-July versus the prior year, a period when the social-media part of the ad campaign heated up.”

Not all campaigns have been as successful.  Some failures that were listed in the WSJ article include:

  • PepsiCo’s Crunch Time Sun Chips Ad
  • The Nike Tiger Woods Apology
  • Gap’s No-Go-Logo

In the marketing courses I teach, we often discuss advertising.  For current advertising examples of how to create a specific effect, I like a site called Adcracker.com.  Check out some examples of advertisement styles by clicking the following links:

Dramatic Conflict

Problem Solution




Employee Brand

Reasons Why

TTL 645 | Creating Online Engagement

Creating Healthy Online Engagement With Audiences With David Meerman and Dealing With Failure With Fred Colantonio

Even in the age of instant connection and communication, many companies find it difficult to communicate organically. Connecting with online audiences is an indispensable skill that every company needs to have in its toolkit in order to keep their audiences engaged with them. David Meerman Scott, an acclaimed business strategist and the author of Fanocracy: Turning Fans Into Customers and Customers Into Fans, sits down with Dr. Diane Hamilton and discusses how companies can create and maintain healthy online engagement with their customers.

Failure is a subject that we, as a society, have become averse to because it’s such a difficult thing to feel and talk about. But though we find it difficult to accept, it is also the root and origin of innovations and incoming success. Fred Colantonio, a trained professional criminologist who investigates behavioral patterns within groups of people, gets to the nitty-gritty of how you should be dealing with failure, and how processing it in a healthy way is the best way for you to turn it into something more.
Continue reading “Creating Healthy Online Engagement With Audiences With David Meerman and Dealing With Failure With Fred Colantonio”

TTL 603 | How Successful Leaders Behave

Revolutionizing Advertising with Aaron Itzkowitz and How Successful Leaders Behave with Harrison Monarth

People love being rewarded, and with software like Jinglz, you can get rewards by simply noticing an ad. Aaron Itzkowitz, the CEO, and Founder of Jinglz has extensive experience in technology management and in growing traditional and start-up businesses to profitability. He shares what his software can bring to companies who are seeking noticeability and talks about what differentiates it from the gamification of advertising. Know more about how other amazing apps like Verus Media and Rewardz Shop link with Jinglz to identify how the audience react and interact with ads.

Understanding a leadership’s executive presence is critical towards making or breaking a career. Harrison Monarth, the CEO and Founder of Gurumaker, talks about how successful leaders behave. Having worked with 60 Fortune 500 companies, he reveals how he goes about coaching their CEOs and respected leaders. He also talks about the aspects that are holding people back from excelling, such as communication and lack of self-awareness.
Continue reading “Revolutionizing Advertising with Aaron Itzkowitz and How Successful Leaders Behave with Harrison Monarth”

TTL 001 | Mobile Apps

Optimize Advertising Through Mobile Apps with Brian Wong and Working Out Alongside Pro-Athletes On Your Mobile with Sarah Kunst

Our mobile phones have become an extension of ourselves. We rely on them heavily for communication, information, entertainment, shopping, and many more. We access these functions through mobile apps. Brian Wong is the owner and CEO of Kiip, a mobile advertising network that gets advertisers to connect with the people who want to buy from them. By creating an in-app rewards platforms that provides consumers with tangible rewards, it gives them a more enjoyable and fulfilling mobile experience. Sarah Kunst is the Founder and CEO of ProDay.co which features a mobile app containing various training routines led by athletes and fitness celebrities where an individual can choose a routine they like and train like a pro anytime, anywhere. Kiip and ProDay are two phenomenal mobile apps that make products and services easily accessible for consumers.

Continue reading “Optimize Advertising Through Mobile Apps with Brian Wong and Working Out Alongside Pro-Athletes On Your Mobile with Sarah Kunst”

Top Branding Failures

Companies are always looking for that next Old Spice campaign that will become viral on YouTube and get people talking.  Effective branding is crucial for a company’s success.  The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

Branding needs to be credible and motivate buyers.  According to MarketingAbout.com, “It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. It’s a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.”

There have been many marketing blunders when advertising has missed the mark.  Bschool.com lists what they consider to be the 10 Most Ill-Advised Ads of All Time.  Remember those singing Quiznos rodents?  Some of us wish we could forget.  Check out the top 10 list by clicking here.

