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Email Marketing Works, Man Walked on the Moon and Other Conspiracy Theories

By Tom Ruwitch

When I was a kid, I treasured my poster of Neil Armstrong standing on the moon. I wanted to be an astronaut. Armstrong was my hero. Last week, I saw a picture of Armstrong’s spacesuit. Some guy posted it on Facebook next to a picture of a lunar footprint. The spacesuit boot had no treads.…

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Ben Franklin Effect

By Tom Ruwitch

When Ben Franklin was a young man, he turned a rival into a fan with a brilliant, counterintuitive move. Ben had co-founded a literary and debate society and served as clerk. When he ran for reelection as clerk, the rival ripped Ben in a long, hateful speech. Rather than counterpunch, Ben asked the hater for…

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Frozen in The Cereal Aisle

By Tom Ruwitch

I nearly had a nervous breakdown in Aisle 8 at the grocery store on Sunday. There I stood, in the cereal aisle, reading the shopping list my wife created. Item 15 on the list: “Healthy Cereal.”  I marched up and down the aisle, scanning the shelves.   Should I buy the Kashi or the Kellogg’s? Barbara’s…

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Curb: Larry Passes on Lunch

By Tom Ruwitch

I watched a rerun of Curb Your Enthusiasm yesterday in which Larry David gets into it with a guy who asks him to lunch. Larry and this guy are both from LA, but they run into each other in New York. The guy suggests that he and Larry grab lunch the next day. Larry refuses. “So let…

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Red Delicious Apple

By Tom Ruwitch

The last time I ate a Red Delicious apple, I thought, “Hmmm. ‘Red Delicious?’ That’s half-true. Red? Yes. Delicious? Not so much’?” Bad texture. Bland taste. All beauty. No substance. How can something so pretty and shiny be so terrible? I discovered the nasty secret in this great article in The Atlantic. Reds used to be delicious.…

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Girlfriend Flowers

By Tom Ruwitch

Back in high school, I had a crush on Amanda, but she had a boyfriend named Cam. A few days before her 16th birthday, she was flirting with me, bad-mouthing Cam, hinting that he was toast. So I made my move.  During the birthday party at her house, I snuck up to her room with…

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Ketchup and Hardcore Porn

By Tom Ruwitch

Did you hear the one about the ketchup bottle and the hardcore pornography site? Whoh! Settle down now. It’s not what you think. This is a G-rated story that is super-pertinent for anyone marketing a business. Turns out that the good folks at Heinz sold ketchup bottles in Germany that promoted a contest website. But…

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Foot Powder Elected

By Tom Ruwitch

This is the story of how a bottle of foot powder was elected Mayor of a town in Ecuador. I’m not kidding. During the 1967 mayoral election in Picoazà (population 4,000), a foot powder company launched an ad campaign with this slogan: “Vote for any candidate, but if you want well-being and hygiene, vote for…

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Leonardo’s Perfection Problem

By Tom Ruwitch

In Monday’s email, I recommended the new biography Leonardo DaVinci (by Walter Isaacson). Great read. Lots of interesting stories. Many business lessons.  Here’s one:  In 1480, monks hired Leo to create a painting of the Adoration of the Magi. Leo started the project, but he stopped before finishing. Leo imagined the perfect painting, but he couldn’t achieve that perfection.…

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