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The simple fact is that marketing is partly art and partly science. Sometimes things go really right. Sometimes they go fantastically awry. By taking an unflinching look at the weird, we can begin to understand how marketing works in practice, and not just in theory.

We’ve learned a lot of strange lessons:

And we’re just getting warmed up. The world only gets weirder from here…

  • How Fortnite Integrates Brands & Makes Billions

    Fancy vacationing on a cartoon island dressed as John Wick? What if I told you that you’d have to fight with Spiderman with a lightsaber and Ariana Grande with a grenade launcher? Well, you are in luck, because Fortnite is the getaway you’ve been looking for. Fortnite is packed with […]

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  • Why Formula 1 is So Popular Right Now

    Every nation has its great past-time. For the USA, it’s baseball. For the UK, it’s football (soccer). Getting people to pay attention to a new sport is a tall order – and that’s why Formula 1’s recent success is so stunning. On ESPN, 548,000 people tuned in to watch Formula […]

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  • How The Room Made $30 Million by Being a Terrible Movie

    Released in 2003, The Room is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made. It holds a score of 3.7 out of 10 on IMDb and an astounding 9 out of 100 on Metacritic. Film critic, Marg Mohan, claimed that the film “oozes sincerity, which is then […]

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  • How Coffee Went From Commodity to Hobby

    Of all the meetings, I have, my morning meeting with Mr. Cup Of Joe is the one I never miss. It’s a warm welcome to the morning and has always been a delicious and dopamine-inducing way to start the day. I am talking about coffee – a staple of modern […]

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  • How Costco Manages to Be Both Classy & Cheap

    In a logical world, Costco would suck. Low prices, spartan settings, and immense crowds. That’s an unholy trinity that should ruin just about any shopping experience. But it doesn’t, and I think that’s remarkable. Costco is a freakishly well-run business. Over the last weekend, I slipped into the store by […]

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Want to experiment with marketing, but don't know where to start?

Tired of the DIY approach and want more hands-on help with marketing?


  • Freight Shipping is Decadent and Depraved

    Have you seen the images of empty store shelves lately? They’re all over social media and the news. You might think that it’s the result of people panic buying, but the problems run deeper than that. Maybe you’ve seen some terms like “supply chain disruption” or even “supply chain collapse” […]

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  • Why Arcane is The Perfect Brand Expansion

    You have probably heard of the popular video game, League of Legends. At a minimum, you’ve heard the distant screams of someone losing a match. It’s unavoidable because League It is an insanely popular game with a mountain of dedicated players willing to buy figurines and other merchandise. But have […]

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  • To Understand the Metaverse, Look at Minecraft & Fortnite

    Metaverse. Web3. NFT. The year 2021 introduced the world to a lot of really complicated new technological ideas. In February and March 2021, people started talking about NFTs. Then chatter about the “metaverse” started to really take off in October, right around when Facebook changed its name to Meta. A […]

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  • How to Sell the Bubble Bots from Ron’s Gone Wrong

    Ron’s Gone Wrong is a film about the friendship between socially awkward middle-schooler, Barney, and his friend Ron. But there’s a twist: Ron is a Bubble Bot, produced by the Bubble Company, which is basically Apple. Bubble Bots, B Bots for short, are designed to be your best friend. Your […]

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  • How to Be a Wrestler, According to a Marketer

    Wrestlers put their life on the line in the ring, day in, day out to make their audiences happy. They live larger-than-life lifestyles because they want to make captivating TV with their stunning wrestling moves. They’re experts at self-promotion because they want to make you buy into the kayfabe of […]

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Want to experiment with marketing, but don't know where to start?

Tired of the DIY approach and want more hands-on help with marketing?


  • How James Bond Has Evolved & Stayed Relevant for 60 Years

    Few movie characters are as iconic, controversial, contradictory, and enduring as James Bond. It doesn’t matter who’s playing him because you recognize the character immediately. Handsome man, sharp suit, smoking gun, vodka martini in hand, and an attractive woman on his arm. James Bond has been the poster child for […]

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  • How Taylor Swift Took on the Music Industry and Won

    Taylor Swift might not have a college degree, but she has been working on her Master’s in Marketing since she was nine. And when I say “you could argue” I mean “that is what I’m going to spend the next 5,000 words pointing out.”  Swift has been the driving force […]

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  • Why a Rambling Redhead is Taking Over the Internet

    Redheads only make up 2% of the world’s population. And the recessive gene jackpot of a redhead with blue eyes is even smaller, at 0.17%. So what would you call someone with red hair, blue eyes, and a hilarious heart of gold? You might call her a Unicorn, but we […]

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  • WWE vs. AEW: A Wrestling Brand Smackdown

