Skip to main content

The Pope, The Trump and The Shkreli

During the past few weeks, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly; a tale of three Americas with different values and virtues. Most importantly, I have seen a society with zero tolerance for deceit, greed or just plain stupidity.  
The good “The Pope”.  We have Pope Francis’s visit, which is defined by a message of inclusiveness, humility and simplicity.  In his speech to Congress, the Pope urged America to embrace immigration from Latin American and all around the world. Pope Francis is making a splash in America, a splash that has been amplified with social media as people are tweeting every step of his journey. 
The bad “Trump”.   We have Donald Trump who mocks and objectifies females' appearances. During the GOP presidential debate, he commented on a fellow candidate, Carli Fiorina, saying:  “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?”  His #AskTrump Hashtag backfired. Many people had seized the opportunity to post tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic questions.
The ugly “Shkreli”.  We have Martin Shkreli, a 32-year-old hedge fund manager, whose company bought a drug that fights the complications of AIDS and cancer. The company took a life-changing drug and made it nearly unaccessible by skyrocketing the price of it by more than 5,000%; pre-Shkreli, the pill cost $13.50 and post-Shkreli price is $750 per pill.  And he still has the audacity to defend his actions. Within hours, he became public Enemy No. 1. A villain. The most hated man in America/the Internet/the world.
We are living in an era of zero-tolerance where there is no place for people like Shkreli or Trump to hide or run. With social media, anything is fair game. 


Popular posts from this blog

The Curse of Advertising Resources

With more platforms, more products and more content who are trying to reach a disengaged audience, it is becoming harder and harder for brands to stand out. Conventional practices are no longer working. People don't watch TV as much as they used to, so they don't see commercials.  They don't click on banner ads. They don't pay attention to billboards ads. And they don't trust brands' messages. Part of the problem is that we are too dependent on traditional ad resources, which limits the realm of our creativity. To thrive in this new environment, we, ironically, need the freedom of a tight brief: what can you do with no budget for mass media?  Or limited marketing communications dollars?  To make a comparison, traditional advertising is a lot like countries and economies that rely on oil. This reliance handicaps innovation. Countries with a vast amount of natural resources tend to have (1) less economic growth and (2) worse development rates than other countrie…

The Irrational Power of Nudge Brands

Nudge brands are brands built on interactions, not attitudes. They are mostly defined by experiences, not TV campaigns. They are designed around people's inconsistencies and errors, not for machines. They are simple, not complex. They like to break things into small chunks that are less daunting than big tasks. They focus on changing behavior, not generating awareness and interest. The Paris metro system card is a nudge brand. It is designed against human errors. You can use the card in any direction. IKEA is a nudge brand. It uses the power of personal investment. The more involved people are in creating something, the better they feel about the end product. Ryanair is a nudge brand. It chunks the whole purchase process. They lock you in with a low 'seat price' first to get a mental commitment. Then, they start to add the extra charges in bite-sized 'chunks.' Hare Krishna is a nudge brand. It is built on the reciprocity rule by giving away daisies. People should …

The Irrational Challenger

Today, irrational is the new normal. People want products and services that break conventions and defy social norms. They have expectations that don't fit the traditional business model and feel irrational. However, they are very real and have created an irrational economy with irrational challengers. To thrive in this new playing field, business needs to be human, irrational. Think about it. Having a concierge to run our weekly errands for $99 month. Alfred. Ordering a healthy and delicious meal ready-to-eat under 7 minutes delivered at your door the next day. Hungryroot. Booking unlimited blowout appointments at salons in Manhattan for just $99 a month. Vive. (A typical blowout cost $40 to $90 inNew York City.) Renting a room on a month-to-month basis without going through the traditional methods of verifying applicants (e.g., two years of tax returns as proof of income).