George G Smith Jr. | The words and works of George G Smith Jr
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The Work and Words
of George G Smith Jr

Laphroaig Opinions

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Laphroaig launched an “Opinions” campaign on their website which was very interesting. I had some members of my team fill things out and it was good to see them embrace some colorful and potentially “negative” reviews of their product. Above is an example from Laura.

I put a few in, from a variety of different computers. None of them were published. They ranged from mentioning other scotch brands – (even misspelling as most were flagged) to just saying the product is “gross.” It was a let down to not have this included. I would be curious as to how “open” they are with negative reviews. It appears some of the reviews are “negative” – a bad comparison but ultimately something align with the brand message that it’s not for everyone (and reinforcing the complex taste profile). Obviously the campaign is only up for a few days, and will attract industry, advertising, and brand fans.

Still – I think it’s one of the first digital campaigns in the alcohol space that feels social at the core and more align with the type of activities that CPG companies have been championing for years. Add in the clever video that summarizes the campaign – and the buzz from the ad industry – I hope this triggers some innovation in spirits digital.

Work in Progress: Captain American Flag

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I’ve always struggled with my political feelings. Very left leaning with capitalistic tendencies doesn’t always allow for simple political compromises. Still, if there is one thing that I am almost always willing to stand against is war.

America is a violent country and this century has started with seemingly endless foreign conflict. The flag, in all of its glory, has continued to morph in meaning all over the world. This art project is not to serve as commentary on how our national symbol has shifted foreign perception – although I can see why some would say that – it’s how it’s shifted perception here. As a country, our flag and patriotism has now combined to create the picture of a stubborn nation, built not on understanding or pride but built on the inability to let go…

The issue of Captain America is from Vol 7, issue 11. It was chosen specifically because I felt there were parts of this issue that brought these feelings to life. The character Nuke and his stubborn proclamation of American not losing any wars. But also Captain America, looking at the years of collectibles from a time when the nation galvanized together to defeat ultimate evil in WWII. At the end of the issue, Captain America burns the nostalgia, releasing himself from a past he was holding on to. As a nation, I believe for us to truly move forward, we need to release ourselves from the symbols and stubbornness that plague us, that create stubborn ideals, that create a violent culture without the nuance or capacity for a reasonable outlet. This is what drove me to create this, and whether the art piece brings to life my vision or not is in the eye of the viewer. It’s still not finished – hoping to add a lot to it – but the intent is here. The reason I felt compelled to create…

What I’m Reading: Faking Cultural Literacy

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“We have outsourced our opinions to this loop of data that will allow us to hold steady at a dinner party, though while you and I are ostensibly talking about “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” what we are actually doing, since neither of us has seen it, is comparing social media feeds. Does anyone anywhere ever admit that he or she is completely lost in the conversation? No. We nod and say, “I’ve heard the name,” or “It sounds very familiar,” which usually means we are totally unfamiliar with the subject at hand.”

via The New York Times

What I’m Reading: Are You Dealing With A Real Expert Or A Fake? 7 Ways To Tell

Real experts have no trouble saying: “I don’t know.”

They’ve got a clear sense of how far their expertise extends, and where it ends. They never, ever want to mislead you. Therefore, real experts will be the first to admit when the question you’ve just asked exceeds their personal knowledge. If they’re really good, they’re likely to introduce you to someone who does have a good answer for you. Remember your days in grade school, and the embarrassment a student felt when he or she had to admit to the teacher, ‘I don’t know?’ Real experts have overcome that reluctance.

via Forbes

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There is beauty in the subway tunnels
There is grace is the garbage can ballets
There is love in the dark places of fleeting glances

Unleash the Superpowers of Employee Advocates [Infographic]

Marketing Profs created an infographic about the “superpowers” of employee advocates. Having been such a public advocate of a company back in my Crocs days, I definitely believe that employee advocates can really change the game when it comes to brand perception and engagement online. Of course, it only works when the culture is right, when the employees are empowered, and when the product really backs up everything. If you work for a company where everyone drinks the proverbial kool-aid, then you’re probably very familiar with the data in the infographic.

Infographic from Marketing Profs:

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