Musings of a Marketing Tornado

Content to spark conversation.

Heyo! Thrilled you’re joining me for this week’s newsletter which covers: Burger King’s flame-grilled marketing failure, a Hollywood hack (but where you’d least expect it), Keanu Reeve in comic book form, and Jeff Bezos’ unrelenting desire to make Amazon one of the cool kids.

Now let’s have some fun around here!

Marketing Minute

Have it your way

Not only did the marketing team at Burger King think this was a fine statement to tweet — on International Women’s Day — they were ambitious enough to run a giant print ad in the NYTimes as well.

Take a second to collectively bask in the cringe:

These tweets were added for context:

King of queens

Did anyone anticipate the perception of this ad from a consumer perspective? These ads went through several sets of eyes and clearly no one thought this was an appalling idea.

BK is famously known for their irreverent social media voice, but using misogyny to promote gender balance in the restaurant industry is a mind-boggling choice.

The weight of words

The copy isn’t sardonic or thought-provoking — it’s demeaning, insulting and serves only to reinforce damaging, archaic beliefs.


Since women spend their lives swimming in misogyny, this isn’t comedy — it’s our shitty reality. We don’t need a reminder from a fast food joint serving grease soaked processed meat trying to score woke points.

In pursuit of clicks

The majority of woke corporate marketing is thinly veiled virtue signalling that serves to ultimately maintain appearances and the status quo. Ironically, BK’s ham fisted stab at edgy marketing to promote inclusion illuminated how badly they should diversify their internal marketing team.

Fret not, Tornado readers! The internet responded with a swift kick to the face:

Tornado Watch 🌪️

Corporate hacks targeting passwords, credit card numbers and email addresses have become depressingly common — but what happens when hackers set their sights above us plebs?

Break glass in case of emergency

It has been that digital servers of an elite private school in Hollywood have been breached, in what an insider described as a “shitshow.”

Why is this hack particularly noteworthy?

Buckle up.

Is the party catered?

First, there’s the obvious mess it created by publishing staff payroll documentation, sending hateful messages, but the fake party invites — sent using a famous parent as bait — was the icing on the cake.

**Hackers, I need to see this invitation sooo badly, please send. You’ve prob already got my email**

Step right up and place your bid

Next there’s the issue of personal student files — think medical history, contact numbers — being stolen. This means reams of intimate data from Hollywood entertainment executives and mega talent just hit the web.

*cue frantic scrambling*

Catch and kill

I’m predicting this breach will kick off more Trophy Hacking™ of high-profile targets, especially since the pandemic forced traditional institutions to rapidly digitize.

Currently Living Rent Free In My Mind

Jeff Bezos may be the richest person on the planet, but there remains one elusive item he can’t buy: coolness.

Tragic, I know.

from the depths of Amazon’s early days outline how Jeff has long yearned for customers to “love” Amazon and consider it “cool” like Nike and Apple.

Brand envy

While Amazon has certainly positioned itself as essential in consumers’ lives, the retail giant wouldn’t be considered anything beyond functional — let alone cool or desirable.

But with an endless stream of cash, wouldn’t a “cool” product have materialized by now?

You’d think.

Knock twice

Over the years Jeff has invested in , gone the extra mile by installing walls to block wireless signals to avoid leaks, and even forbid teams from taking Ubers, lest they be tracked by an intrepid journalist.

But none of that mattered, because the design doomed the products. Like many before him, hubris is Jeff’s Achilles heel.

Misguided cool hunter

Jeff ignored prudent UX design advice when creating a smartphone that later bombed on the market because he was pathologically focused on a “superficial feature with no tangible user benefit” and repeatedly ignored solid advice when he heard it.

As such, Amazon has never been a design-led company, which means that products are utilitarian but lack functional elegance. Conversely, over at Apple, products are thoughtfully designed with an emotional element baked in.

Being “cool” is hardly elusive, it’s a choice that Jeff made during his tenure.

The sky’s the limit

The irony of the richest guy on earth being unable to purchase something so valuable isn’t lost on me.

But now that he’s stepping down, I wonder if he’ll get out of his own way and allow Amazon to actually explore cool design in his wake.

Enjoy With Enthusiasm

Congrats Keanu!

Keanu Reeves may be certified wholesome and the internet’s boyfriend, but he’s quietly a power player.

After conquering movies and video games, he’s now a successful .

The medium is the message

This “sci-fi John Wick’’ story was originally imagined as a movie franchise, but Keanu decided a comic book would do it justice. Well, something tells me we’ll be seeing BRZRKR on the big screen sometime soon.

The chosen one

What’s unique to Keanu — besides rumours he’s an — is that he follows his instincts to projects that genuinely interest him, and his earnest involvement turns them into monster hits. He’s never the guy who’s too cool for anything — especially skewering himself.

See? Keanu even meme’d himself for us on the first page!

🙌 We don’t deserve this man 🙌

I’d like to buy a vowel

To the surprise of no one, the first issue of BRZRKR sold out immediately, and they’ve already announced a forthcoming second print.

The gift that keeps on giving

Keanu has proven himself a bellwether of consumer taste and trends, making his choice to immortalize himself in comic book form a clever set up for more lucrative moves down the line.

Now that he owns another ‘version’ of himself to sell to Hollywood, it’s fun to imagine what he might do next.

Spotify Song of the Week

The vibe this week is “” by Dibia$E

Copyright © 2021 The Campbell Agency, All rights reserved.

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