The 5 Top-Performing American Apparel Ads, and How They Get PR for Free (NSFW)

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Above and below are five American Apparel ad campaigns that ran for less than $1,500 each. Designed to get attention and create controversy, they were covered in AdWeek, The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Mail, NBC, Gawker, and dozens of other outlets and blogs.

Despite this minuscule budget, they did millions of earned media impressions all over the world. People are still talking about them today. Click on each for more context (or, in one case, an uncensored Sasha Grey).

The real question this raises is: how do you craft an message, ad, or story that people talk about years from now?

We’ll aim to answer that in this post…




*

Ryan Holiday is the author of this guest post, which is a step-by-step guide to getting PR for free.

Ryan develops media strategies for clients like American Apparel CEO Dov Charney and Tucker Max. He dropped out of college at 19 to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, after which he started advising bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians on launch optimization. He is currently the director of marketing at American Apparel, where his campaigns are internationally known.

Note: This is a post on the process of getting media (much like this one), which can be used for anything from environmental non-profits to military propaganda. The principles in this post are used by Charity Water to incredible effect, for instance. Like a knife, media can be used for saving lives (i.e. surgery), taking them, and lots in between. How the knowledge is used is up to the user.

This post is not intended to be a cultural discussion of American Apparel… so please relax.

Enter Ryan

The internet is lying to you. It told you that making a good product, writing a great book, or starting a cool company was enough. They said that if you built it, people would come.

I’m here to tell you that this just isn’t true. I’ve worked with too many artists, entrepreneurs and authors—whose crushingly rude awakening came on launch day—to say otherwise. Great books won’t sell a million copies by accident, start ups don’t see hockey stick growth by chance, big ideas rarely become a sensation at random.

Doing “good stuff” isn’t enough in an attention economy. Getting people to care about what you’ve done is an exhausting and bitter fight for the world’s most precious resource: people’s time. To capture it, you must be a skilled and fluid marketer who can create or spot opportunities to leverage. As part of that, you must create the conversations you want people to have about your brand. If you want to be sure you’re in the news, you create the news.

I call myself a “media manipulator,” and there are good reasons why.

“But that sounds bad…”

I use the term manipulate like a skilled massage therapist might “manipulate” soft tissue. I don’t mean hurting, robbing, or stealing.

In helping #1 bestselling authors and billion-dollar brands, my job is to get people as much attention as possible, as expediently as possible. For the last five years, I have immersed myself in the history of media, learned its patterns, stress-tested its rules, and optimized use of new tech tools. What I discovered will hopefully help you replicate my successes.

You have to play the same game that the media pros play everyday. In other words, you have to beat the pros at their own game. The question is: how?

“We play by their rules long enough and it becomes our game.”
-Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

How News Has Changed

The news has fundamentally changed. Think of the New York Times. When they decide to publish an article about you, they are doing you a huge favor. After all, there are so many other people they could write about. There is a finite number of spots in the paper. Blogs are different, as they can publish an infinite number of articles and every article they publish is a chance for more traffic (which means more money in their pockets). In other words, when Business Insider writes about you, you are doing them the favor.

And what are you reading right now? That’s right, a blog. Blogs drive our media cycle. TV and radio reporters once filled their broadcasts with newspaper headlines. Today they repeat what they read on blogs—certain blogs more than others. I’m talking about sites like: Gawker, Business Insider, Politico, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Drudge Report. You may not read all these sites, but the media elite does and is influenced by them.

Getting press on those outlets is no longer a buyer’s market. It’s a seller’s market. And there are a lot of blogs out there willing to buy your story. That means your product, your book, or your start-up has more than a fighting chance of getting press. If you properly utilize the below three tactics for generating attention, you can create a million dollar press campaign… that costs you nothing.

Here’s how…

3 Tactics for Free PR

Tactic# 1: Start Small

You want press tomorrow? Sign up for HelpAReporterOut.com 1 (a service that matches reporters “researching” stories with sources) and you’ll have it. You won’t be the sole subject of a story, but you’ll be in a story and that’s a start. Just for fun, I had an assistant set up an account for me earlier this year and gave him permission to answer every query he could, as me, saying whatever he wanted. The more preposterous the better, I told him. Within days, I had been featured in Reuters, ABC News, the Today Show and eventually, a Sunday feature in the New York Times. If I could be that wildly successful for a prank, what could you get if your livelihood or job depends on it?