10 Famous Product Failures And the Advertisements That Did Not Sell Them | Growthink

via growthink.com

Excellent list of some infamous product failures . . . Will definitely have my marketing students watch this one. To see the actual commercial – go to:  http://www.growthink.com/content/10-famous-product-failures-and-advertisements-did-not-sell-them

Everyone makes mistakes. When big business makes mistakes, however, it’s typically after they’ve spent millions of dollars on marketing campaigns to let us know about their flawed products.

Here we present the advertisements for ten of the most infamous product failures in history.

10) Sony Betamax

The 1979 Betamax was a real breakthrough for its time and for the video recording business. It’s a shame it didn’t catch on. Grandma must be pretty ticked off that all of her memories are trapped in a dead format.

Why it failed: Despite having higher quality (and a cooler name), Betamax was defeated by VHS when over 40 companies decided to run with the VCR-compatible format instead. The lower price of VHS-C camcorders probably helped a little too.

Want to avoid these types of mistakes?  Hiring a professional business plan consultant can help you avoid common pitfalls.

9) Coca Cola- New Coke

Bill Cosby, a soda can, and a crystal ball. Nope, nothing odd there.

Is Bill Cosby really trying to be believable

Why it failed: There was nothing wrong with old coke. Life lesson: If it ain’t broke, don’t fizz it.

8) Polaroid – Instant Home Movies

Five seconds into this commercial and this guy has already lost us. “Imagine if someone invented a wonderful box (what??) and gave you a way to catch little pieces of your life so that you could see them again, anytime, by just dropping them into the box. Now, now…wo..wouldn’t that be something?”

Why it failed: Polaroid will inevitably be associated forever with the act of standing around shaking a picture that may or may not come out as intended. Trusting Polaroid to capture any life event big enough to warrant a video camera would just seem reckless.

What about you? Are you planning a new marketing plan campaign?  Need help planning your strategy? Call 800-506-5728 to speak with Growthink’s professional business plan writers.

7) Pepsi – Crystal Pepsi

Who knew that 15 years later Van Halen would be done with Sammy Hagar and bring back David Lee Roth? Also, who knew we would live in a world without Crystal Pepsi? We were pretty sure it was here to stay.

Why it failed:Similar to New Coke, there was no real need for Crystal Pepsi. Despite the shifting tides in early 90’s marketing towards healthiness and purity, people just didn’t get excited about a clear caffeine-free Pepsi. Not really a surprise- those who were that concerned with the health and color of their beverage probably would not be Pepsi drinkers to begin with.

6) McDonalds – Arch Deluxe Burger

Worst. Commercial. Ever.

Anytime you think the best way to market your product is by standing in an elevator in a chef’s outfit and begging the people on that elevator to eat that product…you might want to go back to the drawing board.

Why it failed:The goal of the Deluxe line was to market McDonald’s fine cuisine to the adult demographic. Unfortunately, adults weren’t interested in paying significantly more for slightly different burgers.

5) Apple – Lisa

Wow. Looks like it took Steve Jobs and his minions a few years to really get the hang of that “cool commercial” thing….

Why it failed: The Lisa was geared towards business consumers, though those consumers were attracted to the lower price tag on IBM PCs. NASA got behind the Lisa project, which they regretted after it was discontinued two years later.

Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.  Growthink’s professional business plan consultants have worked with more than 2,000 entrepreneurs.  We know what works and what doesn’t.   

4) Levi’s – Type 1 Jeans

Apparently jeans that are perfect for those situations when you’re being dragged through the dirt while hanging on to a rope wrapped around a possessed car don’t resonate with the masses. This confusing Super Bowl commercial was simultaneously the debut and the death knell for Levi’s Type 1 Jeans.

Why it failed: Fashion is a capricious field. The designers at Levi’s made Fashion Fumble #41b: Celebrating the launch of a product before checking to see if anyone RSVP’d to the Evite.

3) IBM – PCjr

This is what happens when you only have enough money in your marketing budget to afford a dead guy. This commercial is flawed on many levels. Would Charlie Chaplin really know how to use a computer? He was born in 1889, back when North Dakota wasn’t even a state yet.

Why it failed: This computer had a hefty price tag. At $699, it was twice the price of computers from Atari and Commodore. Many were also disappointed at the awkward layout of the factory-shipped keyboard.

2) DeLorean – DMC-12

How this car failed to catch on perplexes us. We know we”d want one.

