Go to the gym. Load up a barbell. Pick the bar up off the ground ten times. Then jump up and down off a twenty-four inch box ten times. Follow that with ten pull-ups. Repeat the sequence as many times as you can in sixteen minutes. Congratulations, you’ve just done a CrossFit workout! To some people, it sounds like hell. To Reebok, it’s a way to invigorate a brand.

CrossFit is an exercise regimen that combines elements of gymnastics, weightlifting, and endurance sports with the goal of creating the ultimate level of cross-functional fitness, and it’s caught on like wildfire. The first CrossFit gym, called a “Box,” opened in 2000. Today, there are more than 8,000 worldwide. In 2007, CrossFit … Continue Reading

Let’s say a senior at MIT is about to graduate with a double major in Computer Science and Comparative Media Studies. Career Services tells the student, “You can make six figures at a Manhattan consulting firm, or you can apply to ‘Venture for America.’ Oh, and if selected by Venture for America, you will be sent to a city in need of entrepreneurs. There you will make less than $40,000 a year working for a start-up.” Which would you choose as your first job?  Fortunately, in 2013, hundreds of America’s best and brightest college students chose the latter and applied for the seventy fellowships offered by Venture for America.

Venture for America is the brainchild of entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Yang … Continue Reading

The way we get our news is changing.  Every morning and throughout the day people around the world log on to Twitter to find out what is making headlines, new key developments on topics of interest, and what is “trending” – literally and figuratively.  And Twitter is not the only social media network being utilized to gather news and check for updates.  Facebook’s “Timeline” offers users the ability to share news articles within their network. Many social media users will check various social media sites more often than they may like to admit, looking for news or articles posted by “friends.”

The New York Times may have caused a stir when it introduced a paywall to access unlimited news content, … Continue Reading

I talk here on Madison Ave Insights a good amount about digital, social media, and mobile advertising trends and developments, and how they are changing the industry.  Advertisers are shifting dollars from traditional print and television to online media outlets and novel platforms – that is no question.  However, televisions are still in nearly every home in America, tuned to leading sitcoms, special programming, news, and sports.  So, how do advertisers determine which programs are worth allocating ad dollars to in order to reach target audiences?  Cue Sweeps periods.

The Way I See It I see Sweeps, which are a data-collection periods used to determine local viewing information and provide a basis for scheduling programs – what gets renewed and… Continue Reading

Men’s fashion has evolved over the years to incorporate more styles and fashion forward items.  Other men’s-only retailers offer customers the option of designing their own custom dress shirts, providing choices of size, pattern, collar type, buttons, cuff link style, monogram options, and other features.  The custom tailored concept is very popular among men, young and old, and it is now being introduced in online shopping to make it more convenient for men to custom design their shirts without even going to retailers.  While the industry often focuses on women’s designers and luxury fashion houses when examining marketing and advertising initiatives, the world of men’s fashion cannot be ignored.

The Way I See It I see men’s fashion retailers owning… Continue Reading

In this post I will examine the growth of retail store sales.  Sales at brick-and-mortar retail stores constitute 90% of all retail sales in the United States.  And many major retailers have found that their digital consumer engagement and investments made toward boosting their online presence has actually resulted in increased in-store visits.  In fact, with the economy rebounding, some major retailers who were forced to close stores during the financial crisis are now implementing large-scale growth strategies and seeking hot real estate in key markets.  So, how are the retail stores remaining relevant and competitive in the age of e-commerce and online shopping?

The Way I See It I see major fashion brands continuing to build brand loyalty among… Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, Chester Cheetah, the beloved “spokescat” for Cheetos, joined Twitter as @ChesterCheetah with a campaign to reach 50K followers.  And when he does, “a family gets a kitten.”  Chester Cheetah is just the latest of many brand mascots that have taken social media by storm in recent years.  Furthermore, digital media is allowing brands to create more developed story lines and detailed backgrounds for their mascots, resulting in consumers becoming more drawn to the characters, and, of course, to the brand and product they represent.  The insurance industry has made quite a splash with its brand mascots, including the GEICO Gecko and Allstate’s “Mayhem,” launching YouTube channels and earning verified Twitter accounts (i.e., celebrity status).  Creating such … Continue Reading