The Traces of a Life After Government Experimentation — Narrative


A remnant of my father hangs in my closet; a beautifully-made, army-issue sweater that he wore while serving as an army mechanic during the Vietnam War. Francis was considered fortunate to be stationed in Germany from 1965-1967. No bombs exploding in combat, no Viet Kong around every corner or behind every bush. My father was nervously excited about the adventure and felt he could stomach the jeers from those whose lottery took them directly into active harm because he was fortunate that his deployment would most-likely allow him a return trip home at its end.

He was a charming product of his era with unlimited opportunity and perhaps a natural victim of situation with a self-destructive nature limiting his fulfillment in this life.

I have little memorabilia from my childhood and my father’s life. This brown, button-down, V-neck sweater is made of tightly knit wool. The buttons are an understated dark brown with an odd gold button replacing the bottom fastener. I always thought it represented a masculine style and my dad’s general panache; he was a man who cleaned up well. As I consider the man who wore the sweater, I reconsider my sentimentality and appreciate that this Kamgar military-issue sweater with its serviceable, well-made qualities is mostly a representation of fine raw materials and not an elevated ideal.

A twenty-one-year-old Francis wore this sweater in chilly West German weather, he learned a mechanical trade, he developed friendships, socialized with his peers, and experienced military drug trials that would alter his reality and possibly led to his untimely death. He returned to the United States, married, had four children, lost six possible children to miscarriage, was a party to a tumultuous marriage, held a laborer job, and led a seemingly tortured existence that became less and less social with every passing year. He appeared to find connection and some level of peace communing with nature. He taught me how to find edible wintergreen in the woods and how to meet basic survival needs through nature.

His psychotic break at age 39 was considered abnormally late in life. Research suggests that drug test subjects of military trials from my dad’s service era have experienced these kind of effects.

Hi untimely death in 2005—before reaching the age of 60–concluded a dozen years of seclusion following attempts to live with and treat his schizophrenia.

This CNN article touches on trials, their effects, and the implied consent of military participants. Human Test Subjects provides a preliminary analysis of evidentiary substance supporting the premise of the work Jacob’s Ladder. BZ and Secret U.S. Government Experimentation

My father, as the Kamgar sweater that remains, was well-made of fine raw materials. Circumstance corrupted his service to himself and others.

Do you know of anyone with a similar life experience? What became of their life’s path?


Social Media is the Campfire Component of Memorable Brand Storytelling


Featured image from

This Buzzhoney video defines the characteristics of a good brand story as one that,”Puts the customer at the center of the story or it makes them the hero of our journey.”

The social media matrix offers a multitude of opportunities to create impressions that build emotional connections, and compel consumers to act. Effective storytelling brands inspire engagement.


In her article, “How to Use Digital Storytelling as your Social Media “Secret Sauce,” Shanna Mallon offers five strategies to maximize a brand’s storytelling impact. You’ll notice the she has interwoven traditional journalism tenants throughout the following steps.

Step 1: “Show Your Brand’s Human Side.”

This includes opening the doors to your brand to the consumer. Do consumers feel the brand is accessible. It is a marketer’s primary job to make certain they feel or appreciate a relationship with the brand or at least the potential for a relationship. Strategies to promote the human-ness or personality of a brand may consist of on brand development and how the brand is learning from and responding to customer needs and a, “Look behind the scenes,” of brand production. For example; a walk through a day in the life of a brand employee.

Step 2: “Share Your Brand’s Story.”

Because consumers, “Buy in,” to the story behind the brand and not the brand itself, it’s essential to maintain that identity through all partnerships and brand activities. All content–no matter how tiny–represents and bolsters the brand identity.

Step 3: “Work Narratives Into Updates.”

Craft stories that in a variety of social forums. Whether in the form of a photo on Instagram or a miniature blog on Facebook, it’s possible to create a sense of storytelling through all communication with the brand’s consumer.

Step 4: “Share Consecutive Posts to Share a Broader Story.”

A series of communications–by their very nature–captures the storytelling vibe and solicits engagement. When the consumer wonders, “What will be next?” they have become invested and fundamentally engaged in the evolving brand story.

Step 5: “Incorporate Elements of Story Into Posts.”

Marketers must return to the journalistic and communication fundamentals when crafting brand narratives. Have we created relatable characters? Is the topic relevant to the consumer? Do they care? Is there a beginning, middle, and an end to the story? Does the storytelling have a point of view? Does our story have a climax? A falling action? Does our story surprise? Include conflict and resolution?

