Learning by Example: Blue Bell’s Response to Product Recall Includes Valuable Lessons

By Sara Rider   |   April 29, 2015

by Sara Rider

When bad things happen, companies can either stand up or they can back down.  This week, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries takes the first step on a long road back to profitability and consumer confidence as it launches an intensive cleaning program and a new employee training program at four production facilities.  So far, Blue Bell is doing an admirable job of crisis management—and that professional response could mean that “Pralines and Cream” and “Banana Split” addicts may get to indulge in their favorite flavors sooner rather than later.

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Photoshop in the Ad World

John Knoll's photo: Jennifer in Paradise, the first photoshopped photograph
By Sara Rider   |   April 21, 2015

by Sara Rider

For those of us who work in advertising, Photoshop has long been a way of life.  The big donor you photographed for the cover of the college magazine doesn’t look quite young enough?  No problem.  The physician featured in an ad doesn’t like his hairline?  Easy to fix.  The CEO thinks her teeth aren’t white enough.  Changed in an instant.  And I’m sad to say that this has become so routine,

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When Ads Become Art

By Sara Rider   |   April 15, 2015

Once merely reviled as unnecessary clutter, outdoor advertising has evolved in the last decade.  While interstate highways can still boast their share of truck stop billboards, increasingly outdoor advertising has become bold and dramatic and inventive in urban markets.  While Austin doesn’t boast giant intercity billboards—and may be a little behind the curve on dramatic designs used to wrap buses—cities like New York take outdoor to a new level.

A current exhibit in New York City,

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How to organize your business's social media

By Allison Mabry   |   April 8, 2015

Here are some helpful tips to help you when updating your business’s social media. It’s easy to get pulled into the internet and all its entertainment and news features when trying to log on to update your business’s social media. All of us have had that experience of clicking on something that catches our eye…that takes away from our original intention of going online in the first place. With new venues appearing every week,

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Even a silly idea—supported by great marketing—can be a big success

By Ernie Wood   |   April 4, 2015

It’s about the marketing—and the timing. So the popular wisdom goes. But this time it was true. Really, really true.

No innovative product. No superior service. Simply a rock. It just sat there. And it made money.

Gary Dahl, the inventor of the Pet Rock®, died earlier this week. He trademarked the term, so I’ll give him a ® out of respect. It was probably the silliest idea ever to make its inventor rich,

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April Fool’s Gives Companies Another Way to Boost their Social Media

By Sara Rider   |   April 2, 2015

Did you get fooled on April 1st?  Once a slightly obscure holiday that focused on practical jokes aimed at people you know, April Fool’s has now become a way for companies to boost their social media presence by poking fun at themselves.  The goal?  Getting people to repost the company’s “April Fool” and generate more social media buzz.

The University of Texas joined in on the fun yesterday, posting that a new mixed use development mall was going to be built around the UT tower

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How to drive traffic to your gated content

highway gated content
By Debbi Smith Rourke   |   April 1, 2015

Marketers today use gated content to drive lead generation. It’s a common practice to offer a white paper, downloadable asset or special content feature (IBM’s Xforce newsletter that we designed is a great example) to capture contact information from potential clients. But once you create this special gated content—and it needs to be of high value to pay off the adventure of accessing it—how do you drive traffic to the landing page where it lives?

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