The Natural: Of Curveballs and Content

  • By John Fatteross
  • Aug 4th, 2020
  • content

I know exactly how to hit a curveball. Look for the spin on the ball’s seams as it approaches. Don’t commit too soon. Shorten up my swing. It’s easy. In theory. But in practice? Well that’s quite another, far uglier, story. Sure, with practice I might get better (“Hey, I fouled-tipped that one!”). But the nasty fact is that there are people who are born with the athletic ability and extraordinary hand-eye coordination to mash curveballs, and then there are the other 99.4% of us. All fine and good. Most everyone has something in which they’re simply DNA-hardwired to excel…

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FATT LIPP TIPP: There Are No Words…

  • By John Fatteross
  • May 7th, 2020
  • content

Always ask yourself how little copy is needed to convey your key message. You might be surprised by how succinct you can be. Extreme case in point: this SI cover. The top one is doctored with my own ersatz headline. The bottom one is the actual, superior version. Zero copy. Thanks to the powerful image, the key message is crystal clear, without the need for a largely redundant headline. There’s no eloquence like simple eloquence, folks. #copy #content #marketing  

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How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Bad Grammar

Global pandemics tend to mellow me out. At least as regards my longstanding intolerance of bad spelling and grammar. Not long ago, I’d spot a literary faux pas and blow a gasket. These days, I just chuckle, shrug and have another beer. We have more important things to worry about now, right? So all you language abusers, have at it. I’m all good…especially with respect to these most prevalent errors…   He/him/she/her/I/me Undoubtedly overcompensating for the common childhood error of misusing objective case (“Me and Jimmy are going to the game”), today’s adults have turned the tables. They’re now overwhelmingly…

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Another of FattLipp’s Double-Down Definitions

A term you’ve probably heard but could use a refresher… Flaneur (n) – 1. One who rambles or travels aimlessly; 2. An idler or dawdler

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Happy Holidays from JFC!

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Short Selling, 2018 Edition

“Short Selling: In Words of One Syllable, It Works.” Remember that Fatt Lipp blog post, penned last year? Its crux was that among the many things the most recent U.S. Presidential election taught us, it’s that our leader understands a basic marketing axiom: Short words sell. A decade ago as a reality TV star, it was “You’re Fired.” And in the 2016 campaign, it was “Big,” “Yuge,” “Build That Wall,” “Lock Her Up,” “Drain The Swamp,” and “Fake News.” Now, for a 2018 update: The strategy that was so spectacularly successful in 2016 is still being employed, and working, two…

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How I Found My Soulmate at HubSpot

I didn’t expect it. But I guess these things happen in life. You’re happily married to a wonderful woman for 20 years, with two great (for the most part) kids. Life is proceeding nicely apace. And then, bam, you run smack dab into your soulmate. She’s Emma Brudner, author of a HubSpot blog post, “The Ultimate List of Words That Sell.” There are 13 such words. But it was Emma’s first two that made my heart go pitter-patter, because they’re the exact two that have formed the bedrock of my entire career in branding and marketing. And seeing them writ…

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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner…

So. You’re KFC, and you run out of chicken in 500 of your 900 UK locations. Quick: What do you do? Well, internally, I’m sure you fire some Operations folks. And externally, you have a PR problem to deal with. Because when the world’s biggest chicken joint runs out of chicken, the media has an absolute field day with it. So you assemble your corporate marketing and communications and PR staff and your ad agency (Mother London), and you discuss an appropriate response. A key question: What’s the right tone to strike? And somebody in the room has the courage…

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A Holiday Greeting from JFC…

  • By John Fatteross
  • Dec 11th, 2017
  • holiday
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There Will Be Blood

Want a social media presence? Dumb question, right? Every business does. Just be a little careful about what you ask for. As ever in the social media space, the ground is shifting beneath our feet. Fast. And what used to be a nice, comfortable Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram/Twitter presence in, say, 2015, has become an utter minefield over the past 18 or 24 months. Perhaps you’ve noticed that public discourse of all kinds has coarsened — and no more so than in the digital realm. Courteous conversation? Rational exchange of views? The valor of discretion? Out, out and out. They’ve ben replaced by…

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    Xerox Corporation, Rochester, NY

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