Traditional journalistic standards apply in the tightly packaged storytelling experience and allow brands the rewards of activating all 4 of the social media E’s.




Every Brand Has a Story to Tell


Featured image from Hunter Territo via

When a brand represents a story, the consumer is invested in its success. Brand success is reliant upon the story.

The 4 E’s become possible for brands presented in a storytelling framework. The brevity restrictions placed upon marketers by the social media matrix only enhance the longevity of brand storytelling impression.

Marketers will Excite the customer, educate the customer, create opportunity for the customer to experience the product or service, and engage the customer through brand storytelling via the on-line and social media experience.

Marketing motivations of hitting the 4 E’s are highlighted in this video from D&AD.

The included video is packed with statistics supporting brand storytelling and focuses marketers on the disposition to become conscientious of cost per engagement. This is a transition from a cost per click focus.

Brand storytelling becomes engagement most quickly where–in the virtual world–related conversations are already happening. This is a transition from the traditional marketing thought of organically creating the conversation and the environment where–physically and virtually–that conversation will happen.

This video offers a demonstration on marketing strategies achieved through valuable brand storytelling content.

In the article “The Art of Corporate Storytelling,” Stavros Papagianneas discusses the importance and seamless application of traditional journalism standards in the realm of on-line media and social media. This wise–olfactory-driven–beagle knows how to sniff out a good story in the traditional world. Hi can alter his storytelling modality for the on-line and social media world, while utilizing his traditional narrative principles

Sleepy beagle dog in funny glasses near laptop

Sleepy beagle dog in funny glasses near laptop!Content-marketing-the-art-of-corporate-storytelling/cf1m/55ec265b0cf28ffc7ef25ac2

Shanna Mallon succinctly points out in her, “Digital Storytelling Techniques, ” article that brand storytelling through on-line and the social media matrix can show consumers the “human side” of a brand.


Infographia: The Language of Generations Millenial and Younger


Marketers are intimately familiar with the practice of millennials–and younger target markets–to speak in visuals. These visuals are communication shorthand for those engaged and utilizing mobile and social media.

This Letterbox infographic offers a sampling of a young person’s social media exposure. Suggesting that the average teen experiences 10 hours and 45 minutes of social media–across platforms–per day. This complex and a bit concerning picture points to how marketers may use social media channel to converse with millennials and teens in a positive manner.


The commonality across platforms is the visual component of conversation. reports that the most millenials and teens demonstrate that the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. shares a study the boils down social marketing strategy to this group to Six steps. Following these steps will naturally lead to a visual marketing experience similar to the manner in which this group communicates through social media. This visual marketing is most effective in infographic form.

“The Yahoo/DigitasLBi/Razorfish/Tumblr study included a list of tips for content marketers trying to reach this dream demo:
1. Set the mood. Give them a repository for a particular emotion, or bond over a universal human experience.
2. Help them escape by giving them a glimpse of the good life, inspiring them, and “reinforcing the millennial values of embracing life and finding happiness along the off-roaded path to adulthood.”
3. Fuel creativity and play with absurdist mash-ups, artistic installations and carefully curated memes that are the tight fit for a brand’s attributes.
4. Spotlight pop culture, especially using nostalgia nods, superfandom and celebrity musings.
5. Help them succeed with how-tos, lifehacks and any content experience that makes them feel smarter.
6. Help them discover things and see topics in a new light, which “taps into millennials’ desire for discovery.”
Beyond the marketing of brands, infographics realize success in generations millennial and younger because they can function as educational tools, inspirational tools, build social awareness, and promote advocacy.

Inspirational infographic example.


Educational infographic example.



Advocacy infographic example.


Educational and inspirational infographic examples create opportunities for teens to visually digest information at their own pace. This conveyance of message offers opportunities for greater investment in the material because the reader is allowed to return to the message at their convenience.


Difficult subject matter becomes less stigmatizing and more digestible through the infographic modality.



Curation: A Unique Content-ish Creation


Curation is not just for libraries and museums. Curation lives in the moment to moment content publishing through the on-line medium. Curation–in a nutshell–is sharing content, not selling content.

Kristina Cisnero through offers a “Beginner’s Guide to Content Curation.” In her tutorial she details the systems that must be applied to ensure that daily, weekly, and monthly curation provides quality and connections that customer bases and wider audiences find meaningful.