    John Cena. The Rock. Hulk Hogan. The world of wrestling has cemented these names into the minds of kids and adults alike. Their names are known worldwide as are their spider webs of wrestling moments, movies, and controversies. If you pay attention, the wrestling world will teach you a masterclass […]

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  • 4 Marketing Lessons from Jingle All The Way

    What do Christmas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and action figures have in common? If you guessed Star-Lord (or even The Terminator for us older peeps), you are only half wrong. The real answer is the “classic” Christmas Movie Jingle All The Way. Totally recommend watching it if you haven’t already. But for […]

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  • How Old Spice Came Back from the Grave with One Commercial

    Hello, ladies. Look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped using ladies scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me.  With just 43 words, Old Spice did […]

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  • Grown Millenials Are Spending $33 Billion On Toys For Themselves. Why?

    We all have fond memories of playing with toys when we were young. Whether it’s trading Pokemon cards or snuggling a favorite stuffed animal, it’s hard not to have at least one happy childhood toy story. Toys have been in the hearts and homes of kids for decades, centuries, even! […]

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  • How Buc-ee’s Turned Gas Stations Into Must-See Destinations

    “If you know you know.” So said the billboard in yellow block capitals on a stark black background as I was passing through my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was advertising Buc-ee’s, a gas station about an hour away. Weird marketing move, I thought, but only briefly. I’m no stranger […]

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  • How Super Mario 64 Conspiracy Theories Can Teach Us About Branding

    Did you know every copy of Super Mario 64 is personalized? Well, at least that’s the theory. It’s said that even back in 1996, Nintendo was able to create an AI that adapted to a player’s skill level, playstyle, and even desires. It’s so subtle you’d never notice it, until […]

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  • What Cult Classic Movies Teach Us About Business & Branding

    Do you have a favorite movie that not many people have heard of? Or do you go to a coffee shop that you wouldn’t substitute for anything else? Or, perhaps, do you have a favorite product your rave about to everyone you meet? Well, you might be in a cult […]

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  • How a Billionaire Destroyed Gawker with Hulk Hogan & Why It Still Matters

    Facing a $140 million legal judgment, the leaders of Gawker had to face their sins. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to out billionaire Peter Thiel as gay in 2007. And maybe the world would have been a better place if they hadn’t released Hulk Hogan’s…private film in 2012. But […]

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  • How Anime Won the West & Why You Should Care

    Anime. You know it in one form or another. Maybe you watched it when you were young, or your kids watch it, or you’re watching it now. It’s a universal and ageless media that caters to everyone, and due to that immortality, it has expanded and evolved into every corner […]

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  • How American Girl Built a Multigenerational Business Empire with Dolls

    It was 21 years ago when I got my first American Girl Doll. As any typical 10 year old does on a July summer day, I was curled up behind my bed doing some summer reading (The Secret of Nimh, in case you were wondering). The doorbell rang, and my […]

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  • How Cat Cafés Took Over the World

    Imagine you walk into the bar and you order a beer. Something brushes up against your leg. You hear a meow. No, you’re not in Mardi Gras. You are in one of many cat cafés around the world. Yes, this is a real thing. Cat cafés are magical places where […]

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  • The Rise & Fall & Rise of Aeropostale

    I was shopping with my wife at the gardening store, looking – in true millennial fashion – for plants we can’t kill. Suddenly, apropos of nothing, I wondered “what the hell happened to Aeropostale?” Aeropostale was everywhere when I was in high school from 2006 to 2010. You couldn’t go […]

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  • The Incredible Downfall of Rax Roast Beef in 1991 (A Ghost Story)

    “We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little, we went insane.” Originally spoken by Francis Ford Coppola about the filming of Apocalypse Now, I think this statement applies just as well to the marketing misadventures of Rax Roast Beef circa 1991. I’ve been fascinated […]

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  • Why a Rambling Redhead is Taking Over the Internet

    Redheads only make up 2% of the world’s population. And the recessive gene jackpot of a redhead with blue eyes is even smaller, at 0.17%. So what would you call someone with red hair, blue eyes, and a hilarious heart of gold? You might call her a Unicorn, but we […]

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  • How Instagram Changed the Tattoo Industry

    In Weird Marketing Lessons, we take a close look at industries we love to find the marketing lessons within them. Today, I’m going to talk about tattoos. Specifically, I’m going to talk about how Instagram changed the tattoo industry. Tattoos are just about everywhere you look these days. Whether you […]

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  • What the UFC’s Fight Island Taught Me About Running a Business

    I’m glad 2020 is over, and I’m not alone. We’ve all been tested in every aspect of life in the last year, right down to the cancellation of sports. There was only one shining exception: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). They took the drastic step of moving the ring all […]

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Want to experiment with marketing, but don't know where to start?

Tired of the DIY approach and want more hands-on help with marketing?