Why it failed: The fall of the DeLorean Motor Company was not due to the vehicle, which is no surprise because this car is an incredible piece of engineering and style. Rather, failure ensued after hard times fell on the company’s founder. John DeLorean’s empire was dismantled after his arrest on accusations of drug-trafficking resulted in bankruptcy.

1) Ford – Edsel

“They’ll know you’ve arrived when you drive up in the 1958 Edsel, the car that’s truly new!”
I guess in 1958, new was slang for ugly. The front of this car bothers us, as it looks like an angry mechanical face.

Why it failed: A small army worth of factors came together to curse the Edsel. A name that didn’t resonate with the crowd, a bizarre pricing strategy, and a national recession have all been cited as factors by those who use the Edsel as an example of how not to market a product.

TTL 694 | Global Leadership Practices

Why Bother?: Discovering What’s Next With Jennifer Louden And Global Leadership Practices With Dr. Kyla Tennin

We can get so easily lost with whatever is going on around us that we forget to ask the necessary questions for ourselves. Dr. Diane Hamilton talks with personal growth pioneer, Jennifer Louden, about finding answers to how we can engage most with our lives and be our fullest selves. Through her new book, Why Bother?, Jennifer brings us back to the things within ourselves that we’ve long been putting into the corner. She shares the ways we can tap into our deepest desires to discover what’s next. So start asking yourself, what do you want to bother about?


Aligned with the topic on what’s next, Diane also interviews Dr. Kyla Tennin—Chair of the Board, President, and Global CEO of Lady Mirage Global—about her journey to getting a higher education and becoming a global CEO. Offering insights for businesses that want to grow and expand, she shares with us her dissertation entitled, “Regional Executive Leadership Turnover in Multinational Corporations.” She gives out some global leadership practices that vary from different perspectives on leadership styles across the world. Gain a great deal of learning on leadership and more in this conversation. 

Continue reading “Why Bother?: Discovering What’s Next With Jennifer Louden And Global Leadership Practices With Dr. Kyla Tennin”

Environment – Chapter Reading

When considering curiosity, our environment includes the hopes, dreams, guidance, expectations, opinions, and instructions given to us throughout our lives. All are powerful in shaping who we are and who we become. Our indoctrination begins with our parents and continues with our teachers, coaches, ministers, college professors, politicians, bosses, colleagues, next-door neighbors, and all the other influential figures in our lives. Their messages, positive or negative, shape our own beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. They also shape our curiosity.


We’re either being encouraged or discouraged in our curiosity. We’re being influenced as to what we should be curious about, as well as what to accept as givens.


This shaping begins with our parents.


As children, we want to know everything! From, why do birds have feathers on their faces, to how are horses different from mules, our endless questions are all over the map. Every response to those questions either encourages or suppresses our curiosity.


The nonstop questions of a four-year-old can take their toll on an overworked, exasperated parent. Unfortunately, “just because” isn’t an answer that engenders a child’s curiosity.


As astronomer and author Neil deGrasse Tyson put it, “Kids are born scientists. They are curious about everything around them. And a parent can either respond ‘Let’s find out’ or ‘Stop asking so many questions!’”


Input continues with our teachers and education system.


Researchers and behavioral scientists have long decried that our education system places more emphasis on maintaining order and teaching answers than it does encouraging questions or curiosity. Teachers are given curricula and lesson plans to administer. Standardized tests measure students’ proficiency as well as teachers’ effectiveness. Rarely, if ever, are teachers measured on how much curiosity they instilled in their students.


Doug Bergum is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and politician serving as the thirty-third and current governor of North Dakota. In a TED talk, he spoke at length about the environmental pressures from parents, teachers, religious leaders, and others to conform to conventional wisdom.


He then described discoveries such as those resulting from Columbus’s voyage to the New World and innovations such as those by the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, and others. These discoveries and innovations, he said, required two critical ingredients: perseverance and courageous curiosity.


He spoke of the many failures each of these pioneers endured before realizing their success. He cited their determination to persevere and their courageous curiosity in an environment filled with doubt, ridicule, and in some cases, physical harm. Our environment, he claimed, is dominated by answers and devoid of questions. “It’s like gravity,” he added. “It holds us down, and it’s only by perseverance and courageous curiosity that we are able to defy that gravitational pull.”