Legitimate coverage can also be secured by going even smaller. Small blogs and hyperlocal websites that cover your neighborhood or particular scene are some of the easiest sites to get traction on. Started a company? Snag an article in the newspaper where you went to college. Writing a book? Get the blog that covers your neighborhood to do a post on you. Since they typically write about local, personal issues pertaining to a contained readership, trust is very high. At the same time, they are cash strapped and traffic-hungry, always on the lookout for a “big story” that might bring a big spike of new viewers.

Starting small is your beachhead into the news cycle. Blogs have enormous influence over other blogs—making it possible to turn a post on a small site into posts on large-traffic sites, as the bigger often “scout” the smaller sites. Blogs compete to get to stories first, newspapers compete to “popularize” it, and then everyone else competes to talk about it.

This isn’t speculation. It is fact. In a media monitoring study done by Cision and George Washington University, 89% of journalists reported using blogs for their research for stories. Roughly half reported using Twitter to find and research stories and more than two thirds use other social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn in the same way. Start there, legitimize coverage of your business and then you have a chance to reach a larger audience. I call this “trading up the chain.” Work it to your advantage.

How do you find these blogs? You’re already reading them! (That is, if you’re doing your job and know the influencers in your space). If you’re not, here’s a short cut: check Reddit, Gawker, TechCrunch, Huffpo and the other big guns and see what names show up regularly, what smaller sites they link to. These are the feeders you want to start with)

Tactic #2: Always Appeal to Self-Interest

Bloggers have traffic goals, and they often have posting quotas (sometimes as many as a dozen a day). They are overwhelmed and busy. Handing a blogger an interesting story lead about your business is like handing a thirsty man on a desert island a cool glass of water. Sure, he was surrounded by water—just like a blogger is surrounded by an infinite amount of stories—but this is one he can actually drink.

Think about it from their perspective. To ask them to “cover your company” is to ask them to do a whole bunch of work. They’d have to research you, come up with an angle, craft a headline, make a graphic or photos and then hope the story does well.

Self-interest gets you further, faster. Make your pitch specific and exciting: “Would you like the exclusive story on how my company went from $0 to $1M in revenue without spending a dime on advertising?” Or “How we got 30,000 members in 3 days?” Your company has such angles, but don’t leave it to a blogger to suss them out. Instead: Craft the narrative yourself, gather evidence, and present it nicely wrapped with a bow on top. If you do the work for them, they’ll be much more likely to run your plug-and-play story.

An example:
Last year, I got tired of a speed trap camera near my house and decided to do something about it. Now, I could have gone to a public hearing, voiced my objections to these cameras, and hoped that someone in the media might report on it. But that would have left too much up to chance. Instead, I emailed a reporter at the Times-Picayune—the struggling but influential daily newspaper in New Orleans—who I knew covered this beat before. I explained to him that I was a new resident to the city who had gotten dozens of unfair tickets (including 3 on one day). I emphasized what an undue financial burden such tickets had been on my girlfriend when she had gotten some herself and how she’d been reduced to tears by a rude city employee when she protested. I sent in a picture of a busted sign near the camera. I played the victim, saying that I felt shaken down, as if a bully had taken my lunch money.

Now these things are true, but still, I deliberately framed them in the most sympathetic way. The result: a week later, a front page story in the Times-Picayune, featuring the picture I’d taken and my bully quote in huge block letters, which spurred hundreds of comments and a ton of other coverage. A month later, the city announced it was changing course on the policy and the state legislature is now debating a bill to ban the cameras.

This is how easy it is to get coverage. Do your research, find your target and give them what they need. I provided the raw materials for the story and gave the editor what he needed to do his job. I created the narrative, which others have now continued to run with. They are doing what I want, because it’s in their interest to do so.

Think about this when you seek out coverage: what kind of reaction will it elicit from the reader and the reporter? What is your angle? Will this generate Facebook likes and Twitter shares? Would you share it with your busiest friends? If not, then you don’t have a good story.

You’re wasting your time, and you’re asking for a favor…and bloggers don’t do favors.

Tactic #3: Feed the Monster

I often use the metaphor of a monster for the blogosphere. It is a hungry beast, and to keep it on your side, you must feed it it constantly. And you must know what it likes to eat.

A recent study of over 7,000 articles on the “Most Popular” list for the New York Times Magazine found that the secret to popularity was how much emotion an article generated in the reader. In fact, the number one predictor in virality was how angry an article made the viewer. There are, in fact, many viral emotions: humor, anger, fear, joy, awe, primal attraction, etc.. The one thing they all have in common: passion/extremeness. These are called “high-valence” emotions.

