I’m 25-years-old, California-bred, a sports fanatic and a Nike brand advocate. Oh, and as an average American I have not played (or remotely cared about) soccer since I was 8. Nike has decided it is time to play. And it turns out the American company is really, really good at it. Last week the Wieden + Kennedy campaign Write The Future was released racking up 7.8 million first week views, breaking its own viral record.
America is divided by politics, economics and geography. But it also turns out that we also tend to cluster around people who act the same as us.
These heat maps of the U.S. break down how people use language and pronounce words differently in different parts of the country: Soda vs. pop, sub vs. hero, water fountain vs. … bubbler?
Who cares if products are “Made in America”? Fewer people than you might suspect.
Customers, employees, shareholders and taxpayers hate large corporations for many reasons. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a lengthy list of corporations for which there is substantial research data to choose the 10 most hated in America.
BP’s board is expected on Monday to name an American, Robert Dudley, as its chief executive, replacing Tony Hayward, whose repeated stumbles during the company’s three-month oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico alienated federal and state officials as well as residents of the Gulf Coast. The planned appointment of an American to run the London-based company, which was confirmed by a person close to BP’s board, would underscore how vital the United States has become to BP.
We've got a problem and we need to talk about it. Actually, we have an opportunity. Walk through most of the creative work sites in the marketing industry and you may find that key parts of the beautiful mosaic of America are missing. It's almost as if an updated version of Mad Men persists--and the rich diversity of our society is absent. It's time for a change. It is impossible to imagine America today without the rich and diverse contributions of our myriad cultures and ethnicities. It is particularly impossible to imagine our popular culture without the leading imprint of African-Americans and Hispanics. Yet these incredible talents are often virtually absent from our marketing industry.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall — who's the fairest of them all? That's the question most economists are asking. Many answer China, a few holdouts contend: America. I'd like to tell you a very different story, that clashes with both orthodoxies. Economic might isn't shifting. It's evaporating. Welcome to the Age of Decline. A new decade's breaking, and in it, people, companies, and countries will have to strategize differently. The story the macroeconomic tea leaves foretell isn't one of power shifting from America to China or anywhere else. It is a story of global economic might everywhere wavering and falling, unable to meet the new challenges of the 21st Century, The Age of Decline isn't just American: it's global, a descent into a new kind of economic dark age - unless different choices are made.
It's fashionable to say "really?" in a new way. The old way of saying "really?" meant (roughly) Wow, that's interesting. Thanks! As in: "Did you know the Pittsburgh Pirates are the worst team in Christendom? "Really!" The new way of saying "really?" means (roughly), "That's what you're going with? I wouldn't have made that choice. I wonder if you're an idiot." As in: "I'm thinking about moving to Connecticut." "Really." The first really is using spoken with the upward lilt of a question. The second really usually comes with an emphatic downturn in tone. (It's heavy with scorn.) I'm not sure when this new really arrived. Certainly, a tipping point came when Saturday Night Live began running "Really?!? with Seth and Amy." Phrases dream of this kind of exposure. To be blessed by Lorne Michaels. To be lifted out of the obscurity. "Really" went big time. But it's not enough to be elevated by Lorne Michaels. A phrase doesn't flourish unless it speaks to something in our culture. And that's the question: what does the sudden popularity of this little phrase tell us about ourselves?
As I’ve mentioned before I like my entrepreneurs risk-taking and a little crazy. Earlier this week on TechTicker, we ran an interview with a guy who fits that bill: Shai Agassi. at the end of the third segment (embedded below), Agassi said something that’s been sticking in my head ever since: America has to start making things or the economy won’t work. He argues you don’t have a country with just a service economy to support it. I’m starting to fear that he’s right, especially spending time last month in China and this week in central Africa, both places where manufacturing and consumer goods industries are being built fresh and in incredibly innovative ways. It’s a bit like what you kept hearing after the dot com bust: When things turn south it’s good to have hard assets to fall back on.
Not long ago, everyone in America wanted to be a member of the "middle class." In fact, as many as 53% of Americans described themselves that way to pollsters. But with the information age and the rise of two-career incomes, being just middle class is a little old hat. The new aspiration for most Americans to be a member of the new professional class. Rising numbers -- as high as 64% -- report that they consider themselves "professionals." The census shows a significant rise over the years, from 4% being professionals and skilled workers in 1910, to 36% today. The numbers have doubled since just 1980.
The recession may be pummeling America's ability to indulge its fashion fantasies, but Brand Keys' latest ranking shows that people are becoming increasingly brand-conscious. Five years ago, the New York-based brand and customer loyalty research consultancy says, fewer than 3% of U.S. fashion consumers said that brands and logos were "more" or "much more" important in clothing purchases. These days? That number has jumped to 14%.
The cowboy brand hopes a folksy pitch and ''Made of America'' positioning will help it stage a comeback.
You may not know it to look at them, but urban planners are human and have dreams. One dream many share is that Americans will give up their love affair with suburban sprawl and will rediscover denser, more environmentally friendly, less auto-dependent ways of living. Those dreams have been aroused over the past few months. The economic crisis has devastated the fast-growing developments on the far suburban fringe. Americans now taste the bitter fruit of their overconsumption. The time has finally come, some writers are predicting, when Americans will finally repent.