Curation is a process of sorting through massive amounts of similarly threaded information, compiling the most relevant of those informative connections, and providing the curated links in a digestible, meaningful, relevant, and timely manner through the appropriate on-line vehicle(s).

The actions required in content curation and dissemination are similar to the mechanism and characteristics of general content creation because both require that a  unique perspective and purpose be present and communicated throughout the process. Effective and value-adding curated content must have a point-of-view.

How marketers share content, when marketers share content, and the frequency through which content is curated can translate to a consumer perception of added value. Curated content should also be considered as an additional, ever-evolving level of customer care.

Vicki Rackner, President of Targeting Doctors, presents tips on leveraging curated content while adding extra value.

Curated Email Newsletter how-to from Curation Traffic and Youbrand Inc.


YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest excel at content curation. Their content is most often curated by their users. In these highly-optimized forums, curating software and search engines offer content and services tailored to personal user/subscriber preferences.

The Micro-Moment is Shrinking: How Tightly Can a Marketer Package an Experience?


Hearing the stunning news that something so tiny as a micro-moment is shrinking may produce the reaction of, “Why should I bother?” from a marketer; however, the highly effective nature of a relevant micro-moment offers benifits to the brand-consumer relationship that are worth the effort of adaptation.

How do we try and think differently? We try because the micro-moment cannot shrink; however, it can be a new foundation for marketing that offers its own scale of supporting serial micro-moments and nano-moments.


Infographic from Aspect Professional Services.

Micro-moments are the snapshot in time when, “A person pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants, immediately and in context,” Josh Bernoff writes for the American Marketing Association news

These moments are shrinking and often require, “Only a glance to identify and delivers quick information that you can either consume or act on immediately.”

When marketer are in the micro-moment they can, “Make it easy to buy on impulse,” and inform the consumer whether-or-not action is required.

Google identified, named, and brands the micro-moment through a series of micro-moment video logs. These logs offer great storytelling content that imbues the marketing experience with the human experience.

Here are three examples of content marketing in the micro-moment:

Mabel’s “New-Day-New-Me Moments”
Marlhon’s “Ready-For-Change Moments”
Danielle’s “Show-Me-How Moments”

The fabric of a micro-moment is a good story. Google utilizes the above example that run about a minute in length. A reasonable investment in interest for the consumer. These examples are a small sampling of micro-moments because–just like our mobile devices–micro-moments are highly personalized.

Micro-moments grow marketing opportunities. These marketing opportunities are nano-moments. They may have elements of bells ringing, wine glasses clinking, or buzzers sounding to identify promotional opportunities based on mobile geo-fencing tactics; however, without a foundation in story and thereby an existing customer-brand relationship there can be no maximization of micro-moment marketing.

The storytelling is the memorable, marketing tool. The promotional opportunities that are offered because of the consumer buy-in to the micro-moment are in effect re-purposing of the micro-moment in a nano-moment.




The Zero Moment of Truth is Realized Through Micro-Moment Pings


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The Marketing mill at Google brought us ZMOT. Zero Moment of Truth is the consumer moment–the ping if you will–when a consumer initiates searching digitally, considers taking, and acts upon their impressions.

Brian Solis from Alitmeter Group analysis ZMOT and its micro-moment components in this article.

Jim Lecinski, in his Google 2011 publication, “Winning in the Zero Moment of Truth,” lays out a game plan for achieving and leveraging ZMOT through identifying and creating micro-moments.

His tactics have these three tiers to help maximize and build the business/marketer to consumer relationship: First Moment of Truth (FMOT) when the product introduction occurs, the Second Moment of Truth (SMOT) when the consumer experiences through product through all senses, and the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) when an assessment can be offered as to relationship strength.

Brian Solis has since offered Ultimate Moment of Truth insights. His UMOT is the moment when customers consider their product experiences and share them through reviews, posts, or other forms of communications.

UMOT can inform quality of experience and relationship-building and product quality needs. An integral part and opportunity of this after-purchase care can be turning the after-purchase into its own micro-moment.

How does a marketer move–with the consumer–through the moment of truth steps to that nirvana state of ZMOT?

Micro-moments are impactful, memorable consumer experiences related to and with a product.

In “Best Practices: The Ten Ways Marketers Can Compete for Micro-Moments, marketers are offered strategies that can help them frame their advertising strategies in the micro-moment bundle.

Google defined the micro-moment as a series of “I want” scenarios and digital processes.  Marketers can enhance experience through any consumer desire that begins with,

“I want to learn…

I want to buy…

I want to know…

I want to go…

I want to do…”