Another Nail in the Yellow Pages Coffin

Recently a television Account Executive in Iowa brought me a copy of the local YellowBook – one of the two “major” phone directories in that part of the state. She showed me an ad that appears just inside the front cover. The headline was “Directory Options”, and the first line read: “To opt out of […]

Why Subtlety Doesn’t Work Anymore

A couple of years ago, author/public speaker/comedian Andy Nulman wrote a blog post discussing his challenges as he gets up in front of an audience: “The Internet has changed everything. It has contracted attention spans to an almost ridiculously-microscopic measure, and has sung the swan song for the concept of subtlety. For example, the old ‘speaker’s adage’ […]

Phil Bernstein on Susan Rich’s “Your Marketing Plan”

Last week I was interviewed by marketing expert and copywriting pro Susan Rich on her internet radio show, Your Marketing Plan. We discussed the seven deadly advertising mistakes that businesses make, and how they can fix them. Topics ranged from copywriting to media buying to how long it takes for a campaign to work. Click […]

Making a Funny Commercial Work

“Oh… and make it funny.” For nearly a decade, my biggest Portland radio advertising client was a car dealer who appeared in his own commercials. I wrote the copy — more than 500 separate scripts over that time. And whenever he gave me the copy points, “Make it funny” was one of them. He wanted […]

Email Marketing That Misses the Mark

I received an email this morning from a woman named Ophelia, who works for an SEO company that offers “professional link building” services.*Excerpts follow: Hello, my name is Ophelia  and I am an Internet Rankings Engineer. I performed a Google search for the keyword pedicure portland oregon and upon perusing past the first page, i […]