I think about this when I design advertisements for American Apparel. For instance, look at these ads of Sasha Grey (NSFW). She doesn’t even have any product on (well, except socks)! But they provoke sharing, and were ultimately seen by many many more people than a tame ad would have been. The internet is a hungry beast that needs material: FB and Twitter don’t feed themselves. Armed with data that shows a direct correlation between chatter about products and sales spikes, I used emotion-provoking advertising to grow American Apparel’s online sales from $40 million to $60+ million per year.

I’ve done the same thing for clients like Tucker Max, (and had a lot of fun along the way), pulling off stunts like paying celebrities to tweet offensive things and trying to name a Planned Parenthood clinic after him. In a way, this is what Tim did when he put a chapter in his last book about orgasms—yes, it was interesting and helpful to readers, but it was also a fabulous angle for everyone on the internet to go berserk about.

Uber is another great example, coming up with stunts slightly less outrageous but that are like catnip to the news hungry tech blogs (see: Free Roses on Valentines Day and Edward Norton goes surfing)

Do interesting and crazy things. It’s what the cycle desperately needs. People need things to talk about and… you can be that thing! Of course, we all have different levels of tolerance for controversy, but knowing your comfort zone doesn’t mean you should never test the boundaries. I do it all the time.

That said, you’re taking a risk by feeding the monster, and it sometimes (always eventually) bites the hand that feeds it.

If the monster does bite you, or if the shit hits the fan, remember:

*Forget winning a pissing match. (Remember the quote: “When you fight with a pig you both get dirty-but the pig likes it.”)
*Don’t throw fuel on the fire. Sometimes it is best to ignore. The cycle moves fast and everyone will forget soon
*Fight a negative story by releasing a more exciting positive story (someone writes a critical piece on you, publish a great blog post about something else that will get more attention)
*Be the one who writes history: control the language on Wikipedia after the controversy dies down, know your Top 10 Google results and use SEO intelligently (look at services like Reputation.com or Metal Rabbit), etc.

Cliff Notes: How to Get Attention in an Attention Economy

Tactic #1: Start Small (Pick your target)
-Look for a site that is small but influences other media, especially your target media.
-Identify past stories they have written on your “beat” (subject area or industry).
-Establish your credibility first via HARO and other media.

Then…

Tactic #2: Always Appeal to Self-Interest (Approach your target)
-Pick an angle that fits for the target.
-Send them an email that does ALL the work for them.
-Make it clear that there is traffic in it for them. If you’ll help drive it, indicate how.

Hypothetical email:
To: lazyblogger@influentialblog.com
From: You@yourcompany.com
Subject: Quick question

Hey [name],

I wanted to shoot you a note because I loved your post on [similar topic that did a lot of traffic]. I was going to give the following to our publicist, but I thought I would go to you with the exclusive because I read and really enjoy your stuff. My [e.g. “company built a userbase of 25,000 paying customers in two months without advertising” or “fashion label has new campaign with beautiful naked models” or “book blows the lid of an enormous XYZ scandal”] and [indicate how in 10 words or less]. And I did it completely off the radar. This means you would be the first to have it. I can write up any details you’d need to make it great. Do you think this might be a good fit?

If so, should I draft up something around [their average] words and send it to you, or do you prefer a different process? If not, I totally understand, and thanks for reading this much.

All the best,
[Your Name]

Then…

Tactic #3 Feed the Monster (Trade Up The Chain)
-Now that you have a story. Blow it up. Make SURE it is on everyone’s radar.
-Submit it to social media sites, submit it as a tip to other news sites, drive tons of traffic to it.
-Email other blogs and offer to do an interview and get follow-up stories.
-Once you start, you can’t stop. Tomorrow, come up with a new story and start again.

To finish up, let me reiterate: If you just build it, they will NOT come… automatically.

BUT, if you come to the media with something good, something that appeals to the monsters needs and feeds it? Well, then you have something explosive on your hands—you can reap the rewards of millions of eyeballs pointed directly at the product you worked so hard to develop. You deserve that.

Baking shareable, spreadable messages into your product is the ultimate growth hack. As MIT’s Henry Jenkins puts it: on the web, “if it doesn’t spread, it’s dead.” The mechanisms for spreading and popularizing content on the internet are there. Content producers are going to cover someone.

So, make sure that someone is you.

Good luck!

