Steve Simpson


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Past Perfect

Brand Marketing

David Ogilvy is the most familiar brand name in advertising. His fame lives on in the name of a global company, on the dust-jackets of two books worth reading (and [...]

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Why Brands and Politics Don’t Mix

Brand Marketing

“Republicans buy shoes too.” -Michael Jordan The nomination of Elena Kagan to fill the seat of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens has reheated an issue that is now the most [...]

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Rewriting the Book

Brand Marketing

The Apple iPad is now launched and even before the applause dies it will be confronted by a crowd of competitors: other PC makers moving in from one side and [...]

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Revolution Diary

Brand Marketing

As I grow older (I am nearly 27), there are days in which the appeal of this revolutionist’s life palls. Month follows month, and it is always the same: the [...]

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Hope, Change, Spam

Brand Marketing

They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided, too disillusioned, to ever come together around a [...]

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Why So Sad, Mad Men?

Brand Marketing

Someone halfway clever has probably already written the following end-of-the-year column: Donald Draper’s Review of the Year in Advertising for 1963 and Preview of 1964. Probably it will have “Draper” [...]

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Confessions of a Scam Artist

Brand Marketing

Dear M., It was so good to hear news of you. I saw you quoted in a trade magazine, a week old, smuggled into my quarters here. I don’t know [...]

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Advertising’s Cash for Clunkers

Brand Marketing

Green shoots are springing up all around us. Solar panels glitter like diamonds in dun-colored subdivisions. Shovels rhythmically turn topsoil to lay the foundation for a clean, smooth, buttery new [...]

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Win a Kangaroo, Part II

Brand Marketing

A month ago a few paragraphs appeared here in praise of Howard Gossage, a 1960s’ San Francisco advertising man whose work anticipated our current concern with teasing the public into [...]

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Win a Kangaroo!

Brand Marketing

Once, in San Francisco, there was a tradition in advertising circles that, although informally observed, seemed an invariable part of the copywriter’s portfolio review. After leafing through a few flimsy [...]

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An Outlaw Culture Responds

Brand Marketing

It’s become common to come upon accounts of conferences, seminars and speeches in which marketers focus on the failings of their advertising agencies. They declare with a kind of round-bellied [...]

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The 7 Words You Can’t Say in Advertising

Brand Marketing

Braced from your latest e-mail communication from Obama/Axelrod/Plouffe and still tingling from the latest toke from your fave bookmark, recovery.gov, you’re driving your underpowered hybrid automobile with frugal pressure on [...]

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Down With Billboards

Brand Marketing

Billboards should not exist. They block views of neat pastoral cows, hills and barns in the country and fine old brickwork in the city. They seldom have a vocabulary of more [...]