Rare Marketing

3 min read

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Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

If great films like Chinatown, Fight Club, and Rebel Without a Cause taught us anything, it’s that smoking is cool. Stinky and dangerous, but cool. That said, puffing squares isn’t as popular as it used to be—but Marlboro is roaring back in recent years due to a new variety of cigarettes: Marlboro Blacks. The millennial-focused brand eschews the “Marlboro Man” image in favor of a tattoo-loving, tight-jeans-wearing vibe that’s helped catapult Marlboro to an all-time-high market share of 44%. Which is nothing to wheeze at.

Jeb Bush: Bond girl.

I didn’t think I could love Spotify more than I already do. But then I saw their fantastic “farewell to 2016” ad campaign, and now my love for the music streaming service truly knows no bounds. They’ve pulled some rather hilarious observations about their user base—anonymously of course—and plastered them on giant billboards, including this gem: “Dear person who made a playlist called: ‘One Night Stand with Jeb Bush Like He’s a Bond Girl in a European Casino.’ We have so many questions.” We do too, Spotify. We do, too.

Creatives don’t fear the reaper.

A new study conducted at the University of Kent has found that creative achievement has a significant influence on anxiety about death. The study analyzed findings from more than 100 different students, and discovered that those with high levels of creative ambition and achievement were “particularly likely” to be more resilient when it comes to issues of mortality. So the next time your hyper-emotional friend is having an existential crisis, go ahead and recommend they write a dirge about it on the world’s smallest violin—you’ll only be being slightly ironic this time.

Is there an emoji for conflagration?

I’ve been trying to be more positive lately. I really have. But Chevy is making it tough. I already hated this campaign so much—the smarmy host, the “real people,” the incredibly patronizing nature of it all—and then by some nefarious miracle, emojis made it worse. I’d rather climb buck naked into a bathtub full of stinging nettles than watch this again. It’s like a punch right to your soul. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  

The Truth hurts.

If you’re under 35 and a graphic designer, grab your smelling salts before reading this next statement: There was once a time—not so many years ago—without Photoshop. Now imagine living during that time, and altering billboards in the dark. Not an easy task, but that’s what Bob Stayton and his motley crew of Truth in Advertising compatriots did in the 1980’s, augmenting billboards in clever ways while making them a little more honest. Like changing a “Myers’s Luxury Rums” billboard to “My Liver’s in Ruins.” If we could just get Bob out of retirement, I have a few fun ideas for some of those Chevy billboards…