###

Afterword by Tim:

Ryan Holiday is better at media strategy than anyone I know. His new (and first) book, Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, launches tomorrow (July 19th) and is already shipping.

Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, calls it “a playbook for the dark arts of exploiting the media.” If asked about Ryan’s talent, I have stated simply before: “Ryan is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results. From American Apparel to the quiet campaigns he’s run but not taken credit for, this whiz kid is the secret weapon you’ve never heard of.”

On Amazon
As AppSumo bundle: Get the book, plus four case studies and extra bonuses.
On Barnes and Noble

And one more point, as a few people have been very offended by the American Apparel ads. Here’s the deal: I love helping women who want to change the world, and in the same token, I’m not going to stop women who want to use sex appeal to make a living, make art, or sell clothing. In both cases, it’s their prerogative. I have zero problem with consenting adults sexually doing whatever they want with each other or for each other, including sexually provocative advertising. I have a live-and-let-live policy whenever possible. After all:

“A thick skin is a gift from God.”
– Konrad Adenauer

Plenty more discussion in the comments…

*Photocredits for American Apparel ads go to Kyung Chung and Marsha Brady


  1. There is also Profnet, SourceBottle and a few other such services. All are easy to utilize. 

Posted on: July 18, 2012.

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157 comments on “The 5 Top-Performing American Apparel Ads, and How They Get PR for Free (NSFW)

  1. Excellent! I love the challenges of getting PR for free or at least making sure it pays off. The days of “no guarantee $3,000 a month retainers” should be soon gone.

    Like

      • -No-one wants to walk into a restaurant and go out the back and cook their dinner. They want their dinner. These people are your “fish” customers.
        -Some people want to know how to cook just like a hatted chef, at home. These are your fishermen customers. Sorry, fisherpeople.

        To wit, the products would be
        – fish people: concierge services, etc
        – fisherpeople: how-to guides, training the trainer, etc

        Like

      • Well delivered Tim. I’ve never heard a more effective analogy used to compare an “I’ll buy that one please” customer to a “Show me how to do it please” customer. My whole day’s plan just changed because I just read that. Thank Ferriss. You’re killin’ me!

        Like

  2. Solid piece Ryan.

    Roy Furchgott’s take from the NY-Times HARO experiment:

    “..An earlier version of this article included quotations from Ryan Holiday of New Orleans discussing why he preferred vinyl records. The reporter reached Mr. Holiday through a Web site that connects reporters to sources on various topics. Mr. Holiday, who has written a book about media manipulation, subsequently acknowledged that he lied to the Times reporter and to other journalists on a variety of subjects, fabricating responses to their online queries. (He says he does not own a turntable.)..”

    Oh the hilarity.
    D

    Like

  3. I know Ryan personally and I’ve seen some of these campaigns go viral while they are happening.

    I’ve also already read parts of his book and I must say his strategies are some of the easiest ways to get a ton of free exposure. Just do what he says, take action, and prepare for the results to come in!

    Like

  4. “In fact, the number one predictor in virality was how angry an article made the viewer. I think about this when I design advertisements for American Apparel.”

    Not a very positive thing to do in every case. I personally share things that I think are awesome a lot more than things that piss me off. I’d prefer to spread the message of my business that way, and attract clients and customers who feel the same. But then again, revenue and response aren’t the only markers that I measure success by.

    Otherwise, great article! Lots of cool tips.

    Like

  5. This post is loaded with very clear action steps. Thank you. Super excited for my 3 copies to arrive soon :)

    Could this article be in someway an application of Law 13? Cheers -George

    Like

  6. It’s interesting to see how people on Tim’s Facebook page are reacting, I don’t want to say a battle of the sexes, but take a look. There’s a strong division of taste and vision and Tim, I dare you pick up on that with a little follow up blog. :)

    Like

  7. I have to disagree strongly against the message of this post.

    Aren’t the examples in the post the exact things we hate about ads and PR?
    It’s all noise. It’s horribly not genuine, not authentic, nor is it honest.
    We’re talking adding more noise and misery to an already dishonest, deceitful, uncaring world. Believe it or not, these exact practices over the decades have cultivated a whole generation of cynical, skeptical and very unhappy customers. We all know Zappos and the reason Zappos is doing a lot of business is because the rest of the world is a chronically unhappy place for customers. It’s time entrepreneurs cut the crap out of business.