He concluded his remarks by revealing that when he dropped off his kids at school each morning, instead of saying, “Have a nice day,” he’d tell them, “Ask great questions today.”


Developmental psychologists Barbara Tizard and Martin Hughes conducted research and found that while kindergarten-age children asked an average of twenty-seven questions an hour at home, that number plummeted to only about three when they were at school. Some of this drop-off, the authors concluded, is unavoidable. Kids at school don’t have the opportunity to ask questions endlessly as they might at home. However, this could be off-set somewhat if the school environment would encourage children to be more curious.


Many are convinced that curiosity is drastically underappreciated in our educational institutions. Susan Engel, author of The Hungry Mind, said that amidst the country’s standardized testing mania, schools are missing what most matters about learning, the desire to learn in the first place. From her studies, teachers rarely encourage curiosity in the classroom, even though that’s the one factor that can most influence learning.


Leslie Crawford, senior editor at Great Schools, described behaviors of parents and teachers that can have a subtle but lasting effect on a child’s curiosity. She mentioned behaviors such as overreacting to a child’s mess, choosing what a child should study, over-scheduling a child’s time, being overly concerned with safety, and having all the answers. Each of these behaviors can suppress natural curiosity in children.


The author asserted that the messy but creative art of slime-making, so popular among children, can engender the scientists, engineers, and inventors of the future. She admonished, let them make messes!


Beneficial environmental influences such as the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Program and the Curiosity Cube are attempting to stimulate and sustain the innate curiosity of children. The program encourages a curriculum in schools to improve competitiveness in the science and technology fields. The Curiosity Cube is a renovated shipping container turned into a traveling learning laboratory. Sponsored by the Millipore organization, the Curiosity Cube encourages students to explore subjects in the areas of science, technology, and engineering.




In conclusion, the shaping and coaching process of our environment continues from our childhoods well into our adult lives and, in reality, is never-ending. From our parents, teachers, and pastors to our bosses and even media advertising, the messaging is nonstop. It’s all in pursuit of our mindshare and either encourages or represses our curiosity. In a world dominated by policies, procedures, rules, and guidelines, traits such as creativity and innovation are the domain of the curious and the courageous.


Thus, the influences of our environment along with the elements of FATE most affect our level of curiosity.


For us as individuals and for the companies that employ us, to what degree do FATE factors control our curiosity? In turn, to what extent does this control obstruct our creativity, innovation, and productivity? Most important, to what extent can those barriers be torn down, thereby unleashing the creativity, innovation, and productivity within us and within our companies?


Those questions are for us to answer with the help of the Curiosity Code Index that accompanies this book. A preview of the Code is presented in Chapter 17.



TTL 672 | Online Education

Debunking The Online Education Myth With Norm Allgood

A lot of jobs are now embracing a remote workplace, and it might not be long before education joins the fray. Online education has been around for quite a long time but has garnered bad rep over the years. In this episode, the CEO of Synergis Education, Norm Allgood, joins Dr. Diane Hamilton to change your mind by sharing the success of his company in producing top notch career changers. He talks about the online education industry’s growth and improvement over the years and how it can help in improving higher education. He also explains how stackable credentials are starting to jump from IT into other industries and discuss the possible effects it may have in education and employment as a whole.
Continue reading “Debunking The Online Education Myth With Norm Allgood”

TTL 654 | Freestyle Soccer Entrepreneur

Road To Becoming A Freestyle Soccer Entrepreneur With Danny McGhee And Amplifying Exposure Of Small Medical Businesses With Dennis Yu

Your life’s success strongly depends on your perseverance to outgrow your misfortunes and turn them into your fuel to becoming a better person. In this episode, Dr. Diane Hamilton, chats with Danny McGhee, a freestyle soccer entrepreneur and a US Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust. Learn from Danny as he shares to you how he is marketing and differentiating freestylers from footballers in the US and UK.

The medical industry is also a huge marketing industry. Here as well is the secret weapon of seven-plus- figure founders in the health, fitness, and wellness industry, and the CEO of BlitzMetrics, Dennis Yu. He shares to us how he has helped amazing innovations like the Kaqun Water become known and desirable in the world of medicine. Listen to Dennis as he shares how he makes many businesses in the medical field thrive.
Continue reading “Road To Becoming A Freestyle Soccer Entrepreneur With Danny McGhee And Amplifying Exposure Of Small Medical Businesses With Dennis Yu”