Happy Holidays from JFC!


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…


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…


Short Selling: In Words of One Syllable, It Works

“Big.” “Yuge.” “Great.” “Build That Wall.” “Lock Her Up.” “Drain The Swamp.” “Fake News.” Notice a common thread among those terms that helped effect the biggest political upset in U.S. history? They’re all monosyllabic. One measly syllable per word. (By the way, why is “monosyllabic” such a long word?) Reams and reams and screens and screens have been filled with the lessons of the 2016 Presidential election. But here’s a key takeaway for anyone in the marketing communications business: Short sells. Short words, short sentences, short paragraphs, short clips. Copywriters have been hearing that dictate for, well, for as long as…


The Soft Bigotry of High Expectations: What Designated Survivor Has Taught Me About Quality

  I have a confession to make. I’m a bigot. Fifteen years of truly outstanding television have raised my expectations to the point that I’ve discovered I can no longer tolerate mediocre TV. Take Designated Survivor. (Stay with me here; this will tie into marketing communications.) The ABC show, starring Kiefer Sutherland, had a terrific premise: HUD Secretary becomes president when the Capitol is bombed during the State of the Union address. So I tried it. Binge-watched DS through its entire first season and into its second. And I’m done. No more. Great concept, but I just can’t take the execution.…


The Peril Of Feeding The Content Beast

  “Feed me more pablum, Seymour.” So tell me: When exactly did content that’s good enough become good enough? Seems to me that it was right about the time that “content marketing,” bless its heart, swung the value pendulum from quality to quantity. To play the content marketing game, you’ve got to fill an online pipeline with words. Lots and lots of them, day after day, week after week. The beast is never satisfied — which is why our screens runneth over with insipid listicles and grammar-challenged articles and other utter pablum. That’s what happens when Content Audrey II says…


Self-satisfaction the iPhone way

  Apologies to all you clients waiting for Fatt Lipp to meet your deadline. I recently made the switch from Android to iPhone, and I’ve been wasting a lot of time checking out new apps, customizing yet another lockscreen wallpaper, or engaging in some other pointless solitary activity. In other words— appsturbating. How did it come to this? A little background: In the days before Verizon and Apple made nice-nice, I bought a perfectly serviceable Android phone, an HTC Incredible. By the time Verizon got iPhone, I had no logical reason to switch. Android really is a nice platform, in…



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