Skip to content

Youth Sports Injuries

Interesting article, “Soccer-related ER visits soaring among U.S. youth players” (The Washington Post, 9.12.16). Statistics comparing sports and trends are included.

The article also makes the point that some of the injuries are due to so many more kids at so many different skill levels and development stages trying the sport. So as tough as it is to see so many levels from recreation to uber-competitive traveling teams, it makes sense to have kids play with and against other kids at their skill level.

I will try to keep that in mind when my kids go through evaluations and try-outs for their sports of choice.



Really interesting article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal about brands reacting right away to Prince’s passing.

Brands mark Prince’s death with tweets, and hit a few sour notes.


I don’t know that I am bothered by any of these, especially those included here from MN brands, but those companies with an even deeper connection are getting – as the article states – a warmer reception.

One that really works – Chevy’s “Little Red Corvette.” Check out Adweek’s take here.


Amen, Adam Wainwright

I agree with your tweet and I wish you could have beat the Cubs!

I’d love it if ads like those from Latuda with all of the scary side effects wouldn’t run during American Idol (and other kid-attractive programming) either.

Did you know? … Shift Happens

Every year I teach the intro to reference/access services class to library science students, I end the first class by showing a video from the “Did you know?” series. I used to tear up as I thought they were such a powerful way to show the power of information.

I now keep my emotions in check. Partly because there are so many amazing videos I could choose from now to illustrate the same point. Partly because the series has shifted from an education to a media focus. But I still think it’s powerful.

Check out the latest:

Did You Know? Shift Happens, 2014 Remix

The original Did You Know/Shift Happens content and video comes from work done by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod for a faculty meeting in 2006. See this wikispace for early history. Here is the original video.

There have been other take offs done in between, but what I love about the original and the remix is that the sources are provided.

Why’s the media guy such a jerk?

I’ve felt bad when he’s been sorely underappreciated for his agency work, but he hasn’t done himself any favors.

Harry Crane’s latest move on Megan just puts him further down the chain of low life guys on Mad Men. And there are a lot of them. But most of the rest of the worst of them admittedly have at least some charm or potentially redemptive qualities. Or at least a horrifyingly fresh 70’s mustache or hairdo.

I love this headline – “Harry Crane Asks Megan for Sex In Exchange For Acting Gigs On ‘Mad Men’ & Officially Becomes the Worst Ever” – from Bustle, 4.13.15.

With just a few episodes left, it’s doubtful the media guy will have time to evolve. Too bad. I wish he and everyone else would be sticking around just a bit longer.

Smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy

Can’t get enough of Uptown Funk lately, and I have to admit that my favorite line is “smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy” in spite of peanut allergies in my house. It’s interesting how many brand names make it into pop songs, probably more than we ever think about. Sometimes it’s blatant like Paul Simon’s Kodachrome, sometimes it’s literally a one-liner. I have a feeling if I listened to more country, I’d hear even more, and I might end up craving Jack Daniels! Here are some of my favorite brand pop placements:

  • B-52’s – Love Shack – “I’ve got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty”
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter – I Feel Lucky – “I bought a pack of Camels, a burrito and a Barq’s”
  • Ingrid Michaelson – The Way I Am – “I’d buy you Rogaine if you start losing all your hair”
  • Prince – Little Red Corvette
  • Outkast – Hey Ya – “Shake it like a Polaroid picture”

Selling Stuff

It might just be an extension of their 15 minutes of fame (and but a minor blip compared to their also short social media viral currency), but it is still neat that Kacy Cantanzaro and Mo’Ne Davis showed up on the small screen in national ads. Who? In case you’ve forgotten already…

Kacy Cantanzaro wowed all in American Ninja Warrior, becoming the first woman to complete a City Finals Course.

Mo’Ne Davis is the 13-year-old first female pitcher to win a Little League World Series game.

Cantanzaro was featured in an ad for Fairfield Inn & Suites. Davis for Chevrolet (CBS Philly, 10.22.14 and, 10.16.14).

Girl power.

How is the YM woman doing today?

I heard an NPR interview with Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles this morning. In it, she reflects on how the Cosmo woman is doing today (NPR, 10.14.14). I was happy to hear that she is doing okay – whether or not she’ll welcome political talk next to sex tips remains to be seen.

But regardless, it got me wondering how the YM woman is doing today. Or the Sassy woman for that matter. I never really graduated to Cosmo and its salaciousness, but for my teen years I loved my YM subscription which was supposed to balance out the Boys’ Life my brothers got each month through Cub Scouts. YM was shuttered in 2004 (AP, 10.6.04). Sassy had a much shorter run.

I love this BuzzFeed article to bring back my teen years a bit through a look at YM covers (, 4.30.13). Gen Xers get ignored a lot, but at least we have memories of flipping through magazines to go back to. Will Millennials say the same about the websites they’ve visited?

Tree House Ad Imitates Life (With a Sad Ending)

Zillow has been running their “Family Search” TV spot (, 5.12.14) and the family, and ultimately, kid, at the end, end up finding their perfect home and falling in instant comfort and love with the ultra cool treehouse in the backyard.

After seeing that spot a couple of times I saw an article in the Minneapolis City Pages about a kid’s treehouse that is most likely going to be torn down due to neighbors’ complaints and a subsequent look into zoning violations.

In a letter to the city of Minneapolis, the father says that the treehouse was built because “The move was somewhat traumatic for our son Daniel who had just finally settled into his school in Chicago at that time. When we were looking at the house we eventually bought … I somewhat rashly said that if we bought the house then we would build a treehouse — something he had always wanted.”

In a separate letter handwritten by Daniel, he says, “[The treehouse] still has years of fun left in it” (City Pages, 9.10.14).

Could we get Zillow behind a campaign to keep Daniel’s treehouse up?

A New Case Study For Every Creative Brief

There have been so many buckets and so many videos and hopefully so many donations to the ALS Association.

So what made this crazy scheme go viral? What got so many hooked from celebrities to the cutest of little kids dumping ice on themselves and their parents?

A lot of people have had a lot to say about those questions.

So read up, but just don’t expect to meet your client’s expectations when they ask you to do what the ice bucket challenge did. “You can’t just walk into a marketing agency’s office and say, “Make me a viral marketing campaign.” Otherwise, everyone would do it.”