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When trust is snapped
Jan 8, 2018
James Thompson

When trust is snapped

Diageo's decision to pull ads from Snapchat following an ASA ruling reflects a broader problem with media trust, argues the global MD of the company's luxury portfolio.

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What if your industry simply ceased to exist?
Dec 18, 2017
James Thompson

What if your industry simply ceased to exist?

Marketing and communications isn't the only industry changing at a neck-breaking pace. You can't fight the disruption that's underway, and James Thompson argues that you shouldn't.

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The new awkwardness of globalisation
Nov 14, 2017
James Thompson

The new awkwardness of globalisation

A backlash to globalisation, personified by Trump's recent visit to Asia, is challenging the big brand world order writes, Diageo's James Thompson.

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Leo's Oscar and why I hope the industry sticks with awards
Oct 6, 2017
James Thompson

Leo's Oscar and why I hope the industry sticks with awards

Work that wins acts as an example to the rest of the industry, writes Diageo's James Thompson.

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Two camps clash over the true value of ads
Sep 5, 2017
James Thompson

Two camps clash over the true value of ads

It has never been easy to put hard numbers to the value of advertising, but client-side marketers are wising up to the possibility agency types might be being deliberately pulling digital wool over their eyes.

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Bravery in advertising is a relative concept
Aug 4, 2017
James Thompson

Bravery in advertising is a relative concept

One of James Thompson's ads was praised for its boldness, but here's the true story.

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I regret nothing (well, maybe the dog with the erection)
Jun 22, 2017
James Thompson

I regret nothing (well, maybe the dog with the erection)

Cannes week puts James Thompson in a reflective mood.

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No risk, no reward
May 29, 2017
James Thompson

No risk, no reward

Pepsi’s latest horrible offering demonstrates just how easily a communications gamble can fall flat, but one of the lessons brands should learn is that it is always worth giving the dice another roll.

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Banish the blame and build a fearless culture
Apr 26, 2017
James Thompson

Banish the blame and build a fearless culture

From naming the wrong Oscar winner to failing to question nonsensical orders from on high, mistakes happen all the time, but simply punishing those responsible can create a harmful climate of fear.

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Goodbye cruel year;  can 2017 do worse?
Jan 3, 2017
James Thompson

Goodbye cruel year; can 2017 do worse?

The past 12 months have been ‘WRONG’ on almost every level, but marketers can work for a better world over the coming year, writes Diageo Reserve's James Thompson.

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Has the ‘big idea’ lost value in our digital, social world?
Dec 7, 2016
James Thompson

Has the ‘big idea’ lost value in our digital, social world?

The flood of information served up by social streams has spawned an attention-seeking ‘anything goes’ approach to brand marketing—but only consistent communications can deliver long-term impact.

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Take research with a grain of salt, and other hard-won marketing advice
Oct 26, 2016
James Thompson

Take research with a grain of salt, and other hard-won marketing advice

To those climbing the marketing ladder, listen closely and learn from the mistakes of your forebears. Be sceptical about research, listen to feedback and maybe your ego will be spared a few dings.

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Polluted persuasion
Sep 23, 2016
James Thompson

Polluted persuasion

Marketers have enjoyed a certain liberation from the truth since the profession’s earliest days, but the time has come to stop muting outrage and call out purveyors of outright falsehoods for the liars that they are.

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Design cuts a direct line to the brain
Aug 24, 2016
James Thompson

Design cuts a direct line to the brain

James Thompson discusses one of the few marketing tools that can override rational thought.

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Patriotism branding: Will it resonate?
Jun 22, 2016
James Thompson

Patriotism branding: Will it resonate?

James Thompson examines issues raised by Budweiser's temporary rebranding as 'America'.

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Farewell to fidelity: I’m playi­ng the field
May 10, 2016
James Thompson

Farewell to fidelity: I’m playi­ng the field

I’m being unfaithful and, what’s more, I’m loving it.

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‘Big ideas’ can block true experimentation
Mar 23, 2016
James Thompson

‘Big ideas’ can block true experimentation

I used to ask my agencies for big ideas, but in some ways big ideas are the enemy of much-needed agility, writes Diageo's James Thompson.

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What are you worried about?
Feb 25, 2016
James Thompson

What are you worried about?

In a data-soaked age, why is return on investment still the top worry for marketers?

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Buzzword bandwagon: Spare me your 'insights' into 'millennials'
Jan 20, 2016
James Thompson

Buzzword bandwagon: Spare me your 'insights' into 'millennials'

Why is the industry still lapping up garbage masquerading as insight?

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Spotify’s sickening terms of disservice create a feeling of 'ek'
Nov 6, 2015
James Thompson

Spotify’s sickening terms of disservice create a feeling of 'ek'

Allow me to propose a new word: ‘ek’, which means: “to feel queasy at the risk of being violated by an overpowerful marketing ploy”.

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