    What does these examples do other than foster demands for more gimmicks? Sure naked bodies are great. But do we need more of that out of context what your business is?
    Let’s imagine for a moment that Tim Ferriss stands for nothing but all these gimmicks. You’ll feel like you’ve been tricked into buying his books. It will make you feel ill that at one time you actually read his blog and worse believed what he wrote. It’s just not a good way to do advertise, generate PR or do business.
    Lastly, you have to be able to handle the fallout. Can you handle the swarm of woman’s right groups, press, animal activists who will bash down your (figurative) door in exchange for the PR? Can you handle the slapsuits (frivolous lawsuits) probably generated through these methods? American Apparel has money and mostly likely a firm full of lawyers on retainer. Do you have an army of lawyers protecting you and cash to burn to keep them fighting for you?

    It is a lousy thing to do for PR. Especially if you are not swimming in cash, forget about. Disappointed once again, Tim. I expected more from you.

    Like

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for the counter-point comment. I’ll respond to Justine separately.

      Needless to say, if I’m disappointing you, I won’t blame you if you look for content elsewhere. I would totally agree that there are far better writers out there than I (or is it “me”?).

      I really enjoy the writing of Paul Graham, Marc Andreessen, and Ben Horowitz, if you like the business stuff. For great writing in general, I suggest John McPhee (non-fiction) and Neil Gaiman (fiction).

      I hope all that helps. And while I do appreciate the comment, I’d also appreciate not chastising me for variance in my content’s appeal to you. I’ve written 400+ posts for free since 2007, and that’s unavoidable.

      All the best,

      Tim

      Like

      • Thank you Tim for responds.
        In an effort of making a passionate comment, I have used a crude example to prove my point. I was looking for impact and I chose an example of poor quality. I do disagree with many of your posts, including this one. My comments are made from the idea that the blog sometimes can be enriched by an opposing point of view. However, I realized just now that I might be hindering your target audience instead of helping them. I also realized that the example I used could have interpreted as an attack on “Tim Ferriss”.(the author, the guru, the man) . Both were unintended. (never had the pleasure of knowing you)
        My point could have been made without using examples substandard to this blog. Hypothetical are no excuse, and I hold myself accountable for what I have posted. While the embarrassing comment I made cannot be retracted from cyberspace, I deeply apologize for the negative effect that it may have caused. Thank you for responding gracefully to my ugly comment.

        Like

    • I actually don’t disagree with you as much as you might think. There’s a reason there is a monster on the cover of my book. The system is a monster–a very hungry one.

      Are there risks to feeding it? Absolutely. But is the prospect of those risks as bad as the guaranteed obscurity that comes along with pretending it doesn’t exist? I don’t think so.

      Like

      • So if you want to be heard, then your only hope is to exploit the mammalian response to extreme emotion? Ryan, I believe that your methods work in the short term, but I don’t think they are without significant medium and long term costs. For instance, I followed Tucker Max for years but after the planned parenthood show you guys put on I stopped listening to him. With that kind of cynical media manipulation, you alienate your sophisticated (often influential) base.

        Tim, this kind of post seems out of place on this blog. At its best I’ve found 4HB to be inspiring, hopeful, and mischievous in a good natured way. Maybe Machiavellian string pulling is most effective, but are we resigned to that world? This blog has given me the feeling that we can do well by doing good in the past. I really hope for more of that kind of inspiration in the future.

        Like

      • Hi GS,

        Thanks for taking the time to comment.

        I still believe, more than ever, that we can do well by doing good. If anything, I suppose I hoped to show two things in this post:

        – A reliable process for getting media, which doesn’t rely on scandal or anger, necessarily. Small outlet –> big outlet; appealing to self-interest (helping the journalist); and planning your hooks can be applied to just about anything, including cause-driven messages. Here’s more from me on all this, on how to get from local to national media:
        http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2011/01/25/from-first-tv-to-dr-oz-how-to-get-local-media-and-national-media/

        – That by studying pushing the envelope (just like the body in 4HB), you can dial back slightly to your level of comfort and still get much better results than usual.

        Cheers,

        Tim

        Like

      • First of all – You’ve followed Tucker Max for years and the Planned Parenthood “show” is what finally turned you off?

        This was a fascinating post and exactly the sort of thing I would expect to be on Tim’s blog.

        Congrats to Ryan for all his accomplishments. I have followed him through his blog over the years and he has always been a true inspiration.

        Like

      • There’s nothing wrong with appealing to people’s emotions. That’s marketing.

        Emotions = triggers.

        Triggers = response (buy, not buy, etc).

        People need to remember, people sell stuff. Selling stuff is NOT evil. I sell eggs, mandarins, oranges, avos from my house. I use emotive words on our signs. Manipulation? I think not. They’re triggers.

        I sell cycling travel ebooks, specifically designed to save people hassle and money wasting in France. I use fear (of hassle, getting lost) and self interest (Saving money) to trigger (hopefully) a buying response.

        Does that make me bad? No way!

        Those sales help pay my mortgage. They keep food on the table. They keep me writing lots of free articles and developing paid products.

        Selling is capitalism and it’s sure better than everything being free (not sustainable long term). Free is better described by communism/socialism and we all ought to know how that turns out.

        Your point about being turned off by Tucker Max’s PP deal is a great example of people responding to personal taste. You didn’t like it, so it doesn’t appeal to you, you respond with revulsion/distaste. Nothing wrong with that either. Some people would have responded positively.

        That’s what makes society interesting. Everyone’s different. And that’s why different types of marketers are needed, to craft marketing to appeal to all tastes.

        You might not like AA’s ads for instance, but you ought to defend AA’s right to use them (within certain obvious limits of morality)

        Like

      • Thank you, Ryan for responding to my comment, and so late at night too. I was delightfully surprised as I thought comments posted by readers were rarely viewed. You proved me wrong, and somehow I’m happy about that. :)
        Just to be clear, my comment wasn’t about problems with nudity (which is awesome) or the objectification of one gender. It had to do with a long trend of business practices(marketing, advertisement, PR) which tend to abuse consumer’s emotions, instead of providing solutions or filling a non-emotional need.
        I’m glad we can agree on a few things. I’m uncertain that not participating in feeding the “monster”, and looking for a better way leads to guaranteed obscurity. As Anthony Johnson below stated there might be “white-hat” ways of doing things. Personally I don’t think I have the stomach for that kind of controversial attention. (I’m small fries I guess) However, I do see your point of enterprises going down without making a media “splash”, and you’re showing a way to do just that. And the book cover looks awesome. If I ever write my own book, I hope the covers looks as cool as yours. Thank you for the post.

        Like

    • David, I am glad you posted your comment. I am also glad it is a man. Really – see the debate on Tim’s Facebook page (no comments from him there yet). It’s interesting. I call the firm on which this blog is about, American Appaling and their adverts do my head in. As a woman, as a human, as a consumer and as a media maker and activist. It’s so cheap, it feels like a sell out to me. We’re bombarded with things that come dangerously close to what seems teen porn. Should that just be all ok? I can go on for hours, but just watch this trailer/see this project which says it all http://www.missrepresentation.org. And check out the discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/TimFerriss. I’d be interesting to see Tim’s personal opinion on this discussion about sexvertisement, especially with the less than stylish comments of some gentlemen – on my personal posts and on Tim’s posts.

      Like

      • Hi Justine,

        Thank you for the comment. Yes, the Facebook thread has certainly heated up! Sadly, I’ve found the etiquette increasingly bad on FB, so I apologize for any really off-color remarks.

        In fairness, I have not watched the documentary you linked to.

        But, speaking in general, here’s how I feel:

        – I have zero tolerance for exploitation of minors in any capacity.
        – I think Americans tend to be hypersensitive about sex, and…
        – I have zero problems with consenting adults sexually doing whatever they want with each other or for each other, which includes sexually provocative advertising.

        I’m sure I’m missing a lot of back story, but that’s my general thinking. I try and live and let live, while not taking offense easily. As I’ve learning in the last few years:

        “A thick skin is a gift from God.”
        – Konrad Adenauer

        Hope that all helps somehow,

        Tim

        Like

    • In 4-Hour Workweek, Tim says “Don’t play the game, beat the game.” This post is an example of beating the game. I get what you are saying, David, but Ryan is simply giving advice on how to stand out. Even if you don’t want to go about it exactly the same way as him, there is plenty of white-hat advice here that people could apply to their own situations. There is nothing wrong with putting out ads that are interesting or thought-provoking….which can be done genuinely without being dishonest or deceitful.

      Like

  8. Loved the article and the generous sharing of tips (something I admire in everything associated with Tim Ferris). How do I “find the small bloggs that influence the big news sites?

    Like

    • I bet you already know them. How do you read every day?

      Look at this site right here? Last weekend Tim Ferriss was a full page feature in the NY Times. They basically ran a poster of him. That’s the blog-to-offline cycle I’m talking about.

      Like